MOVIE REVIEW: Wang Fam (2015)

Wang Fam stars Pokwang and Benjie Paras as Malou and Boo who fall for each other when the latter has gone to an uncharted forest to find “unique” plants only to meet a problematic woman in black to the tune of a remix of Regine Velasquez’s Dadalhin. Right then, the story delivers nothing but silliness–something that has always been the trademark of its director Wenn Deramas. Speak of the name and one can run a long list of comedy films that fail to dish out anything funny, let alone provide avenues to good comedians to showcase their talents other than through loud antics.

As your typical and never-innovative Deramas flick, Wang Fam has no funny scene at all as it lacks substance despite having a story. Boo Wang serves as a savior to Malou when they get married for her to get away with being an on-the-hunt virgin needed by the aswang clan to propagate through their queen (Vangie Labalan in her most awkward prosthetics). As she becomes Mrs. Malou Wang and having had intercourse with Mr. Boo Wang (yes, the wordplays are as good as those), the ritual to transfer the aging queen’s spirit fails. The clan goes berserk over the man who has ruined the only chance they got to keep the bloodline running. As everyone turns rowdy, Boo is bitten and turns into one oddly-toothed aswang.

18 years later, the Wang family still transfers from one place to another whenever they get caught as aswangs by neighbors and villagers. Malou and Boo, alongside his brother (Atak Arana), move to the city with and raised three children: Duke Wang (Andre Paras), Cala Wang (Abbey Bautista) and Vey Wang (Alonzo Muhlach).

In the city, they struggle to get along with the curious neighbors including the characters played by the husky-voiced Candy Pangilinan and the ever-reliable Joey Paras among others. They do everything just so the neighbors would not think of them as aswangs and accept them as part of the community.

To give conflict to the otherwise peaceful, flour-faced family, some aswangs led by Malou’s brother Jok-Jok (Wendell Ramos) go to the city to seek revenge to the Wang Family. This brings trouble not just to the family but also to the neighborhood where they spend the wee hours to nourish their blood-sucking selves.

On the side is the love story of Duke and Elenita (Yassi Pressman) which begins in your usual the-girl-slips-and-the-boy-catches-and-it-was-love-at-first-sight. It is the movie’s answer to the necessity of having a loveteam and most probably the production outfit’s testing grounds for the delayed romantic-comedy Girlfriend for Hire. Since they look great together, their moments could have tickled some heartstrings with more push at the seams of the story and not just through conventional episodes of kilig.

Looking at Wang Fam’s story closely could make one realize that it follows a decent story albeit filled with moth-eaten jokes that do not tickle the senses anymore. It tries its best to keep the comic atmosphere flowing in the air and rushing through the veins of its characters but all of these attempts remain so all throughout.

As characters exaggerate with their shrilling voices and movements, it couldn’t be helped but to shut the ears instead of dwelling into the fun it could have been. It is as if it does not want to go any further than how Deramas intends his comedy to be: as long as it appeals to the masses, it should be used by the book.

However, in this time and age, what is truly appealing to the masses more than lame jokes and slurs? As long as the audience demands for this kind of material, more and more end products like Wang Fam will be realized for the general public to consume despite lacking the essential bits that could induce at the very least thinking and better reasoning.

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LOOK: New high-res images of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

Following last week’s first look at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – the start of a new trilogy of Harry Potter spinoffs centering on Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander – Warner Bros. Has released a trio of high-res photos, giving us a more detailed look at some of the images that debuted earlier.

The photos feature Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, and witchy sisters Porpentina and Queenie Goldstein, played by Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol respectively.

The all-new adventure “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is set in the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling in her best-selling Harry Potter books, which were adapted into the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.

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Directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” feature films, “Fantastic Beasts” stars Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) as Newt Scamander, the wizarding world’s preeminent magizoologist, who stops in New York following his travels to find and document magical creatures.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Inherent Vice”) as Tina; Alison Sudol (“Transparent”) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) as Jacob; Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck”) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“Minority Report”) as Mary Lou; Jenn Murray (“Brooklyn”) as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”) as Graves.

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Marking the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, the script was inspired by her character Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The film is produced by David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster “Harry Potter” features; J.K. Rowling; Steve Kloves; and Lionel Wigram.

Warner Bros. Pictures has slated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for worldwide release in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM WARNER BROS. PICTURES

Help find Arlo, ‘The Good Dinosaur’!

Manila, 18th November 2015 – A widespread #FINDARLO media campaign will kick off across Southeast Asia, enlisting the help of fans to search for Arlo, the timid dinosaur from Disney/Pixar’s highly anticipated upcoming release, The Good Dinosaur.

Fans are encouraged to spot traces of Arlo across various locations in the Philippines and report their findings by taking a picture and uploading it to their Instagram account using #FINDARLO. Key online influencers in the Philippines including Alodia Gosiengfiao, Laureen Uy, Ranz Kyle and Niana Guerrero have already committed to help find Arlo before the movie opens on Nov. 25.

So be a part of this fun regional digital movement to locate Arlo in the Philippines this November. For more information, simply log on to http://www.findarlo.com/.

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About Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur

Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of Directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”).

Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur opens across the Philippines on November 25, 2015.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

WATCH: New trailer of Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’

Will Smith stars in Columbia Pictures’ Concussion, based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Smith), the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a sports-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Watch the newly-released trailer of Smith’s upcoming dramatic thriller “Concussion” below.

Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful – and beloved – institutions in the world.

Directed and written by Peter Lendesman (“Parkland,” “Kill the Messenger”) based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, “Concussion” also stars Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje with David Morse and Albert Brooks.

Opening across the Philippines in January 2016, Concussion is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM COLUMBIA PICTURES