Monday, December 26, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Segunda Mano (MMFF 2011)

Director: Joyce Bernal
Writer: Joel Mercado


Mabel Domingo (Kris Aquino), the owner of a high-class, but creepy, antique shop, only wants herself and her mother to move on from the tragic past of losing her sister as she carries the guilt of causing her death. She meets Ivan Galvez (Dingdong Dantes), a rich and successful architect who only wants to find the perfect wife and mother for his young daughter Angel to finally have a complete and happy family after his ex-wife left for him for another man.

Since Ivan's proposal, Mabel is haunted by an unknown ghost who seems to endanger everyone around her. As the terror escalates, she discovers an unexpected twist that will test her love for Ivan.


Kris Aquino
Dingdong Dantes
Angelica Panganiban
Jhong Hilario
Bangs Garcia
Angel Jacob 
Ian Veneracion
Rico Blanco
Sofia Millares


Being a Horror-fanatic, Segunda Mano is a big disappointment for me!

Well, this hugely staged and produced film by Star Cinema and Kris' and Dingdong's Film Outfit unfortunately added itself to the roaster of disappointments especially in the Pinoy Horror Genre. After a not-so-good reviews on "Dalaw", here comes another film of Kris that gets even worst every year. Indeed, nothing can beat those "Feng Shui" and "Sukob" days.

At first, I am having a little doubt on Director Joyce Bernal applying her craft on a horror one. Well, my doubt was right. With a shallow plot but good twists, Segunda Mano is an overrated film that leads nowhere.

I think the Major Problem of the film is that it lacks impact and scare factor compared to other Kris' films. The movie can be a lot a better than it is. The scare scenes didn't work out for me. The movie was partly boring and blank most of the time. Direk Joyce Bernal didn't play with every scene and it felt like it was just what you see is what you get technique. I mean, in a Horror film, the director must focus in every detail and factor that would send shivers down your spine. 

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of
The reason also why it did not look scarier that it should be is the Editing. Although, cinematography and film texture is undeniably good, the editing especially during the appearance of the ghost in every scene is an EPIC FAIL. They should have studied well Editing techniques in a Horror film since this is very vital in general.

Plot-wise, Segunda Mano is averagely-crafted. The reason why its average because it's kinda bloated at some point. Like, the "bag" thing started in nearly the 45-minute length. Some scenes could have been shorter and more haunting and scare scenes should have been added. The Climax, however, was good and full of suspense. I just had a little problem with the progression of the scenes from the first. 

The strength of Segunda Mano lies in its Cinematography and Casts. Cinematography in a sense that I love the film's texture, sound effects and arrangements. The Editing of the ghost during scare scenes was just the problem.

The Casting was also great and talented. I see a bigger improvement with Kris Aquino's acting. Dingdong Dante, on the otherhand, did a great portrayal as Kris' partner. He is just as charming as ever. Jhong Hilario and Helen Gamboa have both given a fair performance. The biggest surprise and the one that saved the film (for me) was Bangs Garcia. She was such a revelation in this film. I so love her portrayal and humor in the film.

Generally, Segunda Mano could have been better and scarier. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Your Idiot's Guide to the 37th Metro Manila Film Festival Entries

Christmas is just around the corner!

And so is the much awaited 37th Metro Manila Film Festival wherein 7 locally-made films will battle it out in the box-office this Holiday season.

Before you finally have your own A-list of movies to watch this MMFF 2011, here's a quick guide to all the 7 entries that are proudly Pinoy-made.

If you are a horror-fanatic, 2 entries made it to the cut this year.

First is the much awaited comeback of the Philippine Horror Queen, Kris Aquino, in the movie "SEGUNDA MANO"

Info and Poster Courtesy of

Director: Joyce Bernal
Writer: Joel Mercado


Mabel Domingo (Kris Aquino), the owner of a high-class, but creepy, antique shop, only wants herself and her mother to move on from the tragic past of losing her sister as she carries the guilt of causing her death. She meets Ivan Galvez (Dingdong Dantes), a rich and successful architect who only wants to find the perfect wife and mother for his young daughter Angel to finally have a complete and happy family after his ex-wife left for him for another man.

