The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication-CBCP

CINEMA (Catholic INitiative for Enlightened Movie Appreciation) of The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines presents movies viewed in the light of the gospel. . *** For inquiries, please EMAIL: cbcpcinema@gmail.com *** CALL or TEXT: (02) 664 5886 *** or WRITE TO: CINEMA, Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila *** Enjoy the reviews, and THANK YOU!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Justice League

Direction: Zack Snyder Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal GadotHenry Cavill, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Jason MomoaCiaran Hinds. Diane Lane; Story: Chris Terrio and Joss Wheton based on Justice League by Gardner FoxScreenplayChris Terrio and Zack Snyder; CinematographyFabian WagnerEditingDavid Brenner, Richard Pearson, Martin WalshMusic: Danny ElfmanProducersCharles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff JohnGenreSci-Fi Action;  Location: Gotham and MetropolisDistributorWarner Bros.  Running Time140 minutes;  
Technical assessment: 3.5  
Moral assessment3 stars 
CINEMA rating: V13 
MTRCB rating: PG13 
To stop Steppenwolf (Hinds) from conquering the Earth, the three Mother Boxes, containing unparalleled energy, are distributed for safekeeping to the Amazons, Atlanteans and mankind after their combined armies defeat and imprison Steppenwolf and his army. However, Superman’s death triggers the Mother Boxes to come alive and free them. Bruce Wayne/Batman (Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonderwoman (Gadot) team up and recruit Atlantean Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Mamoa), Barry Allen/Flash (Miller) and Victon Stone/Cyborg (Fisher). The team is formed too late as the Steppenwolf gains two of the Mother Boxes. Wayne decides to use the energy of the remaining Mother Box to bring Superman back to life.  However, the resurrected Superman is disoriented and attacks the team until Lois Lane (Adams) arrives and calms him down. The unguarded remaining Mother Box is easily retrieved by Steppenwolf so the superheroes decide to defend humanity even without Superman. At the last minute  
Superman arrives to assist the united heroes. Fear consumes Steppenwolf causing his own Parademons to attack him. The movie ends with hints of the heroes becoming a real team and Lex Luther planning to form his own group against them. 
Justice League is all hypein its publicity and propaganda and in its storytelling. The action scenes and visuals, with all its multi-million dollar effects and design, will impress some and entertain a few. The story is old and tired. Preventing a vanquished villain from gaining full control of its powers and assembling a team to stop it is just too familiar. What made it even less engaging were flat storytelling and too many back stories in the exposition. It took a long time to get to the action, which is not expected of a superhero movie. But the greatest failure of the film is the shallowness of the characterization and their lack of chemistry with each other. It just did not work. The attempts to be funny were forced and the moments of insight were overworked.  That it comes right between successful and loveable superhero movies from a competitor studio does not help. 
To be a person for others is the usual and natural orientation of superheroes and heroines. In the earlier years, they saved the world because that is what they do. But modern heroes now make a conscious choice. They are faced with moral dilemmas, internal conflicts and polarization of social acceptance. Yet in the end, they make their choices not because they are programmed to do so but because it is the right thing to do. Because they value life. Because they understand that their powers are not for themselves but for service. Heroism is not about one’s superiority but about sacrifice. Power thrives when there is heart and soul. Power is the combined strength of people (or heroes) for a greater cause. Power is fueled by selflessness and compassion. Justice League has a lot of positive values to share but needs the guidance of adults to clarify the messages. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This Time I'll Be Sweeter

DIRECTOR:    JOEL LAMANGAN   LEAD CAST: BARBIE FORTEZA, KEN CHAN  SCREENWRITER: RONA LEAN SALES  PRODUCER:  LILY MONTEVERDE,  ROSELLE MONTERVERDE  EDITOR:  CHARLIEBEBS GOHETIA  MUSICAL DIRECTOR:  PAULO PROTACIO  GENRE: DRAMA/ROMANCE  CINEMATOGRAPHER:  SHERMAN PHILIP SO   DISTRIBUTOR:   REGAL ENTERTAINMENT RUNNING TIME: 104 MINUTES
Technical assessment:  2.5
Moral assessment:  3
CINEMA rating: V14
Sa klaseng kinabibilangan ni Erika (Barbie Forteza), isang mass com student, ipinangako ng guro  na sinumang makapagsusulat ng isang artikulong mailalathala sa isang pambansang pahayagan ay sigurado nang makaka-Uno na grado.  Sinamantala ito ni Erika para ma-interview ang sikat na varsity swimmer na si Tristan (Ken Chan).  Sa madaling salita, nalathala ang artikulong isinulat niya pero ikinainis naman ni Tristan na naging publiko na ang para sa kanya ay isang personal nang bahagi ng kanyang buhay.  Dito magsisimula ang pagkakalapit ng dalawa, ngunit matutuklasan ni Erika na habang siya ay in love na in love na kay Tristan, ay nakikipaglaro lang pala ito sa kanya at sa katunayan ay may nobya na.  Dalawang beses madudurog ang puso ni Erika sa mga kamay ni Tristan, susuong pa kaya siya sa ikatlong pagkakataon?
