Oggs Cruz

Review: Olivia Lamasan's THE MISTRESS

The Mistress has a plot that feels taken straight out of one of those cheap trashy novels, the ones with tacky covers promising sleazy escapism with impossible love stories set in unbelievable milieus that enunciate pulpy passions. It is... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

TIFF 2012 Review: BWAKAW, Delightfully Unhurried Yet Meaningful Entertainment

Jun Lana started his career in film writing screenplays for directors Marilou Diaz-Abaya and Maryo J. de los Reyes, among others. In the several years where the country was starving for quality films, he penned films like Diaz-Abaya's Sa... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: GIVE UP TOMORROW Shatters the Official Truth

It should have ended when the Philippines' Supreme Court denied the several Motions for Reconsideration filed by the men who have earlier been convicted for the rape and murder of the Chiong sisters and sentenced to death. It was supposed... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Frasco Mortiz's THE REUNION

In his episode in Cinco (Five, 2010), Star Cinema's episodic horror that featured body parts in various morbid tales, Frasco Mortiz has a bunch of neophyte fratmen desperately pulling a severed zombie hand from another teenager's crotch in slow motion... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Chito Roño's THE HEALING

Chito Roño's The Healing is afflicted with a chronic case of indecision. It is viciously a horror film, one that stretches the limits of good taste with very visual and shocking depictions of violence and morbidity. In fact, the film... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Jose Javier Reyes' MGA MUMUNTING LIHIM (THOSE LITTLE SECRETS)

Tragedy is the inspiration for Jose Javier Reyes' Mga Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets). A death of a dear friend, whose wake and eulogy revealed to Reyes certain circumstances in their friendship he may have overlooked, would urge Reyes to... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Benito Bautista's HARANA

Nothing is ever truly obsolete. When something loses its supposed relevance because its functions have been taken over with more efficiency by another thing, it gains a different use altogether, as a product for nostalgia, a beacon for the past... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: JULIUS SOTOMAYOR CENA's MGA DAYO (RESIDENT ALIENS)

Julius Sotomayor Cena's Mga Dayo (Resident Aliens) examines the life of three Filipinos living with various statuses in Guam. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the film is that it situates its three stories involving the Philippine diaspora in Guam.... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Vincent Sandoval's APARISYON (APPARITION)

Prior to Marcos' declaration of Martial Law, the Philippines was in complete disarray. The regime, dictated by a culture of corruption and violence, would have students and other activists disappear, only to be discovered as victims of torture or worse,... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Jun Lana's BWAKAW

Jun Lana started his career in film writing screenplays for directors Marilou Diaz-Abaya and Maryo J. de los Reyes, among others. In the several years where the country was starving for quality films, he penned films like Diaz-Abaya's Sa Pusod... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Marie Jamora's ANG NAWAWALA (WHAT ISN'T THERE)

Gibson (Dominic Roco), after ten years abroad, returns to Manila for the holidays. He still opts to not talk, a decision he made after seeing his twin brother die. He arrives to a house and a family that barely changed.... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Emmanuel Palo's STA. NINA

Set in the bleak plains of Pampanga, Emmanuel Palo's Sta. Nina tells the story of Paulino (Coco Martin) who suddenly unearths the coffin of his daughter ten years after her death. Despite the length of time the coffin has been... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Raymond Red's KAMERA OBSKURA

There are a lot of great ideas swimming in a pool of confusion in Raymond Red's Kamera Obskura. The film is conceptually sophisticated, more so than the bunch of films like Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist that merely borrowed stereotypical silent... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Gino Santos' THE ANIMALS

The Animals is a film of many influences, from Boyle to Brillante. Its director, Gino Santos, is after all a fresh film grad who interned for Captive (2012). His eagerness shows. Every trick is bared like there is no tomorrow,... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2012 Review: Lawrence Fajardo's POSAS (SHACKLED)

Lawrence Fajardo's Posas (Shackled) opens with shots of slogan-bearing stickers tackily pasted on a police van. "To serve and protect," the weathered sticker boldly declares. A cop, finished from cleaning the van, cheerfully walks into the station to do his... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Emerson Reyes' MNL 143

Emerson Reyes' MNL 143 is not a film one would consider ambitious in the ordinary sense of the term. It does not feature a sprawling story that is set in places that promise pomp and wonderment. At first glance, it... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Joyce Bernal's KIMMY DORA AND THE TEMPLE OF KIYEME

Joyce Bernal's Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme misses the entire point. It is just one humongous mistake that sadly betrays whatever hope the success of Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme (2009) created for the Philippine film industry. Perhaps... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Brillante Mendoza's CAPTIVE

Captive is Brillante's most political to date, interpreting the kidnapping of several vacationers by Abu Sayyaf members from their resort in Palawan and their months-long hostage deep within the jungles of Basilan. Mendoza has always used the Philippines' ills as... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Jay Abello's PUREZA: THE STORY OF NEGROS SUGAR

Jay Abello's Pureza: The Story of Negros Sugar astounds with its scope. In its attempt to answer the thesis question of what the real price of sugar is, the documentary explores and investigates the magnitude of what is ailing the... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Jerome Pobocan's BORN TO LOVE YOU

Jerome Pobocan's Born to Love You is hardly anything special. A weepy romance with bits of comedy sprinkled sparingly all throughout, the film aspires nothing but mediocrity. It is plotted awkwardly. The story, about an angst-ridden photographer (Coco Martin) who... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  
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