Posts from the ‘Film review’ Category

Philippine Cinema 2016: Best Editing

1 – Ma’ Rosa (Diego Marx Dobles) 25 points

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2 – Die Beautiful (Benjamin Tolentino) 22 points

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3 – Pamilya Ordinaryo (Carlo Francisco Manatad) 15 points, 5 votes

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4 – Women of the Weeping River (Carlo Francisco Manatad) 15 points, 4 votes

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5 – Sunday Beauty Queen (Chuck Gutierrez) 13 points

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6 – Seklusyon (Jay Halili) 10 points

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7 – Purgatoryo (Mark Cyril Bautista) 9 points, 3 votes

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8 – Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (Lav Diaz) 9 points, 2 votes

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9 – Saving Sally (Jether Amar and Jethro Razo) 8 points, 4 votes

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10 – Ang Babaeng Humayo (Lav Diaz) 8 points, 2 votes

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INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS »

ROBERT CERDA (Space-Aso)

  1. Carlo Manatad – Women of the Weeping River
  2. Diego Marx Dobles – Ma’ Rosa
  3. Lav Diaz – Ang Babaeng Humayo
  4. Benjamin Gonzales Tolentino – Die Beautiful
  5. Marya Ignacio – How to Be Yours

ARCHIE DEL MUNDO (DList.ph)

  1. People Power Bombshell
  2. Bradley Liew (Singing in Graveyards)
  3. Carlo Manatad (Women of the Weeping River)
  4. Bagane Fiola, Willie Apa (Baboy Halas)
  5. Lawrence Ang (Lily)

MIKOY FERNANDEZ (Mga Katha ng Haraya)

  1. Seklusyon
  2. Die Beautiful
  3. Sunday Beauty Queen
  4. Women of the Weeping River
  5. Saving Sally

RICKY GALLARDO (Business Mirror)

  1. Lawrence Ang, ‘Lily’
  2. Paolo Villaluna, ‘Pauwi Na’
  3. Mark Cyril Bautista , “Purgatoryo’
  4. Carlo Manatad, ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’
  5. Chuck Gutierrez, ‘Sunday Beauty Queen’

EMIL HOFILEÑA (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

  1. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  2. 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten
  3. How to Be Yours
  4. T.P.O.
  5. Saving Sally

JSON JAVIER (The Spotless Mind)

  1. Tuos
  2. Sunday Beauty Queen
  3. Ma’ Rosa
  4. Die Beautiful
  5. Sakaling Hindi Makarating

SKILTY LABASTILLA (Pinoy Rebyu)

  1. Women of the Weeping River (Carlo Manatad)
  2. Ma’ Rosa (Diego Marx Dobles)
  3. Piding (Emerson Reyes)
  4. Always Be My Maybe (Marya Ignacio)
  5. Sunday Beauty Queen (Chuck Gutierrez)

RICARDO ESPINO LOPEZ (The Knee-Jerk Critic)

  1. Saving Sally
  2. Hele
  3. Ma Rosa
  4. Seklusyon
  5. 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten

MACKY MACARAYAN (Death of Traditional Cinema)

  1. Benjamin Tolentino, DIE BEAUTIFUL
  2. Diego Marx Dobles, MA ROSA
  3. Jay Halili, SEKLUSYON
  4. Gilbert Obispo, AREA
  5. Jether Amar, Jethro Razo, SAVING SALLY

FIDEL ANTONIO MEDEL (Pixelated Popcorn)

  1. Apocalypse Child
  2. Pamilya Ordinaryo
  3. Ma’ Rosa
  4. Sakaling Hindi Makarating
  5. Star Na Si Van Damme Stallone

NOOD.PH

  1. Vince & Kath & James

CATHY PEÑA (Make Me Blush)

  1. Lav Diaz (Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis)
  2. Diego Marx Dobles (Ma Rosa)
  3. Carlo Francisco Manatad (Pamilya Ordinaryo)
  4. Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos (Pauwi Na)
  5. Mycko David & Cesca Lee (Purgatoryo)

BERNARD SANTOS (My Movie World)

  1. Benjamin Tolentino – Die Beautiful
  2. Chuck Gutierrez – Sunday Beauty Queen
  3. Mai Calapardo – Mercury is Mine
  4. Hannah Espia – Sakaling Hindi Makarating
  5. Carlo Francsico Manatad – Pamilya Ordinaryo

NAZAMEL TABARES (Pelikula Mania)

  1. Pamilya Ordinaryo
  2. Mercury is Mine
  3. Star na si Van Damme Stallone
  4. Buhay Habangbuhay
  5. Dukot

EMIL NOR URAO (The Movie Bud)

