There are a lot of movies opening this week, but nothing really major. This is probably because Avengers: Infinity War is going to be holding on to the majority of theaters, leaving little room for big new releases. What we do get is kind of interesting, though. We’re getting Single/Single: Love Is Not Enough, which is a continuation of the Cinema One TV show starring Matteo Guidicelli and Shaina Magdayao. On the international front, the James Franco-directed sci-fi film Future World is landing with little fanfare. Young adult romance Midnight Sun arrives as well, treating us to yet another story of love that survives some sort of rare, debilitating teenage illness. A pair of comedies and a Korean horror film round out the selection this week, just finding some space in between screenings of the superhero juggernaut.
SINGLE/SINGLE: LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH
Matteo Guidicelli and Shaina Magdayao are roommates who develop a much more intimate and romantic relationship, one that had its ups and downs over the course of two seasons of episodic television. In the movie, the two struggle with the challenges of raising an infant. Further complicating matters is the fact that Guidicelli’s character isn’t even the father of the child. The show was always a strange mix of low-key romantic comedy and very overt product integration. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting what a move to the big screen means for the show’s very specific goals.
John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz play parents to three teenage girls. On prom night, they discover that their daughters are all planning to lose their virginities to their respective partners, so the parents set out to prevent that from happening. The movie got an R18 rating locally, and that means it won’t be screened at SM Cinemas. So if you want to see John Cena butt chugging, get thee to a non-SM Cinema.
Bella Thorne is a teenager who cannot go out in the daytime. She has a condition that makes almost any exposure to direct sunlight a potentially fatal situation. Patrick Schwarzenegger plays the dreamy neighbor that she gets to know and falls in love with, leading her to yearn for more than her current circumstances. It might seem like this is based on some hit young adult novel, but this movie skips that step and just gets on with telling a story of tragic teens falling in love. It’s more efficient this way.
I FEEL PRETTY
Amy Schumer plays a woman with low self-esteem. She has an accident, and she wakes up believing that she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. This gives her a level of confidence that allows her to change all manner of things in her life. Of course, her appearance hasn’t actually changed, and her perception is inevitably going to run up against reality.
So, this movie is co-directed by James Franco, and he’s in it as a character known as “The Warlord.” But the movie stars Jeffrey Wahlberg as a young man wandering the wasteland to find a mythical cure to his mother’s illness. Honestly, it looks a bit like a low-rent version of Mad Max, but Franco’s involvement piques our interest.
GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM
An Internet streamer and six other people decide to enter an abandoned mental hospital that was the site of a terrible tragedy and is known for being haunted. Unsurprisingly, they have some strange and dangerous encounters. The film is populated mostly by up-and-coming Korean stars, and is directed by Jeong Beom-sik, whose last movie was a comedy about a woman who starts a sex toy business.
BACKSTABBING FOR BEGINNERS
Theo James is a program coordinator for the UN oil-for-food project. He uncovers a corruption scandal that might involve his boss, played by Ben Kingsley. It’s based on the memoirs of Michael Soussan, who really did work for the UN and uncovered some irregularities in a program meant to feed the Iraqi people. But one shouldn’t expect this film to be an accurate portrayal of real life events, as most real life events look nothing like a political thriller.
THE SON OF BIGFOOT
This is an animated film that tells the story of Adam, a teenage boy looking for his father, only to discover that his father is actually the cryptid known as Bigfoot. Father and son bond while trying to fend off the attacks of evil corporation HairCo, who wants to harness their DNA for nefarious purposes. You know: that old story.
Once again, Cine Lokal stretches the meaning of “Lokal” as it screens Train Station, a collaboration between 40 directors shot in 25 countries. It’s an interesting project, certainly. But one does have to question the rationale behind the whole Cine Lokal project.
SCREENINGS AT CINEMA CENTENARIO
This week: 12, Pauwi Na, 100 Tula para kay Stella, Ang Pagsanib kay Leah dela Cruz and Throwback Today. Also on the schedule: the restored Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, Insiang, and Kakabakaba Ka Ba? And finally, if you didn’t see The Florida Project during its theatrical run, you still have a chance to catch it at the micro cinema.