Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote and the Proverbial Torture Chamber (by Darth Paul)
This is a guest blog post. I was supposed to accompany my brother Pau (a.k.a. Darth Paul, the same brother who wrote Theory of Devolution) for this viewing but I got sick on that day. I guess I got lucky? Anyway, here’s his review. He wanted to post this on his own blog but he forgot his password. Nyeh. I’m not editing for grammar since I like the spontaneity in this stream of consciousness.
Enteng Kabisote – A One of a Kind Experience
by Paulo Romeo V. Lapa (a.k.a. Darth Paul)
I got a phone call from my aunt telling me my grandma wanted to watch Si Enteng Kabisote at si Agimat… Oooowkaaaay… If I can manage it, I never say no to any of her requests given, of course, I don’t need to provide food, shelter, and education for it in the near foreseeable future (great grandkids). It doesn’t take a lot for her to be happy: ube cake, ube ice cream, chicharon, go out every once and a while, or see “bossing” (so when I say “it doesn’t take a lot” I really do mean it) and she’s good. She’ll laugh at the slapstick comedy, get a kick out of Vic Sotto hitting sidekicks at the back of the head, and she’ll consider that her “movie quota” for the year. Hey, she’s 90 in a couple of years, and properly raised almost a dozen kids, one of whom became my mom. She’s entitled to it. She could enjoy watching Girls Gone Wild the Golden Edition and I would not think twice if she asked for the director’s cut as a Christmas present. When it comes to my Grandma, I adapt Enrile’s slogan: “Gusto ko happy ka.”
I thought: “Hey, maybe it’ll be one of those things that surprise you, maybe it may not be so bad, maybe the day would have a happy ending”… Well that’s how most Hans Christian Andersen stories start out too. I head for my grandma’s place and luckily, my cousin Jay was there so he had to come along, the only thing that’s better than “misery loves company” is if your company is a relative. We googled the screening time for Resorts World (maybe we can drown a possibly bad movie with popcorn) because wanted to take my grandma out in style. The schedule online said screening starts at 11:15 am so we got there 45 minutes early since my grandma has to walk in a “relaxed” fashion. Seeing as we have Lola with us, we always have to look for the nearest elevators, exits, and ramps.
Stairs, Ramps, elevators my grandma braved them all… Haven’t watched Vic Sotto in a while but he must’ve turned into some kind of super entertainer or at least the Pinoy version of Oprah for my grandma to treat this like it was the march of Bataan. She was marching for the cinemas like it owed her money or something.
We walked up to the security officers and asked where the ticket booth is, asking where to buy a ticket for the 11:15 showing. They looked at us like we asked the square root of 23,125.54. “Sir, yung 1st showing po ata e 11:55 pa.”…. “Hmmm, my cousin and I saw the online schedule and it specifically said 11:15 but okay, we’ll wait a bit.” A few more minutes passed, we wondered what the hold-up was. A security officer was wondering why we were waiting by the entrance and why we were the only ones there. After asking us if we were okay, he radioed something. A ticket girl ran up to us and said they had to move the schedule to 2:55pm. She asked if “we would like to refund, or would we like to wait for the next screening.”… “Lady, your online schedule is wrong and we showed you a senior citizens card that means we would have appreciated a heads up at the ticket booth, or if the unfortunate change was recent, you could have looked for us seeing as we paid a lot for the tickets, and apparently we were the only ones to do so that day.” Normally, I wouldn’t mind but getting here was actually a team effort. I don’t appreciate it if people create unnecessary inconveniences for my grandma. We got our refunds and transferred to Glorrieta 4 (which we were trying to avoid because you could really feel our country’s over-population).
More stairs, ramps, and elevators and we finally reach the G4 cinema, by this time I was thinking of Vic Sotto as an equivalent to Ghandi or the Pope in my grandma’s eyes. If you saw my Lola try to use an escalator it was like timing a jump, playing Mario on a family computer. Makes you look at a mall to see if it’s elderly friendly because of things you take for granted. We made it to the cinemas. At last! Finally, we can see Si Enteng Kabisote at si Agimat!!! (Words I never thought I’d say).
The movie starts… There are a few times in one’s life that events will surprise you. Sometimes just when you expect things to go from bad to worse, the fortunes give you their blessing, as if rewarding you after an arduous week… This isn’t one of those times.
If I was asked to describe the movie in one word all I can say is… Wow!
I never thought a movie could be as monumentally bad and/or as incoherent as that. Keep in mind that I have watched Meet the Spartans and Glitter (well I snoozed around the middle and end part but I don’t think village elders would be lynching me for that one anytime soon). I say this with no intention of bragging, but my whole 140+ IQ intellect couldn’t comprehend where they were going with the story, what they were trying to accomplish, or if any of their writers got credit for this internship (Hey, they had record breaking numbers this year, maybe they are the smartest-dumb/dumbest-smart people here in the Philippines after all).
I’ll leave the special effects out since it would be pretty unfair (though the “stone dragon statue” that was moving with the wind was pretty hilarious). However there was more than enough “epic failures” to go around (King Kong could be doing a facepalm and it would still be an understatement of an epic fail). They were jumping from one scene to the next with no apparent direction in mind. The failed casting included mestiza-in-a-can actresses that would have better served as girls who point at prizes at game shows rather than actually having lines, and kids who got parts because their dad is the lead actor (Nepotism really is the mother of mediocrity in this country), and over the top actors whose style would’ve worked had this been the 80’s. Like a “drama” it saddened me to think that this is the best they can come up with, and “horror” to think that this is the trend we are at right now. However, the comedy was just plain bad. The whole thing could’ve been a satire if only this was something to laugh at. Yeah my cousin and I laughed, only I think those scenes weren’t supposed to be funny. I’d like to explain more, but it would be like me trying to enumerate the f**ked up things one would see on an acid hallucination.
The ultimate indicator that the movie sucked was my grandma was visibly fidgeting in her chair the entire movie. According to her, the movie seemed too long and drawn out (Lola, that’s how torture works). She didn’t like it and vowed to never put herself through that again. Wow, and I thought Vic Sotto was the golden boy that couldn’t do wrong in my grandma’s eyes. Apparently, the movie was so bad, her inexplicable tough and neigh invulnerable bubble couldn’t handle it and it burst. A few days after Bong Revilla Jr. was talking to the media, he looked disappointed about not winning the best actor award… Really? He really thinks that? (Sulit naman pala ung comedy, kasi they still make you laugh a week after you’ve seen the movie) The millions of people who voted him a senatorial seat probably thought so too. This movie grossed 31M pesos on opening day. 31 million pesos! 31M to merchants of mediocrity and purveyors of ignorance. Would this really be what we would come to expect to sell, to “provoke” our nation’s thoughts and imagination? Kabisote? Truer words were never spoken.