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Villa Quintana (1995– )
the show that started the soap opera trend on philippine primetime
4 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Villa Quintana actually started the trend of soaps on Philippine primetime. It was pitted against TV Patrol and it toppled the longest running newscast on the land as far as ratings is concerned. The rival show was alarmed, thus to compete with Villa Quintana, they transferred their longest running afternoon drama "Mara Clara" to primetime. In fact, a movie version was planned by Viva Films, however, it didn't push through.

Villa Quintana is a tragic love story that captivated the hearts of the Filipinos. Lynette is a rich girl while Isagani is a poor boy. They met, fell in love. However, Lynette's parents would not favor their relationship because Isagani is poor. They will do everything so that they would not fall into each others arms. It was tragic because, at the end, the two committed suicide.

This was Donna Cruz's first primetime soap opera. Her tandem with Kempee de Leon is a hit that it had spunned into several box office movies.

The soundtrack of "Free Willy" was used in the movie and it added more love and life to the scenes of Isagani and Lynette. Also, Donna Cruz's songs from her album were used in the series.
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6/10
The Tales of Granny Basyang
5 February 2007
I first saw the movie when I was still a kid and I appreciated this movie a lot.

Chichay plays Lola Basyang, in the movie. This embarks a milestone in her career because the character has always been attached to her name since her portrayal of the popular Filipino storyteller icon.

This movie brings to life the timeless stories of Lola Basyang, an original komiks series (by Severino Reyes). It was actually the second Lola Basyang movie, the first was 1958. It is a trilogy, composed of three different stories/episodes as opposed to the 1958 movie which is a twin-bill. It top-bills three of the hottest love-teams in Philippine cinema of that circa.

The first story is entitled "Nahihimbing na Kagandahan" (Sleeping Beauty) which is inspired by the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna makes a lovely pair. I was just kind of disappointed because Severino Reyes had created 500+ Lola Basyang stories, yet the story they chose for the movie is very unoriginal and is a total rip off of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.

The second story is a horror-comedy flick entitled "Zombie". It starred the love-team of Maricel Soriano and William Martinez with Manilyn Reynes. The three, gets lost while en route to a camping trip. The three enters a haunted house where they will meet a family of zombies.

The third episode is a semi-musical "Kerubin". It is about a group of child laborers working for three mean old ladies in a doll factory headed by Bella Flores, and how Kerubin (Chuckie Dreyfuss), an angel sent by God to free these kids from the clutches of evil. Nora Aunor stars as the niece of the mean old ladies, who happens to be the good one which helps the kids out of the factory. Sheryl Cruz and Tina Paner were also in the cast.

This movie is certainly a treasure and each kid will surely enjoy it.
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Dubai (2005)
8/10
a brother's love
11 December 2006
Dubai is one of the few movies which made me cry, a touching film that exemplifies a brother's love. This masterpiece tells the story of two brothers who were actually torn between a girl. Their relationship is being hurdled by love and by their dreams

The cinematography is great. The film has captured the beauty of Dubai.

The story is excellent.

The actors gave noteworthy performances. Aga, here makes another remarkable performance. John Lloyd proved his worth as a dramatic actor. Claudine is also good, but this is not her best performance.

The movie received good reviews and it was actually a box-office hit.
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D' Anothers (2005)
4/10
not funny at all
11 December 2006
This is one of the corniest movie that I have ever watched so far. I thought I would have a good laugh watching the movie because of its very humorous movie trailer, but I was wrong. The story was awful.

Vhong Navarro & Toni Gonzaga has undeniable chemistry. I know they are few of the best comedians in the country today but this project didn't show that.

Unexpectedly, the movie was a box-office success. I think the trailer was really a big factor in its success. The trailer contains only the parts that are really funny in the film. Plus, the movie's theme song Don Romantiko has mass appeal.
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6/10
an ordinary love story
11 December 2006
A typical love story of a poor boy who fell in love with a rich girl. Richard plays a self-supporting student who works in the school as janitor (he doesn't look like one, by the way). Angel plays a rich brat. The tandem is supported by the equally box-office tandem of Mark Herras & Jennylyn Mercado who were also crowd-drawers.

The story is very simple and ordinary yet it did really well on the box office, and was in fact the top-grossing local Filipino movie of 2005. Probably because of the unique charisma of the Richard-Angel and Mark-Jennylyn love teams. Plus, the intensive promotion of the production outfit. The theme song, sung by Jay-R and Kyla added glitter to the movie.
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8/10
Best CB movie of all..
4 December 2006
Of all the movie and TV incarnations of Captain Barbell (CB), I would consider this as the best. I have several reasons for this.

First, for a movie shot in the 80's, the effects are excellent.

