SF Asian American Film Festival 2012: “Give Up Tomorrow”, “I Am A Ghost” and “In The Family” Reviews and Trailers

Give Up Tomorrow

Rarely does a cause driven documentary come along powerful and convincing enough to make me want to actually do something about what it is I just watched.  I like to think of myself as very cynical observer who is able to read between the lines and can recognize the manipulating factors within a work of non-fiction.  Irena Salina‘s Flow: For Love of Water convinced me to boycott the Nestle and Coca-Cola companies, and Suzan Beraza‘s Bag It convinced me to stop using non recyclable plastics.  Now, after watching Michael CollinsGive Up Tomorrow I’m convinced that the Philippine judicial system had an enormous part in framing an innocent young man of a most heinous crime, to which it is ridiculously obvious he could in no way have committed.

Aside from the very suspenseful true crime nature aspect of this story, the movie also cleverly touches on the ugliness of the media, and the sensationalism and defamatory way they cover a story.  Not knowing anything about this infamous Philippine trial, I found myself getting angry and being in disbelief at the injustice of what I was watching.  This movie is not for those prone to ulcers that derive from being stressed.  I, for one, was fuming mad while watching this.

It definitely had an impact on me, an impact strong enough that it made me want to do something, which I did by going to the website, http://www.freepaconow.com.  If you can only get to see one full length doc at this year’s festival, see this one.

I Am A Ghost

I Am A Ghost succeeds in being a low-budgeted movie with big time scares.  H.P. Mendoza does a fine job of delivering scares, tension, and mystery in his character study of Emily, a ghost unable to pass through to the other side.

I can’t recall seeing any movie told entirely though the point of view of the ghost before, and Anna Ishida‘s portrayal of the ghost was simply terrific.  It’s never an easy thing to carry an entire movie on your shoulders, yet Anna seemed to do it here.

In The Family

Choc-full of flaws, Patrick Wang‘s In The Family offers absolutely nothing new to the stack of already existing custody battle dramas. The story falls in line with the most generic of plots for these types of films;  Couple has child, one of the guardians die, family of the deceased than adopts the child leaving the lone parent left with heartache and a fight for custody.  The difference here is that the couple with the child are gay.  Also, different here, is that the entire affair is 3 hours long with expressionless performances, unnecessary scenes, and too many scenes that dragged on for a painstakingly extended amount of time.  Kramer vs. Kramer, or Losing Isaiah this was not.  Not even close.  My advice to those still wanting to see this movie, bring coffee – lots of it.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Reviews

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: