Sinema.

My favorite new website is called CINEMA, a Philippine-based website that stands for “Catholic INitiative for Enlightened Movie Appreciation.”

It should be clear, once you get to their website, what this is all about: it’s a movie review site where films are judged on “the basis of their TECHNICAL and MORAL strength and weaknesses.” A handy-dandy “moral assessment” legend on the left-hand column, ranking movies from “abhorrent” to “exemplary,” provides the viewers information as to whether to leave the kids at home or to watch it late at night — or rather, not to watch it at all.

What it inadvertently provides, though, is a guide for skin fans, as it tells you most of the naughty bits. There’s something oddly funny about how it’s described in Tagalog, too — here’s a description of a segment in Mel Chionglo’s Xerex:

Sa “O” naman ay malapit ng ikasal si Marge (Aubrey Miles) na naguguluhan kung siya ay tutuloy pa sa pagpapakasal sapagkat hindi niya naranasan sa lalaking kanyang pakakasalan ang rurok ng ligaya o orgasm. Naranasan niya ito sa isang estranghero (Kalani Ferreira) na kanyang nakaniig ng limang magkakasunod na araw. Ito ang lalong nagpalala ng kanyang pagkalito.

In Armando Reyes’s Tumitibok… Kumikirot — jeez, you’d think they’d know that their moral assessment would be “disturbing” from the title alone — the reviewer takes pains to say something good:

Bagama’t may mabuting saloobin ang pelikula ukol sa pagmamahal at pagpapatawad, hindi maitatangging higit nangingibabaw ang mga nakababahala nitong mensahe sa mga manonood. Una’y malinaw na karamihan sa mga eksena ng hubaran at pagtatalik ay ginawa hindi dahil sa mahalaga ito sa kuwento kundi upang pukawin lamang ang makalaman na pagnanasa ng mga manonood. Pangalawa’y naging napakasimple ng pagtrato ng pelikula sa buhay may-asawa na umiikot lamang sa dalawang bagay: pagtatalik at pag-aaway.

The Tagalog has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

And their review of Joven Tan’s Eskandalosa — which they brand as “abhorrent” and “not for public viewing” — makes you want to put it on your wantlist right away:

Ang Eskandalosa ay namumutiktik sa sex at pilit na ginawang creative art pero bastos pa rin ang dating! Totoo namang napakaganda ang mga piniling tanawin para sa setting at maganda ang inilapat na musika, pero ang editing ay nakaka-dismaya. Nasunod na naman ang gusto ng prodyuser na busugin sa eksenang sex ang pelikula para maibenta ito!

It’s two hours, they write, full of nothing but “sex; hubaran, bawal na pagtatalik sa iba’t-ibang lugar, pang-aakit na makamundo ang dahilan, at lahat ng bagay na may kinalaman sa tawag ng laman.” (Yeah!)

(By the way, while there’s the clear temptation to snicker at the descriptions, it’s also a very comprehensive website, with capsule reviews of a good slew of films released in the Philippines. To their credit, the reviewers never turn preachy, and instead have a wholesome open-mindedness about the films, unlike U.S.-based fundamentalists.)

3 Comments


  1. ·

    Hayop. Siguro kasi nakikita nila kung bakit matutuwa at maaaliw ang pangkaraniwang manonood kaya hindi sila nagsusungit.

    Maganda sana kung makita mo yung mga notes nila habang nanonood, no?


  2. ·

    sila na lang ata nanunuod nun eh.
    unlike before, when st flicks were a sure hit, that’s no longer true. local cinema is struggling and even the bomba movies are feeling it. ni hindi ata tumatagal ng isang linggo sa sinehan ibang pelikula eh.


  3. ·

    ahihi… twas hilarious checking the sites out.. tnx 🙂

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