<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.
Latest Articles

Jun 18, 2021

 






















ANNA VICENTE gets her biggest break as the third wheel in the relationship of Ken Chan and Rita Daniela in the new GMA drama series, “Ang Dalawang Ikaw”, that will start airing this Monday, 2:30 PM, replacing “Karelasyon”.


“I play Beatrice,” she says. 


“Very challenging yung character for me kasi malayo siya sa real me dahil very strong ang personality niya. Buti na lang I had a series of acting workshops to help prepare me for the role.”


Isn’t she worried fans of Ken and Rita’s love team will be mad at her and bash her during the course of the show? 


“Naku, inihanda ko na ang sarili ko sa bashing na matatanggap ko. 


"Part of the job when you are the villain, pero ako mismo, super fan ako ng RitKen love team since I saw them sa ‘My Special Tatay’. Kaya ang masasabi ko na lang sa bashers, peace po tayo.”


Anna is part of GMA Artists Center and she actually started her showbiz career as a child star. 


“Five years old ako when I joined yung Little Miss Philippines sa ‘Eat Bulaga’ in 2004. 


"Ako talaga ang nagpilit sa mama ko na isali ako kasi bata pa ako, dream ko na talagang maging artista at gusto ko talagang mapanood ang sarili ko sa TV.”


So did she win? 


“Umabot naman ako hanggang sa grand finals, but I didn’t make it to the top five. But I really enjoyed the experience. Naging very memorable for me kasi parang Miss Universe talaga ang treatment sa aming contenstants.”


She can never forget her Little Miss Philippines experience. 


“Part ng competition, nag-field trip pa kami sa Enchanted Kingdom. We went to so many different places and na-feel ko talaga yung camaraderie among all the candidates. 


"Friends-friends kami talagang lahat at parang hindi kami magkakalaban sa isang competition. I really had so much fun then.”


So how is it working with Ken and Rita in “Ang Dalawang Ikaw”? 


“Masaya. Lock in taping kami dahil nga sa pandemya. Si Ken, nakatrabaho ko na noon sa ‘Tweens Academy’ na teenagers pa lang kami. Si Rita naman, naging schoolmate ko, so magkakilala na kami.”


What’s her experience working in the midst of the pandemic? 


“More than anything else, I realize the importance of having not just physical but also mental health. Kailangang lagi tayong fit para maging malakas ang resistencia natin at hindi tayo basta tablan ng virus.”


And what do we need for mental health? 


“We need our family and friends who we know will always be there for me, check on us on how we are doing. 


''We need for our mental and emotional well being. I’m glad that I have lots of friends and I also make sure I check on them to see if they’re also doing okay. 


''Dahil sa pandemic, maraming nakakaranas ng depression and we need our family and friends to help us to get through our saddening situations now.”


Continue reading

 













IT’S FATHER’S DAY and BARBIE FORTEZA says she has so much to appreciate about her own dad, Antonio Forteza. 


“Ang dami kong natutuhang lessons from my dad,” she says during the zoom presscon for “All Out Sundays”. 


“Unang-una, yung sobrang galing niya sa pakikisama, sa pakikipagkapwa tao. 


“Sa amin sa Binan, lahat ng mga dinaraaanan namin, kakilala siya, kabatian niya. 


"Sa taping naman, lahat ng crew and staff, ka-close niya. At kapag last day na ng taping sa isang show, may gift siya sa kanilang lahat.”


She says her dad is just like a close friend to her. 


“One time na sobrang lungkot ko, dahil sa lovelife ko, nasa sasakyan kami noon, then may tinugtog na song sa radyo. 


"E, gusto ko yung song so sabi ko, Dad, puede bang pakilakasan mo. 


“And nilakasan nga niya ang volume. 


He said, o ayan, kung makakatulong ito para sumaya ka, sige, itotodo ko ang volume. Ang relationship namin, para lang talaga kaming magkabarkada.” 


But she cannot forget it when her dad got sick and had to have an operation late last year.

 

“My dad, never nagkakasakit. Pero kung kailan wala ako at nasa lock in taping ako ng ‘Anak ni Waray’, dun biglang sumakit ang tiyan. 


"E, may pandemic, puno ang mga ospital. E, hindi naman ako puedeng umuwi para tumulong sa kanila sa bahay. I felt so helpless sa taping. 


"Wala akong magawa. Di ako makapag-focus nang maayos sa trabaho ko.” 


Someone eventually got to help their family and her dad was admitted to a hospital. 


‘‘It turned out he had an inflamed appendix at yun, kinailangan siyang operahan. So naayos namang lahat ang surgery and all. 


