A Weekend with Filipino Films

I was feeling nationalistic over the weekend. So in between shipping my desktop to my hometown and hoarding DVDs in Quiapo and chatting with a good friend over office romance and a 5-hour tennis training I was able to squeeze in three Filipino movies on my tight schedule.

I saw Marian Rivera dance out of a cake in My Best Friend’s Girlfriend. This movie proved that Richard Gutierrez can’t act and that Rivera is a sight to behold and that Star Cinema makes way better romantic comedies than Regal and GMA Films combined.

I then shifted to Ded Na si Lolo, our official entry to this year’s Oscars . The movie about five siblings coming to terms with their father’s death is inconsistent, loophole-filled, directionless, and at times hilarious. It is no Departures or Cinema Paradiso or The Lives of Others or Pan’s Labyrinth and has absolutely zero chance of getting nominated.

The last film that I saw and hands down the best among the three is Richard Somes’ Yanggaw, official entry to last year’s Cinema One Originals festival. I dare say it is the best suspense/horror local film I have seen in years. It tells the story of Amor who returns home to her impoverished family in the province after she is turned into an aswang. Cheap scare tactics take a backseat in the film and focuses more on the ties that bind a Filipino family.

Go get yourself a copy of Yanggaw. For the other two movies, you can wait for them to be shown on free TV.

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