Let’s put away our pretenses for now and admit that all of us of past a certain age threshold is at least a little bit excited that there is going to be a movie opening this week that stars Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla. We can’t help it. The Star Cinema film will be going up against a new Paolo Ballesteros vehicle, and honestly, little else on the international front. But then, as we trudge on toward the cinemas, we might be struck with memories of all the terrible things Robin Padilla has said in the last few years. Ah well, nostalgia had us for a little while.
Star Cinema’s bringing out the big guns for the end of the year, reuniting Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla in a film that also stars the potent younger pairing of Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto. The guys are uncle and nephew, who end up living right beside the mother and daughter pair. And because this is Robin Padilla and Joshua Garcia, they’re going to push their considerable charms on the ladies, who will inevitably yield to their insistent wooing. Okay wait, that sounds kind of bad.
BARBI: D’WONDER BEKI
Paolo Ballesteros plays a closeted body guard falsely accused of murdering the person he was tasked to protect. He goes into hiding by embracing who he really is, transforming into the titular Wonder Beki. It’s an interesting choice to basically follow up the much more dramatic Die Beautiful with a Tony Y. Reyes film. Paolo Ballesteros remains somewhat of an untested quantity at the box office, and this film will prove to be a test of his movie-carrying abilities.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Kenneth Branagh stars in and directs this latest adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery. A murder occurs on a moving train, and the eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates each of the thirteen passengers, hoping to solve the murder before the train arrives in London. The cast also includes Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe. That’s a lot of acting to pack into one train.
DADDY’S HOME 2
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reprise their roles in this sequel to the 2015 comedy Daddy’s Home. Their issues since resolved, Daddy’s Home 2 now introduces their fathers, played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson, respectively. Based on trailers, it appears that they’re just rehashing the same dynamics, with Ferrell and Lithgow being made fun of for being ineffectual and unmanly, while Wahlberg and Gibson get to ride motorcycles and make racial slurs. Oh yeah, we haven’t forgotten, Mel Gibson.
Based on the bestselling novel, Wonder stars Jacob Tremblay as a young boy with facial deformities that is sent to a mainstream elementary school for the first time. His parents, palyed by Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts, try to help him cope with the new environment. We haven’t read the book, but it sure does a lot like a junior version of the 1985 Peter Bogdanovich movie Mask. Presumably, given the brightness of the color palette, this will handle the same topic with a gentler hand.
This Korean film follows two police academy students who try to solve a crime by themselves. And because this is a movie, the two are opposites: one is very studious, and one is all action. What really matters, though, is that the movie stars Park Seo-joon and Kang Ha-neul, are two very handsome Korean actors. Sometimes, that all you really need.
ACTIVE VISTA AT CINEMA CENTENARIO
The Active Vista Film Festival rolls on, and they’re going to be screening their films at an all-new venue in Maginhawa Quezon City. Cinema Centenario, which opens properly on December 1, will be screening Respeto, On The Job, Last Supper No. 3, Jay, Bunso, Himpapawid, and Engkwentro. Tickets will go 150 pesos.