2019

Hello, Love, Goodbye

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FILM INFO

The film centers on the love story of Joy and Ethan, Filipino workers based in Hong Kong. Ethan, a bartender, is keen on romantically pursuing Joy, a domestic helper who is wholly dedicated to providing for her family. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

CAST: Kathryn Bernardo, Alden Richards, Maymay Entrata, Maricel Laxa, Joross Gamboa, Jameson Blake, Kakai Bautista, Lito Pimentel, Jeff Tam, Lovely Abella, William Lorenzo, Maxine Medina, Jerome Ponce, Pang Mei Sheung & Angela Poliquit.

GENRE: Romance, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Hello, Love, Goodbye is actually a cinematic history combining a top-billed actress of ABS-CBN & top-billed actor of GMA under Star Cinema. And yes, the risk was truly worth it. What I like about Hello, Love, Goodbye is its story-line. It was really great to have on-board a story about our beloved OFWs. It’s been a while since movies about them has been given a spotlight in the film industry. With a movie giving respect and tribute to the heroes overseas, HLG features a heart-warming & inspiring story about Joy who is struggling to work harder as a Domestic Helper for her dream in working as a full-tine nurse in Canada. The beginning of the film was really heavy and moving. We saw how tiring Joy is and the situation is really heart-wrenching as well. The movie begins to lighten up when Joy met Ethan. What happens next is a unique love story that has truly entertained the audience all throughout. I can’t help but fall in love with Ethan and Joy as the characters fall in love despite their respective problems, inhibitions and fears in life. The whole movie offers a decent and solid amount of romance, comedy, drama & life-changing lessons that will appeal not only for OFWs but to the rest of the audience – both fans & even non-fans. What I like about Hello, Love, Goodbye is that it tackles many relevant issues very near to the heart of the Filipinos. It is more of a “family movie” more than a romantic comedy one. It still gave utmost value to the basic unit of society. Moreover, its an eye opener to all of us that LOVE IS A SACRIFICE. Reaching your dreams is not a walk in the park. The Setting of HONGKONG was a perfect spot of  a story about dreams, struggles and romance. Shots on the busy streets were executed well. I really love the scenes on the streets especially the scenes on the rural areas. I loved how they depicted the busy side of Hongkong and the rural side too. Cinematography was top-notch. Musical scoring was also great. I really love the Official Soundtrack. Lastly, the film’s strength is its talented actors and actress. Kathryn Bernardo & Alden Richards’ strong on-screen chemistry and acting performances is award-winning and worth every penny. This unlikely pairing worked well. I was like watching a real-life couple acting together. Kathryn is a gem of Philippine Showbiz. She gets better and better every movie. Alden on the other hand, performed his best so far. Aside from a very talented lead, the supporting characters were really helpful in elevating the mood of the movie – Kakai, Lovely, Maymay, Jeffrey & Joross were such a joy to watch. I am also impressed with Hongkong Actors and Actresses in the movie. Overall, Hello, Love, Goodbye is the best Star Cinema Film for 2019 so far and perhaps one of the best Pinoy movies ever made. HLG is worth watching more than twice.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I really don’t like the fact that I have to watch the movie again just to relieve the feelings and the moments this film gave me.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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2018

The Hows of Us

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FILM INFO

A young couple dream of growing old together as they as they deal with the struggles of being in a long-term relationship. They must make decisions and take risks as they fight for their passion and for the love of their lives. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

CASTS: Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Jean Garcia, Susan Africa, Ria Atayde, Kit Thompson, Alwyn Uytingco & Juan Miguel Severo.

