Posts Tagged ‘eddie garcia


Movie Review: Bwakaw

In the Nineties, one of the more popular basketball stars is power forward Nelson Asaytono. Nicknamed the Bull, the former Beerman is one hell of an offensive demon. He once tallied a back-to-back 40-point game performance in a heated All-Filipino Finals against then dominant team Alaska Milkmen. Some commentators swear, no other local baller has staged a shoot-the-lights-out performance before him in such a short span of time.There is another side to Nelson local hoops fans like me remember: Nelson the Ball Hog. He will take take the shot even if he is in a shooting funk.  Just a concrete example of a bwakaw.
  1. Since I refrained from looking at posters and trailers, I was pleasantly surprised to realize this film has an ensemble cast of mainstream actors. Roll call: Eddie Garcia, Armida Siguion-Reyna, Bibeth Orteza, Beveryly Salviejo,  Soxy Topacio, Rez Cortez, Luz Valdez, Allan Paule and Gardo Versoza. 
  2. The setting is familiar: San Pablo and Dolores. I live near San Pablo and though I cannot conclusively say it is a sad old city, it sure is rustic compare to other urban areas in Laguna. The there-is-nothing-to-do-let-us-sleep-at-eight habit still persists in some parts of our province. No wonder the eighty-year-old retiree character of Eddie Garcia prefers to still work in a post office even if he is not getting paid. And of all places, the post office. Nothing embodies a dying workplace  than a post office.
  3. The film tackles aging and loneliness and one the best thing about it is humor. Ironic.
  4. The bittersweet relationship of Rene and Alicia is a tale of love and deception, and ultimately, selfishness. However, considering homosexuality was not wholly accepted before, his character has no choice but to continue with the lie. Rene is not a bad person, just a bad lover. And just to make a point, a good friend. I don’ t think he visits Alicia out of guilt but as a testament to their friendship. Otherwise, she will not tell him to stop visiting her in the care center. That scene is one of the more poignant ones in the entire film.
  5. I never get tired of funeral jokes. It is not good to make fun of the dead but the numerous Filipino rituals make it ripe for comicsituations. There is a couple here that kept the audience in stitches. First, the scene-stealing turn of Soliman Cruz as a funeral agent about to close shop. I will not go on details but it will be hard to keep a straight face once the “summer sale” poster inside the funeral parlor flashes on screen. Second, a longer gag involving a coffin and a goofed conclusion. The ending is obvious but it is still hilarious. Some members of the audience were stomping their feet so I guess the joke worked. As for the funniest funeral joke in local cinema, I still go for Bella Flores in this film.
  6. There is a nagging feeling some people might feel disappointed because the lead character did not die. Insane but I had a bit of this so-called nagging feeling. But it ended better. Some old characters are not meant to die but rather with more time to reconnect with his friends and enemies or do a bit of house improvement. I do the curtain-changing, floor-polishing routine each time I feel horrible. The film is about a sad old man but his trials and triumphs are universal and cuts across age and gender. 
  7. Remember Uggie the Dog? The adorable canine in the Oscar-winning silent film The Artist has retired from acting. If he does not come back, we have to woof it up for Princess the Dog, the aspin who played Bwakaw. By all accounts, Princess took on a more demanding role. She shared scenes with a legend whose on-screen character is a bigger prick than a has-been silent film superstar. She seldom barked the whole time which was called for her character and I guess, a canine acting feat equivalent to underacting in human terms. She mastered the on-cue blinks whenever conversing with her co-actors, akin to the on-cue teardrop shot of dramatic performers. Some people in the audience thinks she should get recognition. I agree. And if Uggie the Dog dismisses these facts, Princess should fetch a poster of her film and point out the title, “Titular role so shut up, mutt.” I was tempted to add, she can also do a mean “play dead” act but might accuse me of spoiling things up.
  8. Speaking of dogs, the oft-repeated phrase about teaching old dos new tricks, is not applicable to Eddie Garcia. In his, I think, eighth decade in the business, he still teaches acting pups new tricks. Garcia has took on gay characters in his long career, both the closeted and the screaming kind. And in his latest starrer, his character Rene seems like the culmination of it all. Like this is how his past gay characters will eventually end up: bitter and alone in an old house with a pet dog, listing his will and testament and waiting for his time to meet his Maker. The man is part of the first and second golden ages of local cinema and is still entertaining the indie-digital generation. Damn. Icon. Legend.
  9. And in conclusion, I do feel am going to end up like Rene in real life, in terms of his zinging retorts. More like the Countess of Grantham, the acid-tongued matriarch character of Maggie Smith. I am going to be alone and fabulous. 



