Monday, June 26, 2017

Sarah Lahbati Worshipped And Praised To High Heavens By Director Katski Flores For Her Acting In 'Pagsanib Kay Leah De La Cruz' But Co-Star Shy Carlos Is Ignored

THE HORROR FLICK “Ang Pagsanib kay Leah de la Cruz” directed by Katski Flores opens in theaters today. Katski is one of our few competent female directors. We really enjoyed her debut flick, “Still Life”, a finalist that involves time travel in the CineMalaya Filmfest which starred Glaiza de Castro in a sterling performance. Katski’s new movie stars newcomer Shy Carlos in the title role. But in her social media account, she praises to high heavens not Shy but Sarah Lahbati who plays a policewoman in the movie.

Here’s what she said about Sarah and her performance: “I knew very little about Sarah Lahbati when she was cast as Ruth Liwanag in ‘Ang Pagsanib kay Leah Dela Cruz’. But I knew many other things: 1) that casting this role was something I didn't get to decide alone, because it is the lead; 2) it was crucial to get it exactly right, because for the movie to work well practically rests on her shoulders; 3) Ruth is one of the most complex characters I've had to direct, with many layers, and I need an actor who will help me peel that onion.

I knew I needed a Ruth who could communicate volumes without the aid of lines, who can make you see her dark and light and keep you guessing on which side she's leaning. I knew these things. And I knew that I did not know Sarah Lahbati. She was a celebrity, a fashion model, half-pinoy (do you speak Tagalog fluently?). And all I had were assumptions and preconceived notions.
That, she blew out of the water as soon as she started reading for the part. And she just kept on surprising me all the way up to the finish line.


I believe some roles are meant to be. Ruth was meant to be Sarah's. And I am beyond thrilled to have been a part of her journey as an actress. Ang sarap katrabaho, isa sa pinaka-professional, matalino at masisipag na artistang nakasama ko mapa-film o tv man. Walang ego, walang attitude, walang make-up (sinubukan ko, guys, pero nanununtok pa rin siya sa ganda, pasensiya na). Thank you sa generosity at kahusayan. So proud of you Sar! Congratulations! Gawa tayo ulit!”

Sarah must be flattered to no end, what with her director raving so unabashedly about her beauty and her performance. And wonder how Shy Carlos feels about this?

Sanya Lopez Gets Solo Stardom As Angela, A Gifted Girl Whose Touch Can Heal In 'Haplos', Opposite Rocco Nacino

SANYA LOPEZ and her older brother Jak Roberto were given good breaks at the same time when Sanya joined the cast of “Encantadia” as one of the four Sang’gre sisters while Jak was chosen as one of the four JEYA boys in “Meant to Be”. But now, Sanya has gotten ahead of her Kuya in getting a solo show as she stars in “Haplos”, where she is paired with Rocco Nacino after their tandem in “Encantadia” clicked well with the viewers.

“Hindi nga po ako makapaniwala na mabibigyan ako agad ng follow up show after ‘Enca’ at heto, this time, ako talaga yung lead star,” she says at the presscon of ‘Haplos’. “Big blessing po talaga ito and I promise to do my best para mabigyan ng justice ang role ko as Angela, a young woman na binigyan ng kakaibang biyaya. May gift siya na nakakagaling siya ng maysakit just because of her magical touch or haplos.”

Rocco plays Gerald, her devoted boyfriend who tries to protect her from harm. Supporting them is Thea Tolentino as Sanya's half sister, Lucille, who’s the exact opposite of her as Thea engages in black magic or sorcery. Also in the cast are Patricia Javier as Minda and Emilio Garcia as Renato, the parents of Angela; Celia Rodriguez as Viring, a great faith healer; Pancho Magno as Benedict, a fitness trainer who’ll get involved with the sisters, and Francine Prieto as Mercedes, the scheming mother of Thea who prods her to do evil deeds. “Haplos” will be replacing the hit afternoon soap, “D'Originals" about wives and mistresses that will end soon.