Tila baga ginawa lang ang This Time I'll Be Sweeter para lamang maglungsad ng isa na namang bagong tambalan pang-romcom.  May istorya naman, at may intensyong magturo ng leksiyon, pero patse-patse ang pagkakahabi ng kuwento—tagilid ang editing—tuloy naging artipisyal, at hindi naging malalim o totoo ang hubog ng mga tauhan kaya’t bumaha man ang luha ni Erika, halimbawa, ay hindi nito maantig ang habag ng manunood.  Katawa-tawa din ang ilang detalya, tulad nang si Tristan ay nasa airport—sa karaniwang departure area lamang naghihintay, pumipila tulad ng iba at hindi kilala ng mga ground stewardess—hindi ba’t bilang anak ng may-ari ng airline ay nasa First Class Lounge man lamang siya, at eestimahin ng mga airline personnel?  In fairness, mahusay ang pag-arte ni Chan bilang lasing na Tristan.  Pero ang karamihan ng mga eksena, halos pa-kyut lang, hindi kapani-paniwala, at parang nagmamanipula sa damdamin ng manunood.
Natubos lamang ang This Time I'll Be Sweeter ng isang pangyayari sa katauhan ni Erika.  Bagama’t masugid siyang reporter, nilagyan niya ng hanggahan ang pagiging agresibo sa paghahanap ng kuwento.  Tinalikuran niya ang oportunistang editor pagkat pinili niyang igalang ang pagdadalamhati ng nagluluksang pamilya ni Tristan.  Ang pagsasa-alang-alang sa damdamin ng mga naiwan ng mga yumao ay isang bagay na dapat itaguyod ng ating lipunan, lalu na sa mga panahong ito kung kailan maraming nababalitang pinapaslang ng mga nakamotor at di-kilalang salarin.  Ipinakikita din ng pelikula ang kahalagahan ng suporta ng pamilya at mga kaibigan sa taong may pinagdadaanan.

Bad Genius

DIRECTOR: Nattawut Poonpiriya  LEAD CAST: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Chanon Santinatornkul, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Eisaya Hosuwan  PRODUCER: Jira Maligool, Vanridee Pongsittisak, Suwimon Techasupinan, Chenchonnee Soonthonsaratul, Weerachai Yaikwawong  SCREENWRITER: Nattawut Poonpiriya, Tanida Hantaweewatana, Vasudhorn Piyaromna  CINEMATOGRAPHER: Phaklao Jiraungkoonkun  EDITOR: Chonlasit Upanigkit  MUSIC: Vichaya Vatanasapt  GENRE:  Heist Thriller  PRODUCTION COMPANY: Jor Kwang Films  DISTRIBUTOR: GDH 559  COUNTRY:  Thailand  LANGUAGE: Thai with English subtitle  RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes
Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: A14
MTRCB Rating: PG13
Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), is a teenage student genius who transfers to an upscale school in ninth grade upon her father’s decision, despite her initial objections. She ends up meeting and making friends with some affluent students, who eventually offer her money in exchange for helping them cheat during school tests. Lynn devises a brilliant plan to broadcast the answers to tests to an entire room of mostly cheaters. As if it’s not enough, her friends challenge her to cheat and do the same for them in a strictly monitored international test for them to have the opportunity to study abroad. Will they be able to pull it off and get away from the crime?
