Movie Review: Serbis (with spoilers)

26 06 2008

 

Serbis is an indie film that recently competed in the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. The film focuses on a family owned theater house and how their lives revolve around the said building. Nanay Flor, played by Gina Pareno, is the owner of the said theater house. Together running the family business is Nayda (Jacklyn Jose), daughter of nanay Flor, with her husband Lando (Julio Diaz). Nadya has a daughter played by Roxanne Jordan, and a son played by Bobby Jerome Go. Alan (Coco Martin) is the theater painter and maintenance guy while Ronald (Kristopher King) is the projector guy which had an elicit affair with Nadya.

 

The movie presented a very odd style of storytelling. It is so odd that I think regular movie goers will fine the movie uninteresting and disappointing. As the movie progress, I am really feeling the same way but I refuse to be subjected such ordeal so I concentrated hard and asked why such film became one of the contenders for the Cannes Film Festival this year. I started looking at the details and the dialogue of the latter part of the film and found out that the whole file ties up with one central theme, Family.

 

The name of the theater is “Family”. Nanny Flor is the acts as the head of the Family Theater. Nancy is the active manager of the said theater. Notice that these two women always go to the “lalaki” or male CR when they need to reflect and think things. Indirectly the film wants to say that these two women act as the male roles that are strong or at least trying to be strong with all the problems they are facing in life, Flor with her cheating husband and Nadya with a secret love affair with Ronald not to mention the financial aspect of their theater house. The males on the other hand play the female roles. Lando (Julio Diaz) is the naïve husband of Nadya and is the cook of their small carinderya. Alan is the cleaning boy and Ronald as projector boy / serbis boy. Males in the said building are the prostitutes. Roxanne, on the other hand, wants to feel beautiful as a woman; however, Nadya refused to allow this and wants her to be as cold person as possible.

 

Their lives have no definite direction and often times go around in an endless maze of confusion and disillusion. This might be the reason why the shots are very confusing and sometimes dizzy especially the stairs scenes. This so called “family” rejects the unfamiliar and is either contented with their lives or terribly frightened of the unexpected. There are many scenes to prove this. Here are some of the scenes:

 

  • One scene is with a mother trying to find his son in the theater house. Nadya immediately dispose of the mother.
  • The unexpected result of the trial with nanay Flor’s husband. She refused to accept the facts and is determined to make an appeal in the higher courts
  • The goat that suddenly appears in the theater house. When the goat appeared, the lights were opened revealing the things happening in the theater. All are determined to get rid of the goat and when it is gone… back to the usual.
  • When nanay Flor decided to allow Alan and his girlfriend to get married, he left the theater house to escape his responsibility to his unexpected child. This scene is shown below:

 

 

The ending scene is a teenage guy and an adult gay having conversation leading to a possible sexual intercourse. Suddenly there is burning film appearing in the screen (kinda like the film is subjected to intense exposure) then it consumed the whole screen. Leaving the audience clueless of what happened to al of the main characters. I remember that this film started also like the beginning of the reel in theaters. For me this simply means that if all the characters keep on doing their evil acts, like a film reel not moving, they will eventually be exposed and consumed till the burn and destroy.

 

For me the film is misleading… I didn’t get why it is called “Serbis” well in fact the film is mainly focus on the key persons of the theater house. I know that there are service boys offering to their customers but the film didn’t focus about their lives… so why Serbis!!!

 

The technical aspects of the film for me are terrible. I understand that this is an Indie film but it is not an excuse for a noisy background that I can’t even hear the dialogues and unfocused shots that looks like an armature camera man is holding a digital camera and running over the vicinity. As for the plot, I think it lacks a climax that will make the whole story fit together. It will take a little bit effort on the part of the audience to understand its message. Acting for me is superbly done especially Gina Pareno. Editing is obviously butchered which I don’t know if it is credited to the MTRCB or to the film editors.

 

If you are planning to watch this film for the controversial parts or if you are used to movies that already exposes the plot… surely you will be disappointed. Again this film is not for the average movie audience. You need to interpret different details which most Filipino audience will find it dull. European audiences are fond of details. This might be the reason why it is a popular hit in Cannes Film Festival.

 

Overall I will give it 2 out of 5 Jupiter stars. Technical aspects and target audience perception are the downfalls of this film. The plot for me is considerable good.

 

 

 

(‘o’) – jupiterboi out…

 

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Quiapo Guide

25 06 2008

 

 Never back down

 When love begins

 The ruins

 Stop-loss

 In Bruges

 Prism

 The hammer

 Welcome home Roscoe Jenkins

 Kungfu dunk

 Shark swarm

 Talos the Mummy

 Breakfast with Scot

 Stump the Band

 Necronomicon book of the dead

 The evil dead

 Ang Lihim ni Antonio

 Sikil

 The spiderwick chronicles

 Fool’s Gold

 What happens in Vegas

 Fish tales

 Forgetting sarah marshall

 Definitely, maybe

 The Machine girl

 Shutter (English version)

 Kiss the bride

 

 Honeydripper 

 Recount

 The wager

 Raja 1918

 My best friend’s girlfriend

 Shelter

 Socket

 Yoyo girl cop

 The oxford murders

 Grace is gone

 Altered

 The forbidden kingdom My mom’s new boyfriend aka homeland security

 Meet bill

 The Eye

 Bee movie

 

 21

 Supahpapalicious

 Semi-pro

 Walk all over me

 War, inc.

