Posts tagged ‘Joel Lamangan’


Separados27x39in FINAL copyVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.15 (17 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: GB Sampedro

Writers: Enrique V. Ramos, GB Sampedro

Cast: Victor Neri, Ricky Davao, Jason Abalos, Anjo Yllana, Erik Santos, Alfred Vargas, Ritz Azul, Angel Jacob, Melissa Mendez, Althea Vega, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Iwa Moto, Diana Zubiri, Sue Prado, Menggie Cobarrubias, Cris Pastor, K-La Rivera, Rhea Lim, Jace Flores, Patricia Javier, Katrina Halili, Joel Lamangan

Synopsis: Separados is a mostly bittersweet, partly comic, partly tragic saga of six men who have separated from their wives. Based on true stories, their parallel and overlapping tales are framed by a church wedding to a second wife by one of them, who grabs another chance at matrimonial bliss.

MTRCB rating: PG-13

Running time: 97 mins



3.5         Julia Allende (PEP)

“The film deals not only with physical separation of partners and its effects on men but emotional disconnection as well with people they have invested emotions in.” (Read full review)

3.5         Gelo dela Cruz (Beyond Your Five Senses)

“The film offered small bites of different flavors instead of allowing its audience to devour and enjoy a specific delicious meal. Though it would make you laugh, fall in love or in other words, be entertained, it still boils down to the question if this is the only role a film should have.” (Read full review)

3.0         Fred Hawson (ABS-CBN News)

“The unique aspect of this melodrama is that it is told completely from a male point of view, of men confiding to other men. While many would criticize it for being one-sided, I actually thought it was a refreshing change from all the usual female-driven drama stories. Director GB Sampedro has filled a long absent void for male-oriented relationship stories.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

“In an industry where male characters are mere catalysts to a women-centered narrative, it is refreshing to see a film that deals with the emotional troubles of Filipino men (minus the guns, goons and violence), although the treatment is on the superficial level.” (Read full review)

3.0         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

“What should be the film’s strength, however, becomes its weakness: with six separate stories to tell, some are fleshed out and some are not. Some can be summarized in one short sentence because of how little plot they actually contain. This leads to a loss of focus.” (Read full review)

3.0         J. Walking

“This film, directed by GB Sampedro, could have been perfect, really. It’s unfortunate that the rawness and unaffected material had to be subjected to such a glossy treatment. Heck, forget glossy—this is a film dripping with sap.” (Read full review)

2.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film manages to touch on a couple of interesting issues that don’t really get much play in mainstream cinema. But its insistence on its gimmicky structure and its multitude of stories means that none of these narratives threads actually go very deep.” (Read full review)

2.0         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

S6parados is a pure cavalier movie, written and directed to parade the sacrifices and sufferings of men just to keep their precious dignity intact, and without a doubt only a guy can come up with that inspired title.” (Read full review)

2.0         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“While the film provides 6 stories from male-centric perspectives, the film trades quantity for depth.” (Read full review)

2.0         Patrixia Mai Santos (The FilmSoc Report)

“It tries to tell six stories, but it seems it’s just one story riddled with cheap humor, sweetened with overbearing music, anchored by one single event to compensate for all of their connection.” (Read full review)

2.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Wala akong tanong sa sinseridad ng materyal bilang nasa mga balita dati na may sariling koneksyon ang direktor sa mga usaping hiwalayan. Wala rin akong kaso na multi-character din ito na pinagbuhol-buhol sa isang wedding ceremony. Ang problema ko lang sa kanya, paglabas ko ng sinehan, wala akong masyadong napulot. Walang masyadong insight.” (Read full review)

1.5         Skilty Labastilla (Pinoy Rebyu)

Separados attempts a commentary on Pinoy masculinity by featuring stories of men in various stages of personal crises, but its understanding of gender dynamics is so out-of-whack, misogynistic even.” (Read full review)

1.5         Carl Papa (Whatever Carl)

“It is also a waste that the film had this roster of actors who I think can do good if only given the right material.  Such a waste.  The melodrama was overbearing.  It was a collection of schmaltzy and sappy and somewhat misogynistic stories put together.” (Read full review)