GENRE: Romantic, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

For me, THE HOWS OF US is definitely the best KATHNIEL Movie so far. I have been a fan of all Kathniel movies and I am looking forward for their movie projects. The Hows of Us is by far their most promising movie offering  matured and quality performances from both Kathryn & Daniel. Plot-wise, it is very easy to digest. What make it stand out from all their other movies is that the film is raw, honest, genuine and very realistic. The movie is simply all about having a long-term relationship and just surviving it against all odds. What makes it special is the scenarios and decisions the characters have to be made. All of the scenes are truly relatable. With the conflict of Passion, Family & Stability, The Hows of Us has perfectly portrayed  the crossroads of emotions and decision-making. At some point, I am really affected by their decisions too. The movie is emotionally-compelling specially that the lines and conversations were brilliantly-crafted. I must commend the script writer for a job well done. Cinematography is also commendable especially the scenes shot in Amsterdam. Musical Scoring was good too. Acting-wise, Kathniel and Daniel delivered their best performance yet. Chemistry is given. But what sets their performances from all their previous movies is MATURITY. I see a more seasoned acting prowess from both of them. Kathryn slayed every scene. Daniel never failed to give justice to his role too. Overall, The Hows of Us will truly affect its viewers especially that it touches a lot of values and issues which are truly happening nowadays. What I like about the film is that it imparts a very valuable lesson about love and life. Moreover, it makes us realize the decisions we will be making that will truly define our future. Worth-watching all over again.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

How I wish AMSTERDAM was given a little more emphasis in terms of Production Design. Nevertheless, it still give me that invitation to go there very soon.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

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2018

I love you Hater

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FILM INFO

Joko is a boy trying to help his family survive while Zoey is a girl hoping to prove herself to the world. Opportunity rises when Sasha is looking to hire a new personal assistant. Just one catch – they have to compete against each other! Will their own goals prevail, or will they set aside their differences and find true happiness and love in the end? This Star Cinema movie is directed by Giselle Andres.

Cast: Kris Aquino, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto, Ronaldo Valdez, John Estrada, Al Tantay, Gio Alvarez, Ricardo Cepeda, Mark Neumann, Marki Stroem, Manuel Chua, Alora Sasam, Albie Casino & Kat Galang.

Genre: Romantic, Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

I Love You Hater all have the basic ingredients for you to love a “NORMAL” Kris Aquino Fab on-screen together with the natural chemistry of JOSHLIA too. I myself, was a fan of Joshua and Julia to begin with. The movie is generally light-hearted and very easy to digest. Typically, its a story of two individuals which roads met inside the empire of Sasha played by Kris Aquino herself. The whole Sasha thing was so Kris Aquino from beginning to end. What makes the story a little bit unique is that Joshua is pretending a gay person. The whole impersonation was really hilarious and impressive especially on the side of Joshua as an actor. He really delivered well. Julia on the other hand was still impressive especially on scenes requiring her acting prowess. Scenes were like a glimpse of how fab and grand Kris Aquino’s life is. Its like a Mega Production of Kris TV. Acting-wise, both Joshua and Julia delivered good acting performances. Aside being from her normal self, there are some impressive acting chops from Kris here. Overall, I enjoyed the movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

So far, this is the lamest JOSHLIA film to date. It may contain everything you love about this love team and a decent amount of Kris Aquino Feels from production design to very fabulous scenes – I can’t help but see an outer icing of the cake only. Content and depth-wise, I felt that the movie was made for Kris Aquino’s comeback at the expense of JOSHLIA’s supposed-to-be quality masterpiece and output. Love You to Stars and Back was the turning point that JOSHLIA was in for some quality and thought-provoking projects. After watching I Love You Hater, I felt that there were under utilize and used for the movie to become big and rake huge in the box office. I hope we could see more meaningful projects for JOSHLIA. Star Cinema, PLEASE!

RATINGS:

6/10 Popcorn

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2018

Kasal

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FILM INFO

Kasal is a story about Lia who began questioning her decision to marry an eligible bachelor in Cebu and a Mayoral candidate, Philip, after her ex-boyfriend Wado came back into her life. This movie is directed by Ruel Bayani under Star Cinema.