 Dragons destiny of fire

 3 pigs and a baby

 Donkey xote

 Jane and the dragon

 Perfect creature

 National Treasure: book of secrets

 10,000 BC

 Teeth

 Doomsday

 Three kingdoms

 Virgin territory

 Super hero movie

 Shake rattle and roll 9

 My big love

 Desperadas

 Bahay Kubo

 Sakal sakali saklolo

 Apat dapat

 Pasukob

 Her best move

 Over her dead body

 The Hottie and the Nottie

 Jack and Jill vs the world

 Siyama

 Untraceable

 The bank job

 PS I love you

 Vantage Point

 Step up 2

 The mist

 Jumper

 27 dresses

 The air I breathe

 American gangster

 The assassination of jesse james

 The golden compass

 Enchanted

 





Movie Review: Kataude mashin gâru aka The Machine Girl

25 06 2008

 

 If you think Kill Bill 1 and 2 are the ultimate revenging chick gore film you have seen, move over Uma and enter Asami. In the recent BIFFF (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival), movie goers raved about one particular Japanese film entitled “Kataude mashin gâru” or “The Machine Girl” not because of the special effects, acting etc. but the pure goriness it presented.

 

The film is about an older sister wanting to take revenge to all the persons who killed her younger brother. Her brother was a victim of a brutal gang of school bullies lead by a totally barbaric Yakuzan son. When she found out, she immediately sought revenge and went to the members and asked for the whereabouts of their leader. Never did she knew that she was about to face the deadliest Yakuza clan and their army of skunks. When she attempted to kill the boy she was caught and lost her left arm. She was able to escape and found refuge to a family victimized also by the same school bullies. They teamed up and made her the ultimate bionic woman only one thing in mind… to kill and destroy the Yakuza clan who killed countless innocent victims like what they did to her brother. Will they succeed? Watch it to find out. Here are some of the pictures in the movie: 

Here is the scene where the mother shows her hidden weapon, her drill bra. hahaha. Wish I could have that!!!

Here is the scene where Hanoka used a power saw with the use of her cut off leg to finish her opponent

Here is the scene where Asami cuts off the head of her enemy… and here comes the bloon fountain again…

 All I can say is that this is a very entertaining movie but I don’t think it is suitable for teens. The violence will surely affect the minds of those kids. Technical aspects of the film, I liked it and seemed to jive with the plot of the film. What didn’t like is the editing. In the first part of the film, Asami appeared with seemingly 1 arm, when she jumps over… now she has 2 arms then when she landed down… she has 1 arm again… come on… it is in it ridiculous !!! Another thing, it doesn’t seemed believable to think that every time a particular body part is cut off, it turns out to be a fountain of blood gushing display of pain. Heller!!!

 

Hey with all its flaws, I will still recommend it to you, my readers because if who want to be entertained, it will definitely bring you the blood gory entertainment you will definitely want.

 

Overall, I would say 4 out of 5 Jupiter star for this film.

 

 

 

(‘o’) – jupiterboi out…





Movie Review: Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins

24 06 2008

 

 I’m not really sure if this film was shown in Philippine theaters but I just recently watched this film. It stars Martin Lawrence as RJ Stephens, a popular TV show host kinda like Dr. Phil where he helps people deal with their issues in life. Suddenly the spotlight is on him as he is forced to attend in his 50th anniversary of his parents. With a large, noisy and very vulgar family… no wonder he doesn’t contact him for almost 9 years. He brings with him his hot materialistic fiance and his “seeking for love” son into this event. As the movie progress you will see that is more that meets the eye for such remorse towards his family, especially to his cousin Clyde played by “Cedric the entertainer”. Clyde is RJ’s ultimate rival. Clyde is his cousin who lost his parents so he always turned to RJ’s parents for love and attention. With this RJ’s youth is full of resentlent towards his parents espcially to his father. Another thing why RJ is so angry with Clyde is because he stole his ultimate crush, Lucinda. Will all these elements combined… will it turn out to be a lovely celebration or a ultimate family disaster?…

I personally enjoyed the movie and the cast especially Betty played by Mo’Nique. Though there are some corny jokes and pretty much predictable plot, I would still say it is entertaining and has moral lessons. The movie has a good combination of laugh out humor and tearjerking moments. If you like movies about father and son relationships, this is a recommended film. As far as the technical aspects of the film, nothing great.

I will give this film 3 out of 5 Jupiter star power rating.

