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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.
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Sep 20, 2021

 






















‘THE VOYEURS’ is set in Montreal so you can hear a smattering of Canadian French being spoken here. 


A bi-racial couple, Pippa (Sydney Sweeney of the TV series “Everything Sucks” and “Sharp Objects” and the film “Nocturne”) and Thomas (Justice Smith of “Jurassic World” and “Pikachu”), live in together for the first time in their own loft apartment. 


They notice that an apartment across the street also have a young couple who seem to not to care if neighbors could see them making love in all their naked glory (Ben Hardy of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Natasha Liu Bordizzo of the Netflix TV series “The Society”.)


Both their apartments have no curtains or blinds so they seem to deliberately expose themselves for all the world to see them having sex. 


Pippa and Thomas soon become obsessed on spying on their neighbors. They become professional voyeurs enjoying a free peep show.


They even bought binoculars to see better in full view and installed a laser pointer surveillance microphone to also hear what’s going on with the young man, a professional photographer, and his partner. 


They get turned on while watching and also make love. They can likewise see the man when he is also seducing and making love to his models while the woman is away. 


Pippa works as an optometrist and, one day, the woman, named Julia, comes to their shop to get new eye glasses. Julia is very friendly and invites Pippa to lunch and they become friends. 


She learns that the name of the man is Sebastian or Seb and she feels compelled to tell Julia that Seb is cheating on her. 


Thomas gets mad at Pippa for getting deeply involved in the relationship of their neighbors. He tells her to stop spying on them. But things get worse when they see Julia confronting Seb and then killing herself after their fight. 


From hereon, things get very, very complicated up to the film’s very messy climax involving heinous murder and deceit. 


We don’t know if you’d buy all the explanation for the events that have transpired before the climax but, for us, it fails to convince us to suspend our disbelief at all. The problem with the material is that it is so derivative. 


The original source is, of course, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Rear Window”, which has also been the inspiration of Brian de Palma’s “Body Double” and other similar films, including DJ Caruso’s “Disturbia” with Shia LaBeouf. 


The problem is that it never gets to surpass any of these more superior past films and it is, in comparison, a very pale imitation. The way the dark story is developed and resolved is very wildly implausible. 


It manages to hold our interests for only a while before it flies off the window in its final act to its hopelessly ludicrous twists and surprises. 



Director Michael Mohan (who also wrote the script) seems like he has never seen his movie’s much more believable predecessors. He definitely does not have the coherent storytelling skills of Hitchcock and De Palma.


Yes, the film is replete with various explicit sex scenes, but sorry to say that the actors are not at all attractive and can hardly act convincingly. 


Another problem is that we really don’t get invested in any of the seedy characters. They just don’t add up, specially Pippa as the main protagonist. 


Her obsession to snoop on their neighbors has so become unhealthy for her own good. She gets so annoyingly fixated that it’s no longer just curiosity but borders on perversion. 


When she finally gets the comeuppance that she deserves, we don’t even sympathize with her and can only say: “Buti nga sa’yo. You deserve it!”

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ROCCO NACINO is back in a primetime teleserye after playing support to Dingdong Dantes in “Descendants of the Sun”. 


And this time, he plays the male lead role in the domestic drama, “To Have and to Hold”, as a husband torn between Max Collins and Carla Abellana. 


The role was meant to be for Derek Ramsay, who backed out as he’s now busy with Ellen Adarna.

 

Doesn’t he mind being the second choice in “To Have and To Hold”? 


“Not at all,” says Rocco. 


“Sobrang ganda nung role, bakit ko naman tatanggihan? And it’s really an honor for me to be acting with great co-stars like Max and Carla, with Director Don Michael Perez guiding us. 


"I’m really happy sa akin napunta ang project na ito because it’s such an engrossing romantic drama na tiyak na susubaybayan ng viewers on primetime sa GMA Telebabad.” 


He plays Gavin in the story, a top chef who cooks in his own restaurant. He is married to Max as his lovely wife, Dominique, who is busy with her own career as an interior designer. 


