Heneral Luna (2015) Poster

(2015)

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10/10
Watching this was worth every penny spent!!!
grool_jul15 September 2015
I don't usually patronize historical movies/dramas as they could be biased depending on how the directors/writers/producers would like to portray the "heroes" in it, but HENERAL LUNA is different!

Hen. Antonio Luna wasn't portrayed as a mere hero without imperfections, but instead a human being who wasn't afraid to gain naysayers for the sake of Inang Bayan's "real" independence. You will admire him, hate him, disagree with him, sympathize with him...surely, these emotions are not enough to describe I how felt while watching the movie. John Arcilla, without a doubt gave life to Hen. Luna's character (all actors/actresses in the movie, actually).

Kudos to the director, Mr. Jerrold Tarog and everyone who made this masterpiece possible.

Watching this was worth every penny spent!!!
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9/10
A satisfying mainstream historical film that has not been seen in years
simpleng_yano9 September 2015
Words cannot describe my satisfaction with this film and the only way to review it is through personal experience. There are pacing problems and disappointments in terms of the props such as the weaponry used by both sides, but given the film's tight budget, it has managed to portray these battle scenes with epic proportions combined with the score being obviously inspired by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. The atmosphere of the entire film is portrayed beautifully, it shows the political machinations and political infighting when the battle scenes are not present, for the entire point of view is based upon Luna and his allies. Still, if you are either a history buff or just an average movie goer, this film is spectacular and it deserves to be one the best films of the year if there are any formal awards as such.
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9/10
Hot-Headed Heroics!
3xHCCH15 September 2015
"Heneral Luna" tells us a more detailed account of the life of one of the revolutionary heroes we learn about in school, yet know practically nothing about -- Gen. Antonio Luna. Practically all we know about him is that he had a very bad temper which gained him a lot of enemies, eventually leading to his assassination. Aside from telling us specific situations where this legendary temper flared up, we also get to meet him more intimately as a leader, a soldier, as a son and as a man.

Even from his intense penetrating gaze and formidable mustache in the poster alone, you already know John Arcilla will be excellent in this film. His comic timing was impeccable. It was a most vibrant performance of a most vivid man, making him really loom larger than life. He was over-the-top in his explosiveness, just the way Tarog wanted him to be. The way he was built up, we were ready for that climactic assassination scene, however outrageous the savagery.

Mon Confiado was a picture of ironic calm as President Emilio Aguinaldo. The more movies we watch about the revolution certainly brings up more and more questions about the controversial Aguinaldo. Nonie Buencamino was so slimy as his treacherous surname-sake Felipe Buencamino. That nonchalant look on Lorenz Martinez face was so hateful as he essayed the role of the equally haughty Gen. Tomas Mascardo.

It was also such a casting risk and surprise to put known comedians in such key roles, like Epy Quizon as Apolinario Mabini, Leo Martinez as Pedro Paterno and Ketchup Eusebio as the vengeful Capt. Pedro Janolino. I must admit their presence can be distracting in certain dramatic moments, particularly Eusebio. Or maybe that was their purpose -- to balance out the severe seriousness of those scenes.

You immediately upfront that the filmmakers were aiming high for this film. The initial introductory texts were written in English, signifying intentions for this film to make the rounds of foreign film festivals. (I read that there were even certain reels with English subtitles shown in some more upscale cinemas.) The presence of disclaimers stating that this is a work of fiction inspired by fact could somehow raise an uneasy question as to how much fiction was in there mixed among the facts.

This film will also grab you with its gorgeous cinematography. The images on the big screen had such vivid colors and innovative camera angles. The period production design and the costume design were meticulous in detail. During a beautifully-edited flashback sequence, there was a stylized scene about Rizal's execution that was so uniquely and hauntingly rendered. There are most gruesome and graphic special effects showing the violent brutality of warfare which will shock you.

The historical storytelling was very clear, exciting and engaging from beginning to end, with a fresh graphic novel feel to it. Humor was such an unexpected yet integral element of the script, from those crisp off- color expletives of Luna to those sarcastic side comments of Lt. Rusca (Archie Alemania) and many more in between of different shades. The patriotic sentiments were very poetically-written, but the way they were delivered here felt sincere. They did not sound preachy or cheesy, like when such lines were mouthed by Robin Padilla in "Bonifacio" or Jeorge E.R. Ejército in "El Presidente".

