August 9, 2006


INSIDE MAN 5 stars
Not your typical bank heist where nothing is what it seems. Worth every second of the 2 hours 9 minutes I spent watching this movie. My only complaint is Denzel Washington, who is in my view a very overrated actor, he IS Denzel in all his movies, only a little better perhaps in Malcom X. His cop partner played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (very good in Dirty Pretty Things and Serenity) was a better actor, too bad he barely said anything, Jodie Foster is fine, her "dishwasher" manner of speaking is not noticeable, Clive Owen is of course superb, and the Pinoy cinematographer (Matthew Labatique) is excellent. Spike Lee did a wonderful job, this movie is a cool and smart thriller without big explosions or annoying car chases. Highly recommended.

CAVITE 4 stars
Also a very smart, different thriller featuring a cellphone. This tells the story of a Filipino American working as a security guard in San Diego who had to go back to the Philippines to attend his father's funeral only to learn as soon as he got out of the airport that his mother and sister are being held hostage by Muslim terrorists. They communicate with him through a cellphone that was put inside his luggage by the terrorist and from then on he had to go to wherever and do whatever the person on the cellphone tells him. It was uncomfortable to watch the people living in the slums in the Philippines but that's reality, they exist. The actor, who co-wrote the script with the guy filming (also the voice of the terrorist), was not supposed to be IN the film because the role was written for a female. They couldn't get a Pinay (who would want to work in slum areas?) to do the job so he rewrote it as a male. He did a good job, although being there and inhaling the stench from the squatter areas doesn't require acting lessons, it will come naturally. This is truly an indie film made with the tiniest of budget and came out to be a one-of-a kind thriller. Highly recommended.


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