2019

Between Maybes

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Louie Puyat has been living a solitary life in Saga, Japan until has-been actress Hazel Ilagan arrives. They develop a functional relationship where Louie checks on Hazel during her vacation. Amidst the isolation, the two lost souls find comfort in each other. This movie is directed by Jason Paul Laxamana under Black Sheep Productions.

CASTS: Julia Barreto, Gerald Anderson, Yayo Aguila, Christian Vasquez

GENRE: Romance, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Between Maybes has a very ordinary plot but what makes it a quality Pinoy Romantic Film is the way they deliver the story-line and the way they gave justice to the beautiful Saga, Japan in the beautiful island of Kyushu. Let me start with the Plot. There is a good move to incorporate the chaotic life of Hazel – a struggling Celebrity who’s fame is about to go down along with family issues and societal pressures in a beautiful and peaceful setting of Saga. It became a contrast on two different worlds wherein Hazel will be able to meet a fellow kababayan Louie who is enjoying his solitude in the peaceful town. What happens next is a series of connection and deep conversations wherein the audience will be brought to the magic of strangers meeting and connecting each other despite differences and status in life. Julia was effective being a strong-willed & spoiled brat celebrity and Gerald has able to maintain the shy-type & timid gentlemen who is fragile & vulnerable. I loved the way the story flows effortlessly from beginning to end. It felt like you are riding on a feather going with the direction of the wind. The story is light and very easy to digest. What I love about Between Maybes is how they were able to crate a good chemistry with the contrasting characteristics of their main leads and were able to translate it on-screen effectively. Also, I must commend Julia & Gerald for bringing the characters into life. I couldn’t think of any celebrities who can portray well the characters of Hazel & Louie. On the other hand, this is Julia’s first ever on-screen kissing scene. The film has the right amount of romance, comedy, drama & bitter-sweet ending. It is realistic as well. The setting in Saga, Japan was the most perfect choice setting of the movie. Glad they went into an underrated location which is actually fit for the demand of the story-line. I am really impressed on how they were able to utilize Saga beautifully. Shots were spot-on. All featured spots were just awesome and breath-taking. I commend the Cinematography for bringing it a notch higher and even comparable with Hollywood. Musical scoring is on-point. I am really proud about this film. My hope for quality Pinoy films is back. For me, this is worth-watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, we all different takes on Pinoy Romantic Films. The pairing might be new and the story may not please other audiences who are hungry for a dynamic ROMCOM Formula. Between Maybes is a silent killer.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2018

My Perfect You

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FILM INFO

The film centers on Burn, a broken-hearted man looking to start over and Abi, a hostel owner whom he meets while on vacation. As the film progresses, the two will fall in love with each other despite differences and circumstances surrounding them. My Perfect You is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

Cast: Gerald Anderson, Pia Wurtzbach, Tonton Gutierrez, Dimples Romana, Janus del Pardo, Wilma Doesnt, RJ Ledezma, Marlann Flores, Paolo O’Hara & Darwin Tolentino

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

WHAT I LIKE?

Star Cinema never fails to produce quality films with the new addition of My Perfect You. Generally, the movie has the typical RomCom Formula which Star Cinema is heavily investing lately. What differs it from other movies is its twist. Without spoiling the twist, My Perfect You is a light-hearted yet inspiring film about second chances in life and gives us a better understanding of depression. Its message cuts deep as it creatively engage its audience with laughter and charm while creating a slow pinch as the movie progresses and as the twist and turn around is unfolding. The movie is utterly inspiring especially for those who are undergoing depression. Moreover, My Perfect You imparts a very basic lesson of smiling and being brave in facing life’s challenges. Indeed, a SMILE could change the world. The movie is successful in letting its audience laugh and feel a little romantic especially on Gerald and Pia’s scenes. The movie’s premise is simple but your whole perspective will change after the twist. Wish I could discuss the turn around and share thoughts about but I guess I have to give a little bit of mystery for the audience. Production design is good. I loved the location of the Happy Sunshine Camp. The underwater scenes were done well too. Gerald and Pia has a good chemistry. They both gave impressive performances and acting chops fit for the film’s dynamics and demand. Gerald shows an improvement on his craft. He was effective in portraying a man defeated by life and challenges. His physical appearance down to his facial expressions – I can almost feel in his eyes that he is tired and wanting to give up already. Pia’s quirky and bubbly portrayal also made the movie light and likable.  Pia’s performance was impressive too given that this is her first lead role in a movie. Aside from his comedic timing, she was also convincing during dramatic scenes. Supporting Characters such as Janus, Wilma, Tonton and Dimples also gave justice to their roles. Wilma’s portrayal was the best. I really commend Dimples’ scene with Gerald, it was heart-wrenching for me. Overall, the movie depicts many social values and realizations especially on the battles all of us are facing. I salute Star Cinema for this bold risk in producing eye-opener movies like this.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Some of the outdoor scenes were a little bit overexposed in my eyes. Some of the song choices were a bit off too. But still, this is worth-watching.