But because they’re so absorbed with their own careers, they drift apart and he later meets Carla who plays the role of Erica. 


“The first time I read the script, actually, natakot ako,” says Rocco. 


“Kasi it’s about a couple who’s having problems with their marriage. Sabi ko, naku, kakakasal ko pa lang sa misis ko (Melissa Gohing), tapos, troubled marriage agad ang story ng bago kong show. 


"Baka ma-traumatize ako after playing a husband na may malaking problema sa marriage niya? 


"Ang maganda lang, both Max and I are married and we said we’re just playing our roles, na ibang-iba sa what we are in real life.” 


It’s his first time to be paired with Max. So how is it working Pancho Magno’s wife? 


“She’s very giving as a co-star. I had so much fun doing our scenes together kasi she really dives intensely into her character. 


"Ang ganda ng mga batuhan namin ng linya, lalo na sa confrontation scenes so abangan nyo. It was a wonderful experience.” 

How about working with Carla Abellana? 


 “Carla plays Erica, the woman I met nang nagkakalabuan na ang relationship namin ni Max. 


"We’ve worked na together before and she’s always a joy to work with because of her dedication and commitment to her craft. 


"You have to be on your toes when you’re with her as she always gives her best in every scene.” 


“To have and to Hold” will replace the repeat of “Endless Love” on primetime that ends this week. It will have its premiere telecast on Monday. 


In the supporting cast are Rafael Rosell, Roi Vinzon, Valeen Montenegro, Ina Feleo, Gilleth Sandico and Bing Pimentel.


Also being introduced in the show is the new love team of young Kapuso stars Luis Hontiveros and Athena Madrid. 


Athena is the younger sister of Ruru Madrid who used to be called Rere when she joined the last season of Starstruck. 


It’s good she changed her screen name as Rere is so unbecoming for someone so pretty like her. People might think her full name is RereTokehin.



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Sep 19, 2021

 
























‘MOXIE’ is a coming-of-age youth comedy with a teen lead character who is easy to cheer for.  This is Vivian (Hadley Robinson), 16, who lives with her mom, Lisa (Amy Poehler, who also wrote and directed the movie.) 


As a student, she just lies low in their class at Rockport High School as the new schoolyear starts.


In their class, they have a new black classmate, Lucy (Alycia Pena). Their teacher, Mr. Davies (Ika Barinholtz), is discussing the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic in class, “The Great Gatsby”, and Lucy puts it down as just another story of a white guy who’s pining for a lost love. 


The school’s top athlete, Mitchell (Patrick Schwazenegger), contradicts Lucy and defends the Gatsby character. 


Later, at the school canteen, Vivian sees the racist Mitchell bullying Lucy, getting her can of soda and spitting in it. 


Lucy reports Mitchell’s behavior to their principal, Shelly (Marcia Gay Harden), who chooses not to get involved since Mitchell is a very popular jock in their entire school.


Vivian is justifiably turned off. At home, she finds old magazines written by her mom and it inspires her to come up with her own anonymous underground zine called Moxie, which aims to call to attention the brazenly sexist ways that the guys in their school are treating the women. 


The guys even made a derogatory list of the women in school and giving them unsavory sexist titles then sending it to everyone’s phones. Moxie aims to empower the women to voice out their own issues against the men and it starts a movement among the females. 


Vivian and Lucy become friends and they form a group of other girls who have been maligned by the guys. Vivian also finds romance in an Asian American guy, Seth (Nico Hiraga), who completely supports her cause and her zine.


The school is giving an award to an athlete who’ll get a scholarship for college. 


The girls are all rooting for a girl athlete, Kiera (Sydney Park), but it is Mitchell who is chosen as he is supported by Principal Shelly who is very biased with him and does not side at all with the women and their feminist cause. 


Vivian organizes the Moxie supporters to stage a rally in front of their school to support of a girl who says she has been raped by a male student. 


This turns out to be the school’s top cheerleader, Emma (Josephine Langford), notoriously billed as the school’s Most Bangable girl who later reveals that it was Mitchell who raped her.


