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Friday, March 14, 2014

Flick Review: Bob Ong's ABNKKBSNPLAko?! the Movie

03/‎14/‎2014 12:32:47 AM

I can only express my insights on the movie adaptation of that Bob Ong book in two words: as both 'entertaining' and 'disappointment.'

Yes, it is entertaining because of some antics and factors which appear to be natural in our daily lives.
And, (oh no) disappointing because on a slighter-than-above-superficial level, the movie focused on the romance more than the school-ish aspect itself

Why did I say so? If you looked on the entire book first, you'll realize my primary reason: it became one of the numerous book-to-movie-adaptation failures in recent history.

Well, obviously that's a marketing tactic if you ask me why should you put the ladies like Andi Eigenmann and Meg Imperial for the cast which already comprised by Jericho Rosales and Vandolph Quizon.

And count the love-team factor involving Roberto and his unnamed 'Special Someone' right there (and seriously, it's quite tricky that Andi's character was still unnamed, at the end of the flick eh?).

I first saw its trailer on one of the VIVA-produced channels. And apparently, their Top 10 trailer seemed enough to persuade me. The problem though, is the several factors on the project itself.

As much as I like the numerous flashback devices used in the film, I thought the execution could have been a better one. But don't you just love the idea of recalling these nostalgic materials either? I loved that part, 'coz it simply reminds me of my old days as a student. Those FLAMES, SOS, spirit of the pen... nah, which mattered actually.

However, I still doubt that a 'love team' factor should really be a compulsory to this one. Bob Ong has been selling most of his books without making any such implications on it. In fact, he only relied on three things: his personal experience, society events (I can't tell the current word since everything bound in the books was already 'past'), and comical antics. In addition, the latter two were even enough to earn him six-digit-numbered published copies.

Because it was during our 'high school stage' where we first experience romance and heartbreak? (Hey, count me out, by the way; since I only experienced things like that when I was about to enter college anyway)

Well, maybe, but come on...

The comedy antics in this flick come naturally though. As if I haven't seen any slapstick materials executed just to crack a joke. But seriously, I'd prefer this rather than the present trend where we need to roll a newspaper like a baseball bat, slam it on your friend's head (of course, the upper one), and laugh like it's your last day.

And comparing this film to the other local movies? I still can tell that Bob Ong's ABNKKBSNPlaKo?!'s still a 'standout' among them all; considering that for like 9 times out of 10, the Philippine commercially-produced movies are nothing but bunch of "airheads, no-brainers, and garbage." Hey, count these romantic movies in the list, too.

The problem though is that, timing' seemed to take its toll on them. I wondered why it appeared like they rush to finish the entire picture. And they scheduled it on a post-Valentine's Day period? I think that’s a bad strategy, considering that most movie patrons are still preferring those love-themed flicks than the other.

Maybe if they let their fans wait for a bit longer, the film will be much appreciated (even for a bit) 'cause there are scenes which aren't been made in its total perfection; especially if we're talking about editing here.

Jericho Rosales is a good actor here. Though I also believe (especially it's supposedly an intellectual wit-driven flick) that the likes of Ramon Bautista can handle the job either... or should I say, even "better." However, Rosales' way of narrating several Bob Ong scriptures in the flick is 'music to my ears.' Yes, as if I'm imagining like a real Bob Ong has spoken (but only, on that part).

Vandolph, on the other hand... well, I've got nothing much to say, aside from the fact that his lines has been speaking the very deepest of them all. Think about it, as if you're listening to your parent who, then, is scolding you. It may be annoying, but it really has sense.

About Andi? Hmm... I am still wondering, is this lady does not even get baptized? I know, I loved movies which made me think even more, but we're all looking for answers somewhere out there anyway.

And... holy smoke, is it me or is just Meg Imperial's kinda hot? Hahaha! Okay, seriously speaking. If you asked me to compare the two ladies, I'll pick the latter. Anyway, I think it's kinda fair when she hoisted the role of Portia, a tomboy-character yet damn foxy lady. Nah, does it count? I'd rather reiterate some ideas before everything goes bias shit here.

Going back to the flick, the upside of Bob Ong's first book-to-movie adaptation is that there are some lessons in the movie which targets everyone. Like 'your family will be there in times when you need somebody to talk to,' or 'you should not be ashamed of who you are,' or a lot more. Something I can't tell you here for more (since I think I've reached the length enough).