We ask Sanya if the talks that she and Rocco are now really playing beautiful music together off and off cam are true? “First of all, I really want to thank all those who support yung tambalan namin ni Rocco. Nagsimula lang ito sa tuksuhan noong ‘Enca’ days namin, tapos ngayon, ang daming nagsasabing nagkadevelopan na raw kami at kami na talaga. But like we said before, talagang friendship pa lang ang level ng pagiging closeness namin sa ngayon. Hindi namin minamadali ang mga bagay-bagay kasi kung itatakda naman ng tadhanan na magiging kami talaga, hindi ito mapipigilan. So we want to take it slow. Okay na yung mag-deepen muna ang friendship namin kasi a relationship that starts as being friends daw ang siyang the best talaga. As of now, very thankful ako kay Rocco kasi ang laki ng naitulong siya sa akin bilang aktres. Baguhan lang ako nang i-cast ako sa ‘Enca’ and he was there to help me sa mga eksena ko. For that, I will forever be grateful to him.”

Janella Salvador & Elmo Magalona Don't Mind Being Second Choice As Leads Of Suspense-Thrillers 'Bloody Crayons' To Be Shown On July 12

STAR CINEMA’s new suspense-thriller teen flick, “Bloody Crayons”, is based on a popular Wattpad mystery whodunit written by Josh Argonza who uses the pseudonym of Kewlblue-Element. It is full of intriguing twists and turns of plot and concerns a group of graduating students who went on a vacation in an island.

While they are there, they play a game of called Bloody Crayons where the players get punished, not knowing that this will turn their vacation into a deadly nightmare when they start dying one by one. They now have to figure out who the killer is before all of them die. But the problem is: what if the killer is actually one of them?

"Bloody Crayons" is directed by Topel Lee, who replaced Quark Henares. Topel has done other horror films before like “Dilim”, “Amorosa”, “White House”, “Basement”, “Sundo” and “Tumbok”. The movie originally started with Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia in the cast, but after the success of “Vince, Kath & James”, they were given other projects and were replaced by Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona as lead characters Eunice and Kiko. Didn’t Janella and Elmo mind that they were not the first choice?

“Not at all,” says Janella. “The film has really gone through a lot of changes and it’s been in the making for two years na raw. We just feel lucky na sa amin ito napunta as this is our first project together for the big screen after doing ‘Born for You’ on TV. We’re really excited as it’s our first film for Star Cinema. I’ve done movies for Regal, like ‘Haunted Mansion’ and ‘Mano po 7’, pero ngayon pa lang talaga ako nakagawa sa Star Cinema.”

What makes it different from her first horror film, “Haunted Mansion”, which is also about a group of young people who go on a retreat and die one by one? “This is not really a horror film like 'Haunted Mansion' kasi walang supernatural theme dito na mga multo-multo. It’s really more of a suspense-thriller na talagang kakabugin ang dibdib mo sa tension.”

Supporting Janella and Elmo in “Bloody Crayons” as their barkada are Jane Oineza as Olivia, Maris Racal as Rich, Sofia Andres as Marie, Ronnie Alonte as John Jose, Yves Flores as Justin, Diego Loyzaga as Kenly and comedian Empoy Marquez as a funny character named Jerard Anderson. Don’t miss it when it opens in theaters nationwide on July 12.

Everything, Everything Movie Review: Unsatisfying Screen Version Of A Best Selling Book For Young Adults

‘EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING’ is based on a 2015 novel for young adults written by Nicola Yoon. The movie is narrated by Madeline “Maddy” Whittier (Amandla Stenberg), a 17 year old girl who is turning 18 and lives like a prisoner in her own house in Los Angeles. She has SCID (Severe Combined Immuno Deficiency), which makes her easily affected by germs or allergens that can easily infect and kill her, just like John Travolta in the 1976 TV flick, “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble”.

Maddy relates mainly with her mother, Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), a doctor who lost her dad and older brother in a car crash many years ago. She is also allowed to be near her nurse Carla (Ana de la Reguera) and Cara’s daughter, Rosa (Danube Hermosillo). To help pass the time, she reads books and then writes her own short reviews online. She is part of an online SCID support group, also studies architecture online and does a lot of imagining to feel that she’s in the outside world.