Everyone in the rally is mortified to hear this and pledges to support her, including Principal Shelly who finally realizes her mistake in backing up the abusive and mysogynistic Mitchell. 


“Moxie” offers spirited fun as it tells the story of high school girls who band together and agitate their school’s administration to combat toxic masculinity and sexism in their oppressive school environment. 


Vivian is very lucky to have a very supportive mom who backs her up all the way.


Ironically, her best friend, Claudia (Lauren Tsai), who is half Chinese, has a mom who is not at all supporting her. Claudia herself tells Vivian: “You don’t get what’s going on with me because you’re white.” 


We somehow wish this bit of a subplot could have been explored further but then that would be about racism and this movie is more about sexism.


So maybe, another movie can delve on the social justice issues experienced by people of color in an American setting.

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Sep 18, 2021

 























DIEGO LOYZAGA is a true survivor. 


It’s common knowledge that he had a meltdown a couple of years ago that made him leave “Los Bastardos” in ABS-CBN and he rested for a while. But now, he’s truly back with a vengeance after Viva signed him up. He’s now doing one project after another. 


Among today’s young leading men, we daresay he’s one of the most promising. He has movie star good looks, he’s tall and well built, and more than anything else, he can act. 


He is very convincing as a very disturbed young man who lives in a deadly fantasy world in Yam Laranas’ “Death of a Girlfriend”. 



In the TV series, “Encounter”, he is able to hold his own against the very competent Cristine Reyes in a romance drama that gave them some very good acting scenes, as directed by Jeffrey Jeturian. 



And now, he does comedy in Joel Lamangan’s “Bekis on the Run”, which has started streaming on Vivamax this weekend. Also, in Roman Perez' heist movie, 'House Tour' where he co-stars with Mark Anthony Fernandez, Cindy Miranda, Rafa Siguion Reyna and Sunshine Guimary.



Many people are now experiencing anxiety attacks because of the precarious situations caused by the ongoing pandemic. Mental health is a big issue and Diego can now share his own experiences about that dark period in his life.



“I’m glad na yung pinagdaanan ko was before the pandemic so, in a way, I can say na parang I’ve already prepared myself for difficult situations like what we’re now going through,” he says in an interview. 


“I’ve learned to expect the unexpected, that things will not go your way all the time. Lalo na ngayon when the future seems so uncertain. May mga nangyayari nang biglaan na wala kang trabaho, lalo na sa mga may pamilya, problema nila kung ano ang ipapakain sa mga anak nila. I’m sure the whole country is undergoing through some kind of anxiety because of the pandemic.” 


So how would he approach such problems now? 


“First of all, it pays to have close family ties kasi you can always back on your family to help you. It also helps to have deep faith in God na alam mong makakapitan mo.”


He wants to be of help to people having anxiety problems. 


“Some friends and I are thinking of starting a campaign on how to strengthen yourself in facing mental health issues. It’s really important to have a good support system and people you can talk with to help you sort out your thoughts and emotions when you’re feeling low.” 


It’s good he has a good relationship with relatives on his mother’s side, the Loyzagas, and he also gets along well with his three half sisters with Sunshine Cruz. 


“We hang out together, lalo ngayong sunod-sunod ang birthdays nila. First was Samantha, followed by Angelina, then Cheska. 


'We’ve always been closed and they’re getting older na, with me as their Kuya who gives them advice lalo na ngayong their views and interests in life are changing as they become a bit more mature. 


'I always tell them to follow their dreams, to be what they want to be. It’s not good to restrict them kasi masasakal naman sila and they have to learn on their own.”


He’s aware that he has other siblings with his dad, Cesar Montano and he is open to meeting them all someday. 


“I’m really waiting for the time na ipakilala sila sa akin, sa amin. Basta kailangang open minded lang ang lahat and no one would get hurt or upset or anything.” 


He’s happy to have done comedy like “Bekis on the Run” and "House Tour:. 


“It was fun doing both films. Okay lahat ng co-stars ko, sina Christian Bables, Sean de Guzman, Lou Veloso and with Kylie Versoza as my leading lady in 'Bekis', with Direk Joel guiding us. And sina Mark Anthony Fernandez, Cindy Miranda, Rafa Siguion Reyna and Sunshin Guimary in 'House Tour'. I really enjoyed working with all of them.”


