entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

MMFF in Challenging Position With Emphasis on Quality

MMFF mainstays such as 'Enteng Kabisote' are a thing of the past as organizers emphasize more on quality than commercial success in this year's filmfest. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

Without blockbuster franchises and stars such as Vic Sotto’s ‘Enteng Kabisote’ series, the new-look MMFF faces an uphill battle this year. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

This is a From the Tube special report. The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not reflect those of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival will be a different experience for moviegoers and viewers alike.

Gone are the top drawers, big-spending production outfits and movie franchises that made the MMFF an annual Christmas tradition. Instead, the eight official full-length films will feature mostly independent productions, some of which were previously screened in other film festivals around the world.

The eight entries are:

  • Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough – directed by Marlon Rivera; stars Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano, Khalil Ramos, and Cai Cortez
  • Die Beautiful – directed by Jun Robles Lana; stars Paolo Ballesteros, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, and Iza Calzado
  • Kabisera – directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido; stars Ms. Nora Aunor, Ricky Davao, JC De Vera, Luis Alandy, Jason Abalos, and RJ Agustin
  • Oro – directed by Alvin Yapan; stars Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Joem Bascon
  • Saving Sally – directed by Avid Liongoren; stars Rhian Ramos, and Enzo Marcos
  • Seklusyon – directed by Erik Matti; stars Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales
  • Sunday Beauty Queen – directed by Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez; stars Hazel Perdido, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Leo Selomenio, and Rudelyn Acosta
  • Vince & Kath & James – directed by Ted Boborol; stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte

The selections were based on the following criteria: story, audience appeal and overall impact (40%); cinematic attributes or technical expertise (40%); global appeal (10%); and Filipino sensibility (10%). In essence, the MMFF organizers wanted to feature a greater emphasis on quality rather than commercialism alone.

Even though the change in approach is crucial in providing a more even playing field, promoting these films could pose a challenge. Many of the films were produced by independent companies, while a majority of them feature second or third-tier actors, some of whom are relative unknowns.

Let’s face it, while Eugene Domingo has box-office potential (‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank’ raked in millions during its initial run), she is no Vic Sotto or Vice Ganda. And while Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia are not a bad tandem, they are no AlDub or KathNiel in the appeal department.

The major television networks such as ABS-CBN and GMA, once major players in the MMFF, are in a similar predicament. In previous years, both played a big role in the success of MMFF entries, but with this year’s field, they may not be a factor at all.

This does not mean that all eight films are bad, however. They are still worth watching as far as moviegoers go, but it will be up to them to become seriously interested with these entries.

Come Christmas Day, all eyes will be on the eight Metro Manila Film Festival entries. Still, it remains to be seen if this year’s filmfest will be a blockbuster or a flop.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Teleserye Alert: The Greatest Love and Someone to Watch Over Me

Two new teleseryes premiere today on ABS-CBN and GMA respectively.

On the former’s Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Greatest Love’ will finally make its long-awaited debut. The series will star veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez in what is perhaps her most definitive starring role yet.

In ‘The Greatest Love’, Sylvia will play the role of Gloria, a mother of four who is determined to have a happy and lovely family. But a terrible secret soon broke the bond between Gloria and her children, and what remained of her are memories of her problematic past.

As the story goes on, Gloria begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a crippling disorder that could erase her memories. As a result, she must find a way to reunite with her children before her condition proves too much to overcome.

Gloria’s children will be portrayed by Dimples Romana (as Amanda), Matt Evans (as Andrei), Arron Villaflor (as Paeng), and Andi Eigenmann (as Lizelle). The supporting cast of ‘The Greatest Love’ will consist of Joshua Garcia, Nonie Buencamino, Rommel Padilla, Tonton Gutierrez, Ejay Falcon, Ellen Adarna, Junjun Quintana, Aleck Bovick, Luis Alandy, Bobby Andrews, Alex Medina, Mercedes Cabral, and Guji Lorenzana.

It will be interesting to see how ‘The Greatest Love’ fares on its first week. But as far as ABS-CBN is concerned, the recent streak of good fortune on Kapamilya Gold should be more than enough to ease the pressure on the newcomer.

Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, Mervyn Brondial, and Dado Lomibao, ‘The Greatest Love’ airs weekdays after ‘Doble Kara’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

Over on GMA’s Telebabad block, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will mark the full return of more serious dramas on primetime. The series will be headlined by Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Max Collins.

Like ‘The Greatest Love’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will explore the harsh effects of Alzheimer’s disease. In the upcoming series, TJ (Tom) is an office worker who is married to his wife Joanna (Lovi), but after TJ begins to suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, Joanna decides to take care of her ailing husband.

Soon after, Irene (Max), TJ’s ex-girlfriend, is allowed by Joanna to enter their home. After that, things begin to change as TJ loses memory of Joanna and instead recognizes Irene as his true love.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will also include Edu Manzano, Jackie Lou Blanco, Isay Alvarez, Ronnie Lazaro, Boy 2 Quizon, Ralph Noriega, and Frances Makil. The series will be directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes.

It will be interesting to see how this upcoming GMA drama will fare against ‘Born for You’. With the latter series on a roll, and with GMA’s talent problems already well-documented, this is going to be a difficult journey for Lovi, Tom, Max and company.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ airs weeknights after ‘Descendants of the Sun’.

 

Standard
drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

My Fair Lady Remake to Air on TV5 Next Week

‘My Fair Lady’ airs starting this Monday at 9:30 p.m. on TV5. It will star Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Vin Abrenica and Luis Alandy. (Photo credit: TV5/My Fair Lady TV5 Official Facebook)

It seems like TV5 is having fun remaking Koreanovelas that were previously aired on another network.

After the remake of ‘The Baker King’, it is now the turn of ‘My Fair Lady’ to embrace the TV5 airwaves. The new adaptation will be led by Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Vin Abrenica and Luis Alandy, and will replace the former starting this Monday.

Like ‘The Baker King’, the original ‘My Fair Lady’ never aired on TV5. Instead, it aired on ABS-CBN in 2011, as part of the Kapamilya Gold block.

The original series first aired in Korea in 2009, and earned high ratings and numerous awards in its home country despite airing only 16 60-minute episodes. It starred Yoon Eun-hye, Yoon Sang-hyun, Jung Il-woo, and Moon Chae-won.

Unlike several hit Koreanovelas, ABS-CBN chose to relinquish the rights to ‘My Fair Lady’ due to its low ratings. TV5 picked up the rights to the series early last year, with the intent towards producing a remake.

The remake of ‘My Fair Lady’ will air for only 30 minutes, in contrast to its Korean counterpart. There will be a few tweaks along the way, but overall, expect the adaptation to not deviate from the style and approach of the original.

Joining Jasmine, Vin and Luis on ‘My Fair Lady’ will be Chanel Morales, Katrina Legaspi, Eddie Gutierrez, Marjorie Barretto, Jenny Miller, DJ Durano, Joross Gamboa, and Yayo Aguila. The series will be directed by Ricky Rivero.

It will be interesting to see how the fans of the original ‘My Fair Lady’ will respond to the remake. That said, the onus is now on TV5 to create something memorable for their loyal viewers.

‘My Fair Lady’ airs weeknights starting September 14 at 9:30 p.m. on TV5.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Same Time, Same Day Ending for Bridges of Love, The Rich Man’s Daughter

Both ‘Bridges of Love’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ are down to their final two episodes.

In a rare moment in Philippine television, two rival programs will air their respective series finales at the same time and on the same day. ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’ and GMA’s ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will have their final episodes aired tomorrow night at 9:15 p.m.

‘Bridges of Love’ were led by Maja Salvador, Paulo Avelino and Jericho Rosales. A story that features two brothers fighting for the love of a seductive female dancer, the series premiered on March 16 on the Primetime Bida block, and ran for 103 episodes.

On the other hand, ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ were led by Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro and Luis Alandy. A story that features a rich and influential Chinese-Filipino woman who was romantically linked to a lesbian, the series premiered on May 11 on the Telebabad block, and aired for 65 episodes.

While ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ featured a similar storyline as ‘My Husband’s Lover’ (this time with females portrayed as lovers), it failed to equal, let alone surpass, the success of the latter. In fact, it was a mismatch from the start, with ‘Bridges of Love’ doubling its ratings total over ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ with each episode.

