This Week In Cinemas – November 8, 2017

Smaller movies sneak into cinemas on the week before another superhero blockbuster

by Philbert Dy


It’s really difficult to figure out the underlying logic of the local release schedule, but sometimes it’s transparent enough. We’re getting a bunch of smaller films this week, because no one wants to go up against the Justice League behemoth that’s just around the corner. So, this week: two smaller local films, two lesser known international festival entries, a limited release, and two obscure animated features.


Local Releases:



Alessandra de Rossi makes her screenwriting debut in 12, where she plays a former musician who has just been proposed to by her longtime boyfriend (played by Ivan Padilla). The title, apparently, refers to the number of years that the characters have known each other. The synopsis even breaks it down: five years as friends, then seven as romantic partners. Why this is relevant is something we will all have to find out together.



Barbie Forteza and Ken Chan play young lovers that went through a painful breakup. They cross paths again years later, and they bring all their emotional baggage into what turns out to be a second chance at romance. Forteza has proven to be quite the talented young actress, her skills most evident in the films that she’s done outside of the studio system. Hopefully those same skills shine through in this film, which really does seem like a bog-standard studio romcom.


Foreign Releases:



Exclusive to Ayala Cinemas, The Mountain Between Us stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba as a pair of strangers who get stranded on a snowy mountain following a plane crash. The two work together to traverse some dangerous wilderness, and along the way, they find other ways to keep warm – wink wink. We apologize. That was gross. Anyway, response to this film has been pretty tepid, despite the tremendous star power leading the way.



Blake Lively stars as a blind woman who regains her sight through a surgical procedure. Her ability to see, however, seems to come at a price, as her relationship with her husband (Jason Clarke) suffers as a result. It might surprise some that this is a film from Marc Forster, director of films like The Kite Runner and Monsters Ball and Quantum of Solace. So the film comes with a pretty big pedigree, in spite of the weird, schlocky Cinemax thriller suggested by the trailer.



The Walking Dead’s Stephen Yeun plays a lawyer just fired from his job when a viral infection breaks out in the office, causing everyone inside to act out their most violent impulses. So if you liked seeing Stephen Yeun using various implements to do harm on zombies on The Walking Dead, you might also enjoy seeing him using various implements to do harm on his co-workers. FYI: the MTRCB rating is R18, so if you want to see this film it won’t be in an SM Cinema.



Hey remember when vampires were scary? Remember when they were just the bad guys, killing humans and tempting comely maidens into a life of evil enslavement? Anyway, this animated film adapts the popular series of German children’s novels detailing the adventures of a young boy and his equally young vampire friend. Presumably, it doesn’t end with the vampire friend drinking the blood of the mortal boy, leaving him a dried husk of brittle flesh. It just doesn’t work that way anymore.



This is the third theatrical anime film in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. The series follows the adventures of an elementary school girl who wields magic from parallel worlds to defeat monsters and the like. The plot of this film seems to involve a dying world and the title character getting involved in an interdimensional battle that will determine the fate of the Earth as well. That’s just how it goes in these things. Obviously, if you are not well versed in Nanoha, this movie might not be for you.


Special Engagements:




The latest edition of the Cinema One Originals festival kicks off on Sunday with the opening film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Then, the festival runs until the 28th in Trinoma, Gateway, Glorietta, Cinema ’76, Cinematheque Manila, UP Film Center, and Power Plant Cinemas. They’ve funded nine new films, and will also be screening restored classics, contemporary arthouse movies, and selections from previous years of the festival.




Starting November 10, the 2014 Cinemalaya film Sundalong Kanin will be screened in the Cine Lokal theaters.




Purgatoryo and Baconaua are being run as a double feature for the weekend. There will also be screenings of Bliss and Echorsis.