Bad Genius is undeniably a clever film done with such admirable genius. The pacing and plot development are brilliant. It was able to capture its theme from micro to macro perspective seamlessly. The characterization is consistent and the actors, especially the leads all give justice to their multi-layered persona. The film takes its international audience to a milieu both familiar and strange—making the film entirely universal despite the different language. The film style is a fusion of modern technique and sincere emotions that one could easily overlook the film’s rather long running time. The excitement during the entire running time does not falter and up to the end the film does not disappoint. Amid the bunch of teeny-bopper romcom films that audiences usually see, Bad Genius is a breath of fresh air—and it somehow shows that there are many other issues and concerns of the young that films should tackle aside from romance.
Bad Genius takes cheating to a different level and provides a platform for dialogue on a wider social issue of inequality. While God may have gifted human beings with different talents, it is not meant to foster inequality; rather, it’s meant to test one’s responsibility to either prosper such gift for good or not. It is not the ability or the talent itself that makes a person good or bad, but how it is put to use. It is clear in the film that the more blessed one is, the more responsibility he or she has in society. Inequality stems from human weakness of greed and selfishness. Temptation always exists to test one’s character. The film depicts social ills—poverty, corruption, dishonesty—and these exist even in educational institutions. But then goodness triumphs over evil in the end as it is seen that crime, however small, does not pay. What makes the film uplifting is the glimmer of hope it gives as it shows that humans can win over temptations and that doors and chances to correct mistakes for the greater good are always open to those who sincerely repent. But then given the film’s theme on cheating, the very young might see it differently and might selectively pick-up cheating ideas as those petty crimes are mostly committed in classrooms—so CINEMA deems Bad Genius as appropriate only for audiences 14 and up. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Ghost Bride

DIRECTOR: Chito S. Roño  CAST:  Kim Chiu, Matteo Guidicelli, Alice Dixson, Christian Bables, Robert Seña, Ina Raymundo, Beverly Salvejo, Isay Alvarez, Nanding Joseph, Mon Confiado, Cacai Bautista, Victor Silayan, Luz Valdez, and Jerome Ponce.  WRITTEN BY: Charleson Ong, Enrico Santos, Cathy Camarillo  PRODUCED BY: Charo Santos-Concio, Malou N. Santos  GENRE: Horror  PRODUCTION COMPANY: Star Cinema   COUNTRY: Philippines  LANGUAGE: Pilipino, Chinese, English
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
Technical assessment:  3.5
Moral assessment:  3
CINEMA rating:  V14
MTRCB rating:  PG 13 
Nahaharap sa malaking problema ang pamilya ni Mayen (Kim Chiu). Baon sila sa utang dahil sa naluluging negosyo na sinundan ng malubhang pagkakasakit ng ama na si Manuel (Robert Sena). Taglay ng pamilya ni Mayen ang pinaghalong kultura ng Tsina at Pilipinas, sa katunayan isa sa hanapbuhay nila ang pagpapatuloy ng isang Chinese tradition para sa mga ispiritu ng mga namayapang Tsino na di na masyadong tinatangkilik sa makabagong panahon.  Kasabay pa ng krisis sa pamilya ang personal na problema ni Mayen sa nobyong si Clinton (Mateo Guidicelli) na ipinakasal ng pamilya sa ibang babae. Dahil dito ay mapipilitan si Mayen na tanggapin ang alok ni Mrs Lao (Alice Dixon) at pumayag na maging “ghost bride” kaugnay ng sinaunang kaugalian ng Tsino bilang pag-alala sa yumao kapalit ng malaking halaga.  Kasama sa kasunduan ang pagsusuot ni Mayen ng antigong pulseras hanggang sa maganap ang kasalan at kailangan niyang magbyahe sa China upang personal na daluhan ang seremonya. Malalaman ni Mayen na nakuha ni Mrs. Lao ang pangalan nya sa internet site na DateQuest. Maaayos naman ang problema sa pera ng pamilya ni Mayen at pagpapagamot ng ama, subalit matatanto ni Mayen ang tila sumpa na nakabalot sa pasya niyang pumayag sa kasunduan.
