Tag Archives: Alex Vincent Medina

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)

SONY DSC

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

K’na the Dreamweaver

K'naVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.06 (16 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Ida Anita del Mundo

Cast: Mara Lopez, RK Bagatsing, Alex Vincent Medina, Nonie Buencamino, Bembol Roco, Erlinda Villalobos

Synopsis: When K’na, a young T’boli woman, becomes a dreamweaver, she has the chance to weave together her village’s warring clans. But, will she give up true love to do so?

MTRCB rating: G

Running time: 90 mins

*

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         Macky Macarayan (The FilmSoc Report)

“I immediately liked K’na the Dreamweaver because of its unpretentious attack on a cultural tale. It is simple, straight, and yet arrestingly beautiful. It takes you on its arms and almost lulls you into a dream, and by the time it ends, it leaves an unforgettable poignant impression worthy of a second experience.” (Read full review)

4.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

K’na the Dreamweaver runs like a fairy tale. And perhaps it should be analyzed as a fairy tale following a set of aesthetics unique only to folk stories and fairy tales. The slow pace and the folk tale-like dialogues also give the film an interesting demeanor.” (Read full review)

4.0         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“The film is quite an exquisite experience. It tells its simple tale with an eye for gorgeous visuals and staging, and with gentle handling. Most of the times, the film can really reach some pretty entrancing heights.” (Read full review)

4.0         Gelo dela Cruz (Beyond Your Five Senses)

“The film did not only accomplish to tell a great tale of a t’nalak weaver but also introduced how amazing the culture of the indigenous tribes here in the Philippines. This is a must-see!” (Read full review)

3.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The movie is kind of a gentle little fairytale, telling the story of a princess made to choose between true love and duty to her people. The languid pace will certainly be a challenge for a lot of people, but it’s entirely appropriate to the milieu. What’s less appropriate is the strange tendency for the camera to jerk at certain moments, breaking the tranquility of the image. ” (Read full review)

3.5         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

K’na the Dreamweaver is near magical in its quality, with a tone that is both poetic and uplifting. But it is, more importantly, a testament that dreams like those of the T’Boli tribes in South Cotabato should not be forgotten.” (Read full review)

3.5         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (Letterboxd)

“This is a film with a strong concept and ambition but the execution is a little rocky. Still a fine, well-made film.” (Read full review)

3.0         J. Neil Garcia

“The commitment to the trope of dreaming and dream-weaving proves less than wieldy, as well as less than effective: this otherwise promising trope doesn’t really take magical flight in this nativist drama (the gratingly untrained and audibly twangy T’boli dialogue being mouthed by the leads certainly doesn’t help its cause any), even as its figurative pursuit is visibly and eagerly indulged in by del Mundo, to the detriment of such basic narrative requisites as motivation and inner depth: to be frank, the characters in this film just aren’t ‘realized’ enough, for they act too much like the mythic ‘types’ that they are.” (Read full review)

3.0         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

“There really isn’t much more to say about this film. It’s not a film for everyone, and it is relatively simple as films go, but it’s a treat for those willing to explore the nuances of another culture.” (Read full review)

2.5         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Mababaw nga lang ang premise pero kahit papaano ay naabot naman ito sa pinaka-human na paraan na hindi kinakailangan ng stop-over sa peace and order situation sa Mindanao. Medyo kahawig nga lang ng Limbunan (Gutierrez Mangansakan II) ang punto kaya wala nang masyadong epekto sa akin ang redeeming value ng pelikula.” (Read full review)

2.5         Skilty Labastilla (Pinoy Rebyu)

“By focusing on the fairly predictable tragic love story of the lead characters (and not even enough of the dreamweaving process), the film wastes a massive opportunity to highlight issues that are more relevant to the lives of present-day T’bolis, such as their gradually diminishing land and natural resources due to the encroachment of lowlanders and their commerce.” (Read full review)

2.5         Wanggo Gallaga (Juice.ph)

“Because of its setting and its ambition, the film demands an epic feel and while the visuals are stunning, the film never really manages to reach its full potential. It’s a gorgeous story and the script works but del Mundo has yet to have a firm grasp on the medium to truly give the story the treatment it needs to truly soar.” (Read full review)

2.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“I wish they’d focused more on the T’boli culture rather than the romance. There’s nothing wrong per se about the tale of romance featured in the movie, but it would have ended up with a different effect had it tried to do other instead.” (Read full review)

2.5         Emil Hofileña (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“The story never really develops through the different cultural aspects. We’re shown different rituals like the actual weaving, a marriage ceremony, a funeral ceremony. We’re show all these things but it feels like a documentary: we’re just being shown them. There’s no thread really going through them. When this movie actually goes through a plot and a story, it just feels like a distraction.”  (Watch video review)

1.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“The film, instead of treating its subject with maturity and wisdom, settles for the dull kind of picturesque, dipping its toes into several sociopolitical issues just to enliven its core but failing to leave any remarkable impression, capturing only the unexciting luster of complexities and preferring blindness to insight. K’na keeps mentioning the importance of design, but its own is not even worth a second look.” (Read full review)

1.5         Carl Papa (Whatever Carl)

“I think that the film, though feeling a bit like Limbunan (a far superior Cinemalaya film by Gutierrez Mangansakan II), was a wasted opportunity.  You have the environment and the setting so rich that you could think of other stories that would at least be a little unique.  Instead the film was just a normal story set in this beautiful place that is obviously has a more beautiful story to tell.” (Read full review)