Jan 21
FROM A CITER’S POV by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Jan 21, 2011

Being one of the Citers for Luna Awards, I attended the viewing of pre-selected movies that were shown in 2010. In the course of watching,
I noticed some flaws that are worth sharing.

Research

A writer should make a thorough research of the subject matter. For his part, the director should serve as the verifier of truth. And the producer should always be the final judge before they release the finished product.

In Karera (Laurice Guillen, Joem Bascon, Rosanna Roces), several scenes show an excited crowd of illegal bookie bettors, shouting and cheering from the start until the end of the race.

In another scene, Joem, a bookie collector, asks for the race result. When the teller replies, Joem automatically leaves the place. And consider that one of his bettors had won?

In reality, horserace bettors are silent when the horses start running. They are attentive to the race announcer so they would distinguish their horses. Cheering begins when the horses are about 100 meters away from the finish line.

A bookie collector always keeps tab of the result by writing on the race program (after inquiring). It is automatic for him to inquire how much the (official) dividend was.


FAP Director General Leo Martinez checking on the Citers

In Noy (Coco Martin), his sister was suffering from undetected diabetes with failing eyesight as the manifestation. In reality, failing eyesight means the diabetes is already acute hence there should have been other symptoms like drowsiness and kidney problem.

Some productions hire a consultant to ensure accuracy of facts. But that’s no guarantee. In Father Jejemon, they had Fr. Larry Faraon for the production consultant but the blasphemous gag involving the Holy Host was not edited out.

Logic

Some stories tend to lose their logic, obvious that the writer had been carried away. This frequently happens in romance and action movies.

In You To Me Are Everything (Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes), Marian was cast as a mountain lass and Dingdong as a city boy. But the portrayals are opposite of their characters. Marian is a bit flirt and Dingdong is ultra timid.

In Paano Na Kaya (Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson), Kim and Gerald are high school chums. But despite having a girlfriend, Gerald is too close to Kim such that Kim could freely enter his bedroom.

In Red Shoes (Marvin Agustin, Nikki Gil), the young Marvin steals a pair of Imelda Marcos’ shoes. He gives one to his mother and the other to his crush. What would the young Nikki do with one shoe?


It’s breaktime for the Citers

Unwarranted Repetition

Some directors overdo scenes like dramatic crying or a car chase. The first occurrence is amazing but a repetition would be boring.

In Tanging Ina (Ai-ai Delas Alas), there’s a confrontation scene between Marvin Agustin and his siblings versus the loan shark and her cohorts. Both sides sneer with matching “whe” expression. Once would have been good but they did it thrice in a row.

In a hospital scene, Ai-ai slaps the janitor who in turn slaps the technician. That slapping routine was done 3 times.

In Hating Kapatid (Judy Ann Santos, Sarah Geronimo), Luis Manzano voluntary ejects from the FX upon seeing Judy Ann and Sarah as passengers. Luis hit the first person in the queue which creates a domino effect of about half a kilometer of falling people.

Prolonged sequence

Similar to unwarranted repetition, a prolonged scene ruins the enjoyment of the audience.

In Tanging Ina the sequence where Ai-ai is chasing his son Marvin was disturbingly long. They have traversed so many intersections and foot bridges only to meet under a flyover with Ai-ai’s attire already ruined.

Hating Kapatid has a similar case where Sarah is pursuing Luis Manzano. After walking and chasing for a long time, their faces are covered with black soot presumably from the pollution of the city.

In Emir (Francesca Farr), there are several sequences that are obviously prolonged to coincide with the length of the songs. Perhaps the songs should have been abridged or they made the lyrics more interesting.


Citers enjoying the food during the break

Other observations

In Tanging Ina, Ai-ai meets 3 men who are look-alikes of her dead husbands. She points to Dennis Padilla, who resembles her fourth husband, to Jestoni Alarcon who looks like her second husband then to Tonton who looks like her second husband (should be 3rd).

Bakal Boys is a good documentary of the metal scavengers living at the periphery of Manila Bay. However, the boy called Bungal has gone missing and until the movie has ended, the issue is left unresolved with nary an indication of what really happened.

Emir would have been a good musical if the libretto had been sensible. Some songs have good melody though. But for a musical to succeed, the songs should have been played on radio to give the people familiarity and eventually gain public acceptance.

An annoying style of some Indie films is the long sequence to show the movement of characters. Like the opening sequence in Karera, all the movements of Laurice was shown, starting when she enters the house until she proceeds to the kitchen.

According to the veterans, there are only 2 rules to follow. First is show, not tell because the movie is a visual thing so make it visual and minimize the audio (dialogue). Two is show only relevant scenes (and sequences).

I hope the filmmakers of today would take it from the veterans.

Comments to this article can be sent to ajsocorro@yahoo.com


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