Just like a Marvel film, there was an extra scene in the middle of the closing credits, suggesting a next film featuring Paulo Avelino as Gen. Gregorio del Pilar. There was also a brief cameo appearance of Benjamin Alves as a young Manuel L. Quezon, hinting at a possible trilogy. This is a very exciting plan indeed which we all hope will materialize given the success of "Heneral Luna".

I hear this is also under consideration of being submitted for Oscar consideration, and I support that campaign. The screening I caught today was a full-house despite being 1:30 in the afternoon on a weekday. It was really gratifying to see a quality Filipino film have commercial success even if it was not an inane comedy or "kilig" teen flick with box-office stars in the cast.

Kudos to Artikulo Uno Productions and director-film editor-musical scorer Jerrold Tarog for coming up with what may just be the best, certainly the most audacious, Filipino film released this year to date. Like Gen. Luna, this film leads a mad charge on horseback with a raised fist against Filipinos who say they love their country yet look out for their personal interests first. Let's hope this strong message hits its targets. 9/10.
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10/10
Exceeds Expectations
billygoat107122 September 2015
Better late than never...

Heneral Luna opens claiming that this is a fictionalized biopic of one of Philippine's most important historical figures, Antonio Luna, for the sake of getting the modern audience into the history's bigger picture. In spite of being more intense and surprisingly humorous, the movie stays loyal to what this figure truly stands for. The war is brutal, over-the-top to bring up for visual flare, and their serious situations being often treated as sincere satires. How the film executed these ideas are just brilliant, it gets larger-than-life without feeling outlandish, towards the heart of defending the nation worth fighting for.

The film is all about justifying their quote about the real enemy of this war is themselves. Although we see warfare with both the Philippine and American army attacking each other, this battle is basically the secondary concern here. The real detail of this war is how many soldiers chickening out from the battlefield and some officials wanted to work with the Americans. But of course, their real goal is independence; the movie makes a punchline out of those who aren't helping out, those who are just running away and those who are just isn't fond of Luna's aggressiveness. The film doesn't glamorize the character of Luna, either. Though his intentions are right, his rage could get out of hand which puts most of them off. But that also indicate that winning this revolution deserves more discipline than what they got.

Back to the fact that this is taken a lot out of creative liberties, the movie fills this history with vast amount of sense of humor and violent panache. The violence is, again, over-the-top. At times it gets pretty symbolical, specifically the climax. The humor is clearly just satirizing to those characters who aren't being helpful and those who are afraid of facing Luna's rage once more. And when it's not trying to pull off any sense of levity, we just get to see the story flesh itself out more in the sidelines of its history and other characters.

The filmmaking is stunning, slick and stylish. The production looks pretty neat. The movie is paced nicely even at times it's layered to different events, but puts itself together consistently. The acting is beyond impressive; specifically John Arcilla as Antonio Luna. He brings a genuine humanity, and at the same time, a really compelling sense of madness, which terrifically lives up to the complexity of its subject. The supporting also lends real gravity and even delight on screen, but it's Arcilla's show and that's more than enough of a worth seeing performance through out.

Maybe some quibbles I could point out; maybe how the enemies are portrayed felt like they're written to be campy villains and maybe just one punchline in the film that felt like it belongs to a comedy skit. But again, these are quibbles and they can be debunked, even by myself. The former can be forgiven since they're technically not the main villains of this ordeal, while the latter is just a single scene and obviously designed to keep shaming the cowards at the battlefield. Anything else, there is so much to love in Heneral Luna. It's great, not only because it's humorous and visually interesting, but it's also a two-sided argument towards its history, not based on praising, but actually by criticism. Yes, this is a war movie that gets brutal, but the movie focuses on a meatier and more challenging side of the ordeal. And it pokes fun at some unwise decisions the people behind this war make, but what matters is the intention of its subject unable to die while he's still standing. Otherwise, it's just an ultimately entertaining film that exceeds expectations. Truly recommended.
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8/10
Stylish, Creative, Well Thought, Shot, Acted and Directed...
abdullarivera25 September 2015
The notorious, bad-ass, and famous Gen. Antonio Luna was portrayed in the big screen that will make each Pilipino proud. This was one of the most outstanding performance for all of the actors involving in this film, well directed by Jerrold Tarog, and the cinematography and set pieces were jaw-dropping. The creativity and style in the part of the film where Gen. Luna closed his eyes while talking with his mother and reminisced the past days with their family and the past events that occurred in their lives and the people around them was astonishing.