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Movie Review: Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote

Avatar Blues or Avatar Depression is one of the oddest legacies of the the blockbuster champ. In an article, Avatar Forum moderator Philippe Baghdassarian said, “But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.” Fantasies are creations. Fantasies are embellishments. Fantasies are dreams. The unattainable perfection is conjured to comfort our miserable realities. The I-wanted-to-live-there-instead-of-here wish remains the biggest attraction of the genre. No other movies provide the biggest escape than fantasies. Stressed out and wired in, is it a wonder that the biggest blockbusters of this decade are fantasy films? These flicks take us to other worlds where vicious pirates are rock stars; where hobbits triumph over unimaginable powers ; and where tragic boy wizards save the world. The writing on the wall is clear: people will toil in front of their computers but visiting Narnia or the Middle Earth sometimes satisfies our souls. Good fantasies make us crave to live there.

Putting the I Want to Live There Test to Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote, I realized that I love to crash the Kabisote household but not shack up with Agimat and his ilk. The Kabisotes are fun people and not to mention have fairies in their speed dials. Despite of this privilege, Enteng Kabisote – a hero of the common man – still believes in good old human self-reliance. That is a lesson that all fathers should teach their kids.

Honestly, I have not watched any of its recent reincarnations. Same with Bong Revilla’s Agimat series. His father’s movies though are a childhood staple. Love re-runs! But if I started longing for more Kabisote than Agimat in the middle of the movie, it means that the former provides better entertainment than the latter who drags them to levels of boredom. There is something fundamentally disturbing when the reason for putting Vic Sotto and Revilla in one huge project is to combine their box-office film fest powers. This is akin to mashing up Dreamworks and Pixar. (I cannot think of another combination so deal with it. Hold on. The first Men in Black is showing on cable, are the producers thinking of a local version Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith? Nah.) The Toy Story Adventures of Shrek, anyone? See. It sounds atrocious. Judging the money take of the entries, the objective has been met. Up there at first.

If reports are true, then a sequel is a sure deal. A certain man named Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said that less is more. No truth that he is griping about his name. So it will be nicer to see less of of these:

  1. giddiness of Gwen Zamora; No one can do Ina Magenta justice than Charito Solis.
  2. love teams unless integral to the story; Bea Binene demonstrated her martial arts prowess in a fight scene but having her and Jake Vargas in just a couple of scenes is ridiculous
  3. never-been basketball stars as villains; not Benjie Paras, the other one
  4. ER Ejercito; no one can play praning na adik (because paranoid addict just sounds too soft) better than him but I have heard quite a number of complaints in Laguna that our governor is an absentee public official; be good because election is just around the corner

More of these:

  1. Kabisote household and their banters
  2. sword fights; more fight scenes
  3. Prinsipe K; Is he still around because I cannot think of another tap-dancing magical character?
  4. special effects; better special effects
  5. (I am tempted here to write, “remove Revilla” but it is just a futile effort.)

In his column, Butch Francisco reiterated that he judges a movie base on its intention. If it intends is to make people laugh and succeeds, then it’s passable. Better if it passes the other criteria. As I was checking the movie audience, it is quite obvious that some of them are Eat Bulaga fans, Vic Sotto fans, and Sam Pinto admirers. The antics of the dabarkads were bentang-benta to their followers. (You gotta love our slang words because there’s not an English term out there that best translates and captures its essence.) Sotto still has the common man touch that keeps his box-office status afloat despite influx of upcoming comedians. For the most important market – the Sam Pinto admirers – am going to quote the fellow seated beside me, “Ganda talaga ni Sam Pinto. Maganda na nga ang mukha tapos napakaganda pa ng katawan.” He was gushing for almost half the film. Sums it all for Sam and I bet he hated her kissing scene with the senator.

Just needed to add this: is Revilla still called the Titanic Action Star because I feel he deserves another moniker. It is not cool or bad-as*. Think of something straightforward like Bad Boy (for Ace Vergel and Robin Padilla) or something cooler like Da Boy (for the late Rudy Fernandez as deference to Da King) or something sexier like Manoy (for Eddie Garcia). Titanic just does not capture the real essence of an action star. I have to think about all these things despite climate change and the earth-shattering effects of zodiac sign change.

So do I want to live in their world? No. I chose the Kabisote residence over other magical places. Seriously, I love the banter between the Kabisotes and their house helpers. They make me want to live there while Agimat just makes me feel depress. (In a life and death situation, I’ll chose Enteng over the action star to save the world because he still comes out victorious despite product placements.) If it is indeed true that Filipinos dream simple (I do not subscribe to this.) - a house, a decent work and happy family – then the Kabisotes are living the dream. You feel good when it gets better and feel bad whenever someone breaks the Kabisote vibe.

Note: am going to dedicate this review to dalaw - a blog reader who keeps criticizing me because I speak out against terrible movies. Based on his or her name is quite obvious that he or she is a huge fan of a certain horror film. I just wonder what he or she will do to some of the moviegoers in Trinoma who voiced out their disappointments for the latest Kris Aquino movie in a most sarcastic manner that I cannot help but smile at their courage. Of the hundreds of footnotes in Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball, one of the most fascinating is an account of his favorite crowd-killing moment of Larry Bird. The Hick from French Lick urged the opposing crowd to up the ante before he took freebies just because he can. You hurl sh*t on me and it’s on.


my read shelf:
Jowana Bueser's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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