Philbert Dy

Professional film critic, amateur semiotician, chronicler of Filipino Cinema.

Favorite films

  • Crank
  • Guilty of Romance
  • The Thing
  • Iskalawags

Recent activity

All
  • 12 Weeks

    ★★★★★

  • Solace

    ★★½

  • Limbo

    ★★★★

  • The Baseball Player

    ★★★½

Pinned reviews

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  • Happy Hour

    Happy Hour

    ★★★★★

    Spend enough time with people, and you think you know them. This is one of the greatest follies of being human: the arrogance of believing that by observing another person, one can fully understand the entirety of their existence. We make assumptions based on observable routine: she likes her coffee this way, he walks with this gait, they talk in some manner. And from those bits and pieces of visible behavior, from the scraps of half-remembered conversation, we form some…

  • Cleaners

    Cleaners

    ★★★★★

    It's worth talking about the process: Glenn Barit and his team shot an entire movie. Then, they took eight frames out of every second and printed them out. Then they photocopied those printouts in black and white. And they took highlighters and physically colored in certain sections of every frame. And then they scanned those images and assembled them back into a movie.

    What we get feels like a memory. It is easy enough to dismiss it in the abstract…

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  • 12 Weeks

    12 Weeks

    ★★★★★

    Casually, her mother mentions that she had thought of getting her aborted back when she was pregnant with her. It is hard to imagine what the proper response is to this, what a daughter is supposed to say. Is Alice supposed to be grateful? Relieved? Her mother apparently says this all the time, this little detail burned into the brain of the main character, who is now herself pregnant under less-than-ideal circumstances.

    But then it's worth asking, what would be…

  • Solace

    Solace

    ★★½

    Thoroughly watchable, but I found this ultimately unsatisfying. It does a lot of showy dramatic bobbing and weaving, setting up a series of tragic circumstances for our hero: a dead brother, a strained relationship with his grieving mother, and a drunken coach who he ends up abandoning in favor of the opportunity to go to the big city. Do these elements matter in the long run? Only tangentially, I'd say. They're little more than background flavor to the film's portrayal…

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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Update: Now in video form

    There is a house on a hill, and there are people in it. And they're nice, but not really. There is a garden, and there they get a lot of sunlight. And it is nice, and they get to sleep there sometimes.

    There is a house underground, and there are people in it. And they're the first to tell you that they're not very nice: they're con-men, grifters, forgers and imposters. They sit among stink…

  • Minions: The Rise of Gru

    Minions: The Rise of Gru

    ★★

    I do not know how to review this movie. I do not know if I should write about it at all. I can tell you that I saw it, and it defies whatever conventions one might have about what is good and what is bad. There is only Minions, and they are yellow, indestructible and they kind of speak Spanish. At one point in this movie, they are taught kung fu by a character voiced by Michelle Yeoh. At another…