Since Ivan's proposal, Mabel is haunted by an unknown ghost who seems to endanger everyone around her. As the terror escalates, she discovers an unexpected twist that will test her love for Ivan.


I think this would be a hit considering Kris Aquino's market viability in Horror Genre and the fact that is a Star Cinema Production. I just have doubts on Direk Joyce Bernal directing a horror film. But, let us give chance to this film. The plot might be a little overrated and shallow due to the premise over a bag's terrible history, but I think the film's jump-out scares might work for Pinoy fans. To think, Kris Aquino is very influential (though not a good horror actress) and so is the much awaited  Dingdong Dantes as her partner in this film. Again, I'll be seeing Kris' weird face during scare scenes. 


The Next Horror film in the MMFF 2011 List is the extended and overdue Shake, Rattle and Roll 13.

Info and Poster Courtesy of

                                                         Director: Chris Martinez
                                                            Writer: Jerry Ignacio


Rain, Rain Go Away Episode

“It’s about yung current fear ng bawat Filipino. ‘Di ba takot na takot tayo sa baha, sa sakuna, sa disaster? Parang everytime na uulan, o may malakas na bagyo, lahat tayo napapraning kasi baka mamatay ang mga tao, malunod.

“It’s a revenge story; it’s about guilt. Hindi mo matatakasan ang kasalanan mo.”

That’s how director Chris Martinez describes his episode Rain, Rain Go Away,” which is part of the 13th and last installment of Shake, Rattle & Roll [SRR].

Although Rain, Rain Go Away is Direk Chris’s first foray into directing a horror film, he gladly welcomes the experience. “E, siyempre, Diyos ko ‘no, I grew up watching Shake, Rattle & Roll. Dream ko na makagawa ng isang Shake, Rattle & Roll episode kahit man lang isang beses.”

Tamawo Episode

After a six-year absence from the popular local horror franchise, director Richard Somes returns to SRR with the episode Tamawo.

“Actually, ang tamawo is very much close din sa maligno,” he explains. “Tamawo is an Ilonggo word.”

The episode deals with a man named Alan who brings his wife and stepson to a provincial ranch previously taken cared of by his uncle who mysteriously died. It’s there where the family experiences various encounters with supernatural creatures.

Direk Richard also injects a serious message in his film: “Actually ‘yong theme ko ng Tamawo is ‘yong tayo as human beings, kaya nating mang-invade ng territory na kung minsan, e, hindi na sa atin.

“Hindi natin nirerespeto ang boundaries. Napaka-greedy talaga ng tao. So, ang ganda ng lesson.”

Parola Episode

Director Jerrold Tarog makes his second appearance in the SRR franchise with the episode Parola. For the young filmmaker, this comes right on the heels of his latest worl, Aswang, starring Lovi Poe and Paulo Avelino.

“It’s pretty tiring,” Direk Jerrold bluntly admits. “But the good thing is that Parola is a totally different concept fromAswang, which makes visualizing the project easy.”

He also cites why his inclusion in this year’s SRR is extra special. “The other episodes are going to be helmed by two directors whom I have great respect for. I’m not so much pressured as I am in awe.

“With [Chris] Martinez and [Richard] Somes in the line-up, I’m prepared to lie low in this installment. Those two are awesome. I look forward to seeing their episodes.”

Cast Members

Rain, Rain Go Away: Eugene Domingo, Jay Manalo, Edgar Allan Guzman, Boots Anson Roa
Tamawo: Zanjoe Marudo, Maricar Reyes, Bugoy Cariño, Celia Rodriguez and introducing Ervic Vijandre
Parola: Kathryn Bernardo, Louise de los Reyes, Sam Concepcion, Hiro Magalona, Dimples Romana, Ina Raymundo, Ara Mina


What's new nowadays with SRR Franchise. It gets worse every year. Like, the more advance film editing is, the less scarier SRR Films were produced over the Jubilee Years. I still love the SRR films before (noting on Aiza Siguerra and Manilyn Reynes' time). Well, even though the franchise sucks, it is still up in the MMFF roaster of films and still do good business in the box-office. But, some episodes are good though. Based on the trailer, SRR 13 seems to be a better one. (I hope so) Thanks to the power-house casts and directors. 


