Posts tagged ‘Joel Lamangan’


Lihis-Poster-1Verdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.58 (6 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Ricardo Lee

Cast: Jake Cuenca, Joem Bascon, Lovi Poe, Isabelle Daza, Gloria Diaz, Racquel Villavicencio

Synopsis: The film splits itself between two timelines. In 2006, Ada (Isabelle Daza) is basing her thesis on a massacre that occurred twenty years prior in a village called Acacia. Her mother Cecilia was part of a fact-finding mission into a massacre, and Ada’s inquiries bring up her history as a member of the NPA. The other timeline traces the relationship of Ka Felix and Ka Jimmy (Joem Bascon and Jake Cuenca), two rebels who fall in love, despite the movement’s laws against such a pairing. (Click the CIty)

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Running Time: 100 mins.



4.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film might still be a little too loud, a little too conscious of hitting those standard dramatic beats with cinematic flourish. But it is the passion and the commitment that remains when all is said and done.” (Read full review)

3.5         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“Everything you want to see in the bekiserye My Husband’s Lover but cannot, due to the limitations of TV as a medium, you can now watch in all its lurid details in the no holds barred gay porn, Lihis.” (Read full review)

2.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“I wasn’t initially sold by the approach that Lamangan used in order to narrate the story, but the end product did not have any problem translating the it to the viewers.” (Read full review)

2.0         CBCP CINEMA

“Ginamit lamang na ‘sasakyan’ ng Lihis ang Martial law setting upang patunayan na masidhi sa lahat ang tawag ng laman—higit na makapangyarihan kaysa sa mga pinakamatayog na adhikain ng tao.” (Read full review)

2.0         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Lihis falls under the strain of murky schmaltz and overabundant theatricality—not unlike 2010’s overhyped Muli, the romantic gender-bender starring Cogie Domingo and Sid Lucero. Lamangan moves his film speedily, but it’s marred by clichés and contrivances that further weigh down the characters’ smarmily depicted relationships.” (Read full review)

1.5         Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Just when we need Lamangan to be critical/political, he settles for the tried-and-tested, because flashy, appeal of bedroom melodrama.” (Read full review)


BurgosVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.10 (5 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Ricky Lee

Cast: Lorna Tolentino, Rocco Nacino, Allen Dizon, Ina Feleo, Dimples Romana, Bangs Garcia, Kerbie Zamora, Tirso Cruz III

Synopsis: Jonas Burgos (Rocco Nacino), an agriculturist, was abducted on April 28, 2007. At the heart of the pursuit to surface Jonas is Edita (Lorna Tolentino), the gentle-mannered widow of the late WE Forum editor and publisher, Joe Burgos (Tirso Cruz III). The film revolves around Edita’s heartbreaking and inspiring journey as a dedicated wife and mother to a willful activist, driven by her feelings of loss and hope. (PEP)

Running Time: 98 mins.



5.0         Teodoro Jose Joaquin (Rappler)

Burgos is something to watch again and again, especially for its catharsis and impact. Perhaps its melodramatic treatment is imperative because this material otherwise qualifies as tract cinema (political cinema).” (Read full review)

4.0         Carmela Lapeña (GMA News)

“The actors give an excellent performance, particularly Lorna Tolentino. She is convincing as Edita Burgos, who is kind and yet firm, who forgives but continues to seek justice.  ” (Read full review)

4.0         Priscilla Pamintuan (Pinoy Weekly)

“Kahanga-hanga ang pelikulang Burgos. Sa pagpapahayag ng istorya ni Jonas, ng panunupil ng estado sa mga lumalaban at nagtataguyod ng progresibong pagbabago sa bansa, sa isang mainstream na odyens na maaaring simpatetiko na pero mas malamang na hindi, napakalaking paglilingkod na ang nagagawa.” (Read full review)

