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Funny but Unwitty (Mamarazzi Movie Review)

10 Sep

Single mom Violy,  a funeral parlor owner, lives a seemingly positive and happy life with her gay bestfriend (John Lapuz) and her 3 kids (Andi Eigenman in a dual role and AJ Perez) whom she managed to raise despite the disappearance of  Carlo (Diether Ocampo) their alleged father (and her bestfriend’s lover) before they were even conceived. Life runs pretty normal until Carlo returns one day to patch things up. Long kept secrets started to reveal that would teach all of them lessons they will never forget.

Director Joel Lamangan’s dramatic works  are bold, refreshing and imaginative, no wonder he’s one of the busiest directors this decade. From those high-budgeted period films to his socially relevant works, he always gets rave reviews from critics.On the other hand, his comedy flicks seems to lack wit and new ideas. Mamarazzi is funny but it doesn’t have that magic to keep the crowd from coming in to theaters.

Eugene Domingo at this point should start choosing her projects. No doubt, she sells like hotcake these days but she wouldn’t be able to sustain her current status if she chooses quantity over quality. She is a natural comedienne and it shows pretty well in Mamarazzi.

There’s nothing really much to mention among the rest of the cast. Their performances range from poor to average and it would make you feel that here, there’s really nobody else to watch but Eugene Domingo.

Most of the comedy films that reach critical and commercial success are those that boast a well crafted storyline composed of witty situational humor and a stellar cast. Sadly,  Mamarazzi doesn’t have any of those.  Like in any other comedy films by Joel Lamangan,  humor occurs in random and yes it’s funny but  it seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all.


Predictably Surprising (Sa’yo Lamang Movie Review)

8 Sep

The problem with a typical Filipino film is its tendency to be predictable. Given around five sequences, you will be able to guess the next scenes to happen or worse, the ending of the story without any challenge. Sa’yo Lamang is no excuse because there’s really nothing new with it. What sets it apart from the rest is the experience it offers while you involve yourself in the picture. It’s simply engaging.

Sa’yo Lamang narrates a story of a broken but seemingly happy family that is troubled one day by the arrival of the father, Franco (Christopher de Leon) who abandoned them for another woman ten years ago. Everybody seems okay with his return save for the eldest daughter Diane (Bea Alonzo) who assumed his responsibility as the head of the family when he left. Despite Diane’s objection, the mother (Lorna Tolentino) had to decide for everybody so Franco stayed. Unexpected events happened just after things started to get better that led to emotional outbursts and unraveling of secrets that will test their faith and the strength of the bond that ties them together as a family.

Sa’yo Lamang’s storytelling lacks a little of fluidity. Some scenes are inserted without a clear connection from the previous one and there are a number of times when characters shift from one extreme emotion to another extreme. It could be one disadvantage of having more than one scriptwriter. I remember one flashback scene with Lorna and Boyet which I found a bit ridiculous. I don’t really have issues with flashbacks but here, I think they could have stayed away from it or maybe they could have done it better. It was a scene that’s supposed to have the couple look 20 years younger but they didn’t appear to be like one.

Despite the flawed storytelling, the story in general is surprisingly heartwarming and inspiring. The story was definitely patterned after Tanging Yaman(2001) but unlike its predecessor, Sa’yo Lamang is more focused and  more specific as its story revolves around only one family. It gives more opportunity to build fewer characters thus the viewers get to know them fully and connect with their emotions easily.

The cast is the movie’s strongest point. Star Cinema has gathered talented lead and supporting actors whose acting can suffice and compensate for the unsound aspects of the film. Indisputably, this is Bea Alonzo’s film as she stands out among the rest. She has shown great potentials in her previous roles and as Diane in Sa’yo Lamang, she is simply overwhelming and astounding. Lorna Tolentino and Christopher de Leon have undeniably mastered their craft. They can throw emotions and shift from one to another effortlessly and watching them do it, you are carried away. The supporting ensemble is nothing but estimable as well.

Many would regard this film as one of those typical Pinoy films that’s predictable and boring. I differ to that because with Sa’yo Lamang, you know what’s going to happen but it’s a surprise how every scene and the characters’ emotions significantly affect your own.

