June 19, 2018, 4:36 pm
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Vice Ganda unperturbed by Vic, Coco team up

ATOM Araullo is a journalist first, but he now forays into acting in “Citizen Jake,” the comeback film of highly esteemed filmmaker Mike de Leon. 

“I now have more respect for actors kasi mahirap pala maging aktor lalo para dun sa mga seryoso sa craft nila,” says Araullo, who co-wrote the screenplay with de Leon and Noel Pascual. 

“We have plenty of good actors who make it look so easy and I found out the hard way that it takes so much effort to be a competent actor. At one point, naisip ko, can I deliver? 

“I’m just thankful that Direk Mike is there to guide me all the way along with the other cast members who help bring out the best in their co-stars. Some say my role will be easy for me since I’m really a journalist, but Jake is not Atom. Sobrang magkaiba sila.”

In the movie, he plays Jake Herrera, a reporter who resigned from his job in a newspaper when his dad ran for senator and chose to be a teacher and blogger. His dad is a former Marcos crony and when a student is killed, Jake is compelled to confront his relatives’ dark past and he comes into conflict with his political family.

Will Atom now accept more acting jobs? 

“It’s not really a priority. I still intend to do more reportage and documentaries. But if the movie would open other doors for me, I will not turn it down right away, pero depende pa rin talaga sa project, sa material.”

***

“Citizen Jake,” said director Mike De Leon, is not based on a true story. 

“It’s dramatic fiction told in film about a dysfunctional family and touches on political corruption, continuing feudalism and paternalism,” he said. “But there are many elements of documentary truth and metacinema in it and sometimes the lines are blurred. It’s about the inner journey of a privileged young man who happens to be a journalist. It is also a metaphor of this young man’s country – unchanging, repeating the same mistakes generation after generation.”

The film also stars Gabby Eigenmann as Roxie, the congressman brother of Jake; Dina Bonnevie as their beleaguered mom; Teroy Guzman as Jacobo, their dad who’s a corrupt senator; Max Collins as Mandy, a teacher who’s Jake’s girlfriend; plus Luis Alandy, Cherie Gil, Lou Veloso, Nonie Buencamino, Allan Paule, Richard Quan, Victor Neri, Anna Luna and Nanding Josef. The movie is now showing nationwide.

***

Kim Rodriguez starred with Barbie Forteza in the movie “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter.” Now, she plays contravida to Barbie in the new primetime rom-com, “Inday Will Always Love You,” shot in Cebu. 

“Tiyak na maraming magagalit sa’king fans dito kasi sobrang taray at lupit ko kay Barbie,” she says. “Nai-insecure kasi ako sa kanya at ayokong maagaw niya ang atensiyon ni Derrick Monasterio sa akin so I will do everything to make her life miserable. May eksena ritong nilublob ko siya sa putikan at sinubsob ko talaga sa putik ang mukha niya. 

“Hinahanda ko na ang sarili ko sa bashings that I’m sure I will get from the fans of Barbie na tiyak na magagalit sa akin dahil sa pang-aapi ko sa kanya.”

She’s played lead roles before, how come she’s now relegated to contravida roles? 

“That’s just fine with me. Kaysa naman nganga lang ako sa bahay dahil sa paghihintay ng lead role. Ang importante, tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho ko sa GMA. Andaming walang ginagawa ngayon. Magiging choosy pa ba ako? Maganda naman ang role na napupunta sa’kin kahit contravida?”

***

In the last Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the entries of Coco Martin and Vic Sotto, “Ang Panday” and “Meant to Be,” were both trounced at the box office by Vice Ganda’s entry, “The Revengers.” Now, Coco and Vic are joining forces to star together in their own entry in the coming MMFF. This will be a movie that will be a formidable attraction at the box office since it’s the first time for the two top stars, who come from the top two competing networks, to work together in one movie. 

The deadline for the submission of the screenplays of entries to the next film fest is this coming May 31 and we just hope the script of the Vic-Coco movie will pass the criteria set by the screening committee. 

Both Vic and Coco have their own legion of fans, mostly children, and if they combine their forces on the big screen, we’re sure the movie will be a force to reckon with at the box office.

Vice Ganda is already aware Coco will be working in tandem with Vic and it’s just fine with him. He says he has worked with Coco before and it’s just normal for actors to work with different stars. He says Coco remains to be one of his best friends. 

***

“So Connected” had a special screening in Gateway last Monday. At the outset, let us say that Janella Salvador seems to have much more pleasing chemistry with Jameson Blake on screen than with her erstwhile partners, Elmo Magalona and Marlo Mortel.

The story is the usual boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl but, as may be expected, they’re reunited at the film’s end. The movie is written and directed by young and hip filmmaker Jason Paul Laxamana who gives the familiar story an appealing new dressing. He makes sure that the story is something young people will be able to relate with. He makes liberal use of social media and internet online apps for them to be a vital part of the narrative.

Janella is Trisha, an orphan girl from Paete who is hiding from the public after an embarrassing incident in her life was posted online. She leaves their home province and finds work as a waitress in a carinderia in Angeles City. Jameson is Karter, a video editor for a Youtube channel who was just dumped by his girlfriend after he lost the phone she gave him. The phone was stolen and sold at a very cheap price to Janella who then uses it to send messages and videos to her boyfriend who lives in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

She doesn’t know that due to a phone app called Store Box, everything she posts online on the cellphone is also transmitted to the account of Jameson. Eventually, her boyfriend also breaks up with Janella and she gets so brokenhearted even if she already knows that it’s bound to happen as her boyfriend has another girlfriend who’s working in Macau.

Jameson is fascinated with Janella’s post and decides to search for her to meet her in person. He goes to Angeles City to look for her and meets her serendipitously when he throws litter on the street and she reprimands him for it. He then takes cues from Janella’s post to get her attention and win her confidence. She eventually warms up to him and even thinks they’re soulmates.

But as this kind of story goes, Janella eventually discovers he is actually just stalking her through the Store Box app and gets mad at him. But take heart, folks, as Jameson is very patient in looking for her and yes, they do meet again for a happy ending after some time. 

Direk Jason makes sure the production values are topnotch, with a beautiful sequence of the young lovers while they’re visiting the tourist spots in the island of Corregidor. He also pays a loving tribute to his home city of Angeles which is prominently featured in the movie.

We are glad to hear during the press preview that Janella has tried to patch things up with her estranged mom, Jenine Desiderio, and even sent her a gift as a peace offering. Here’s hoping that this gesture of smoking the peace pipe will give the movie some positive vibes so that people will go to the theaters to watch it.
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