BELA Padilla has two new movies in the can. Currently showing is the Cinemalaya entry, “I America” where she plays a Fil-American girl looking for her long lost G.I. dad. She gets good feedback for her dramatic scenes with Elizabeth Oropesa as her mom.
Her other movie is “Camp Sawi” and she herself thought of the story concept along with her boyfriend, Neil Arce, about a place where broken hearted souls can seek comfort and healing to nurse their wounded hearts. Neil’s N2 Productions co-produces the movie with Viva Entertainment.
At the presscon, Bela admitted she herself became heartbroken after her first boyfriend dumped her. Although she won’t name who the guy is, it’s common knowledge that her first BF was Jason Abalos. But she has since moved on because Neil, with whom she’s been in a relationship for four years now. So she’s “sawi” before, but she’s now very much “waging-wagi” when it comes to her love life.
“Wala akong masasabi because Neil is really very supportive pagdating sa career ko,” says Bela. “And he’s not the type who’s breathing down my neck. Never siyang nagpaka-stage boyfriend na bumabakod sa’yo. He’s my second boyfriend pero parang siya 'yung first serious relationship that I have. 'Yung una ko kasi, sobrang bata pa ako. I was just 17. When we broke up then, parang feeling ko, end of the world na. But now, looking back, with Neil in my life, I’m wondering why ganun ang reaction ko? E, kami ni Neil, very smooth ang relationship namin at swak ang aming ideas in a lot of things.”
GMAAC INTRODUCES NEW BOYBAND
GMA Artist Center introduces a new boyband called One UP, composed of ten good looking talented boys who are potential matinee idols: Jay Arcilla, Kevin Sagra, Ralf King, Brent Valdez, Yasser Marta, Dave Bornea, Joemarie Nielsen, Arjan Jimenez, Nikki Co and Prince Clemente. They were first honed in singing, acting and dancing workshops led by Director Freddie Santos and singer-composer Jeffrey Hidalgo. Here’s the first four guys we got to interview:
Jay Arcilla - He just turned 20, stands 5’9”, the youngest of two brothers from San Pablo City. He finished a vocational course with TESDA, cruise ship management, hoping he’d be like his older brother who’s working on a cruise ship. But fate has something else in store for him. He joined Starstruck 6 and became 3rd placer. Now managed by GMA Artist Center, he was quickly included in the cast of “Little Nanay”. “It was a great experience as I got to work with veteran stars like Eddie Garcia and Nora Aunor,” he says. “Takot ako noong una but mababait sila, even Ate Sunshine Dizon who gives valuable advice. Now, kasali po ako sa ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ ni Dingdong Dantes.” If given the chance, he’d like to be paired with Kylie Padilla or Julie Anne San Jose.
Yasser Marta - Born and raised in Riyadh, he has a Pinay mom and a Portuguese dad. The eldest of two kids, he came to Manila when he was 15 to pursue a showbiz career. He has since made TV commercials, joined a band called Filio, and was part of “Walang Tulugan”. It was when he joined Eat Bulaga’s Spogify singing contest and became a finalist that GMA Artist Center noticed him. He has since tried acting in “Once Again”. His showbiz crush is Kylie Padilla.
Arjan Jimenez - He stands 5’10” and turns 21 on October 21. He was discovered when he became a semi-finalist in Starstruck 6. He has joined a band before, called Snapback, but he’s glad to be part of One UP now. A member of Iglesia ni Kristo, he is taking up marketing management at New Era University. He has tried acting in an episode of “Magpakailanman” with Jeric Gonzales and is now also part of the cast of “Alyas Robin Hood”. His showbiz crush is Barbie Forteza.
Dave Bornea - He comes from Cebu and has joined Mr. Pogi of “Eat Bulaga” when he was 15 years old. He didn’t make it. Now 18, he tried to join showbiz again by joining Starstruck 6 where he made it as a semi-finalist. Of Spanish descent from his mom’s side, he’s the eldest of three kids. He’s now under contract with GMA Artist Center and stays alone in Manila. “I really miss my family,” he says. “They’re all in Cebu”.
