CINEMA: WATCHING FILM FROM A GOSPEL POINT OF VIEW . *** For inquiries, please EMAIL: *** CALL or TEXT: (02) 664 5886 *** WRITE TO: CINEMA, Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila *** THANK YOU!

Friday, January 20, 2017


DIRECTOR: Morten Tyldum  LEAD CAST: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy GarcĂ­a  WRITER: Jon Spaihts  PRODUCERS: Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher, Ori Marmur  FILM EDITOR: Maryann Brandon  GENRE: Science Fiction Romance  CINEMATOGRAPHY: Rodrigo Prieto  MUSIC: Thomas Newman   PRODUCTON COMPANIES: LStar Capital, Village Roadshow Pictures, Wanda Pictures, Original    Film, Company Films, Start Motion Pictures   DISTRIBUTORS: Columbia Pictures  COUNTRY: U. S. A.  LANGUAGE: English  RUNNING TIME: 1 hour & 56 minutes
Technical Assessment: 2.5
Moral Assessment: 2.5
Cinema Rating: A14
MTRCB Rating: PG
Engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is onboard spaceship Starship Avilon with 5,000 passengers in suspended animation as they are on a 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet called Homestead. As the ship passes through an asteroid field, it encounters malfunction and one of its hibernation pods opens prematurely, waking up Jim from hibernation 90 years early. Rattled, Jim tries everything he can to put himself back to sleep inside his hibernation pod, but to no avail. He is faced with the fact that he will forever be stranded in space alone and he will not make it to Homestead. Instead, he will die in the ship from either loneliness or old age. Then he catches sight of fellow passenger, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) who is still in her hibernation pod.  He investigates Aurora’s background and he becomes fascinated by her.  He finds out he can wake her up from hibernation but doing so would put her on the same fate as his. But then, he cannot stand the aloneness in the spaceship. He has to make a tough decision.
Passengers  tackles a premise that is very far from human possibility.  Although a sci-fi, it understandably tries to justify the science behind the fantasy. But then again, the challenge lies on its effectiveness to suspend disbelief of the audience – but the even more problematic humanness of the entire storyline and uninspired mounting of emotional thread fail to make the picture at the very least, believable. The film utterly fails to maximize the grand setting and elaborate CGIs with its thinly layered story arcs. Lawrence and Pratt make a great pair though and both look great on screen given the limitations of the material. The real problem of the film is its structure itself. It apparently lacks the heart in what it really wants to say about human nature in general. The motivations and actions of the characters seem to be no more than functional and the reconciliations appear to be no more than obligatory.  In the end, the audience feels nothing for the characters, even for all its passengers.
No man is an island. The film works on this adage as justification for its character’s decisions.  However, looking at his motivations on the moral context, it is indeed no doubt that his action is an ultimate act of selfishness without regard to the well-being of the other. While growing and dying old alone seem to be a tragedy in itself, humans have the capacity to accept and endure suffering if that would be his or her fate. Altering one’s fate in an artificial and inhuman way is definitely a grave offense against the other person. Even the romance in the Passengers seems to be manipulated and staged for there is deception from the very beginning. Perhaps the film tries to justify Jim’s acts of purifying his intentions but even the film’s resolution does not give enough justice at all. Does the end to love really justify the means to deceive? Was there really love to begin with? Or is it just a product of fear of growing and dying old alone? The film in its entirety plays God. They are all manipulating human possibilities without regard for the divine. It seems God is absent in the outer space.  The characters’ heroic acts for the greater good are commendable as well as their effort to bring life and nature life in the spacecraft is amazing. Forgiveness comes sooner because of love. But then, love is being confused with lust in the film and there was no regard for procreation which adds more confusion with the film’s real intention. But if there is one apparent moral the film depicts it would be the fact that humans are not perfect. Only God is. And when humans start to believe that they are perfect and can even create and manipulate new life through their own effort and intelligence that would be the start of their own downfall. For some graphic nudity and sexual content, CINEMA deems the film may be appropriate only to audiences aged 14 and above. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


DIRECTOR: Garth Jennings  VOICE CAST:  Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly  SCREENWRITER: Garth Jennings  PRODUCER: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy  EDITOR: Gregory Perler  MUSIC: Joby Talbot  GENRE:  Animation, Musical Comedy  PRODUCTION COMPANY: Illumination Entertainment  DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures  COUNTRY:  United States LANGUAGE: English  RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
Technical assessment: 3.5
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating:  V13 with parental guidance
Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) has to do something to prevent the closure of the theater house that he has inherited from his father.  He thinks of hosting a singing competition to save the theater and to use his remaining little cash as a prize. He confides this plan to his bestfriend  Eddie Noodleman (John Reilly) who is equally supportive of the idea. But the assistant of Buster mistakenly types on prize amount from $1000 to $100,000.  This expectedly generates interests to many aspiring singers who flock to the audition and showcase their talents. Instead of amending the prize amount, Buster remains optimistic and scouts for sponsors to cover up for the lacking amount.
True to its title, Sing is a movie treat for both music and non-music lovers. It is an entertaining animated musical comedy with “personified” animal characters. The featured songs are a popular selection across decades, hence may be relatable to viewers of all ages.  Sing has a good narrative flow with coordinated sub plots and complementary musical score. Likewise, dialogues are spontaneous and meaningful. The actors behind the voices did an excellent job as demanded by the characters’roles, especially in projecting different emotions.

