Starting Over Again

SOAVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.61 (9 ratings)

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Director: Olivia Lamasan

Writers: Carmi Raymundo, Olivia Lamasan

Cast: Piolo Pascual, Toni Gonzaga, Iza Calzado, Lito Pimentel, Joross Gamboa, Edgar Allan Guzman, Beauty Gonzales, Cai Cortez, Bryan Santos, Ryan Yllana, Nina Dolino, Cecil Paz, Liza Lorena

Synopsis: The film starts in 2004. All throughout college, architecture student Ginny (Toni Gonzaga) was in love with history teacher Marco (Piolo Pascual). Through sheer persistence, she actually wins him over in her last year of school. The film then zips ahead to 2013. The two are no longer together, Ginny having left him years earlier to study in Barcelona. But now she’s back in Manila, and she’s been hired by Marco to design a new restaurant. She discovers that she still harbors feelings for him, and that she regrets leaving him. Unfortunately for her, Marco is already in a relationship with a woman he plans to marry. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: PG

Running time: 130 mins.



4.5         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“The film’s romantic three-way premise is by no means original, but Lamasan makes it work because she has no trouble making its fusion of potent drama and self-deprecating comedy (a running gag about the Virgin Mary is particularly hilarious) settle into a coherent and ‘relatable’ story that doesn’t undermine viewers’ intelligence and sense of morality.” (Read full review)

4.5         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“While the film follows a template familiar in romantic comedies, the characters are deftly written. Moreover, each narrative element is masterfully pieced together.” (Read full review)

4.5         Pinoy Exchange

Starting Over Again is not flawless as it still suffers from going too melodramatic at times but it totally understands the complications of relationships.” (Read full review)

3.5         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“The strength of Starting Over Again isn’t that it falls into the nebulous category of good cinema, but that it succeeds in eliciting something far more abstract and far more powerful. Like Marco’s letter, the film allows its audience to relive the memories of their own lost loves.” (Read full review)

3.5         Aya Tantiangco (

“Without a doubt, Starting Over Again is a well-made rom-com. It’s entertaining and you will not regret buying a ticket and watching it in the cinemas. The banter is coated in wit, giving it a crunchy bite, but at its core, it’s the same old potato chip.” (Read full review)


Starting Over Again is one of the rare Star Cinema romance films where the audience were treated as adults that can handle the realities of life. They still couldn’t do away with the usual template that has raked in millions for the studio but were at least able to end the relationship in a non-condescending tone.” (Read full review)

3.5         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The movie is a bit too long at two hours and 15 minutes. We felt bored in some scenes that just go on and on and should have been trimmed to make the pacing faster. But all in all, local moviegoers will no doubt relish watching this crowd pleaser.” (Read full review)

3.0         CBCP CINEMA

“Maraming aral, masaya at mahusay sana at ang pelikula kung mas nabigyan ng halaga ang pagkababae ni Ginny. Na ang kaganapan ng isang tao, babae man lalake, ay hindi nagsisimula sa iba kundi sa sariling pagtanggap at pagdiriwang ng pagkatao mo.” (Read full review)

2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“In spite of the more mature ideas behind the picture, it just never feels real. The film fails to take its own advice. It’s time to move on, but the film is intent on recapturing some old, caustic magic.” (Read full review)

Sa Ngalan ng Ama, Ina, at mga Anak

sa ngalan ng amaVerdict: Do Something Else

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 1.75 (2 ratings)

Genre: Action, Drama

Director: Jon Villarin

Cast: Robin Padilla, Daniel Padilla, Mariel Rodriguez, Kylie Padilla, RJ Padilla, Bela Padilla, Matt Padilla

Synopsis: In 1986, Ongkoy (Robin Padilla) is living a peaceful life in Zamboanga del Norte with his family. But he’s drawn back to Ozamiz by an old friend, who asked him to intercede in the growing conflict between the military and the NPA rebels that have taken root in the region. Over the next few years, Ongkoy and his family wage war against various armed interests, putting their lives at risk in the name of peace and protecting the masses. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: R-13

Running time: 95 mins.



