Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Darry dela Cruz's Frontal - Fraudulent Titling

Diego and Thelma (Jeremy Ian and Bambi Martinez) are an impulsive couple who plunge into marital bliss without deliberating on the economics of such union. In fact, Thelma traded a burgeoning clientele as a hooker for Diego's embrace. The latter meanwhile tends to a vegetable farm and does odd jobs for a piggery. But his friend Nestor (Miko Madrid) helps out whenever Diego is in a bind. 

Sadder thing is, love and kisses don't suffice when the stomach churns with hunger pains. Soon, the couple is left with nothing but hollow diatribes. "Maghanap ka ng paraan. Obligasyon mo na buhayin ako," points Thelma. Diego can only turn to the libidinous fag (Ike Sadiasa) who's more than willing to shell out whatever he has to get the strapping lad in bed. Soon, it isn't only the scenic Mayon Volcano spewing incalescence. "Dapat mag porno ka," suggested the old fag, as he showers Diego with platitudes in honor of his gargantuan endowments. "Ngayon ko nga lang uli to nagawa," relates Diego who once surrendered himself to a high school teacher in exchange of a passing grade. Isn't it inspiring how some people resort to the industry of the gradually growing inches to get their way? Hmm.

Meanwhile, Nestor tries convincing his friend Diego to try the porn industry in Manila. While Diego is conflicted, Thelma doesn't think twice. She wants in on the ruse. After all, P20,000 isn't a bad deal in exchange of shagging on cam. "'Di ka ba nahihiya? Nasisiraan ka na ba ng bait?" charged Diego, but Thelma replies with: "Mas nakakahiya ang mamatay sa gutom!" Of course they had to repeat this argument twice to lay on the theatrics (as though the writer had a bad case of mental block).

The couple eventually finds their way to Manila. They shoot the film then head back home. While Thelma seems remorseless. Diego, the reluctant porn actor, is cloaked with attrition. He would talk to the swine he's tending: "Pareho na tayong baboy. Sa ginawa ko, mas bida pa ang tarugo ko. Kulang na lang kakain ako ng darak." How Shakespearean, right? But while he grieves over spilled milk, their "fortune" is once again briskly depleting. What happens to Thelma and Diego?  

Bambi Martinez and Jeremy Ian play wife and husband.

Director Darry dela Cruz is probably on his 4th feature film this year so it is a wonder why he never seems to evince growth as a film maker. His narratives are always half baked and his skills are likewise as insipid as his previous efforts. Haven't you learned anything from experience, 'te


The bad habits of several indies a couple of years ago has resurfaced: loud dictation of lines to actors who come unprepared. After sex with Diego, the gay elderly is heard delivering lines dictated to him (by someone off cam): "Isa pa please. Pero dun tayo sa bahay n'yo para maiba ang ambiance." Huh? How moronic and just plain lazy not to even rehearse your amateur actors' lines. 

Isn't this Ike Sadiasa's 12th film in 6 months? Sadiasa is a constant "character" fixture where third-rate, fly-by-night productions are concerned. He is wrinkly, hammy, balding, effete - and is in desperate need of coaching. He is neither funny nor sympathetic so his presence in these cinematic equations is baffling. Why do half wit directors insist on hiring gag-inducing characters for a genre that's purported to titillate its audience? Seriously, would you rather inspire vomiting than stroke up your paying audience's libido? Isn't the answer a no-brainer?

Lester Herrera's music is nothing but half a dozen musical bars that are incessantly repeated ad nauseam. If it doesn't irritate, I don't know what would. Sure, they've gotten rid of canned music which constitutes copyright infringements, but the production is indubitably left with close to nothing. They had to re-cue the same melodic strain again and again... like a bad musical nightmare. 

Camera work left nothing to be desired. In the scene where Thelma and Diego are supposedly taking the bus to Manila, the camera pans on the scenery from outside the window - and as hard as they tried, they could not even get a good view of majestic Mayon Volcano, I almost peed on the floor with hilarity. Poor cinematographer. My Grade 3 niece holds a steadier camera. Parkinson's? Tsk tsk tsk!

Jeremy Ian and Miko Madrid play friends Diego and Nestor respectively.

Are there "frontals" as the title promises? Bambi Martinez, that toothsome nymphet from "Kasalo", returns with her now-familiar "exasperated" form of acting. Though eternally huffy, Martinez is nevertheless generous to display her pigmented nipples all throughout the film. There are a lot of mammarian peekaboos here. Jeremy Ian, who is on his umpteenth appearance this year, displays his backside a couple of times (not much else). He delivers with zombified ennui which is a wonder because he didn't do so badly in his first starrer, "Lihim ni Adonis". 

Miko Madrid suffers a similar dilemma. He displays his humdrum delivery. Does he show anything in matters of, errr inches? Inches are, in fact, a figment of imagination in this flick... so try elsewhere if you're after that. The more appropriate title should be "The Behinds" or "Backside of Poverty" (I am such a brilliant titlist, don't you think?) Madrid should also practice his elocution because he tends to emphasize his words with comic punctuations: "Bitin ako sa 'yo, Tilma!" Jeremy counters this with an endearing: "Di nahiya na pumatol sa akin dahil sa pira." To be honest about it, I wasn't too sure if Jeremy's character was really named Diego or Jigo (you can only get so much information from a flawed sound and the thickest accents this corner of the globe), but for the sake of discussion, let me settle with "Diego". At least, Darry dela Cruz's flick has become interactive! Ain't this fun?

And surely, it's more pun in the Pilifin!

Jeremy Ian


Anonymous said...

I wonder if you're aware of a crowdsourcing website where some promising and unpromising artist have found themselves to raise money for their projects... If some of these hacks gets close to getting their funding we could have so much bad movies to herald a new kind of golden age.

Well the site is called artisteconnect and if your feeling extra "heroic", you could start by watching this "standout" clip, http://www.artisteconnect.com/projects/pirata

Enjoy! :)

- juan

Cathy Pena said...

@ Juan:

I'm not exactly sure why this particular referral, but it is an interesting concept altogether. It could become a viable source of finance for future indies, but... for Pete's sake!

Did this really win? I just hope not a lot of people would be too gullible to bite the bait. The dead man moved! :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah it did. Though the festival was suspicious, probably put up to rake in income from the fledging indie scene.

I just can't imagine the audacity of some of these people, asking for 7 digit funding when it seems clear they have no idea what their doing...


Cathy Pena said...

@ Juan:

Exactly. I thought there was going to be a clincher somewhere. :)

Pacquiao-BradleyFight said...

Who is that guy?

He looks delicious.!

Cathy Pena said...

@ Pacquiao-Bradley:

LOL @ delicious! Jeremy Ian is a cutie, I agree. :)