"Ang pangit lang ng timing kasi nga wala ako that time. So to my dad, on Father’s Day, I wish you good health always and thank you very much for all the love and affection you gave to me all my life.”


Continue reading

 























POKWANG was officially presented by GMA Artists Center in a zoompresscon as a Kapuso. 

So how did her move to GMA happen? 


“Actually, ako yung lumapit sa GMA,” she says. “Since 2019 pa kami nag-uusap. 


"Nagpapasalamat ako they opened their arms for me. Kasi bilang artista, marami pa akong gustong gawin at i-share sa viewers and thankful ako that they’re now giving me the chance to do it.”


What prompted her to apply at GMA? 


“E kasi, sa dami ng artista sa ABS, hindi naman na ako bumabata, so kailangan ko ng gawin ang gusto ko habang malakas pa ang katawan ko. 


"May inilatag naman ang ABS sa’kin, pero hindi nila agad maibibigay kasi sa dami nga namin. Alam nyo naman yan, madami talaga ang artista nila, so sabi ko, maghahanap na lang ako kunsaan ko puedeng gawin ito. 


"Kaya nag-uumapaw ako sa pagsasalamat sa GMA at tinanggap nila akong bukas ang kanilang mga braso. Parang panaginip, pero answered prayer ito. Iba talaga kapag ipinagdarasal mo, e.” 


Doesn’t she foresee any difficulty in her transition from ABS to GMA? 


“Wala naman, kasi marami rin akong friends working dito sa GMA. May directors, writers, kapwa artista, so ang feeling ko, kilala na nila ako, kung ano ang capacity ko bilang artista at magiging madali o smooth ang lahat. 


"Sobrang excited na nga akong gawin lahat ng projects nila for me. I will be a guest daw muna sa ‘Tekla & Boobay Show’, na dati ko ng kasama sa comedy bar. 


"Then sa ‘All Out Sundays’, ‘Dear Uge’, ‘Wish Ko Lang’, and yung prequel ng ‘Pepito Manaloto’ with Michael V.”


Who are the other GMA stars she looks forward to working with

“Andami kong gustong makatrabaho. Una na si Alden Richards. Nakasama ko siya sa isang event na ako ang host. Sobra siyang malambing, marespeto. 


"Doon pa lang, nakita ko nang very accommodating siya. Mama ang tawag niya sa’kin, tapos nagko-comment pa sa postings ko. 


"Then si Rayver Cruz na dati kong kasama sa kabila. Tuwang tuwa siya na nakalipat ako. 


"Also sina Marian Rivera and Jennylyn Mercado, then sina Ai Ai de las Alas and Eugene Domingo, I look forward to work with them. 


"Sana i-revive ng GMA yung talk show na ‘Sis’ at kaming tatlo ang hosts, pero ang title na Tits, for Tita. Or sana, sitcom na kaming tatlo.”


In the time of the pandemic, Pokwang became a businesswoman. 


“Yes, we’re in the food business and direct online selling. Si Papang (Lee O’Brien, her partner) helps me. So tuloy-tuloy lang yan kasi hindi puedeng umasa ka lang sa pagiging artista.


" Full time ako sa showbiz, pero basta hindi mabibitin yung mga suki namin, like yung roasted chicken na napakalakas kung weekend. May pinagkakatiwalaan naman akong staff to help me.” 


She has learned to balance her time between work and family. 


“Siempre, kahit gaano tayo ka-busy sa work, I will always will find time for my family. Twice a week, meron kaming bonding.” 


What can she say to bashers who’ll accuse her of being “walang utang na loob” since ABS gave her the big break and it’s also with a Star Cinema movie that she met her partner? 


“Hindi naman natin maaalis na ma-bash ka, kasi opinyon nila yun. Pero rin nila maalis yung pagnanais kong magtrabaho para sa pamilya ko. 


"Sa bashers, hindi lang nila alam kung gaano kalaki ang pagtanaw ko ng utang na loob sa ABS. Nagpaalam naman ako sa kanila ng maayos at sinuportahan naman nila ako. 


"Alam nilang working mom ako and I need to do this for my family.” 


What other shows would she like to do with GMA? 


“As a Kapuso, marami kong puedeng gawin. Cooking is my other passion, so sana, gusto kong maging babaeng Anthony Bourdain. Sobrang idol ko siya, hindi ko matanggap nang biglang mamaalam siya. 


“I also love travel, so sana travel show.  Hindi naman masama ang mangarap, di ba? 


I’d also like to try action comedy. Yung pulis na nanay or sundalong nanay, para maiba naman. Basta kahit anong show ang ibigay sa akin ng GMA, I promise to always give it all my best.” 



