10,000 Hours

10,000 Hours movie posterI had high hopes for this film before watching it because it bested the other Metro Manila Film Festival entries in the Best Picture category and won almost all the major awards including Best Actor for Robin Padilla, Best Supporting Actor for Pen Medina and Best Director for Joyce Bernal during the MMFF Awards.

The film started out good. Robin Padilla as Senator Gabriel Alcaraz (a character that is loosely based on Sen. Panfilo Lacson) made the audience feel right away that he is showing something new in this movie. His subdued, restrained performance meant he’s really serious about his character. Moreover, the scenes during the first arc of the story (the escape of Sen. Alcaraz) are impressive. During those initial scenes, the movie’s editing kept the pace of the story good, its camerawork captured what needed to be captured and its musical score really heightened the suspense. It is a letdown then that the story became dragging in the middle part (when the story focused on the implications of Sen. Alcaraz and his whereabouts). I am not undermining the character’s experiences during this time but the once suspenseful action thriller became heavy drama in a glance. Some of the dramatic scenes are appropriate, but some are just so exhausting to watch. But what’s more exhausting is waiting for any real action during this middle part. It became really frustrating that no grand musical score or some side stories or beautiful cinematography could ever patch up for it. It made me want to call the film 100,000 Hours instead. Anyway, once the movie began its final story arc, it somehow went back to how it was in the beginning. But it couldn’t resolve the gravity of dullness it just had.

Anyway, I won’t take away too much of what the movie has brought fine. Joyce Bernal is a good director, and who would have thought she could make a good and decent suspense/action film? Meanwwhile, the movie’s cinematographer is able to capture its two settings well: the liveliness of Manila and the beauty and feel of Amsterdam, albeit limited in scope of the area. The musical score has already been mentioned but I’ll say again how great it was. Moreover, the movie’s got a good cast. Aside from Robin Padilla, veterans Pen Medina (as an old friend of Sen. Alcaraz) and Mylene Dizon (as Sen. Alcaraz’s wife) and novices Cholo Barretto (as the senator’s son) and Bela Padilla (as a newscaster) pulled off remarkable performances.

I just wished the movie is not as dragging as it is. The writing could have been improved as well. But overall, 10,000 Hours is good.

10,000 Hoursmovie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4 out of 5

Advertisements

Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?

Bakit_Hindi_Ka_Crush_Ng_Crush_Mo-_filmCombining hilarity and wit and showing relevance while still being conventional, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? may just be the most significant commercial movie yet for the youth this year. Based on the popular romance guide book by the comedian-writer Ramon Bautista, the movie displayed issues of love, romance and sex in both funny and serious ways.

The movie is about Sandy (played by Kim Chiu), a girl who may be touted as pangit mag-ayos ng hitsura and baduy magdamit. After being used and abandoned by her boyfriend, she gets axed in her work by Alex (played by Xian Lim), the new president of the recording company where she’s working. However, when Alex comes to know about Sandy’s importance in the company, he proposes for her to come back and promises  to help her be the girl that guys would fall in love with. Would Sandy agree to be changed in order to find her true love? You’ll find it out in this film.

Kim Chiu takes the cake for being the best artist in this movie. She attacked her role seriously without pushing herself to the point that would make her performance over-acting. Meanwhile, Xian Lim is a revelation. I didn’t know he could pass as a formidable leading man to Kim until watching the film. They sure had lots of kilig moments, and you could see in their eyes that they might actually be in love even in real life. Meanwhile, their tandem has been provided with a good supporting cast, most notably Freddie Webb as Xian’s grandfather and Ramon Bautista as himself, giving love advice that’s basically taken out of his book where the movie is based.

Romantic comedies usually have contrived plots and this one is not an exemption. You’d know even before watching the film how it would end. But what sets the movie apart from the others is the transformation of the lead character, Sandy, from being such a hopeless and hapless romantic to an ideal girlfriend. Along this transformation, though, she remains who she truly is: a girl with a principle. (Oops, that was a spoiler. Sorry!)

The movie has a couple of great scenes: the LOL moment when Sandy sang “Bakit Pa” with Tangerine (played by Angeline Quinto, whose character was brokenhearted like Sandy), the goodnight kissing scene of Sandy and Alex in front of the Sandy’s house and the whole harana sequence. I highly doubt anyone won’t get to laugh or feel in love while watching the said scenes.

The movie should also be commended because of its cinematography and directing. Many of the scenes were shot in ways that would augment the beauty of the setting. Meanwhile, the way Joyce Bernal, the director, handled the scenes was laudable as the story-telling was smooth from start to end. The songs used were also good. What I didn’t like though was the audio error in a few scenes wherein the characters’ dialogues seemed morphed for some reason.

Funny, relevant yet serious about love issues, Bakit Di Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? is a must-see for teenagers and young adults with or without a love life.

Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4 out of 5