Tag Archives: Elmo Magalona

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The Scene: Valentine’s Day 2018

Jericho Rosales, Elmo Magalona, Joshua Garcia, Isaw, and Nuggets got cheesy last Wednesday.

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Can you smell the cheese in the air? We have, and we’re loving it. Say what you will about romantic gestures on February 14, but we look forward to holidays like these when everyone is given an opportunity to not phone it in for their significant other. And with socmed giving us a peep into the lives of ever creative lovebirds, our guilty pleasures are realized. Here are our favorites this year.

 

 


 

 

 

 

LOVE YOSELF

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It started with a “ill pick you up at 5 am no questions asked”

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tv + film by Philbert Dy

‘My Fairy Tail Love Story’ Has Issues, but is Clever All the Same

This mermaid story subverts expectations, even as it clings to some old tropes

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My Fairy Tail Love Story is about Chantel (Janella Salvador), the only daughter of a rich, separated couple. After making a scene at her debut, her dad makes it up to her by sending her and her friends on a trip to a private island. While there, she contracts a magical curse, and wakes up the next day in her bed as a mermaid. Her best friend Noah (Elmo Magalona) is the first to discover this, and he helps her try to break the curse. She becomes convinced that the key is getting true love’s kiss, which she thinks she’s going to get from celebrity DJ Ethan (Kiko Estrada). But Noah has been harboring feelings for his best friend, and he struggles on the sidelines as he watches their relationship blossom.

The relationship between Chantel and Noah becomes the most problematic portion of this movie, which otherwise makes pretty good efforts at subverting the clichéd young romance tropes that have plagued the genre for years. The film is smart enough to mostly avoid glorifying his pining for his best friend, but still ends up playing at a version of harmful co-dependence that doesn’t seem entirely fitting given what the film is ostensibly trying to do. But overall, this is a pretty clever, often funny little film that questions the magic of fairy tales in order to deliver something a little more reasonable.

The film operates on a keen awareness of the tropes of the fairy tale. It pretty much hangs a lampshade on its fairy tale inspiration, building its story around characters who realize that they’re taking part in some sort of magical narrative. Right from the start, the film is openly subverting these bits, injecting interesting little bits of reality that build to a grander theme. It pretty much begins on the idea that Chantel’s parents are separated and don’t get along. The movie quickly introduces the idea that this is a world where couples may not necessarily end up happily ever after.

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From there, though, the plot becomes founded on the love triangle, and it doesn’t really play to the movie’s strengths. We’ve seen this scenario far too many times: there might be a magical context to it, and the film does throw in a couple of twists, but it’s still the same story of the “nice guy” secretly pining for his best friend, who in turn is throwing herself at a more naturally charismatic fellow. The movie struggles when it’s trying to make it out that Noah is someone worth rooting for in this scenario. It gets better when it lets that idea fall to the wayside.

The movie does have a pretty compelling lead performance. Janella Salvador fully commits to her character, and manages to score laughs from the specifics of her transformation. She is, however, burdened with leading men that can’t quite keep up. Elmo Magalona plays Noah with a weird smugness that makes it extra difficult to swallow his character’s somewhat toxic tendencies. Kiko Estrada fares a bit better in comparison, though he has some pretty apparent limitations on screen.

My Fairy Tail Love Story has issues, but on the whole it kind of works for what it’s trying to do. The movie does do some clever things within the context of fairy tale magic, adding little modern touches that provide a more realistic perspective to love and relationship. And it manages to do it while staying within the boundaries of a family friendly film. That deserves some real credit. It visibly stumbles here and there, its steps feeling a little uneasy as it plies the same tropes it’s criticizing. But it’s still making steps in the right direction, and that counts for something.

MY FAIRY TAIL LOVE STORY IS NOW SHOWING IN CINEMAS.
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Philbert Dy
Philbert Ortiz Dy has been reviewing movies professionally since 2007, and has thus dedicated his life to being yelled at by fans of literally everyone. He is currently the Online Editor of Rogue.ph. Yell at him on Twitter at @philbertdy.
tv + film by Philbert Dy

‘Bloody Crayons’ Uses Slasher Tropes to Test the Limits of Young Friendships

Though it doesn’t completely hold together, Bloody Crayons is youthful, violent fun.

NBHD movie 3-2 ticketsBloody Crayons follows Eunice (Janella Salvador) and her friends, who have all traveled to a creepy old house on a remote island to help aspiring director Kiko (Elmo Magalona) shoot a short film. Tensions quickly rise among the friends as romantic entanglements get in the way of work. These tensions come to a head one night, when a seemingly innocent game ends with one of them suddenly dying. Things only get more dangerous from there, as the kids find themselves locked in the house, unsure of who to trust as the body count continues to rise.Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.42.55 PMThe film takes a good long while to get to the killing. The setup gets a bit awkward, as the movie doesn’t seem fully equipped to portray young people getting along and having fun. But it starts to get more fun as the story applies pressure on the characters. The film builds something compelling by testing the limits of these supposed friendships and then just breaking them. It largely gets around the problem of horror movie characters making bad choices by embracing their fragility. It takes these dumb kids ruled by hormones and emotion, and stresses them to the point of violence.Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.43.55 PMThe fun really starts when the characters start pointing fingers at each other. The film exposes the shallowness of these relationships, and amplifies every dumb emotion to dangerous ends. So, what might seem like playful tension between two characters later becomes something much more overt and physical. Petty, hormone-driven jealousy might grow into suspicion, later leading into a fight between characters who really ought to be helping each other. The film creates something potent as it takes what could be small issues and just sticks them in a pressure cooker of proximity and violence.Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.44.21 PMThe result is fairly fun, even if it doesn’t completely hold together. The story overreaches a bit when it gives one of its characters a tragic backstory. Given the effect that the film is trying to create, it might have been better to leave that character more of a mystery. And though the film does largely justify these characters acting illogically, there are still moments where it feels like they go too far off the rational scale. But the film does make up with this with solid genre mechanics. The movie really flexes its muscles in scenes where a character is hiding from someone else, finding clever ways to express the nearness of danger.Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.45.34 PMThere are odd technical hiccups here and there, but it isn’t really enough to distract from the overall craft. The film gets a lot out of its location, the production design amping up the natural eeriness of the house. The young cast is good enough. Janella Salvador ends up being saddled with the least compelling character, but she makes do. There’s a fragility to Elmo Magalona that serves his character well. Ronnie Alonte can make awkward line deliveries at times, but he just brings so much presence to the screen. Everyone really starts to shine when the pressure’s on, these actors doing a great job of conveying the fear and confusion surrounding their characters.Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.44.50 PMBloody Crayons, if nothing else, doesn’t feel like most locally produced horror movies. Its threats aren’t these abstract supernatural ideas that tend to pop up in the background of scenes, inexplicably idle as the film attempts to oversell the moment with a loud stinger. The film instead finds its danger in the fragility of young friendships, which can go from one extreme to the next in a split second. The cracks show every now and then, but there is a sense of youthful energy that helps keep things fresh and fun. And that’s enough, really.

BLOODY CRAYONS IS NOW SHOWING IN CINEMAS NATIONWIDE.
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Philbert Dy
Philbert Ortiz Dy has been reviewing movies professionally since 2007, and has thus dedicated his life to being yelled at by fans of literally everyone. He is currently the Online Editor of Rogue.ph. Yell at him on Twitter at @philbertdy.