4.0         Abby Mendoza (PEP)

“Lorna Tolentino effectively evokes empathy with her subtle but compelling portrayal of Edita Burgos. The actress shines in bringing life to the subdued but resilient heroine of the biopic, making her audience feel that a mother’s love is indeed so powerful that it can fight for a cause, if not, change things.” (Read full review)

3.5         Maridol Rañoa-Bismark (Yahoo Philippines)

“While Burgos is about love, sacrifice and freedom, it is no melodrama. It has the quiet dignity of its lead real-life character. And it has a theme that is as universal as ever.” (Read full review)

The Bride and the Lover

BrideVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.60 (5 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Rody Vera

Cast: Jennylyn Mercado, Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino, Ahron Villena, Alex Castro, Ariel Ureta, Boboy Garovillo, Carla Dunareanu, Carmi Martin, Hayden Kho, Joem Bascon, Kat Alano, Snooky Serna, Tim Yap, Timmy Cruz

Synopsis: The movie begins with the wedding of Philip and Vivian (Paolo Avelino and Lovi Poe). Things get sticky when Vivian refuses to say “I do,” revealing to the gathered that she has discovered that Philip has been cheating on her with her maid of honor and best friend Sheila (Jennylyn Mercado). Following the fallout of the social humiliation, Sheila and Philip get together and fall back in love. But Vivian reenters the picture a changed woman, hatching a plot to get her revenge. She appears to forgive the people who wronged her, while inside, she nurses a wounded and bitter heart. (Click the City)

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Running Time: 105 mins



3.0          Mark Angelo Ching (PEP)

The Bride and The Lover is entertaining. Although it is quite unsure of its tone, it is fresh enough not to miss.” (Read full review)

3.0          CBCP CINEMA

“Sa kabuuan ay kinakitaan ng pagsisikap ang produksyon na ayusin ang ibang teknikal na aspeto ng pelikula.” (Read full review)

2.5          Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“The movie is entertaining with its shift to comedic and dramatic tones though it also gets tiring by the time we’ve reached the latter part of the film.” (Read full review)

2.5          Bernard Santos (My Movie World)

“The movie got a good casting but the performance of lead actors here fails to justify their characters.” (Read full review)

1.5          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“It winks heartily at the audience during its campiest moments, taking visible pleasure from its recognition that these elements are silly. But then it zips back to trying to be dramatic, and the effect is ruined.” (Read full review)

Menor de Edad

Menor De Edad PosterVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.07 (7 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Raquel Villavicencio

Cast: Meg Imperial, Ara Mina, Chynna Ortaleza, Jaycee Parker, Wendell Ramos, Almira Muhlach, Anna Luna, Arvic Rivero, Jef Gaitan, Jim Pebangco, Miko Aytona, Pio Valbuena

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Jen (Meg Imperial) doesn’t have a very happy life. Her classmates make fun of her for being raised by lesbians. Her boyfriend broke up with her because she didn’t want to have sex. Her mother is constantly berating her. She seeks comfort in a violent gang of girls led by her cousin, and in the arms of her Filipino teacher Ariel (Wendell Ramos). She develops quite a crush on her teacher as he tries to help her through her issues. But things turn sour between them when he rejects her advances, and soon both are caught in lies that will change their lives forever. (Click the City)

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Running time: 90 mins



4.0       Mark Angelo Ching (PEP)

“What makes Menor de Edad admirable is how much grit it dares to show its audience.” (Read full review)

2.0       Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World)

“From its theme and concept, it has the right elements to capture the attention of either the commercial or the independent film market. But with its flawed storytelling, poor characterizations, and mostly shoddy acting, its potential completely fizzles out.” (Read full review)

2.0       Zig Marasigan (

“For a film that unabashedly imbibes the indie cinema spirit, Menor De Edad falls prey to the obvious conventions of commercial melodrama. Tears flow like aqueducts from the gods, and actors look wistfully off-cam in hopes of conveying emotion. ” (Read full review)