RATINGS:

9/10 Popcorn.

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2017

Can we still be friends? (Star Cinema, 2017)

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Can we still be Friends is a story of Digs & Sam who has been together for 8 years. Due to indifference, they decided to end their relationship but still constantly checking on each other. Aside from finding the right blend to start friendship, they will also face the challenges of dating others separately. This movie is directed by Prime Cruz under Star Cinema.

Casts: Gerald Anderson, Arci Munoz, Bryan Santos, Ria Atayde, Erika Padilla, Bryan Sy & Juan Miguel Severo

Genre: Romantic, Comedy, Drama

Past Movies of Gerald Anderson: How to be Yours

Past Movies of Arci Munoz: Camp Sawi

WHAT I LIKE?

The tried and tested Gerald-Arci chemistry is truly evident in their latest movie, “Can We Still Be Friends?” from Star Cinema. The good thing about the film is that it showcases the natural side of both Gerald and Arci. They truly gave raw performances which is actually fit for the demand of the plot and the demand of their characters as well. Acting-wise, I am impressed with Arci on this one. Their chemistry is really good and their performances really compliments each other. For the story-line, I like that the Director invested on a very light approach in dealing with heartbreak and exes. Also, much of the scenes were very relatable too despite its confined and limited setting. The plot started off just right showing the cause of the break-up. After the breakup, the movie will bring you to an awkward set-up that is a prelude to the conflict itself. At some point, it became effective in adding to the film’s premise though the technique used was really risky. I also like the supporting characters in the movie. I personally love Juan Miguel Severo here. The injection of comedy and very casual conversations made connections with its audience as well. The comeback of Gerald & Arci is truly one of the reasons to watch this film.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The first part of the movie was very engaging. The middle part was a bit lost. The consistency of the plot was tested when the risky part of the story was presented. At some point, the movie was out of bounds. Considering that the movie is very subtle in terms of cinematic approach, I expected thrill, excitement and intensity on most scenes especially on the conflict and realizations of the characters. The ending was uninteresting. I believe all Pinoy RomComs are predictable but it can also be exciting as well. Can we still be friends lacks that exact formula. I already lost grip of my interest starting in the middle part of the movie. I also find the resolution to be half-baked as they invested solely on establishing the story-line and establishing the conflict. For me, the movie lacks supporting scenes that strongly affect audience on the title itself – Can We Still Be Friends?. The second half of the film failed to sustain the energy the characters is giving. They were drowned by a very shallow plot that could have been better. It is one of the lousiest Start Cinema Movies of the year.

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorns.

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2016

How to be Yours

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How To Be Yours is a subtle Romantic Pinoy piece from the magical hands of Dan Villegas that veered away from the loud romcomm formula and settled with a little “pabebe” plot this time. The film is not as expected for those die-hard romantic Pinoy film fans but will surely please majority of its matured viewers with a realism plot that is very relatable nowadays. The plot was presented well and organized enough to establish the conflict and realization between career and love. I loved the central focus of the film as it is relatable to me as well 🙂 Conversations are downgraded this time. A bit cheesy but somehow bearable. Thanks to Bea & Gerald’s acting prowess. Their chemistry is good. It is not as memorable compared with Always be My Maybe & English Only Please but How to be Yours is a Star Cinema masterpiece still worth-watching. 4/5 stars for me for being so spot on.