Friday, October 22, 2010

Cris Pablo's "Mga Pinakamahabang One Night Stand 2" - Lessons in Self-Flagellation & Mediocrity

Education isn't always a noteworthy endeavor. If you acquire it from a brilliant mind, then all your hard work would have been worth the trouble. In Cris Pablo's acting workshops, the ultimate graduation gift is becoming part of a commercially-shown film. But such paybacks (you pay to get yourself in a movie - cool concept, don't you think?) could signal that it is indeed quite acceptable to churn up nursery-school projects then sell them to a paying public. In principle, it also lowers the standard of an already mediocre indie scene. But Leave it to Cris Pablo to make this troubling trend a money-making scheme twice over! He gets paid to be mentor which should finance his schemes, then he gets to field a film in "commercial" cinemas. But what's worse than giving false hopes to impressionable young minds? This denouement becomes a harrowing situation not dissimilar to doctors who get their medical education from quacks. Someone's gonna eventually fall ill and croak! Cris Pablo's latest abomination is such undertaking.

Mga Pinakamahabang One-Night Stand 2” gathers four stories involving Cris Pablo’s inept but ambitious workshoppers (it would be a travesty to call them “actors”) who help Pablo bring to life (or a painful cinematic death) his boundless gay fantasies. Moreover, in his youtube workshop invitations, he pimps and parades Arjay Carreon as a "come on" - if you want to join Arjay, join our workshop! Whee!

Apparently, three of the four stories in "Mga Pinakamahabang One Night Stand 2)" (Longest One Night Stands 2) are directed by Kazan Anna Banzuela and David Mallari (“Call Center”), Julz Julia, Thor Manlangit, Maribel Argotero (Boto Mo, Boto Ko”), and Marlon Mamungay and Jilan Babagay (“Huling Subok”), under the supervision of Pablo. Topher Barretto is likewise billed in the cast, but is nowhere found in any of the shorts.

Arjay Carreon

Call Center” follows two repulsive English “patients” who are cast as a pair of gay call center agents cum lovers (Ronald Tacluyan, Marcus Valmadrid). One of them agonizes over his partner’s decision to quit his stable job, unaware that his lover has just been diagnosed with HIV. Not knowing this, he broods and sulks a lot, wondering why his partner doesn’t want to kiss him or get intimate with him even as he professes his love for him, while a third party (another unsightly wannabe) hits on him in the guise of giving him comfort. The two love birds clear the air after they take a shower together.

Boto Mo, Boto Ko” (Your Vote, My Vote) is about Banjo, the gay supervisor of a gay (surprise!) local politician’s volunteers who make (romantic) life a living hell for new recruit Karl (Francis Sienes) and the apple of his eyes, Rusty (Rusty Adonis). Karl and Rusty like each other, but Banjo wants Rusty for himself, so he berates his subordinate every chance he gets. Unfortunately, Banjo’s sinister schemes only bring the star-crossed lovers together. After Banjo throws paint on Karl, the latter ends up in the shower with Rusty, and they consummate their attraction for each other, while Banjo bawls his eyes out and throws a tantrum outside the toilet.

In “Tubero” (Plumber), a gay guy (Prince Tami Ballesteros, who’s horrible and annoyingly swishy) who just broke up with his boyfriend tries to mend his broken heart by calling a plumber to fix his leaky and clogged-up pipes (pun very much intended). They end up plugging each other’s leaks instead.

Huling Subok” (Last Trial) is the most serious—and most preposterous—of the four stories. It’s about a seminarian who must face his final test before he dedicates himself fully into the priesthood by hooking up with the good-looking Arjay Carreon, a cop who’s just been promoted in his job. The two guys/gays are former best friends and classmates who are haunted by an unfinished “business” eight years ago—they had an unexpected fling after getting carried away during a fateful get-together, after which the uglier guy vanishes on the face of the earth (he went to Singapore actually). When they meet again, they catch up, paint the town red…and take a dip in a swimming pool—then, they (again) make a go at their “huling subok” to satisfy Pablo’s craving for young men’s naked bodies and flashes of their shortcomings.

Is Cris Pablo out to outshower Hedji Calagui's "Lagpas" guys? When an exposition loses steam, he send his characters to the showers.

What is it about Cris Pablo and taking a bath?

Arjay Carreon tests his faith...and his appaluse-worthy savvy to disrobe.


Dempsey Sanders said...

would defintely like to watch the Huling Subok out of these four the most even though I wouldnt mind giving most of the four stories a watch. I love coming across blogs like yours that review movies I would have never known about otherwise. Great post as usual Cathy

Cathy P. said...

You've been forewarned. ;->

Cris Pablo's works do have an audience (otherwise he wouldn't be churning out one film after the next in steady succession) thus they are always eventually released on video, the latest available on DVD are "Discreetly" and "Haba" (Length) so you can probably order them from Amazon or that Philippine-based DVD trade site.