2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“It just rambles from one scene of violence to the next, blindly making the case for the heroism of these characters. The result is actually laughable at times, the movie overselling every bit of sentiment, turning them into objects of ridicule.” (Read full review)

1.5         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“If there’s one thing that Sa Ngalan ng Ama, Ina at Mga Anak succeeded in doing, it’s the stentorian reminder of why Pinoy action films died a natural death long time ago. May it rest in peace.” (Read full review)

Mumbai Love

mumbai_love_posterVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.00 (4 ratings)

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Director: Benito Bautista

Writers: Benito Bautista, Emma Francisco

Cast: Solenn Heusaff, Kiko Matos, Jayson Gainza, Raymond Bagatsing, Martin Escudero, Jun Sabayton, Romy Daryani

Synopsis: The film concerns a young Indian man named Nandi (Kiko Matos), who was raised in the Philippines. His parents are setting up an arranged marriage for him, but he’s resistant to that idea. One day he meets Ella (Solenn Heussaff), a Filipina in Mumbai for business. They spend one day together and promptly fall in love. But before they can meet again, Ella is abruptly sent back home. With no means to contact her, Nandi travels to the Philippines to look for her. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: G

Running time: 125 mins.



2.5         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

Mumbai Love goes through the motions of a film that isn’t quite Bollywood or mainstream Philippine cinema. But instead of taking the best of both worlds, it stumbles on their pitfalls instead.” (Read full review)

2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film refuses to be interesting. It instead reverts to formula, offering up long looks and love songs and wedding proposals between two people who really don’t treat each other very well.” (Read full review)

2.0         Pinoy Exchange

Mumbai Love, in its entirety, tries to project the cinematic culture from which its title is based, yet its full potential is hampered by a lukewarm story.” (Read full review)

1.5         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“If Mumbai Love gets a commercial screening anywhere in India, it would be an absolute embarrassment. The Indians who are weaned on the pomp and pageantry of Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood might find “our” craft too amateurish.” (Read full review)

Bride for Rent

Bride-for-Rent-starring-Kim-Chiu-and-Xian-Lim-poster-revealed-2Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.14 (7 ratings)

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Director: Mae Czarina Cruz

Writers: Carmi Raymundo, Charlene Grace Bernardo

Cast: Kim Chiu, Xian Lim, Pilita Corales, Empoy

Synopsis: On one terrible, drunken night, avowed bachelor Rocco (Xian Lim) gambles away an important client’s advance, and ends up owing a casino ten million pesos. He’s counting on his trust fund to pay the debt, but it turns that he only gets access to it if he’s married. Rocco and his friends hold auditions to get a girl to pretend to be his wife in order to fool his grandmother Lala (Pilita Corales) and get the money. He ends up hiring poor, would-be actress Rocky (Kim Chiu), and the two prepare for what ought to be a quick deception. But Lala sees through the ruse immediately, and later conspires with Rocky to teach Rocco a lesson. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: PG

Running time: 115 mins.



4.0         Pinoy Exchange

“It is an enjoyable movie that leaves a warm tug at your heart as well as a smile on your face as you leave the cinemas. It gives you hope to believe in forever and the unexpected.” (Read full review)

3.5         Jacob Laneria (Ang Mundo ni Jacob Laneria)

“Oo, niri-reinforce pa rin nya ang kasal pero kahit papano ay may level pa rin ng disenchantment (hindi perfect ang forever, etc) bago ang happy ever after. Ang disenchantment na ito ay kailangan itaas sa politikal na antas.” (Read full review)

3.5         Abby Mendoza (PEP)

Bride for Rent follows that exact sequence but convincingly churns out a downright cute and entertaining watch by utilizing an able cast and pure comedy.” (Read full review)

3.0         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“Chiu manages to strike the extraordinary balance between obnoxious and adorable, crazy and charming. While the film’s story seems particularly content with hovering on the borders of predictability, Chiu stampedes into every scene with a volatile zaniness that’s wild enough to be funny, but sincere enough to be plausible.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“The briskly paced film whisks viewers through a checklist of clichés, turgid confrontations and ludicrous revelations—but, while there are inescapable lapses in logic, Kim’s growing comedic confidence and ineffable boldness to sell her character’s plucky persona settle comfortably into the production’s unorthodox narrative rhythms.” (Read full review)

