Best Movies of 2013

Unang inilathala ang blog post na ito sa isa ko pang blog ( Akin lamang ni-repost dito upang mas marami ang makabasa ukol sa mga pellikula na ipinalabas sa loob at labas ng bansa na sa tingin ng inyong butihing blogger ay pinakamaganda para sa taong 2013. Pumasok ba rito ang paborito mo?

Let’s take a look at the best movies the year 2013 has to offer days before the most prestigious award-giving body for movies airs on the United States. These are my top choices for time-worthy and money-worthy cinema:



I want to start this yearly countdown with the third installment of the romantic Before trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Thanks to the good word of mouth from people who have watched this movie in theaters I got interested in watching the first two Before movies. And I was flabbergasted by how good they were. The directing was brilliant and the acting done by Hawke and Delpy never seemed be acting at all. And the writing, hmmm, the writing! It was nothing short of great! The last installment, Before Midnight, thankfully did not disappoint either. I was happy and fulfilled about how the characters came to be.



Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the most thrilling and one of the darkest movies of the past year. The story of child abduction is never light and it wasn’t treated lightly in Prisoners. Apart from the believable acting done by the cast, this movie showed great editing, suspenseful directing and smart writing. Too bad it was one of the most underrated movies of the past year which is why only a small number of people were able to watch it.



Frozen is the best film Disney has produced for a long time. Using their magic formula of putting a princess as a lead character, they made a great change this time in terms of resolving the always predictable conflict. Not to spoil anything but this great change made Frozen one-of-a-kind.



Paul Greengrass is a master of action. I wasn’t convinced at first that a ship and its captain that are being taken over by pirates could make such a very suspenseful narrative. But it could. In more than two hours of scenes involving the captain and his crew protecting the ship, falling for the mean pirates, negotiating with them and finally resolving the conflict, the movie depicted the most astounding hostage-taking drama film. Greengrass, along with his brilliant lead actor, Tom Hanks, presented a very interesting tale about how it is to be taken at sea.


Boy Golden

Just when I thought no good film would come out last year in the Metro Manila Film Festival come the little promoted Chito Rono film called Boy Golden. The title must have a premonitory effect as this is gold compared to the other MMFF entries.

I love how Chito Rono took care of the movie. He tied up all the scenes without lose threads. He did not allow mediocrity sip into his actors’ performances. And I just really like how he works with colors in the film’s scenes. He found beauty in each scene no matter how unlikely it was and this gave a much profound effect to what he wanted to convey about his characters or what’s happening in the story.



Want to watch a film that will really make you think about human relationships? Watch Her, the latest film from acclaimed director, Spike Jonze, and brilliant actor, Joaquin Phoenix, as they tackle how humans express love with each other now and how it might be in the near future.

Joaquin Phoenix displays his brilliance once again as the lonesome lead character in the movie named Theodore. Every quip, every act he made seemed so natural. But he wouldn’t do it that well without Samantha, which is voiced by Scarlett Johannson. “Her” quirkiness and poignancy as the super smart computer made it believable that a human could really fall in love with a machine.



David O. Russell did it again with American Hustle. In comparison to his previous great efforts, this movie is like an organized chaos of ideas. A great chaos, that is. And much like how Russell directs his films, this one seemed blurry at first until one gets over the blurriness and seemingly understands what the whole films is all about. That’s how Russell shows his brilliance. He’ll let you in little by little until you find yourself wanting more. But his directing would be futile if not backed up by a brilliant cast led by Christian BaleAmy AdamsChris Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. None of these actors were seen as themselves in the film. Why? They were not seen because they became their characters. And you just got to be awed by how amazing these talented individuals were when given a smart script that they could toy with. American Hustle is definitely one of the greatest movies of 2013.