BOTTOM LINE: Are you tired of watching Pinoy Movies (mostly) with lazy writing and predictable plot that focuses majority in Romance, Comedy, Romance (did I say Romance twice?)? Here is the movie that we can all be proud to say, this is how the movie should be done and treated (with CREATIVITY, WELL THOUGHT, WELL DIRECTED).
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9/10
A Filipino biopic film that keeps you on the edge of your seat
edzelr11 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Heneral Luna is one of those rare Filipino films that's entertaining and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The film is based on the titular national hero Antonio Luna a Filipino general who believes he can turn the tide of war against in the invading Americans back then. He was also known for his temperamental yet tough love attitude towards his incompetent soldiers and political rivals.

John Arcilla was spot on to play this role, and so does Mon Confiado as the Philippine president Emilio Aguinaldo. Little is his screen time but when you see him, you see that he's calm yet you feel that there's something fishy going on with him. While we may credit him as the father of Philippine Independence and Republic, he's not without flaws. And with the execution of Andres Bonifacio associated with him and Luna, history has become not been very kind with him.

But that's history, sometimes you have to take some serious choices to make a difference, even if it's not the popular one. And both men made their own choices, as Harvey Dent once said: "Either you die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." and yes Luna died a hero and Aguinaldo and his conspirators lived with stained reputations till the end.
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8/10
Smart Film
brentjosephcruz9 October 2015
Set in the war between Americans and Filipinos. The Americans are invading the Philippines until the Filipinos give up, this includes killing the lives of the innocent. The Philippine Government are conducting a plan while many want to negotiate for better profit. General Luna is there to stop the greed and focus and prioritize the state of the nation.

General Antonio Luna is infamous, mad, unafraid, furious and above all cares for his family, fellow-soldiers and country men. He will stop at nothing until he accomplish his mission of giving freedom to his country. He disciplines and trains the soldiers into making them independent and not some slackers or cowards within the war. He removes all the corrupted he can find. Inspiration is key and that's what he wants to show to all his soldiers.

In the end, the face of the real enemy is revealed. It's one of his own. Savagely killed by his own country-men. Showing No Mercy to a man who only wants what's better for the whole country.

I love the exposure shown to what the message was. It had many symbolisms and morals one might enjoy learning. John Arcilla really turns into the character he's portraying, he even looks like him. The effects use was really brutal, the sound was pretty great to and the cinematography had very beautiful shots and lightning in some scenes. The comedy present was a nice addition to the film and making it more entertaining to watch. The direction by Jerrold Tarog shines on how careful the actors give their performances. The script is rich with very detailed and fun lines of entertainment.

I will say that this film is not propaganda, it's not bragging of which country is better, it's does not promote blind nationalism. It's more on what's present and understandable with the value of claiming responsibility. It does not send you the message of "This film makes me shameful and filling me guilt you into liking it.". It's better if you understand your reflections.
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10/10
Worth your time and money.
migxrivera7 October 2015
If you are unable to watch this movie in cinemas the best thing you can do is to purchase an original copy of the movie.

The movie, character, plot, setting, climax are perfect. The movie is not trying hard and it is very entertaining to watch.

There isn't much effects and most of the shots are done manually with a little aid of cgi, their characters are balanced and performed well throughout the movie. It shows the humane side of Heneral Luna (Gen.Luna) how his passion and love for the country evolved during his time.

I have nothing much to say as this is indeed a great movie to watch and very regretful to miss.
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4/10
Simply put, Overrated!
chicando_kiel9 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
After hearing enough of the buzz and fuss of this movie, "HENERAL LUNA", I finally gave in and joined in towing the line of late screeners for this intriguing flick. The question I want answered as I crept inside the theater is this: "IS THE MOVIE TRULY DESERVING OF ALL THE PRAISES RECEIVED? I soon found out.

I am no history buff but there's no point anyway if we dwell on arguments on the film's accuracy in depicting the life and exploits of this revolutionary army since the flick opens with introductory disclaiming line, saying "It's A Work Of A Fiction Inspired By Facts…", therefore, that being implied, it is only but right to set aside debate on its historical precision.

