Metro Manila 2013

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(27) IMDb 7.5/10
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Seeking a better life, Oscar Ramirez and his family decide to move from the poverty stricken rice fields of the Northern Philippine mountain ranges, and journey towards the capital mega city of Metro Manila. Upon arrival in Manila, Oscar and his family fall foul to various city inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of their survival. Oscar manages to land a job as a driver for an armored truck company and is befriended by Ong, his senior officer. Before long, it becomes apparent that Ong, has been planning the arrival of someone just like Oscar for sometime.

Starring:
Jake Macapagal, Althea Vega
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Metro Manila

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 55 minutes
Starring Jake Macapagal, Althea Vega, John Arcilla
Director Sean Ellis
Genres Drama
Studio Independent
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages tagalog
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 55 minutes
Starring Jake Macapagal, Althea Vega, John Arcilla
Director Sean Ellis
Genres Drama
Studio Independent
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages tagalog
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Johnson on 12 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are three very good reasons why everyone should buy and watch this film. Each are as important as the next and each are truly astounding. The first is the production of the film itself, by Sean Ellis, a British film producer and director who has only recently come to my attention. The second is the actor Jake Macapagal, who plays Oscar Ramirez in this film; such a fabulous performance of utterly believable and mesmerizing intensity from him throughout. And the final reason is the role played by Althea Vega, as Mai Ramirez. Each do something very special in this film, leading this critic to label this as the best film I have seen in a very long time.

Firstly, Mr Ellis. The first thing I noticed as I was watching it for the first time today was the cinematography, the way the shots were framed, especially in the remote outer regions of the Philippines, where Oscar, Mai and their little family are resident after Oscar has been unable to work in the factory where he works. The shots of the province where the story is set are simply stunning, showing the true beauty of the place. Great care has been taken to show the beauty and the adversity in this nation, by Sean Ellis, as he tries to tell a story he himself has written, produced and directed as an independent film.

Then there is the role of Oscar Ramirez. As a film watcher, you want this man to be successful in what he does. In taking his family out of their poverty stricken region and bringing them to the metropolis that is Manila, he is taking a huge risk, but here is a man who has little hope of even buying next year’s grain, let alone farming it. Ask yourself the question therefore, how far would you go to secure the safety of your little family?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Mar 2014
Format: DVD
This is the latest film from British born director Sean Ellis (`Cash Back'). It is set in the Philippine capital Manila - hence the title. We meet Oscar Ramirez who has to leave his farm as it won't pay the bills. He takes his wife Mai and his two daughters and with a few savings heads off to find work in the big, bad city. On arrival he finds out that trust is one character trait he should have left in the village. Desperate for work Mai is soon touting her wares at a seedy bar. Oscar finally gets a job working for a security van company.

What he first thinks is his lucky break soon turns sour when he realises his new partner is not the nice guy he has been pretending to be. What follows is the story of what Oscar is forced to do and a roller coaster of a ride it is.

This film captures some of the horrific poverty that exists in Manila and juxtaposes it with the incredible wealth of some of the inhabitants. The issues can be viewed as universal and that helps gain empathy for all the players - well the nice ones. But you can even see why greed becomes a motivation for erstwhile law abiding people. There is some violence here but it is all incidental. The acting is all excellent and it can be very emotional. It had me glued to the screen for the full 115 minutes. In Tagalog so there is some English and with some very goods sub titles; this one is very easy to recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By malcolm conlan on 12 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Was very pleased have received my copy of Metro Manila actually earlier than estimated delivery time. Although I may be a bit biased having already watched the film in the cinema 8 times, as soon as I got my copy, I watched it once again!. Why do I love the movie so much? Metro Manila is a hard hitting, realistic look at the struggles which people are often forced to go to due to poverty to protect and help their families.

From the opening scene with the picturesque backdrop of the Rice Terraces of Banaue to the busy streets of Manila, this film charts the journey of Oscar Ramirez, (Jake Macapagal) and his family as they leave the provinces and travel to Manila in search of a better life. Oscar and indeed his wife (Althea Vega) are faced with some very difficult decisions and challenges on their journey through life. Plenty of twists and turns, Adrenalin, action and indeed utter despair all confronted in truly one of the best movies I have ever seen!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Heather McIntosh on 12 Mar 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Amazing film with incredible plot twists and turns. Can completely see why this is BAFTA-nominated.

Absolutely fantastic - a must-see for everybody.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andres C. Salama on 3 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
Oscar Ramirez (Jake Macapagal), his wife Mai (played by the lovely Althea Vega) and their two young children live in the Filipino countryside as impoverished farmers. With no prospects ahead, they decide to move to the huge megalopolis of Manila. However they soon find themselves there struggling, with no jobs, no place to live and conned out of their few savings. Things seem to start going up a bit when the seemingly naÔve Oscar finds a job as a chauffeur in an armored delivery company and Mai as a hostess in a seedy bar. Oscar's coworker Douglas (John Arcilla, in a great performance as a deeply corrupt man) seems too friendly, even giving him for free an apartment for him and his family to live. And if this seems too good, it is, since he has some nasty criminal plans for Oscar.

The first part of the film is social commentary on the reality of a megacity like Manila, the second part becomes more of a genre film (I found the social commentary side of the movie more appealing than the genre side). The director, Sean Ellis, is English, and in fact has only visited the Philippines once before filming. Despite not knowing the local language, he makes a very intriguing and interesting film.
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