Her foremost dream is to see the sea and walk on the beach. Maddy’s life is lengthened by her imprisonment in her own house but is the length or quantity of one’s life more important than its quality? Then a new family from Chicago moves on the house next door. They have a teenage son, Oliver or Olly (Nick Robinson), who wears only black clothes while Maddy wears only white clothes.

But in this interracial romance, Olly is actually the one whose Caucasian while Maddy is African American. As maybe expected, a forbidden love affair blooms between them and Maddy realizes that there’s more to the world than the house where’s she been cooped up for 18 years. Maddie defies her mom and escapes with Olly to Hawaii where she gets laid for the first time. And then something happens to her while she’s there and she ends up in a hospital.

The movie starts with an intriguing concept. It reminds you of other romantic films where one of the main characters is sick and dying. This dates back to the 70s with the huge hit, “Love Story”, where the lead guy is also named Oliver and his loved one dies of leukemia. Then there’s “Untamed Heart”, “The Fault in Our Stars”, “If I Stay”, “Me Before You” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”.

The problem with “Everything, Everything” is that there’s a twist in the story that appears more like just a plot contrivance that requires you to really suspend your disbelief for you to be able to enjoy the movie. Which is sad as Director Stella Meghie manages to give it a strong and promising start creating a sympathetic world for Maddy. Then the narrative takes its unexpected revelation and the plot contortions become unsatisfying, feeling artificial and forced until the rushed feel good ending.

The two leads are both relative unknowns. Amandla has appeared in “The Hunger Games” while Nick is a child actor in “Jurassic World”. The difference in their races is not given any emphasis and is treated like as normal as normal can be. The problem is they don’t have much on screen chemistry as the star-crossed lovers. Both look good but not really as lead stars as they lack that incandescent charisma called star quality. If you've read the book, we're sure this will be an unsatisfying film version for you.

Shara Chavez, Mother Of Jovit Baldivino's Love Child, Denounces Him For Being A Womanizer And An Incorrigible Gambler

SHARA CHAVEZ is the very pretty girl who became a fan and lived in partner of “Pilipinas Got Talent” first winner Jovit Baldivino. She had a child with him sans marriage. She gained her 15-minutes of fame when she denounced Jovit in public for two-timing her and for being an incorrigible gambler. She was recently interviewed on TV by Boy Abunda and, in fairness to her, she’s very photogenic and can join one of those reality shows at ABS-CBN.

She says she has reached her saturation point with Jovit’s irresponsible acts: “I’ve reached my limit po. Nasaktan po ako and hindi ko na po kinaya. Nailabas ko na po lahat ng sama ng loob ko. ‘Yun lang po ‘yung way ko na mapagaan ang loob ko. Nagtiis po ako at marami po akong kinimkim lang muna then, ‘yun po, napuno na po ako. Actually, nag-usap po kami in private. Kami lang pong dalawa, through text po. Kaso alam n’yo po yun, kahit i-pinpoint ko po sa kanya yung mga sinabi ko po lahat sa post, hindi rin po kami magkaintindihan. Hindi rin niya ako pinakikinggan sa mga sinabi ko po. Tapos sa Facebook, he was denying. Kumbaga, wala raw po siyang ginawang masama. ‘Yun po ‘yung pinaparating po niya. Bilang babaeng kinakasama niya, nasaktan po talaga ako na siyempre, nagbigay po siya ng panahon, nag-effort siyang dalawin ‘yung isang babae niya, while kami ng baby niya, pinag-hihintay lang po kami sa bahay. Tapos, sugarol po siya. Pinigilan ko po siya. Pero dumating din po ako sa point na pagod na rin po ako sa kakasabi. Sobrang sakit po. Siyempre, binigay ko po lahat. Binigay ko po lahat.”

As we were watching, someone quipped: “Bakit siya nabaliw kay Jovit, e ang ganda-ganda niya? Hindi na lang siya naghanap ng someone better.”

“E, ang guwapo-guwapo naman kasi ni Jovit,” someone else answered. “Matangkad na, hunky pa. Sobrang ganda pa ng boses, kaya di naman katakataka kung naakit siya.”

The first kibitzer looked at the second one intently and asked: “Baka naman ibang Jovit yang sinasabi mo?”