Of course, this year's MMFF would not be completed with the films in Comedy & Fantasy Genre.

Next on the list, and I think the biggest film of the year, "ENTENG NG INA MO" which combines the blockbuster icons, Ai-ai delas Alas and Vic Sotto.

Info and Poster Courtesy of

Director: Tony Y. Reyes
Writer: Kriz G. Gazmen, Bibeth Orteza, Tony Reyes, Dano Mariquit


Two box-office fixtures, Vic Sotto and Ai-Ai de las Alas, join forces in Enteng ng Ina Mo. The comedy-fantasy revolves around the meeting of the fabled character Enteng Kabisote (played by Vic), from the Okay Ka, Fairy Ko! franchise, and Ina Montecillo (played by Ai-Ai), from the Tanging Ina and its sequels, Ang Tanging Ina N’yong Lahat and Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last na ‘To).

Director Tony Y. Reyes explains how the unlikely encounter happens:

“Gusto ni Enteng, mag-normal na buhay. Si Ina naman, ito ‘yong time na mare-realize niya mag-iisa na lang siya sa buhay pag nawala na ‘yong mga anak niya, kasi malalaki na sila. So naghahanap ngayon siya ng makakasama sa buhay.

“Nagkataong masama ang loob ni Enteng at naglalasing. Nilagyan siya ngayong ng spell ni Satana para masira nang tuluyan ‘yong pamilya niya. Ang spell ay kung sino’ng unang papasok sa pinto na babae, ‘yon ang liligawan at makaka-love-team ni Enteng. Nagkataon, si Ina ang unang pumasok sa bar na ‘yon.

Enteng ng Ina Mo also stars Eugene Domingo, reprising her role as Ina’s best friend, and Bing Loyzaga, as Satana, the evil fairy. (Joseph Dayrit of YES! Magazine)

Cast Members

Vic Sotto, Ai Ai delas Alas, Eugene Domingo, Bing Loyzaga, Aiza Seguerra, Amy Perez, Oyo 

Sotto, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Marvin Agustin, Nikki Valdez, Xiriel Manabat, Carlo Aquino,

Alwyn Uytingco, Yuuki Kadooka, Ruby Rodriguez


Box-office wise, Enteng ng Ina Mo would really do great. In fact, as of now, this is the Most Anticipated Film on the list. Aside from its gigantic powerhouse cast, Film Outfit (Star Cinema Octoarts, APT and M-Zet) and Vic-Ai2x team-up, its media mileage is far bigger compared with other entries this year. As always, Comedy and fantasy-inspired films do well during MMFF. Both Vic & Ai-ai had proven themselves to be box-office queen and king of this industry so Enteng ng Ina Mo wouldn't sweat even a single drop in enticing audiences to watch because they have the undeniable charisma and crowd-drawing factor.


Next is the sequel of the box-office hit Panday, "Ang Panday 2" which will battle head-to-head with "Enteng ng Ina Mo" in the box office.

Info and Poster Courtesy of

Director: Mac Alejandre
Writer: RJ Nuevas


Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. returns as the blacksmith Flavio in the second installment of Ang Pandayfranchise. Here he goes on a quest to save his ladylove Maria, played by Iza Calzado, from the clutches of his evil nemesis Lizardo, portrayed by Philip Salvador.

If the first Ang Panday movie, released two years ago was already heavy on special visual effects, it sequel aims to top that.

“It was meant to be bigger and better than the first one,” declares director Mac Alejandre. “It was meant to be a visual spectacle and ‘yon ang direksiyon na pinupuntahan niya. Grabe ang CGI [computer-generated imagery]! More than half of the film mat CGI.”

During the 35th Metro manila Film Festival Awards Night back in 2009, Ang Panday went home with a slew of awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bong Revilla. But for Direk mac, he doesn’t feel any pressure to duplicate the franchise’s winning streak.