  1. Purgatoryo
  2. Die Beautiful
  3. Apocalypse Child
  4. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  5. Lily

Dagitab tops 2014 local film poll; lead actress takes top acting honors

Dagitab, Giancarlo Abrahan’s debut feature about two intellectuals whose marriage is tested by the husband’s memory of a past lover and the wife’s dalliance with a precocious student, tops Pinoy Rebyu’s 4th Annual Poll of the best in Philippine cinema, as voted by online film reviewers, while Eula Valdes’ portrayal of the wife embroiled in an extramarital scandal is voted best lead performance.

dagitabstill3Dagitab also took the top prizes for best screenplay (Abrahan), best first feature, best cinematography (Rommel Sales), and best scene (for the much-talked about beach scene).

Dagitab topped Lav Diaz’s pre-Martial Law drama Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (2nd best film) and Sigrid Bernardo’s dramedy on elderly romance Lorna (3rd best film). Valdes edged out Shamaine Buencamino’s turn as a senior citizen longing for love in Lorna (2nd best lead performance), and Eugene Domingo’s take on an abused rural wife in Barber’s Tales (3rd best lead performance).

Barbie Forteza’s portrayal of a high school student abandoned by her mother in Mariquina was adjudged best supporting performance, edging out two performances by Gladys Reyes: as a hard-hearted mother in Magkakabaung and as a battered wife who gets her comeuppance in Barber’s Tales, with both performances tying for second place.

Jun Lana was voted best director for Barber’s Tales, which also topped the best editing category for Lawrence Ang. Meanwhile, the music for Mariquina was voted best score or soundtrack.

Babyruth Villarama’s Little Azkals was picked as best documentary, while Petersen Vargas’ Lisyun Qng Geografia was chosen best short film.

For the 2014 poll, 11 film writers participated, although for the best film category, published lists of three more reviewers were included in the tally. Click HERE for the full tally and individual ballots.

Best Performances of the Decade So Far (20-11)

  1. Mimi Juareza, Quick Change (2013)

20 Mimi Quick Change

Character: Dorina Pineda, a transwoman running an illegal cosmetic-surgery business

“The idiosyncratic Quick Change fields superlative portrayals from its whole ensemble, led by Mimi Juareza in an indelible, career-making performance.” – Rito Asilo

“Mimi Juareza’s brave performance in Quick Change should make all gender-specific Best Actor/Best Actress categories irrelevant. As Dorina, a transgender who beautifies fellow transgenders by injecting their skins with a dangerous black-market substance, Juareza is all woman, even with that thing dangling between her legs. As the film’s lead character, it would have been very tempting for Juareza to upstage the many colorful supporting characters surrounding her by playing it big, but she refuses that easy route and goes instead for the subtle approach, imbuing Dorina with a quiet grace even as she shows us her character’s silent suffering as her world slowly unravels.” – SCL

  1. Angeli Bayani, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2013)

19 Angeli Norte

Character: Eliza, wife of a man wrongfully accused of murder

Bayani’s trademark serene underacting is given full focus whenever she’s in a Lav Diaz film and it’s clearly evident here as she plays a suffering mother at her wit’s end. Despite her small frame, she lends Eliza a solemn dignity and pride.

  1. Kristoffer King, Oros (2012)

18 Kristoffer Oros

Character: Makoy, a saklaan operator who prolongs funerals so he can make more money

“The film is buoyed by the natural grace of King, who’s fantastic. He navigates Baseco as though he isn’t acting.” – Cathy Peña

“King defines naturalistic acting so much that you will second-guess yourself whether you’re watching a fictional film or a documentary. Acting coaches would benefit from using Oros as instruction material.” – SCL

  1. Cherry Pie Picache, Isda (2011)

17 Cherrie Pie Isda

Character: Lina, a woman living in a dumpsite who gives birth to a fish

“Carrying her ‘fish child’ around with a desperate sense of affection has got to be one of the hardest things to parlay.” – Cathy Peña

“Kahit wala s’yang masyadong ipinakitang bago, na-maintain naman n’ya ‘yung pagiging consistent sa delivery. Hindi n’ya nilagyan ng butas ang storytelling na maaaring kasingitan ng pagkutya mula sa audience. Natatawa ang manonood hindi dahil sa kanyang dilemma kundi sa irony ng kanyang sitwasyon.” – Manuel Pangaruy

  1. Jericho Rosales, Alagwa (2012)

16 Jericho Alagwa

Character: Robert Lim, a widowed father of a young boy who goes missing

“Rosales finds his best role yet in Robert. He’s in almost every scene yet he never once hits a false note. It helps that he has great chemistry with Bugoy Cariño who plays his son.” – SCL

  1. Angelica Panganiban, That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)

15 Angelica Tadhana3

Character:  Mace Castillo, a young woman who finds solace from her heartbreak in a kind stranger

Straddling that fine line between comedy and drama in a single film can be a tricky job. A common tendency of actors is to magnify the extremes to showcase their range. Panganiban wisely downplays her efforts in generating laughter or tears from viewers by just playing it right, respecting the character’s realness and relatability.

