Allen Dizon - News Poster


Tokyo Film Review: ‘Mindanao’

  • Variety
Tokyo Film Review: ‘Mindanao’
Filipina actor, TV star, reality show host and social media queen Judy Ann Santos turns in a de-glammed, gently anguished, remarkably sympathetic performance in “Mindanao,” the latest title from prolific Filipino director Brillante Mendoza. Her watchability, however, comes despite a storytelling approach that is undercut by several unconvincing directorial decisions — chief among them the insertion of animated interludes that outline an only tangentially illuminating story of the princes and dragons who, legend has it, used to roam the eponymous region.

Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippine archipelago, has a troubled recent history beset by decades of conflict, and the 2017 declaration of island-wide martial law still stands. But despite a contextualizing opening note to that effect, it’s difficult to discern if there’s a political or social point Mendoza is trying to make; commentary about this fraught situation takes a deep back seat to the maudlin and manipulative main storyline,
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: Alpha: The Right to Kill (2018) by Brillante Mendoza

Brillante Mendoza has made a career out of highlighting the “dark corners” of the Philippines, and “Alpha” is no exception to the rule. His style, however, is much different here, as the film winks at the mainstream, despite the fact that the documentary-like tactics are still here. Let us take things from the beginning, though.

Alpha: The Right to Kill” is screening at Helsinki Cine Aasia 2019

The story revolves around two radically different individuals, with the Philippines Government’s crackdown on illegal drugs functioning as the background. The first one is Police Officer Espino, a respectable professional, family man and Christian, and Elijah, a small-time pusher who has become his informant, in a desperate effort to provide for his wife and newborn child. During a police raid to the hideout of a notorious drug dealer named Abel that results in a number of deaths on the criminal’s side and very few arrests,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

San Sebastián Film Review: ‘Alpha, The Right to Kill’

  • Variety
Don’t come to “Alpha, The Right to Kill,” the latest rough-hewn slab of social realism from Filipino auteur Brillante Ma Mendoza, in search of revelations, either in form or content. A rumbling, street-pounding drug-war thriller, it’s far from the first film to paint cops and dealers on this beat as equally bent; a Mendoza joint that drags viewers brusquely through the ragged poverty and institutional corruption of modern Manila is hardly an unfamiliar proposition either. “Alpha” doesn’t profess to be anything new, however: There’s a bone-weary resignation to its worldview that underlines its simple moral point all the more effectively.

That said, this story of a Swat officer and a punkish informant’s fateful outside-the-law collaboration is Mendoza’s most propulsive and engrossing variation on his favored themes in some time. It’s also his most straight-up genre exercise to date — somewhat reminiscent of José Padilha
See full article at Variety »

Cinemalaya 2010: Pink Halo-halo Review

I cannot imagine Pink Halo-Halo being directed by anyone but Joselito Altarejos. Altarejos, who has made a name for himself in Philippine cinema as one of headliners of the burgeoning and bursting gay genre with such films like Ang Lalake sa Parola (The Man in the Lighthouse, 2007), Ang Lihim ni Antonio (Antonio's Secret, 2008) and Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan (The Game of Juan's Life, 2009). The film, about a boy (Paolo Constantino) whose father (Allen Dizon), a soldier, is detailed to war-torn Mindanao to keep the peace during a special elections, is inspired from Altarejos' own childhood, one that has been marked by the loss of a father, also a soldier, who was killed in the service of the country.


Set in Altarejos' native Masbate, Pink Halo-Halo opens with a row of soldiers jogging amidst a serene backdrop of the province. Several boys, running and carrying toy guns, follow suit.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

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