The stars have come out for this week of films in our cinemas. We’ve got Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn all sharing our limited theater space. Even the directors are star studded: George Clooney directs Suburbicon, and Andy Serkis directs Breathe. But who are these Hollywood stars to go up against the cross-dressing, faux-geriatric trio from Eat Bulaga?
So, the lola characters (Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Balleteros) from Eat Bulaga have been given their own movie, and it appears to be a parody of last year’s breakout Korean film Trip to Busan. “Parody” has a pretty loose definition around here, though. There might not be much more to that than just the pun title and the vaguely similar premise that involves running away from a zombie outbreak.
Pixar tells a story set in Mexico, following a 12-year-old boy (Anthony Gonzalez) with passion for mariachi music born into the one family in Mexico that hates music. On Dia de los Muertos, the boy is magically transported into the land of the dead, where he gets to meet his ancestors, and goes on a quest to meet his greatest idol. We’ve seen Coco, and have no problem recommending it. It’s a little bit formulaic, but the animation is beautiful, and just like all the best Pixar films, it wants to take your heart and crush it into little pieces.
Matt Damon stars as a man living in a giant suburban community somewhere in America in 1959. His wife (Julianna Moore) is murdered during a home invasion, and the story spirals out from there, revealing the darkness that lies beneath the placid surface of the American suburban ideal. This is an old Coen Brothers script that’s been resurrected by director/producer George Clooney. Inasmuch as Clooney has always been a good fit within the Coen Brothers’ movies, his filmmaking, which tends to heavily nostalgic and reverent, doesn’t really feel like a great match for one of their scripts.
Exclusive to Ayala Cinemas. Michael Fassbender is a veteran detective on the hunt for a serial killer that has just resurfaced following years of inactivity. The film is directed by Tomas Alfredson, best known for the adolescent vampire movie Let the Right One In, and is based on a rather popular Scandinavian novel. And in spite of that pedigree, the movie is one of the worst-reviewed high profile films of the year. You never really know what you’re going to get.
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99
Vince Vaughn plays a former boxer sent to jail for dealing drugs. While there, a gang kidnaps his wife and threatens to do terrible things to her unless he kills someone for them in prison. This is the second film directed by S. Craig Zahler, whose debut film Bone Tomahawk was a mean little piece of grindhouse business. This film seems to be following in that trend, and it could be a great option for fans of nasty, violent films, providing the MTRCB didn’t butcher it.
Andy Serkis makes his directing debut in a film that tells the inspiring true story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, played here by Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy. Robin is struck by polio at 28, and is told that he only has a few months to live. Their unwillingness to accept that fate would lead to some major advancements in the treatment of polio patients. It looks like awards-bait set to the tune of 2014’s Theory of Everything, which some people might like.
CINEMA ONE ORIGINALS 2017
Cinema One Originals continues its run over at the Power Plant Cinemas, so you still have a chance to catch the winners of this year’s awards, as well as those foreign films that have been consistently sold out in the other venues. Get to it. Also: local distributors, just release Call Me By Your Name, already.
ACTIVE VISTA HUMAN RIGHTS FESTIVAL
The Active Vista Film Festival kicks off with the Spirit Awards-nominated documentary Motherland by Ramona Diaz, and will through the week with screenings of Blanka and Small Talk over at the Shang Cineplex. The Active Vista Festival has always quietly been bringing all manner of great films to the Philippines, and you should check out their full slate of activities, that run all the way through December 10.
Cine Lokal has been taking some flak over the last couple of weeks. It turns out that SM would much rather have Justice League playing in those theaters than some small, Filipino indie film. This has led to some local producers pulling their films from the lineup. So, this week, we’re getting Loving Vincent, which is decidedly not a Filipino film, and also happens to be a movie that has already gotten its run in cinemas. That’s cool, we guess.
AT THE UP FILM CENTER
The UP Film Center is running a program of films from directors Joseph Israel Laban and Will Fredo, all of them revolving around the theme of ending violence against women. It’s your chance to see Nuwebe, Cuchero, The Sister, In Nomine Matris, and The Caregiver.