Filipino films: they don’t make us think

The type of films Filipino filmmakers make reflect the type of people most Filipinos are — people lacking in substance. Just looking at the list of entries for this year’s Manila Film Festival, you can already tell that not a lot of thinking was involved in the process of making them. Even the titles leave nothing to the imagination of the audience. Most of the actors playing the lead roles are the same ones we’ve seen since we were kids or some hot young flavor-of-the-month of one producer or another.

Kraken rip-off

Take the 13th instalment of Shake, Rattle and Roll, and ask: What else can people expect to get out of it? Not much, obviously. People are probably watching it for the eye candy. Every year the film features starlets parading and pouting for the camera hoping to look cute enough to win an award. That’s right. Talent in acting is not really a criterion for winning an acting award in the Philippines.

In the case of the film Enteng ng Ina Mo starring Ai Ai delas Alas and Vic Sotto; the actors had nothing to work with in terms of storyline and dialogue. The characters just basically rehashed their roles specifically with Vic playing his Enteng character from the 1980s TV series Okay ka Fairy ko and Ai Ai reprising her winning role in last year’s Tanging Ina Mo. It’s another one of those things in the Philippines we can refer to as scraping the bottom of the barrel. The producers are obviously milking the franchise until it bleeds.

And what about the new Panday 2 movie? First of all, how does Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr find the time to make movies? Isn’t he supposed to be spending more time deliberating policies in the Senate instead of delivering cheesy lines? Aren’t there enough men to take over the role Senator Revilla inherited from the late Fernando Poe Jr? Second, the new Panday movie is being criticized for being a blatant rip-off of the 2010 Hollywood blockbuster remake of Clash of the Titans. All the film needed was Medusa to complete the cast of Perseus’s nemesis. There was nothing special about the “special” effects either.

How do these filmmakers sleep at night knowing that they are not really creating a work of art but just copies of some other people’s work? They are not even making people think; they are not even stirring emotions or provoking people into doing something with their lives; they are not even inspiring young people to aspire for greatness. What they are producing is just stuff you can discard after one use. In short, most Philippine films are a total waste of the people’s time and money.

Films are supposed to be cultural artifacts that reflect our culture and, in turn, affect us and our outlooks towards life. Most films are considered art, for entertainment and a powerful tool for educating — or indoctrinating — society. But nowhere can we find our culture or any significant message of consequence in our films. Films are powerful tools of communicating ideas and who we are as a people. Unfortunately, our films tell us and everyone else that we are shallow and superficial.

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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1301 Comments on "Filipino films: they don’t make us think"

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Anonymouse
Guest

Everything well said. As I was saying previously in my wall posts., Philippine Horror Movies are a big joke, and the rest of the film industry is only making more filipinos dumb. Perhaps that’s because the producers are dumber.

Don’t tell me not to generalize. Yes. this is in general. Because what we see are the majority. and there will always be an exception, and sad to say, they’re only part of the minority.

domo
Guest

I still remember one part of shake, rattle and roll about that evil christmas tree from the amazon and that is waay too cheesy.

ludivinabacay
Guest

Brava hija! You don’t only have the tinggil in-between, but the balls of timid men who cannot tell right from wrong. Don’t get bullied. Get on with it. Ciao!

G
Guest
The Metro Manila Film Festival is a celebration of Pinoy pride – that oft repeated, ridiculous concept that has managed to encompass everything we Filipinos should be working to change. It’s a fete to commemorate the prevailing Filipino outlook, the only feat of which is to make the nation as a whole look more miserable than it already is. I don’t even know why I’m reiterating this – probably out of frustration borne from the stupidity of this whole charade. LOL It’s neat that places like GRP are sincerely trying, in their own way, to turn the tide. To be… Read more »
Joshua T.
Guest

MMFF 2011: Same Trash, Different Year.

ahehe
Guest

coming soon

Ang Pangulo 2016: Pandayin mo ang kinabukasan ng bayan

Parallax
Guest
pinoys have atrociously low standards – from choice of president to choice of movies to the selection of tv shows to choice of condensada. there will always be a market for garbage if there are people who are willing to take garbage. joe america adores and “supports” garbage. jcc eats garbage, and spews it out here when he visits. abs-cbn makes garbage and says it does so “in the service of the filipino.” vincenzo believes abs-cbn’s garbage. kris aquino endorses all sorts of garbage. lots of establishment “journalists” come up with garbage, and then publish them instead of keeping them… Read more »
J. Mascharilla
Guest

This is the “longer post” you are proud of?

