Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fave Rave: "OTJ (On The Job)"

Killing time was well spent yesterday afternoon at Gateway.  I went to see the list of movies at the ticket booth and chanced upon OTJ.  I have heard good reviews about it so might as well see it myself.

Most often, I opt to see a foreign film instead of our local mainstream films.  Why?  Because most of the mainstream films that are being shown here are full of crap, cliches, and doesn't make you think deeper.  Well, some comedies are good though.  But thanks to Cinemalaya and other independent film fests around the country, I'm able to go see Filipino independent films that makes a huge lot of sense.  And thanks to Star Cinema for co-producing this film.  It's about time to step out of the box.

To date, Jose Rizal, Dekada '70, Ang Nawawala, and the most recent film that I just saw, On The Job, are included on my top Filipino films list.

On The Job is about corruption of government officials who hires inmates to kill people for, what else, money and power.  Very timely, huh?  I really have no idea if what was shown on the film is 100% true since it is inspired by true events, but if so, that is just so sick of them to do so (referring to the government officials, middlemen, and hired killers).  It's a known fact that there are policemen who really serves the country and those who abuse their badge.  And Joey Marquez's character Sgt. Joaquin Acosta portrayed the good side of the police and he did it well.  Joel Torre's character really made a mark on me especially on the last part of the film where he...well, I don't want to spoil that part for you.  His strong presence on the film overshadow's Piolo Pascual's character, Francis Coronel Jr., that made me think that his character doesn't know what he is doing.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm papa Piolo's fan, not just because of his good looks, but he's a very good actor.  Although, he didn't impressed me that much on this film.

Besides the rave reviews from in and out of the country about this film, still, there are a lot of skeptics around.  Like when most of my guy friends who were not really familiar with OTJ had asked me about it prior to me seeing the film.  They shrugged when they found out that its lead is Mr. Pascual.  Another friend dismissed the idea of watching it because it is directed by Erik Matti which he think is overrated.  I just don't get it.  Why judge when you haven't seen their works in the first place, right?  I mean, I don't care if they've done lousy, chick flicks before or the director is too mainstream.  Let's just give them the benefit of the doubt.  And this film will defy all their doubts.  Sometimes we have to be supportive of the things done by our fellowmen.  Encourage them to do more or improve on their craft rather than putting them down on the dirt without giving them any chance at all.  And this sense I'm ranting right now is the same thing I saw on the film.  So you should go see

Err... I don't like the trailer.

Props to Direk Erik Matti (I'm sounding like I know him personally, but I don't) for executing a kick-ass film that raises the bar of our local film industry.  If Filipinos are into trends, I hope that the way he make films becomes a trend.  Great job on the screenplay too!

Every little detail of the film is really superb.  My basis of a good film is that I don't criticize any technicalities of it, and if it zoned me out from my seat and into the world that they are showing to me.  The production design, costume, make-up, lighting, cinematography, color grading, direction, editing, sound/music, acting--everything--were very nicely done.  It gave me the impression that I was watching a Hollywood film except, of course, having seen the familiar faces of Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Leo Martinez, Joey Marquez, Piolo Pascual (and so on), and them speaking in our native tongue pulls me back to this wonderful reality that I was watching a Filipino film.  It is a powerhouse cast, no wonder it gave another reason why it is well executed.  There was an awkward scene for me, though.  Shaina's unexpected bed scene with Piolo is really something, and I find it too awkward because I still can't grip onto the fact that she's older now.  I always think of her as this child star back then who never grew up.  LOL.

So, again, if I were you, you shouldn't miss this movie.  It's really, really good.  I still can't forget about it today having seen it yesterday afternoon.  It really made an impact.

I hope there would be more Filipino crime thriller films in the future.  Better yet, more great Filipino films.

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