“Hindi kami gumagawa ng pelikula for the awards. mali namang objective ‘yon. We want to enetertain. We are hoping it will be a bigger hit; ‘yon malinaw sa ‘min ‘yon. That’s why we’re working so hard. Gusto naming ma-maintain ang integrity ng Panday as a franchise.” (Interview: Jocelyn Dimaculangan, Text: Joseph Dayrit of YES! Magazine)

Cast Members

Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Marian Rivera, Iza Calzado, Rhian Ramos, 

Philip Salvador, Eddie Garcia


After the successful debut of Panday comes the much bigger sequel, "Ang Panday 2". In terms of visual effects and production, the film really brought out a big budget. Although I found the trailer to be loaded with CGI effects (which is already overrated) and the controversial copying of the "Kraken" figure in Hollywood. "Ang Panday 2" will still make it to the Top 3 film this year. Bong Revilla's charm still works nowadays especially for those fantasy-film lovers. It may be a bit serious compared with Vic Sotto's film, but I think it will give Enteng ng Ina Mo and Segunda Mano a good fight in the box office records. More or less, this film falls on the 2nd or 3rd spot. Thanks to its powerhouse casts (especially the addition of Marian Rivera) and an able Film outfit (GMA Films)


MMFF 2011 also boasts Family-oriented films. Next on the list is the comeback of real-life couple in the big screen, Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos in "My House Husband"

Info and Poster Courtesy of

Director: Jose Javier 
Writer: Jose Javier Reyes


My Househusband is about a man “who is forced by circumstances to take care of his family and do house chores while his wife “has to be the one to take on a job.” That’s how director Jose Javier “Joey” Reyes describes his latest movie, the OctoArts Films entry to Metro Manila Film Festival 2011.

“This  is  a phenomenon na very current right now,” he adds. The plot follows the househusband’s journey toward enlightenment.

“In the end,” Direk Joey says, “he learns that it is hard to be a housewife and more important, he learns to respect his wife not only as a mother, somebody to take care of the house, but as an individual who is capable of being a professional.”

The family-oriented comedy is Direk Joey’s third film with the real-life married couple Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos.

Their first two projects together were the box-office front runners in their respective MMFF season: Kasal Kasali, Kasalo in 2007 and Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo in 2008. (Bam  Abellon of YES! Magazine)

Casts Members

Judy Ann Santos, Ryan Agoncillo, Eugene Domingo, Miriam Quiambao


Well, its nice to see again the Ryan-Judai Tandem in the big screen. But I have a doubt that this promising film will do only average in the box office. Aside from it being a Non-STAR Cinema film, the film's media mileage is just average as compared with Enteng ng Ina Mo, Segunda Mano and Panday 2. The film outfit is a vital factor in the box office game of a film. It is just that it must have been better if this was retained under Star Cinema's realm. Nevertheless, I think they still have the charm for Pinoy audience 


The next MMFF entry is a Family Drama entitled "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow".

Info and Poster Courtesy of

Director: Jun Lana
Writer: Rodolfo 


A tale of love, loss and deception awaits audiences in drama Yesterday, Today Tomorrow (YTT).

Director Rodolfo “Jun” Lana, Jr. explains the film’s story saying:”It’s about what happens to a family when faced with a tragedy and how it changes each and every member and how they deal with that tragedy that befalls them.”

YTT also marks Direk Jun’s first time to helm a Metro Manila Film Festival entry. But he admits that he feels no pressure.

“I never think of it as a Metro Manila Film Festival movie kasi it’s still the same effort. Kahit naman pang-regular playdate, sineseryoso naman namin at binibigay namin lahat.

“Even if they pressure me, I won’t allow them to pressure me. I’ll just do my best.”

Besides being one of the few films this year that do not fall under comedy, action, or horror genres, there are also a couple of more reasons for moviegoers to watch YTT.

“For one, ‘yong casting alone makes it a movie event,” boasts Direk Jun.