The contrast of fortunes for both series continued into social media, as ‘Bridges of Love’ remained a hot topic among netizens compared to ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. The fact that the latter went largely unnoticed on Twitter despite featuring a novel storyline involving lesbianism only caused a great deal of concern and worry within the GMA camp.

It will be interesting to see which series finale will have the last laugh. Will it be the love triangle between Maja, Paulo and Echo, or the love triangle between Rhian, Glaiza and Luis?

One thing’s for sure: a frantic finish awaits both ‘Bridges of Love’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

High Expectations Await ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ Sans Marian

There is considerable pressure for Rhian Ramos as ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter”s premiere nears.

After all, she was chosen to replace the teleserye’s original lead star Marian Rivera, who had to back out from the series due to her impending pregnancy. That said, a talent as big as Marian’s looms so large that high expectations were quickly bestowed on Rhian’s shoulders upon getting the nod as her replacement.

In the upcoming series, Rhian will play the role of Jade Tanchingco, an heiress of a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family. With the help of her father, she sought for a suitor, even going as far as giving the bachelor P5 million if he is successful in wooing her.

But as it turned out, Jade would reveal herself as a lesbian, throwing her family into a series of revelations that will challenge her personal truths. It’s up to her to choose what’s important: family or her lesbian lovers.

Joining Rhian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will be Glaiza de Castro, Al Tantay, Luis Alandy, Katrina Halili, Mike Tan, Chynna Ortaleza, Sheena Halili, Ms. Gloria Romero, Pauleen Luna, Paolo Contis, TJ Trinidad, Charee Pineda, Stephanie Sol, Glydel Mercado and Tony Mabesa. Dominic Zapata, famous for another same-sex drama in ‘My Husband’s Lover’, will direct the upcoming series.

The success of ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will depend on how Rhian will be able to portray the lesbian lover role effectively, and on how viewers will respond to her performance. It will also be a huge test to see how the series fares well against its upcoming rival, ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’.

Nevertheless, GMA is confident that Rhian will be an able replacement for Marian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. Now GMA must hope that their faith in Rhian in the series will pay off.

‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ premieres this Monday after ‘Let the Love Begin’ on GMA Telebabad.

Standard
entertainment, Philippines, television

Double Serving of GMA’s New Teleseryes

 

In only three weeks, the GMA Telebabad lineup debuted three new teleseryes. That is a turnover of over a half from its previous lineup.

Just last Friday, two GMA teleseryes aired their series finales. ‘Binoy Henyo’, a story of a wonder kid with an impoverished life, finished its run with the titular character Binoy (David Remo) reuniting with his real parents Agnes (Sheena Halili) and Francis (Luis Alandy), only after Agnes was acquitted of all charges filed against her by Emily (Gwen Zamora). Likewise ‘Anna Karenina‘, a story of three girls trying to solve the mystery of the real Anna Karenina, ended its run after it was revealed that Anna (Barbie Forteza) was the real Anna Karenina.

And yesterday GMA debuted a pair of new teleseryes: the kiligserye ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’, starring the love team of Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal, and ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’, starring Julie Ann San Jose and Kristoffer Martin. The former tells the story of Princess, an orphaned young woman who nevertheless showed determination and hard work. She eventually fell in love with Nick, but only after they cross paths once more after first meeting in an orphanage. The latter tells the story of Leandro and Pauline, born handicapped and out of poverty but eventually fell in love through music, but only after a series of family squabbles threatened their love for each other.

Air times for ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ and ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ are currently sandwiched between GMA’s early evening newscast ’24 Oras’, occupying the slots vacated by ‘Binoy Henyo’ and ‘Anna Karenina’, respectively. GMA’s two new offerings are also aired opposite ABS-CBN’s highly-rated series ‘Annaliza’ and ‘Juan de la Cruz‘, whose ratings have remained highly consistent even as GMA continues to search for answers regarding their low ratings in the late afternoon/early evening timeslot.

After ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ ended its run and was replaced by ‘Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas’, followed by the aforementioned new teleseryes, GMA has turned over half of its ‘Telebabad’ lineup, a sign that the network is still searching for stability on primetime. Nevertheless, Kapuso fans hope that with fresh blood comes a better ratings return for the Kapuso network.

Standard