‘Mañanita’ review: Silent at its best

Director Paul Soriano brings us a silent treatment of a well-known story of the ‘Mañanita’ song propelled by Bela Padilla’s most complicated role to date.

Mañanita is a story of an ex-military sniper who is honorably discharged and accepts a mission that will indefinitely change her life in the attempts to make ends meet. It is a quiet character study of when your life’s purpose is stripped away, but you still pursue it, only to realize that it could kill you.

This is not your typical action film. It is very silent and moving. There are no dialogues needed as you can all see the story deep within its astounding visual sequences. Director Paul Soriano put on all the efforts in the film as this is based on true events as seen on the news. You can see the inspiration of it in the film with everything it tells. This masterpiece is truly one you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s beyond what we typically see in the cinemas nowadays as it is creatively written in a good way thanks to the screenplay of critically-acclaimed filmmaker, Lav Diaz.

Bella Padilla is the perfect choice for the lead role. She is in her both good and complicated role because all of her scenes here showcases herself as a strong character who patiently waits, points a sniper, and submerged in a lot of beers and emotions. There are no spoken words—only ambient sounds. A very good background sound at that.

Even the color grading seems to be foretell the future of its character: almost monochromatic as the scene unfolds to a typical sunrise. The shots are carefully treated with good cinematography that fuses what Paul Soriano and Lav Diaz could actually craft together. It may not be a film for everyone but it somehow will inspire people with its deep silent treatment.

Mañanita is a local film that is so deep in silence and surprisingly great. Without a doubt, it’s an inspiring film that audiences deserve to see.

Directed by Paul Soriano and written by Lav Diaz. Mañanita stars Bella Padilla. Runtime: 100 minutes

‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ review: Hilariously good comeback

Director Jake Kasdan brings us back to a whole new exciting world of the classic ‘Jumanji’ game as we know it.

Jumanji: Next Level is one of the most anticipated sequels this year. Following the success of the previous installment, Next Level brings us to a whole new world of Jumanji with new challenges, additional characters, and a whole lot of surprises. In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

The film brings back all the players who have lived their respective lives a year after the first film. Spencer who is now on his college year had a realization that being in a new and different situation loses his image as the better guy, giving him the idea to go back and revisit Jumanji. When his friends Martha, Bethany, and Fridge came to know that he went back into the game, they decided to rescue him. This time they were accidentally accompanied by Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), and his friend, Milo (Danny Glover). With the game being busted from the first film, everything now seems so different because some characters’ avatars got swapped: making things chaotic and funnier at the same time.

This is a film that should not be missed this year. Next Level is an energetic and hilarious sequel made mode wonderful by its cast members, most especially Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson who channel their inner Danny Glover and Danny DeVito within the game. You can tell that the old folks made a lot of fun in filming. Also adding to the gang is a new character, Ming, played by Akwafina, who gives a tingy touch of color to the gang.

Jumanji: Next Level feels like a new world—one we haven’t seen before despite its predecessors. What seems to have been busted is now an open avenue for more adventures—new challenges, new characters, and a new story to tell. The film expanded from merely staying within the jungle. There are new places in which our characters have never been to.

Overall, the film is so good because it does not just stick to being funny and all, but also provides plenty heartwarming life lessons about friendship and self-assurance. Also, there is this scene that connects or even sets us up to a new story that will be a connection to the very first and classic Jumanji which starred Robin Williams. It’s just worth hyping about!

Furthermore, Jumanji: The Next Level is your all-time funny and entertaining film that you and your friends would enjoy. This is the sequel that modernizes the classic game one would want to see more often.

Directed by Jake Kasdan starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Madison Iseman, Ashley Scott, Alex Wolff, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.

Louise Delos Reyes gives all the feels in ‘My Bakit List’

If you were to make a list of all your “whys” in life, what questions would make it on top? Would it be something like the “Bakit List” of this woman named Dess?  

Dugo. Pawis. Lablayp. Sexlayp. Pati tulog at pahinga binigay mo na, ikaw pa rin ang may kasalanan. Bakit?!!

Regarding her job

Regarding her relationships:  

Kinarir mo nang magpaka-nanay at tatay kahit ate ka lang, ikaw pa ang may pagkukulang. Bakit?!

Regarding her relationships

Pitong taon mo siyang minahal, pero nawala siya nang walang pasabi sa isang iglap. Bakit?!!!

Regarding her relationships

Dess, played by Louise Delos Reyes, is a relatable character in “My Bakit List”, a movie co-produced by Viva Films and BluArt Productions. At one point in your life, you may have known someone like her or you may have experienced some of what she goes through.  

In her late 20s, Dess is a breadwinner who earns a living as head writer of a drama anthology. When the pressure at work gets way too much, she quits her job.  

Getting no sympathy from her family whose only concern is how her current status would affect their lives, Dess goes all the way to Ilocos Norte with her best friend Brutus (Prince Stefan) to take a breather.  

This momentary escape from her toxic life might just be what she needs to find the answers to her questions. But when she accidentally comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend Ejay (Ivan Padilla), she refuses to listen to his explanation as to why he left her without a word. Dess is in dilemma if she should open her heart to him again. Will a second chance at love be the answer to all the “Whys” in her life or will it just create more questions in her mind? And if everything comes down to one question:“to hold on or to move on”, what will she choose?

Early this year, Louise Delos Reyes also played a woman who was in a complicated relationship in “Hanggang Kailan?”, a film by Bona Fajardo, the same director of “My Bakit List”.  

For Direk Fajardo (I Found My Heart in Santa Fe, Kahit Ayaw Mo Na, and Iliw), the story itself is the one that determines which actor/s is/are suitable to portray the lead role/s. *(“Naniniwala ako na ‘yung istorya ang pumipili ng karakter, ng aktor.) And once it’s been determined, it’s important that the preferred actors would also believe in the characters for the project to get going. (“Ang importante maniwala sila sa karakter para pumayag sila na gagawin nila ang project.”)

*Louise once revealed that she had been blinded by love towards a former boyfriend. Having that kind of experience, not to mention being a good and dedicated actress, she has fully embraced the role of Dess. Aside from believing in the character, she said that it’s also important to have complete trust in your co-actors. This is the first time for Louise to work with Ivan Padilla. Witness their chemistry as they play an ex-couple who are still not over each other.  

Ivan Padilla co-starred with Cristine Reyes in “Maria” last March and was the leading man of Alessandra de Rossi in “12” . His acting experience includes appearances in Hollywood shows such as *CSI (Crime Scene Investigation, in the NY, Miami and NBC episodes), Lucifer (Fox), Castle, ER, The Closer, Criminal Minds and Dexter (in six episodes).  

Another thing to look forward to in the movie is Louise’s rapport with Prince Stefan (Working Beks, Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend) who accompanies her in her soul searching journey. 

The movie’s official soundtrack is “Sanay Naman Ako” by singer-songwriter Jo. E.  

Viva Films and BluArt Productions invite you to include watching “My Bakit List” in your To Do List this Christmas season. It opens in cinemas on December 11, 2019.  

Anong Ganap Exclusive interview with Bona Fajardo  
Funfare – Ricky Lo, January 21, 2019
Conversations – Ricky Lo, May 5, 2019