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‘The Trial’–pluses and minuses

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BARRETTO. Fully felt and firmly focused characterization.

Chito Roño’s latest film, “The Trial,” restores our faith in the mainstream Filipino movie industry, because it’s insightful, professionally produced and doesn’t take local viewers’ sensibilities for granted. Most other mainstream movie productions appear to think that viewers here aren’t very bright, so they have to be constantly “entertained” to a hyper inch of their life!

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Too many sponsors

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ABUNDA. Back on TV.

Timmy Rocero, nurse: “I love watching beauty pageants on television—but, this has changed after the recent Miss World Philippines telecast. I understand the organizers’ need to acknowledge their sponsors, but do they have to do this in the guise of giving away numerous special awards?

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Exciting comers topbill ‘corruption-seduction’ drama

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“ESPRIT DE CORPS.” Everything isn’t what it seems. ADRIAN GONZALES

“Esprit De Corps,” a Cinema One entry set during martial law that follows two student cadets and their senior officer in the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), is notable not only because it is based on the first play director Kanakan-Balintagos (“Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros”) wrote at age 17, but also because it casts exciting young comers, Sandino Martin (as Private Abel), Lharby Policarpio (as Private Cain) and JC Santos (as Maj. Mac Favila), in crucial roles.

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Whiplash: An unstoppable beat

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Whiplash is like an audio-visual representation of every individual’s efforts and struggles to perfect whatever it is that they want to achieve, except that in this Damien Chazelle film, it was vividly depicted how diabolical the road to greatness is.

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Battle of the sexes in David Fincher’s twisted thriller

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AFFLECK AND PIKE. He said, she said scenario.

Is Ben Affleck hero or heel? The 42-year-old actor finds himself dragged into a murder investigation when Nick Dunne, his character in David Fincher’s compelling thriller, “Gone Girl,” comes home on the day of his fifth wedding anniversary and realizes that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing.

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