Misteryoso pero may lohika ang kwento ng Ghost Bride. Mainam ang pagkakatahi ng mga sinasaliksik na impormasyon hinggil sa sinaunang kultura ng China at ang pag-uugnay nito sa kasalukuyang panahon. Magaling na ideya ang setting sa Binondo na kilalang lugar kung saan maraming residenteng Tsino. Bagamat bagay kay Chu ang papel na Mayen ay limitado naman ang I pinakita niyang damdamin na hinihingi sa mga eksenang katatakutan. Mabuti na lamang at mahusay ang make-up at visual effects, gayundin ang mga inilapat na tunog. Nakakagulat ang paglitaw ng mga multo at nakakatakot ang mga hitsura nito. Mahusay din ang sinematograpiya kung saan maliwanag na naipakita ang detalye ng mga palabas at seremonya. Makahulugan ang kuha ng kamera sa bundok ng Himalayas sa Nepal sa wakas dahil pinakita ng magandang tanawin at tahimik na bundok na tapos na ang panganib at kaguluhan sa buhay ng mga sangkot.  May simbolismo din na epekto ang mga komposisyon katulad ng paglalagay ng mga imahen ng Buddhismo at Jesus Nazareno, na nagpapahayag ng magkahalong kultura at tradisyon ng Pilipino at Tsino.
Ang pamilya ay karapat-dapat ipagsakripisyo at ipaglaban—sukdulang itaya ang buhay at kinabukasan masiguro lamang ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa. Ganito ang ipinakita ng pangunahing karakter sa pelikula. Isang mapagmahal at may malasakit na anak sa magulang at matanda sa pamilya gayundin sa kabuhayan. Nanindigan din siya sa sariling desisyon ng mapag-alaman nya na nakompromiso ng magulang ang kaligayahan. Gayundin naman ng buong tapang niyang hinarap ang mga dapat gawin upang itama ang mga maling desisyon na kanyang ginawa alang-alang sa pamilya. Nagpakita din ng spiritualidad sa kwento kung saan lumapit sa mga relihisoyong Buddhist monks ang pamilya upang makatulong at labanan ang mga masamang espiritu. Hindi rin pinagtagumpay sa pelikula ang mga ganid at mapagsamantala katulad ng karakter ng mayamang pinagkakautangan ng pamilya. Sa kabila ng mga positibong mensahe ng pelikula ay maraming malalagim at nakaka-stress na eksenang maaaring makabahala sa manonood, lalo na ng mga menor de edad.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Loving Vincent

DIRECTORDorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman  LEAD CAST:  Douglas Booth, Helen McCrory, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Turner, Jerome Flynn  SCREENWRITER: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman & Jacek Dehnel  PRODUCER: Claudia Bluemhuber  EDITOR: Dorota Kobiela & Justyna Wierszynska  MUSICAL DIRECTOR:  Clint Mansell  GENRE: Animation Biography, Crime/Drama  CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Tristan Oliver & Lucasz Zal  DISTRIBUTOR: Solar Pictures (in the Philippines)  LOCATION: London, England  RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
Technical assessment:  4
Moral assessment:  3
CINEMA rating: V14
Loving Vincent begins a year after Vincent’s death. Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) is tasked by his father Joseph (Chris O’Dowd), a postman, to deliver Vincent’s letter to his brother Theo (Cezary Lukaszewicz). Armand goes to Paris and learns that Theo died shortly after van Gogh’s death. Though reluctant at first, Armand turns his errand into a quest that leads him to Auvers-sur-Oise where Vincent died. He meets Dr. Paul Gachet (Jerome Flynn) and his daughter Marguerite (Saoirse Ronan), and the many people who were Vincent’s subjects in his paintings. Puzzled by the strange circumstances of Vincent’s death, Armand investigates and hears from the people closest to the painter or those who knew him.  Did he shoot himself, and then changed his mind? Or was he murdered? If someone else shot him, who did it and why?
In the letter found in his breast pocket when he died, the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh wrote: “We cannot speak other than by our paintings.” This is exactly what directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman tried to do in Loving Vincent, the first full-length oil painted animation film. It tells the story of Vincent van Gogh, one of the greatest revolutionary forces in art, by bringing his masterpieces back to life and allowing the subjects of these paintings to speak about his childhood, his passion, his tortured life and his mysterious death.  Kobiela and Welchman did a live-action version of the film first and then a team of over a hundred painters and animators rendered each frame in van Gogh’s style producing 65,000 paintings! The result is a mesmerizing visual delight! If you’ve ever wanted a painting to come to life, this is a must-see. Non-art lovers might find it dizzying and a strain to the eyes, though. Loving Vincent brings together van Gogh’s story and his colorful masterpieces in such a compelling biography, using pencil drawings for flashbacks. Although a veritable unknown in his lifetime, selling only one out of 860 paintings he made in eight years, Van Gogh has become one of the most loved painters of all times. Did he commit suicide? The film presents many hypotheses and each of the characters saw Vincent in a different light. Was he a gifted but tortured soul? Unbalanced in mind and heart? The film masterfully blended Vincent’s works with an appropriate musical score while the plot is simple and straightforward.