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JASON MOMOA became a big action star after the success of “Aquaman” and he now stars in a movie on Netflix, “Sweet Girl”, a title which, of course, does not refer to him. 


He plays Ray Cooper, a former military man whose wife Amanda (Adria Arjona) is dying of cancer. 


He learns that a new drug just approved by the FDA can save his wife, but it was taken out of the market before treatment can even begin. 


The head of the BioPrime company, Simon Keeley (Justin Bartha), wants to delay its release for more profit for their company. 


In a TV interview, Ray talks to Keely and threatens to kill him if the drug won’t be released. But we all know you can’t fight greedy big business, so his wife died. 


Ray and his daughter, Rachel (Isabela Merced), are crushed. 


A newspaperman later informs Ray that his personal  investigation got him evidence against the evil practices of BioPrime and a corrupt politician. 


He arranges for him and Ray to meet in a subway train, but it turns out that a hired killer is waiting for the journalist there and stabs him to dead.  Ray is also stabbed but he survives while his daughter Rachel is knocked out. Ray then becomes the nemesis of BioPrime, vowing to get justice and avenge the death of his wife. 


What follows is a series of encounters with the bad guys who are all protecting  the duplicitous BioPrime executive. An FBI Agent, Sarah Meeker ( Lex Davis), is assigned to the case and wants to arrest Ray.


Actually, the film starts with a flash forward scene where Ray is shown trying to escape from the FBI agent and runs on top of a baseball stadium. This is a key scene because after this opening scene, the film formally starts at the beginning of the story and shows us what has happened so far in a series of flashbacks. 


Then, when it gets to the part where Ray is running on top of the stadium, he is shown jumping into the river below and voila! Something amazing happens! He is transformed! No, not into an Aquaman with superpowers, but into something else.


Of course, we cannot reveal it and spoil it for you. You have to see it for yourself. This is the big confounding twist in the movie and sorry, it didn’t work for us at all. 


We don’t know if you’d buy it, but the surprise in the convoluted plotting puts everything that has happened before this scene into a different light, including all the violent and brutal scenes. 


The script is written by two writers no less, and is the directorial debut of Brian Mendoza. 


The problem is that they do not succeed in selling their movie’s main premise where they sort of cheat the viewers to come up with a mind-boggling twist that no one could see coming simply because… it’s so bobo! 


Jason Momoa is not known for his acting but he is given some acting scenes here, like when his wife died and he is shown devastated, weeping uncontrollably in a hospital corridor. Maybe he wants to win an Oscar someday. 


Isabela Merced as Rachel has her own moments. She’s the former child actress saved by Benicio del Toro in “Sicario 2” and also played “Dora The Explorer”.


The fight scenes are quite well choreographed with bodies crashing through glass windows and tumbling down the stairs. 


But after the head-scratching twist in the story, you get to question the veracity of all the action set pieces since the identity of the hero who you think is a killing machine turns out to be questionable and it all becomes ridiculous. 


Wonder what Jason Momoa saw in this project that he is even its executive producer. 

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CARMI MARTIN turned 58 on August 3 but she looks much, much younger than her age. 


She was launched in the movie “Dolphy’s Angels” (inspired by “Charlie’s Angels”) in 1980 when she was only 18 years old. But now, she’s the only one in their batch who continues to be so active in showbiz. 


She became a favorite leading lady of comedians and action stars. 


Then the late National Artist, Lino Brocka, launched her in dramatic roles in “Kapit sa Patalim” and “Hot Property”, while another National Artist, Ishmael Bernal, made her shine in “Working Girls” and she gained recognition as an actress. 


She also succeeded on TV in shows like “Chicks to Chicks”, “Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata” and “Tonight with Dick and Carmi”. 


Now, after much deliberation, the top executives of Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI), as represented by Pres. Modrino Visitacion, unanimously agreed that Carmi is the best personality to represent the product .