Casts: Bea Alonzo, Derek Ramsay, Paulo Avelino, Christopher de Leon, Cherie Gil, Vin Abrenica, Kylie Verzosa, Cai Cortez & Victor Silayan.

Genre: Drama, Romance

WHAT I LIKE?

“KASAL” started off on a clean slate exploring the idea of two lovely couples deciding to get married. What is interesting about the plot development is the involvement of Politics in the story that somehow made it dynamic in terms of execution. The plot begins to thicken when Wado came into the picture. From thereon, the story begins to unfold along with its intriguing and controversial hints. Don’t worry – I won’t spoil it here. Kasal is definitely a Star Cinema masterpiece given the fact the Cinematography and sound design is impressive. Moreover, majority of the scenes were shot in Cebu City and a little bit 10% of the characters’ dialogues are in the local tongue. This approach made a little impact to me being a proud “Bisaya”. I loved that they have utilized major tourist spots and economic hubs in Cebu for majority of their scenes. Plot-wise, the build towards the turnaround and climax was spot on. I loved how the first half of the scenes didn’t give any hints before the twist was revealed. What I like about KASAL is the issues being tackled not only about Politics but more of about love, acceptance and respect. Dialogues are heartfelt and are very emotionally-engaging. The movie gave us a new perspective of the kind of love we truly deserve. Not spoiling the twist though – the movie became sensitive to some of the sensible issues nowadays. Acting-wise, I must say that it is worth every cent of your cinema ticket. Bea Alonzo is so beautiful and very sexy in the film. She is just a glowing ray of sunshine on screen not mentioning her ever impressive and award-winning performance. Paulo Avelino was also at his best in the film. Given the demand of his role, his acting was so raw and captivating. Derek Ramsay was also a good lead in the movie. With the presence of some veteran actors such as Christopher de Leon and Cherie Gil, Kasal has already exceeded my expectations in the first place. Kasal is good for mature audiences as it gives an eye-opener about love and respect.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Some of the Bisaya words in the dialogues are not appropriate but I am glad that they shot this in Cebu City.

RATINGS:

9/10 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

Unexpectedly Yours

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FILM INFO

Two former high school friends, Patty and Cocoy, met after 30 years. Patty on the recovery after her annulment and struggle with keeping with her daughter and Cocoy finding the woman her life after dedicating his life working hard overseas for her family. Their story evolves on a story where Patty and Cocoy crosses each other’s paths and began to discover so many things both for each other and in their own lives. This movie is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina under Star Cinema.

Casts: Robin Padilla, Sharon Cuneta, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto, John Estrada, Maxene Magalona, Marissa Delgado, Maritoni Fernandez, Yayo Aguila, Denise Joaquin, Pamu Pamorada, Minnie Aguilar, Hyubs Azarcon

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Unexpectedly Yours is one of those quality RomCom Films you expect from Star Cinema and the ever reliable hands of Direk Cathy Garcia-Molina. The movie is a complete package of romance, comedy and drama touching different aspects of our lives from Marriage, Overseas Employment and even dealing with the Age of the Millennials. What I like about this film is its light-hearted plot that is generally entertaining and inspiring as they touch family values with an effective touch of romance and charm of the characters. With the right mix of good cinematography and soundtrack, Unexpectedly Yours tickles your heart and will make you smile from beginning to end. Comedy is on-point too. Aside from that, the movie’s biggest strength are its characters specifically Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla. This was a comeback movie for them. I am not a fan of Sharon and Robin but I fell in love with them in the movie. Their undeniable chemistry and impressive acting performances are I think more than enough to cover for your admission ticket. Sharon’s comedic timing and dramatic scenes are to live for. I loved the way she makes jokes about her weight and at the same time effectively portrays as a typical protective mother. Robin, on the other hand, effectively portrayed an OFW who longs for the love of her life after securing the future of his loved ones. Joshua and Julia were also a great support for this classic love team. Both of them gave a fresher feel since they cater the younger market profile. Joshua’s acting performance is impressive as usual. A more quirky and relaxed Joshua compliments well with Robin. Both of them did a great job as the epic “Mag-tito” tandem. Julia is also great in the movie. Her soft rebellious side with a heart also complimented with Sharon’s character portraying a “strict” and “manipulative mom”. Overall, I enjoyed Unexpectedly Yours. The movie added up to one of my most favorite Star Cinema RomCom Films ever made.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I can’t point out anything negative. The bottom line is, I enjoyed the movie in all angles.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Last Night (Star Cinema)