Continue reading

Jun 17, 2021

 




















‘THE CONJURING 3: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT’ is the third film in the franchise after “Conjuring 1” (2013) and “Conjuring 2” (2016), both directed by horror master James Wan (who also helmed the blockbuster “Aquaman”). 


This would have been released last year yet but the pandemic delayed its showing. 


Part 3 is now directed by Michael Chaves, who helmed “La Llorona”, one of the many films that are spin offs from “The Conjuring” series, along with “Annabelle 1 and 2” and “The Nun”. 


The first two films were about haunted houses; first in America, then in England. 


Part 3 is said to be based on the true story of Arne Cheyenne Johnson who killed someone in a small town in Connecticut in 1981. His defense was that he was under demonic possession when the killing happened. 


Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return again to reprise their roles as husband and wife paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. 


The movie’s ten minute opening pre-title sequence serves as a prologue showing the Warrens exorcising an 8-year old boy, David Glatzel (Julian Hillard). 


This pays homage to the original “The Exorcist” with the iconic shot of the priest standing in front of the accursed house. 


The prologue is an effective scary sequence as the boy is shown possessed by a very strong and violent demon that causes Ed to have a heart attack, so he has to take pills all throughout the movie. 


Arne (Ruairi O’Connor), the boyfriend of David’s sister, Debbie (Sarah Hook), intervenes and grabs David, imploring the demon to take him instead of the little boy. Everything quiets down and the disabled Ed is taken to the hospital. 


But it soon becomes obvious that the evil inside the boy has granted Arne’s request as it now hounds him. 


It possesses him in a blood-soaked scene, to the tune of Blondie’s bubbly song “Call Me”, where he kills Bruno (Ronnie Blevins), their rowdy drunken landlord in a dog kennel (he deserves it, if you’d ask us), stabbing him 22 times. 


He is jailed and faces trial, with the Warrens helping defend him on the excuse that he is under demonic possession when he did the killing. We don’t know if their strategy worked in real life but, in the movie, it did. 


Looks like the Warrens are more effective than “X Files” Scully and Mulder in fighting the judicial system to demonstrate the existence of the devil despite everyone’s skpeticisim.


As maybe expected, the movie offers some jump scares that are expected by viewers of scary fims. The one really effective for us  involves the boy David and a waterbed. 


It starts with him seeing a face under the water bed then something more jolting happens. 


Other uncanny scenes involve the clairvoyant Lorraine’s encounter with rats while creeping under the Glatzell’s cursed house and her reenactment of a grisly crime involving two missing young girls. 


But they’re not as spooky as the waterbed scene. They also borrowed heavily from the original “Exorcist”, like David contorting his limbs and body, doing the backward spider walk that Linda Blair did.


The lengthy climax happens on two different fronts. First is in the hospital jail where Arne battles with the evil inside of him. It is forcing him to kill himself while his girlfriend Debbie urges him to fight it. 


The second front is in the underground lair of an obsessed witch who turns out to be true main villain and has put a menacing curse on both Arne and Ed. 


The witch has made Ed blind and has possessed him so he’d smash everything in front of him, including Lorraine.  His wife also urges Ed to remember her, so he can succeed in combatting the witch and destroy its altar offered to devil worship. It will be an easy to guess who triumphs in the end.


The movie sort of offers a romantic resolution in that the love of Debbie for Arne and of Lorraine for Ed helped tremendously in rescuing their partners from the clutches of the evil witch. 


This is the reason why, for the first time in the series, we are given a back story showing a flashback of how Ed and Lorraine met and fell in love when they were still teenagers. It aims to affirm the intensity of their love for each other.


But “Conjuring 3” shows that the third time is not necessarily the charm. It has the requisite sinister atmospherics that might please “Conjuring” diehard fans, but fails to achieve the spookiness of the first two films that bank mainly on things that go bump in the night. 


We understand they want to deviate from their usual haunted house setting that can be quite confining, but by opening up their setting, they seem to have lost sight of what makes their movies more eerie with a white knuckle sensibility in the first place. 


We think it’s ill conceived that the possession here of David and Arne is actually caused by the curse cast by Isla (Eugenie Bondurant), the satanist daughter of a former priest, Fr. Kastner (John Noble.)  


She is a member of a cult called Disciple’s of the Ram but she looks more like a not so distant cousin of Balak, The Nun. She’s the one who sends the evil occult totems as a hex to her would be victims.


As the film’s chief villain, she is rather disappointing and the Warrens’ confrontation with her is not as terrifying and frightening as their fight with unseen evil forces in the first two movies. 


But there’s no denying the franchise has its ace in getting Wilson and Farmiga to play the Warrens. They were villains in Liam Neeson’s “The Commuter”, but as Ed and Lorraine, they exude genuine care and affection for each other and they’re both very efficient in the roles they play. 


