Sunday, November 11, 2012

Darry dela Cruz's Midnight Temptation - Predictable Debauchery

Like clockwork, Jess (Jed Juico) leaves his sleeping wife (Lang Lopez) daily at the stroke of midnight. He works as a security guard for an undisclosed firm. But unknown to his wife, Jess diligently takes arcane detours to satisfy his craving for human bratwurst. He secretly meets his lover Rex (Brad Laurente), a hustler. Meanwhile, Jess’s wife has agenda of her own. As her hubby departs, she takes midnight showers, then meets her lesbian lover (KC Miller). By day, the married couple lives their conjugal lives like they sincerely care for each other. They even share intimate moments together.

One day, Jess starts having distressful dreams. In them, his lover and wife are seen canoodling with each other. It doesn't help that his colleague from work keeps warning him against marital neglect – and an impending break-up. This disconcerts him so that he finally decides to quit his job to avoid what seems to be the inevitable if he stayed. 

Jess tells Rex about this, but the latter's adamant: “Ako na lang ang gawin mong asawa. Ikaw lang ang nagmahal sa akin nang ganito… at ikaw lang ang hindi ko sinisingil.” Any closeted gay man with half a heart would be properly flattered, right? But Jess’ resolve is final. He takes his wife away - eloping like modern day Romeo and Juliet. Why they need to move away is beyond me. Meanwhile, the lesbian lover (earlier dumped by Lang) – who happens to be Rex’s obstinate landlady, knocks on Rex’s door. She has suddenly decided to bunk in with her troublesome tenant and “taste the meat” he’s constantly offering. “Dito na ako titira,” she barges in without much invitation. “At least, 'di ka na magbabayad pa ng renta… at libre ka pa ng pagkain,” she sweetens the deal. Then the lesbian landlady and the gay hustler lock lips and start rolling in the hay. Now tell me there are no happy-ever-afters in Darry dela Cruz’s flicks? So inspiring, debah? Weeh!

Director Darry Dela Cruz suddenly grows conscience and decides to do away with his penchant for random violence and mayhem. Thanks to Kenneth Montero's mind-shattering script, of course. This time around, Dela Cruz doesn't stab his protagonist nor poison them – or drown them at the kangkungan. So what better to fashion a new beginning by compelling an impromptu coupling between a dyke and a hustler. This way, everyone’s happy. Gusto n'ya happy kayo, debah?

There’s no denying the stark absence of credible emotion and motivation. The characters in Dela Cruz’s narrative joyously blur sexual orientation and gender preferences. Straight men suddenly fellate gay hustlers, and devoted housewives share their concupiscent bed with lesbian neighbors. Guilt and skepticism aren't a party to these indiscretions. There are no buts and ifs here. They just transpire with the bat of an eyelash and flick of a finger. Heck, our protagonists hardly show legitimate emotions for each other. The new age robots of Tokyo are capable of showing emotions more than these insipid souls. 

Brad Laurente is an enthusiastic actor, but he possesses awkward facial expressions that need artistic oversight. And enthusiasm doesn't translate to competence, making Laurente nothing but a beefy ham with a salami hanging between his legs. He probably knows the disposition of his hustling character by heart so when he offers himself to his landlady ("Baka gusto mo akong tikman."), you know that he means it. Outside this realm, Laurente grasps at straws.

Jed Juico does worse, and it doesn't help that his character is banal, while his dramatic chops are innocuous. Plus - how do you take someone seriously when he says: "May ka six (sex) daw na iba." The ladies in the cast are mere cosmetic afterthoughts in the story. Like most hybrid of Pink and straight Erotica, "Midnight Temptation" boasts of lots of back sides and pert (if dark brownish) nipples. 

Dela Cruz’sMidnight Temptation” couldn’t help but provide the de rigueur shower scenes as well. Otherwise, he would probably lapse into virulent seizures. Or worse still, catatonic coma! But what can a film that barely runs for an hour expound in the midst of six shower scenes (Laurente, Juico and Lopez all have two bathroom scenes each)? 

Add to that is the real time filming of Lang cooking fried rice and fried eggs (yup, from start to finish); clipping her nails; washing clothes and hanging her laundry out to dry. It’s nothing more than a tutorial on how to consume fried eggs during breakfast. Why would any film maker linger on such mundane scenes? Were these expositions about boredom? Or about routine household work? Clearly, it's because he has nothing much to say, thus he stretches his cinematic palette with mundane scenes with no relevance to the story at hand. If you enjoy watching these domestic chores from start to finish – and a dash of Jed Juico’s fleeting full frontals (in its shriveled state, of course) – then you might consider this ouvre a masterpiece of Moron Cinema.

Like other cinematic pieces from the burgeoning Moron Cinema, logic is but a figment of narrative invention. And logic has long left the building since Dela Cruz and his cohorts plundered, pillaged and violated mainstream cinemas week after week. How low can this B-cinema go? These people have designed their artistic platitude integral to their banal desideratum. Should we laugh or cry? I get angry and I write about it.  


Gina Catindig said...

Why do you put watermarks on some of the images, do you own those pictures? If no, isn't it a bit hypocritical to be pissed off with plagiarists when you brand photos that don't belong to you? If they do belong to you, please ignore this comment.

Cathy Pena said...

Gina dear,

Why oh why? The posters that I use watermark on are posters that I painstakingly go to cinemas for and take photos of. Do you know how embarrassing it is doing that in front of such cinemas? Photographing tarpaulins of B movies? Clearly you're ignorant to this. I stake my claim on them.

For the others, it's because it's hard to research for these photos - and placing watermarks easily identifies which materials come from this site. If you want these photos clear of watermarks, there's that google box that could easily divert you to them.

There are reasons why I do things in MY own blogsite, and if you find it hypocritical, by all means, feel free not to peruse around and head elsewhere. My posts have been violated several times over and I am gonna do all I can to prevent this from happening. Some sites even get their material - from the written post to the number of photos exhibited here, even in their chronological order. And I am not gonna ignore a comment like this, honey. Moreover, I am not wringing your neck to be here, am I? So end your agony and well... scram!

Gina Catindig said...

You have a rather Sotto-esque definition/defense of intellectual property :)

Cathy Pena said...

Gina Darling,

LOL. How predictable. Just what one would expect from a professional net lurker.

I always read these twats spewing their self-indulgent, intellectualizing rants as rebuttal to anything, and let’s even forget the fact that they offer absolutely nothing as alternative to discourse.

Go tickle yourself pink, Gina dear. I’ll start caring about what you think the minute I stop writing - and the minute you actually start burning the midnight oil slaving over the writing of movie reviews that 1000 people get to read on a daily basis. That is, unless you’re actually here for the photos. After all, you so agonize over their watermarks, don't you? Poor girl. And did I say “predictable” already? Oops!

Of course, you’re welcome to lurk here, seeing that you couldn't help yourself from coming back here anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't mind whatever that Gina thing is saying Miss Cathy. It's just trying to ruffle your feathers.

I think the reason why that thing is angry is because it can't copy the pictures. Ahaha! Worthless piece of trash.

Cathy Pena said...

Ouch! Don't say that. She might cry. LOL

TBR said...

i'm not taking sides, but gina catindig has a valid point.

Cathy Pena said...

And I have very valid reasons why I do the things I do in this blogsite.

Photos displayed here didn’t use to have watermarks; now they do. Don’t people even think why I need to watermark some photos 500 posts and articles later? This didn’t just happen out of a whim because clearly, this isn’t merely a photographic blogsite. I guess people who visit this site will just have to live with this. Otherwise, it is a free world and they can choose not to be here – and that’s that.