Oggs Cruz

CinemaOne Review: Ato Bautista's PALITAN, Where Souls Have a Price Tag

Ato Bautista's Palitan (roughly translated as Exchange) opens with a business transaction. Ramiro (Mon Confiado, who gives a performance that carries the film from start to finish), the shrewd owner of an electronics shop, is convincing a client to buy... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

CinemaOne Review: Arnel Mardoquio's ANG PAGLALAKBAY NG BITUIN SA GABING MADILIM Sums up War Within a Very Human Context

Arnel Mardoquio's Ang Paglalakbay ng Bituin sa Gabing Madilim (roughly translated as: A Star's Journey into the Dark Night) is essentially L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had it been set in present-day Mindanao and draped in reality... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Erik Matti's RIGODON Tackles A Sensational Subject With Careful Realism

Erik Matti's Rigodon, unlike the many infidelity films that have plagued local theaters in the Philippines, eschews glamour for grit. Its sex scenes do not have the luscious lighting or the saccharine scoring of the various romantic sequences of its... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Nuel Naval's A SECRET AFFAIR

Nuel Naval's A Secret Affair makes a lot of noise and drama about nothing. The story revolves around acts of infidelity committed by Anton (Derek Ramsey) against his fiancée Raffy (Anne Curtis) with Sam (Andi Eigenmann), Raffy's friend and sorority... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Erik Matti's TIKTIK: THE ASWANG CHRONICLES

The first thing one would notice in Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles is how incredibly gorgeous the computer-generated visuals are, at least compared to other Filipino productions. Opening with a shot of apologetic soon-to-be-father Makoy (Dingdong Dantes) cramped inside a... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Wenn Deramas' THIS GUY'S IN LOVE WITH U MARE!

There is this one particular scene in Wenn Deramas' This Guy's in Love with U Mare! That sums up the film's curious and confused take on gender politics. Lester (Vice Ganda) and Gemma (Toni Gonzaga) arrive at a comedy club.... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Joyce Bernal's OF ALL THE THINGS

Of All the Things has director Joyce Bernal reunite with Aga Muhlach and Regine Velasquez, who, once upon a time, graced her films like Dahil May Isang Ikaw (Because There's Just You, 1999) and Pangako... Ikaw Lang (Promise... Just... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Rico Maria Ilarde's PRIDYIDER (THE FRIDGE)

The first few scenes of Rico Maria Ilarde's Pridyider immediately reveal a particular milieu that is far removed from the real and the mundane. Tina Benitez (Andi Eigenmann) is first seen aboard a flight back to the Philippines. She is... More »
By 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   
  
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