Wilson is the real Hollywood horror king, being in two successful horror franchises, “Conjuring” and “Insidious”. 


Also a singer, we remember him playing Raoul in the film version of “Phantom of the Opera”. 


Farmiga is one actress we really admire, specially for her portrayal of the deranged Norma Bates in “Bates Motel”, the TV series spin off from “Psycho”. If we’d encounter someone possessed, we’d recommend Ms. Farmiga to help solve the case as she seems so very effective.


Continue reading

 



















MCCOY DE LEON feels so fortunate to be chosen to play former QC Mayor Herbert Bautista’s son called Uno in the TV sequel of Herbert’s hit 1987 movie, “Puto”. 



So how is it working with the original star of Viva’s “Puto”? 



“Masuwerte talaga akong napasama sa project na ito at nabigyan ng chance to work with Mayor, kasi sobrang bait niya, very helpful, very professional,” he says.  



“Si Tatay, maraming magandang katangian. Lagi niyang sinasabi sa’kin, kung may kailangan ka, sabihin mo lang. I also like how he handles people sa iba’t ibang okasyon. 



"Magaling siyang makasama sa lahat. Maganda ang leadership niya na gusto ko ring ma-attain later. He also delivers advice na punong puno ng genuine wisdom.” 



How did he prepare for his role? 



“Inaral ko talagang mabuti yung role ko and, si Tatay Herbert, sa taping, tinuturuan niya rin ako. 


"Isang natutuhan ko sa kanya, ang comedy pala, para ring drama na mahirap gawin. Kailangang may puso rin para maging effective ka sa pagpapatawa.”



He was told to watch comedy films. 



“Andami kong pinanood. I notice na ang mga comedian, iba-ibang atake nila sa pagpapatawa. I chose to do yung may halong modern elements. Sa tulong din ni Direk Rayniel Brizuela, I think naitawid ko naman yung role ko.” 



Their director praised him during the zoom presscon, saying: “Si McCoy, hindi siya puro pa-cute or papogi as Uno kundi inaaral niya talaga ang character niya. May ibinibigay siyang ibang flavor sa pagganap niya.”



“Masaya ako sa project na ito kasi puro supportive lahat ng kasama ko,” adds McCoy. 


“I’m so thankful kina Lassy Marquez, MC Calaquian, at Chad Kinis ng Beks Battalion as my Mamitas dito, ang tatlong duwendeng tumutulong sa’kin kapag inaapi ako. 


"Sila ang tumayong mother figures ko. Kasama rin namin dito sina Rafa Siguion-Reyna as my professor,  Andrea Babierra at Bob Jbeili as Alex at Elong na best friends ko, Carlyn Ocampo as Joy na love interest ko and Andrew Muhlach as Nico, ang school bully nat karibal ko kay Joy. 


“Also in the cast are Caleb Santos at TJ Valderrama as good dwendes Troy and Edwen, Billy Villeta as Itaban na bad duwende and Giovanni Respal as Markadan, ang kontrabidang lider ng bad duwendes. 


"Ang maganda sa ‘Puto’ is that it’s a family-oriented fantasy-comedy series na puede para sa lahat, mula sa mga bata hanggang sa lolo’t lola nila. 


"So abangan nyo po ang ‘Puto’ starting this Saturday na, 6 PM, sa TV5 at Cignal with replay sa Sari-Sari channel and live streaming online.” 


The 26-year old McCoy was last linked with Elisse Joson but they have since broken up. He says they have remained good friends even after their split.

Continue reading

Jun 16, 2021

 














HERBERT BAUTISTA reprises his film role as Puto in the new TV5-Cignal fantasy-comedy series, “Puto”, in collaboration with Viva TV. 

The movie “Puto” was a blockbuster hit when shown in 1987, with Herbert playing the lead role of, Ivanhoe, a nerd who sells puto and bullied by his classmates, but he turns out to have special powers given by his “duwende” friends. 

How does he feel reprising his role as “Puto” in the present time? 

“Very memorable ang ‘Puto’ for me as this is my first solo picture after I did ‘Bagets’ and ‘Hotshots’,” says the former QC mayor. 

“After ‘Puto’ became a big hit, sunod-sunod na ang projects ko like ‘Captain Barbell’ at yung ‘Kumander Bawang’ na sana gawin din namin.”

How different is “Puto” then and now? 

“Direk Leroy Salvador did ‘Puto’ then. Yung comic beat niya at ang puso niya as an actor in the 60s, naipasok niya as director sa ‘Puto’ in the 80s. 

