You can certainly bet from a local perspective that a film like Pedring Lopez’s new thriller, Maria, has been a rarity in the Philippines for years. There’s been actioners, but not as much and certainly not to the same measure and scope as other productions, and gladly, there’s been a pretty visible sea change in recent years in that regard. For this, a film like Maria is a reasurring sign of better times ahead with much deserving ceremony.
Try looking for writer/directing Pedring Lopez’s 2016 action horror, Nilalang, anywhere stateside and if you’re lucky, you’ll find it under some innocuous, generic title thanks to whatever schmuck snagged it for a legit U.S. release. It’s what’s always irked me – the dismissive, flippant way distributors handle Asian titles. That habit seems to haven’t dissipated, and thankfully, Netflix took notice in the wake of Lopez’s most recent feature outing, Maria, which hit theaters late last month to promising audience and critical responses.
Earlier this month saw Viva Films offering a small dose of the action to come in director Pedring Lopez’s new film, Maria. Now slated for a March 27 release, Cristine Reyes fronts her first action role in what looks to be nothing short of a thrilling contender for this year’s rousing feats since Erik Matti’s BuyBust put the Philippines on the map just a little more for genre fans.
The recent surge of excitement from Erik Matti’s new crime thriller, BuyBust, has done well in gracing the action genre a much needed spotlight in the Philippines. It’s an effort continued with the ongoing work of filmmaker Pedring Lopez who took hold of the festival scene a few years ago for cult action horror, Nilalang, with Cesar Montano, Meg Imperial and Maria Ozawa starring and now he’s back at it with the current production of assassin revenge thriller, Maria, featuring actress Christine Reyes in the title role.
One of the most delightful things anyone might hear upon learning of a film like Erik Matti’s new crime opera, BuyBust is who will star. I didn’t know who Anne Curtis was until XYZ’s own Todd Brown broke the news at ScreenAnarchy on top of other updates regarding training of the cast, as well as the director’s own subsequent passionate testimonials on Facebook, and I have to say, in wake of its 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film has done an incredible job selling itself.
To boot, we also have a sultry teaser poster circulating as of Monday which you can view below in full.
A Case For Better Action Movies: Mark Dacascos’s SHOWDOWN IN MANILA Fights For 80s Ensemble Action Glory, Loses
It is an unmistakable truth that making these kinds of films can be VERY hard, and it is reasonable to believe that Showdown In Manila had its fare share of hurdles in trying to be better than what it has become. That said, it is unclear as of this review just when Dacascos will be directing again if he so chooses to, and hopefully his second outing will see him acquiesce to the standards long-lived and preset by some of today’s strongest, young and hungry cinema creatives. Until then, Showdown In Manila should serve as a lesson on what not to do when it comes to making an action movie. Nevsky’s own career vision is a meaningful one for setting a new, creative precedent with better filmmaking prospects in mind, but that vision is still one that needs to be met with concurrence, even in the name of fandom.
Heralded director Erik Matti’s newest crime thriller, BuyBust, is easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2018. The film itself has notably become a point of hype for aspirations toward change and progress for Filipino action cinema, such is what stunt director Sonny Sison had been pushing for in his own proliferation in the region for sometime now.
Signaling this is a proof-of-concept he assembled with leading lady Anne Curtis who principally stars in the film opening next month. The footage below was reportedly filmed before production began last year as a nod to what was possible and as it stands, hails with some pretty grand potential with Matti attributing much of it to Curtis’s own dedication as well.
“This is nowhere near what we have done for the movie in terms of the difficulty and scale of what our actors have to go through.” says Matti in a post on social media. “We could not have done this movie if Anne was not our actor on this. Anne Curtis had the patience, the will, the stamina and above all the right attitude to do all the physical and emotional demands of this film. If it was any other actor in this industry, they would have either given up midway into filming or have started bitching around 3 months into the rehearsals.”
He continues: “This short is a testament to the kind of committment I got from Anne and the rest of the cast and crew. We’re excited to show you what we’ve got in the entire film!”
The team performing opposite Curtis is comprised of Tuhon Mick Ptk Katipunan, Tuhon Jake Cuna, Jay Bataclan, and the late, great Baldo Marro. Click here for the teaser, otherwise view the proof short below and get ready for the main goods coming soon!
Watch The New International Trailer For Pedring Lopez’s Award-Winning Action Horror, NILALANG (THE ENTITY)
The Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival is where to be this Friday night if you wish to catch a screening of director Pedring Lopez’s new movie, Nilalang (The Entity). The screening will be held at 7:30pm PST while Lopez continues to plot the festival course thereafter along with furthering prospects of a North American release after winning several awards at the 41st Manila International Film Festival late last year.
Last week, I had the opportunity to share a dialogue with Sison about the film among several others within the span of his career in the past two decades. Having cut his teeth as an actor and stuntman over the years, primarily as a suit actor on the AmeriToku crossover series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and having recently worked with a number of familiar faces fans know and love, I would say there’s plenty of reason to bookmark him as someone worth looking out for in the months ahead.
Every now and then, a documentary comes along that inspires some reflection and changes the way you view a specific topic. For martial arts enthusiasts, such a documentary can be found in the recently released film, The Bladed Hand, a critically acclaimed and intricate retrospective into the world of the Filipino Martial Arts, hosting an eclectic array of interviews with fight professors and martial arts masters, as well as stuntmen and fight choreographers for film and television.
The film became a huge success upon its DVD and Vimeo VoD release last year since earning its praise with several screenings back in 2012, so much so that a sequel is currently underway as of November last year, with writing and producing trio, Jay Ignacio, Kent Vives and actor and stuntman Sonny Sison (Broken Path, The Lackey, Godzilla), back on board to bring the next film to life. And with a large handful of interviews already done with at least 20 more subjects to go, Sison took to his Facebook group to share a few recent photos with former Navy SEAL Chris Carraci, who will no doubt be featured along with his bladed weapon collection in the new film which could arrive later this year or in 2015. Check them about below:
We’ll keep you posted about the new film in the months ahead. In the meantime, The Bladed Hand is already available for rental and purchase on Vimeo and Amazon. Watch the trailer below, and to keep close to what’s happening for The Bladed Hand 2, feel free to join the official Facebook group.
The Bladed Hand – Trailer from ShowVIS LLC on Vimeo.