Keep being proud of this. I can see you used (up) your brainpower fully on this one.

Parallax
Guest

oh come on, that was your best shot? grow one please.

Parallax
Guest

by the way, this wasn’t it, genius. use your eyes (kahit mata ng pigsa kung yun lang meron ka. use them, please!).

j
Guest

I find it really hard watching politicians do tv shows and movies. It’s like me being a high school student but cutting classes. My parents money going to waste on me playing video games every single day. Every time I see them I blurt out “and we are paying them to work?”. Support the local movie industry they say… give us good movies first.

raken rol
Guest

Kasi profit-oriented sila at ang biggest market sa Pilipinas ay hindi naman ganoon kataas ang standards when it comes to making these films.
Pang Masa ika nga, that’s why hindi nacacater lahat.
Hindi rin naman maaappreciate ng nakakarami yung Indir films, and let’s face it : Hindi maiintindihan ng maraming Pilipino ang movies na may substance. Gusto nila ng mababaw, makulay, maraming artista, paulit ulit.

benign0
Admin

Chicken-and-egg situation ika nga…

Goreymac
Guest

The only way that you’ll get good movies is if all producers convene and decide to show quality and creative flicks to force down the masses throats.

Unfortunately, that will never happen and even if does, the masses have can have their daily dose of the cheesy and cheap via boobtube. Impeachment drama, anyone?

maeyette
Guest

impossible…they are only interested in profits…they could always give trash, the writer and the director and producer…because they know that is the only intellectual trash that they can offer and that is now the fault ng mga taga tangkilik…i dont mind wasting money at times but to waste my time on a dark place with my eyes glued from afar and my brain lurking around for something worthwhile then that’s a ddifferent story already…

benign0
Admin

It’s an intractable problem, if you ask me. It’s almost like you need strong state intervention to re-boot the aesthetic faculties of Da Pinoy. The private sector can’t be counted on for that. Delegating cultural education to free enterprise has proved fatal for Philippine society.

craig
Guest

Apparently, only Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story hit the right notes this year, one way or another. The may neither have the highest gross revenue nor the fancy effects that others have, but the storytelling of the reality of crime is there. But majority of films are just plain screen scum filled with douche bags who want to earn the quickest peso.

Devildog
Guest
Very well said. MMFF 2011 is just for the dumb. The films were for the shortsighted and happy-go-lucky types; and in this case, it’s the common masses that tend to look for entertainment without substance. The films were of piss-poor shit types that just focuses on romance, fantasy and wishful thinking. And what pisses me more is that most Filipinos can’t appreciate the INDIE FILM industry in which the films focus on SUBSTANCE and CONSTRUCTIVE reasoning. Most of our countrymen tend only to look at the surface and not digging in deep to the real essence of a A REAL… Read more »
Pilosopo Kiko
Guest
movies such as these overwrite the critical thinking part of the brains of its aficionados. drag them to a film with substance and it would be like “(kalabit) anu dawww??” for the entire hour and half to two hours. that’s why i go to the movies by myself. plus, hindi lahat ng Indie Films ngayon ay may substance at nagi-stimulate ng mga neurons, madami din ang may “substance” at stimulating…nagin “Indie Film” dhil digital ang format..at dahil may gay content. sometimes nakatatak na din sa utak ng mga tao na pag sinabing “Indie Film” may same-sex kissing/love scene etc. Maybe… Read more »
domo
Guest

So true on local Indie films. The last Filipino film I’ve watched was an Indie one called Rakenrol and it’s nice.

