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Review Roundup: I DO BIDOO BIDOO, Starring Sam Concepcion, Tippy dos Santos



Manila, Philippines, September 5, 2012 - Feature film production companies Unitel Productions ("Crying Ladies"), Studio 5 ("Rosario"), multi-award winning screenwriter, film director Chris Martinez ("The Woman in the Septic Tank," "100"), and prolific stage, television, and film music composer, arranger Vincent De Jesus ("Care Divas," "Crying Ladies") join forces to create the groundbreaking movie musical "I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila," which explores four interwoven love stories inspired by 17 songs popularized by the APO Hiking Society, a trio made up of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) luminaries Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo, and Danny Javier.

"I Do Bidoo Bidoo" stars Sam Concepcion, Tippy Dos Santos, Eugene Domingo, Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Jaime Fabregas, Neil Coleta, Frenchie Dy, Kiray Celis, Sweet Plantado, Gerald Pesigan, John Mark Ibanez, and Ishmael Alsdefat. 

Graded "A" by the Cinema Evaluation Board, the movie musical, now running in its second week, continues to charm Filipino filmgoers and most film critics.  Read some of the review excerpts below:

Job B. De Leon, GMA News: Right from the opening credits, the film endears itself with scenic views of the heart of Manila. No matter how much one dreads coming down to its streets–from hawkers to her congested roads–the film warms one up to its consistent, idealized feel…

"I Do Bidoo Bidoo" has an actual story to move the plot along. It's quite refreshing to see a studio-produced local film that doesn't rely on the tired comedy tropes. Though if you're looking for them, the film features unflappable kumares in Sweet Plantado and Frenchie Dy, and a bibo child sidekick in Gerald Pesigan. But they're written in just right, not overpowering the narrative and are given equal opportunity to tease a smile from the viewers.

While the movie banks heavily on box-office hitmakers, its performing ensemble leaves something to be desired. That the world can suddenly break out into beautifully choreographed music video is one of the pillars of a musical, and some of the performances in "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" aren't quite there. At times, people in the background feel like fellow audience members instead of performers in a grand spectacle.

Mark Angelo Ching, Pep.Ph: While the story may be common, the way the film approaches it is not. Well-choreographed musical numbers help the film feel fresh, and the decision to use songs from the APO Hiking Society hike the nostalgia…

It is a great decision to cast actors who are actual singers. Leads Sam Concepcion and Tippy Dos Santos are brimming with talent, and their skills are maximized in their production numbers.

The rest of the cast are just as perfect. There could be no better actors to play their parents than Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, and Zsa Zsa Padilla, three of the country's top performers. Eugene Domingo is the only non-singer in the cast, but her commendable acting chops and box-office draw Make Up For this fact.

One negative factor that can be said is that the ending feels abrupt, because no solid build-up transitions to it.

Jude Cartalaba, Despite the local film's likeliness to the main themes of the stage musical-turned-movie musical "Mamma Mia!" "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" has its own strengths; and it has lived up to whatever it was hyped up to be by its drumbeaters.

One glaring similarity between "Mamma Mia!" and "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" was both films have focused on wedding preparations, with different takes though: Martinez's film was very Filipino in its approach, especially with the music of the APO Hiking Society, which provided the familiar soundtrack.

Another sameness between "Mamma Mia!" and "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" was the use of the moon as a metaphor for love.

Nevertheless, the film has delivered excellent performances from its star-studded cast.

Philbert Ortiz Dy, "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" brings the jukebox musical to Filipino cinema, building a story inspired by the music of the Apo Hiking Society. One can't really ask for better inspiration than that, and thankfully, the film doesn't squander it. The movie is often able to harness the grace and heart of the music, crafting surprisingly powerful sequences from the words. Spotty production mars the effect, but for the most part, "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" has a lot going for it…

The movie manages to build a fairly credible story out of the songs. The narrative gets a little loose at times, but by and large it manages to find the heart of these songs and build something clever out of it. Its cleverest conceit lies in how it veers away from the story of young love, and uses it as a jumping off point to explore a couple of marriages that didn't work out the way that its participants thought it would. It gives the film surprising weight, and allows it to connect to the music in a much deeper way than one would expect. In the movie's most affecting moments, nostalgia morphs into regret, old songs standing in for a past that the characters can no longer regain. 

It doesn't always work, however. Some of the songs are an odd fit at best, and only serve to stretch out the movie. Production values are also surprisingly spotty. The cinematography in particular is an issue. The actors are often underlit. It's a strange choice that does a real disservice to the performances. There are bits of the movie that are out of focus, and entire scenes that look like they were shot with a cellphone. As a whole, the film is just visually underwhelming. To be fair, there's a lot of interesting production design in the picture. But the camerawork is generally uninspiring, the same two or three movements played out over and over. 

Ricky Lo, The Philippine Star: The big revelation is Neil Coleta in his movie debut, after those Nestea commercials, one Kapuso soap and one Kapamilya teleserye. I heard that at first Neil was reluctant and almost turned down the role and he would have regretted all his life if he did. I'm sure Neil has fun watching himself dance (he thought he couldn't) and sing (he also thought he couldn't) and flesh out his character with such pathos (especially in his rain-soaked scene, shot in that tunnel in Intramuros, with a drunken Sam) that you want to give him more than just a dozen pats on the back.

Gelo Gonzales, FHM: APO's music is generation-defining. Their songs pinned down the hopes, aspirations, and fears of our dads and moms back in the day. Their hits are also timeless. Up until now we can't help but still be drawn to the longing in "Panalangin"; "Pumapatak Na Naman Ang Ulan" is still a top-of-head song, or near it at least, whenever the rain falls; and the jaded I-don't-want-to-love-anymore "Tuyo Nang Damdamin" never fails to remind us that this "emo" thing actually existed way before emo-bangs did.

So what are we trying to say? APO's appeal is-big-word-alert-transcendental. And we owe it to ourselves to see something that's been a huge part of our culture. Besides, the cast, which features real-life singers Ogie Alcasid, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Gary Valenciano, and young'ins Sam Concepcion and Tippy Dos Santos, absolutely do a fine job in their renditions.  

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