Although there are scenes of drinking and fights, plus Vincent’s mysterious death from a bullet wound, Loving Vincent is replete with values that may seem foreign and outdated today: integrity and doing what is right; honoring friendships; respect and the search for truth. Despite all the rejections he experienced in life, Vincent tried to assure everyone that no one is to be blamed for his death. Was it ambition that drove him to work so hard at his craft? Or was he trying to prove himself worthy of love and acceptance? Or was he compelled to put on canvas his own vision of the world expressing the joy and beauty he saw in it, regardless of other’s reception? Through his paintings, Vincent Van Gogh continues to speak to the men and women of today. Could he be telling us: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God”?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thor Ragnarok

Direction: Taiki Waititi; Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkin; Screenplay: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost;  Based on Thor by Stan Lee; Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe; Editing:  Joel Negron, Zene Baker; Producer: Marvel Studios; Music: Mark Motherscaugh; Genre: Sci-Fi Action; Distributor: Walt Disney Motion Pictures; Location: Asgard, Sakaar;  Running Time: 130 minutes
Technical assessment: 3.5
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V14
MTRCB rating: PG13
Thor (Hemsworth), imprisoned by fire demon Surtur learns that the prophesy of Ragnarok – the destruction of Asgard – is going to happen soon because of the absence of his father Odin (Hopkins). Thor returns to Asgard and finds his brother Loki (Hiddlestone) impersonating Odin. He forces Loki to look for their father and finds him in Norway. As Odin dies, Hela, his firstborn daughter imprisoned long ago because of her ambition to take over the Galaxy escapes. She destroys the Mjolnir and upon return to Asgard kills the loyal soldiers and resurrects her ancient army. Before she is able to expand the Bifrost Bridge and expand Azgard’s empire, Heimdall steals the sword controlling the bridge and hides the rest of the Asgardians as a resistance against Hela.  Meanwhile, Thor and Loki crash land on Sakaar. The Grandmaster (Goldblum) forces Thor to compete in the contest of champions and faces off with Hulk.  Eventually, Thor, Loki, Hulk and a former Valkyrie team up to escape Sakaar and save Asgard. A fight ensures with Hela proving to be too powerful despite the combined forces and powers of Thor and company. Left with no choice, Thor asks Loki to allow Surtur to reunite his crown with the Eternal Flame under the city. Hela is destroyed but so is Asgard. In the end, Thor and the remaining Asgardians escape in the Grandmaster’s ship enroute to Earth.
Thor is a combination of a sure win blockbuster: comical heroism, kick ass villain, mesmerizing visuals, recognizable characters, and action-packed scenes. There was no way Thor Ragnarok could have failed in the box office with its irreverent comedy and lighthearted storytelling. You more than relate with the situation because you fall in love with the characters. Overall, the film is enjoyable despite occasional difficulty in keeping up with the names, characters and subplots. But the visuals and action make up for these.
