Here is a complete list and initial impression for movies that will be screened at the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
1. Sisterakas (Star Cinema, VIVA Films)
Directed By: Wenn V. Deramas
I am not a fan of Wenn Deramas but I do recognize the box-office appeal of his films. Listing this first as this is one of two films that will most likely top the MMFF Box-Office charts.
Based on the trailer alone, there is a glimmer of hope that this may be okay. It seems like Deramas pumped up the crazy with this one. So long as he keeps up the extreme ridiculousness as seen on the trailer, it may actually turn out funny.
And Kris Aquino making fun of herself by saying, "That was worse than a Kris Aquino horror movie experience," is an absolute win.
PS. I suspect that Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla are token appearances to draw in the teen/pre-teen market but the movie should be able to stand without these two.
Directed By: Tony Reyes
The only good thing I can say about this movie is that at least they did not rip-off another Hollywood blockbuster. Then again, maybe they learned from the last Panday film and just took it out of the trailer and poster to avoid getting crucified online thereby affecting the box-office returns.
The trailer itself looks dull and as used up as Vic Sotto's jokes. But I will bet one of Bong Revilla's gonads that this will be a contender for the top spot or at least land no lower than the 3rd box-office slot.
3. One More Try (Star Cinema) - Recommended
Starring: Angelica Panganiban, Dingdong Dantes, Zanjoe Marudo and Angel Locsin
Directed by Ruel Santos Bayani
If recent box-office hits are to be used as a gauge, One More Try will definitely eat up on the box-office crowd this December. It contains elements made popular by another Ruel Bayani film, No Other Woman. There's the agawan ng asawa part, and the memorable yet cheesy lines that audiences will be quoting and posting as status messages on Facebook and Twitter.
The story itself is loosely based on the 2009 film, My Sister's Keeper. In the film, a kid is brought to the world via in vitro fertilization to be a genetic match for her older sister who is suffering from acute promyelocytic leukemia. Of course the similarities may end there as One More Try focuses more on the plight of the parents that are now married to other people while My Sister's Keeper focused more on the child.
4. Shake, Rattle and Roll
59864535 12 (Regal Multimedia)
Directed By: Chito S. Roño
While this may be easily dismissed as there are a million other Shake, Rattle and Roll movies, this year's feature is directed by Chito Roño. He may not be making masterpieces anymore, his last film-The Healing, is still pretty decent so I am pinning my trust on the man himself.
5. The Strangers (Quantum Films, MJM Production Inc, released by Star Cinema)
Starring: Enchong Dee, Enrique Gil, JM de Guzman
Directed By: Lawrence Fajardo
My top 3 reasons to watch the film are all listed in the main cast. But beyond this, director Lawrence Fajardo is an acclaimed and multi-awarded director that created the 2012 Best Film in Cinemalaya's Directors Showcase category for Posas/Shackled. Given the on/off-screen talents employed, The Strangers is potentially a dark horse in the upcoming festival and a definite must-watch.
6. El Presidente (Scenema Concept International) - Recommended
Directed By: Tikoy Aguiluz
A possible winner of Best Picture and other technical awards, El Presidente has the look and feel of a period classic. This is the likely contender of the internationally acclaimed, Thy Womb in the awards category.
7. Thy Womb (Center Stage Productions, Solar Films) - Recommended
Directed By: Brillante Mendoza
Thy Womb is the contested film that has been making its rounds in the international film festival circuit, making it the strongest contender in both Acting and Best Film Awards.
The film has so far garnered the following recognition:
Best Actress (Nora Aunor) - Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2012
Best Director - Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2012
Bisato D’Oro Award for Best Actress (Nora Aunor) - Venice International Film Festival 2012
La Navicella Award for Best Director - Venice International Film Festival 2012
P. Nazareno Taddei Award Special Mention - Venice International Film Festival 2012
8. Sosy Problems (GMA Films)
Directed By: Andoy Ranay
I would rank Sosy Problems in the same level as Sisterakas, only this would surely have less box-office appeal. That said, the material is amusing enough as it reminds me of Temptation Island that was decently remade by GMA Films as well.
With El Presidente and Thy Womb making the cut, as well as some surprisingly decent entries, this year's MMFF may not be as bad as most of us feared. Of course it is way too early to tell for sure, but so far, with the exception of Enteng Kabisote which I am beyond sure that will turn out real bad, this doesn't look like an entirely bad MMFF altogether.