“All of Panganiban’s previous roles prepared her for her performance as Mace. Panganiban expertly pulls back her usual babaeng bakla antics and does not go the all-the-way commercial-melodrama route to create a perfect portrait of a recovering heartbroken woman.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Shamaine Centenera Buencamino, Niño (2011)

14 Shamaine Nino

Character: Merced, a spinster who reluctantly takes on the burden of taking care of her aging mother and bedridden uncle in a household sliding to ruin

For Buencamino, considered by many as a goddess of modern Philippine theater, no role is too small. As a family caregiver with burdens of her own, she effortlessly slides into her character, essaying an empathetic performance that will be remembered in years to come.

  1. Fides Cuyugan Asensio, Niño (2011)

13 Fides Nino

Character: Celia, once the darling of Philippine opera, who holds a tertulia, inviting her aging opera singer friends, as a last-ditch effort to awaken her bedridden brother

“Asensio gave the best performance in 2011’s Cinemalaya, and it is saddening that she does not get the recognition she deserves. She was an all-around threat. She is perfect in the role: she is funny, she is heartbreaking, and she sings REAAAAALLLY beautifully. I can go all day singing her praises.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Eugene Domingo, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (2011)

12 Eugene Septic Tank

Character: Herself as a wealthy movie star who gets cast as Mila, an impoverished mother of seven

“It was a high-wire act that showcased Domingo’s versatility. The degree of difficulty is considerable: there’s drama, comedy and even a dash of musical. There’s even social statement thrown into the fray – and they all worked quite well.” – Cathy Peña

“Sa kaso ni Eugene Domingo, wala namang kokontra na s’ya lang ang maaaring maka-pull off ng ganitong materyal.” – Manuel Pangaruy

  1. Angelica Panganiban, Here Comes the Bride (2010)

11 Angelica Here Comes

Character: Stephanie, a young bride who gets possessed by the spirit of a flaming queen in a mysterious solar eclipse

“Her wacky antics and over-the-top performance as a babaeng bakla is a spectacle you shouldn’t miss. I’ve never seen such an effective sexy comedienne since Rufa Mae Quinto played the endowed dimwit in Booba and Boobita Rose.” – Fidel Antonio Medel

“Panganiban is once again a revelation. She relishes her lividly gay persona with spirited brio. Her gay-speak deliveries are, in fact, pleasurable linguistic cadences, deliciously frivolous to inspire streetwise mimics. Yes, Angelica is even gayer than John Lapus in his pinkest moments! What a joy!” – Cathy Peña

*

PART 1: Nos. 100 to 81

PART 2: Nos. 80 to 61

PART 3: Nos. 60 to 41

PART 4: Nos. 40 to 21

PART 6: Nos. 10 to 1

INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS

Best Performances of the Decade So Far (Nos. 60-41)

  1. Chynna Ortaleza, #Y (2014)

60 Chynna #Y

Character: Abbie, a frazzled suicide hotline operator who is befriended by her caller

Ortaleza’s amiable turn as a hotline operator who goes out of her way to reach out to a troubled teen is a collective wish-fulfillment for our longing for genuine connection in an age of normalized fleeting, often hollow, encounters.

“Though the time she was in was very short, she made the most impact in a cast that was generally good. I kept on wanting to see more of her in the film but she was powerful in those few scenes she was in. That breakdown scene, just on the phone talking, is definitely the highlight of her career.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Carla Abellana, Punerarya (2010)

59 Carla Punerarya

Character: Dianne, a part-time tutor to children of a family that owns a funeral parlor

In probably the shortest lead performance in this list, Abellana proves that a good actor doesn’t need a lot of screen exposure to truly shine. As the beleaguered tutor who slowly learns the real nature of her employers, Abellana ably carries the weight of the movie with her steely resolve.

“A feisty, empathetic heroine – and a ‘star’ is truly born!” – Cathy Peña

  1. Carlo Aquino, Porno (2013)

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Character:  Alex, a playboy porn dubber who gets haunted by an online ghost

Aquino’s haughty, smirking take of a strapping youth who is used to things going his way until he gets served cold vengeance can only be borne out of his experience in the industry honing his craft over the years.

