This Week In Cinemas – January 24, 2018

‘Mr. and Mrs. Cruz’ headlines the week before we start getting all the prestige pictures

by Philbert Dy


The Oscar nominations have just been announced. We’re going to start getting those films in cinemas starting next week, beginning with Call Me by Your Name. Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, which opens today in select Ayala cinemas, might have counted, but it didn’t get much attention from the Academy. This week, we’ve got the charming new film for Kita Kita director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, a rare documentary in cinemas, as well as the final chapter of a young adult series you might have already forgotten about.


Local Releases:





Ever since Kita Kita landed and became an unexpected success, fans of the movie have been waiting around for what director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo would do next. And here it is: JC Santos and Ryza Cenon star as two heartbroken people who land in Palawan at the same time, and end up spending their entire trip together. It’s a film cut out of the That Thing Called Tadhana mold, following two people around as they talk and flirt and slowly fall in love. But Bernardo brings interesting bits of surreality to the concept, embracing the artificiality of the romantic construct while simultaneously breaking it apart, letting the truth of fragile humanity seep through the contrivance of movie love. It’s a charming film, and we recommend it.





This is a documentary about the SAF 44 that’s been making the rounds in schools for the better part of a year. Now it’s showing in selected cinemas. The film combines interviews, dramatic reenactments, and reportedly, actual footage from the fighting itself. We don’t really get a lot of documentaries in our cinemas, so this might be worth checking out.


Foreign Releases:





The final chapter of the Maze Runner series has Dylan O’Brien reprising his role as Thomas, the requisite special young person meant to save the world by being true to himself or something. The film has him leading a daring raid into a walled city to rescue his bro Minho. If you don’t remember what happened in the last movie, you’re not alone, but it doesn’t really matter since the movie is mainly concerned with shooting guns and blowing stuff up.





Opening exclusively in select Ayala cinemas is Downsizing, the latest film from Alexander Payne, director of Election and The Descendants, among others. It stars Matt Damon as a man considering a radical new procedure that would shrink him and his family down to just four inches so that they can help save the planet while a more lavish, if miniaturized life.





Jason Momoa stars as a mountain logger forced to defend his family against a dangerous gang of drug smugglers. It turns out that the smugglers were using his cabin to stash some drugs and Jason Momoa has to go all Jason Momoa on them. It looks pretty straightforward. There have been several attempts now to have Momoa carry an action movie, and they haven’t really worked out. But perhaps keeping things simpler might benefit the actor.





You probably don’t remember the 2010 film Skyline, a pretty poorly received alien invasion movie. Well, this is the sequel. What made it warrant a sequel seven late will be a mystery that will keep me up at night for years to come. Anyway, Frank Grillo stars as a detective whose son is abducted by the aliens, and he’s got to break into a warship in order to save him. Sounds appropriately generic.





This Thai horror film tells the story of a woman who twenty years ago got into a suicide pact with her best friend. Her friend went through with the suicide, but the woman reneged. Now her friend’s vengeful ghost come into her life, haunting her and her daughter, trying to drive her into fulfilling her two-decade-old promise. The Promise is from Sophon Sakdaphisit, the writer of popular Thai horror films Shutter and Alone, so fans of that wave of Thai horror may do well to seek this out.


Special Engagements:




Man, it’s nice to have a cinema that basically has its entire schedule planned out for a month. The micro cinema continues to screen the same batch of films they’ve been screening since the start of the month, giving you more chance to see films like the restored versions of Karnal and Magic Temple, as well as stuff like MNL 143, Sakaling Hindi Makarating, and Sana Dati.




It’s the last week of Cinemalaya’s run at the UP Film Center. Go see Respeto already, guys.




Starting Friday, Jason Paul Laxamana’s Instalado, which was part of the last edition of the TOFARM Film Festival, will be taking over the the Cine Lokal cinemas.