"Now at 53, ako na ang pinakamatandang member ng cast and crew sa show namin. Dala ko naman yung 80s beat, mixed with the flair and off beat comic timing na galing naman ngayon sa director namin, si Direk Raynier Brizuela.” 

“Ang mga punchline na pinabitaw sa’kin ni Direk Rayn dito, kakaiba. 21st century comedy ito na pasok dito sa series. Hindi mabubuo ito without Direk Rayn na fan ng 80s and 90s comedy at naituloy niya sa ngayon in the 21st century. 

"Kulang pa nga and tools niya dito like drones, lights. Kung kumpleto, mas mabubuo pa niya nang tama ang mga gusto niyang gawin para sa project na ito. 

"At ang special effects noon sa movie, very 80s, now, mas maganda na. But the story about bullying remains very relevant up to now in this era of bashings.” 

His character now has a son, played by McCoy de Leon as Uno.

“Puto is now both nanay and tatay, a single parent to his son, at ang hanapbuhay niya, puto pa rin. 

"Pero hindi na siya naglalako ng puto like before kundi may factory na siya ng puto at may mga kasama na siya, yung Beks Battallion.” 

How is it working with Mccoy de Leon as his son in “Puto”  and what advice has he given to him? 

“It helps na ang personality namin ni McCoy, hindi nagkakalayo, pareho kaming masayahin, may good sense of humor. 

"My advice to him is to always remember to remain being a gentleman sa mga katrabaho mo, sa actuations mo. 

"Kahit mag-snap ka at mawala ka, pero bumalik ka uli sa pagiging gentlemanly. I saw myself in him, although at his age, iba ang naging karanasan ko kaysa kanya. 

“I’d say na mas na-enjoy ko ang journey ko. 

"I started as a child star sa Regal when I was 10, then as a teenager, kinuha naman ako ng Viva sa ‘Bagets’, tapos, teenager pa lang ako, napunta ko sa public service sa Sangguniang Kabataan then as a councilor.”

Why didn’t he get his real sons, Harvey and Race, for the show? 

“Harvey is with Star Magic at may project daw siya roon. Si Race naman is with Viva at may project din siya sa Viva na baka nasimulan na next month. 

"For Harvey, I want him sana to do the TV version of ‘Ninja Kids’ na balak gawin ng Viva. Ka-age ko siya when I did the movie and mabuti yung he appears muna in a group, para walang nakawan ng eksena at mag-shine silang pare-pareho.”

We notice that original cast members of the movie like Janno Gibbs, Gelli de Belen and Bing Loyzaga are also in the TV show. 

“Yes, magbabakarkada kami noon sa original movie. Now, friends ko pa rin sila pero may kanya-kanya na kaming racket at iba-ibang buhay na kami. Janno is my best friend, si Juanito, at may matinding spin sa character niya rito. 

"Gelli is my classmate Mindy na ngayon, cook na sa school canteen nina McCoy. Si Bing naman is Tere, now a life insurance agent and a certified plantita. We now talk about the challenges of being parents today.”

After being QC mayor, what are his plans for next year’s elections? 

“As of now, nothing definite. Malayo pa naman yan. Malalaman na lang natin kung ano mangyayari within the next few months. 

"As of now, focus muna tayo rito sa ‘Puto’ na siyang priority ko ngayon. I’m just so thankful na kahit may pandemic, busy ako. 

“Marami akong kasamahang naghahanap ng trabaho. I consider this as a blessing na binigay ng Panginoon kasi after my term, nakabalik agad ako sa pag-aartista. 

"ABS-CBN got me and I did shows with their young love teams like LizQuen, KathNiel and Kycine ng Gold Squad. Now, sa TV 5 naman ako. 

"I’m really proud na galing ako sa showbiz kasi this industry really grounded me. It taught me the importance of being well  prepared kasi may pre-prod dito, may planning bawat project, na kailangan nating lahat sa buhay.” 

“Puto” starts airing this Saturday, June 19, on TV5 at 5 PM, and on Sari-Sari Channel on June 20. 

It’s also available on Cignal Channel 3, SatLite Channel 30, and livestream on TV5 at Cignal Play app, available for iOs and Android users for free.


Continue reading

 























‘TEA AND SYMPATHY’ by Robert Anderson was first staged on Broadway in 1953 starring Deborah Kerr, John Kerr and Leif Erickson in the major roles, directed by Elia Kazan. 


It ran for almost two years and made into a film in 1956, with the same actors in the cast, directed by Vincente Minelli, the father of Liz and husband of Judy Garland. This was a much talked about movie that time among our aunts but we never go to see it.


The story is about Tom (John Kerr), an 18-year old student in a boarding school for boys who is fond of classical music, poetry and the arts, so he is suspected to be a homosexual by his homophobic schoolmates who go for the usual rough and masculine sports. 