  1. Agot Isidro, Mga Anino ng Kahapon (2013)

57 Agot Anino

Character: Irene, a married nurse suffering from schizophrenia

Isidro knows better than to play a mentally disturbed character with just the typical crazy-normal binary that lesser actors might resort to. She understands the condition from inside out and it shows in her layered, nuanced take on an illness not many are familiar with.

“Stripped of her dignity, Irene’s exasperation is palpable but never over-the-top in Isidro’s delicate thespic handling.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Dominic Roco, Ang Nawawala (2012)

56 Dominic Nawawala

Character:  Gibson Bonifacio, a young man who stops speaking after the death of his twin brother, for which he blames himself

“Dominic Roco delivers a well-limned performance as Gibson, who copes with guilt by going mute after he witnesses the death of his twin brother.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Bea Alonzo, The Mistress (2012)

55 Bea Mistress

Character: Sari, a seamstress who finds herself falling in love with a man who is the son of her much-older boyfriend

“Bea Alonzo, still the most gifted actress of her generation, delectably inhabits Sari with a highly nuanced turn. Her instincts are so fine-tuned she never misses a step.” – Cathy Peña

“As Sari, she is fragile yet assured, flighty yet sensible. It takes great skill to make viewers empathize with a kept woman and Alonzo manages to do just that.” – SCL

“Alonzo manages to make her less-than-likable character sympathetic, even when Sari’s choices don’t feel right.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Lorna (2014)

54 Shamaine Lorna

Character: Lorna, a 60-year old woman in search of life’s contentment

Buencamino dives into her character head-on and refuses to come up for air until she has fully grasped Lorna’s essence. She is at turns, funny, sad, sexy, motherly, logical, impetuous, and, above all, all-too-human.

  1. Eden Villarba, Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (2010)

53 Eden Damgo2

Character: A balikbayan cousin of a girl about to marry her foreigner boyfriend

Villarba’s role as a woman giving last-minute advice to her mail-order bride cousin could have been perfunctorily essayed by a less intuitive actor. Villarba attacks it as a small-town diva, complete with an umbrella-carrying servant at her beck and call, who has been there and done it all when she lived in Germany for some time. Her confrontation scenes with a rival sophisticate, the city-bred recruiter of her cousin, are the film’s most hilarious moments.

  1. Art Acuña, Niño (2011)

52 Art Nino

Character: Mombic, the prodigal son of a once-prominent family

Theater vet Acuña expertly juggles the many facets of his character, a wily, street-smart single father who leaves his son in the care of his sister as he strikes a covert deal to sell the ancestral house with a cousin he once had an affair with.

  1. Ronnie Lazaro, Boundary (2011)

51 Ronnie Boundary

Character: Limuel Alcantara, a cab driver who robs his passenger

About 90% of Boundary is shot inside a cab, with Lazaro as the driver who picks up the wrong passenger to rob. Lazaro skillfully shifts from tense to respectful to guilty to uncertain throughout the long drive, you almost wish he won’t push through with his plan.

  1. Alex Medina, Babagwa (2013)

50 Alex Babagwa

Character: Greg, an online scammer who falls in love with his victim

“As a counterpoint to Joey Paras’ explosive scheming character, Medina more than holds his own by refusing to succumb to mug for the cameras. His slacker, stoic mien throughout hides the inner turmoil he’s undergoing as he slowly discovers the immorality of his trade by falling in love with a potential victim.” – SCL

  1. Raymond Bagatsing, Boundary (2011)

49 Raymond Boundary

Character: Emmanuel Lazaro, a mysterious cab passenger held up by the driver

As the other half of the duo in that fateful taxi ride to Antipolo, Bagatsing is calm personified as he begins to realize the situation he finds himself in. His cool confidence turns what would otherwise have been an implausible scenario of prey-turns-predator very logical.

  1. Maria Veronica Santiago, Pascalina (2012)

48 Veronica Pascalina

Character: Pascalina, a young woman who embraces her inner aswang when her boyfriend deceives her

“It’s Santiago’s courage to appear unlikable that makes her ironically likable. Her Pascalina is insouciant, antisocial, and operates to the beat of her own drum, yet Santiago makes sure that Pascalina doesn’t lose audience empathy by imbuing the character with just the right doses of quirky charm and cool level-headedness so that even when she does terrible things towards the end, viewers will still be rooting for her.” – SCL

  1. Jean Garcia, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011)

47 Jean Sayaw

Character: Karen, a literature professor who gets entangled in a love triangle with two of her students

“Garcia gives a sublime performance, something that I have never seen from her before. She excelled most in the quiet moments.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Lovi Poe, Sana Dati (2013)

46 Lovi Sana Dati

Character: Andrea Gonzaga, a young bride who gets cold feet when she meets a man who reminds her of the love of her life

“Poe has always been a natural onscreen and here she relishes the opportunity to wholeheartedly embrace her character, warts and all.” – SCL

  1. Olga Natividad, Mga Dayo (2012)

45 Olga Mga Dayo

Character: Ella Regalado, a housekeeping supervisor in a Guam hotel who’s finding it difficult to juggle her responsibilities at work and at home

Natividad, with her warm smile and dogged determination concealing the many problems she is facing, embodies the OFW spirit in Julius Cena’s gentle drama about Filipino workers in Guam. In a hotel breakdown scene she displays her formidable acting skills as she releases all her pent-up emotions without uttering a single word.