“And then we made sure that the story is very entertaining. I mean it’s for the film fest. Christmas siya lalabas, so dapat entertaining talaga siya.”
(Text: Joseph Dayrit of YES! Magazine)

Cast Members

Maricel Soriano, Gabby Concepcion, Jericho Rosales, Dennis Trillo, Paulo Avelino,

 Lovi Poe, Carla Abellana, Solenn Heussaff, Ronaldo Valdez, 

Agot Isidro and introducing Eula Caballero


Here we go again, another Family Drama Genre in MMFF. What more I can say, Pinoys are less interested in this kind of genre despite a good plot and a power house cast. Considering the head-to-head battles of gigantic films this year, this film will be in possible drowning. I just hope many Pinoys can still appreciate these kind of films that reflect social relevance and family values. I just hope so.


The last and the unlikely least appealing of all MMFF 2011 Entries is the "Manila Kingpin: The Untold Story of Asiong Salonga"

Info and Poster Courtesy of

Director: Tikoy Aguiluz

Writer: Roy Iglesias and Roy Ventura


Manila Kingpin: The Untold Story of Asiong Salonga has two unique selling points: it’s the only purely action movie in Metro Manila Film Festival, and the entire film is in black and white.

The movie is a biopic based on the life of Nicasio Rodriguez Salonga, more notoriosly known as Asiong Salonga who was public enemy number one during his time.

Laguna governor ER Ejercito, who plays the title role, using his screen name Jeorge Estregan says filming in black and white was done to capture the look of the ganster films of Asiong’s era, the post-World War II period from the late 1940s to the early 1950s. (Bam  Abellon of YES! Magazine

Cast Members

Jeorge Estregan, Carla Abellana, Valerie Concepcion, Baron Geisler, Ping Medina,
 Dennis Padilla, Philip Salvador


Well, I think this film will be on the last spot. Pinoys are not really into history & action film genre nowadays. Lets just say that gone are the days of Pinoy Action Films. But I think, based on the trailer, this film has a good cinematography ( especially the B&W effect). Thats it! Good cinematography only!


December 25, 2011 is the date to mark! Watch out for this Seven Entries as they vie for the Box Office Records Hall of Fame. Let us continue to support Pinoy Films. Mabuhay ang Pinilakang Tabi!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011



The 3D, CG-Animated Family Comedy "Arthur Christmas", an Aardman Production for Sony Pictures Animation, reveals this incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question, "So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?". The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with ingredients of a Christmas Classic - a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas Morning dawns --- (C) Sony Pictures 

Genre: Animation, Kids and Family, Adventure
Directed By: Sarah Smith
Written By: Sarah Smith & Peter Baynham

Featuring the Voices of:

James McAvoy as Arthur
Jim Broadbent as Santa
Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Santa
Hugh Laurie as Steve
Bill Nighty as Grand Santa
Eva Longoria as Chief De Silva


Arthur Christmas is probably the Best Animated Flick this year! Aside from the fact that it is all about the happiest season of the year, Christmas, the film boast a delightful and lovable plot that will surely please not only the children but also adults.

This film brings you back to the Old Christmas Tradition about Santa Claus and his gift-giving activities every Christmas Eve. It is just refreshing to reminisce the moment you have discovered the Celebration of Christmas when you're still young. And this film, never fails to entertain us all to the joyous celebration of the year.

Arthur Christmas is very entertaining and touching as well. The story focused on the Fictional Character - SANTA CLAUS and his family members. One of which is his son, ARTHUR. The film will bring you to the Magical World of Santa Claus' High-tech Operation Hub that features thousands of elves as the workers. The said Factory for Gifts is located beneath the North Pole. They also have a Big Space Ship used for the delivery of the gifts worldwide. The story evolved on the premise that one child's gift has not been delivered. Due to Arthur's utmost and genuine concern to the child, he sets off to a wonderful journey to hand-in the single undelivered gift this season.

The whole is film is just so optimistic and heart-warming. It has the charms and wit. You'll be smiling the entire film. The strength of Arthur Christmas lies in its great story-telling techniques that are both appealing to youngsters and adults. It is easy to comprehend and the film has a good combination of humor and action. The progression of every scene is good and the climax of the film will also heighten up the emotional scheme this film delivers.

