1 Manila is a double-bill tribute to Bernal's Manila By Night and Brocka's Jaguar. Let's get this out of the way: for a tribute, it renders itself a little unnecessary.
2 Just like KC Concepcion on Piolo Pascual's left arm that evening.
3 Just like the '20s rhinestoned headband KC was wearing.
4 And Tim Yap making an appearance at the post-screening cocktails.
5 Watching from the 4th floor balcony of the CCP Main Theater is like sitting on a rollercoaster about to go down on a slope and stops from a gazillion-feet aboveground. The place was jampacked and I was late. Social death.
6 But the film! The film! Okay, here's what we liked about it: Raya Martin's passive, tongue-in-cheek, chic attack to this whole homage to-do. The slo-mos, the '70s score, the ancient badingspeak. He has Bernal's snobbery and sophistication down pat. A little more sense of humor would do him good.
7 I like that they used the names of the original actors for the names of the characters: Piolo was Wiliam, Osang was mom Charito, the unseen drug dealer is Cherie, the benefactor is Bernarda. Didn't quite work for the Jaguar part. A bodyguard named Philip? Although Amy worked for Alessandra because, well, she looked like a young Amy.
8 Piolo played a baluga in the Jaguar part. Not just a baluga but a dumb baluga. That's a little racist. A dumb baluga with a raised collar. Now that's just wrong.
9 After Piolo kills Baron Geisler in an effort to protect his boss Jay Manalo, Jay and entourage take off, leaving Piolo by himself in the murder scene. Piolo runs from Remedios Circle passing by Jones Bridge to Binondo where his boss lives. Ummm, puwede namang nag-jeep na lang siya from Taft, baba siya ng Lawton, tas lakad konti, sakay siya Divisoria, madadaanan naman 'yun.
10 Did I already mention that for a tribute to the best directors Philippine cinema has ever produced, this one is unnecessary? Yep, just like asking Piolo Pascual to star in this movie. PP is the biggest actor in the land, and certainly one of the best. Just like Brocka and Bernal, the guy deserves better.