This Week In Cinemas: May 10, 2017

Ponder the nature of film ratings in this week’s releases

by Philbert Dy

This week sees the release of Jerrold Tarog’s Bliss, which initially got an X-rating from the MTRCB. An X-rating, for those unfamiliar, is a rating reserved for films that present a clear and present danger to the Filipino viewing populace. This rating was appealed down to an R18, which still limits the number of cinemas that will screen the film, but it’s better than nothing. Meanwhile, Alien: Covenant, a much more violent film than Bliss, scored an R13, presumably for its redeeming social values. If this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to you, you are not alone. Welcome to the wild world of MTRCB ratings!



Local Releases:





Iza Calzado plays an actress confined to her home following a severe on-set accident. But things aren’t quite what they seem, and she soon comes to suspect that everyone around her is actively trying to do her harm. One could mention that this is a film from Jerrold Tarog, director of Heneral Luna. But what greater endorsement could there be than an X-rating from the MTRCB? This film is, to their eyes, dangerous. How many films can claim that?


Check out our interview with Tarog and his cast, and the review over at The Neighborhood.





Ai-Ai de las Alas stars as a provincial woman who works as a nanny for a rich family in Manila. And oh, she’s supposed to be really ugly, which means the actress is wearing a set of false crooked teeth. Details on plot are light, but one presumes this is a movie about rich children learning to appreciate their poor, ugly yaya.


Foreign Releases:




Ridley Scott goes back to the Alien well with another prequel, which also happens to be a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus. Katherine Waterston leads a new crew of spacefarers destined to end up with their chests splayed open, having just given birth to one of cinema’s most iconic monsters.


We’ve got a review up on The Neighborhood.





This anime film is about a teenager who seeks to redeem himself in the eyes of a hearing-impaired girl that he used to bully in grade school. The film comes from animation studio Kyoto Animation, which has been responsible for some of the prettiest animation in the last decade or so. The trailer seems to be priming people for tears, so prepare accordingly.





Aaron Paul searches for his missing girlfriend, after discovering that she isn’t exactly who she says she is. Who is she? We don’t know! Expect Aaron Paul to do what he does best: run around frantically, yelling someone’s name out a lot. In this one, it’s “Claire.” This movie went direct to VOD in the US, which means, of course, that it’s going to get a fairly wide release here.





Sandara Park stars in a movie about a woman who has both amnesia and synesthesia. So she can’t remember who she is, and she perceives sounds as color. A washed-up songwriter tries to help her unlock her past through a melody that she hums in her sleep. Hey kids, did you know that Sandara Park started her career in the Philippines? It’s true!





A young woman visits her husband-to-be’s hometown to meet his family before the wedding. She starts having strange visions as the family introduces her to all manner of old Slavic traditions. This movie comes to us from Russia. Given recent events, one presumes that not seeing this movie will result in a hacked election. Be warned!





Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby star as two poets with bipolar disorder who meet in a treatment facility. Their relationship feeds their respective talents, but it also drives them to instability. According to the press materials, the two will be forced to choose between sanity and love. Here’s hoping for a scene of the two making out in straitjackets.


Special Engagements:




CineLokal’s May lineup mainly includes films from the Sinag Maynila festival, plus a couple of others. Showing up until Thursday are Imbisibol and Sta. Nina. Swap and Mrs. take their place on Friday, running until the 18th.




The Goethe Institut’s program rolls on with The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser on Saturday and Nosferatu on Sunday. Prepare to feel the futility of human existence.