TWOWS poster

Martin Scorcese’s latest offering, The Wolf of Wall Street, trumps many a great movie about money-making schemes. Watching it is a blast from start to finish! It’s got that great vibe of helping you understand how people in the stock market do what they do good. I kind of expected Leonardo diCaprio to be great, but I was nicely surprised to see him a lot better than what I was expecting him to be! He would surely given Chiwetel Ejiofor of the brilliant 12 Years a Slave a run for his money in the Oscar race for Best Actor. I actually thought he’s given the best performance of his life in this movie, being really the wolf in the Wall Street.

The movie seems to be an amalgam of deadly sins: greed, gluttony, power andlust. Leonardo diCaprio characterized all of these in his characterization of Jordan Belfort, the notorious stockbroker who owned Stratton Oakmont and made lots of millions swindling investors in the stock market. The way he spoke would seem to persuade even the most skeptical person to invest in his company. He didn’t really care about the investors; he cared about making loads of money. He, together with his friends and employees, drank and partied hard, took drugs as if they’re meals, fornicate anyone even those he is not fond of. He was addicted to power by not just trying to maintain being rich, but doing all he can to become richer and richer. All of these drowned him into the well of immorality, a world where everything seemed to be fun even though they’re not.

Scorcese still has his magic. In three hours, Scorcese showed how such a character like Belfort could have done such outrageous things. It is a testament that he really excels in doing movie that shows a study of character. He effectively showed how a small-time dreamer turned into a great but wild realist in the Wall Street. Belfort had a vision of what he wanted to be, and Scorcese made that evident in his frequent collaborator, Leonardo diCaprio, who’s insanely good in this movie.



Probably the most underrated movie in this list, The Way, Way Back is a coming-of-age movie that touches the heart, reels up the mind and brings out the good in every viewer’s soul. Yeah, that’s how deep the movie is even though it appears as just one of those teenage movies, which it definitely is not. It is the total opposite of the senselessly “fun” teenage movies as it deeply explores relationships of a child to his family, his friends and his crush. Putting in great performances are Lian James as Duncan, the 14-year-old central character of the film, and Sam Rockwell as Owen, the newly-found childish yet wise friend of Duncan when their family went to a beach house for a vacation. They, along with the rest of the cast, made the brilliant script come really alive. Thanks to its directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for bringing this movie into fruition. Would you believe the movie is their directorial debut? What a great start!



“It’s a long time ago. Why are you bringing that up for?”

This movie is a funny, straight up story about a senior man and his family who went back to their roots in Nebraska. I had reservations before watching this film but after watching, I realized I should have not. I liked it actually. A lot.

I was wondering why the director chose the movie to be filmed in black and white. But while watching, I thought it must have been for a good reason. Reminiscing the old times? Looking for what’s good and what’s bad? We may never know. But what I know is that it was beautiful even only with its black and gray hues. In addition, there were a lot of shots that show a lot of very picturesque sceneries and scenic moments.

It never hurts to watch a good movie. Nebraska is one of those movies that you would really appreciate watching. You won’t only enjoy, you won’t just be entertained. You’d certainly feel good. But not just that, you’d pick up a lesson or two.

I like the movie’s quiet. I like its easygoing feel. I like its soothing music. I like the belongingness and the cheers. I like the confrontations and the bickering. I like its bright and dark contrasts. I like everything about it. In one way or another, every person is going through one of the roads any of the character is experiencing in the movie. Some will rise above the others, some will do just fine. Some will die early, others may grow old yet the may grow old in misery. It’s nice to know, though, that everything seems to be just fine. Believe in something… because it never hurts to believe.



Catching Fire is one of those rare occurrences that a sequel of a movie is much, much better than its predecessor. Whether it’s because of the bigger budget or a better director, the movie is certain to give the moviegoer a great film experience upon watching.

I have read the book where the movie is based and I can say that this movie version is much more faithful than The Hunger Games. It’s been roughly two years since I’ve read it but after watching one scene after another, glimpses of what I have read suddenly came back.

Ten minutes into the film, I was already feeling the drama and the heaviness of its themes. Jennifer Lawrence (as Katniss) and Josh Hutcherson (as Peeta) are, without a doubt, two of the best actors in this generation. They make small scenes seem big and important with the way they act: their nuances, their delivery of lines, their movements. They made me believe once again in their characters. Meanwhile, I like the supporting cast much more in this movie than the last one.

