Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Patient X should stay at the basement so nobody can see it ...

I don't know what made us watch this film in the first place but definitely it was not to watch Richard Guttierez grimace his way the entire film and call it acting. Perhaps it was the hope of seeing updated versions of local legends and because it was made by Yam Laranas, whose previous horror films were terrifying. This one isn't, and guys bringing their dates in the hopes getting an interesting amount of body contact will be disappointed. The dates won't even take a long time watching the main star on the screen. Sure this is supposed to be scary film but he's starting to look like his twin brother. Good thing he's not a good host or else Raymond would lose his job. But it's not just him, it's the entire movie. It's one of those flicks that were conceptualized with good intentions but ends up falling flat. If there are better films playing in the cinema you are in, don't bother giving this one a try. If you are still interested just make sure you set your standards not that high. Actually make it low.

The movie starts with a sequence that it my opinion could have been removed altogether. It shows Christine Reyes and a young Richard running towards their home only to find his family massacred by Christine's associates. Unfortunately this takes out a lot of mystery to the characters of the two leads. They were already using flashbacks anyway so why not interweave them so the audience can at least use their heads to figure out their relationships. Maybe Yam thought that the slow unraveling used in "Sigaw" and "The Echo" won't work here. Besides any questions a moviegoer would ask would get answered in the first 30 minutes of the film. Afterwards the movie turns into a monster fest, killing every human in sight.

Who is Patient X? The trailer already told you that. How does the updated Aswangs fare to classical representations? They get humanized a bit, not too much fake prosthetics in their faces though the actors are still required to act like they are a pack of hungry wolves. One also wonders how strong they are; while it needs half a dozen people to stop one from opening a door, Richard was able to push one away. After decades of being onscreen, they haven't become smarter too. Case in point: the Big Daddy aswang sees the sick child Richard conveniently leaves on the passenger seat of his Ford pickup. Big Daddy runs up to the child and since the window is half open, he uses his hand to grab her. If he's a strong aswang why didn't he just break the windows? The Big Daddy aswang even allowed Richard to get back to the pickup, open the driver side door and grab his bolo for the final fight. So much for their quick reflexes. Remember the town of Aswangs where Manilyn Reynes gatecrashed in Shake, Rattle, and Roll? Rez Cortez may have the ugliest dentures, but he sure did break Anjo Yllana's body in two WWE style.

The humans aren't that smart either. There is a scene that looked like the Abu Ghraib prisons, where TJ Trinidad electricutes and burns Patient X, and then exclaims his frustrations for being unable to find a way to kill the aswang. Shooting won't work but it didnt take me a long time to figure out simply decapitating them. Maybe it is harder because they are aswangs, or maybe because Christine is just too beautiful to be beheaded. The fact that they placed Patient X in the basement of a hospital makes me wonder what their intentions are. They were forced to drive away hundreds of patients in the process, why not in the police station surrounded by even more police? What, she needs medical attention? Don't you see she can regenerate!?

The atmosphere seen in Laranas's films is still there, but it did not evoke the same emotions.Being backed by a huge outfit, it looked cleaner on most parts. The shaky cam, dark surrounds, and rain only confused the scenes and made it a pain to watch. The only good thing that came out from the style is the audience thinking that there is more to the action when in reality there wasn't. It's a pity that the most beautiful shot is the final frame.

So much for so called rescue though the storm. So much for the attempted romance. So much for all the hype. I should have scoured for Paranormal Activity instead. Php 260 down the drain. It will take hours for the image of Richard screaming, "Nandito na silaaaa.." to be erased in my head now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

10.10.09 Could be Smart Wimax

Just today you may have noticed an ad about some sort of revolutionary broadband to be introduced in 10.10.9 or October 10, 2009 Saturday. Is this a new ISP wanting to make a mark in the Philippine market? The signs may actually point something much more familiar: hold on to your saddles, its Smart deploying Wimax soon.

The biggest clue pointing to this would be the complete acquisition by the wireless telecom giant of the lesser known but pioneeing telco named Primeworld Digital Systems Inc. (PDSI). This was reported as early as October 5, 2009. What's interesting about the deal is that PDSI holds the rights to the 30 MHz frequency encompassing the 2300-2400 spectrum range. The 2.3 GHz spectrum is part of the range allocated by the NTC for broadband wireless access use. This means Smart will now be able to roll its Wimax services.

WIMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, a wireless technology with more similarities to Wifi than 3G. It is able to deliver connections up 3 to 6 Mbps over very long distances. This means that though it may not be as fast as 802.11g, it will have a similar range to 3g or 3.5g but is capable of faster internet.

Whether this can stand in conflict to the current mobile broadband services of Smart (Smart Bro, using 3G and HSDPA) is still too far to be seen. At this point, home subscribers using the canopy and the 3G router have been satisfied with the stable speeds they have been getting. Their USB dongles are also providing reliable connections. They have even treated their home users to a lovely 1 Mbps speed bump lately.