2.0       CBCP CINEMA

“Masyadong maraming nangyayari sa Menor de Edad.  Bagama’t naka-sentro ang kuwento kay Jen, madalas itong nagpapaligoy-ligoy sa sa napakaraming tauhan na halos wala namang kinalaman sa pinakabuod ng kuwento.” (Read full review)

1.5       Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“It is all too much: too much drama, too many subplots, and too many odd stylistic choices. The result is headache-inducing, the movie so loud and unfocused that it draws out a physical reaction.” (Read full review)

1.5       Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

Menor de Edad reeks with a heavy handed exposition and an exasperatingly obstreperous plotting.” (Read full review)

1.5       Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“Scenes were mostly contrived and there were too many plots running that it’s hard for anything to stand out; in the end, all seemed half baked versions of what they really wanted to achieve.” (Read full review)

Himala Ngayon

himala ngayonVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.75 (4 ratings)

Genre: Documentary

Writers/Directors: Sari Lluch Dalena and Keith Sicat

Cast/Interviewees: Ishmael Bernal, Nora Aunor, Ricky Lee, Charo Santos-Concio, Imee Marcos, Racquel Villavicencio, Joel Lamangan, Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, Benjie Garcia, Denni Cid, Sergio Lobo, Spanky Manikan, Gigi Duenas-De Beaupre, Ama Quiambao, Pen Medina, Vangie Labalan, Aura Mijares, Lem Garcellano, Richard Arellano, Joe Gruta, Cris Daluz, Rick Hawthorne, Manet Dayrit, Richard Frunein, Leo Katigbak, Kiri Lluch Dalena

Synopsis: Himala Ngayon is a documentary on the creation of the classic film written by Ricky Lee and directed by National Artist Ishmael Bernal.

MTRCB Rating: PG-13



4.5          Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“It’s such a Filipino cinema lover’s delight: as much a look back at Himala (one of the greatest films of all time, Filipino or otherwise) and the  production’s fascinating anecdotes (including the story behind its restoration), as it is an examination of its legendary director, Ishmael Bernal.” (Read capsule review)

4.0          Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

Himala Ngayon is a diligent work that’s as informative as it is entertaining.  ” (Read full review)

4.0          Alvin Bulaong Cruz (Manila Bulletin)

“The good thing about watching the documentary before watching the newly restored Himala is that you gain a new perspective of the film, recalling the amusing stories behind the scenes leading to a deeper appreciation of the details which otherwise would have been unjustly ignored. (Read full review)

2.5          Don Rapadas (Metanoia)

“Most of the elements for a good documentary were there, and for such, it would have been highly commendable overall. However, it became cheap when it went overboard with its telling of stories of infighting and animosities between cast and production staff.” (Read full review)

The Mommy Returns

Verdict: Do Something Else

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 1.64 (7 ratings)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Senedy Que

Cast: Pokwang, Gabby Concepcion, Ruffa Gutierrez, Jillian Ward, Gloria Diaz, John Lapus

Synopsis: Ruby (Pokwang) was happily married to William (Gabby Concepcion). But she dies tragically on their 25th wedding anniversary. Ruby ends up in purgatory, where she is made to witness the plight of her family. Much to her surprise and dismay, William quickly falls in love with the beautiful Catherine (Ruffa Gutierrez), and in spite of his children’s objections, he immediately plans to get remarried. Ruby returns to Earth as a ghost with the intention of haunting her former husband and sabotaging his new marriage. (Click the City)



3.0       CINEMA

“May saysay naman sana ang kwento subalit naging mababaw at pilit ang dating dahil sa mga pinakitang sitwasyon ng kababawan at di makabuluhang mga diyalogo.” (Read full review)

2.5       Mark Angelo Ching (PEP)

“All in all, The Mommy Returns is a good movie, but only when you consider its dramatic moments. It has a heart buried somewhere that can be inspiring to viewers who want to relate to its story about motherhood.” (Read full review)