  1. Angelica Panganiban, Beauty in a Bottle (2014)

44 Angelica Beauty

Character: Estelle, a starlet struggling with her weight who gets chosen to be an endorser of a beauty product

Panganiban brings the house down in her uproarious performance that sends up her own image as a big-boned actor in an industry obsessed with Hollywood-dictated ideals of beauty. Her audition and shooting scenes (featuring her endless repetition of the line “Come back to the young and beautiful you”) are guaranteed to keep the audience in stitches.

  1. Ama Quiambao, Diablo (2012)

43 Ama Diablo

Character: Nana Lusing, a mother of five who sleeps restlessly as a mysterious, sinister-looking shadow watches over her

Quiambao is a force to be reckoned with in her dignified depiction of a silently suffering mother dealing with the loss of her husband and the petty squabbles of her grown-up sons.

“Quiambao’s luminous turn is just one of many standout portrayals in the eighth edition of the eagerly anticipated indie festival.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Martin del Rosario, Dagitab (2014)

42 Martin Dagitab

Character: Gab Atienza, a precocious college writer

Del Rosario’s surprisingly restrained performance in Giancarlo Abrahan’s arty film proves that when TV-bred young actors are given fully textured roles, they are more than capable of delivering the goods.

“I was mightily impressed with del Rosario’s performance. I knew somehow that he could act but I did not know that he could deliver such an intense performance, controlled without going overboard. He’s got that sort of pompous arrogance of a teenager down, then we see him mature in front of your eyes as the story progresses.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Art Acuña, Posas (2012)

41 Art Posas

Character: Police Inspector Domingo, a ruthless cop who tortures a suspected thief

“Acuña is a sinister presence in Posas.” – Rito Asilo

“The revelation in the movie is theater actor Art Acuña. With his lean frame, calm delivery and mild demeanor, he succeeds to impart a level of malignity and truculence without even raising his voice. He scared the bejesus out of me. He likewise imparts charm in savagery, which is antipodean at best.” – Cathy Peña

“Acuña understands that a villain doesn’t know that he’s a villain: for him, he’s the bida. And you actually feel from Acuña’s performance that his character does not realize he’s a crooked person. Even when he’s waterboarding suspects and playing mind games with them, he believes that he’s doing it for a noble purpose. Acuña finds the humanity within each of the characters that he plays, good or bad. That is a mark of good acting.” – SCL

*

PART 1: Nos. 100 to 81

PART 2: Nos. 80 to 61

PART 4: Nos. 40 to 21

PART 5: Nos. 20 to 11

PART 6: Nos. 10 to 1

INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS

Best Performances of the Decade So Far (2010 to 2014)

Performance has always been one of Philippine cinema’s most popular film elements. We know, of course, that it is just but one of myriad components that make up a film. Yet when we watch movies, we tend to ask “Who’s in it?” rather than “Who made it?” Still, no one would argue that actors can make or break a film. A good actor can make watching a crappy film tolerable while a bad actor can ruin an otherwise okay movie.

To celebrate the country’s best film performances of the decade so far, Pinoy Rebyu invited six bloggers/journalists who have been following and writing about Philippine film since 2010: Rito Asilo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Fidel Antonio Medel of Pixelated Popcorn and formerly of PEP.ph, Carl Joseph Papa of whatevercarl.com, Manuel Pangaruy of Tagailog Special Presents, Cathy Peña of Make Me Blush, and Pinoy Rebyu’s own Skilty Labastilla, to list down what they think are the greatest performances from 2010 to November 2014. Each of the six submitted a list of 100 best performances and we tallied them and came up with the top 100.

Starting today, we will roll out the list in increments, starting from 100.

100.  John Lloyd Cruz, Unofficially Yours (2012)

100 John Lloyd Unofficially Yours2

Character: Macky Galvez, a romantic yuppie who falls hard for a woman who does not want commitment

As Star Cinema’s top male romantic draw, Cruz has perfected the art of playing the ultimate dreamboat who more than makes up for his lack of hard abs by turning on the charm full blast. When Cruz uses those puppy-dog eyes to express deep emotion, even Angel Locsin won’t hesitate serenading him to win back his affection.