Rival Globe has demonstrated that Wimax and 3G tech also can coexist. They have actually Smart to be first to roll out Wimax plans in key cities. Unfortunately for them, reports have been hazy to say the least. In fact their current plans make you want to think twice when a similar offer from Smart (Bro) gives the same results on paper and actually delivers it. Still Smart may end up with the same model where Wimax becomes the solution for fixed wireless internet while HSDPA takes care of internet on the go.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The PS3 Slim is now official!

It seems the months of rumors and speculation around the Internet has paid off. Sony has now officially announced the availability of a slimmer version of it's Playstation 3 console. The matte finished slim weighs only 7 lbs. and is definitely smaller than its piano black cousin. However for some reason they think giving it a form factor that is very similar to the older one would make sense, I for one was hoping that it would vastly different. But hey they it was slim, do just of it as Playstation 3 on a diet. What's very interesting is looks very similar to the gadget touted in a youtube video a few months back. So it seems that the Philippine black market was able to snag some test systems hehehe. Anyways here to a cheaper and less power consuming blu-ray player for the rest of us. Oh and it plays games too.

image courtesy of

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Smart Bro Speed Bump

Smart Bro canopy users, have you noticed you've been getting better speeds just this weekend? You are all in luck since Smart Bro has just increased their maximum speeds to 512 Kbps. They even call it "new and improved."

This is a good move on their part since their unlimited home plan was against the flow with they are offering their mobile customers. It is quite ironic that their mobile plans can run up to 2Mbps while loyal home subscribers only get 384 kbps. Of course the USB dongles have HSDPA while the canopies don't, but the fact that they were able to upgrade means they have been holding off the true speeds of the canopy (to our detriment).

Maybe they were afraid of the attention Globe has been getting with their Wimax offerings. At the onset it seems Globe's Wimax is the better deal since their 512kbps plan is only at Php712 monthly. However several forums have not been too kind with the service.

But the real competition to the original Smart Bro plan is Share It! It Smart's 3G and router solution woven in the same box. Though there is a one time fee Php2,500, getting to share 2mbps in your household is something worth considering. If Share It comes close to the consistency of the Motorola canopies, I just might make a switch.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

GMAIL not beta anymore

Noticed something about your Gmail today? Yup, you won't notice the beta world on the logo. Just to keep business happy apparently, since you won't notice anything new.

Google has been pressured to release most of their apps out of beta lately. Wonder what took them so long anyways...

Get Digital TV in the Philippines Right Now

Though the Philippines's National Telecommunications Commission has been moving faster than a slug in the effort to decide which format will be used in the country's shift to digital television, most don't realize that flickers of hope are popping up for people who want digital TV right now. Check your options .


Folks in Metro Manila currently have two options on how they want to go digital. Believe it or not, one can experience digital television though Skycable. There is some confusion though on whether or not you need to subscribe to their Platinum package. if the company says the digibox has been rolled out to most parts of the metro, then they better change their FAQ's that describe Platinum as digital while the other packages don't get the same treatment. Or perhaps they simply want people to subscribe to Platinum.

Regardless one can easily tell the difference between picture quality. There are two downsides, one is a huge chance that what you're watching are analog signals that was simply converted to digital and the only video connection is RCA.Because of those two the picture quality can only go so much. The good news is that if your area is already digital then you are eligible to experience two High Definition channels, History HTDM and Discovery HD. You'll be needing another set-top-box plus and additional Php 500 per month for two channels.


If your Skycable area is not yet digital, or you live outside metro Manila another recourse is to get satellite TV. Cignal is the newest kid on the block offering satellite direct-to-home services (they haven't offically launched yet). What's great about the new player is that they are offering HD channels right off the bat. Subscription is fairly cheap at Php 390 per month for a measley 20 channels or Php 790 if you wanna toss in History HDTM and Voom HD. That's Php 100 cheaper that what skycable is offering (but Discovery could be a game changer).

Good news for Cebu residents, there is already a Cignal dealer in the area. They told me they are selling the combo package (20 SD and 2 HD channels) at Php 4,700 for the set-to-box (which includes an HDMI port, perfect for your LCD TV). Installation fee is Php 1000 within Metro Cebu, Php 1200 outside the Metro, and Php 1500 for areas beyond 50 km.

Parasat Cable

Since Cignal can be deployed nationwide, Mindanao can also get this option. However if you are an existing Parasat cable subcriber you are in lucj because the cable company has just announced its plans to transition into the digital platform. They will be the first company outside of Metro Manila to do so. The launch is pegged tomorrow, July 8 at the LimKetKai center.

By July 10, 15 of the foreign channels they are offering will transitioned into the digital format. The packages are actually more attractive than the two earlier options presented. The subscription starts from Php700 for 70 channels, Php 950 for 82 channels, and Php 1150 for all the channels plus 7 premium ones (EuroSport channel anyone?)

Parasat also has plans to offer HD channels within the year though I suspect they will also charge the same way as Skycable and Cignal does.


The choices may be bleak for now but most of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao is covered. This means we don't have to wait for NTC or 2015 to get our hands on digital television.

You can get more information about the packages through their respective websites except for Cignal. Rumor has it that July 14 will be their grand launch.


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