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Dec 12, 2013
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This year saw an exciting uptick in the quality of Philippine movies. Vilma Santos in Ekstra, "Tatang" in OTJ, and the political comedy Juana Change had us forking over our money willingly; local indie festivals like Cinemalaya and Cinemanila continued its upward trajectory in terms of overall quality; and even foreign filmmakers seemed to be enamored with the country with movies like Metro Manila and Iloilo.

With the year about to end, we draw closer to that film festival that we can't exactly call a critical darling: the Metro Manila Film Festival. Cue thunderbolts and lightning. There are exceptions, but in general, it has been ruled by, pardon our French, stinking, putrid, sorry examples of filmmaking.

Our question now: Will this year be any better? Here's our own (optimistic) preview.


10,000 HOURS

Director: Joyce Bernal
Cast: Robin Padilla, Alden Richards, Bela Padilla, Joem Bascon
Producer: Philippine Film Studio

What's up: Robin Padilla is back on the big screen to do what he does best: do action.

His character, Gabriel Molino Alcaraz, is a rookie cop who goes after a crime syndicate. Early on in his career, he makes an enemy of a corrupt general who apparently runs the said syndicate. When Alcaraz becomes a senator, his enemies try to put him behind bars through legalities.

The hunter becomes the hunted.

He is forced to go into hiding in a foreign country to search for someone who can prove that he is innocent. But it is an ordeal that leaves his family without a father to lean on. He tries to hide his identity by becoming a dishwasher and a busboy in a foreign land. Government agents eventually track him down, resulting in a shootout and a boat-chase scene in the canals of Amsterdam.

How will Alcaraz clear his name and return to his beloved homeland?

Our take: Hey, Robin Padilla's always fun in action movies. The general set-up seems like just another action movie, but will the exotic European setting give this one some boost?


GIRL, BOY, BAKLA, TOMBOY


Director: Wenn Deramas
Cast: Vice Ganda, Maricel Soriano, Joey Marquez, Ruffa Gutierrez
Producers: Star Cinema and Viva Films

What's up: In this comedy film, Vice Ganda plays quadruplets who were separated at birth.

Two of the siblings, Team Girl-Boy, flew to the States with their father while the other two, Team Bakla-Tomboy, were left behind under the care of their mother. After spending years in the United States, the boy is diagnosed with a liver disease and must undergo a transplant. The U.S.-based siblings are shocked to discover that they have two other siblings in the Philippines who could be potential donors for the boy.

The situation forces them to come home and reconnect with their siblings and mother.

Veteran comedy actors Joey Marquez and Maricel Soriano are cast as the parents of Vice Ganda’s characters.

Our take: We're expecting a silly, slapstick affair that will once again poke fun at Vice Ganda's myriad sexuality. We're hoping it isn't what we're expecting.


NEXT: ER Ejercito is Asiong Salonga, este, Arturo Porcuna


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