Amazing visuals. Good musical score. Great directing. This movie seems to have it all!



Top-notch directing and editing, very credible acting, excellent production design, great musical score, this movie has it all. To tell you the truth, I already had high expectations before watching because of good word-of-mouth feedback from people and raving reviews from critics. It was that high that I prepared myself to be disappointed. But, no. The movie was worth the hype. On the Job delivered greatly that acclaimed movies of many years past were not able to achieve.


12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave is one of the most buzzed films of 2013 and it is deserving to be so for one very good reason: it is a great movie. The way director Steve McQueen touched the topic of racism would truly affect you, inspire you (to do what’s good) and discourage you (from doing what’s bad). It didn’t come off as preachy, but it set the drama for every eye to see what was happening in America almost 200 years ago.

Come to think of it, the movie served as a reminder, too, that it’s much the same today, albeit a different kind of use and abuse are being done to other people. Despite the preaching of good people, awareness and knowledge about what’s right or wrong, some people still enslave other people in more ways than one.

With great directing/ editing, credible acting, impressive writing and brilliant production values, this movie is a great contender for Oscar’s Best Picture. I wouldn’t be surprised if it upsets my 2013 favorite Gravity.

Read the rest of my review here.



A visual spectacle and an emotional masterpiece, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity takes off as one great 3D movie a film enthusiast will definitely love.

It’s an understatement when I say that watching this movie is a great 3D experience. It’s a joy to float with the characters in space and their space shuttles and yet it’s a tragedy to tumble with them unto the unknown. You would be able to grasp that idea of emotion they must be reeling to feel while enduring the idea of being really there in the outer space. Every single move they do with their body, every single twitch of their eye, every word their mouths articulate, you will feel. All of these things are present in the film without lacking in visual aesthetics. The space setting was so real you’ll feel you’re there all those times. The space shuttles, the debris, the stars and the Earth all felt real. Add to that the sometimes subtle, sometimes roaring musical score and you’ll definitely know you’re in a great ride. Because of these and more, the film went beyond spectacular. Gravity seemed like a character study in a display of technically perfect showing. Kudos to all the visual effects people, the sound masters and the meticulously great director of the film, Alfonso Cuaron.

The story might be very simple but it’s got great lessons for everyone. We all go through changes. We all go through sorrows. We all experience alarms and unpleasant surprises. We all sometimes just want to tune out everyone and just be with ourselves and ourselves alone. In the end, you will know that you’re still there with yourself, all changes or not. In the end, you will know that you can’t forever wallow in sorrow. In the end, you will learn to survive any astonishing thing that comes your way. Because in the end, if you have the will to live, you will always make it through.









Kahihiyan sa MMFF


Ilang araw na rin ang nakalipas mula nang natapos ang dalawang linggong pagpapalabas ng mga pelikulang kalahok sa Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). Hindi na ngayon pinapalabas ang mga pelikulang di gaanong pinilahan, o yung mga pelikulang tinatawag nilang nilangaw sa takilya. Sa kabilang banda, palabas pa rin ang mga pelikulang tumabo sa takilya sa maraming mga sinehan sa loob at labas ng Metro Manila. Isang mahalagang tanong: Kapag ba pinipilahan sa takliya, maganda na ang isang pelikula?

Alam natin ang sagot sa tanong na iyan. Hindi. Pero alamin natin kung bakit.

Ayon sa mga balita, ang tatlong pinakatumabo sa takilya  ay ang Boy, Girl, Bakla, Tomboy ng Star Cinema at Viva Films, My Little Bossings ng OctoArts Films, M-Zet, APT at Kris Aquino Productions at Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay muli ng Star Cinema at Regal Films. Isa lang sa mga ito ang pinanood ko, ang Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay. Maayos-ayos naman ang pelikula, may mga nakagugulat na eksena, may mga eksenang nakatatawa. Yun nga lang, walang bago para sa panlasa kaya hindi ko gaanong irirekomenda lalo na sa mga talagang fans ng horror films. Kung gusto nyo pang malaman kung bakit, basahin ninyo ang aking movie review sa isa ko pang blog.