This movie offers a lot of promise, I should say. It has its telling, inspiring, and yes, visually jaw-dropping moments that one could even wonder if this is indeed a Pinoy-made film, well, at least technically speaking. The narrative is likewise quite impressive, though at some point the simulation on some movies of the same theme is somehow evident, if not dead obvious. To sum it all up, this is a movie of one's bravery, his courageous exploits in spearheading the struggle for independence and freedom for his homeland, his unfaltering principle, the corruption in politics, the grand conspiracy, the ensuing betrayal, the ultimate sacrifice of death, and the eventual "Pontius Pilate" demeanor of the red-handed characters who were being alluded to of having the brains of his gruesome demise.

At its surface, and as bolstered by the hype this movie gets, it really sounds promising and intriguing. Or is it not? I say not quite.

While admittedly I was literally enthralled and wowed by the cinematographical innovation, visual flares, and passable portrayals (except for Buencamino, and few handfuls who have really done great) of the characters on selected scenes, I simply find this movie being just "OK" and "far" near from being spectacular, as others described it to be. Yes, the flashback sequence where Luna closes his eyes and recalls the past with interchanging events in one sequence, and, that final act of repulsion and denial of the surviving important characters during interviews with beautiful score being played on the background, until the digitally-enhanced (CGI) burning of the Philippine flag that was hanged on the wall as credit started to roll, are so damn perfectly executed that it was a no surprise when I heard applauses in quite a number from some overly-satisfied viewers at my back.

Unfortunately, while I tried hard to be in concurrence and joined the bandwagon of chanters who glorify this film, my distastes on some non-trivial scenes and horrendous depictions simply prevail over my sheer admiration specially that this movie, if i heard it right, has been selected as our entry for the upcoming Oscar Awards. Why i said so? Take for instance those scenes where Luna, under the heavy gun battle with bullets flying all over his (or their) direction, mainly stood there in the field like a bold lion directing his docking men (where some were already fatally shot), while occasionally returning aimless fires, and yet he was spared from even a single bullet?! Oh-ha!

There's more (and many more,actually). The final act showed Luna being shot multifariously at the center of an "encircling" shooters who were just about four meters away from each other with rifles (and bolos)! Seriously, ha? And one can't assume excuses on lack of strategy of soldiers during that time, since shooting a lone adversary while fatally endangering yourselves of an inevitable crossfire while surrounding him at such a distance, is not only foolish at the highest level but downright stupid. And yes, as if that was not enough of a ridicule, our main actor refused to fall down and die) that easily despite sustaining several shots, stabs and hacks (and shot again, and stabbed again, and hacked again) that I can't help but ask myself if the makers of this film are in fact implying a cryptic message that Luna was into heavy drugs just like Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) in that climactic scene in "Scarface" (pun intended).

Don't get me wrong here for just like you, I can easily suspend disbelief and let trivial errors slip just that, but not on this one which I really considered as an idiotically-made blunder. How come the director and writers paid less, or no, attention at all to such important details and compromised, to that effect, a movie which has so much potential to be good, or even best, unless otherwise they were just sarcastically insulting the viewers' wit.

Finally, I earnestly thought the vast amount of comedy and humor injected on some serious scenes as outlandish and uncalled for, as most of them were cheesy and distracting at times or in some point, instead of drawing the desired comic relief.

Should you watch this movie (assuming that you haven't done that yet)? It's up to you, really, but you've been warned.

Just my two cents.
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8/10
A game changer in the world of Philippine Cinema
Otakore29 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I am not used to watching Filipino-made films due to their shallowness, poor quality and most of them are just-for-laugh. I don't want to generalize this view. To be fair, I can't deny there are some Filipino films, few of them that outstand and "makes sense". But the word of the mouth rounding about Heneral Luna being a very good film made me watch it in the local cinema.

Here are my positive points for this film: one, each actor closely resembles the character's face, historically. Second, they're finally comfortable with filming some gory scene. I saw a soldier's head being blasted while on battle with American soldiers. Third, pushcart being broken in the middle of the river and a dog with scabies, showing a sign of bad omen. Fourth, a particular scene where it can be compared to Juan Luna's painting "Spolarium", very brilliant! And lastly, fifth: the burning of the Philippine flag at the end scene where it somehow ignites my patriotism.