This is because she is widely known and respected not only for her impressive body of work as one of the most  respected and versatile film and television actresses but also her dynamic, healthy lifestyle.


“I’m glad to be chosen as their brand ambassador as I have been a long-time user of the Yamang Bukid’s Turmeric 10-in-1 Tea that helped talaga lalo nang magka-covid ako,” says Carmi. 


“And I am now happy that the company has another healthy product that I could use. the Insulin Plant Tea. I am very grateful for the trust of Yamang Bukid and I am honored na napili nila ako to be the official endorser of Insulin Plant Tea kasi I really believe in the product as it helps control my blood sugar.” 


Carmi remains so busy with work even in this time of the pandemic. She is now a mainstay in the online comedy series, “GV Boys” on Puregold channel with Jerome Ponce, Nikko Natividad and Dave Bornea


She’s also in the romcom, “Hoy, Love You” on iWant. She’s also doing “Love You Stranger” for GMA with Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos. 


For next year, she’ll do the movie “Sampung Kerida” with Director Jun Lana, co-starring Venice Filmfest best actor Jun Lana and Tokyo filmfest best actress Eugene Domingo. 


Meantime, Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI) is elated to have Carmi as official brand ambassador of Insulin Plant Tea – the company’s latest healthy product. YBHPI is the company behind the country's leading turmeric tea brand, the Yamang Bukid Turmeric 10-in-1. 


Yamang Bukid Insulin Plant Tea is made from the leaves of authentic insulin plants (Costus igneus) grown in pristine farming conditions in Palawan. 


all-natural wellness drink has no other ingredients aside from dried insulin leaves, so consumers are assured that it’s safe and is of nature’s best. 


Yamang Bukid Insulin Plant Tea is the first of its kind to be given a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) by the Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 


product has undergone revaluation and certification from FDA and passed various tests so the quality and safety of the product is guaranteed. 


Aside from lowering glucose levels, insulin plant (Costus igneus) is also naturally rich in phytochemicals that function as antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. 


Insulin plant  has long been consumed in various countries such as in India, due to its anti-diabetic properties as it is also found beneficial to people with obesity, and other metabolic disorders.


Yamang Bukid Insulin Plant Tea is a great development for many Filipinos, as diabetes and other health problems caused by high blood sugar continue to be among the top causes of death in the country as health experts have raised concerns over this health problem, calling diabetes a silent epidemic. 


In 2020 for instance, diabetes-linked complications killed 37,265 Filipinos, up from 32,991 in annual average between 2015-2019, data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed. 


Today, millions have a chance at improving their health with Yamang Bukid Insulin Plant Tea. Consumers may consult their doctor prior to taking any health and wellness supplements. 


Yamang Bukid Insulin Plant Tea is available in Yamang Bukid stores and distributors, and in shopping malls nationwide. Try it now for your own good health!

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Sep 17, 2021








 















 


AJ RAVAL is glad that after doing violent dramas like “Death of a Girlfriend”, “Nerisa” and “Taya”, she has now just finished doing a comedy, “Shoot! Shoot! Di Ko Siya Titigilan” with Andrew E. 


“This is something very light compared to the other movies I did,” she says. 


“Wholesome din and walang pagpapakita ng katawan. Laugh trip lang at talagang matatawa ang viewers. Siguradong malilimutan nila ang kanilang mga problema when they watch this movie.” 


So how is it working with Andrew? 


Noong una, medyo kinakabahan ako kasi matagal na siya sa industry. Icon na siya sa comedy. Tapos baguhan lang ako.


"But it turned out, napakagaan pala niyang katrabaho. Kwelang-kwela siya sa shoot. He shares his experiences sa movies na nagawa na niya before and I learned a lot from him.” 


The film’s trailer has already garnered more than 8 million views and one of the most talked about scenes is when Andrew kissed her on the mouth while trying to give her  mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.


How was it shooting this scene with Andrew? 


“Actually, yung kissing scene na yun, kinunan noong first shooting day pa lang namin. Kissing agad, ni wala pa kaming connection. 


