Blow Out (Brian De Palma) **** - As someone who considers himself a Brian De Palma fan, it's amazing that I haven't seen one of his most major works until now. John Travolta, in probably one of his very best roles, plays a movie sound man who records something that is evidence of a rather vast consipiracy. Take The Conversation and Blow Up, add a heavy dose of Hitchcock and turn it up to 11 and you get Blow Out. It's De Palma at his VERY, VERY best. Here he orchestrates suspense while seemingly deconstructing film (well, the old-school film anyway). I didn't know much about it so the many twists and turns this film had was a thrill. Excellent picture all around.
Sapi (Possession) (Brillante
Mendoza) **1/2 - I'm a fan of director Brillante Mendoza's work so when I
heard he's made a horror film, I got interested (well, he already sort
of did with Kinatay). This one
is about two competing TV networks each trying to make a story of
demonic possessions in order to boost ratings. And the reporters and
cameramen involved start getting strange visions. This movie is kind of
strange. It seems that it's trying to satirize the Philippines' TV
network wars and the exploitive nature of mass media while someone is
trying to butt in trying to make it into a horror film. The combination
just didn't quite gel and results in neither one being completely
satisfactory. There potentially interesting ideas and visuals but all in
all, it's Mendoza's weakest work to date.