The release of Heneral Luna movie is a rare occurrence in the history of the Philippine cinema. It's a game changer. A must watch and must be promoted to fight against Filipino's anti-intellectual films.

For Filipino edition of my review, just Google WWV Worth Watching Videos.

Thanks!
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9/10
One of the best Philippine movies that been ever made
joshuacastroo25 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is one of the greatest Philippine movie that have been ever made in the Philippines movie industry. To be honest, I want more movies like this to be given to people especially Filipinos, because it helps us more to understand why our country is like this in the first place and how it can shape us to be a true Filipino. And it can also affect how we can vote for the right person in this upcoming election in 2016. It shows how trust can affect the decisions we make in our life. If I were you I will gonna watch the movie in the cinema and I will not gonna wait for an online copy because your money is worth it. But all I want to say this movie is great. I'm just a 15 year old guy that wants his country to the "Paris of Asia" again. :)
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10/10
"Heneral Luna" sees through the humanity of a volcanic temper
renelsonantonius5 October 2015
While not entirely a groundbreaking film in the strict sense of the word, there's just a number of firsts in "Heneral Luna" (2015, Phil.), the latest work from the director of the excellent Camera trilogy ("Confessional", "Mangatyanan", "Sana Dati"), Jerrold Tarog. Chief among which, of course, is the subject-matter itself: Antonio Luna (played to perfection by John Arcilla), the valiant and volcanic Filipino general who was a major force in the Philippines' fight for freedom and independence from the American colonizers during the later part of the 19th century. Filipino historical films or biopics seem to be generally restricted to just two prominent figures: Andres Bonifacio and Jose Rizal. From the top of my mind, I can only recall a couple of films that featured heroes other than those two stalwarts: a Macario Sakay film by Raymond Red and one about Lapu-Lapu starring Lito Lapid. If there are other such works still, they may have already been drowned in obscurity.

Thus, a film that details the significant contribution of Gen. Antonio Luna to our history (or his life and death, if one may opt to say so) should be most welcome. After all, as our history is undeniably marked by numerous wars and battles, it would be just apt that we get to encounter as well those who helped maneuver our frontline fight against the foreign intruders and colonizers. And so, how does Tarog's "Heneral Luna" actually come about as a viewing fare?

To put it succinctly, the film is brimming with delight, irreverence, and fervent and genuine patriotism. And to top it all, the characters, most specially the key figures, are portrayed with a fresh breeze of humanism, rather than as cold textbook derivations. While watching the film, one really gets the feeling that all the proclamations of nationalism and duty to and love for country aren't merely hollow airings, but are genuinely impassioned without having to spell them out in big, bold letters. And while at it, "Heneral Luna" manages to be consistently entertaining as well, with its humor and some off-the-wall moments. Such is the accomplishment of the film.

At the film's prologue, it's pointed out that the filmmakers have taken the liberty of combining "fact" and "fiction" to be able to bring across bigger truths. Thus, the inspired artistic choices: the young journalist who "interviews" Gen. Luna;the general's clandestine love affair with a woman named Isabel;the "flashbacks" within a narrative that's already by nature a flashback by way of history;Luna's stirring guitar-tuned flamenco under the moonlight which, in effect, is also a swan-song;the poignant touch of magic realism towards the end, accompanied by Beethoven's plaintive piano sonata. The film, likewise, doesn't shy away from a brutal and graphic depiction of the battlefront and of the tragic fate of the general in the hands of his own men. This is all due to the brave and intelligent screenplay by Tarog, E.A. Rocha and Henry Hunt Francia, and the unflinching and imaginative direction by Tarog himself. (If one is keen enough to pick up the "signals", the historical saga will most definitely have a continuation with the stories of Gregorio del Pilar (to be portrayed most probably by Paolo Avelino) and Manuel Quezon (most likely to be interpreted by Benjamin Alves);Tarog is no stranger to making a trilogy.)

On point of performance, while everyone has put in invaluable work, the film is undoubtedly owned by Arcilla. As the title character, the actor is able to delineate on screen the general's reputed fierceness, hardheadedness, brashness and fearlessness with gusto and aplomb. One can really see that he relishes his character flesh and bone that the screen simply flares up every time he's in the frame. But beneath the volcanic personality, one can still sense a deeply-felt love for the country and an unassailable desire to fight for its freedom till the end being harbored by the general. It's an incomparable performance that sees through the humanity of a "monster".

While it has to be admitted that the film's irreverence, narrative- and character-wise, isn't unique to itself as one can in fact recall Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H*", Franklin J. Schaffner's "Patton", Mike Nichols' "Catch-22" and even our own Mike de Leon's "Bayaning Third World", nevertheless "Heneral Luna" is to be applauded for being able to infuse fresh vigor to the historical drama that's rarely seen nowadays. If it's to be of any note, the film starts and ends with the image of the Philippine flag - in the first, the national emblem is fresh and intact;while in the second, it's burning to ashes. It's sad to think what this coda really says to our journey as a nation so far.
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8/10
One Man and the Making of a Nation
Screen_O_Genic5 May 2020
Antonio Luna was a man of turbulent complexity. Honorable, patriotic, dignified and principled he was at the same time arrogant and hot-tempered who did not hesitate to resort to violence. "Heneral Luna" is a well-done cinematic depiction of the man's life as a soldier as his country faced its greatest crisis yet witnessing the birth pains of its genesis as a nation after centuries of colonial rule. Veteran actor John Arcilla does a solid portrayal as the nationalistic and combative general who treads the murky and complicated paths of war and politics. Fine battle scenes and period uniforms add color and pageantry in this well-acted melodrama. Although Luna's youth could have been featured to give the film more fullness and completion what is shown is satisfactory. Watchable and entertaining, this is a showcase in the ongoing progress of Philippine cinema and a good tribute to one of its greatest and most compelling heroes.
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7/10
Heneral Artikulo Uno
russellkirt18 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I don't want to be biased here, the film was just OK. It was not excellent nor was it bad. It was just OK. I like the script thou, especially the joke part and the cursings. I feel like i'm watching Inglorious Basterds, the way they killed him in the last part of the movie, he was like this "masamang damo, mahirap mamatay" "Bad weed, hard to kill" (forgive my translation) kind of scene. It was gruesome and a little too much. The part when he travels to a lot of places was also confusing, he arrives just too fast. My favorite scene was the first battle scene, where he charge with his horse right straight to the enemy. The part when he was about to shoot his head, because he thought it was already the end, and unknowingly made his fellow filipino soldiers rallied with him in the battle field revive with courage because of his acts of chivalry and great example for fighting for inang bayan (mother land). I was really touch by that scene and was just holding back to clap so as not to annoy my seatmate in the cinema.

The close your eyes scene was also nice, the composites of the scenes in interchanging events, technically perfectly executed. The special effects and the sound effects was also good. I would not make this long, the film in general promotes the idea of sticking up with your principles, that is, it should not be biased, conditional and incorruptible. To Mr J Tarog, the cast and the writers of the movie, hats off, its my first time to watch a movie where after the credit part/end part people were clapping there hands. Certainly they were touched in sorts of ways to react like that. I think that is the essence of making a film, that after watching it, a little mark is left behind could be an idea of sorts good or bad, it doesn't matter. Certainly it did mark for me, especially Artikulo Uno!
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10/10
Worth Applauding to
joedith_lego25 October 2015
I never ever recall applauding after a movie - but to Heneral Luna, i did. It was worth the applause - not because of the story (only), not because of the actors/actresses (only), not because of the way the story unfolded (only), not because of the cinematography (only), not because of the 3D animation (only) and not because of every other element in the film (only). It was because all of those - and being very well put together.

From beginning to end, the movie will capture your attention and keep you engaged. The manner in which the story was told - seamlessly weaving through the past and present was surprisingly not confusing. I am also pleased with the choice of actors who played the different characters. And then i learned that the extent of the digital work done - hats off.

Looking forward to the next.
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10/10
This Tragedy is a Classic for Philippine Cinema
blankwhitewall5 October 2015
I walked out the theater proud that a Filipino team can produce a movie like this, yet at the same time, I walked out ashamed as I was made more aware of what is wrong in modern Filipino society.

Immediately, I felt the passion of General Luna - the rage, disgust, and temper - as he rallies the nation to stand against the Americans.

The character was well-played by John Arcilla, who, together with a strong supporting cast, was able to deliver a script that reflects the stresses of Luna with gravity, but with an injection of comic relief to ease the seriousness.

