Tuesday, January 3, 2017

MMFF 2016: Maraming Magandang Filipino Films

Some things that I've never done before in light of the Metro Manila Film Fest (MMFF) until now:
  1. Watch all entries for that year
  2. Marathon five movies in a day 
  3. Write a blog entry (and pretend to be a film critic)
I watched all eight entries to support the renaissance of the MMFF.

I'm relieved that that there weren't any sequels to "Enteng Kabisote""Mano Po""Shake, Rattle, and Roll", or "Tanging Ina", and I'm glad that there weren't any glaring product placements. 

2016 MMFF Entries
(Image from fhm.com.ph)

Last week, I spent almost the entire day in TriNoma by myself watching five movies straight. If I went earlier, I could've watched all entries except for "Oro" since it wasn't showing there.

It was a crazy experience, with only five-minute breaks before the next one started. I don't think I'll do that again.

I watched the other three movies on separate days.

Picture or it didn't happen. Evidence!

My random thoughts as a normal movie-goer. This is according to the sequence I watched them in:

I don't watch horror movies because I'm a scaredy-cat and I end up covering my eyes almost the entire movie. But because this is an Erik Matti film and I've worked with him before, I went for it.

Technically, it's very polished. The awards for cinematography and production design were well-deserved.

Surprisingly, I wasn't as scared as I was expecting. Neither was the audience. No one screamed!

When the credits rolled, I had so many questions. I needed to process the movie. Somehow, I didn't understand it or maybe because there were a lot of loopholes and layers in the material.

(Image from http://mblife.xyz/)

While this is very true to the times, I felt like I was watching an extended version of daily news stories about extra-judicial killings and family members seeking justice. I'm numb to these narratives already. (eep!)

Nora Aunor was moving and I thought she deserved the Best Actress Award. Iba siya!

Quotable quote: "Kapag nasa tama ka, hindi ka dapat matakot." 

Sadly, there were less than 20 people in the theater.

(Image from pelikulamania.com)

Working in advertising before, I understand how long computer graphics can take to do and render. This is why I admire the painstaking effort poured into creating each scene! The decade-long production is praise-worthy. 

The story is simple but told in an extra creative manner. It's cute and light. I also didn't mind that the characters spoke in English. 

Quotable quote: "You wanted mayhem, chaos, war... but isn't that what love is all about?" 

The theater was almost full and there were lots of kids watching. The audience clapped twice!  

(Image from hexmojo.com)

This was the first MMFF entry that I was excited to watch, given how much I enjoyed the first movie. Expectations were so high that, to me, it fell short. But then again, I've never encountered a sequel better than the original. 

It was funny, I have to say. One would be dense not to find it funny--especially the suggestions, different stages of hugot... and oh, watch out for Facundo!

Overall, I felt that I was sitting in a really long client meeting gone bad. It brought back horrible memories of evil clients and demanding celebrities from the advertising world. *cringe*

(Image from thedailypedia.com)

Having a weird fascination with make-up transformations and death, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

This movie went beyond the stereotypical image of gays in the Philippines. Although the make-up, the usual pang-ookray, and effeminacy were there, it touched on sensitive issues faced by LGBT community in the Philippines. It felt real. 

Random thoughts:
  • We all need a Barbs in our life. 
  • Christian Bables outshone Paolo Ballesteros. Super deserving of the Best Supporting Actor award. 
  • Biggest plot twist: Gladys Reyes' character isn't Trisha's mom? Whoops! 
(Image from: http://mymovieworld-coolman0304.blogspot.com/)

Not having watched the trailer and not knowing what the movie was about, I was expecting this to be light and cheery. E yung nakakaiyak pala?!

We've all heard of stories about how the life of OFWs and domestic helpers are difficult. But it didn't seem that difficult to me until I saw this documentary. 

This was my favorite out of all because it was real and it gave a whole new light to domestic helpers. 

I'm glad that a documentary was included in this year's roster and I'm so happy that it bagged the Best Picture award! Truly deserving. 

(Image from manilatimes.com)

Ang tagal ko nang hindi kinilig nang ganito! 

Random thoughts:
  • Ronnie Alonte's topless scenes, even the shots where it focuses on his boxer shorts, are pleasantly distracting
  • Sometimes, Joshua Garcia looks like Rico Yan and sounds like John Lloyd Cruz. 
  • I love the juxtaposition with "Got to Believe", one of my favorite Pinoy movies. 
  • Shrugging off all the mandatory monologues and tears. 

(Image from rappler.com)

8. ORO
I wanted to watch Oro just because it was shot in Caramoan. One of the places seen in the trailer seemed familiar--the Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.

It's disturbing that this was based on actual events. And I didn't know one could mine for gold here in the Philippines!

I thought the movie was bitin as it ended ever so abruptly. "Yun na yun?"

I'm looking forward to the 2017 entries. The bar has been raised so high!

True to MMFF's tagline, I literally saw "Maraming Magandang Filipino Films."


  1. It's about time, Pinoys. We can do better than those crappy franchise movies.

    1. So excited for this year's movies!!! Hoping they don't disappoint.