Vivian
Guest

I think the only movie I will watch is the Asyong Salonga story. Last year, I enjoyed the movie “Rosario” and was disappointed that it didn’t win the MMFF – it should have, instead of the one that won.

Gin
Guest

As Zeus said in the film “Clash of the Titans”

RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!

But instead of Kreken, it becomes

RELEASE THE KROPEK!!!

Philippine film industry is pathetic indeed to the core.

Pilosopo Kiko
Guest

naging money-making caravan na ang MMFF these recent years. bumabagsak na ang kalidad ng mga pelikulang kasali. i’m starting to doubt the existence of a “board” that “deliberates” on which films to include. ibang klase…… this is all part of the government’s hidden agenda to downgrade every Pilipino’s processors. AKML! T_T

domo
Guest

Another annoying thing about mmff is that even though Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is still showing at IMAX theaters since, of course, no mmff movies being made for that format, they always remove foreign films to make way for their garbage movies only for da pinoy prayd and a very big profit since masyadong maraming ignoranteng pinoy ang manonood nyan using their pamasko from Christmas to New Year making it so uncompetitive to foreign films.

Alem
Guest
you know what’s more annoying, that outside MMFF, theaters prioritize showing international films over local films. basically, ang point ng karamihan sa mga nag-comment dito na naiinis sa article na ito ay: bago kayo manghusga tungkol sa lahat ng mga Filipino films, panoorin n’yo naman ang mga dekalidad na pelikula. meron kasi. obviously, those who can blog and access the internet are those with disposable income. if the indie filmmakers cannot even rely on you guys to patronize their films, no matter how obscure they are, then wala talagang mangyayari. kung kayo, na tinatawag na intellectual elite, na may access… Read more »
benign0
Admin

The thing that bugs me is how they had to turn into a big event what could’ve been just another month of mediocre film releases. Ayan tuloy… all the more was highlighted the sorry state of Philippine cinema — how even a major film event could no longer draw the best out of the industry.

Goreymac
Guest

What’s so sad about this is that there’s a lot of creative blood and ideas out there who won’t see the light of day because no producer would dare fund them.

maeyette
Guest
correct, look at Himala….at first no producerdared to produce it because of lack of commercialism…good that Ish Bernal was so entusiastic in doing that film and he waited for the right moment to make it a reality until ECP had a contest on scripwriting. The nice thing though is that he succeeded in filming this one of a kind movie…and now it has been raking awards locally and internationally. What was frustrating when it didnt make awards sa local market and it had the international award gving bodies to tell this Filipino critics that hey…you are missig on something…wow, what… Read more »
Joshua T.
Guest

WIN. 😀

Have a pleasant New Year, benign0!

Jepu
Guest
Tis is one of the reason I hate during Christmas season in the Philippines, your try to enjoy “good” home grown movies and you can’t. As a child I used to laughed mindlessly at the likes of dolphy and babalu. But as time passes by I began to soon realize that it was redundant in what they did and more importantly the is no plot ever to their stories. It takes foreign directors to no the true talent of Filipino actors in movies. It doesn’t take the likes of ding dong dantes or kris Aquino to make good I mean… Read more »
bugoy
Guest

asahin niyo since pumatok yang asyong salonga, next year may gagawa ng action movie na gagayahin ang expendables at sigurado kasama diyan si cesar montano

Daido Katsumi
Guest

Everytime I see Panday 2, I always say “Mas maganda NEXT YEAR!” Or better yet…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7KjxnJQ6GQ&w=560&h=315%5D

domo
Guest

Or the very famous one especially in loveteam drama films: “Sana may part 2!”

Daido Katsumi
Guest

You don’t even get my point on I’ve posted the video. 😛

domo
Guest

Oops sorry about my misunderstanding. My bad. Now I know what you mean.

