films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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The inoffensive

Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections poster

Decent anthology, though based on the talent involved here, expectations were slightly higher. Three solid shorts, but it's all a bit expected and safe, i.e. socially conscious drama without visual excess. It's not the best use of the anthology medium if you ask me. Still, not a bad trio of shorts.

Worthy but flawed


2012 / 120m - Philippines
Drama, Thriller
Captive poster

Dubious filler


2009 / 105m - Philippines
Kinatay poster

A film with some decent ideas, only the execution was incredibly flawed. It's a real skill to turn cheap into quality, but it's not a skill Brillante Mendoza possesses. The thoughts and intentions behind many of the choices here were obvious enough, but for the most part the effect simply wasn't there.

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Peping is a young student who wants to earn an extra buck and signs up for a "special project". He gets more than what he's bargained for when he finds out they're kidnapping a prostitute with the intent of killing her. Peping tries to get out of his assignment, but when that seems impossible he has to make a tough choice between his conscience and the money.

The cinematography is terribly amateurish. The dark scenes in the middle somewhat hide that fact, but even then the camera work is simply atrocious. No doubt Mendoza hoped it would create some kind of voyeur effect, but that was a complete bust. The soundtrack comes off a bit overdone in combination with the images. It's not bad, but you can't make atmosphere with just the music alone. Performances are mediocre too and the pacing is sluggish. The potential was there, but the result isn't much to look at.

Big nopes