The soundtracks can be real shit sometimes; but hey, I'd prefer listening to these tracks than... (Do I have to drop names here anyway?)

Overall, it's almost a good intellectual choice, only if:

First, they focused on the much-needed factors (friendship, studies, family) more than the romantic ones (something you can only recognize at the flick's 'current' era and not thru its flashback devices.'

Second, the marketing should have made its timing better. I do believe this flick would have unleashed its more potential should the showing had took place in either graduation days or summer vacation. I also thought that kids would definitely love this should the said scenario pushes through.
That's another saddening thing to notice; 

Third, the depth factor should not have been overshadowed by 'fun.' Rappler was right when they described the movie thru its analysis title itself - 'Fun Overtakes Depth.' And that's really a problem nowadays where film executives have been failed in balancing entertainment satisfaction thru means of providing worthy ideas with the weight of making money. Of course, if you're a businessman, for nine times out of ten, you will prefer to make money more than the other choice. It was the said tactic which actually resulted into disappointment on the moviegoers' part.

And last but not the least; the message seems like sorely lacked. I mean the author's real "message" conveyed by the book. In lieu with that, the movie also lacked substance as its result. If you read the book, you will understand the reason. Others may berate like "come on, slick. It's always been like that!" But the thing is, "at least, if other book-to-movie sequels lacked parts, the main point was there," something in contrast. Good thing though, the flick has this 'bag of tricks.'

I have also red several movie reviews prior to making my own statement. And things turn out, they were right either. Well, let me reiterate that: 'PARTLY RIGHT.'

For the entire 80 minute-stretch, I think the book has a lot more to tell than the airtime allotted. It's true that the flick should earn that 'everything movie of the year' title (since neither recent-produced mainstream has achieved such).

But again, I can only tell two words: 'wasted potential.' 

Still... I would recommend this.

The verdict: 6.6

Author: slickmaster | © 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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  1. I never read the book or any of Bob Ong's. With the movie version, I am not really a fan of comedy but with Jericho around, panoorin ko sya. Lol. he is so charming. Vandolph is ok when it comes to comedy and the movie might be corney but still will make us laugh. Pampaalis ng stress kahit papaano. Tess

    1. Well, no question about Jericho's capability in this role. In fact he still fit in this one. It might be corny in one way, but I'd prefer this type of comedy anyway. I'd still recommend this as the flick has its own way of cracking jokes in such intelligent way. (no slapsticks per se)

  2. I enjoyed the book. I remember reading out loud some chapters of it to brighten the mood at our office. And I remember that there isn't a profound love story in it. Unfortunately, our movies rely heavily on the mushy, pa-cute love stories. Hehe!

    1. reality bites. now, only if mainstream executives will take a glimpse and seriously focus on them, the world will be a better place. (no kidding. hehehe)

  3. Reading the book first always spoils the movie for me. Most of the time the book and the movie is slightly different -- because of the commercial aspect, I guess =)

    1. and too good to be harsh but true, this flick ended up being another victim of that case.

  4. I never really read any of Bob Ong's book, but i will try to check out this movie , as an OFW I sometimes misses Filipino movies

  5. Not so good feedback but I'm still glad local books are getting mainstream attention. I think this would be a nice trend.

    1. yes, indeed. no question about it. though on a serious note, let's hope these guys will focus ont he real message and not on the romantic value one can get.

  6. Everyone's been talking about this movie at my school. After reading your review, I finally understand. It still looks entertaining though so I might give it a shot soon! :)

    1. there's no question about their aliw factor. by the way, thanks for appreciating!

  7. hmm... i can't find Bob Ong's ABNKKBSNPLAko?! movie in my country, maybe i will check out the book instead.

  8. I'm happy someone wrote what I want to say for a long time. haha. I watched the movie and I am dissapointed. Nanghinayang nga ako sa 200 ko eh. Bad execution.

    1. well, you can always say whatever you want to, even if it turns out that some other guys like me had the same sentiment as yours. naku, yun lang, naka sa engrandeng sinehan ka pa kasi nanuod nyan (let me guess: Gateway? LOL). You actually nailed it: indeed, a bad execution on the filmmakers' part, kaya ang resulta ay parang 'wasted potential' lang.


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