Star Cinema Gets Serious with Saýo Lamang

16 Aug

On its 17th  anniversary, Star Cinema continues its tradition to offer serious heartwarming and memorable family drama via  Sa’yo Lamang which will open on September 1, 2010 in cinemas. How can we forget Ama Ina Anak, Madrasta, Anak, Dekada 70 and Tanging Yaman? These are a few of Star Cinema’s unforgettable family dramas that have already left a mark in the history of Philippine Movies.

Saýo Lamang boasts its bunch of talented actors in the cast. It stars Grand Slam Best Actress (1993) Lorna Tolentino, Drama King Christopher de Leon and Box Office Queen (2007) Bea Alonzo in major roles.  Isn’t that heavy? That’s not even enough as the supporting cast is star studded as well.  It has Diether Ocampo, Coco Martin, Empress, Lauren Young,Zanjoe Marudo, Shaina MAgdayao, Enchong Dee and Miles Ocampo. This must be the biggest film ensemble in 5 years, I guess.

Award-winning director Laurice Guillen leads the making of this another potential hit. She has directed great movies in the past like Tanging Yaman (2000), Amercian Adobo (2001), Santa Santita (2004) and the most recent I Love You Goodbye (2009). Through these remarkable works, Guillen’s talent in film making has received rave reviews from critics and most of the time, her films are doing fairly well in the box office.

Juris, former vocalist of MYMP, lends her soothing angelic voice to sing the movie’s theme song.

Invite your friends and family and watch Saýo Lamang on September 1 because its going to be this year’s Family Day.

Hating Kapatid collects 64.4M in Two Weeks

6 Aug

Hating Kapatid, Viva Films’ latest offering, has earned P64.4 M two weeks after its first screening. This data is based from the latest post of Box Office Mojo.

Hating Kapatid which opened on July 21, 2010 stars two box office queens, Judy Ann Santos and Sarah Geronimo and directed by Wenn Deramas, a box office director. What will you expect? Will this big project make it to the P100 M mark? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Star Cinema’s Cinco, which was reported to have earned 11 million on its first day only, has not upheld its initial streak as for last three weeks; it has only managed to earn P56.5 M. . It’s not bad for a typical local film but for a Star Cinema project with all the vast promotions and back ups; that’s just way too little

In Your Eyes Poster- A Love Story Part 2?

1 Aug

The first time I saw the official poster of  In Your Eyes, Viva Films and GMA Films’ joint movie offering this August, it immediately reminded me of a Star Cinema hit movie in 2007, A Love Story. There is just a big difference in the color scheme but nevertheless the whole package appears very much the same. The production’s creative department should have thought better. Well, there’s nothing wrong with it; originality just matters alot.

In Your Eyes  stars three of today’s hottest stars, Richard Gutierrez, Anne Curtis and Claudine Barreto. It happens to be Claudine’s first movie outside Star Cinema since 1994. If this film rakes millions in the box office, then it would be a testament of her bankability as an actress. We’ll see.

The movie which also features Joel Torre, Leandro Muños and Maricar de Mesa opens on August 18, 2010 in more than a hundred cinemas nationwide.

Cinco rakes 11M on Its First Day

17 Jul

The first Horror film of the year opened with a very promising start. According to the hosts of E-Live on July 17, 2010, Star Cinema’s Cinco earned 11 million in the box office despite the disturbing heavy rains and strong winds of Typhoon Basyang.

Cinco is a 5-episode horror film that stars Mariel Rodriguez, Pokawang, Zanjoe Marudo, Jodi Santa Maria, Maja Salvador, Rayver Cruz, AJ Perez, Sam Concepcion, Robi Domingo and many more and it was directed by 5 talented directors who are all new to the horror genre. It opened last Wednesday, July 14, 2010 in more than 100 cinemas nationwide.

I’ll Be There Earns 42M in 3 weeks

13 Jul

The controversial team-up of father and daughter Gabby and KC Concepcion didn’t turn out be a big box office hit as Box Office Mojo posted only a 42M earnings for the movie’s 3-week run. Though it’s not that bad, it is just way too low for a Star Cinema flick not to mention the powerhouse cast that  includes Jericho Rosales.