Can We Still be Friends Movie Review

Can I still be friends with Star Cinema after watching this movie?

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Gerald Anderson and Arci Muñoz join forces for the second time in Can We Still Be Friends?

Directed by Prime Cruz and written by Jen Chuansu (the duo behind Sleepless), the movie shows the volatile relationship between Diego (Anderson) and Sam (Muñoz). After their break-up, the two former lovers seem to have a hard time coping with the loss. So they had an idea to remain friends (to be specific, roommates). Can they still be friends?

Let me first say what I like about this movie…

The chemistry between Anderson and Muñoz is undeniable. The kilig factor is real. It really feels like they have been partners for 8 years.

Arci Muñoz is the absolute star of this movie. Her acting is very impressive. One minute she is this very innocent, childlike, and charming woman; the next, she is a very mature and goal-oriented individual.

Also, I gotta give credit where credit is due. Gerald Anderson’s acting has improved…like a lot!

Juan Miguel Severo, the Spoken Word artist and the one who portrays Sam’s gay bestfriend JM, is effective, too. However, his character and the female bestfriend of Sam (sorry, forgot the name) could have easily been just one character.

I also like how the movie starts with Diego and Sam already in their 8th year. It is a welcome sight to watch a romance movie that is not set before the relationship.

And that is just about it…

SPOILER ALERT

First of all, the character of Diego is just sooooooooooo insanely insensitive to Sam (his girlfriend of 8 years) to such a degree that it is just really unrealistic.

Also, the very reason the two broke up is because of Diego’s immaturity and unwillingness to accept responsibility. But for some reason, the movie decides that Sam should be the one to make the move. She desperately (beeeeeeegginggggg) asked for him to come back. The one who gave the most is still the one who lost the most.

At the end of the day, they got together in very predictable fashion. And suddenly…POOF…Diego is now responsible and reliable. How did he turn into such a man? We don’t know. The movie never bothered to show us the progression of his character arc. Sam, on the other hand, had better characterization. She became a better person, and we saw that journey.

Also, the movie had a wedding vow (between JM and his husband) at its climax. The message basically says accept your partner for who he is because you love him. This apparently became the catalyst for Sam’s aforementioned beeeeeeeeg. NO!! I mean, it is true that you have to accept your partner for who he/she is, but if there is something that is needed to be corrected (ie. immaturity and a no-no attitude to obligations) he/she has to change!

Lastly and a bit nitpicky, there was a scene in the movie that has an obvious continuity error.

Can We Still Be Friends? has an amazing cast with good performances, but its unrealistic and predictable plot, followed by its insane message about love, its heartbreak, and its possible return, makes this ultimately…

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Bliss Movie Review

Jerrold Tarog delves into the bad side of dreams in his latest psycho-thriller…

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Along with the likes of Ian Veneracion and TJ Trinidad, Iza Calsado stars in Bliss, a psycho-thriller movie where everything seems uncertain.

Actress Jane Ciego (Calsado) stars as Abigail in her latest movie, Bliss. Due to a freak accident on set, she is left bedridden in a faraway house. Despite the attempts of her husband Carlo (TJ Trinidad) to calm her down, Jane becomes suspicious of her true condition in the house. Her creepy nurse Lilibeth (Adrienne Vergara) only increases her anxiety even more. As the movie progresses, twists, turns, and reveals only questioned the predicament she is in. Is everything real? Is it all a bad dream? Or is it something far worse?

The number one positive of the movie is its music. Thanks to director Tarog’s musical background, the music of the movie achieves in inserting suspense to the viewers’ minds. Once the music hits, you expect nasty things to come up.

Iza Calsado’s portrayal of Jane/Abigail is amazing. It is entertaining to watch her slow descent to madness.

But here we go…

The biggest issues I had with the movie are its slow pacing and poor storytelling.

This is a slowburn movie. And with slowburn movies, you got to have a big payoff. Examples of good slowburn movies are UnbreakableSplit, and Predestination. The pacing of these films are slow, but the rewards at the end make it all worth it…just like courting the love of your life. In Bliss, the so-called “payoff’ at the end weighs almost nothing due to the poor storytelling of the movie.

SPOILER ALERT

Even the best horror, psychological, or thriller films use the first minutes of its duration to set up the world of the story. Sometimes, the first act will take up a third of the story. This lets the viewers have a sense of the average life of the characters. So…when the suspense hits the fan (or in this case, the question of whether everything’s real or not), the viewers would be as scared/anxious/confused as the characters. But the viewers will never be scared/anxious/confused in this movie, because the movie constantly reminds you that it is all in Jane’s head! From Carlo’s scenes in the hospital to director Lexter Palao’s (Audie Gemora) interview with the Reporter (Michael de Mesa), nothing is a secret; nothing is a mystery… That Lexter interview alone is enough to spoon-feed the audience to obesity.

