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5.0 out of 5 stars Personal review of the filipino movie 'The Masseur'
It is such a pleasure to have the extremely attractive Coco Martin, one of my favorites, in this movie.
I highly recommend it
Published 15 months ago by Twittenhoff

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Do not waste your money on purchasing this apology for a movie. A boring amd very poorly edited production with a substandard sound quality. One wonders what type of recording devices were used to make this feature as the picture quality was well below par. It is hard to believe that it already has received favourable reviews and one wonders if these reviews have been...
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by Rob


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5.0 out of 5 stars Personal review of the filipino movie 'The Masseur', 8 July 2013
By 
Twittenhoff (Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
It is such a pleasure to have the extremely attractive Coco Martin, one of my favorites, in this movie.
I highly recommend it
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4.0 out of 5 stars very honest, 3 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
Dont understand some of the negative reviews out there , yes this is quite a cheap little film , not slick or lavish nor does it show lots of ott sex . yet I think there is a raw honest sadness to this story about struggle / sex/ death . maybe a little too long but def worth seeing , more as a good world movie than a film about being gay .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 31 Oct 2011
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Thomas N. Orchard (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
The reason some reviewers are disappointed with this film is because it has been marketed as an erotic fantasy when in fact it is a very serious film about life in a Third World city (Manila) involving poverty, exploitation, family life and death.
The film revolves around Iliac a likeable and very handsome 20 year old straight man who works in a seedy gay brothel where their male clients (mercifully all Filipino - no Westerners) are massaged cheek by jowl in small rooms that have zero privacy. The boys massage the clients, the clients just lie there and the screaming queen owner lines the boys up in a beauty/picking parade every time a new client arrives.
Iliac of course has a normal life away from the brothel. In his case his father is dying and so the film alternates between scenes of men being massaged in a Manila brothel and his family getting together to deal with death in a small Filipino town.
I liked this film immensely. It reminds me of the film 'Hammam' which was also wrongly marketed as soft porn. (In both films you see plenty of bottoms but little else.) Iliac is a sweet kid unlike the clients who are all portrayed as needy and desperate. He has a girlfriend but she seems as barking mad as the brothel owner. Iliac doesn't seem to make much money from his efforts. He even has to beg a client to buy him cigarettes at one point. And when a client demands sex from him the price is only 500 Pesos - about £7.
To me this is a film that demands repeated viewings of its brief 75 mins. The sequence where the client forces himself on Iliac is very upsetting as well as powerful since we, the viewer, can see Iliac's blank face as this is happening. A blank face that's neatly juxtaposed with that of his dead father as he lays cold on the mortuary slab while his family argue about how to pay for the funeral. As I say this film is all about exploitation.
The film does have high production values, especially the scenes in Iliac's home town. The brothel scenes are inevitably filmed a little shakily due to the cramped conditions but that doesn't spoil one's enjoyment. If anything it just adds to the authenticity. For me this is a real film about real people in a real situation. I doubt anything has changed since it was filmed and I hope the punters feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manilla Massage, 12 Mar 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film by Brillante Mendoza, and for those not use to his work he tends to use the hand held cameras and street style shots that give the viewer the sense of being a voyeur, or some might say documentary style. That said there is some excellent camera work especially in the massage/brothel parlour.

I can see why this has attracted such negative votes, as being a Peccadillo presentation and given the cover photos you would expect this to be a more full on story of riotous sex. However, and it is a big however that is not the story that Mendoza wants to tell. This is the story of 20 year old Iliac who has a rather colourful girlfriend but who works as a `masseur' and as one punter says `All masseurs are whores', and in that he is pretty much on the money. And that is why they do it, because of the crushing poverty, which is covered better in `Slingshot' (Mendoza's latest release)Slingshot [DVD] [2007]. They all live with the dichotomy of needing to earn money struggle with family ties, religion and penury in a society where everyone seems to sit on the chairs you get from B and Q for the garden in the summer, but all have mobile phones.

When his father dies he has to help with the body preparation and the whole story of the funereal rites, the wake and burial are told in parallel with his `work' and experiences in the parlour. There are some funny moments but not enough to say this is a humorous tale. Neither is it a soft porno, although similar to the men in the film it trades on sex, which has no substitute for real feelings, and that I feel is where this film firmly posits itself.

The language is Tagalog, and therefore lots of English and at a running time of 73 minutes does not outstay its welcome. It has won three awards including the Locarno International Film Festival Golden Leopard, and like most people I have absolutely no idea what that is. This has been described as `lyrically paced' and for most of us that means `slow' but there is more than enough to keep you entertained but with heaps of layering and maybe sometimes too subtle - as I like World cinema I quite enjoyed this.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 15 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
Do not waste your money on purchasing this apology for a movie. A boring amd very poorly edited production with a substandard sound quality. One wonders what type of recording devices were used to make this feature as the picture quality was well below par. It is hard to believe that it already has received favourable reviews and one wonders if these reviews have been fabricated.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Adult DVD, 23 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
I thought a very poor production as it appeared to have lost the script and plot, for there was more empasis on a funeral and wake that on the subject matter.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 26 April 2011
This review is from: The Masseur [DVD] (DVD)
Buy Midnight Dancers (Sub) [DVD] [US Import] instead: it has more or less the same plot, but is better made, more interesting, and less wearing.

The Masseur has one overriding problem no glossy cover collage can paper over: it's boring. It's dull. It's agony to watch, and that's despite the nudity and sex.

Here's the real indictment: I saw this several years ago, thought it was awful, and sold it on eBay. Fast forward to 2011 and I've bought it again, unawares, seduced by Peccadillo's slick cover shot. It's so tedious I only gradually became aware that I'd seen it before about three quarters of the way through.

Shame on me, and shame on Peccadillo. A complete waste of time.
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The Masseur [DVD]
The Masseur [DVD] by Brillante Mendoza (DVD - 2007)
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