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 CariƱo, 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!

1 comment:

kesi said...

manila kingpin, good cinematography only!? hahahaha