2018

FANTASTICA (MMFF 2018)

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

Fantastica is a story of proprietor of a struggling carnival must help a prince from another land find three lost princesses. This movie is directed by Barry Gonzales under Viva Films & Star Cinema.

CAST: Vice Ganda, Dingdong Dantes, Richard Gutierrez, Jaclyn Jose, Ryan Bang, Bella Padilla, Maymay Entrata, Edward Barbers, Ronnie Alonte, Loisa Andalio, Kisses Delavin, Donny Pangilinan, Chokoleit, Johnny Revilla, MC Muah, Lassy Marquez, Juliana Parizcova & Angelika Mapanganib.

GENRE: Comedy, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

With so many controversies surrounding the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival, I am making Fantastica an exception in terms of Quality. What can we expect? With Commercialism for every year of MMFF, it all boils down to revenue. Adding any Vice Ganda Movie would mean millions of returns in the box office. Fantastica has effectively lived up to its purpose to provide cheap laughs and accessible entertainment to its viewers. Watching it after a disappointing “AURORA” was such a good relief actually. Fantastica is as shallow as expected but for me, it was refreshing Vice Ganda Movie with a heart. With Perya/Carnival as the main setting, the movie is really in for some fun ride from beginning to end. What I like about Fantastica is how it set the movie’s conflict & struggles through family. What comes after is pure entertainment and gags that are overall effective in its merits. The Carnival Concept was staged well. For me, the fun is always there. With pop culture references along with staging some memorable Star Cinema Films, Fantastica is downright funny & entertaining. The Magical Concept of the World of Fantastica was also pretty cool. The Location is really impressive. After all the laughs the movie is offering, Fantastica is a heartwarming story about Family & Love. I see so many heartwarming scenes on this film. Aside from that, Vice Ganda never failed to bring an epic performance as usual. The love triangle between Dingdong & Richard was such a refreshing site to see. Lassy & MC was again a good support to Vice. Jacklyn Jose’s role was truly one of the film’s strength. Bella Padilla was a good villain too. Not minding the quality of the film we are all aspiring, Fantastica was a good escape from other disappointing MMFF 2018 entries.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Fantastica may have a good location bit Visuals could have been improved. How I wish movies like this could spend on Production Design considering that Vice Ganda Films always rake the box office returns. Aside from that, Love teams present on the film was not utilized well. How I wish they have given worthy screen time and even a worthy plot support on the film’s premise. It felt like there were just pure accessories and glitters on the movie.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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2018

AURORA (MMFF 2018)

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

The passenger ship Aurora mysteriously collides into the rocky sea threatening an entire island. A young woman and her sister must both survive by finding the missing dead for a bounty. Aurora is produced by Viva Films & Aliud Entertainment and directed by Yam Laranas.

CAST: Anne Curtis, Alan Paule, Mercedes Cabral, Marco Gumabao, Andrea del Rosario & Phoebe Villamor.

GENRE: Thriller, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

Aurora is definitely a breakthrough in the Filipino Film Industry in terms of Editing, Cinematography and Production Design. So far, this is the film to beat in terms of the following cinematic elements. Set in the majestic and mystic island of Batanes, Aurora was able to utilize the beauty and gloominess of the island into something that is creepy, strange and very dark for the movie’s atmosphere and feels. Production-design wise, I must commend Aurora for staging that old Seaside Inn on the seashore plus the realistic and impressive mounting of the giant ship in the water. The interior shots of the old seaside Inn was creepy as hell. The corridors and the atmosphere of the Inn added much on the demand and genre of the movie. Camera angles were brilliantly utilized especially the drone shots of the waves, the giant ship and the panoramic view of Batanes. The underwater shots were staged beautifully too. I am just glad to see an upgraded Production with Aurora. Acting-wise, Aurora provided some impressive performances from Anne Curtis, Alan Paule, Phoebe Villamor (child actress) & Marco Gumabao. Anne Curtis is already a revelation in Buy Bust but she gave an entirely different performance from Aurora. As a whole, Aurora brought decent chill from the spine moments that may pleased certain audiences and fans of the genre.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Aurora may have the impressive Technical & Visual Aspects but for me, but the movie is a lost sheep trying to find its shepherd in a barren land. In as much as I wanted to praise the movie for being a breakthrough film, Aurora lacked the cohesiveness of its plot starting from the conflict setting going towards a lackluster climax. The movie has set the mood right. It is creepy, dark & gloomy as hell but the film invested much on unnecessary sequences that did not add up to the resolution of the movie. There were a lot of scenes that has no impact with the movie’s turnaround. I admit these scenes were made to send some chill-from-the-spine moments but it somehow failed knowing that it doesn’t add any impact at all. The twist was good however the development of the twist stopped right there. What happens next are failed premonitions and some weird stuff going on. From there, the movie went into a downhill. For me, Aurora was a big disappointment.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 POPCORN

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