Seeking a brighter future in megacity Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines. But the sweltering capital's bustling...
See full summary »
Enora, a young humanoid alien, crashes on earth in an Italian forest during WWII. Wounded, she leaves the crash site and loses her ocarina, a precious object she desperately needs in order to call for help and to get back home.
Filipino crime thriller inspired by a real-life scandal in which prison inmates are temporarily released from prison to work as contract killers on behalf of politicians and high ranking military officials.
Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler.
Ben is an art college student in London, whose imagination runs wild as he works the late-night shift at the local supermarket. What do he and his colleagues do to pass the long, endless hours of the night?
All Saints perform in the U.K. version of the music video "Never Ever" from the album "All Saints" recorded for London Records. The music video begins with a shot of a man leaving a woman ... See full summary »
In the late 1800s, a man arrives in a remote country village to investigate an attack by a wild animal but discovers a much deeper and sinister force that has the manor and its townspeople in its grip.
Seeking a brighter future in megacity Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines. But the sweltering capital's bustling intensity quickly overwhelms them, and they fall prey to the rampant manipulations of its hardened locals. Oscar Ramirez catches a lucky break when he's offered steady work for an armored truck company and gregarious senior officer Ong takes him under his wing. Soon, though, the reality of his work's mortality rate and the murky motives of his new partner force Oscar to confront the perils he faces in his new job and life. The movie portrays how far a man can go for his family.
A well-made, efficient crime drama from the Philippines
METRO MANILA is as much a heartbreaking drama of trying to make it in the big city as it is a crime thriller, probably even more so. Sean Ellis, who directed, wrote, produced and did the cinematography has crafted an excellent story that, while a little too familiar in some respects, is still powerfully acted and beautifully shot. In fact, the visual authenticity is what gripped me the most. Having been to the Philippines a couple of times, I felt like these were locations that I had seen before (even though I hadn't been to the ones specifically used for the film). There are dozens of shots capturing all of the various aspects of life in Manila, from the squalor of the slums to the bright lights of the Metro area. Everything is shown, and nothing is held back. The cinematographic choices also lend a degree of realism to the drama of the story.
As far as acting is concerned, everyone did a good job as far as I could tell, although some line readings did seem to be a little off. In particular, the actors who played Oscar Ramirez and Douglas Ong stood out. The story the film tells is quite a familiar one, although the execution and setting is what make it seem fresh. Basically, Oscar moves his family from the rice terraces of Banaue to Manila, in hopes that they will be able to make a better living. Oscar gets a job as an armored car driver, while his wife Mai takes a job at a hostess bar (similar to juice bars in South Korea). While there, both are confronted with the harsh realities of city life and are forced to make difficult choices for themselves. Seeing some of the things that they, Mai in particular, have to go through was painful to watch at times, but it helped in making these people easy to sympathize with. Generally, the story doesn't take too many surprising turns, but the way in which it ends was definitely emotionally satisfying.
As far as the action is concerned, while the film seems to be billed as a crime thriller, this isn't entirely accurate. Yes, crime is a part of the overall narrative, but at its heart the film is a family drama. This might disappoint people going in hoping for a shoot-em-up, but this film is more thought-provoking than it is riveting in an action-film sense. Trying to escape poverty is one of the film's biggest themes, and the way in which this was portrayed is, in my opinion, what sets it apart from other movies like it. Overall, I thought that the film was well-made, well-acted, well-shot, etc., even if the story wasn't the most original. Fans of foreign and Filipino cinema should definitely check this out, and I would also recommend it to anyone willing to give it a chance.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this