|11.15.2013 – Blue Bustamante was a mixed bag of nostalgia, and a character driven story based from Miko Livelo’s Epic 5 short film that won him a scholarship when he joined the Red Horse Muziklaban. This took him to film school where he landed the director’s chair.
Miko Livelo was at the Eraserheads vinyl toy launch in late September when he mentioned about this film that he’s developing. It was a story of an engineer working in Japan, loses his job not telling his wife and son about the misfortune…
He decides to take a friend’s offer of playing a stunt double for a fictional Japanese Sentai show. Donning a blue mask and spandex suit, George becomes both onscreen and off screen hero to his family in the Philippines. The premise looks like your usual OFW story, but with a different twist that can be inspiring and entertaining at the same time.
The background is elaborate in detail how the shows where being made and the exterior shots for this is believable. But most of the scenes in Japan where only shot during the last week of October, and it feels like the whole time it was made entirely in that place.
For a first time director Miko and the Punch Kick production definitely made this a labor of love. The cast’s chemistry between Joem Bascon (George Bustamante) and Jun Sabayton (Roger Grace) hit it off well. The film as mentioned is character driven and you can see nostalgia everywhere when you see this film.
The humor is inspired from Airplane and Naked Gun films that you have to keep your eyes wide open for happenings in the background as well as in the focused characters. For those who were expecting too much Sentai don’t get your expectations to that level. It is a great film that revolves around the life of George and his friend Roger. The supporting cast had a great performance including Jhiz Deocareza (Kiko Bustamante) and his friends being fans of the television show.
Dimples Romana’s comical timing is impeccable more like a character from a Japanese anime as the loving mother and George’s true love. But the role that is glue to make this film entertaining goes to Jun Sabayton as Roger Grace a sympathetic character you’ll try to avoid comparing to other comedians from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Just like Miko has mention during his interview with Parallel Planet the humor is inspired from that particular era of Tito, Vic, and Joey. It’s not slapstick or “trying hard” comedy that you see in Philippine television and mainstream films.
The script is very well-written that it appeals so much to everyone, who grew up in that era where films are not done in a rush or shirt cuts. You can feel the nostalgia in this film and never feel disappointed. There are some surprises and Easter eggs that would really make this stand out in this year’s festival for Cinema One Originals.
Overall Blue Bustamante gets +A grade for an original concept as buddy film with a lot of nostalgia to remind you old style comedy never goes away. They get re-made and re-packaged to keep those memories stay fresh for a first time director and its motley guerilla crew that gives you a Super Combo Punch Kick entertainment.
Let’s hope Cinema One Originals get to release this in home media and at the same time get a cool marketing like a variant action figure to make it worthwhile.
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