1.5         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“There is attempt to deal with some hefty topics surrounding lost affection, but it ultimately doesn’t do it quite well. The craft of the film’s overall staging is subpar and dull, mostly choosing to have its characters act in obvious and artificial manners.” (Read full review)

1.0         Vinny Tagle (Philippine Star)

“This movie, featuring interlocking tales of six men who separated from their wives, is full of over-the-top Pinoy soap opera acting, cloyingly sentimental piano music, and shoddily developed characters. And this movie isn’t just awful, it also borders on being sexist: almost all of the men’s problems stem from some character flaw from their wives. How misogynistic.” (Read full review)

1.0         Emil Hofileña (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“There is a complete lack of subtlety in this movie but at the same time there’s no depth, so it feels like someone is constantly screaming gibberish into your ear throughout the entire movie, trying to make you feel a certain emotion, but you can’t even figure out what they’re trying to say in the first place.”  (Watch video review)

1.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“The thing with S6parados is that it is already outdated; there’s nothing about it that we have already seen before, probably even better versions of these stories. And one of the film’s faults is that it did not really present anything new for such ‘perspective’.” (Read full review)


hustisya_posterVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.44 (17 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Ricardo Lee

Cast: Nora Aunor, Rocco Nacino, Rosanna Roces, Sunshine Dizon, Gardo Versoza, Chynna Ortaleza, Jeric Gonzales, Romnick Sarmenta, Jaime Pebanco, Tony Mabesa, Miles Kanapi, Sue Prado, John Rendez, Chanel Latorre, Angela Ruiz, Menggie Cobarrubias

Synopsis: A foul-mouthed woman fights for her soul in the belly of the city. Working for a human trafficking agency controlled by a powerful syndicate, she sees no evil, hears no evil. In a society like ours, you have only two choices – to be a victim, or a victimizer – she makes her choice.

MTRCB rating: PG-13

Running time: 120 mins



3.5         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Ito na siguro ang Joel Lamangan film na pinag-isip ako. Naroon pa rin ang mga signature na decision n’ya kung paano ie-execute ang eksena pero naaliw ako na parang nag-level up s’ya rito. Pati ‘yung ibang teknikal, naalagaan. Pati ang treatment n’ya kay Nora, light lang at punung puno ng kampante na hindi kailangan ng isang mahusay na aktres sa pelikula ang sigawan at iyakan.” (Read full review)

3.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The movie gets far too obvious, especially in the back half. There’s a sequence near the end that lays it on pretty thick, the movie abandoning all sense of subtlety as it unleashes all the evils of Metro Manila into a single alley. Still, even the clunkier parts of the movie are elevated by the stellar performance of Nora Aunor.” (Read full review)

3.0         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“It’s a flawed yet striking film, with a ravenously engaging first half that unfortunately comes undone in its second. But while Hustisya loses focus well towards its end, it is held together by the strength of Nora Aunor’s performance.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

“The only thing that holds the film together is Nora Aunor’s riveting performance. Despite being burdened by an uneven script, Aunor manages to make the film very interesting as viewers follow the complex changes that her character undergoes.” (Read full review)

3.0         Renelson Morelos (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

“The Lamangan shout-out loud ‘advocacy’ and big ‘theatrics’ are admirably toned down in the film. There are still bits of those here and there, but for a good part of the film they don’t blare out in your face. More than a self-conscious sociorealist drama, Hustisya is an observant character study.” (Read full review)

3.0         Fred Hawson (ABS-CBN News)

“Nora Aunor is really an acting force to reckon with and delivers all the goods her fans expect from her. She may not seem too comfortable with the comedy aspects, with a number of one-liners that did not fly. But you cannot deny that her serious dramatic scenes were all nailed perfectly.” (Read full review)

3.0         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“At its very best, it provides a striking allegory on the twisted nature of power within Manila’s streets. But most of the times, the product isn’t as smart as its attempt. Most noticeably, the film could benefit from tighter, cleaner and subtler execution, especially once it rides to a pretty faulty and obvious finale.” (Read full review)