''So when Direk Al Tantay told us na we’ll shoot the kissing scene, I tried to connect with Andrew muna through sa mga kuwentuhan namin. So, no second thoughts, ginawa namin agad, pero inabot ng three takes. 


'Madali naman akong naging comfortable sa kanya kasi very caring siya, e. Tapos nung actual scene na, parang daya lang kasi sa side lang ng bibig ko niya ako hinalikan.”  


After that, she became more relaxed in Andrew’s company. 


“Lock in shooting kami and tuwing kakain siya, niyayaya kami ng co-star kong si Sunshine Guimary to join him. 


''Noong birthday ko, pinadalhan pa niya ako ng gift kahit tapos na yung shoot namin and I appreciate that. Naging mas feeling close ako sa kanya.” 


“Shoot! Shoot!” is her fifth movie in less than a year. How can she explain that Viva is giving her one movie project after another?


 “Well, siguro because I give my best in any project that they assign to me. E, siempre, on my part, I don’t want to waste naman the opportunity and their trust in me kaya ginagalingan ko talaga. 


"I’m just thankful to Viva kasi kahit may pandemic, bumongga talaga ang showbiz career ko ngayon. I just hope magtagal pa siya.” 


Her ex-BF, PBB alumnus Axel Torres, has been signed up with Viva. Would she be willing to work with him? 


“Ay hindi muna po siguro. Kasi hindi naging maganda ang breakup namin. We’re not okay. Alam naman yan ng Viva. If ever, magpaplastikan lang kami, so wag na lang.” 


Don’t miss AJ in her first rollicking comedy, “Shoot! Shoot!” when it starts streaming on Vivamax on October 8.


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WE’VE JUST SEEN a live version of “Cinderella” in 2015 with Lily James in the title role, Richard Madden as the Prince, Cate Blanchette as the stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother. 


Now, comes a new musical version from Amazon Studios with X Factor discovery Camilla Cabello as Cinderella, Nicholas Galitzine as the Prince, Idina Menzel as the stepmother and Billy Porter (Pray Tell of “Pose”) as the cross-dressing fairy godmother.


Is there really a need for a new retelling of the well loved centuries-old fairy tale? 


The songs here are not even all original,  but a combination of cover versions of pop hits like Madonna’s “Material Gil” and Jennifer Lopez’ “Let Get Loud”, with some new compositions like “Million to One” by Cabello and “Dream Girl” by Menzel (although they’re nothing like “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from the Disney animated version.) 


This musical take is written and directed by Kay Cannon,  who wrote the hit “Pitch Perfect” franchise, so those who loved that musical series will surely also appreciate this version. 


Cannon made her “Cinderella” a bit more contemporary. Critics in the U.S. tore it to pieces but we honestly found it quite watchable. 


As like other movies these days, the cast is multi-racial, with whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians performing various roles. 


The performances and the singing can be infectious, intended for sing-along for those who know the cover versions.


As usual, Ella (Cabello) here is maltreated by her stepmom, Vivian (Menzel), and her stepsisters, Malvolia (Maddie Baillio) and Narisa (Charlotte Spencer.) 


Unlike previous versions, though, Ella here has an ambition: to be a fashion designer and gown maker with her own shop. She lives in the basement of their house and has three rats for friends.


The prince here is named Robert (Galitzine) and is a problem of his parents, King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) and Queen Beatrice (Minnie Driver), who want him to get married with someone that will expand the territory of their kingdom. 


But of course, Robert prefers to only marry for love. 


Also, he has a sister here, Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive), who has progressive ideas and sincerely wants to be of service to their country and help improve the lives of their poor people. 


To help Robert find the girl he wants to marry, his father hosts a grand ball where all the women in the kingdom would be invited. In a public affair, Robert sees Ella when she climbs a statue and he then disguises himself as a commoner to look for her in the marketplace.


He sees her selling a gown she herself made and he buys it, also inviting her to attend the grand ball so she can meet the rich ladies there who might be interested in her creations. 


She makes herself a very nice gown but Vivian stains it with ink, telling Ella that only her own daughters can attend the ball.