Pumunta naman tayo sa isa pang pelikulang nabanggit, ang Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy. May kasaysayan ang Star Cinema sa paggawa ng de kalibreng pelikula, mapa-drama man o komedya. Nitong mga nagdaang taon, mas tumututok sila sa paggawa ng mga romantic-comedies o rom-com dahil na rin ang genre na ito ang inaantabayanan ng maraming tao na gustong kiligin mula sa mga paboritong artistang nila o kaya takbuhan panamantala ang kani-kanilang buhay upang sumaya saglit sa paglilibang. Nitong mga nagdaang taon din, isa sa mga lagi nilang ipinapalabas sa MMFF ay pelikulang komedya tampok ang ilan sa mga pinakasikat nilang artista. Sinasabing may puso ang mga komedyang ito, may mga nakakatawa talagang eksena pero may mga di masyadong patok sa panlasa. Corny kumbaga.

An Open Letter to Vic Sotto (mula sa blog ni Lourd de Veyra)

An Open Letter to Vic Sotto (mula sa blog ni Lourd de Veyra)

Ang pinakapinag-usapan naman sa mga nabanggit kong pelikula ay ang My Little Bossings nina Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, Ryzza Mae Dizon at Bimby Yap. Bakit naman hindi ito pinag-usapan, isa na naman daw walang kakwenta-kwentang pelikula mula sa tinatawag pa man ding Prinsipe ng Komedya ang pelikulang ito. (Sa totoo lang, mas gusto kong tawaging Comedy Prince si Joey de Leon dahil ibang klaseng magpatawa ang kumpareng ito ni Bossing, na mas maikukumpara sa pagpapatawa ni Pidol, ang Comedy King, kung tutuusin.) Biruin mong nanalo pa raw ito ng 3rd Best Picture sa MMFF Awards? Ano kayang kalokohan iyon, ano? Kung ikaw ay isang magiliw na mambabasa ng mga artikulo sa internet, lao na iyong mga pinoposte sa mga social networking site, nabasa mo na siguro ang blog post ni Lourd de Veyra na naglalamang ng isang open letter para kay Vic Sotto. Anong nilalaman ng sulat niyang ito? Alamin natin.

Nanood si Lourd ng pelikulang, My Little Bossings. At ang laki ng problema nya rito. Binanggit niya ang mga nasa ibaba kasama na rin ng aking opinyon tungkol sa mga isyung kanyang binanggit.

