I can't wait for the Hollywood remake, not because I think they will make a better OTJ (nah! this one is already perfect.) but I'm just excited to see a well-deserving Filipino movie recognized and introduced to a bigger audience. Universal Pictures already acquired the rights for OTJ and the remake will be written, directed, and produced by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns), with Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as a possible casting choice for the role of Tatang.
|Directed by: Erik Matti (Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, Rigodon)|
Written by: Michiko Yamamoto, Erik Matti
Music by: Erwin Romulo
Cinematography: Francis Ricardo Buhay III
Editing by: Jay Halili
Running Time: 121 mins
From start, to the heart-pounding climax, up until the final scene, I was enthralled.
This movie is beautiful despite the fact that it depicts the dirtier aspects of our country - geographically, politically, socially speaking. Seriously, this movie is perfect for me. I was actually speechless for most parts. Just superb.
Four highlights. Gerald Anderson. Given that it's a bit of a stretch how such a pretty boy mestizo can be cast as an inmate/assassin, still, he shone as an adorable fledgling under the wings of Tatang. With just the right amount of grit & bravado his character needs, Anderson managed to convince us he is right for the role. Joey Marquez. I can't believe how vital his portrayal is to this movie. He could easily be mistaken as a miscast, but then we will be wrong. He brings in a subtle comic relief as well as some father-son scenes that will tug at your heartstrings, and it's so damn good to watch. One of his best performances I've seen (though I haven't seen a lot). Leo Martinez. There are no small roles, only small actors. And he's definitely not a small actor. He embraced his role, plain and simple. Joel Torre. I don't even need to say how good an actor Joel is, we all know that. But Jesus H. Christ he is GOD in here! Two scenes that gave me chills: In the climax/ending, just before he went out of jail, and after he went out. O_O
There's maybe one thing that I didn't like - the sex scenes. Halfway through I smiled and said to myself "it's nice to see a movie of this genre with no sexual scenes at all." Spoke too soon didn't I? I just thought it wasn't needed at all.
In conclusion, this movie is a must-see for everybody. I wish I see more of this in mainstream Pinoy cinemas. Everything is well put together, the music is exciting, the editing and cinematography is professionally done, the story is tight, the camerawork is engaging (a work of art, a labor of love. It's that good), the opening scene captures your attention, and the ending leaves you satisfied (or wanting more). It's a great cinematic experience.
I have nothing else to say except...
My Rating: maybe a 4.5, but I'm giving it a 5/5 - one of the best local films I've seen and definitely a favorite.
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