Regret would probably be the first thing that comes to mind with such a title. Then there’s the curious what-if that would have peeked through the blank wonder we have no idea of. How many forks along the timeline would you have reviewed? Do you think changing one of them would have stopped you from dying your hair red today? Or by choosing to go with the salad instead of the steak, think your waistline would still be attractive? I wish I could turn back time, but not to change things. I wanna go back in time to find those happy places and loop myself in a limbo of pure worry-free contentment. And rot in its bowels, as far away from what hurts today as possible. Coincidentally, if I cannot travel back in time, I would like to fast-forward the trying moments that are ongoing. Move forward to the outcome, live the result, melt away the experience. Right now, I’d say I’m weakest with wiling the time away. I wish existence wasn’t a linear trap we’re forced to live out. Maybe phasing in and out of the past or the future isn’t the answer. Sometimes, I think there’s no answer as we are forced to spend time throughout the now. Maybe a time-out would be a better offset. Sometimes when I sleep, I’d sleep so hard I’d wake up and the sad things are over. Then there are days I’d sleep, so hard, and wish I’d never have to wake up. Goodnight.
There could’ve been so many parties and so many ways to spice them up, but I guess we had different intentions. Social or otherwise.
Am I being reported and guaged to a guy who has a different boytoy whenever we meet?
10. Leo Martinez played sinister down pat.
9. Shaina Magdayao’s accurate rich girl political daughter portrayal and daring scene.
8. Niño Muhlach.
7. Gerald Anderson in his dirtiest role so far.
6. William Martinez was lost in character.
5. Rosanna Roces’ gripping cameo.
4. Piolo Pascual takes the passenger seat and his shirt off. Twice.
3. Finally, a smart portrayal of our country’s political and social structures, cycles, and traps.
2. It’s Joel Torres’ comeback movie.
1. Joey Marquez’s career redefining performance.
Whatever you do, do not miss it. #OnTheJob #OTJ
"On The Job" is a story about #succession. It’s about the deep-rooted political cycles and traps that reflects our society today, and it just so happens to have an amazing cast that plays out this story all too well. The film tells us of the story of two young men being groomed to take the place of their superiors Piolo an Gerald, both belonging to opposite sides of the law.
Piolo tells the tragedy of the road least travelled, while Gerald takes on the tragedy of ambition. Piolo is being handled by his father-in-law, Michael de Mesa who lets him in on the dirty side of politics. Gerald is mentored by Joel Torre, who serves as his father figure. Piolo lived with principles and ideals aligned with righteousness and hesitated much in getting involved with Michael de Mesa. Gerald was the embodiment of eager - to earn more, to rise above being a back-up, to get free and settle down. Piolo was tied down by the law. Gerald had freedom behind bars.
In the thick of the drama, Joey Marquez played the role of an aged cop who was left behind the ranks. Unlike the big political players, Michael de Mesa and Leo Martinez, Joey belongs on the right side of the law - dedicated in upholding the law and his society, and desperately holding on to his family and his meager income, catching small fish in the hopes of finally cracking the system that would link Leo Martinez with organized crime. There’s that heartbreaking scene where he tries to arrest his drug addict/pusher son, JM de Guzman, that really deserves praise. He finally gets that break in the puzzle when his old partner finally breaks silence. Thus leading to the frenzy of the climax. And as with most plots, when characters find out the premise, they start dying. Or are taken out.
The film had a lot of interesting visuals, but the most resonating one was the train chase sequence. It spoke about generations and played as the metaphor of hope and resistance. Piolo chases after Gerald on the MRT2 line, current and well-lit, while Joey Marquez runs after Joel Torre in dark and grimy a train graveyard. There’s hope and there’s greed. One is stronger than the other, or are they just the same and only the lighting changes?
Rich or poor, the film’s biggest traitors are the beautiful women. They really get personal. Borrowing from my friend Dan Tesoro, the film has no good guys, you just root for whoever is the victim of whatever circumstance. Surprisingly, the film’s best performances apart from the leads, came from the cameos. Rosanna Roces owned the scene the camera quickly panned across their lives. Niño Muhlach should have more roles like this. Gritty is good for him. I had trouble finding William Martinez who was really lost in his character. Vivian Velez reminded me of Brigitte Lin from Wong Kar-wai’s “Chungking Express”.
"On The Job" is a story about succession. It could have ended several plot details earlier, but it just doesn’t. And yet, I didn’t mind. Despite the tragedies that happened, each character is succeeded by an idea that refuses to die. One is freedom, the other is greed. Freedom is just a line that separates truth from reality, and people will do what it takes to succeed.
The film reminded me of a discussion with my then-boss, Marlon Rivera, about succession planning, where the running joke for us ambitious then-juniors went something like “Gusto mo ma-promote? Hintayin mo mamatay boss mo.” (Do you want to get promoted? Just wait for your boss to die.)
"On The Job" is about succession. It succeeds in telling us a story about Filipinos through what we see and hear everyday, as we swallow a bit of guilt just for being who we are and who we have to be. And if this film is an indication of the film industry’s own succession, I can proudly say that we are in very good hands.