The Visuals are also stunning and spectacular. The 3D was also imaginative and entertaining.  Post-production was great but not as exceptional compared to other Animated Films. I also love the Characters of the film. Santa Claus is adorable and so is Arthur. I also love the addition of the elves as Santa Claus' Workers.  Special Citation is given to the Lady Elf Packer. I love her role in the film. 

The Featured voices in the Film may not be the brightest stars in Hollywood, but the film is a stand-alone Hit.

I can't say any negative reviews about Arthur Christmas. All I can say is that it is the perfect Film this Holiday Season. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Movie Review: THE ROAD (GMA Films)


The Road is about a twelve-year-old case which is reopened when three teens gone missing in an abandoned road. In the course of the investigations, deeper and gruesome stories of abduction and murders were discovered. After more than two decades, the secrets of the road were finally revealed and the ghost lingering in the dark and desolated pathway is out to make sure that nobody leaves alive.

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Director: Yam Laranas

Carmina Villaroel
Marvin Agustin
Rhian Ramos
Barbie Forteza
TJ Trinidad
Alden Richards
Louise delos Reyes
Derrick Monasterio
Lexi Fernandez
Ynna Asistio
Renz Valerio


The Road is definitely the CREEPIEST and MOST UNIQUE Pinoy Horror Film of All-time but however not the scariest as compared with Feng Shui and Sukob.

This would be the first time I'll be making a review for a Pinoy Film. And since, I am an avid of Horror Movies, it is good to make a review to Pinoy Horror Films that were somehow making a big improvement over the years.

The Road's strength lies mainly on its Cinematography and Plot. I really commend how the Director, Yam Laranas and his Swedish Composer/CinematographerJohan Soderqvist. brought together the element of Mystery and Psychological thriller in a package wherein the whole film looks so silent yet very creepy at the same time.

I really love the texture of the film. It is dark, gruesome, and scary since it brings you towards the plot of the film and its quite disturbing mood. It is intelligently crafted and technically done. I love how Yam Laranas played the scenes in the dark especially with the road itself. Although, some Slow Motion Scenes were somehow inappropriate but it is in some way effective in bringing a whole new kind of fear. The fear of being alone in an abandoned road.

The film is composed of three parts. I won't spoil the whole thing but every part has its mark   of scare and disturbing scenes. Generally, the whole film in consistently creepy and dark. I am impressed with the film's technicalities and sound engineering. The progression of the scenes were also good. There are so many twists and turns especially in the ending. The plot is unpredictable (which is good for a Horror Film) but it is still solid towards the end. 

The Road is definitely distinctive due to its effective psychological approach to a Horror film. I think that only Yam Laranas could do such horror flicks. It may not boast as many jump-out scares like Feng Shui's or Sukob's but the fear is skin-deep. However, I have a doubt that some or even majority of the Pinoy Moviegoers may not find The Road a good one since we are so used with the typical flick. On some point, Yam Laranas may have overlooked on some elements such as more ingredients for every Horror Scene. But whatever it is, I must admit that The Road's premise is so promising and it is artistically done compared with other Pinoy Horror films that put their focus on jump-put scare scenes and risk their Plot and Cinematography in the end. It will give you goosebumps but it lacks genuine scares.

The movie just lack impact on some scenes. The Director can do more heavy horror scenes than that. Some of the scenes are definitively scary and disturbing though. Acting wise, actors and actresses were good. I really commend Carmina Villaroel for her great portrayal as well as Marvin Agustin. Alden Richards was a surprise actor in The Road. He may have few lines to throw in the film, but his character was essential. Barbie Forteza also did a great job in the film. Although, I find Lexi's and Derrick's performance as so-so thing. They lack emotion at some point. Nevertheless, all characters in the film were good.

At some point, I am very impressed and proud with this film. I just expected it to be more that what it used to be. At last, GMA Films is bringing the Pinoy Horror Genre onto a whole new level.

I still admire how Yam Laranas treated the film. It is far way better than "SIGAW" which is still a good horror flick for me. It is very distinctive.