The material reflects the social anxieties of that era when gay is not yet even a word that means homosexual.


Laura (Deborah Kerr), the wife of the housemaster, Bill (Leif Erickson), understands Tom and doesn’t believe that a man who’s just sensitive to the arts is necessarily homosexual. 


She herself is suffering from an unhappy married life and says Tom is more like her first husband, who died young in the war.


It is obvious that Tom is secretly in love with Laura and they’re drawn to each other because they are both feeling lonely. 


The play also shows the negative effects of bullying and unjust peer pressure on the mind of an impressionable adolescent.


On stage, the set is very simple, showing just the living room of Laura and the bedroom of Tom. Since film is a very different medium, they expanded the play and brought it out for exterior shots. 


Many other characters were added in the film, including Tom’s dad, his roommate and schoolmates.


The film starts in 1947 with the school reunion of students who graduated 10 years ago. Tom revisits his old campus home and his own bedroom. His story with Laura is then told in one long flashback. 


In the end, the film goes back to Tom visiting Bill, who is now separated from Laura. Bill gives him a letter that Laura wrote for him after a book that he wrote was published. 


This makes the film also a coming-of-age story and gives the movie a beautiful sense of closure.


In the film, there are scenes shot while Laura and Tom are on the beach. There is a big bonfire scene in the school grounds when his schoolmates try to humiliate Tom. 


And there are scenes in a bar which the boys frequent for a sexy waitress who’s friendly to them. An added scene is Tom visiting the waitress that ends in disaster, with him attempting to commit suicide.


The film’s climactic scene shows Laura helping Tom prove that he is heterosexual, where she utters the play’s most iconic line: “Years from now, when you talk about this, and you will… be kind”. 


In the play, it happens in Tom’s bedroom. In the film, it happens in an idyllic and romantically lighted place in the forest.


The cinema’s production code then had many restrictions so the play has to be modified for the big screen. 


In the play, a big conflict erupts when Tom went skinny dipping with a male teacher. This incident is not at all mentioned in the film. 


The word homosexual is also never used. Instead, Tom is called ‘sisterboy’ by his nasty tormentors to taunt him. 


Many other outspoken words were also sanitized. The world was really different then and cuss words and four-letter words were all avoided, unlike now when all foul words are allowed on screen, even on TV.


Deborah Kerr first captured our attention when we saw her as Anna in the memorable musical “The King and I”. We have since seen so many films of her, including the horror film “The Innocents” (remade as a series, “Haunting of Bly Manor”) and “Black Narcissus” where she played a nun in the Himalayas. 


She won the New York Film Critics best actress award for the latter, but the Oscars ignored her. She got her first Oscar nomination as best actress in “Edward My Son” and later in “From Here to Eternity”, followed by “The King and I”, “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison”, “Separate Tables” and “The Sundowners”. 


Just like Amy Adams and Glenn Close who also got multiple nominations, she never won so they just gave her an honorary Oscar in 1994.


She gives an absolutely heartfelt performance as the melancholy wife who feels so much compassion for the bullied boy. She’s best in that scene where she tells her husband that he doesn’t touch her anymore. 


John Kerr does well as Tom but sadly, he doesn’t look like 18 at all. He looks more like someone taking up a postgraduate course.

Continue reading

Jun 15, 2021

 
















ONE CANNOT just give up a successful film franchise like “Saw” that easily. The first “Saw” was shown in 2004, written by Leigh Whammel and directed by James Wan, both Australians. 


It was a blockbuster and became some sort of a cult. so sequels followed yearly: “Saw II” in 2005, “III” in 2006, “IV” in 2007, “V” 2008, “VI’’ in 2008, “Saw 3D” in 2010. 


They rested a bit then a new one came in 2017, “Jigsaw”, with new director and writers. 


Now, 11 years later, we have “Spiral: from the Book of Saw”, a reinvention of the series that goes to a new direction to show that the torture porn/ slasher series continues. 


The movie opens on  a hot July 4th Independence Day celebration. Someone’s bag is snatched and a cop, Detective Bostwick (Dan Pertonijevic), chases the robber down an underground tunnel when he’s suddenly attacked. 


He regains consciousness with him already suspended above the railroad tracks with his tongue sticking out and the only organ holding up his body. 


Just like the past “Saw” killer, James Kramer (played by Tobin Bell), who has died in a past movie, the new copycat of Saw tells the victim that he can still save himself. 


He can do this by just letting his tongue to be cut off by the contraption holding it, so he can then avoid being crushed by the oncoming next train. But the cop fails to save himself and he dies so violently.


