Must Watch: Always Be My Maybe

Always Be My Maybe
Always Be My Maybe Movie Poster

Star Cinema‘s post-Valentine offering, Always Be My Maybe is probably the bravest rom-com movie in recent local rom-com history. For me, it does not try to impress. It doesn’t have complicated backstories. The characters don’t have complicated family problems. There are no product placements (at least that I caught). Minimal unnecessary cameos. It just keeps everything simple and that’s how it became effective to keep the audience applauding and wanting more.

It stars Arci Muñoz, fresh from A Second Chance, and Gerald Anderson. A super-duper random pairing if you ask me. Coming from nowhere, you see a movie teaser showing Arci doing a make-up tutorial viral video, and Gerald down on his knees, proposing to an unknown girlfriend but ultimately rejected. This is enough to make me go line up and watch this movie. Thankfully, I did.

Seeing Gerald and Arci on the big screen feels refreshing like when I saw Jennylyn and Derek in English Only, Please, which coincidentally was also directed by Dan Villegas. Their chemistry is undeniably natural. Arci Muñoz as Tintin is Arci Muñoz being the reliable actress that she is. Ever since Starstruck, she has always proven that she’s competent to handle any role. And as Tintin, she does it again. She’s effortless (and super funny too!). Gerald Anderson (Jake), on the other hand, may have just found a new career in romantic-comedy. He makes the audience kilig even as a “dirty” playboy with a beard and lots of bad tattoos. He gives the depth and maturity required by the scenes. As an actor, he is effective and, as Jake, he is as lovable as ever. (And his laugh is cute!)

The film tries to steer away from the conventional style of storytelling. It has many scenes where the characters just have long conversations like in the Before Sunrise trilogy. Conversations you think are irrelevant to the development of the story but, subtly, these effortless dialogues form the almost invisible puzzles at the end. The slow build-up is worth it in the end. You’ll find yourself watching two strangers meeting each other, going on friendly dates and hanging out early in the morning. And as they fall in love, unknowingly, you also fall in love with the movie.

If you’re looking for a simple, funny and a little sexy feel-good movie that makes you want to hope and love again, I recommend watching Always Be My Maybe. If you’re going on a date, DTR muna! Watch the trailer below:

Have you seen Always Be My Maybe? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Sinag Maynila 2016 Finalists

I am a fan of Sinag Maynila. (Too bad, I didn’t finish reviewing all the films. Sorry.) It’s a film festival that doesn’t try to impress, or at least please, everyone. Each film spoke different realities in different languages to a somehow universal indie-following audience. The fact that it only had five entries meant that the qualification process was more rigorous than a certain commercialized film festival in December.

I found out from the Sinag Maynila FB page that the 2016 finalists have been announced. Notably, all have one word titles. Here are the five relevant films to watch out for next year along with some of my thoughts based on their short descriptions:

Sinag Maynila 2015 Finalists
Sinag Maynila 2016 Finalists

1. “DYAMPER” by Mes de Guzman

Apeng, Poknat, and Tinoy are “dyampers” on the lookout to steal from rice trucks as they meander along the treacherous winding roads of Dalton Pass. In one of their encounters, they accidentally discover a pack of illegal substances which will lead them to the biggest mission of their lives.

I love how Sinag Maynila entries take us to places we have never been to or part of the country where you wouldn’t know to be fit for cinematography, just like last year’s Bambanti. Dyamper will be shot in the Dalton Pass that connects Nueva Ecija and Nueva Viscaya. I can only imagine how difficult the production will be. The things we do for cinematic metaphors. I’m also guessing that the three leads are children or boys in their adolescence judging by their names. Can’t wait to see how this will turn out!

2. “EXPRESSWAY” by Ato Bautista

Old-timer Ben needs to do one last assignment before the syndicate boss he works for grants him his much delayed retirement. Assigned to be his partner is neophyte Morris, yearning to prove his worth. This last trip will turn out to be a journey of introspection, self-healing, and redemption.

Is it just me or does the synopsis sound similar to On The Job? The nature of the syndicate is not specified but I do hope it isn’t drugs. Whatever it is, I’m sure the story will be attacked differently.

3. “LILA” by Gino M. Santos

To escape a past that threatens to consume her, a young woman decides to move into a house owned by a warm-hearted landlady, looking for a fresh start and a chance for atonement. The house, however, has other ideas.

I smell a horror flick! This is a first in Sinag Maynila. I’m so excited! I’m just not a fan of film titles with a person’s name. In the long run, films with names tend to become forgettable (except for Bona of course). Well, that’s just me.

4. “MRS.” by Adolf Alix Jr.

70-year old Virginia lives in a bungalow house that stands on an earthquake fault area. When her ever-loyal maid Delia tells her she’d be leaving for good, what follows shows a portrait of a woman and a mother trying to juggle the sad realities of life.

This is very relevant, especially after Metro Manila underwent an earthquake drill recently. Hopefully, people will still recall it next year when the films are shown. Anyway, the premise of the film is very promising and I expect this to be nostalgic and heart-warming. I absolutely love old lady characters. Just don’t kill Virginia please. I will cry for sure!

5. “TPO (Temporary Protection Order)” by Joselito Altarejos

Teresa, an abused wife, attempts to secure her freedom by filing a Temporary Protection Order against her abusive husband only to be caught in the battered system of bureaucracy filled with neglect and indifference.

I’ve always wondered how a TPO helps in actually protecting the victim. I mean, it’s just a piece of paper. If someone wants to get near you, he can do so, unless detected and properly apprehended. In the country, bluntly speaking, I doubt that a TPO can do anything . This could be a big eye-opener for the government. How do we really protect the abused? Do we make it easy for them? Or is this another case of process paralysis?

We have to sit and wait a few more months to see how this new batch of films will deliver. Moreover, I can’t wait to find out which actors will be tapped to play the lead and supporting roles. Sinag 2015 did very well and I hope 2016 will be even more impactful and unconventional.

Are you looking forward to the Sinag Maynila 2016 Film Festival? Which film is your early favorite among the Sinag Maynila 2016 finalists? Sound off in the comments below.

The Fault in Our Stars (Filipino Edition) Preview

For us, this is a good initiative, so it reaches even more people. I believe it’s even half the price of the original.

Although the title should have been translated also, as in other translations (e.g., A Culpa é das Estrelas em português). Kapintasan ng Ating mga Bituin? I like “kapintasan,” as the root word “pintas” means “beauty” in the Ilocano language.

Reading it now, and will come up with a review within the week. Okay?

What do you guys think? Is publishing Filipino editions of international (young adult) booksellers a good idea? What other books would you like to see translated?

Kimmy Dora 3 Movie Review

When I heard that there would be a third and final installment of Kimmy Dora, I sighed and thought that it was kind of unnecessary.

Fortunately, I saw the trailer and decided to watch the movie. I was so wrong. This was one of the few instances when the trailer leveled with the quality of the movie. 

The Kimmy Dora prequel was as relevant as its first installment (Sadly, I never got the chance to see the sequel).

Click the poster to watch the trailer on Youtube.

image Warning: Spoilers after the Jump

Continue reading “Kimmy Dora 3 Movie Review”