Saturday, January 15, 2011

Best Films of 2010 - And The Rundown of All Commercially Shown Local Films in 2010

2010 has generally been a disappointing year in terms of the number of local films that saw commercial exhibition. We have slaved a portion of our life to watch them, diligently documenting most of them in this blogsite.

The big number is 73! These were the films that were served on our cinematic platter, shown on commercial theaters, every one we paid to watch, shelling out an estimate of P11,680 for 2010 for these local films. Now multiply that with the movie-going population of Manila. Isn't that serious business?

But the real question is: Do these films deserve our patronage? "Tangkilikin ang pelikulang Pilipino" is such a tired line from non-thinking parrots. Should we really invest our entertainment money on these 73 commercially shown films? Sadly, the answer is a resounding "no". Only a handful deserve our attention or money. Notice the emergence of the Pink Film, most of them exploitation flicks with the salient objective of disrobing the male species! They constitute about almost 1/3 of the whole output of locally produced films! They have spawned "Superstars" in their own genre: Jeff Luna, Marco Morales, Charles Delgado, Ray an Dulay, - each one willing to show off their family jewels! In fact, at no other time in Philippine Showbiz has there been a surfeit of penises on screen!

Movies have to deserve patronage. It isn't enough that a film maker has invested his blood, sweat and tears on a film project for his audience to automatically heap undeserved praise. After all, the money that is paid for a movie ticket doesn't grow on trees. People work hard to earn them. The bottom line is: consumers like me will honestly say our piece about a particular product that we paid to watch. If we bought rotten tomatoes from the market, we deserve to throw those rotten tomatoes back to their sellers. And since we really can't get our money back, we label them garbage and tell the world not to buy such crap! That's simply consumer rights!

On the other hand, there are the very few gems that come out from a lean harvest. These are the ones that moved us! And we are grateful to them for making 2010 worth our time and money.

Criteria of inclusion (and exclusion): This list includes all the movies that made it in commercial cinemas; those who bravely exhibited works on commercial theaters. Heard of those supposedly great titles that were only shown in special venues (UP Film Center, CCP)? They are largely inconsequential to us. Heard of those internationally screened award-winning films that were never screened locally? Their awards don't mean squat to us either. We can never be proud of flicks that weren't meant for Pinoy screening! Film makers who matter to us are those who laboriously set their works up to be seen by the Pinoys, not the elite foreign crowd. We've also included titles shown at the Cinema One Originals because they enjoyed extensive screening at the Shangrila at popular rates last November. It was open to the movie-going masa!

2010's Best Films: (in random order)

1. Ishmael (Richard Somes) - Tarantino-esque tale of "alienation" and the extreme boundary of people's faith, this film effectively banks on its narrative's sense of paranoia, though at times, it seemed technically "unfinished".

2. Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria Kirschbaum (Remton Siega Zuasola) - Spectacularly shot in a single take, the whole film is a tremendous almost-theatrical exploration of a girl's odyssey in behalf of her family's quest for better lives and "greener pastures".

3. Noy (Dondon Santos) - A film making crew follows a winning Presidential candidate's campaign trail, while domestic events unravel in the life of its slum-dwelling protagonist. One of those fastly-becoming-trite poverty porns, but is nevertheless a decent piece that ingeniously weaves a confounding story within its quasi-documentary form.

4. Here Comes The Bride (Chris Martinez) - Eclipse plays its hilarious hand in a body-switching phenomenon that's causing havoc at a blushing bride's wedding!

5. The Red Shoes (Raul Jorolan) - A stolen pair of shoes figures prominently in the lives of Lucas, his girlfriend Bettina, his mother Chat and an Imelda Marcos-loving psychic named Madame Vange.

6. Bakal Boys (Ralston Jover) - Utoy, a 10 year old scavenger aimlessly searches for his friend who disappeared one day while scavenging for metal scraps in the dingy waters of Manila Bay. Not the easiest film to watch, but patience pays off in introspective ways.

