I am not familiar with Alice in Borderland (Imawa no Kuni no Arisu). I only learned about the live-action series when I received a YouTube notification about a new Netflix trailer. And even without checking it, I knew I was going to stream it judging by the title. When the day came, I did a little research and found out it is a Japanese suspense manga series written and illustrated by Haro Aso. Alice in Borderland also has a 3-episode original video animation, and now, we have the live-action series produced by Netflix and directed by Shinsuke Satō. Yes, Shinsuke Satō, the person who directed numerous live-action film adaptations of manga and anime such as The Princess Blade (2001), Gantz (2011), I Am a Hero (2015), Bleach (2018), Inuyashiki (2018), and Kingdom (2019).
A little note, before The Boy Foretold by the Stars (2020) they played a short film called Sina Alexa, Xander at ang Universe (Alexa, Xander and the Universe). If you want to read that review first, you may do so here. Now let’s get to the first MMFF entry that caught my eye.
Like the Cinemalaya and the JFF Plus: Online Festival, the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) also went online. The country’s annual film festival which runs from December 25 to the first weekend of January in the following year partnered with Globe’s GMovies and UPSTREAM. And from the usual eight films, MMFF expanded the selection to 10 one of which is the film I will review. However, before The Boy Foretold by the Stars (2020), they played a short film called Sina Alexa, Xander at ang Universe or Alexa, Xander and the Universe in English. So let me share with you my thoughts on this one first.
Please do not confuse this with the 2013 crime thriller The Call starring Halle Berry. The Call (2020) is a South Korean film starring Park Shin-hye which based on the 2011 British and Puerto Rican film The Caller. The Call (2020) Call (original title) Directed & Written by Chung-Hyun Lee | Horror, Mystery, Thriller Connected by phone in the same home but 20 years apart, a serial killer puts another woman’s past — and life — on the line to change her own fate. THE REVIEW Just a few seconds into the film, I was slowly captivated by the colours. Yes, it is sad and dull. But there is beauty even though it is a sombre colour palette. Besides that, the transitions are fitting as well. From locating the missing smartphone of our lead character, a Galaxy Note 9 (not sponsored) to be exact, the scene slowly and beautifully transitioned to a brain scan.
I am a fan of Jun Lana’s Die Beautiful, a 2016 drama and comedy film that premiered at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival. The film won the Audience Award while the lead actor, Paolo Ballesteros won Best Actor. Die Beautiful (2016) garnered the attention it received. In fact, the film deserves more because of its beautiful narrative and lovable characters. So when I heard Jun Lana has another film starring Paolo Ballesteros and Christian Bables together with Martin del Rosario, I was excited. The film is called The Panti Sisters which was an entry to the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Unfortunately, I missed the festival last year but this week, the film finally arrived on Netflix.