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FILM INFO

Mark, a man who is dealing with personal issues meets Carmina after they rescue an old man from the railway tracks. The two then get together and have fun. Although both of them have other partners, they decided to spend one last night together. They both learned something about each other and their struggles in life. This movie is directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal under Star Cinema.

Casts: Piolo Pascual, Toni Gonzaga, Joey Marquez, Lou Veloso, Margie Moran, Illac Diaz, Cholo Barreto, Patrick Sugui & Cedric Juan

Genre: Romance, Drama

Previous Movies of Piolo Pascual: Love me TomorrowSilong & The Break-up Playlist

WHAT I LIKE?

Last Night offers a new take and spin-off on the typical Star Cinema Romcom films especially when we talk about Piolo and Toni as love team. This time, its dark, controversial yet very creative and deep. Last Night tackles a very sensitive issue of Suicide and the struggles of life that really goes through a certain variety of audience who are not used with the way Star Cinema movies are a done. On a larger scale, the movie isn’t fully glorifying suicide but rather takes the audience to a floating idea and realizations especially when we are faced with bigger problems and hardships in our way. Despite the dark and controversial take of the plot, the movie geared away by injecting light humor and very engaging conversations throughout the movie. Aside from that, the setting and production design is superb featuring the beautiful Intramuros and iconic Jones Bridge. The phasing was just right to give away to a surprising and emotional twist. Aside from that, the Theme songs fit the movie. Glad they got Moira for this tooActing-wise, Toni and Piolo were just a joy to watch on-screen. They were both natural and their chemistry is effortless. Both of them gave justice to their roles as a whole. What I love about Last Night is its creative approach in presenting life lessons that is truly very relatable especially to mature audiences. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Last Night is dark, deep, brilliantly-crafted and relevant.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, if you are expecting Last Night to be a typical romcom movie of Star Cinema, you might get disappointed and even bored at times. Last Night is an entirely different spin that may hit or miss Pinoy audience. On the plot development, some hints and turnaround is presented on the first half. Somehow, this reveal lost the film’s mystery and magic as you are looking at the film on that projection already and the waiting time is a little bit prolonged. As a whole, I still enjoyed Last Night. For the record, the movie did not bring me to tears but it did moved and I can almost feel the heavy and heartwarming feel inside. Somehow, I felt the whole movie is relevant.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcornsz

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2017

Love You to the Stars and Back

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FILM INFO

Mika decided to go on a road trip with a very strange goal – to look for aliens. In her trip, Mika accidentally bumps into a simple and good-humored boy, Caloy whom she chooses to give a free ride to until he reaches his destination. The two embark on a road trip filled with adventures and misadventures, not knowing that it will lead them to experiencing their most memorable romance at such a young age. This is directed by Antoinette Jadaone under Star Cinema.

Casts: Julia Barreto, Joshua Garcia, Cherry Pie Picache, Ariel Rivera, Maricar Reyes, Edgar Allan Guzman, Eda Nolan & Carmina Villaroel.

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

Previous Films of Joshua and Julia: Vince & Kath & James

WHAT I LIKE?