We’ll give you the other guys next time. Meantime, in partnership with Boardwalk, they’ll do a series of shows starting this August. They will do a show at the Baliuag Gymnasium this Saturday and you can watch them perform on “Sunday PinaSaya” this Sunday. Watch out for their later shows in Bulacan, Dagupan, Laguna, Cebu and Davao. To get updates about One UP and their skeds, follow them on OneUp2016 on Facebook and Instagram.
MOVIE REVIEW: THE SHALLOWS
WHEN we saw “Jaws” 41 years ago at the old Quad Theatre, we were really jolted by that scene where the huge shark with its sharp teeth suddenly popped up on screen. It was a scene so iconic and effective to induce nightmares.
Now comes “The Shallows”, a survival story that reminds us of our favorite movies about struggling to stay alive: “Life of Pi”, “Alive”, “Gravity”, “The Martian” and “Cast Away”. The essential plot elements in “The Shallows” are a young woman, the shark who wants to eat her, a bird who keeps her company, a camera that records the shark attacking a victim and a boy who finds the camera on the beach.
Mrs. Ryan Reynolds (otherwise known as Blake Lively, the sexy toned and tanned “Gossip Girl”) is the young woman, Nancy, a medical student from Texas who’s vacationing in Mexico while grieving and trying to cope with her mom’s death. She goes to this secluded secret beach which is special for her since her late mother visited it when she was still pregnant with Nancy. It’s her way of honoring her mother’s memory who heroically battled with the big C.
The movie does not waste time in getting into the main conflict as the shark attacks her only a few minutes after the film’s start. Nancy sees a huge object in the ocean with seagulls flying around it. It’s a dead whale with a huge gaping wound and it brought there a shark that is feeding on it. The shark sees Nancy on her surfboard and attacks her. The camera goes under the water along with Nancy as she struggles to pull herself up to get some air and swim into a small rock islet.
Her thigh gets a big bad gash and her feet get hurt by sharp corrals. Director Jaume Collet Sera (who directed the Liam Neeson action-thrillers “Non-Stop” and “Run All Night”) makes sure we are given proper demographic shots to show how far the tiny rock island is from the beach and just how small it is that makes Nancy’s movement very limited. The film then becomes a primal clash between Nancy and the forces of nature, what with the freezing coldness of the night alternating with the sizzling heat of the sun during the day.
To stop the bleeding of the gash on her thigh, she uses her own earrings as suture without anaesthesia and it’s played perfectly as it makes us wince as we watch her do it on herself. But the shark remains the most deadly threat as it also gets to devour some guys who tried to rescue her. Nancy then has to play a game of oneupmanship with it. She has to use her stopwatch to figure out how much time she has to outwit the shark in swimming from one location to another.
It’s to the credit of Blake Lively that her character becomes totally sympathetic, using her determination, fighting spirit and resourcefulness when her life is put at great risk. The way her ordeal is chronicled is very gripping and compelling, but the way they resolve the conflict between Nancy and the shark is not really that satisfying. It becomes a fiery, over the top duel between Blake and the shark that is more showbiz than real. But of course, we don’t want her to end like the protagonists in “Open Water” where a couple of skin divers were left behind by their tour boat in the middle of the sea.
It’s hard to sustain the viewer’s interest in a movie where there is just one character but this movie succeeds in doing that by making us completely empathize with Nancy. She can see some people on the beach so she can call out to them. One drunk guy, instead of helping her, pockets the money he got from her bag on the beach. He quickly gets the comeuppance he rightfully deserves.
Nancy is also in pain because of her wounds. She’s suffering from loss of blood, the threat of gangrene, dehydration, and there’s the approach of impending high tide that will completely submerge her island. Just like Tom Hanks who paints a face on a ball so he’ll have someone to talk to, Blake finds company in a seagull with a broken wing. Someone behind tells her companion: “It must be the spirit of her dead mom to keep her company.”
It is to Blake’s credit that she manages to make everything quite credible in a role that requires a lot of physicality. All in all, it hooks us and it delivers, giving us a well-paced solid thrilling piece of escapist entertainment, told with some hypnotically breathtaking aerial shots of the ocean and the gigantic waves in the surfing scenes.