Oggs Cruz

Review: Cathy Garcia-Molina's SHE'S DATING THE GANGSTER Is More Than Just Your Average Filipino Rom-Com

The early 90's was for Philippine cinema a period for transition from the hard-hitting dramas and actioners to the sugary and light romances that are still popular up to today. Carlos Siguion-Reyna's Hihintayin Kita sa Langit (I Will Wait For... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Lav Diaz's NORTE: THE END OF HISTORY is a Masterpiece That Tackles Human Strife

History is often written to objectify the past into a series of related events that lead to the present. As a result, it tends to glorify milestones to the point of neglecting the humanity that is the very soul... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Anticipated In 2014: The Films We Most Want To See

With 2014 now fully upon us the Twitch team gathers to take a look at the films we most want to take a look at in the coming year. Is this some sort of scientific poll? Heck no, more just... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: Chito Roño's BOY GOLDEN Is A Bizarre Actioner That Bursts With Charm And Identity

Chito Roño's Boy Golden, the third of actor-turned-politician Jeorge "E.R. Ejercito" Estregan's yearly vanity projects, is a surprisingly offbeat actioner. A fictionalized take on the life of 1960's gang leader Arturo Porcuna, the film transforms Manila into a stage where... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

CinemaOne 2013: Jet Leyco's BUKAS NA LANG SAPAGKAT GABI NA (LEAVE IT TOMORROW FOR NIGHT HAS FALLEN) is a Powerful Document on the Philippines' Culture of Censorship

"Bukas na lang sapagkat gabi na (Leave it tomorrow for night has fallen)." It is a phrase most commonly used by doting mothers who keep secrets from inquisitive children. Jet Leyco, who has heard the phrase as a kid curious... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

CinemaOne 2013: Bolstered By Intense Performances, KABISERA Is A Daring And Intelligent Debut For Borgy Torre

The bookends of Borgy Torre's Kabisera are presented with such disarmingly romantic flair that they immediately stand out from the gritty reality that consumes most of the film. Andres (Joel Torre) sits in the head of the table, while the... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

CinemaOne 2013 Review: Whammy Alcazaren's ISLANDS Has All the Awkwardness, Charm, and Honesty of a Love Poem

The easiest thing to do is to either stop at faulting or praising Whammy Alcazaren's ambition in mounting Islands, a deeply personal meditation on the complexities of loving. The film is hardly about the director's ambition. It is more about... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

CinemaOne 2013 Review: Miko Livelo's BLUE BUSTAMANTE is an Emotionally Affecting Charmer Despite Obvious Rough Edges

It is inevitable for the Philippines, a country whose economy thrives because of the inward remittances of its overseas workers, to develop a film culture that revolves specifically around the experiences of those expatriated breadwinners and the families they... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Despite Its Contrivances, Ian Lorenos' ALAGWA (BREAKAWAY) Can Only Leave You in Tears

Inspired by an urban legend about kidnappers targeting children to be turned into beggars, Ian Lorenos' Alagwa (Breakaway) tells the story of Robert (Jericho Rosales) and Brian (Bugoy Carino), his son. The film opens with Robert and Brian shopping inside a mall.... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Raya Martin and Mark Peranson's LA ULTIMA PELICULA Makes the Apocalypse Such a Melancholic but Amusing Affair

The year 2012 was, for most of humanity, a waiting game. The Mayans predicted the world's end. Riots sprouted. Floods happened. Scandals erupted. It seemed the Mayans spoke true, but there was still no assurance that the world was on... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Joel Ferrer's HELLO, WORLD Has Too Much Fun, But Too Little Emotional Heft

We all were once invincible. High with puberty, we were indestructible with our first time sexual encounters, super secret crushes, and truckloads of alcohol. We talked with flair, mouthing fad words that are strange to adult ears. We walked with a... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Jerrold Tarog's SANA DATI (IF ONLY) is an Affecting Romantic Film for Failed Romantics

Jerrold Tarog has been exposing the hard truths behind the Philippines' greatest preoccupations, politics and family. Through characters whose jobs are related to cameras, Tarog destroys myths that have misled Filipinos into a distorted sense of comfort. In Confessional (2007),... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinefilipino Review: Mike Alcazaren's PUTI (WHITE) is a Gorgeously Atmospheric Horror Until It Decides to Become a Conventional Morality Tale

At the center of Mike Alcazaren's Puti (White) is Amir (Ian Veneracion), a counterfeit painter who leads a reclusive life with his son, Jaime (Bryan Pagala). His wife died a couple of years back. Other family members are abroad. His... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinefilipino Review: Ron Bryant's BINGOLERAS is All Romp with Little Pleasure

Ron Bryant's Bingoleras is a comedy of scant pleasures and even scanter insights. Sure, the jokes are plenty. However, for a film that prefers to abandon reason and logic for an overflowing stream of supposedly funny skits and sketches, it... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Elwood Perez Returns to Filmmaking With Frustratingly Enigmatic OTSO (EIGHT)

Various colorful images of Manila open Otso (Eight), Elwood Perez's first film since Lupe: A Seaman's Wife and Ssshhh... She Walks by Night ten years ago. Lex (Vince Tanada), a returning Filipino writer who is commissioned by a director to draft... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2013 Review: Eduardo Roy, Jr.'s QUICK CHANGE, A Visually Fascinating Exploration Of Transsexuals And Their Moral And Identity Crises

Dorina (Mimi Juareza) is a retired entertainer who now plies the streets offering her cheap, quick cosmetic fixes to other transgendered men. Lacking any medical experience, she is nonetheless "doc" to her grateful patients, whose faces are sculpted to look like... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2013 Review: Hannah Espia's TRANSIT, An Arresting, Moving Portrait Of The Filipino Diaspora In Israel

Hannah Espia's Transit deals with the struggles of an extended Filipino family living and working in Tel Aviv after the Israeli government passed a law forcing children of overseas workers who are below five years of age to be deported... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2013 Review: Jason Paul Laxamana's BABAGWA (THE SPIDER'S LAIR) Is a Thrilling Look Into the Sordid Lives of Facebook Scammers

Jason Paul Laxamana's Babagwa, an exploration of the proliferation of deceit in a rapidly virtualizing world, centers on Greg (Alex Medina), who fronts himself online as Bam Bonifacio (Kiko Matos), an affluent and handsome model whose sexual orientation depends... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2013 Review: Mikhail Red's REKORDER Is An Enthralling Exploration Of A Media-Addicted Society

Mikhail Red's Rekorder is the story of Maven (Ronnie Quizon), a tragic drifter who with his old camcorder records movies currently showing in theaters to sell the footage to pirates. The parting image shows Ronnie in the movie theater without... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Cinemalaya 2013 Review: Alvin Yapan's DEVOTION, A Marriage Of Passionate Love And Religious Fervor

Alvin Yapan's films have always been influenced by his being both a literature professor and a writer of short stories. They are never empty vessels of creatively plotted stories that are heavily embellished by cinematic techniques and visuals. The charm of... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  
 
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