  1. Felix Roco, Ang Nawawala (2012)

99 Felix Nawawala

Character: Jamie Bonifacio, the lead character’s dead twin brother

The Roco twins were born to play the roles of upper class brothers in Marie Jamora’s engrossing tale of loss and redemption. Felix plays the departed twin, now free from the mundane worries of the living, with sexy, uber-cool nonchalance.

  1. Archie Alemania, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2013)

98 Archie Norte

Character: Joaquin, a poor family man imprisoned for a crime he did not commit

In Diaz’s bleak Norte, Alemania, who is more known as a comic actor, shows his range in a way that doesn’t call attention to his subtlety.

  1. Nonie Buencamino, Dagitab (2014)

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Character: Jimmy Tolentino, a Humanities professor in search of his muse

It’s never easy playing a professor: an actor has to possess that mix of gravitas, intellect, and warmth that all students look for. Buencamino displays all three, yet adds an extra layer of vulnerability, portraying Jimmy not as a typical bookish academic but as a complicated, full-blooded husband/lover.

“His work in Dagitab keeps you guessing. It is not trivial, it is just that it seems that he is thinking differently from the way he acts. That line reading scene was quite heartbreaking (del Rosario and Buencamino square off, WOW).” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. TJ Trinidad, Sana Dati (2013)

96 TJ Sana Dati

Character: Robert Naval, a politician about to get married to a woman he just recently met

The go-to mode of most actors who get cast as a foil to a romantic pairing is to tap into their character’s unflattering side. Thankfully, Trinidad is not most actors. It’s a testament to his skill (though undoubtedly aided by Tarog’s fully realized script) that viewers actually root for Robert to end up with Andrea .

  1. Lovi Poe, Mayohan (2010)

95 Lovi Mayohan

Character: Lilibeth, a young woman from the barrio in charge of an annual festival ritual

“Lovi Poe is luminous all throughout (thanks in part to the brilliant cinematography) taking her character Lilibeth with edifying intuition. It’s quite palpable why young boys would fall for Lilbeth.” – Cathy Peña

  1. Dennis Trillo, The Janitor (2014)

94 Dennis Janitor

Character: Crisanto Espina, a dismissed cop tasked to assassinate suspected bank robbers

“The most fully realized performance by any actor in the Director’s Showcase at this year’s Cinemalaya was turned in by Dennis Trillo, who delivered a thespic high-wire act as a disgraced cop who is as ruthless as an assassin as he is gentle as a much-abused son in Mike Tuviera’s exceptional action-drama.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Raquel Villavicencio, Niño (2011)

93 Raquel Nino

Character: Raquel, a US migrant returning to the Philippines to sell her ancestral house to salvage her own economic woes abroad

Villavicencio is one of very few filmmakers (she’s an award-winning scriptwriter) who are also very good actors. In Niño, she plays a villain type (she knows that her actions will lead to depriving her aunt of a home) yet, through her sympathetic performance, she makes the audience understand her plight.

  1. Irma Adlawan, Vox Populi (2010)

92 Irma Vox Populi

Character: Connie de Gracia, a mayoral candidate in a small town

Adlawan, one of the country’s top theater products, delivers an expertly controlled performance as a political greenhorn who realizes she is gradually crossing over to the dark side but can’t yet decide whether she is principled enough to change the system or weak enough to allow herself to just be swallowed by it.

  1. Jodi Sta. Maria, Aparisyon (2012)

91 Jodi Aparisyon

Character: Sister Lourdes, a novice nun who gets attacked outside her convent

Sta. Maria has that face that immediately draws attention. She is not conventionally attractive yet she possesses that serene confidence that only comes with life experience. In Aparisyon, she is devastating as a promising young nun whose dreams are crushed by a random act of violence.

  1. Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Requieme! (2012)

90 Shamaine Requieme

Character: Swanie, a barangay captain who turns a high-profile crime into a vote-generating opportunity

Buencamino, along with theater contemporary Adlawan, has successfully straddled the worlds of theater, TV, and independent film.  In Loy Arcenas’ tragicomic Requieme!, she displays both expert comedic timing and touching pathos as a woman who desperately needs emotional closure.

  1. Archie Alemania, Slumber Party (2012)

89 Archie Slumber Party

Character: Jhana, an outrageous gay man who becomes party to a hostage-taking

Violence should never be funny, but Alemania, in a riotous performance as a lascivious molester, sure missed the memo and is not apologizing for it.