7. Last Supper No. 3 (Veronica B. Velasco) - A production assistant religiously attends to the tedious court proceedings that concern the loss of a tapestry used for a commercial.

8. Two Funerals (Gil Portes) - A road movie that plies the eventful roads from Tuguegarao to Bicol during the Holy Week to recover the corpse of a daughter. Vacillating between humorous and perplexing, the film is littered with social commentaries as a mother and a grieving boyfriend try to recover a loved one's body - with the help of a closeted gay man!

9. RPG Metanoia (Luis C. Suarez) - The country's first ever 3D animated feature boasts of striking visuals and a story of a child who rediscovers life beyond online gaming. The scene where traditional Pinoy games were being played (while the APO jubilantly sings "Bawa't Bata") is already worth the ticket price!

10. Rosario (Alberto Martinez) - Ambitiously lavish, both in narrative exposition and execution, albeit with a convoluted story, but earnestly tells the story of a head strong woman who followed no rules at a time when moral and cultural restrictions were the norm. Largely berated and scorned for its bottomless pit of resources than its perceived mediocrity. Grandeur of cinema on display!

My pick for the year's best: Veronica Velasco's "Last Supper No. 3"

Up next: 2010's Best and Worst Performances

A List of all Tagalog films that made it in commercial theaters in 2010 (from January 1 to December 31, 2010: (Do holler if I've missed a title)




East of Paradise

RPG Metanoia

Father Jejemon


Shake, Rattle & Roll 12

Ang Tanging Ina Mo…Last Na To


Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote

Super Inday and the Magic Bibe

My Amnesia Girl

D’ Survivors

Astro Mayabang


Layang Bilanggo


Third World Happy


Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria Kirschbaum

Ang Babae sa Sementeryo



I’ll Be There

Wanted: Border



Ian Loreno’s The Leaving

Laruang Lalake

Till My Heartaches End


Cris Pablo’s Mga Pinakamahabang One Night Stand

Topel Lee’s White House

Petrang Kabayo

I Do

Adolf Alix’s Muli

Indie Boys



Sa Yo Lamang



Celso Ad. Castillo’s 666

Hating Kapatid

In Your Eyes

Halik Sa Tubig





You To Me Are Everything

Here Comes The Bride

Working Girls (2010)

Paano Ko Sasabihin

Babe I Love You


The Red Shoes

Ben and Sam


Bakal Boys



Last Supper No. 3

Miss You Like Crazy


SpEd Hearts

Standing Room Only


Paano Na Kaya


Sagrada Pamilya



Anonymous said...

Ain't you prolific? Haha. I feel so ashamed of myself. Kudos Cathy! And congratulations on your suffering with some of these movies.

Cathy P. said...

LOL on "congratulations on your suffering"

I only have myself to blame, but then at least no one can accuse me of non-patronage of "pelikulang Pilipino" - and it's grand to fearlessly share my thoughts about how bad some of them are - because I have seen them!

You're the prolific one - your interest from music, to videos, to movies - is amazing!

SuperStarValue: Online Star Career Analyst and Multi-Media Creative said...

"film makers who matter to us are those who laboriously set their works up to be seen by the Pinoys, not the elite foreign crowd."- sadly this mentality is what most indie filmmakers are resisting as they find the effort to reach the 'masa' a step below their self perceived 'geniuses'- sayang but i share your sentiment on this

Cathy P. said...

Thus I never place a premium on these foreign award-winning Tagalog films who were never shown in commercial theaters. They might as well be a pile of crap. LOL

Who cares if the Egyptians, Macedonians, Peruvian, Latvian and Estonians, Mar del Plata folks, Zimbabwen and Ghana nationals saw them? They're as important to me as a wad of used toilet paper. ;->

The ones (Pinoy films) that matter are those shown locally.

tom joad said...

Hi Cathy, I made a compilation of lists of 2010 top Pinoy films and I included yours. I posted it in our blog here:

Cathy P. said...

Thanks for the inclusion in the list, Tom. I do hope that some of these films get shown in commercial cinemas. I would pay money to watch them when available. ;->

Cool blogsite too.