Second, the casting is stellar. Herbert Bautista is great as Tengteng, the comic skinny boy alterg ego of CB who works in a junk shop. Herbert is a great comedian and his skinny features, mannerisms and antics makes him more funny that viewers would really laugh their hearts out. Even though the title role was Edu Manzano, the movie was entirely Herbert's. Young Lea Salonga plays a short yet significant role as Tengteng's love interest who fells in love with the superhero Captain Barbell.

Third, this is the first movie wherein Captain Barbell and Darna, two famous Mars Ravelo creations were seen together. Darna made a cameo appearance with Sharon Cuneta playing the role.

Lastly, they sticked to the original comics story with only few updates and changes on the plot and characters.
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Captain Barbell (2006– )
an entirely NEW Captain Barbell
4 December 2006
SMALLVILLE-INSPIRED It was very disappointing that the series was nevertheless inspired by "Smallville". The original Filipino superhero was already dubbed as a "Smallville copycat". Smallville is Marravelos. Clark Kent is Teng. Kit is Chloe. Leah is Lana. Bobby is Pete. The Villains are the Luthers. Krypton is Askobar. VERY DISAPPOINTING in the sense that they changed the entire story and history of Captain Barbell. I was wondering why do they have to do that when in fact, CB has already its original premise, original story, original characters and villains. I wonder how Mars Ravelo would react if he was still alive.

FAKE-MUSCLES Another thing subject to criticism is the superhero's costume. It was hyped as being made by Miles Teves, a renowned Filipino-American costume maker in Hollywood. Teves is credited for the Batman, Spiderman, Robocop and Superman costumes. However, it is also disgusting. Richard Gutierrez has a very gorgeous hunky body and he would look more regal if he wears a body-hugging CB costume (like the original CBs did) His hyped "million-dollar" costume (according to press release) is disappointing. Who would love seeing CB battling with his foes with his fake muscles accentuated? Furthermore, the suit's yellow color irritates the audience.

RICHARD AS BOTH TENG & CB In previous incarnations, Teng and CB are two characters. Teng is often played by a skinny comedian and CB by a hunky Filipino actor. Obviously, for publicity reasons, the tradition was not followed. In this case, Richard plays both Teng and CB.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE Despite all those issues and criticisms, CB has managed to soar high on Philippine TV by consistently topping the ratings. Setting aside the its Smallville plot, I myself enjoyed the run of the series. One thing commendable is the true-to-life acting of Camille Prats. This former-child star proved her acting prowess in the series. It can also be noted that Richard Gutierrez had improved his craft. This is his best performance as an actor as of the moment. Richard and Camille has undeniable chemistry as Teng and Kit and I was hoping that their characters would end up together. Newcomer Rhian Denise Ramos is promising. The supporting cast is powerhouse. The effects is awesome. The best super villain that made a cameo in the series for me is Aerobika, played by Rufa Mae Quinto. Her comic antics added excitement and humor to the show.
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8/10
Etheria: a prequel and a sequel to Encantadia
19 July 2006
Etheria is the second installment of the Encantadia saga. A sequel to Encantadia, the second book of the TV series saga revolves on the four Sang'gres going back to the past, to the time where Etheria (a lost kingdom) was in its full glory to save Cassandra, the last Sang'gre in the bloodline who was brought to the past and is said to be the key for Etheria to be powerful again.

Etheria was equally glamorous and ambitious as Encantadia. With a stellar cast, a very good plot and its magical elements. However, it has failed to meet expectations ratings-wise. Encantadia was a top-rater in its course. Initially, Etheria on its first episodes was able to maintain the lead. Its ratings however dramatically decreased and has failed to consistently top in its time slot. Etheria wasn't able to maintain the ratings of Encantadia because of the complicated story lines since it involved time travel and that fans are expecting it to be a "pure" prequel. Furthermore, there are too many characters introduced which added confusion to the audience.

Etheria was very much like a prequel because more questions raised on book 1 were answered, doubts were cleared and shocking revelations to the delight of the viewers. The history of Encantadia was the highlight of the second book. But technically, this is a sequel to the series.
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10/10
Set reality aside...
19 July 2006
Moments of Love is a great romantic epic with a unique twist! Although the concept is unoriginal, this movie is much better than its other Asian counterparts that have the same theme (Sky of Love, Ditto and Il Mare). The location is admirable. Great cinematography. The theme song adds magic and does wonders to the movie.

Dingdong Dantes and Iza Calzado have undeniable chemistry. Dantes really looks a great on screen appeal and his performance in the movie is a way better than before, not his best, I know he can do more better. Iza Calzado is a revelation in the movie. She is at her best as Divina Buenacer from the '50s, very Filipina. Both of them deserves an acting recognition for their performance in the movie. Gloria Romero is, as always at her best.

However, there are some characters added that are not necessarily needed in the movie.

Despite its flaws, it is one of the best Filipino movies that I have seen so far.

It is worth watching. A really touching love story..
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