Tag Archives: Daniel Fernando

Review: Barber’s Tales [Mga Kwentong Barbero] (2013)

Barber's Tales

Set in a rural area during the downfall of the Marcos regime, Jun Lana’s Barber’s Tales centered more on women empowerment which somehow mirrored the era’s political upheaval and its result during that time (where then widowed Corazon Aquino became the first woman president of the Republic Of The Philippines).

Newly widowed Malou, played by Eugene Domingo, suddenly finds herself manning the town’s only barbershop, which has been with his husband’s family for generations.

Unable to attract customers [yes, because she’s A woman], Malou forged a friendship with a prostitute named Rosa. The latter urges her “colleagues” to get their male clients to patronize Malou’s barbershop or risk being found out. With this development, Malou slowly stepped up and took center stage and asserted herself into the town’s male-dominated territory, where rumors spread faster than anyone could imagine. This gig also led Malou into a dangerous environment where she’s got to choose one side to keep her legacy.

The film is not hard to like at all. The humor inserted now and then kept on swaying me, thinking if I should take the theme very seriously or not. There’s some magical realism feel into it that somehow negates its more severe impact. The juxtaposition of Eugene Domingo’s character here and her portrayal at Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank goes to show how immersed Domingo is when it comes to tackling her roles. Here, we feel so much from her anguish. There’s even emotion when she looks at Iza Calzado (who played the mayor’s wife) dead in the eye. Eugene knows how to choose projects that will highlight her movie appeal and her Whoopi Goldberg-like acting style (this is just, in my opinion, though – there is some semblance if you think about it).

The very latter part of the film has quite a dramatic flair that Jun Lana could’ve done without, although in hindsight, it feels like there’s just a pressing need for him to leave all loose ends tied. I wouldn’t say I liked it, but it didn’t discourage me from appraising the feature as a whole because it is what it is. The visuals were good during the first half, but they were inconsistent for the rest of the film. The music rendered by Ryan Cayabyab may have been too forced when but it magnified each scene.

Overall, Barber’s Tales did a magnificent job of luring the audience off their couches and heading off to the cinema. It is, after all, starred by Eugene Domingo, and although the technical side somehow didn’t live up to its potential, it’s still a film that any Filipino viewers would be proud to showcase overseas.

Rating: 8/10

Director: Jun Lana
Cast: Eugene Domingo, Eddie Garcia, Iza Calzado, Daniel Fernando, Nora Aunor, Noni Buencamino, Sue Prado

Barber’s Tales premiered at the 2013 Tokyo International Film Festival where Eugene Domingo bagged the Best Actress Award. It had its Philippines wide release in August of 2014

Review: Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington (2011)


It’s just last week that I was finally able to catch one of the most talked-about films of 2011 entitled Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington. Reason being is that I’m not really big on local films recently because they became too commercialized over the years. I’m glad that some films still offer something new or something fresh like this one. I even wrote a blog about this film that was shown during the Cinemalaya Film Festival last year and thought that the trailer was pretty funny but I didn’t really get the chance to watch its entirety.

The film is about a young boy named Remington who loves pokig fun on gay men (transvestite in general) until he insulted an old transvestite who put a curse on him stating that he’ll turn gay once he grow up. Without realizing it, on his 21st birthday – Remington knew something changed because he suddenly could speak gay-lingo without realizing it and was turning gay in the midst of gay men being hunted by a serial killer in their town.
I guess what I liked most about the film is its concept. It’s very original and very fresh as it uses Filipino gay lingo which are pretty funny. I also loved that they used subtitles for the gay lingos that made the film more relatable and funnier. I think that’s the main thing about the film. It’s not a gay film, it’s actually a movie for everyone. Of course there is the usual stereotyping of gay people such as wearing tacky clothing, working in beauty parlors, being effeminate and all. It was funny in that context but after that, you’d somehow wish that they didn’t show it in a general manner.
On a more positive note, Mart Escudero who played the lead role Remington was definitely the star of the film. The guy can really act and he played it beautifully while being supported by a very strong cast! Somehow, though, the film got lost in the end when the Zombadings (gay zombies) appeared. I guess it’s alright since altogether, the film delivered some good laughs, fresh ideas, great acting and just something new to the  Filipino film industry. Kudos to the creator of this film and everyone involved in it.
Rating: 8.5/10
Director: Jade Castro
Starring: Martin Escudero, Lauren Young, Kerbie Zamora, Janice de Belen, John Regala, Angelina Kanapi, Leandro Baldemor, Daniel Fernando with the special participation of Roderick Paulate and Eugene Domingo