This Week In Cinemas – August 23, 2017

Haunted dolls, sharks, and emojis take over the movie houses after a week of Filipino cinema

by Philbert Dy

The PPP has come and gone, though a few of the films are sticking around for a second week. This is mostly good news, even though one of the films sticking around is AWOL. There are a bunch of new films hitting cinemas as well, because people will always need their fix of sharks, haunted dolls, and emojis. Go cinema!



Local Releases:




Vhong Navarro and Lovi Poe pull a Freaky Friday in this movie directed by Joel Ferrer, best known for the Cinema One Originals comedy Baka Siguro Yata. With any luck, this film will just run past all the standard Freaky Friday tropes and get straight into Ferrer’s rather distinct comedic sensibilities. It does does look like Vhong Navarro and Lovi Poe are really into these roles, and that can only bode well.



Foreign Releases:




See, Annabelle was already a prequel to The Conjuring. It already revealed the demonic origins of the titular haunted doll. Annabelle: Creation goes further back, all the way to the when the doll was originally made, revealing another story that involves the demonic possession of the toy. The movie show strong horror mechanics, but it really does have to jump through a lot of narrative hoops in the end to make it fit into the larger mythos. Because that totally matters.





Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard hired to protect hitman Samuel L. Jackson, who is set to testify against a vicious dictator. It’s Midnight Run, basically, but with both characters capable of killing other people. The marketing materials are trying very hard to make it all look fun, which it really ought to be since this is essentially Deadpool hanging out with Nick Fury for two hours. But we’ll see.





Showing in just two cinemas (Greenbelt and Trinoma) is A Family Man, which stars Gerard Butler as a headhunter trying to beat his corporate rival while also having to deal with his young son’s recently diagnosed cancer. It sounds like treacle, and the trailer sure does make it like treacle. Maybe it’s more than that, but you’re going to have to schlep to one of these two theaters to find out.





So, the “meh” emoji, voiced by TJ Miller, messes up a message and then has to go on a quest to keep the phone he’s on from being deleted. Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you. At one point they play Candy Crush, I think? This might all just be an advertisement for Just Dance, which is apparently on phones now.





Mandy Moore and Claire Holt play sisters vacationing in Mexico who become trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. The bottom being 47 meters down, as the title might suggest. They’re running out of oxygen, and there are sharks all over the place. So, if you want to see women short of breath being chased by sharks, this is clearly the movie for you.




Bushwick imagines a scenario where Texas militia descend on New York City, declaring the state’s intention to secede from the Union. Brittany Snow plays a hapless young woman who ends up under the protection of a war veteran played by Dave Bautista. And it’s all designed to look like one long, crazy shot. Given tensions in the US right now, this action film feels weirdly relevant. But I wouldn’t worry about this film providing trenchant commentary about race relations in the US. The local distributor has appended the subtitle “The Last Man Standing,” which really does tell you about the movie’s priorities.





This Japanese film is about the self-proclaimed “Greatest Ninja in Iga” who leads his ninja brethren against the invading Oda Nobunaga. The film is being sold as a battle between samurai and ninja, so don’t start looking for historical accuracy here. The best we can hope for is some crazy action involving all sorts of deadly weapons.



Special Engagements:




The PPP rolls on at Cinema ’76. On Monday, in celebration of Heroes’ Day, they’re also screening Bonifacio, Heneral Luna and Sunday Beauty Queen.




This weekend, they’re screening Rudy Fernandez films Idol and Sandakot na Bala, along with the Andrew Leavold’s documentary about Fernandez The Last Pinoy Action King.