Also, some unnecessary scenes should have been deleted! Obiously, the Lexter interview has got to go! Also, the sub-plot between Carlo and Jane’s assistant (Stephanie Sol) only wasted my time. A lot of scenes/minutes were invested in this sub-plot, but no payoff at all!

Lastly (and a bit nitpicky) is how TJ Trinidad suddenly shifts to English in his dialogue. Good scenes/line deliveries ended anticlimactically due to the sudden shift in language. Maybe it is his way of saying it?

Watching the trailer of Bliss gave me a lot of hope and expectations, but it was all taken away. Even with good actors, the movie extremely suffered from its poor storytelling. Without a doubt, this is…

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Can’t Help Falling in Love Movie Review

The new movie of KathNiel is directed by the person who directed 2014’s Bride for Rent. I am very nervous……

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Directed by Mae Czarina Cruz-Alviar, Can’t Help Falling in Love is the latest addition to the KathNiel movie list.

Gab (Kathryn Bernardo) just got engaged from her boyfriend of six years, Jason (Matteo Guidicelli). Everything seems to be peachy until a letter claiming she is legally married to a stranger flips her world around. She decides to meet the stranger, Dos (Daniel Padilla), and persuades him to file for separation. But as they attempt to end their “marriage”, a relationship blossoms along the way.

First of all, what I like about the movie is that there truly is great chemistry between Kathryn and Daniel. It is to be expected from a showbiz couple with 5 previous movies and numerous shows in their history. Each kilig moment feels genuine and organic.

The filmmakers obviously utilized drones to take establishing shots, and it looks great. However, the quality of the video is obviously lower.

Most of the humor in the movie work well. However, some of them were cringy given how cliche and predictable the scenes/lines are.

And that brings me to one of my biggest problems with the movie. It is just predictable and cliched.

SPOILER ALERT

Of course, Dos and Gab being together is the desirable and predictable outcome, but I’m talking how the scenes would go and the lines would be delivered. Also, the filmmakers need to learn about subtlety. The movie went the A Walk to Remember route, but fails to deliver the plot twist well. It was so on the nose!

In line with this, there are key moments/scenes in the movie that could have benefited if there were no background music (ex. the parking lot scene).

Also, there was a sub-plot with a transgender character that is totally unnecessary.

Lastly, my biggest problem with the movie is the ultra unrealistic reaction of Dos when he learns about the marriage and his actions later on. Though the movie tried to justify it in a very half-baked manner (with only 15 minutes left), it is simply too hard to buy it. Then again, that one might just be me….

Can’t Help Falling in Love is a rom-com movie with genuine chemistry between its co-stars, but even that will not save it from its cliche story and worn out scenes. This is…

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Extra Service Movie Review

Like the characters of this movie, I have a mission… To clean my eyes after watching this…

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Chris Martinez, director of the Kimmy Dora prequel and the Babae sa Septic Tank sequel, gives us an action-comedy film that was neither exhilarating nor funny.

Three ex-convicts, Aw (Arci Muñoz), Em (Coleen Garcia), and Gee (Jessy Mendiola), are recruited by FOTA, the Filipino Organization of Top Agents (a word play on the Filipino word for bitch). In exchange  to retrieve the 3 missing pearls (AKA Perlas ng Silangan).

If they hired Muñoz, Garcia, and Mendiola because of their looks and sex appeal, then they achieved that. In the course of the movie, they have a lot of costume changes that accentuate their curves. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of eye candy scenes.

And that is where the positives end…

AwEmGee! So much cringe was given the day I watched this movie. Let’s start with the genre. According to its Wikipidea page, this is supposed to be an action-comedy movie. Both the action and the comedy failed at delivering anything substantial.

The action sequences and the fight scenes are absolutely laughable. It is quite clear a number of the fight scenes are probably rehearsed once (or never). Every punch and kick has no power. The explosion in the climax did not present any danger because it was extremely unrealistic and had horrible VFX.

The humor was completely absent. One of the big reasons is the characters deliver the punchline with such emphasis the only thing missing is a big neon sign saying “That’s the punchline!”.

Also, the way the characters are portrayed… Just like the color designations of each main character, the characters in this movie are very one-dimensional. Each character was given only one adjective to work with, and the result is one caricature after another. The frustrating thing about all of this is that we have seen the actors’ ability to actually act in a different show/movie.

Extra Service provided no laughs, laughable action, and three gorgeous actresses who deserve better than this. This movie is really…

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