  • “Gaano n’yo ba kabilis ginawa ito? May pakiramdam (akong) parang tatlong araw lang eh, parang minadali, or what we in our circles refer to as: PNY (“Pwede na ‘yan.”) [Maling-mali ang itinuturo kung talagang PNY ang pelikula, na kesyo kulang ang oras o abala ang mga artistang parte nito. Hindi sapat na dahilan ang mga ito. Bakit pa kayo gumawa ng pelikula? Para lamang kumita???)
  • “Hindi kami nagbayad ng P220 para bentahan ng pancit canton, tinapay, sabong panlaba, cough syrup, at kung anu-ano pang produkto ang ini-endorse ninyong dalwa ni Kris Aquino. Ganoon ba kayo ka-desperado? Hindi naman siguro.” [Hindi ba’t may commercial breaks tayo sa mga telebisyon at pelikula para sa mga ito? Ang kakapal talaga pag ilalagay pa sa mismong pelikulang pinapanood!]
  • “Bossing, heto lang talaga ang gusto kong sabihin. Ngayon ikaw ay nasa maimpluwensiyal at makapangyarihang posisyon. Kaya mong gumawa ng makubuluhan, isang pelikulang maipagmamalaki ng lahat sa punto de bista ng kultura at estetiko.” [Hindi ba’t dati pa niya dapat ito ginawa? Sukang-suka na ang mga nag-iisip na manonood ng pelikula sa mga tila walang kabuluhan niyang mga pelikula taun-taon.]
  • “Hindi ka na rin bumabata. Panahon nang gumawa ka ng pelikulang puwede mong ipagmalaki sa lahat- mula sa iyong mga magiging apo hanggang sa mga “supladong” kritiko. Minsan kasi may punto rin sila.” [Hindi lang minsan, kundi madalas.]
  • “Nasa posisyon ka nang kumuha ng mahuhusay na manunulat at director na kayang magbalanse ng komersyal na elemento at ng tinatawag na na diskurso sa kondisyong mortal. [Isang patama sa director ng pelikula nilang si Marlon River? Malamang.]
  • Tingin ko naman ay pwede kang gumawa ng pelikulang nakakaalliw at pipilihan ng buong pamilya- na hindi sinasakripisyo ang kalidad ng kwento. Ang tagal mo nang kumikita, bossing. Malaki-laki na rin ang naibigay sa’yo ng taumbayan. Oras na siguro para sila ay suklian. Magbalik ka naman. To whom much is given, much is required, ika nga ng Bibliya. [Napakalking hamon ito para kay Vic Sotto. Ang tanong ay hindi “Kaya kaya niya?” kundi “Gawin niya kaya?”]

Huling Salita

Nagpapasalamat ako kay Lourd de Veyra dahil may isang kilala sa mundo ng telebisyon at panulat ang tumayo at nagsabi sa isang higante sa larangan ng showbiz ang malaking problemang ito sa entertainment media. Taun-taon na lang kasi’y maraming mga walang kabuluhang pelikula ang inihahain sa mga mata’t kaisipan ng mga mamamayang manonood. Biruin mo, higit kumulang sa P200 ang ibinabayad ng bawat isa para lamang manood ng sine? At anong nakukuha? Mababaw o kaya hindi kapani-paniwalang istorya, kaunting luha dito, maraming corny jokes dyan, at wala o kaunting aral ang mahihita. Hindi na ba sila nagsasawa? Kaya, Bossing Vic Sotto at iba pang manggagawa ng pelikulang Pilipino, sana tablan kayo ng mga salita ni Ginoong de Veyra. Di masamang kumita, pero sana pantayan n’yo naman ang ibinabayad ng mga manonood. Kumbaga, gawin nyong sulit ang paggastos namin ng pera. Wag n’yo sana kaming lokohin at dayain sa mga ka-cute-an o kaya pagpapakilig lang ng mga artisita ninyo. Nasa posisyon kayo para magpakita hindi lamang ng magandang pelikula, kundi ng isang obra maestra sa pagbibigay ng aral, pagtaas ng moralidad o pagbusog sa kamalayan at pag-iisip ng mamamayang Pilipino.


Apat sa walong kalahok sa MMFF ang napanood ko, at isa na nga rito ay ang Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay na nabanggit ko kanina. Ang pinakamaganda sa kanila ay ang Boy Golden, ang pelikula ni E.R. Ejercito at KC Concepcion. Wag kayong matakot panoorin ang pelikula dahil hindi ito basta-basta ginawa. Si Chito Rono ang nagdirihe nito at natitiyak kong kakaibang karanasan ang makukuha ninyo pag pinanood nyo ito. Maayos din ang 10,000 Hours na tinanghal na Best Picture sa MMFF Awards dahil sa magandang pagdirihe at kakaibang suspense at aksyon na dulot nito. Napasobra nga lang ang tagal sa gitnang bahagi nito pero isang makabuluhang pelikula pa rin naman kung tutuusin. Napanood ko rin ang prequel ng Kimmy Dora pero hindi ko ipinapayong panoorin nyo ito. Magaling si Eugene Domingo, pero walang makapagsasalba sa natitirang manipis na istorya ng kambal na kiyeme.

Movie posters ng 10,000 Hours, Boy Golden, Kimmy Dora, Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay