Rating: ★★
Category: Movies
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Yes. Go ahead and laugh.

It was actually the movie trailer that caught my attention. I was amazed at how crisp and clear everything was. The combination of the real and CG objects looked totally seamless and I just had to wonder what technology the producers were using to come up with such effective lighting. Must be the pork barrel talking. Heh.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t delude myself into thinking that Filipino movies would improve their storytelling. I knew that I was going to see something that would look great but feel like crap. Our mainstream films aren’t really known for their profundity. Well…

It’s really more of a hit or miss in many aspects. Let me just enumerate:

1. I was shocked that the scenes from the trailer that got me into buying that ticket did not look as well-lighted in the actual movie. The crispness just wasn’t there anymore. Still, there were scenes that actually looked great, especially the ones that resemble the dessert areas of Final Fantasy XII and the ones that were shot inside the villains’ headquarters. Like I said, it’s a hit or miss. Most of the time, though, you just wish Bong Revilla would get off the frame so you can drool at the mechs.

2. Beveled text outlined with outer glow should not have a place in any scene that shows rapid movement. Oh, wait. Beveled text outlined with outer glow should not have a place in any frame, period. They used these for the opening credits when they could’ve just used the elegant but sci-fi-looking typefaces of the end credits.

3. There are so many actors in there that you can hardly keep track of anyone, resulting in very little character development. (The hilarious thing here is that the villains instantly know who Crisval and Angelo are among the many armor-clad dudes in the camp just by looking at them.) This overpopulation also results in funny blocking, like they were lined up and ready to be shot. Fuego! In relation to blocking complaints, I wonder when we’ll ever get rid of scenes where one person goes to the front and talks to the person behind her without looking back. Do we talk like this in real life?

4. Too much drama. With very little character development, I couldn’t care less what happened to the people. I came here to watch 3D mechs blast each other to pieces, not see Bong Revilla romance Jennylin Mercado. Ew! Honestly, their scenes together made my skin crawl.

5. The musical scoring is amazing! Many of the BGMs are so good, you’d feel goosebumps rising. What the movie lacks in foreshadowing, the music makes up for. This is one of Resiklo’s strongest points…up until the ending where they got someone to sing a ballad that sounded awfully like something out of a GMA/ABS-CBN Christmas commercial. Please, people. This is an action movie. Can we keep the cheese in our hamburgers and off the screen? I thought songs like these were left back in the 80s Regal flicks!

6. The armors looked pretty useless. Yes, get plates to cover your chests, wrists and shoulders but keep your solar plexus, abdomens and groins vulnerable to attack. Didn’t even see them ever use their textured wrist bands to defend themselves or bash someone’s head in.

7. Some of the actors are either acting for theater or TV, forgetting that they’re supposed to be on the big screen. Come on, I’ve seen Multimedia Arts students hire no-name actors and those no-name actors could perform so much better for so much less the amount the actors here were obviously paid. On the other hand, I did see some decent acting in Resiklo but like I said, I couldn’t keep track of the people in there.

8. Many of the elements were obviously inspired by Star Wars, Final Fantasy (I can even identify who Aeris, Tifa, Rinoa and Quistis are), Prince of Persia, Front Mission, Transformers, Aliens, Predator, Mech Warrior, The Matrix, among others. That’s well and good. But we don’t really have to rip everything off and just dump them altogether in one package, do we?

9. If you’re going to make mechs the main attraction for your movie, well…be prepared to show mechs in action. I only saw them for like 1/4th of the movie.

10. Remember Morpheus’ tiresome monologue in The Matrix Reloaded? Remember the critics’ and reviewers’ reaction to that? I guess the scriptwriter forgot, since Bong Revilla attempted to re-enact that even though he’s not nearly as charismatic as Laurence Fishburne.

11. The action scenes remind me of those old G.I. Joe cartoons where the enemies shoot at the Joes repeatedly but the Joes never get hit. Resiklo brought it a notch higher. The heroes would stand in the middle of crossfire while the enemies would hide behind drums and yet the enemies get hit while the heroes remain unharmed. This gets even more amusing when you see Bong Revilla hanging from a rope right in the middle of crossfire and doesn’t get so much as a scratch!

12. The characters’ names are very original. [/sarcasm] I wonder if they took a page off Terry Goodkind’s series and thought it was all right to name a sci-fi/fantasy character Bianca.

Wow. I narrowed everything down to 12. I could swear I had a side comment for every scene. (“Yes, stop for a bit before escaping so that you can listen to two men recount their life story. I’m sure the villains will wait for you to finish your session before figuring out that you’re trying to escape.”)

In all fairness, however, we really have improved by leaps and bounds when it comes to lighting techniques. I’ve got to hand it to that group. Resiklo’s CGs don’t look as awkward as those used by the other film fest entries.


  1. 林 小 龍 Sean Lim

    January 3, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I have a comment on no.5. Most of the BGM are similar to the indiefilm Xenoa. I was surprised to hear the same beat and exact tune. Until the CBB, I realize that the musical scorers are the same people who worked with Xenoa. Talking about originality huh…

  2. Bea Lapa

    January 3, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    uy maganda ang BGMs ng xenoa ha! it's one of the things i liked. napag-kwentuhan namin ni gerard yan eh, tumayo balahibo ko. goosebumps galore.

    may tanong ako…bakit kelangan naka-trench coat palagi ang villain? palagi ko napapansin yan sa mga recent movies. hahahahahahaha!

  3. Virna Naomi

    January 3, 2008 at 3:42 pm


    i can't understand why our film makers aren't original and just draw some romanticism from our roots. we have lots! we have a nice pre-hispanic culture that we can romanticize.

    the samurai were known to be rilly corrupt most part of their reign. only a few stood out. it's the japanese romanticizing them… (and doing a good job marketing them) … that made them look good.

  4. Virna Naomi

    January 3, 2008 at 3:42 pm


    i can't understand why our film makers aren't original and just draw some romanticism from our roots. we have lots! we have a nice pre-hispanic culture that we can romanticize.

    the samurai were known to be rilly corrupt most part of their reign. only a few stood out. it's the japanese romanticizing them… (and doing a good job marketing them) … that made them look good.

  5. Bea Lapa

    January 3, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    apparently, our idea of romanticism is to put a middle-aged grandfather and a post-teenybopper girl together and hope that filipinos will think they have chemistry. ugh. thank goodness they did not continue that kissing scene…nurses would have to inject me with plasil to keep my stomach still if they did.

    we have lots of film makers that are original…unfortunately, they're indie. our producers are still all about the money (b movies make tons of moolah) and we all know that smart people are outnumbered by the millions.

  6. Bea Lapa

    January 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    ah! oo nga pala sean, at least xenoa had its own language.

    si elena kasi (kasama ko manood ng resiklo) nagrereklamo sana daw may sariling language ang resiklo. hahahaha!

  7. Alexandra Lapa

    January 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Oh. my. god.

    I thought it couldn't get any worse. :O

    Pero sayang no? Sana we can really come up with something fantastic with CG at hindi naman ripped off ang storyline. I mean I'm sure malaki budget nyan, I just wish they put their money to good use.

  8. Bea Lapa

    January 3, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    pera sayang.


  9. Haya Benitez

    January 4, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Buti nalang binasa ko muna review mo. Hahahaha Seen any good film fest entries?

  10. Bea Lapa

    January 4, 2008 at 12:27 am

    nope. i only watch one tagalog flick every year. my stomach can't handle the utter banality of our mainstream movies. haha! trailer pa lang ng enteng kabisote mukhang ewan na eh, fake na fake ang dating.

    last year naman i saw “A Love Story.” eto, aaminin ko maganda. magaling ang pagkakagawa.

  11. Bea Lapa

    January 4, 2008 at 12:29 am

    ya know what the sad thing is? ang dami kong napanood na video projects ng multimedia arts students and many of them were really good!

    i know, however, that they're going to be indie filmmakers in the future. ako pa naman willing magbayad ng mahal pag ganun, but the irony is, i saw those films for free.