  1. Opaline Santos, The Natural Phenomenon of Madness (2011)

88 Opaline Madness

Character: Unnamed, a woman coping with the impacts of a traumatic sexual violence

Only an actor as unafraid to be unlikeable as Santos could have pulled off her brave performance as a rape victim who, after a couple of years, is still in love with her rapist.

  1. Eugene Domingo, Instant Mommy (2013)

87 Eugene Instant Mommy

Character: Bechayda, a woman who pretends she is pregnant to keep her foreigner boyfriend

Domingo has emerged over the last decade as arguably the country’s biggest female comic draw and her talent is in full display here as she plays a family breadwinner who has to keep up appearances in fear of losing her man.

  1. Dido dela Paz, Amok (2011)

86 Dido Amok

Character: Dido, a sidewalk vendor who runs amok in Pasay Rotonda

Theater vet dela Paz is a horny husband one moment and a menacing hooligan the next in Lawrence Fajardo’s riveting portrait of a sweaty, throbbing, chaotic Pasay. The moment dela Paz’s character loses his temper, we know bad things will happen.

  1. Arron Villaflor, Astro Mayabang (2010)

85 Arron Astro

Character: Astro, a brash, xenophobic teenager who finds himself falling for a Filipino-American

Villaflor burst onto the local film scene with his sure-footed portrayal of a young buck who overcompensates for his impotence with hollow braggadocio.

  1. Jodi Sta. Maria, Chassis (2010)

84 Jodi Chassis

Character: Nora, a young mother forced into prostitution by dire circumstances

“Jodi Sta. Maria performs in almost every scene. She is the spark that gives Chassis life and flesh-and-blood realism. Her Nora is a portrait of a mother consumed by love for her daughter—a love powerful enough to drive her to the extreme. Similarly, Jodi pushes her limits in portraying a character radically different from anything she has done on TV and movies. She downplays the determination of her character for a haunting effect, and then bares her emotions in the heart-wrenching final act.” – Fidel Antonio Medel

  1. Irma Adlawan, Transit (2013)

83 Irma Transit

Character: Janet, an OFW mother who needs to keep her teenage daughter from being deported by Israeli authorities

Adlawan demonstrates her acting skills in a restrained performance as a mother torn between respecting the choices of her Hebrew-speaking daughter and instilling in her more Filipino values.

  1. Sue Prado, Mga Dayo (2012)

82 Sue Mga Dayo

Character: Alexandria Caballero, a boyish newspaper photographer in Guam forced to enter a green-card marriage

“Sa dulo, nakarating sa akin ang lungkot ng mga karakter at hindi maiikailang malaki ang naiambag dito nina Sue Prado at Olga Natividad. Sa katunayan, kapag naaalala ko ang mga eksena nila, nakukurot pa rin ako. Para sa akin, naibigay nila ang pinakamahusay na pagganap sa buong festival.” – Manuel Pangaruy

  1. Dick Israel, Badil (2013)

81 Dick Badil

Character: Ponso, a local politician’s trusted aide

“Recently recovered from a stroke, Israel’s slump and slurred speech do not diminish but instead add to his role’s respectability and gravitas. It takes extreme charisma to command the screen even when the body is failing, and Israel, bless his heart, has it in spades.” – SCL

*

PART 2: Nos. 80 to 61

PART 3: Nos. 60 to 41

PART 4: Nos. 40 to 21

PART 5: Nos. 20 to 11

PART 6: Nos. 10 to 1

INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS

The Trial

The TrialVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.25 (4 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Chito Roño

Writer: Kriz Gazmen, Enrico Santos

Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Jessy Mendiola, Gretchen Barretto, Richard Gomez, Sylvia Sanchez, Vincent de Jesus, Enrique Gil

Synopsis: Ronald (John Lloyd Cruz) is a developmentally delayed adult working towards an elementary school diploma at the university where he works as a gardener. He receives tutoring from teacher Bessy (Jessy Mendiola), with whom he is in love. A video emerges of the two of them depicting what very much appears to be a rape. Charges are filed against Ronald, and he is confronted with the possibility of being sent to prison. The story is mainly told from the perspectives of Amanda and Julian (Gretchen Barretto and Richard Gomez), the parents of a deceased friend of Ronald. The two have a marriage that’s fallen apart, and they’re in the process of separating when this case suddenly pops up. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: R-13

Running time: 130 mins

Trailer: 

Reviews:

4.0         Bernard Santos (My Movie World)

“Ang ganda ng istorya ng pelikula na umikot talaga sa pagmamahal at masasabi natin at the end of the film na ang lahat at may karapatan magmahal at mahalin anuman ang katayuan o kalagayan nito sa buhay.” (Read full review)

3.5         Spot.ph

The Trial is a compressed telenovela. All the good bits are preserved and nothing is stretched so far that the sensibilities get lost.” (Read full review)

3.0         Skilty Labastilla (Pinoy Rebyu)

The Trial is an engaging, if a bit high-strung, family/courtroom melodrama that features a ferocious supporting turn by Sylvia Sanchez as John Lloyd Cruz’s father.”