Dundundun
Guest

Sa tingin ko magaling naman yung shake rattle and roll 13 ah, kung titignan natin yung mga direktor na kalahok at ang mga previous works nila, pwede natin makuha na ginagawa talaga nila ang mga pelikula na ito para sa art. Gusto ko rin sana matanong kung napanood mo na nga ba yung mga nakasaad na mga pelikula diyan sa article mo?

auriga
Guest

Art? Ang baba naman ng standards mo.

I had the misfortune of watching Segunda Mano. What a waste of 195 Pesos.

Working Girl
Guest
A waste? It made me laugh so hard, I DO NOT consider it a waste. I knew that I was in for a generic movie with bad acting, figured out the plot in 5 minutes and enjoyed it. There are reasons why people watch these movies. If you want your mind ‘stimulated’ go to arthouse cinemas (don’t ask me where. If your standards are indeed that high to scoff at another person’s choice of mental stimulant, you’d know where they are) and watch Filipino films that will challenge your perception of what intelligent filmmaking is. And if you don’t have… Read more »
someone
Guest

That’s your argument, seriously? “Generic movie”, “bad acting”– well, at least you help in reinforcing what this article wishes to convey. This isn’t about stimulation or standards. This is about the decline of Filipino intelligence, and what you’re saying clearly shows that. MMFF used to be a showcase of great film making, now you’re saying it’s only about making people laugh or making subquality films for profit?

Even if there are “reasons” why people watch these movies, that’s not enough reason for the thinking public not to show their disgust.

Chad
Guest

@someone

“…now you’re saying it’s only about making people laugh or making subquality films for profit?”

Define a quality film.

And it’s not really the decline of the Filipino intelligence. It’s consumerism and marketability of films that a lot of Filipinos aren’t made aware of.

Probably ’cause it’s the Philippine “entertainment” industry.

Parallax
Guest

if writing panatang makabayan on one of intramuros’ walls with a piece of turd is your basis of what art is, sure let’s call that movie art as well.

taas ng standards mo, dundundun.

Don
Guest

Last Philippine movie that really made me think was Sakay, because it got me digging a bit more of Philippine history. That was YEARS ago. Not holding my breath for anything of that sort again, unless the Ayalas would get into movies.

darsihay
Guest
i deeply lament with all who commented and criticized about how the filipino industry has downgraded and how it has been producing dumb, tacky and, pardon me for the word, sh*tty movies. the only way filipinos can change their perspective about movie watching (that is, making better decisions in choosing good movies and separating them from the bad ones) is if the film industry itself makes an effort in changing them. sadly, the creative efforts of some of our brilliant directors and actors are hampered because of the profit-minded producers who are greedy bastards. i wish that these producers be… Read more »
someone
Guest

well said.

rosemarie ibarrita
Guest

I am deeply moved. It touches the inner core of my being….We share the same vision.

alconce
Guest

The local movies really sucks. I tried watching it even on cable but no matter how I tried the message it sends me is that it makes me more “stupider”. And they even give ridiculous awards to people pulled out from a large pile of garbage.

Alem
Guest

i’m just curious, have you actually seen this year’s shake, rattle and roll? also, have you seen any film from Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals or Cinemanila film festivals? there are good people trying to make good films but are simply just not getting any support. hopefully, people who have the same sentiments like yours would actually go out of their way to watch quality Filipino films.

Male
Guest
Anyway, the movies stated in this article, from which the basis of being “unintellectual” was rooted, are basically mainstream movies. The point of the first guy was that it is an injustice to just generalize the Filipino Film Industry by looking at only a very constrained sample of movies. You and independent film makers share the same sentiment: that these films don’t make us think. This was the exact same reason why film makers started doing their own movies, to break the formulaic system followed by most if not all mainstream movies. Because of this, maybe the author should try… Read more »
Jon
Guest

Hahahahahaha. The Filipino masses do not need good movies because there is already enough drama in everyday news. #pseudosarcasm