Amidst the predictable courage and teamwork in superhero films, two ideas stand out. First, we are shown the meaning of citizenship. Love of country supersedes self-preservation. Both Loki and Thor made their choices while on Sakaar. Loki saved himself and was contented to be at the beck and call of the Grandmaster, Thor would not stop until he returns to Asgard to save his people. Love of country is not conquering others or expanding an empire as Hela wants. It is protecting the people and making sure they have a decent life. Second, people can always become a better version of themselves. Loki, Valkerie, Hulk and Scourge recognized their past mistakes and followed their heart to take the higher road and fight for what is good. Of course, the transformation comes after admission and with the willingness to embrace selflessness. The movie is a superhero film and naturally would entail fighting and violence. It is advisable to have a mature adult accompany young audiences.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Bes and the Beshies

DIRECTOR: Joel Lamangan  CAST: Ai Ai delas Alas, Carmi Martin, Beauty Gonzales, Ms. Zsa Zsa Padilla, Nikko Natividad, Jon Lucas, Wilbert Ross, Emilio Garcia, Sanch Vito Delas Alas, Alan Paule, Mark Joseph Tam, Heaven Peralejo  WRITTEN BY: Ricky Lee, Alpha Habon, Rod Marmol  EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Patrick Neil F. Meneses, Ladylyne de Guzman-Ilao  GENRE: Comedy­  EDITED BY: Vanessa Ubas de Leon  DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRPHY: Miguel Cruz  MUSIC: Emerzon Texon  PRODUCTION DESIGN: Cyrus Khan  PRODUCTION COMPANY: CINEKO Production Inc.  DISTRIBUTED BY: Regal Entertainment, Inc.  COUNTRY: Philippines  LANGUAGE: Pilipino  RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
Technical assessment: 3
Moral assessment: 2.5
CINEMA rating: V14
MTRCB rating: R13
Matalik na magkakaibigan sina Charla (AiAi delas Alas), Mabel (ZsaZsa Padilla), Tisay (Carmi Martin) at Sophie (Beauty Gonzales).  Batid ng bawat isa ang kani-kanilang pinagdadaanan at gayun na lamang ang suporta na ipinakikita nila sa isa’t isa kung kinakailangan.  Mag-isang itinataguyod ni Charla ang anak na si Benjie habang umaasang babalikan sila ng ama nito sa kabila ng matagal na panahon mula nang iwan sila. Martir na asawa naman si Mabel at sinisikap na manatiling buo ang pamilya sa kabila ng pangangaliwa ng asawa.  Si Tisay naman ay isa sa mga kabit ng police general na naghahangad mabuntis upang di sya iwan nito. Si Sophie naman ay pamangkin ni Tisay at di hamak na mas bata sa kanilang tatlo. Hilig ni Sophie ang sumali sa mga beauty contest na lagi naman siyang natatalo dahil sa magaspang niyang pananalita at personalidad.
Maayos ang daloy ng kwento ng Bes and the Beshies. Madali itong masundan ng mga manonood at kapana-panabik ang mga eksena. Kakaiba ang sumpaan ng pagkakaibigan sa bandang huli na nakaset-up ng kasal. Samantalang di nakaligtas sa tipikal na ending ang pelikula na may bigyan ng bagong partner ang nabigo sa pag-ibig na si Charla.  Bagamat may mga eksena na kung hindi corny ay eksaherada, sa kabuuan ay maganda ang pagkakadirek sa mga nagsiganap at ang trato sa temang comedy na napanatili hanggang sa huli.  Epektibo sa pagpapatawa ang mga nagsiganap at nailabas nila ang pagkakaiba ng mga karakter na kanilang ginampanan. Mahusay ang disenyo ng produksyon—naipakita ang iba’t ibang katayuan sa lipunan ng apat na magkakaibigan at kung paano nagkakasundo at nagkakaisa sila para sa bawat isa. Maganda rin ang mga kuha ng kamera at ang iba’t ibang anggulong ginamit para sa mas makahulugang komposisyon. 

Ang tunay na kaibigan ay isang kayamanan. Katulad ng pamilya, nagsisilbing takbuhan o sandalan din ang matapat na kaibigan sa panahon ng pangangailangan. Ito ang pangunahin mensahe ng Bes and the Beshies at naihatid naman ito.  Kahanga-hanga ang samahan ng mga magkakaibigan dahil sa walang pag-aalinlangang pagsuporta sa isa’t isa at sukdulang itaya ang sarili sa pagharap sa kalaban ng kaibigan at ipagtanggol ito.  Positibo ding mensahe ng pelikula ang pagtanggap sa katauhan ng kapwa katulad ng ginawa ng mga kaibigan ni Benjie ng matapang niyang ipagtapat sa harap ng mga kaibigan at nagugustuhan niyang lalaki na siya ay isang bakla.  Subalit nakababahala ang mga nakapaloob na munting tema ng pelikula katulad ng paghahangad ng anak sa lalaking may-asawa upang manatili siyang kabit nito, magaspang na pananalita at paghikayat pa sa nobyo na maging katulad nya, ang cheap na paraan ng pang-aakit ng lalaki, at ang hayagang paghahangad at pagsasakatuparan ng pagpapaopera upang magpalit ng kasarian ang isang bakla. Ang ganitong mga paksa ay mas akma sa manonood na may hinog na kaisipan.