2.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

The Trial is compelling enough, but it remains an uneasy proposition. It’s laudable that it even attempts to tell this kind of story, but it’s kind of disappointing that it leaves so much of this premise unexplored.” (Read full review)

Asintado

AsintadoVerdict: Do Something Else

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 1.77 (13 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Louie Ignacio

Writer: Socorro Villanueva

Cast: Aiko Melendez, Gabby Eigenmann, Miggs Cuaderno, Rochelle Pangilinan, Jake Vargas, Benjie Felipe, Madz Nicholas, Maita Ejercito, Jak Roberto

Synopsis: In the middle of the preparation for Taong Putik Festival, a young man penniless and in love, takes on a drug courier job that goes terribly wrong. To save him, his mother now makes the most difficult decision of her life.

MTRCB rating: R-13

Running time: 105 mins

Trailer: 

Reviews:

3.0         Nood.ph

“Melendez, in her big-screen comeback, proves she still has acting chops to portray a widow that has the worst stroke of luck. Vargas’ performance is also commendable.” (Read full review)

3.0         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

“Overall it’s a decent film that manages to deliver an interesting story, but is hampered by a slow start and an ending that strains the viewer’s suspension of disbelief.” (Read full review)

2.5         Patricia Denise Chiu (GMA News)

Asintado succeeds in telling the story it wants to tell. But it ends there, missing the mark for a potentially larger narrative that could have explored distinctly Filipino familial relationships amid personal tragedies.” (Read full review)

2.0         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“The script relies too much on exposition and very little on action, with the story picking up too late to feel relevant. What should have been an exploration of redemption, sacrifice and moral ambiguity ends up as a wasted opportunity to share something genuinely insightful.” (Read full review)

2.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Promising ang umpisa sa pagiging talky ng mga nakatira sa purok (mga tsismisan at iba pa) at bumabad ang camera sa mga ganitong eksena. Hindi masama. Nag-umpisa lang dumating ang delubyo nang nararamdaman mo nang nagaganap na ang premonition na nakita mo sa unang sampung minuto. At hindi nga nagkamali. Ang masama rito ay ubod ng sama. Ang mabuti, ubod ng buti.” (Read full review)

2.0         Jansen Musico (Philippine Star)

“The characters, as if plucked from a dreary Dramarama sa Hapon episode, lay the groundwork brick by banal brick before we, the audience, get rewarded with a brisk and arresting final act ushered in by consistently strong performances from Melendez and Cuaderno.” (Read full review)

1.5         Emil Hofilena (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“For all the ambition Asintado had, the production is really a letdown. It’s as if it ran out of budget at a certain point. And this is one movie that died in the postproduction stage. The editing was so bad, I don’t know what happened.” (Watch full review)

1.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

Asintado seems like a late entry from Ignacio to join the poverty porn bordering on social commentary bandwagon that has already gotten old many years ago. Much of it feels contrived and tries way too hard to be taken seriously whether it’s the darker complexion of the characters, their appear one time slash disappear another accents, the situations of the characters up to the pivotal resolution part.” (Read full review)

1.5         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“The direction doesn’t know how to handle even its lightest moments in a convincing or interesting fashion, and much less so when it goes into darker territory. It doesn’t help that its main characters are incredibly dumb, and that its heftiest conflict arises from the contrivance of their idiocy.” (Read full review)

1.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“There are all sorts of clumsy storytelling choices along the way, the film exhibiting little control over the tone of its scenes. There’s a soap opera quality to all of it, the scenes often lingering a little too long on a reaction, as if waiting to cut to a commercial break.” (Read full review)

1.0         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“One can only scowl at how proud it is of its stale stereotypes and trite plot turns, but Louie Ignacio is disposed to make things worse, revealing one rotten cliché after another, until it reaches this laughable conclusion and embarrassing postscript.” (Read full review)

1.0         Carl Papa (Whatever Carl)

“A lot went wrong in this film. It had a weird, unintentionally funny and borderline silly but still trying to be serious story.  Uber exposed and TV looking cinematography (but heck some TV shows look better than this). Wooden acting. And the list goes on.” (Read full review)

1.0         Armando dela Cruz (Film Police)

“Awash in earthen and dusty tones, Asintado essentially propels from one overlong reaction shot to the next, calling it a ‘narrative.’” (Read full review)

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