Ella is depressed but a caterpillar that she has nurtured turns into a beautiful butterfly then transforms into her Fabulous Godmother or Fab G (Billy Porter), who’s garbed flamboyantly in gold. 


He conjures a ravishing gown for her, complete with glass slippers and also transforms her three rat friends into footmen. 


So Ella gets to attend the ball where she meets a queen who offers to hire her to make all her gowns. 



It’s apparent that this Cinderella wants an empowered heroine who has her own career, so when Robert offers to marry her, it’s not that easy for her to accept him as she wants to pursue her own feminist aspirations. 


She doesn’t want to be just dependent on being the wife of a prince. So how can they live happily ever after? 


That becomes problematic, but don’t worry, this is still basically a fairy tale so all the kinks will be resolved amicably with the help of some splashy and colorful production numbers. 


Even characters who we think are useless, like Princess Gwen who’s been generally treated as a running gag, will prove to come in handy in solving all the problems in the story.


The performances are uniformly fine, with Cabello an endearing and captivating Ella bringing gravitas and confidence in her first movie. 


Galitzine, a British actor who has done many films and gets his biggest break here, is dashing as Robert. Both he and Cabello are gifted with great vocal pipes. 


Idina Menzel (best known for “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked” and “Let It Go” from “Frozen”) also does well as Vivian. 


The film also deserves praise for its lively jukebox musical treatments of past hits, like “Rhythm Nation” and “You Gotta Be” in the well choreographed opening number, and Galitzine’s rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” with a choir.


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MY PEOPLE'S JOURNAL COLUMN ON RAYVER CRUZ RENEWING HIS CONTRACT AS A KAPUSO and my review of ENDEARING MUSICAL-DRAMA 'CODA (CHILD OF DEAF ADULTS)'





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Sep 16, 2021

 






















RHIAN RAMOS has branched into the online food business. 


She now offers cooked food in her own outlet called Rhian Ramos’ Healthy Appetite. You can check her menu online and have it delivered to your home by Grab or Food Panda. 


Talent manager Malou Choa-Fagar has tried ordering from her.  


“Masarap ang luto niya,” she says. “At puro healthy dishes ang ino-offer niya so you should try it if you’re health conscious.” 


Of course, it doesn’t mean that Rhian is retiring from her acting career. 


As of a matter of fact, this Sunday, she is paired with the most controversial actor of the season, Paolo Contis, in an episode in the comedy show, “Dear Uge”. The episode is a love story and titled “Deadz Ako Sa’Yo”.


“I play Aloha,” says Rhian. 


"Parang may sumpa ako rito kasi lahat ng past boyfriends kong nag-propose sa aking magpakasal, biglang nade-deadz bago dumating ang wedding namin. 


"So nagka-trauma na ako at ayoko ng mag-entertain ng ibang suitors.” 


Because of this, she’d rather deal with guys who don’t believe in the sacrament of matrimony and one of them is Paolo Contis, a rocker named Tats whose body is full of tattoos. 


I entertained yung panliligaw niya kasi mukha siyang iresponsable, afraid of commitment at walang planong magpakasal at all,” adds Rhian.  


But as luck would have it, Paolo as Tats falls madly in love with her and proves to be a loving, honest and faithful partner. 


She is shocked when, one day, Paolo suddenly kneels in front of her and offers her an engagement ring, proposing marriage.


“Siempre, nagulat ang beauty ko kasi pine-playtime ko lang siya,” says Rhian. 


Tapos, biglang nag-propose, so hindi ko alam kung seseryosohin ko ba ito? O dededmahin ko na lang kasi baka magaya lang siya sa past three boyfriends ko na puro na-deadz?”


Playing a special role in this episode is the show’s host herself, Eugene Domingo, who will play a mysterious woman named Maria Juana Habpan who believes in true love where the lovers swear to the saying “Till death do us part.” 


Don’t miss “Deadz Ako Sa’Yo” this Sunday afternoon in “Dear Uge”. 


“We promise you tatawa kayo at iiyak din kayo sa natatanging episode na ito namin ni Paulo,” adds Rhian.


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