Filmography: D’Lucky Ones (2006)

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Basic Information: Directed: Wenn V. Deramas; Story: Rose Colindres; Screenplay: Theodore Boborol, Rose Colindres; Cast: Sandara Park, Joseph Bitangcol, Pokwang, Eugene Domingo, Nikki Valdez, Candy Pangilinan, Guest appearance of Vilma Santos; Executive producer: Charo Santos-Concio, Malou N. Santos; Original Music: Jessie Lasaten; Cinematography: Sherman So; Film Editing: Renewin Alano; Production Design: Nancy Arcega; Sound: Addiss Tabong; Theme Songs: “Ang Ganda Ko” Performed by Sandara Park; “Toyang” Performed by Eraserheads; “Sweet Sixteen” Performed by Vilma Santos

Plot Description: Tina (Eugene Domingo) and Lea (Pokwang) are best friends who are also avid fans of Vilma Santos. They were inseparable until Lea decides to leave the country and go to Korea. They promise that someday they will really become one big happy family when their children get married. Years after, by virtue of an old vow, Lucky Girl (Sandara Park) and Lucky Boy (Joseph Bitangcol) are forced to be together by their mothers. Problem is, they hate each other’s guts. But, just when they’re falling for each other, love plays a trick on the meddling moms which threatens to bring the young lovers apart. – IMDB

Film Achievement: Box office hit of 2006

Film Review: “…Parang tribute kay Vilma Santos ang D’ Lucky Ones ng Star Cinema dahil galing mula sa mga hit movie ng aktres ang mga linya nina Pokwang at Eugene Domingo. Base sa trailer na napanood namin sa presscon, potential hit ang D’ Lucky Ones at may posibilidad ito na maging another Ang Tanging Ina sa takilya. May special participation sa pelikula si Vilma Santos at ayon ito kay Sandara Park na hindi yata aware na hindi pa pwedeng sabihin ang surprise ng project niya sa Star Cinema. Very Vilma Santos ang itsura ni Eugene sa poster ng D’ Lucky Ones. Mismong si Eugene ang nagsabi na “fans na fans” (fan na fan) siya ng Star for All Seasons. Take note, seryoso ang comedienne nang ipahayag ang sobrang paghanga sa award-winning actress kaya hindi niya napansin na sumobra ang kanyang letrang ‘s….” – Jojo Gabinete, Abante Tonite, March 19, 2006 (READ MORE)

Stand out sina Pokwang at Eugene Domingo sa D’ Lucky Ones, kung tutuusin supporting roles lamang sila dito. Nag-mukhang sina Sandara Park at Joseph Bitangcol ang supporting, dahil nadala nila ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng pagiging isang tagahanga. Litaw na litaw ang paghango ng mga linya mula sa mga pelikulang Sister Stella L., Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa at iba pang pelikulang pinagbibidahan ni Ate Vi. Oo, sila nga ay die hard fans ni Vilma Santos, at dahil dito, ang pelikula ay isang SUCCESS.

Well, it’s a crime to say that Pokwang and Domingo are supporting roles, in the first place, they are the ones who named their kids “Lucky”. Lucky girl and Lucky boy. How sweet ain’t it? Every single bit revolves around the two mothers, they practically OWN the movie, everytime they are on screen they demand presence. Especially, on the Vilma quote bits, they deliver each line right to the pulp. It was so hilarious because i’ve seen those films, and they’ve captured Vilma’s nuances and mannerisms.There was one part in the film when Eugene Domingo started quoting Vilma Santos in the film, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, complete with the white free flowing dress, they even shot it on the beach, it’s oozing with cheese, it good, if you get my drift. If that wasn’t enough, they even had a dance showdown at a comedy bar, according to Pokwang, they’re just dancing just like Vilma did in the movie Burlesk Queen. Forget about Park and Bitangcol, the film belong to the two stars of all season. Majority of the jokes in the film will be lost in translation to those not familiar with Vilma’s films, and to this note, it is a film not for everyone. – Eboy Donato (READ MORE)

With Eugene Domingo and Pokwang heading the cast, D Lucky Ones can really make you laugh. But everything seems to end there. And though I know a number of people from the cast to the production staff, I just can’t help but write about the booboos of this movie. It is really disappointing. A good film should have cultural correctness and accuracy even in the smallest details that may seem unnoticeable to a number of viewers. And even though such a film is clearly fictionalized, a good research should let it convey a well-established story based from the realities of life. A comedy can sometimes deviate from realistic features. But this creative freedom is always justified for every story claiming for its use.

From Korea, Pokwang and Sandara return to the Philippines via an international flight of Cebu Pacific. In fact, Cebu Pacific looks like a sponsor of the movie because of its well-advertised treatment. But the problem is not the seemingly ‘product placement’ of the airline company as it looks valid and unexploited on screen. But never did I know that there’s an international flight courtesy of Cebu Pacific other than Hongkong to Manila and vice versa. I am open to corrections if there’s really a Korea to Manila flight via Cebu Pacific. Morever, Pokwang and Sandara go out of the airport’s Centennial Terminal under Cebu Pacific when the said terminal is only meant for PAL (Philippine Airlines) passengers. Is this the most that the location managers can do for the movie? And is this the best effort that the entire staff can have just to be able to shoot the movie without acknowledging a balance between creativity and correctness of what they are bringing to the viewers? On a personal note, for a movie of one of the top film production companies of the country, I just couldn’t get the point why they are supposed to let such simple things be overlooked. It’s like they let such booboos pass because they underestimate their audience.

