It was actually the movie trailer that caught my attention. I was amazed at how crisp and clear everything was. The combination of the real and CG objects looked totally seamless and I just had to wonder what technology the producers were using to come up with such effective lighting. Must be the pork barrel talking. Heh.
Don't get me wrong. I didn't delude myself into thinking that Filipino movies would improve their storytelling. I knew that I was going to see something that would look great but feel like crap. Our mainstream films aren't really known for their profundity. Well...
It's really more of a hit or miss in many aspects. Let me just enumerate:
1. I was shocked that the scenes from the trailer that got me into buying that ticket did not look as well-lighted in the actual movie. The crispness just wasn't there anymore. Still, there were scenes that actually looked great, especially the ones that resemble the dessert areas of Final Fantasy XII and the ones that were shot inside the villains' headquarters. Like I said, it's a hit or miss. Most of the time, though, you just wish Bong Revilla would get off the frame so you can drool at the mechs.
2. Beveled text outlined with outer glow should not have a place in any scene that shows rapid movement. Oh, wait. Beveled text outlined with outer glow should not have a place in any frame, period. They used these for the opening credits when they could've just used the elegant but sci-fi-looking typefaces of the end credits.
3. There are so many actors in there that you can hardly keep track of anyone, resulting in very little character development. (The hilarious thing here is that the villains instantly know who Crisval and Angelo are among the many armor-clad dudes in the camp just by looking at them.) This overpopulation also results in funny blocking, like they were lined up and ready to be shot. Fuego! In relation to blocking complaints, I wonder when we'll ever get rid of scenes where one person goes to the front and talks to the person behind her without looking back. Do we talk like this in real life?
4. Too much drama. With very little character development, I couldn't care less what happened to the people. I came here to watch 3D mechs blast each other to pieces, not see Bong Revilla romance Jennylin Mercado. Ew! Honestly, their scenes together made my skin crawl.
5. The musical scoring is amazing! Many of the BGMs are so good, you'd feel goosebumps rising. What the movie lacks in foreshadowing, the music makes up for. This is one of Resiklo's strongest points...up until the ending where they got someone to sing a ballad that sounded awfully like something out of a GMA/ABS-CBN Christmas commercial. Please, people. This is an action movie. Can we keep the cheese in our hamburgers and off the screen? I thought songs like these were left back in the 80s Regal flicks!
6. The armors looked pretty useless. Yes, get plates to cover your chests, wrists and shoulders but keep your solar plexus, abdomens and groins vulnerable to attack. Didn't even see them ever use their textured wrist bands to defend themselves or bash someone's head in.
7. Some of the actors are either acting for theater or TV, forgetting that they're supposed to be on the big screen. Come on, I've seen Multimedia Arts students hire no-name actors and those no-name actors could perform so much better for so much less the amount the actors here were obviously paid. On the other hand, I did see some decent acting in Resiklo but like I said, I couldn't keep track of the people in there.
8. Many of the elements were obviously inspired by Star Wars, Final Fantasy (I can even identify who Aeris, Tifa, Rinoa and Quistis are), Prince of Persia, Front Mission, Transformers, Aliens, Predator, Mech Warrior, The Matrix, among others. That's well and good. But we don't really have to rip everything off and just dump them altogether in one package, do we?
9. If you're going to make mechs the main attraction for your movie, well...be prepared to show mechs in action. I only saw them for like 1/4th of the movie.
10. Remember Morpheus' tiresome monologue in The Matrix Reloaded? Remember the critics' and reviewers' reaction to that? I guess the scriptwriter forgot, since Bong Revilla attempted to re-enact that even though he's not nearly as charismatic as Laurence Fishburne.
11. The action scenes remind me of those old G.I. Joe cartoons where the enemies shoot at the Joes repeatedly but the Joes never get hit. Resiklo brought it a notch higher. The heroes would stand in the middle of crossfire while the enemies would hide behind drums and yet the enemies get hit while the heroes remain unharmed. This gets even more amusing when you see Bong Revilla hanging from a rope right in the middle of crossfire and doesn't get so much as a scratch!
12. The characters' names are very original. [/sarcasm] I wonder if they took a page off Terry Goodkind's series and thought it was all right to name a sci-fi/fantasy character Bianca.
Wow. I narrowed everything down to 12. I could swear I had a side comment for every scene. ("Yes, stop for a bit before escaping so that you can listen to two men recount their life story. I'm sure the villains will wait for you to finish your session before figuring out that you're trying to escape.")
In all fairness, however, we really have improved by leaps and bounds when it comes to lighting techniques. I've got to hand it to that group. Resiklo's CGs don't look as awkward as those used by the other film fest entries.
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