Thursday, January 20, 2011

Worst Performances of 2010

What constitutes a bad performance? That should be an easy dissertation, any time; any day.

One giveaway criteria is the presence of the blank facies, unless you're portraying the role of a catatonic schizophrenic. The wooden or statue-inspired amble, which Ciara Sotto perfected in "SpEd Hearts". The monotone delivery where you seem to be reading an essay in front of the camera. The shallow soul, where the exigency of an emotion is depicted through verbose lines and eardrum-shattering squalls, instead of a well-invested emotion (like much of the characters in "In Your Eyes"). The over-eager, under exposed actor who tries hard to stick out from his scarce screen time (not unlike several of Emir's "maids" but gloriously exemplified in brazen and insolent splendor by Melanie Dujunco). The black-and-white 2-D characterizations in actors who can't get a middle ground between emotions like disappointment, anger and hatred. The inability to assume any other persona other than what others know (much like Mo Twister, and why not, when you're already chirpy and charming, right?).

Sometimes, an exceedingly beautiful face gets in the way. Look at Sam Pinto. When you look at her, you are transfixed in time, the way she magically suspends herself in a single facial expression. She's upset? She's happy? She's occupied? Might as well wear a mask, it's a single expression! Another example is Rocky Salumbides. Check out his photo down below - now that is a face steep with expression! His photo just explodes with several degrees of emotion. Unfortunately, on a moving image, it is the same unmoving face, removed of all the muscles that create movements to convey emotion.

Another point to consider is the absolute lack of insight in a given role. Are you a testosterone-raging lothario? Then why do you speak like an 8 year old girl? Then, there's the oversimplification of a character. When a script assigns a sad persona, like someone who is dealing with extreme personal tragedies, do you mope in woe-is-me fashion for 2 full hours?

Finally, when a character annoys his audience when he is supposed to be charming, that should fall under a "worst performance" category.

We have vegetated on this list for about a week or so. It is such a displeasure to have to pay anything between P150 to 191 (a non-3D seat for the uneven "The Green Hornet" at the Galleria is a ridiculous P191) just to experience any of the aforementioned criteria. But more than anything, we do hope that they learn from these errr... star-making turns!

From 73 commercially released local flicks, this is 2010's Worst Performances: (in random order)

1. Allen Dizon ("Marino:Call of the Sea") as Benjo, a conscientious seaman who constantly worries about his wife (Ara Mina) back home. Even when he was shagging Krista Ranillo (who played a hooker) in Thailand, he was missing his melon-mammary wife.

2. Ciara Sotto ("SpEd Heart") as Rina, a special education teacher turned between her disagreeable dad and her boyfriend (Paolo Rivero). Ciara exemplifies the confused somnambulist. Danica Sotto (a co-star) could have done a lot better than the lethargic Ciara.

3. Toffee Calma ("Parisukat") opens the movie as a frisky "businessman" attacked by a gay serial killer. You do wonder why he never seem to have learned - and done away with his monotone delivery. He was one of the busiest sexy actors of the 90's appearing in one sexy flick after the next, opposite new sex nymphets.

4. Melanie Dujunco ("Emir") as Mylene, an obsequious servant at a royal household in an Emirate state. Dujunco was annoyingly fervid. She was a distraction, sticking out from the flow of an unremitting narrative. For a minor role, she unwittingly called too much attention to herself. As we said before, there are no small roles for good actors, but there's no role big enough for bad!

5. Richard Gutierrez ("In Your Eyes") as illegal immigrant Storm who fancies himself as a big time photographer instead of an unemployed free loader. If there is a criteria for blandness, go look his way. Remember what they say about shallow waters? And you wonder why he has such kaleidoscopic lines in the film.

6. Sheree as Lucy, the foul mouthed cinema prostitute in "S.R.O - Standing Room Only ." Cursing away like there's no tomorrow, spouting peremptory lines ( "Putang ina naman, Nestor. Hindi madaling magbate ha. Amoy Clorox na nga itong kamay ko," "Singkwenta lang? Nagpaputok ka pa sa labi ko. Halos nagkakasugat sugat na nga ang suso ko sa kakalapirot mo.") as though that would make her a thespian of note.

7. Mo Twister ("White House") as Ken, the loud and arrogant radio DJ and horror “housemate” who can’t pretend even for two hours how to be anybody else other than himself.

8. Victoria Haynes ("666") as the possessed teenager Donna who should be banished to la-la land.

9. Carl Guevarra ("Mamarazzi") as Andi Eigenmann's nerdy boyfriend who acts like a shrinking violet with the voice of an 8 year old school girl.

10. Gloria Romero ("Tarima") as the contemptible Lola Imang whose mean and abusive streaks don’t have rhyme or reason. Hers is an opprobrious character made to shout invectives many times over - "Hudas ka, Demonyo, Kapal ng mukha, Patay gutom, Walang hiya!" We've always loved her in anything she's been in, but with Neal Tan and a wanting script, the veteran actress is reduced to caricature.

11. Philip Salvador ("Rosario") as the powerful patriarch of a sprawling tobacco hacienda in the 1920's. Whatever happened to one of the most influential Brocka Babies? When he was younger, he was god. Times have changed though. Check out his one-note performances in the following films: As Daniel Reyes in "Baler", as KC Concepcion's dad in "For The First Time".

12. Rocky Salumbides ("Tarima") as the reclusive inmate Bryan who shines with smoldering dullness. (See above)

13. Guio Munoz (Indie Boys) as the duplicitous new actor Delfin who displayed raw naivete in his cunning persona. Huh?

14. Sam Pinto ("Petrang Kabayo") as Samantha, one of Peter's nosy relatives. In this Vice Ganda comedy, Ms. Pinto exposed herself as having the intuitive sincerity of a shoe brush. And what's with all these roles with names much like hers? Samantha in "Petrang Kabayo", Samara in "Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote". She loves to be "full of herself", doesn't she? ;->

15. Rob Da Silva ("Lagpas") as bushy browed Diego who couldn’t decide if his character was a good guy, a bad guy or that gay guy who loves to take his briefs off.

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