<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.

Apr 1, 2014

Shalala's Launching Film, 'Echoserang Frog', Has Many Laugh-Out-Loud Scenes

SHALALA IS very nervous as his launching film, “Echoserang Frog”, opens in theatres today. “Buti na lang at nagbigay sa’kin si ‘Captain America’,” he says before the film began. “Nauna na siyang magbukas sa’kin last week.”

Shalala or Carmelito “Tolites” Reyes started as a co-host of Kuya Germs in “Walang Tulugan”. He clicked as a gay comedian and first acted in one season of “Daisy Siete”. Then he moved to TV5 and became one of the judges in “Talentadong Pinoy” and a host in “Juicy” and “Good Morning Club”. On the big screen, he did supporting roles in the movies of Vic Sotto like “Enteng Kabisote at Agimat”, “Darling Kong Aswang” and in indie films like “Booking”, “Paupahan” and “Kalakal”.

“Echoserang Frog” is produced by Scenema Concepts (the film company that made “El Presidente” and “Boy Golden”) and Noel Ferrer, and directed by Joven Tan. We went to its premiere night at the new Fisher Mall because we want to see their theatres. They’re fine, only 250 seats. We didn’t expect anything from the movie. but we’re pleasantly surprised by so many funny scenes that really worked and made us laugh. The style of tickling our ribs is hit or miss, and there are many hits, right from the opening scene showing Director Jose Javier Reyes as himself, hyping and praising the movie to high heavens until he finds out that the star is Shalala and he walks out. It works and comes out truly hilarious because Joey is so good, delivering his long aria without missing a bit in one long take.

The funniest scenes in the movie involve real showbiz people playing themselves. Shalala plays an aspiring actor who thinks he inherited enough money to produce a movie and launch himself. “Echoserang Frog” really works as a spoof of the whys and wherefores of local indie filmmaking. One scene that made us guffawed shows internationally acclaimed Lav Diaz convincing Shalala to get him as the director of his movie, promising he’ll make an epic film that will be shown in filmfests abroad with the title “Dapithapon ng Isang Syoke”. Shalala and his assistant, Kiray Celis, are shown having nosebleeds while Lav is talking to them.

Another funny sequence shows Shalala studying acting. First under Odette Khan who teaches him over-the-top emoting, then with Jaclyn Jose who’s the exact opposite. Shalala nails Jaclyn’s style of delivering her lines in a monotone, but the clincher is when Jaclyn tells him later: “Huwag mo nang iba-blind item si Andi, ha.”

Perla Bautista is also shown repeatedly slapping Shalala in various retakes as per the instruction of their director simply because Shalala can’t get it right. In the end, Perla gives up as her hand is already sore, never mind if Shalala’s cheek is even more in pain.

Giving Shalala and Kiray great support are Joross Gamboa as the gay scriptwriter, Angelu de Leon as the loan shark who lends Shalala some money and also has her own illusions about being an actress plus so many cameo performances: Derek Ramsay, JC De Vera, Wendell Ramos, Alwyn Uytingco, Marco Alcaraz, Lou Veloso, Empoy Marquez, Tonton Gutierrez, Mon Confiado, Mr. Fu, Edgar Allan Guzman, Lucky Mercado, Dingdong Avanzado and Anita Linda who’s shown walking interminably like most characters in indie films do.

A scene stealer in the movie is Shalala’s Visayan-accented maid (sorry we didn’t get her name) who’s given her own funny moments, particularly when she resigns and tells Shalala that she just got an offer from Malou Santos to do the sequel of “Starting Over Again”.