Review: SHOPLIFTERS, The Comfort Between the Chaos

It’s a common platitude, the choices we make defining us. But what about those we don’t make? The country we live in, the class we’re born into, our family, etc. They may or may not define who we are, but...

Lund Fantastic 2018 Review: LIVERLEAF, Teenage Drama and Stylized Violence Collide in a Messy Crash

Full disclosure, I am not familiar with the manga Liverleaf (or as it is called in Japan, Misumisô) was based upon. With that, I fear some of my criticisms may be pointed to the source material and not the film....

Review: EXES BAGGAGE, A Man and a Woman Walk into a Bar...

Warning: Full spoilers follow. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. A man and a woman walk into a bar. They loved each other once. Each had baggage they couldn’t get over. Like a cigarette half-smoked and a song...

Toronto 2018 Review: DUELLES (MOTHER'S INSTINCT), Stylish Yet Stunted Nostalgic Thrills

Olivier Masset-Depasse’s Duelles is a product of the times. Though a homage to the thrillers of Hitchcock and the aesthetics of Sirk, Duelles’ conceit is one that banks on obsessions of current pop culture: nostalgia and the resurgence of female-led...

Review: GOYO: THE YOUNG GENERAL, Reversing the Hero's Journey

Warning: Full spoilers...but come on, it's a biopic! Are spoilers even possible?!?   In the Philippines, we are taught to worship heroes from a young age. In primary school, we are made to memorize single-line descriptions of what to remember...

Toronto 2018 Review: SHOPLIFTERS, Scavenging on Multiple Levels

It’s a common platitude, the choices we make defining us. But what about those we don’t make? The country we live in, the class we’re born into, our family, etc. They may or may not define who we are, but...

Review: SALVAGE, a Genre Exercise in Subversion

Warning: Full spoilers ahead.   “Te, kailangan ba kitang isama sa frame?” ["Sister, do I have to include you in the frame?"] Barbie (Barbie Capacio), the make-up artist, asks between screams, as she struggles to operate a camera while running...

ScreenAnarchy's Top Movies Of The First Half Of 2018

Time flies like a sonofabitch, and this year it seems to do so faster than usual. We are at 2018's mid-point already. Whoa! That does beg the question though: what films have managed to impress and touch us most, so...

Screen Anarchists On READY PLAYER ONE

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is the legendary director's highest-grossing film in over a decade, and audience reception worldwide is pretty kind towards it. Many critics like the film as well, and some herald it as a return to...

Review: CITIZEN JAKE, A Wake-up Call for Both the Sleeping and the Woke

Often a trope in movies is when a hermitic, wise -- and often cranky -- veteran is brought out of retirement to school the youth when the times have turned most trying, especially when the villains they once faced in...

Review: READY PLAYER ONE, Submitting Yourself to The Matrix Has Never Been This Much Fun

Upon exiting the theater after Ready Player One, my immediate takeaway was that “they don’t make films like this anymore.” Based on the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One takes place in the near-future of 2045, a dystopian...

Review: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, How Can Something So Wrong Feel So Right?

As Hugh Jackman’s P.T. Barnum starts selling the idea that using exaggerations, myths, and tall-tales as thinly-disguised truths are admirable, truth be damned. I couldn’t help but think about the “meta-ness” of it all. It’s as if Barnum was directly...

Sundance 2018 Review: SWEET COUNTRY, a Powerful Slowburn on Australia's Not-So-Sweet History

Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country opens with Sam Neill's preacher Fred Smith sharing a meal with his Aboriginal farmhands Sam and Lizzie Kelly (exceptional newcomers Hamilton Morris and Natassia Gorey-Furber). "We're all equal in the eyes of the Lord," the preacher sermonizes as he...

Metro Manila 2017 Review: SIARGAO Dips Beneath the Surface but Doesn't Dive Deep

From the hovering drone shots that capture how the lush greenery of the island converges with its unrealistically clear blue seas to the immersive surfing montages which alternate from above and below the deep, it’s undeniable that director Paul Soriano's...

ScreenAnarchy's Favourite Films of 2017

Another year over, and what an annus horribilis it proved to be in so many ways. But away from the political atrocities that took place in pretty much every country you care to mention, and the sexual harassment scandals that...

MMFF 2017 Review: ANG LARAWAN Makes You Feel the Passion Beyond Its Insularity

There are projects that beyond their flaws you’ve got to praise for brazenness, the amount of love put into their creation. There’s this air of faith, of passion, that permeates all aspects, smoothening out whatever rough patches the material may...

Review: SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES, An Imperfect Yet Gripping Crime Drama

A jarring insight commonly seen in the renaissance of the true crime genre -- as represented by the deep dives taken in Serial, Making a Murderer and The Keepers -- is that it adds another layer to how we look at crime and the...

Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: CHANGING PARTNERS Satisfyingly Delivers Catharsis

In the first minutes of Changing Partners, Agot Isidro’s Alex (don’t be confused, there’ll be two Alex’s here — that’s kind of the concept of the whole film) expresses her excitement over watching the new season of her favorite prime-time...

Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: NERVOUS TRANSLATION, an Enamoring Look into Childhood

People often say “see the world through the eyes of a child,” acting as if these words are the remedy to cynicism. Somehow this phrase is charged with what we imagine childhood to be: innocence, authenticity, joy and tears (somehow...

Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: PAKI (PLEASE CARE), a Poignant Ensemble Piece on Family, Contempt, and Love

About two-thirds into Giancarlo Abrahan’s sophomore feature Paki, almost the whole of its ensemble start to gather around a table for a meal.   This is the first time the family’s matriarch Alejandra (acted to a tee by Dexter Doria)...