It felt like a roller coaster ride was about to start. You could hear the teens in line gasping after buying their tickets. And as soon as people took to their seats, the chattering slowly died down until the lights went out, then the final gasps from the audience settled into the opening credits. There was this electricity from the viewers that stayed in the silence, waiting to surge at the first instance of terror.
"The Conjuring" was this carnival’s new attraction. And the viewers are lining up in hordes. I guess the more you watch it with, you get a stronger false sense of security that makes the crowd, well, braver. You don’t watch movies like this for the plot. You walk in knowing that scary shit is gonna happen, and you’re just in it for the whole experience. The film is a thrill that runs you around all-over with the chase of terror that you see. Or you don’t. Or you don’t see yet, but you wish you saw. Or not. Clap-clap.
There are a lot of technical elements int he film that really immerses you in what’s going on, most notable of which was the camera work. It was amazing. It switched from different styles without making you feel dizzy and didn’t treat the scenes, especially the most shocking ones, horrifyingly trivial. The editing was superb. The way the scenes were sliced was a perfect marriage with the camera work. Then there’s the sound. Beautiful score and sound design at the Dolby Atmos made the details crawl up your skin. Seriously eerie knocking and creaking at home will probably make my head turn twice. And mirrors? Jeez, the film strategically placed the mirrors so well! For a leitmotif, it’s done really well. Clap-clap.
So how scary was it? Surprisingly, I found it more bearable than what I’m used to. And I’m not that big on horror (just a bit). But it won’t make me sleep with the lights on. Maybe not brush my teeth in front of a mirror at night for maybe three days. Maybe it’s just hard to supernaturally scare me after growing up to local news documentaries on possessions of schoolgirls in provinces, haunted houses, and ghost stories that year-in and year-out star the Halloween TV networks. Unless you’re Korean or Japanese. Clap-clap.
It’s scary, but the you can easily get over the scare with a good joke or sitcom after. My dear friend, Dadang, prepared for this by watching The Evil Dead remake last night. And it did her good. As for me, I really wanted to catch it midday-ish. At least, Id’ have daylight to turn to as soon as I step out of the theatre. So we caught the 1:45pm screening. Sometime in the middle, I checked my mobile phone after it vibrated and saw 3:07pm on my screen. Still all in all, it’s an experience horror fans shouldn’t miss. Slow clap-clap.
As much as I wasn’t a big fan of the first Percy Jackson silverscreen adaptation, the second one had more heart and ambition, but the obvious lack of budget stifled a possible bigger box-office titan for this franchise.
Special effects suffered the most. Kids might be able to let go of the rough edges between actual footage and visual flare, but those who couldn’t were stuck in SFX Tartarus. I liked how the kids have “grown up” a bit. But production could’ve been kinder by following a tight yearly run, just like how the Potter series ran. The characters from the book were memorable, but the actors, meh.
I’ve said this before, the books were a more enjoyable journey to take. They let you play with your imagination more than how budget limits Hollywood films’ creativity. The story just comes more to life. More so if you read them as a Greek mythology junkie. Personally, I think the Percy Jackson series would’ve been better as a TV show. Maybe in ten years, we can have a better book to TV adaptation.
If you’re looking for a weekend adventure to watch, go support the Gilas (FIBA). This movie, you can guiltlessly miss. Try to catch it instead a few months from now on cable.
“‘Yung mukha mo ‘yung Masarap, i-date, gawing boyfriend, ipakilala sa nanay, ibahay, tapos kaliwain.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the oddest compliment in have ever received.
Villain choices doesn’t let me give “The Wolverine” a higher recommendation than it deserves. I think the Silver Samurai and Viper tandem works, but they could’ve led to a possible bigger bad guy at the end or maybe towards a sequel (maybe the Mastermind). Considering The Hand has consistently been a thorn on Logan’s side, it would’ve been nice to explore their role in a more dominant way. The Yakuza connection was a nice touch though.
What this movie got right was casting. They properly casted Japanese actors to play Japanese characters (save for Harada, played by Wil Yun Lee - of Korean roots). That’s something I haven’t recovered from since “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Nice to see a youthful Yukio (Rila Fukushima). I’ve gotten used to Marc Silvestri drawings and well, they always look mature. Tao Okamoto’s towering presence left a good impression for a Mariko (who was Wolverine’s original love interest in comics). Timid, graceful, intense. She’s so important in Logan’s life because I think she will put a nail to what Jean Grey keeps on telling him about how everyone he loves dies. So yeah, don’t be shocked. Of course Mr. Jackman did a splendid job again (loved the bathtub scrubbing scene). Marvel is milking him for all he is worth. He is this generation’s Christopher Reeve. It will be really hard to find another actor to play this icon after Hugh.
The film had a lot of beautiful imagery. The Nagasaki bomb drop was exquisitely eerie. The moment with the grizzly was savagely heartwarming. The bullet train fight sequence was interestingly novel. Being pierced by arrows and ropes was hauntingly poetic. For me, the final dream sequence with Jean sums up “The Wolverine”. It’s about moving on.
I have and I am already giddy over the next X-Men big screen installment.