(‘o’) – jupiterboi out…





Serbis showing on June 25, 2008

22 06 2008

 

 

The Long Wait is Over… Serbis will be shown in Philippine Cinema this June 25, 2008. The said film has been chosen as one of the official selection as Palme d’Or (it is like the Best Picture Category) for the Cannes Film Festival 2008 last May. Here are the list of films who made it:

Mercedes Cabral, Filippino actress Gina Pareno and Filippino actor Julio Diaz wave as they pose during a photocall for Filippino director Brillante Mendoza’s film ‘Serbis’ at the 61st Cannes International Film Festival on May 18, 2008 in Cannes, southern France. The second photo (starting from the right) shows Filippino actresses Jaclyn Jose, Gina Pareno and Mercedes Cabral blow kisses to photographers during the same photocall.

  • ADORATION directed by Atom EGOYAN
  • BLINDNESS directed by Fernando MEIRELLES
  • CHE directed by Steven SODERBERGH
  • DELTA directed by Kornel MUNDRUCZO
  • ENTRE LES MURS (THE CLASS) directed by Laurent CANTET
  • ER SHI SI CHENG JI directed by JIA Zhangke
  • GOMORRA (GOMORRAH) directed by Matteo GARRONE
  • IL DIVO directed by Paolo SORRENTINO
  • L’ÉCHANGE (CHANGELING) directed by Clint EASTWOOD
  • LA FRONTIÈRE DE L’AUBE (FRONTIER OF DAWN) directed by Philippe GARREL
  • LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (THE HEADLESS WOMAN) directed by Lucrecia MARTEL
  • LE SILENCE DE LORNA (LORNA’S SILENCE) directed by Jean-Pierre et Luc DARDENNE
  • LEONERA directed by Pablo TRAPERO
  • LINHA DE PASSE directed by Walter SALLES, Daniela THOMAS
  • MY MAGIC directed by Eric KHOO
  • PALERMO SHOOTING directed by Wim WENDERS
  • SERBIS directed by Brillante MENDOZA
  • SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK directed by Charlie KAUFMAN
  • TWO LOVERS directed by James GRAY
  • ÜÇ MAYMUN (THREE MONKEYS) directed by Nuri Bilge CEYLAN
  • UN CONTE DE NOËL (A CHRISTMAS TALE) directed by Arnaud DESPLECHIN
  • WALTZ WITH BASHIR directed by Ari FOLMAN
  •  

    The two photos above are the shots of the actors and actresses staring in Serbis. The first photo (starting from the left) shows

    I personally can’t wait to see this film (not beacuse of the nudity involved?!) but more importantly to really give support to our films. I think the film will really show the truth behind the underground prostitution happening in old theater houses. I love the concept of have the irony of using the theater as the main focal point of the film since the theater should show the glamorous life but it gives the twist. Theaters are used in the film as a symbolism of hopelessness and poverty that persons have to resort in prostitution to survive.

    I hope the playdate will really push through this time so producers and MTRCB please…

    (‘o’) – jupiterboi out…

     





    UP film updates June 23-30

    22 06 2008

    I was able to get leaflets of the UP film Institute showings and I’m posting the shows for June 23-30.

    June 23:

    @ the Videotech = 4:30pm-Sibak, 6:30pm-Bagong Hari

    Cine Adarna = 7pm-My wife’s lover

    June 24:

    @ the Videotech = 4:30pm-Turuang Apoy, 6:30pm-Sibak

    June 25:

    @ the Videotech = 4:30pm-Pixote, 6:30pm-Flesh Avenue

    June 26:

    @ the Videotech = 4:30pm-Kampus, 6:30pm-Fame

    Cine Adarna = 2:30pm-Snake Charmer, 5pm-Sex and the Emperor, 7pm-Kambyo

    June 27:

    @ the Videotech = 5pm-Menor de Edad, 7pm-Blue Jeans

    June 28:

    @ the Videotech = 2:30pm-Schoolgirls, 4:30pm-My fair Lady

    Cine Adarna = 2, 3:30, 5, 6:30pm-Kasambahay

    June 30:

    @ the Videotech = 4:30pm-Bagong Hari, 6:30pm-Pixote

    Cine Adarna = 5, 7pm-My Wife’s Lover

     

    Regular showings cost P35, premier films cost P100

     

    (‘o’) – jupiterboi out…

     





    Nancy C 2 Nancy J

    22 06 2008

    When I first heard of the hip new song “Love Song”, I never thought that a Filipina is singing this song and most of all from an unexpected artist know for doing sexy and teeny booper roles. Introducing the re-invented Nancy Castilione now called Nancy Jane. At first I’m hesistant to buy her album cause  i’m not sure if it is worth my money. For the price of P290, I just finally gave in and listened to the tracks. As expected it is a collection of trance, dance and club music. I like the tracks considering not many artists can pull off this genre of music. I think Nancy Jane did justice in bringing the moves and grooves of our clubs right now. Of course I liked the debut single “Love Song” and “Control”.

    Just a trip to the producers handling Nancy Jane’s albums and image. If you want to make this as an international “thing” – promote this album in Europe and Autrailia. Her voice is so Kylie Monigue-ish… the Aussies and European based pips will surely dig in to the tracks.

    Congratz Kylie… este… Nancy Jane. Hope you be a successful dance diva.

    3 out of 5 Jupiter star rating for this album

    (‘o’) – jupiterboi out…