The film itself was able to paint a reflection of modern society in the colors of the Filipino-American War. The movie tag-line "Bayan o Sarili" (nation or self) was evident in scenes depicting colonial mentality, favoritism, and abuse of chain of command.

The movie also paints a human side of Luna - one of that of being a comrade, a son, of a talented man, and an eccentric one. It tries to connect you to the human side of a leader struggling to win a war.

Ultimately, the portrayal of this tragedy has spurred so many emotions and so many questions. It brought me to an incredible low likened to the death of hope, and filled with a rage as to why this nation is the way it is. Perhaps this emotional effect is very much amplified by the excellence of the production.

As opposed to mainstream cinema, this movie has many long continuous shots and creative takes. Computer graphics were also used meaningfully. The music (which was also composed by the director, Jerrold Tarog) ties together the movie very well. Costume and make- up was accomplished with a high degree of detail.

The Philippines needs more movies like these, and perhaps more people to watch and learn from these. This type of film is one that tries to enlighten and change the viewer for the betterment of a nation.

A classic.
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9/10
A Fair Portrayal Of General Luna
Desertman8418 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Heneral Luna a.k.a General Luna is a historical biographical film about General Antonio Luna,a military leader of the army of Filipino Revolutionary Army during the last years of the 19th century during the Philippine-American War.He served in the First Philippine Republic under President Emilio Aguinaldo.It stars the talented John Arcilla in the title role.

General Antonio Luna is one of the brilliant military man of the Filipinos as they fights for independence against the Americans after Spain,their former colonist,has ceded the Philippines to them.We witness Filipinos fight despite for their freedom despite many obstacles facing them such as the being not at par with the conquerors in terms of fire arms and armaments as well as a disunity among them with some Filipinos wanting the Americans in their home land and the others wanting them out. Aside from that,it also presents the issues of Philippine controversy behind the assassination of Luna,who was killed not by colonists but by his fellow Filipino soldiers loyal to President Aguinaldo and whether the president was part of the conspiracy or not.

Director Jerrold Tarrog provides us an interesting screenplay that he co-wrote with Henry Francia and E.A. Rocha as he tries to paint a fair and accurate portrait of General Luna.He presents him as someone who has his good qualities like a freedom-loving Filipino and a military expert as well as his bad qualities as well such as being well-known arrogance and violent temper that he displays especially to those who never agrees with him.Personally,I enjoyed the biopic provided a lot of entertainment as it was a mixture of action,drama and comedy.The filmmakers did a wonderful job of combining those elements into the screenplay.

And what about the controversial death of Luna?The scenes of the assassination was definitely well-captured.The violent scenes were something to behold.The Filipino soldiers really exerted a lot of effort to kill him to say the least.Luna really fought with them despite being outnumbered.Wounded and being near death,he still continued to fight till his last breath.It is a testament of great physical strength.His will to live and determination to fight are what made him a great military commander as well.

Aside from that,the film never makes any attempt to escape controversy.It presented Aguinaldo as someone who conspired with Filipino soldiers whom Luna has irked to put him to death.Although the Filipino president has never admitted to it,it has shown that he felt that the presence of Luna has become a distraction to the revolutionaries as many have been turned off with his arrogance and his attitude towards them.Too bad that they did not resort to work things out instead.It also displayed the Filipinos' regionalism and lack of unity as a nation which unfortunately remains true today.

No question,viewers will really get a better appreciation of Filipino hero after watching this film.
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1/10
RIDICULOUS
marcomonconi3 July 2019
Well I see reviews with 8-9-10, but I watched and I laughed when the scenes were supposed to be serious and I had no reaction whatsoever when I was supposed to laugh. The action scenes are just ridiculous and the whole acting is way way over.
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3/10
Some good acting but overated.
jmeehcoling14 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I dont understand the high ratings. Main actors are good but the rest are just okay. The story is lame especially the ending where they were shooting heneral luna (who gets shot and stabbed many times and still manage to stand and fight?)