Assigned to investigate the case is Det. Zeke Banks (Chris Rock who was a hit in “Rush Hour” franchise with Jackie Chan.) His dad himself Marcus, is a retired cop (Samuel L. Jackson.) He quickly deduces that the train tunnel murder is similar to those done by the Jigsaw Killer. 


Banks is given a new partner, rookie William Schenk (Max Minghella, son of Oscar winning director Anthony MInghella of “The English Patient.) The new killer says he is targetting wayward cops only to make them pay for their corrupt deeds.


His next victim is Fitch (Richard Zepierri), another rogue cop, whose fingers are put inside a trap. If he wants to save his fingers, he must cut them all off to avoid electrocution. Again, the victim fails to save himself and dies. 


The next victim is female cop, Capt. Garza (Marisol Nichols), who is abducted then placed inside their precinct’s cold storage. She, too, cannot save herself from boiling hot wax and dies.


Some cops start to think Banks maybe the culprit as he has an unsettled score with Fitch. Marcus, Banks’ dad, decides to look for the killer . 


But he is also captured and wakes up chained in a warehouse with his former partner, Pete Dunleavy (Patrick Macmanus), all tied up in front of him and about to be killed by a machine that spews sharp cut glass directly at him. 


Banks arrives to try rescuing him and his own dad. The new copycat killer then comes out to reveal his true identity to him. Of course, Banks is shocked to the bones as it’s so unexpected. 


The killer then tries to persuade Banks, a certified good cop working in a police department with nothing but crooks, to be his ally so that together, they can join forces in cleaning up the police force and get rid of all the bad cops. 


Of course, we cannot reveal anything else beyond this point, as it would be surely a big spoiler. Just like the previous “Saw” flicks, this one also depends mostly on the build up of tension with the help of blood-curdling violent scenes that are surely not for the squeamish. 


“Saw” fans have already learned to anticipate (and salivate on) the visceral scenes of bloodbaths that the series has to offer. They know it’s more important than the actual storytelling. 


The series is given a new dressing with the casting of top black actors Rock (usually over-the-top loud but gives a fairly modulated performance here) and Jackson (in full bad ass mode) in the leads. The past movies didn’t have A-listers in the cast but mostly unknowns. 


Director Darren Lynn Bousman (who has helmed three “Saw” films before) knows how to expertly mine the usual tropes of the past “Saw” flicks. He knows its captive audience would expect to see them again.


But Director Bousman adds up his own sadistic touches of copious gore and inflicting pain in its intricately constructed and chilling torture sequences requiring gory self mutilation. Other viewers will find them unsettling and distressing but “Saw” diehard fans who already expect them certainly won’t be disappointed.


Obviously, the director is hoping this will be the start of a new franchise for a new generation of Saw fanatics as “Spiral” ends with the brutal killer getting away with murder. 


The last scene shows him being able to escape. It’s just too bad that the film is released during the pandemic, so it’s not as big a moneymaker as the past “Saw” films. 


Let's see if it would pick up on video for rent or on streaming to be a bonafide hit.




Continue reading

 




















CLAUDIA BARRETTO is the first from their clan to join showbiz via singing. Gretchen, Marjorie, Claudine and her sister Julia all joined showbiz as an actress, but Gretchen later also tried singing. 


Claudia has now released her debut single with Viva Records, “Nothing to Do”, a collab with Mito Fabie aka Curtis Smith.


“I was at the studio messing around with my song and he was doing his,” says the 21 year old psychology major from Ateneo. 


“Then just as we were about to call it a day, as in literally, 5 minutes before leaving, my brother-in-law Xavi Panlilio who is a producer, just played us this song (the beats and the initial instrumentation for ‘Nothing To do’). 


"I asked him what song it is and he said it was something he was still working on. And I just connected with it and Mito did too. We worked on the lyrics on the spot for like ten minutes and did three takes of the songs and we had it.”


The grooving, vibe-y new song is right down Claudia alley of midtempo styled R&B. 


“The song is about being with the right person when you have nothing to do, essentially. Not all songs work out that way of course, but “Nothing To Do” is one of those songs.”


The release of “Nothing To Do” is just the start. Claudia has likened the past few months to levelling up. 


“I spent the past few months collaborating with other artists in the studio, writing songs and just being focused and finding the flow. It’s just about the way I see things now. 


"I used to be insecure about my music. I was always very hard on myself, because obviously I wanted to produce good work. But what really changed is just this desire to get better. My mindset changed. 


"It became like, if there are things I want to improve on, if there are things I want to get better at, if I really wanted to pursue this career in making music, then I really should put in a lot of hard work.”


The Zen-like focus on self and discipline has paid off for Claudia, who also shared that her improved mindset was critical in arriving at the first song she’s releasing with her new label. 