Love you to the Stars and Back is one of feel-good films of Star Cinema sprinkled with Jadaone’s trusted magic. What I like about the movie is its consistency from story-telling and tone. The sequencing and phasing is fast but the moral of the story was not sacrificed at all. Overall, the movie is wrapped in a simple way wherein the audience could relate in all aspects. Conversations are generally relatable and the whole feel is light-hearted and sincere. I like how Jadaoane creatively played with the idea of aliens and successfully incorporated it with the characters and their individual struggles. I love how they interpret metaphors about the harsh realities in life.  The cinematography is good and I love their Official soundtrack too. The setting was nice especially the scene in Mt. Milagros. More than a very simple storyline, the movie’s strength is its characters. Joshua and Julia’s on-screen chemistry is all over the place. They are just so pleasing to see. I must commend an improved acting performance from Julia. For this film, I have to give it to Joshua on this one. I was so impressed with his heartfelt acting in the movie. I am emotionally-attached to him in on all his dramatic scenes. I also love how the other characters supported some scenes. Overall, the movie was good.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Lowering your expectations could somehow manage your take on the movie. There is nothing wrong with the movie actually. Still, a Star Cinema masterpiece.

RATINGS:

8.5/10 Popcorns

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2017

Finally Found Someone (Star Cinema)

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FILM INFO

Finally Found Someone is a story about Aprilyn who is left by her groom on the day of their wedding. That event became viral online. Devastated by the event, she met Raffy who works at a PR agency hired by the father of the groom who will help her move on. This movie is directed by Theodore Boborol under Star Cinema and Viva Films.

Casts: John Lloyd Cruz, Sarah Geronimo, Joey Marquez, Christian Bables, Yayo Aguila, Tetchie Agbayani, Dennis Padilla, Enchong Dee, Axel Torres, Justin Cuyugan

Genre: Romatic, Comedy, Drama

Previous Movies of Theodore Boborol: Vince & Kath & James

Previous Movies of John Lloyd Cruz: Ang Babaeng Humayo (2016)

WHAT I LIKE?

Finally Found Someone has everything you need to expect from the hands of Star Cinema and the undeniable magic and on-screen chemistry of John Lloyd & Sarah. Truly, they are one of the best and rare loveteams in PH that really sells and hit blockbuster figures despite their conservative status on all of their films. They are just a couple with magic and charm that flawlessly manifests on screen. Plot-wise, it has a new take in the almost tiring Pinoy RomCom formula. This time, the plot is playing around PR industry but still involving those romantic clichés that really seems to sell in a wide variety of audience. The central plot really supported the turnaround of the story despite some inconsistencies. The general theme and phasing was good. I like the cinematography and musical scoring as a whole. Production-design fits with the storyline’s simple approach. Acting-wise, I see a much mature Sarah this time. A little bit far from Lyda Magtalas but she is mush more genuine and natural here which I really love. Lloydie on the other hand is just pure talent and charm and is really one of the reasons why you should watch the film. His strong presence and appeal really goes beyond your internal organs. JL’s smile is to live for. As a couple, there is no doubt that they still have that strong chemistry we love from their previous movies. At some point, you wished that are couples in real life. JL and Sarah effectively created that inspiring and feel-good emotions you expect from real-life couples.  They were just so lovely to watch. The supporting characters were good too. I also love the formula of family values present in the movie. I am moved with JL and Tetchi scene. It was a scene with a pinch in the heart. Overall, Finally Found Someone is a pure joy to watch if you are a fan and if you don’t mind its inconsistencies and technicalities.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Given a slightly new take on its plot, I expected the movie to somehow stand out from beginning to end. For me, the film was lost. It lost grip with its main plot. They could have played much intensity in the PR Industry and its conflict with the love story of the characters but the movie was consumed much on its formulaic and predictable ingredients. It could have been a new approach but it still followed the formula they believe would sell much on the public. Well, I can’t blame them. I also find a lacking character build-up with some of the casts and lacking backstory presentation. Well, still a good movie though I think that this is not their best movie.

RATINGS:

7.5/10 Popcorns.

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2017

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

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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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