Not worth the two hours.
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6/10
A Good Step Up But Lame And Cheesy. Sometimes..
ShadowRomeo178422 February 2017
My Personal Rating 5.8/10 - I do agree that this film is overrated it is a average film but for filipino standards this is a good step up because most of our films produced on our country are trash. but if i compare this in other film. it's not really that great. i liked this film but i don't think it's rating right now is fair. 7.8? nope. don't be fooled by critics it's being overrated. other than that it's an watchable film, with some cheesy scene that you won't like. especially that ending scene that is so exaggerated. if you are interested on Heneral Luna's Story you can choose. watch this film or read his story instead. i guess if i'm you i would watch this film but i will just try to ignore the cheesy parts.
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8/10
Luna's story still relevant today
Sirfaro1123 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Films like this and directors like Terog, renew your faith. From the opening shot, how they introduced the characters, the make up and the style to put early 1900s are all laudable. But accolades are in order for the story and screenplay and how the people behind this movie were able to make history interesting for the ordinary movie going public. This chronicles how Luna , a brilliant military leader, planned the strategy against the Americans. As in any micro society today, there is regionalism (One general will only take orders from a fellow Caviteño) and treachery (last scene). Another thing I love about this movie are the homage to Juan Luna's paintings. Juan and Antonio Luna went to Europe during the Spanish time, where they were awaken by the Spaniard's oppression. In one scene, Juan Luna is painting The Parisian Life and in the movie's final big scene, I saw a glimpse of Spolarium when the bodies were being transferred to another corner. But what I like most in all these, is the fact that somebody thought of doing a movie about history and doing it well. Go watch this.
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9/10
One of the most intersting and patriotic movie in the history of Philipine Cinema
cruzlouie-9356323 October 2019
This is a kind of movie that will make Filipino people proud.As a Filipino,watching this movie will open up our eyes on the things and ideals that our fallen hero fight till they died.Those sacrifices,hard works and patriotism that were show on the movie,love,anger and dedication to fight and to depend the Mother land againts the new colonizer

The cinematography also great,altough this movie does'nt have big budget.The characters also make big contribution in the whole movie in over all,specially John Arcilla,as the protaginist in the name of Heneral Luna.He deliver some heavy lines that will mark on the viewers hearth.In Philippine History,I can say that this movie is historicaly accurate,and also the props that were used in the movie also provide a better view for the viewers in how and what the war realy is back in the days. In over all,this movie is great and i wish that some day in Philippine Cinema,produced more historical movies that will makes us Filipini proud and also to boost our patriotsm
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10/10
Heneral Luna the Movie: Creating a Large Argument about Philippine History
maurdujali14 June 2017
Heneral Luna grossed 100 M in Philippine theaters nationwide, capturing the interest of the Oscars (while battling for slots in commercial cinemas) as the Best Foreign Language Film in 2016. Creating a large argument and review about the myths and facts of Philippine history. Audiences lamenting its pull out from commercial driven cinemas. Heneral Luna is History ... that came alive-- in its truest form-- not a sugar coated depiction of one's heroism. Those in character, played off the flaws and weaknesses and the strong points of Luna and Aguinaldo and other major and minor players during the Philippine revolutionary era, strategically touching the humanity of real life heroes and antagonists--bringing us back in time and maybe making us feel exactly what these heroes felt,provoking, stimulating and mesmerizing audiences from different echelons of society as it works on its viewers psychologically,emotionally and intellectually with mixed reviews. "Bayan o Sarili!"(Country or self!) a dialogue in the film blurted out by actor JohnArcilla has become a "day to day" by word.
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9/10
Intense, thrilling biopic
cyber_gecko_cdr8 January 2016
Set in the era of Philippine-American war and follows the story of an artistic, poet and a witty General, Antonio Luna.

Intense, thrilling biopic movie that starred awesome actors. They all acted their parts fantastically. Gave me goosebumps on some scenes because of its high-quality direction. One scene to be exact is the one long shot of the character's background.

Forget Star Cinema, forget GMA Films, watch these type of movies.

An eye-opener Filipino film and this should be the start of deviation of the clichéd romance 'kilig' Filipino movies.

This is the second Filipino movie that made me this hype. First was On the Job. These are must watch films.

One of the best films of 2015.

A must-watch film.
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9/10
A historical film for a real Filipino bravery.
dazelcharm5 November 2020
A must watch for Filipinos who still longing for patriotism. Historical facts that could help bring back the heart of the true Filipino bravery in times of war. One of the REAL hero of the Philippine History.
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