Barbie Forteza Choosing Ken Chan Over Ivan, Jak & Addy In The Last Episode Of 'Meant To Be' Becomes Controversial

BARBIE FORTEZA chose Ken Chan as her Mr. Right in the final episode of “Meant to Be” last Friday night not knowing it will be a very controversial choice. Fans of the other guys quickly protested and voiced their complaints on social media. Even Barbie’s own mother voiced her dissatisfaction as she seems to favor Jak Roberto more.

When Ken as Yuan asked Barbie as Billie in the last episode why she chose him, this is her reply: “Ikaw ang na-miss ko sa lahat nung malayo ako. Ikaw ang nagpapalakas ng loob ko. Kahit suplado ka, kahit antipatiko ka, ikaw ang nagpatawa at nagpangiti sa akin. Kaya ikaw ang gusto kong makasama. Kayo nila Luke and Leia (Ken’s babies). Ikaw, Yuan Lee, at lahat ng problemang dadalhin mo sa buhay ko, tatanggapin ko.”

But some quarters are not at all satisfied with her explanation and say they felt so disappointed. They wish Billie chose Ivan instead, or Jak, or Addy. The truth is that whoever it is that Barbie selected, it will still not please all the fans because each group has its own bet for her. So even if she chose Ivan Dorschner or Jak Roberto or Addy Raj, there will still be disgruntled fans as it is simply impossible to please everyone.

One incontrovertible fact remains, though, the acting of Barbie in the show’s last episode's dramatic moments is simply superb, confirming that she’s really one of our best young actresses today and GMA should give her a follow up show, pronto!

We asked those in the know as to why Barbie chose Ken and we’re told it’s simply because Ken got the most number of text votes. “Hindi totoong iba ang nakakuha ng most number of votes,” says our informer. “Si Ken talaga. Also, even online, Ken has the most number of supporters.”

The handlers of the show’s lead stars all say that among the four guys, Ken has the most numerous fans of all. And this is evident whenever they do mall shows in various parts of the country.
“Kahit saang parte ng Manila o Luzon o Visayas o Mindanao, kapag si Ken na ang lumabas on stage, halos magiba ang venue sa lakas ng hiyawan at sigawan para sa kanya,” say the GMA people.

“Nagsisimula pa lang ang show, ganyan na ang reaction sa kanya at hindi nabawasan yan kundi lalong nadagdagan as the show went on. Kaya huwag nang magreklamo yung iba kasi maski sina Ivan, Jak at Addy, alam nila ito. Si Ken talaga ang pinakamaraming fans sa kanilang apat. One thing good about this is naka-develop ang GMA ngayon ng mga bagong leading men. Noon, laging sinasabing kulang sa leading men ang Kapuso network. O ayan ngayon, we have four new leading guys na dapat bigyan agad ng bagong projects.”

Tom Rodriguez And Carla Abellana'S New Primetime Soap, 'I Heart Davao', Showcases The Beauty Of Duterte Country & Hopes To Sustain High Ratings Of 'Meant To Be'

TOM RODRIGUEZ and Carla Abellana’s new primetime soap, “I Heart Davao”, will start airing tonight replacing “Meant to Be” and it will run for eight weeks. Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, it’s one show whose script was already completed and programmed to run for 40 episodes. Scriptwriter Chris Martinez and Director Marlon Rivera were commissioned to do this and they’ve accomplished it.

Looks like GMA-7 opts now for shows with shorter runs, as “My Love from the Star” will also run for only 9 weeks instead of the usual 13 weeks per season. But unlike “My Love from the Star” which is based on a Koreanovela, “I Heart Davao” is original material that extols the beauty of our biggest city in the country where it was filmed on location for 17 days.

Tom and Carla play a Davao boy and a Manila girl whose relationship start as “aso’t pusa”. Carla had a heart transplant and it turns out later that the donor of her new heart is Tom’s former girlfriend, Cathy Remperas, who died in an accident. Benjamin Alves is also in the cast as the Manila boy who follows Carla to Davao and tries to win her heart over Tom. Here's hoping "I Heart Davao" will succeed in maintaining the high ratings of the show it has replaced "Meant to Be".