  12. grean villacarlos

    January 4, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Very sensible comments! I think it would be more sensible if you also post your comments to IMDB.

    Ohh… I was talking about the RESIKLO -:)

  13. Dino Reyes

    January 4, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Buti na lang di mo ko napilit sumama kundi isusumpa kita =P

  14. Bea Lapa

    January 4, 2008 at 1:43 am

    kawawa nga si elena eh. next time nga ililbre ko na lang pag niyaya ko. haha!

    thanks! 🙂

  15. Mito Tubilleja

    January 4, 2008 at 6:31 am

    actually kahit ako napapaisip na wow na ang cg ng movie na'to. (some insiders said sa cg at effects talaga nauubos lahat ng budget)
    pero na negative person in me says a big “ano ka ba gago?!”

    guess im still too nega.

    good one with the cheese comment! hehehe


    im opting to watch shake though. kahit alam kong “feel good” movie ito sa halip na “horror” hahahaha Sir Joby said it was better than last years's

    i've watched Juday's movie na rin pala.
    Bahay Kubo daw was promising.

  16. Mito Tubilleja

    January 4, 2008 at 6:35 am

    nga pala, someone told me Bong's speech daw was a translated version of the Independence Day speech. too bad im not a revilla fan (be it the father or one of the sons) enough to watch resiklo para lang dun hahahaha

  17. Bea Lapa

    January 4, 2008 at 8:09 am

    takot pa rin ako sa horror flicks eh. XD

  18. anna katrina vistan

    January 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    hay last time din when i saw the trailer of exodus i thought wow mukhang aus ung cg nito ah.but when i saw the whole movie…uh…it was just like what you said in number 1.

  19. Virna Naomi

    January 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    sorry ha… pero i think our CG ain't that good.

  20. Virna Naomi

    January 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    sorry ha… pero i think our CG ain't that good.

  21. Bea Lapa

    January 4, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    it's actually the lighting that makes it look bad. because foreign companies like disney and pixar get our CG artists here (BPO). labor here is cheap. xD

  22. Bea Lapa

    January 5, 2008 at 1:12 am

    here's another one of our upcoming projects:

    a student showed me this last night…although i told him i'm pretty wary about pinoy trailers now after seeing what happened to resiklo. i might just take a look, though.

  23. Ronald Gebilaguin

    January 5, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Hi Miss! =D
    pinanood ko rin po Resiklo. And… (ayoko ng alalahanin pa, masyadong mapait na karanasan…)

    Miss, we (the whole abma from freshies to alumni) are planning a full length indie film production this 2008! Fantasy/Reality po… para na rin ipakita ang kakayahan ng ABMA's sa VFX… Suportahan niyo po Miss ha! thanks po! ;D

  24. Bea Lapa

    January 6, 2008 at 1:36 am

    of course! you know i've always been supportive of my students' endeavors. kung hindi man maganda kalabasan, at least you tried. it's always the first step. pero syempre paghihirapan na lang, kelangan talagang magandang first attempt. hehe.

    but guys, you need to find a good scriptwriter. yung indie talaga and will not be concerned about b-movie ratings. kayang kaya niyo ang CG effects (alam ko naman ang galing at kakayahan niyo), but storytelling is something that i think eludes us.

  25. Bea Lapa

    January 6, 2008 at 10:02 am


    resiklo won best movie.

    makes me wonder:
    1. have the judges gone senile?
    2. portion of the pork barrel got into their pockets?
    3. all the other entries were even worse and that they had no other choice?

  26. anna katrina vistan

    January 6, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    grabe i couldn't believe it either.

  27. Mito Tubilleja

    January 6, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    naunahan mo ako. naisip ko agad magpost dito.
    i haven't watched the mismong awards night.

    pero sino nanalo for box office? since 50% ng total score from revenues eh
    last time i checked it was SSS, pero hearing Resiklo win…kakaiba.

    there's also the issue on Sen. J.E. winning for best actor

  28. Bea Lapa

    January 7, 2008 at 4:15 am

    i got the text from dino about resiklo winning. sabi niya magdi-director na lang daw siya for commercials. hahahahahaha!

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