Claudia shared that she spent a lot of time in the studio during the lockdowns and that’s where she went to work on her songs. Those around Claudia are excited for her as well. 


Claudia describes her sound is a mixture of Pop and R&B as she thinks they go well together. 


“Music has always been my passion,” she adds. “Since childhood, I’ve always been drawn to singing and I’ve always wanted to make music and perform songs. 


"I also want to get to sing songs in Pilipino and collaborate with other Filipino artists. I believe we have some of the most talented musical artists in our country where almost everyone sings.”


Will she eventually try acting? 


“I’m not closing my doors. I’m the type who never says never. For starters, I can act in my music videos. Or in short films.  


"But right now, music is where my heart is. I just leave it all up to Viva who’s now managing me. I trust them completely.” 


Claudia’s Viva Records debut, “Nothing To Do”, is scheduled for release this 18th of June on all music streaming platforms and will be accompanied by a music video that will make its premiere on the Viva Records YouTube channel on the same day. 


Claudia has recorded songs before, but with Viva now backing her up, she can expect a very big boost in her career.


“We can feel Claudia’s enthusiasm is extending beyond the studio and into getting behind her songs,” says a Viva executive. 


“She even made a “Nothing To Do” Spotify playlist to tease the release of her single.’ And it’s those little things that make the difference for us. 


"She’s not going doing this because she feels entitled. We feel that Claudia is a genuine music artist capable of great things and we will support her in that.”

Continue reading

Jun 14, 2021

 











                                   candice ramos as mel, rob's predator boss

                                      candice ramos in another photo

                                  sarah holmes as trixie, rob's first girlfriend

                         rosh barman as gio, alexa miro's college boyfriend

‘A GIRL + A BOY’ is an ensemble film with a cast of millennial actors and Direk Erik Matti introduced some of them in a zoom presscon: Candice Ramos, Sarah Holmes and Rosh Barman.


Candice Ramos won as Miss Earth Philippines Tourism in 2012, Miss Global Philippines in 2015. 


She’s from Vigan, studied Urban Planning and Tourism Management in UP, and now tries acting in the movies in Upstream.ph’s original offering directed by Erik Matti, “A Girl + A Boy”. 


How was she cast in the movie? “I played a small role before in ‘Kuwaresma’, also directed by Direk Erik, who now offered this movie to me,” she says. 


What’s her role? “I play Mel, the boss of Rob Gomez as Ralph and we have a secret affair.”


The film is a sexy flick. Did she have second thoughts about her role in the movie who is a predator to Rob? 


“Without thinking, when I learned that it’s Direk Erik who’ll direct it, I said yes right away. I’ve been his fan since ‘On th Job’. 


"Now, I feel I’m right when I said yes to the movie because doing it is a very enriching experience for me. 


"I come from a conservative Catholic family but I told my mother about this film. May shock factor talaga and I will be proud to show this to my family. 


"Sa pageants naman, we have swimsuit competitions and on backstage the other contestants and I, we see each other bodies and there is no malice. I’m pretty comfortable with what I did.”


Sarah Holmes is a ballerina and studied in Brigham Young University in Utah. What’s her role in the movie? 


“I play Trixie, Raf’s first college love. She’s strong and confident, she knows what she wants in life. She’s very close to my personality. I help get Ralph go through life.”


She’s proud to be part of the movie. 


“I grew up in theatre and I’ve always wanted to act so I just trusted Direk Erik totally and I had no problem about the scenes I did. The story is very to close to being a Gen Z or Millennial and their lifestyle today. 


"Older people might frown on us but the film shows this is how we are and it’s amazing to be part of a film that explains everything. Love is not always enough so it’s an honor to be part of this movie.” 


The only guy in the group is Rosh Barman. He is 25, from Biliran, Leyte which he represented in the male pageant Misters of Filipinas some years ago. 


He stands 5’10 and finished business management in FEU. He has done a BL series, “My Day”.


What’s his role in the film? 


“I play Gio, the college boyfriend of Alexa Miro as Fiona. Sa start, pareho kaming gustong maging filmmaker but later on, I change my mind and that becomes a major source of conflict for us.”


Did he agree to disrobe right away? 


"Before shooting started, it was explained to us how far we have to go. Alexa and I, friends na kami before pa, so it helps. 


"Before we do our scenes, nag-uusap kami, we’re not Alexa and Rosh, we are our characters, Fiona and Gio, para mawala yung inhibitions namin. 


"We committed ourselves to our roles totally, so laban lang. Tiwala ako kay Direk so game agad ako. He now got me to be part of his new show sa HBO as a victim of the supernatural.”


Continue reading

POST