1.5        Johanna Poblete (Business World)

“This movie does not offer anything new (horror comedy is a misnomer, it’s plain comedy) but sticks to the tried and tested and tired. It does not elevate the local movie industry.” (Read full review)

1.5        Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

The Mommy Returns conspicuously underscores Lamangan’s fall into mediocrity and highlights all of his weaknesses. In fact, he has never done a movie this bad.” (Read full review)

1.0        Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film is a dreadful bore, lacking in jokes while pushing for false emotion as it stumbles through a boatload of hastily assembled drama.” (Read full review)

1.0        Reel Advice

“Situations and punchlines fail to eke out any laughter or even a whimper. Everything comes out flat and corny. This is the film that never found its comedic groove and you have to see it (if you dare) to believe it.” (Read full review)

1.0        Starmometer

“Hastily assembled and severely lacking in humor, The Mommy Returns is one of Joel Lamangan’s weakest outings ever.” (Read full review)


Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.17 (6 ratings)

Genre: Drama, Historical

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Bonifacio Ilagan

Cast: Zsa Zsa Padilla, Tirso Cruz III, Gina Alajar, Jaime Pebanco, Marvin Agustin, Allen Dizon, Pauleen Luna, Lovi Poe, Megan Young, Jay Aquitana, Ayen Laurel, Rico Barrera and Dawn Zulueta, Dessa Rizalina E. Ilagan, Tony Mabesa, Raquel Villavicencio, Mon Confiado, Menggie Cobarrubias, Lui Manansala, Mercy Udaundo, Dennis Coronel

Synopsis: Sigwa (meaning “storm”) spans 40 years of Philippine social unrest. The story is initially told by Fil-Am Dolly, a junior correspondent of a US magazine, who was sent to the Philippines in 1970 to do a story on student activism in Manila. Today, she has returned after being arrested and deported in 1975, on the third year of martial law. Her mission is personal this time: to look for her daughter, who was supposed to have died 35 years ago, but who, she has been told, is alive. The film, being a composite of the stories of Dolly and each one of her former activist collective, is revealed fragment by fragment, as she surprises them by her unannounced presence.



3.5          Elvin Luciano (PEP)

“Although Sigwa is told from the point of view of Zulueta’s character, this movie is impressive because it does not leave out the other characters. Through this film, Direk Joel shows his mastery in creating an ensemble film.” (Read full review)

3.5          Jamo Light (Pinoy Film)

“I don’t know what Joel Lamangan’s motivations were for not going outright left here – personal safety, wider acceptance or whatever else – but I like that he did. The entirety of it’s political overtones served merely as a backdrop. As a film about old friends and what’s happened to them in the years since they were separated, it succeeds above and beyond the call of duty.” (Read full review)

3.0          Fidel Antonio Medel (Pielated Popcorn)

“It might be a conscious decision on the filmmaker’s part to play it safe to be more palatable to the general public, and that’s understandable. But for a film that is meant to commemorate 40 years of civil unrest, I wish it had more balls.” (Read full review)

3.0          Nel Costales (Cine Filipinas)

“The film blends the star power and polished performances of a mainstream blockbuster with the relevant, edgy story of an indie film. It is not a smooth marriage because of the film’s difficulty in straddling the line between mainstream and indie filmmaking.” (Read full review)

3.0          John Silva (John’s Thoughts and Deeds)

“The baddest best actor was Tirso Cruz. You hated all of him, his cynical, tired, seen-it-all slouch. Maybe we’ve felt that at times and we’re drawn to his venality. We appreciate Tirso’s continued metamorphosis in roles befitting his years. Consider the fact that during the First Quarter Storm, or thereabouts, who could forget Tirso in the tight white pants and the sideburns as a rock star.” (Read full review)

2.5          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film, as it moves from one life to another, paints a fuller picture of what it means to stand for something in a corrupt society. The film doesn’t quite reach its full potential, weighed down by staid filmmaking and a fairly dull viewing of the past. But there are hints of passion in the project, and that keeps the whole thing bearable.” (Read full review)


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