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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

the long-running soap opera squeezed into 2 hours

3/10
Author: pope_innocentyears (innocentyears@yahoo.co.uk) from Philippines
4 January 2006

So what will happen if an epic story which should take about many months to be presented properly is squeezed into two hours? Enter 'Mulawin: The Movie', GMA films latest fantasy motion picture to date. 'Mulawin: the Movie' continues the story where 'Mulawin the Soap Opera' left off, and that is the continuing adventures of Alwina and Aguiluz after their 're-discovery' of their bird-people ancestry which leads them back to a battle against an old enemy.

Remembering 'Mulawin' the soap opera, it is a well known fact that the storyline of the said show was fleshed out slowly and tediously for a couple of months; and even then the story went no place! Now, the same guys who did the show will be creating a movie version.

The finished product? a months-long soap opera squeezed into two hours. The editing and cutting of scenes resulted into sudden event changes, making the watchers go, "What the heck? What happened?" If the viewer blinks for even just half a second, he will never notice the plot twist that just unfolded before his eyes. character appear and disappear for no apparent reason, and even if there were any explanations, expect it to come as a single sentence from one of the characters, and then move on. By half the film I was so confused, I never even bothered to try and understand the rest of the story.

The special effects, again, just like the soap opera, lacks 'speciality'. Again, the 'flying' effects are poorly done, the actors are seen as obviously hanging from a thread with a harness. The creators seemed to have forgotten how special effects should not look like special effect; it should look like the real thing.

Blame it on the marketing strategy, but Mulawin was made to look like a great movie when in fact it is not. High expectations ultimately destroy a mediocre movie, and that is exactly what happened to Mulawin. I guess karma came in the form of 'Enteng Kabisote 2'.

Watching Mulawin with high or low expectations does not make any difference. It is still a poorly done movie with flaws clearly defined. Can we expect the same weaknesses and flaws when they come up with an 'Encantadia' movie then? Let us hope not.

Please visit www.innocentyears.blogspot.com for more commentaries and for you recations.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

MULAWIN: An Overwhelming Disappointment, An Utter Failure

1/10
Author: raymund salao from Philippines
26 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought Richard Gutierrez's "Chuck Norris" brand of bad acting was going to be the only thing bad about this movie. But it was the whole package in its entirety that was oozing in what appears to be a perfect disappointment.

The SPECIAL EFFECTS & MUSIC: One of the major flaws of this movie is that it suffers from its miserable special effects. The special effect of flying alone takes a good amount of rendering, not only in terms of tools and technology, but in terms of handling the special effects that should be uniformed with an actor's interpretation of a flying scene. In the long run, it's best not to venture into such a scene than to force yourself into making one that will only look utterly ridiculous.

The music in this movie certainly sounds like the same synthesizer-generated sounds of the typical Regal Films action-adventure flops that have stank the local movie industry for decades now.

The SET DESIGNS, COSTUMES & MAKE-UP: Everything looks too polished-up clean and ultra-colorful, that everything looks like it was fresh off the factory. I have loved the Encantadia set in the television series. It may be the same set used in this movie but this time, the set looks intentionally "floralled-up" and made to look three times as colorful as it usually is. Instead of making the set a bit monochromatic as to make the sets look genuine, the set of this movie just explodes with vibrant colors that you know everything is fake. The walls that may have made to look real, now looks like it was plywood that glistens with the paint it hides in.

EGAD! One Hathor (villain/orclike) warrior was wearing a striped white and purple shirt underneath his Hathor helmet and upper armor. And it was obvious! I guess they have boutiques in Encantadia! There was also another scene in the climax where I see another Hathor warrior wear the typical white shirt underneath the Hathor armor!

Richard Gutierrez had THICKER make-up than Angel Locsin. That was just plain stupid. You've just been to battle, and you have lipstick and make-up?

The ACTING: Every time Richard is made to act like he is staring with love in his eyes, it's a cheesy long stare that reminds you of Shampoo commercials, and he does it with a ridiculous smile and long pause as if waiting for the director's cue to tell him when to stop. This movie only proves that Richard Gutierrez doesn't know how to improv.

His father Eddie Gutierrez seems stoned in his role as Dakila. Always seemingly oblivious and very un-reactive to the scenes and the pace of the storyline. And despite his being a main character in the series, his participation in this movie makes him look like less of an extra. Completely unoriginal and lame, Michael De Mesa as the villain has a performance the same way most villains in typical (overrated) Tagalog movies do: they just recite their lines and laugh & sneer in a cliché villain-like manner.

The storyline and DIRECTION: The storyline of the movie is not completely faithful to the continuity of the Mulawin and Encantadia series. But at the same time, it draws upon many instances wherein the storyline requires one to have been familiar with what has transpired in the TV series. In one (supposedly suspenseful revelation) scene, Pirena reveals that she was able to know the secrets of the heroes using Imaw's tungkod (staff) but the movie doesn't even care to explain who Imaw is and what the staff can do.

There is even no character development as we are just thrusted into scenes where we find out that everybody knew all along that Aguiluz and Ravenum are father and son. The pointlessness goes on. There's one scene where Ybarro (a character from Encantadia, played by Dingdong Dantes) just appears out of nowhere fighting alongside the Mulawins. There is no progression or proper introduction of characters.

Bad direction also refers to things that are opposite from common sense. The swords of heroes like Ybarro and Aguiluz have obviously killed not less than five villains, but after that we still see their swords glistening in cleanliness. As the climactic battle ensues, Pirena just disappears without even leaving a note. Did she intentionally flee from battle? Did she need to go to the bathroom? She's the second main villain and we just assume her absence in the end? In the main battle in the beginning of the story, the fighting never makes sense. The Hathors pause their fighting to give way for a dialogue between Pirena and her sisters. Because this is a motion picture, I would assume that the fighting sequences would improve from the television standards. It did not. It was even diminished, thanks to the improperly ambitious move of making special effects shots out of the sword duels. Those shots were clumsily fast, technically obvious, and cinematically awkward that the scene ends up as pointless garbage. The shots were too close to the actors that we never really see them have a duel, and whose fighting-face acting is unconvincing.

I dread upon the conclusion that MULAWIN the movie only destroys the reputation of the Encantadia series. And gives a damning demerit to GMA's track record in making seriously fantasy TV series. GMA Films was presented with the grand opportunity to change the face of Philippine cinema in terms of action-adventure fantasy movies. They failed it by resorting to the old standards. MULAWIN the Movie is a Disappointment and a Failure.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Certified Blockbuster, Graded "A" Film by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

10/10
Author: heber_947 from Philippines
7 February 2006

-=MULAWIN The Movie=- has a Great Story, limited Visual Effects but it seems Realistic... the acting was "Brilliant", Richard Gutierrez deserves an acting award for his portrayal as Aguiluz and Angel Locsin as always did a stunning performance, i also adore the presence of the TRES AVES who helped the main characters against the villains, speaking of the villains i love the way Pirena (Sunshine Dizon) used her power in which she could transformed into another character,nice twist. And with the participation of other Encantadia characters that made the movie and the story better, Ybrahim (Dingdong Dantes) did a great supporting role on the movie... With superb cinematography, i should say the Best Filipino Movie so far!

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