2.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

Hustisya is too concerned about accommodating (Aunor) that the drama, out of convenience, jumps from one outrageous sequence to another, and she just keeps doing what she is told.” (Read full review)

2.5         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

Hustisya covers so many different issues that we really aren’t sure where to begin. Are we supposed to care about the plight of sex trafficking? Are we supposed to do something about the rampant poverty and ennui? Are we supposed to do something about the EDCA, which is mentioned a couple of times in the film? The film’s lack of focus ultimately hurts the film’s message.” (Read full review)

2.0         Abby Mendoza (PEP)

“The film utilizes clichéd, hackneyed stereotypes—decadent, corrupt official, sexually-abusive and -abused lesbian inmates, a mama-san with a tacky fashion sense, a crook of a lawyer, a moralistic journalist whose commitment to truth does not see the light of day. All of whom could have left a mark, something striking at least, on its audience but for the lack of sincerity or heart in how they were written they turn out dull, unremarkable characters.” (Read full review)

2.0         The New Alphabet

“What could have been a daring and thought-provoking exploration of injustice in the metro through the expressive eyes of Aunor, Hustisya strode safely to its cliffhanger. It was too safe that it’s frustrating that a film, which could have been a vehicle for a powerful social commentary, wheeled linearly to its ending: no detours, no curves, and no jagged edges to at least substantiate its ominous title.” (Read full review)

2.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“It is the supposed game-changing incident of frame up when the film just rolled downhill. At this point, it’s now a parade of the usual Lamangan schtick which probably is his vision of a political statement. He doesn’t dip so much into these so called issues but instead, stays content with just enumerating them.” (Read full review)

2.0         Don Jaucian (Philippine Star)

“What’s even more disappointing is how Lamangan lets go of the tenuous thread he’s built in the first half of the film, an intriguing (and often comedic, thanks to La Aunor’s bite) descent into the seedy underbelly of Manila’s cybersex dens, human trafficking, and high-level corruption.” (Read full review)

2.0         Carl Papa (Whatever Carl)

“Technical wise, the film was leaps better than his previous late works.  I also admire that it felt he was experimenting in form.  Working in the independent scene rubbed some different style on him.  But I had a problem with that as well. There were times that I was watching several films at once.” (Read full review)

2.0         J. Neil Garcia

Hustisya‘s strongest–and probably, only–virtue is, of course, the expectedly stellar performance of its lead, Nora Aunor. Her character… is something of a sympathetic antiheroine with a personal moral code (she may be a human trafficker, but she doesn’t like to lie) and… arrives at her own belated (and, sadly, narratively gratuitous) realization that not only is she being framed by the person who’s supposed to be her devoted and lifelong friend (played to the matronly, libidinously capacious, and chronically itchy hilt by Rosanna Roces), there’s also something morally wrong with her participation in the human trafficking business that apparently is so profitable it has generated its own elaborate economy of shadowy investors, benefactors, go-betweens, procurers, etc. Aunor does a masterful job heroically sustaining her character’s agonizing mimesis in this unwieldy, convoluted, and misguided story, vacillating from good to bad to uncertain to good and finally to maniacally laughing bad throughout a mostly confused and unavailing plot, that leaves one by turns scratching one’s head and cavernously yawning, each time character twists and reversals take place in this story with the ease and inevitability of a sneeze…”

1.5         Skilty Labastilla (Pinoy Rebyu)

“Unlike Bing Lao, Ricky Lee has not adjusted his writing to more visual, more organic forms of storytelling, and Lamangan, stuck in the same template, does not help at all with his signature in-your-face, throw-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach. Hustisya may be a tad more tolerable than the pair’s most recent efforts, but they’re really too venerable and experienced to be graded on a curve.”

1.5         Patricia Denise Chiu (GMA News)

“There is a thin line between criticizing the justice system and justifying a crime or the actions of a criminal. Hustisya, never mind its bad sound and imagery, falls flat simply because it did not tell a cohesive story at all.” (Read full review)


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)

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