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Why MMFF 2014 is fielding a predictable slate of sequels

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RYZZA Mae Dizon returns with “Bossing” sequel.

The Manila Film Festival was originally conceptualized as a showcase for the best movies that the Philippines’ film industry produced. Twelve days were set aside, during which only Filipino movies were shown in Manila theaters, to counteract the dominance of American movies on local screens.

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Even more grueling test of endurance

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“FEAR Factor” Photo from NBC

It had been months since we watched “Fear Factor,” so we were amazed to see it as an even more grueling test of endurance and willpower than ever, occasionally to the point of painful cruelty and even abject debasement.

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Old weight-loss notions debunked

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One of our resolutions for 2014 is to get rid of our unhealthy plump midsection, so we were recently happy to catch the Solar TV special telecast, “10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight.”

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Films we don’t get to see

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MICHAEL Fassbender (left), Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”

The Philippines, with its film-loving population now about to hit the 100-million mark, has become a big player on the global movie scene, with some major productions opening here even before they start playing in traditionally more favored territories in Europe and the United States.

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Deal-breakers hamper hit rom-com’s ability to delight

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XIAN Lim (left) evinces growth, while Kim Chiu is an energetic and antic performer.

Kim Chiu and Xian Lim’s latest costarrer, Mae Czarina Cruz’s rom-com, “Bride for Rent,” is doing very well at the tills, making the stars’ love team one of the more bankable screen tandems this season. For us, however, the new production has a deal-breaker in Kim’s still thin and sometimes even whiny speaking voice and placement.

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