Business before art

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    ALDEN RICHARDS
    ALDEN RICHARDS

    ALDEN Richards celebrated his 28th birthday at the initial telecast of GMA-7’s new weekend noontime show, “All Out Sundays” or simply AOS, a combination musical-comedy-variety show. It offers many fabulous musical and dance production numbers with the most talented Kapuso stars, a sitcom entitled “Tapsikret,” and exciting games like their version of the “Hit the Piñata” involving celebrities like Janine Gutierrez and her siblings Diego and Jessica, versus boyfriend Rayver Cruz and his brothers Rodjun and Omar.

    Alden headlines the star-studded cast of the show whose pilot episode last Sunday rated well and defeated its rival in the surveys. Alden says he has a lot to be thankful for as he celebrates his 28th birthday, what with his movie “Hello Love Goodbye” being the past year’s biggest blockbuster sure to earn him the Box Office King title. Meantime, his current primetime drama, “The Gift,” has just been extended for a few more weeks and the story is getting more intriguing now that Jean Garcia as Nadia has discovered that Alden as Sep is really her long-lost son.

    We asked Alden what his personal birthday wish is. “Wala na siguro kasi the Lord has already been generous to me. Wish ko na lang for everyone is peace, prosperity and contentment. Gusto ko ring mas marami pa sana akong matulungan. This coming July 25, I will have a major concert at the Araneta Coliseum to celebrate my 10th anniversary in showbiz. All the proceeds from that concert, ibibigay ko sa Kapuso Foundation and I will leave it all up to them kung sino ang gusto nilang bigyan ng donations. Whatever blessings given to me, I just want to share it and give back to the needy.”

    ***
    Remember the Japanese robot anime series, “Voltes V”?

    It was shown on local TV in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and had a huge following. It became so popular that there was even a spoof on the big screen made by the late comedian Chiquito, “Bontes 5.”

    Now, GMA-7 is giving it a new dressing with a live action version mixed with CGI animation, entitled “Voltes V Legacy,” directed by Mark Reyes who did the hit fantasy series, “Encantadia.” He says he is a big fan of the Japanese anime series and this is his own personal tribute to “Voltes V.”

    He has already released a teaser trailer and it quickly gained 1.5 million hits. The trailer, which uses state-of-the-art special effects, quickly excited many loyal fans of the series as it even uses the now familiar tunes from the old show that are really catchy and made the fans feel nostalgic. They now say that they’re hoping GMA-7’s own version will do justice to the original material. One of those excited by the trailer is comedian Michael V as he is also a self-confessed fan of “Voltes V.” He quickly shared the trailer in his own social media accounts, saying: “Veeeeery promising!!!! I’m really excited for this one. Let’s volt in!!!!”

    ***
    Aga Muhlach’s “Miracle at Cell No. 7” has overtaken the box office earnings of Vice Ganda’s “The Mall The Merrier.” We’re so happy for Aga as his past two films, “First Love” with Bea Alonzo and “Nuuk” with Alice Dixson, both didn’t do as well as expected at the tills. With the huge success of “Miracle” at the box office, we can now expect more local remakes of hit Korean films in the near future. After all, Sarah Geronimo’s remake of Korea’s “Miss Granny” was also a box office hit.

    Does the fact that Vice Ganda’s “The Mall” mean the public is starting to lose their fondness with him? Could be, since he’s been lording it over the film fest for more than five years now. But “The Mall” with its more than P300 million box office take is no doubt still a certified blockbuster, although it’s small compared to his previous MMFF entries that rake in as much as P500 million at the tills. Someone quips that maybe, people don’t really approve of him flaunting his homosexual love affair with Ion Perez, who is in the movie and they even have a brief romantic moment. After all, the majority of the Filipino audience still has a conservative taste.

    But if Vice would come up with a much better conceived and executed entry in the 2020 film fest, maybe he’d be able to recover his being numero uno. We’re not surprised viewers are getting tired of his kind of comedy as he just keeps on repeating himself in movie after movie with the “puede na ‘yan” attitude of someone so confident that moviegoers will buy anything he offers, even if they’re mere rehash of worn out comic techniques that he has used before in his past flicks.

    As for “Miracle,” we’re not surprised that it didn’t win any award as it’s apparently made to cater mainly to the peanut gallery, even the acting of all its performers. No button is left unpressed to make sure that it’s pandering to the audience and they do succeed mightily in this regard as it’s a real crowd pleaser.

    Local viewers who just love watching this kind of sudsy story with very obvious plot contrivances lap it all up with glee and Viva is now laughing all the way to the bank and giddy listening to the sound of their cash registers ringing so merrily this holiday season.

    So we’re sure they don’t really mind if they didn’t win awards. After all, ask any producer or director or actor which they would prefer: awards or commercial success at the box office, and we’re sure they’ll quickly choose the latter, sa inyo na ang mga trophy!

    This simply underlines the fact that moviemaking is truly a business first before it’s an art.

    Serious film aficionados and moralists can clamor for well made artistic films that impart valuable insights about the human condition, but sadly, most viewers just want to be distracted from the harsh realities of life and prefer escapist entertainment. They don’t watch “malalim” films to instruct or enlighten them, they go to the moviehouse simply because they want to be amused and entertained with “kababawan” materials that won’t make them think.