There is value in appreciation of God-given talents like singing and dancing as projected in Sing.  This serves as an inspiration for someone who is facing financial difficulties to regain losses by opening opportunities for others to showcase their singing talents.   Along with this noble intention in the character of Buster Moon is his determination to continue the legacy of his father and remain optimistic amidst disappointments and challenges.   Similarly, contestants come to join not only with their talents but with varying reasons and aspirations.  While pursuing dreams through talent showcase is a positive action, there are portions in the movie that depict misbehavior, like stealing electricity and money, lying to evade collectors, gender stereotyping, and inordinate leniency to the person who commits mistakes at work.  For this reason, children below 13 years old must be guided by adults, lest they think good intentions justify wrongdoing.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever is Not Enough

Direction: Marlon Rivera; Lead cast: Eugene Domingo, Kean Cipriano, Cai Cortez, Joel Torre, Jericho Rosales, Agot Isidro; Story/Screenplay: Chris Martinez, Marlon Rivera; Editing : Marya Ignacio; Cinematography: Lee Briones; Producer:Chris Martinez, Marlon Rivera; Music: Von de Guzman; Location: Metro Manila, Baguio; Genre: Comedy/Satire; Distributor: Quantum Films
Technical assessment: 3 
Moral assessment: 3 
CINEMA rating: V14  
Pagkatapos ng limang taon at ang award-winning na pelikulang "Walang-wala"muling magkikita at maaring magsama sa isang pelikula sina Direk Rainer (Cipriano) at Eugene Domingo (Domingo) sa isa na namang pelikula na pinamagatang "The Intinerary". Ang dating tahimik na si Jocelyn (Cortez) ay madaldal na Line Producer. Ang kwentong "The Itinerary" ay hango sa kasalukuyang pinadaraanang problema ni Rainer at ng kanyang asawa at dapat sanang paraan niya upang maayos ang gusot sa kanilang relasyon. Kaya naman puspsan ang bagbantay ng direktor na hindi malihis ang kwento. Pero sa isip ni Domingo, sapat na ang inaning tagumpay at parangal ng isang indie film at panahon na para gumawa sila ng pelikulang kikita sa takilya sa paraang kabisado at hinahanap ng mga manunuod. 
Mahirap iwasang hindi ihambing ang pelikulang ito sa naunang Ang Babae sa Septic Tank kaya naman medyo malata at kapos sa talim ang mga patama ng mga eksena. Kung ang una ay patutsada sa makasariling ambisyon ng mga Indie filmmakers, ngayon naman ay pambabatikos sa mga nauusong romcom (romantic comedyna kabisadong-kabisado na ang mga sangkap na papatok sa takilyaAndun pa rin naman ang mga “quotable quotes” at "hugot lines"pero masyado nakasalalay ang pelikula kay Domingo at sa script na halos hindi mo na maaninag ang pananaw ng direktorAt dahil sumasapaw ang presensya ni Domingo sa mga eksenahindi na rin maramdaman ang pinagdaraanang kirot ni Rainer na dapat sanang gigising sa kamalayan ng mga tao na may katotohanan palang nais iparating sa likod ng komedya. Sa kabuuannakakaaliw pa rin ang pagganap ni Domingo at sakto naman ang mga hirit ni Cortez at TorreSulit naman ang panunuod kung hindi mo gagawing batayan ang talino sa pagkakagawa ng naunang pelikula. 
Ang pelikulang Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever is Not Enough ay hindi tungkol sa relasyon nina Rainer at ng kanyang asawa o ang pagbabalik pelikula ni Domingo. Ito ay isang pagbatikos sa kababawan ng mga manunuod na patuloy na tumatangkilik sa mga naka pormulang palabas para lamang matawakiligin at magbayad ng P250 sa panandaliang pagtakas sa lupit ng buhayWika nga ni Domingo, bakit gagastos ang tao para lang manuod ng paghihirap at lungkot. Pero sa kabilang dako namankailangang bang isakripisyo ang sining  at malikhaing pagpapahayag para lamang kumita sa takilya? Ang magandang tanong ng CINEMA, para kanino ang paggawa ng isang pelikula? Para sa mga manunuod na gustong takasan ang katotohanan at mabuhay sa pantasya sa loob ng dalawang oras? Kung ganon ay dapat nga sigurong maging mala-rosas ang pananaw para naman may pagtakas sa mundomatalino man ito o mababaw O para ba ito sa pagpapahayag at paglikha ng obra? Kung gayon ay nasa kamay ng direktor kung ano at papaano ipalalabas ang nasa isip niyamaintindihan man ito ng tao o hindi. Kaya lang ang pelikula sa ngayon ay para sa mga namumuhunanKailangang tumabo sa takilyaKailangang pilahan at kumita. At dahil sa ganitong pananawwalang usapan ng sining o damdamin 
Kung magiging masusi ang mga nanonood ng Septic Tank 2 ay dapat silang lumabas sa sinehan ng nakatungo dahil isa itong pagsampal sa nagiging kultura nila bilang manunuodat mangako sa sarili na sa susunod at pipiliin na nila ang mga tatangkiliking palabas.