I try to rationalize if all these things can be excused because it is meant to be like that for a comedic effect. But this one is not justifiable at all. I try to consider if it’s possible that Pokwang and Sandara have made a stopover trip to some Visayan islands first before finally riding a plane bound to Manila since they are riding a plane with the passengers all looking like Filipinos (it’s only Sandara who looks like a foreigner in the plane). But it just doesn’t make sense. Honestly, the production number Eugene Domingo presents at the Centennial Terminal looks a bit impossible when she is not established as a very influential person in the movie to have the power to get a permit for such at the arrival area of the airport. But this one I can let pass for creative license for such a comedy. But the other things I have initially mentioned, it really tends to underestimate the viewers.

I have no question about the talents of Eugene Domingo and Pokwang when it comes to making people laugh. They know how to deliver. They give good punchlines. They can make both a simple dialogue or an already very funny line to come to terms with their humor altogether. Their characters as big Vilma Santos fans who have vowed to marry their children when the right time comes work for the comedy. But the thing is, removing all the other characters in the movie, the comedy can stand alone with Eugene and Pokwang only. Candy contributes to the humor but her character is not a vital thing in the story. Sandara doesn’t give the right timing to deliver a dramatic line or transcend the needed emotion for a scene. Nevertheless, her ‘krung-krung’ aura adds up to the comedy. Joseph has a very superficial acting. He has no depth for his character and he seems to just read and deliver his lines coming from the script. JR Valentin’s role is obviously made for the fun and for that added spice to the story’s conflict. He seems like the usual sex object exploited in the big screen (this time the sex object is a guy!) and he seems to work after all. He knows how to carry himself for the scenes without upstaging or downstaging Eugene and Pokwang. He blends with them for his sex object role.

The dance numbers remind me of the 80’s flicks where such production numbers are always present in a number of flicks of the era. It’s like the 80’s dance numbers meet present day novelty songs. They are fun and the masses seem too enjoy it well. The production design and lighting department are not so impressing for this movie. Eugene’s face has not changed a bit during the flashback scenes. Additional effort for the make-up could have saved it. The room of Joseph looks newly-arranged by the art department. The set and props all look brand new when in reality, some things should have looked a bit crumpled or fading. But the funny wardrobe of Pokwang and Eugene looks effective for the genre. The editing is not seemless. Though for just a few seconds, I have noticed an overexposed shot after the bus scene. The closeup shot of Sandara during a dramatic scene with Pokwang is out of focus.

This movie is incomparable with other well-made Star Cinema films. I am a witness to the standing room only second day/weekend showing of this movie at Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall. I have heard the laughter from fans and from those who just want to have a dose of comedy without noticing the booboos I have seen. But I would have to keep up with my stand that every film outfit and filmmaker have the utmost responsibility to come up with a film that is honest to the littlest details of make-believe. Creative license should be exercised towards excellence in all aspects of production. And they should always treat every viewer as either an intellectual or a street-smart person who deserves to watch something worth the hundred bucks s/he pays. – Rianne Hill Soriano, Jeu d’esprit (READ MORE)

D’Lucky Ones is one of those oddball, low budget comedies that still fill movie theaters in The Philippines. Hollywood would never make this movie, not because Americans have so much better tastes in films, but because it now costs too much to make B films (as they used to churn out in droves). That’s television’s job. Two best friends are both avid fans of actress Vilma Santos. They know her movies by heart. When one takes a job in South Korea, they promise that her daughter will marry the other one’s son when they both are old enough. They name the girl Lucky Girl and the boy Lucky Boy after one of Vilma’s children, Luis “Lucky” Manzano. Of course they don’t consult the children, who hate each other because of an incident they both remember differently, at a party when they were both young. When the one friend returns to The Philippines with her daughter, the girl is determined to get her revenge on Lucky Boy. What follows is a typical screwball sequence of events and misunderstandings. Lucky Girl winds up staying in the same apartment with Lucky Boy, to hide out from her mother and her plans to marry the girl to Lucky Boy, and doesn’t understand who Lucky Boy is, and gradually starts to fall in love with him. Lucky Boy, however, is working hard to get his revenge on Lucky Girl. He even gets her arrested for picking flowers at the entrance to Lunetta (Rizal Park). Considering the things that go on in the park, you’d think the police would have other things to worry about besides picking flowers, but it’s funny just for that.

Then there’s the silly subplot where the two friends, while trying to search for Lucky Girl, somehow fall in with a handsome young man, and both of them are fighting each other for his attention. It’s clear that he has no romantic interest in either one, who are both old enough to be his mother, but he’s hanging around as a friend. The two mothers go to a bar and join in a dance contest to impress the young man. They make their two children look incredibly mature by comparison. There’s one intense scene between Lucky Girl and her mother where Lucky Girl learns that her South Korean father abused her mother, and all the inlaws hated her because she was Filipino rather than Korean. Many times they would not allow her stay in the house with her daughter, but she begged for food on the streets. Watching Vilma Santos movies was her escape from this reality. This may also make Lucky Girl rethink her preference for living in South Korea over The Philippines (she’d been planning to return to the only country she knew as home. Heck, she only knew how to speak Tagalog from her mother forcing her to watch Vilma Santos movies.) The ending is obvious. Send the Vilma Santos fans to a Vilma Santos reunion party and get Ate Vi (Older Sister Vi) to patch up the two friends. And then everybody gets to dance. Hey, it’s The Philippines. Make sure you are better able to survive catastrophes than the crew and passengers of The Titanic. Get emergency preparedness kits now. Disabled and senior citizens need to check out an emergency medical alert system – That Awesome TV (READ MORE)

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