3.0         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“The film succeeds to tickle some fancy. But if Mae Cruz wants to be taken seriously, she has to learn how to tighten her narrative and seriously sit on her story line instead of resorting to the moth-eaten romcom formula that Star Cinema is feeding her.” (Read full review)

2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film refuses to be interesting. It instead reverts to formula, offering up long looks and love songs and wedding proposals between two people who really don’t treat each other very well.” (Read full review)

‘On the Job’ Tops 2013 Film Poll; Joel Torre Takes Top Acting Honors


Erik Matti’s prisoners-as-assassins thriller On the Job topped Pinoy Rebyu’s 3rd Annual Movie Poll, as voted by 21 online film writers and journalists, while its lead star Joel Torre’s turn as a morally conflicted inmate who teaches a young protégé the tricks of the trade led the voters’ choice for best lead performance, ahead of his own performance as a fisherman-turned-druglord in Kabisera and Sid Lucero’s disturbed law student in Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.

In a tight three-way race, On the Job edged out Chito Roño’s political thriller Badil (2nd best film) and Jerrold Tarog’s romance drama Sana Dati (3rd best film and best screenplay).

Aside from best film, On the Job also nabbed the best cinematography prize for Ricardo Buhay III, tying with two other films: Boy Golden: Shoot to Kill (for Carlo Mendoza) and Puti (for Boy Yñiguez).

For the third straight year, Lav Diaz coveted the best director plum for Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan. Diaz has previously topped the poll’s best director prize in 2011 for Siglo ng Pagluluwal and in 2012 for Florentina Hubaldo, CTE.

Veteran character actor Dick Israel’s performance as a politician’s ailing yes-man in Badil bested Jasmine Curtis-Smith in Transit and TJ Trinidad in Sana Dati to top the best supporting performance category.

Hannah Espia’s OFW drama Transit took two prizes: Best First Feature and Best Ensemble, while the Best Score/Soundtrack category was topped by How to Disappear Completely.

The documentary prize went to Andrew Leavold’s The Search for Weng-Weng, about the life and times of diminutive stunt man Ernesto dela Cruz.

The crowded Best Scene category is instructive of the number of quality films produced in 2013, as voters barely agreed on a single scene: only one scene garnered more than one vote – the one in Badil where Jhong Hilario stakes out a voter’s house at night, discovers a pregnant Mercedes Cabral “doing the dynamite” and proceeds to beat her up. But one film, Boy Golden, was cited for three different scenes: the opening jukebox murder scene, KC Concepcion’s fight scene with another woman, and the acapella “Hound Dog” scene.

Another three-peater, Jon Lazam, tied for Best Short Film for his Pantomimes for Figures Shrouded by Waves, tying with JE Tiglao for his Cinemalaya entry Onang. Lazam took the same prize in 2011 for Hindi sa Atin ang Buwan and in 2012 for Nang Gabing Maging Sinlaki ng Puso ang Bato ni Darna.

Click HERE for the full tally and individual lists.

Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel

Kimmy DoraVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.75 (8 ratings)

Genre: Comedy

Writer/Director: Chris Martinez

Cast: Eugene Domingo, Sam Milby, Joel Torre, Angel Aquino, Ariel Ureta, Moi Bien

Synopsis: Sisters Kimmy and Dora Go Dong Hae (Eugene Domingo) have just finished their schooling. Their father Luisito (Ariel Ureta) asks them to join the company, but he has them starting from the bottom. The sisters get to experience a bunch of different jobs in the conglomerate, from parking attendant to security guard to call center agent, all in the hopes of learning how the business is run. And that’s when a terrorist calling himself Bogart enters the picture. He sabotages the various businesses of Go Dong Hae industries, and frames the sisters for murder. Kimmy and Dora must find a way to get along as they try and save Go Dong Hae industries from the terrorist. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: PG

Running time: 100 mins.



4.0         Ria Limjap (

“There’s a sequence where Kimmy and Dora work as call center agents for the Go Dong Hae company. It’s hard to sustain the humor coming out of a long sequence like that (the twins take on various jobs in the family empire) but with the snappy writing and Eugene’s comedic timing, it doesn’t run out of punch lines or fall flat on its face.” (Read full review)

3.5         Jeffrey Valisno (Business World)

“The story is not groundbreaking, but it is definitely not mediocre. The comedy was delivered through witty dialogue and funny banter, not the slapstick comedy and toilet humor most local comedies resort to.” (Read full review)

3.5         Mark Angelo Ching (PEP)

“This is what one should expect: unforgettable laugh-out-loud moments and family-safe hilarious antics from comedy maven Eugene Domingo.” (Read full review)

2.5         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“Unlike the innovative novelty that made the first film remarkable, there was really nothing much that is new to see in this one.  Even the humor factor seemed oddly limited already.” (Read full review)

2.5         CINEMA

“Mahusay na mga artista ang gumanap pero gaano nga ba ang magagawa nila kung hungkag naman ang mga eksenang ipinagagawa sa kanila. Maayos naman sana ang buod ng istorya pero dahil medyo pilit na ang ikatlong yugto, maraming eksena na inilagay na lamang para pampahaba at pampatawa.” (Read full review)

2.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“This one still provided the laughs, and Eugene Domingo is still a hoot (I think I can watch her doing nothing for hours), but at times you question if this is still necessary.” (Read full review)

2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“It is kind of baffling how so much clear talent went into the film only to produce a whole lot of tedium.” (Read full review)

1.5         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“Jokes are drawn out, and often feel forced and painfully tedious. The story itself is one sketch after the next with no real momentum.” (Read full review)

Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay

pagpagVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.80 (10 ratings)

Genre: Horror

Director: Frasco Mortiz

Writers: Joel Mercado, Kren Yap

Cast: Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao, Matet de Leon, Janus del Prado, Miles Ocampo, Clarence Delgado

Synopsis: A rebellious young teenager Cedric (Daniel Padilla) and a headstrong funeral arranger Leni (Kathryn Bernardo) make the mistake of violating a number of superstitions during a wake. They soon discover that these seemingly innocent desecrations come with grave consequences. One by one, each of their friends are killed off as Cedric and Leni race against time to make amends with the dead. (Rappler)

MTRCB rating: PG

Running time: 105 mins.



4.0         Jennifer Dugena (PEP)

“The film’s appropriately grim and glossy cinematography arouses fear it wants audiences to feel. It is difficult to look away from the screen not only because of the brooding atmosphere but also because of the charismatic presence of Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.” (Read full review)

3.5         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“What’s particularly remarkable about Pagpag is Mortiz’s ability to juggle various tones without losing focus. The film whimsically skirts along the lines of horror, romance and straight-out comedy, but still manages to feel like part of a much larger whole.” (Read full review)

3.5         Joseph Garcia (Business World)

“The set and production design is well-executed, and in the scenes set in the mortuary and the rest of the small town are rich with detail. The dust, mess and gloom seem authentic and add grotesque detail to the story.” (Read full review)

3.5         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“I thought this was a very well-made horror flick, with above-average (by Philippine standards) ideas and special effects when it came to the gruesome death scenes and ghostly apparitions.” (Read full review)

3.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“The editing, production design, and cinematography were really great. I love the colors palette used, and the crisp editing was put into good use in the death scenes.” (Read full review)

2.5         Dale Bacar (

“The result is a non-scary albeit funny film that was entertaining yet pretty disposable.” (Read full review)

2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“There’s obvious skill on display in the film, but it’s all in service of a formula that hasn’t been compelling in years.” (Read full review)

2.0         Jansen Musico (Pelikula Tumblr)

Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay is a horror by numbers. It follows a no-frills template its predecessors had established. It forces gore into mystic tradition and, as an afterthought, builds a story to fit the theme. The result is a slightly different kind of the same: a wobbly horror flick that is more camp than thrilling.” (Read full review)

2.0         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“If you’re not a fan of their love team, you can very well skip this. Acting-wise, no one stands out here, but Shaina Magdayao manages to convey the kind of creepiness her role requires.” (Read full review)

2.0         Jerald Uy (

Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay, like the horror house that appeared in one of its scenes, sells and brings shock to its audience but falls short in telling a cohesive story. It exists only to provoke moviegoers to shriek or tuck themselves in their seats in disgust.” (Read full review)


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