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‘BuyBust’ director believes movie offers premium

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Awarded filmmaker Erik Matti is proud of “BuyBust,” saying it offers viewers a lot of things they won’t usually find in other movies.

Erik Matti (Facebook)/mb.com.ph

Erik Matti (Facebook)

“BuyBust,” starring Anne Curtis, is about two teams deployed by anti-drug enforcement agency whose mission is to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila. Anne plays rookie police officer Nina Manigan.

The film was initially scheduled for a Philippine premiere on Feb. 28 but it was moved to Aug. 1 after US distributor Well Go USA acquired North American rights to the film.

“BuyBust” took two years to finish and Erik said, “sobrang madugo (ang paggawa) nito.”

Nonetheless, he promised it is worth the wait, describing it as offering a “premium.”

“Philippine cinema is really on a crossroads so we feel the need to give the audience something na talagang magugustuhan nila. Something na hindi mo gugustuhing mapanuod sa cell phone lang, ’yung talagang pupunta ka ng sinehan at du’n mo gugustuhing ma-experience ’yung buong pelikula,” he declared.

Joining Anne in the film are AJ Muhlach, Victor Neri, Nonie Buencamino, Joross Gamboa, and Brandon Vera.

Still on it

Meanwhile, to set the record straight, Erik dismissed speculations that he has abandoned the director’s chair and stressed that the upcoming “Darna” movie, with young actress Liza Soberano in the lead, is in full swing.

According to him, the production team of “Darna” has been finalizing all the details – from the computer graphics to shooting locations.

“We’ve had several look tests already in terms of makeup, costumes for the superhero and for the normal Narda costume. She’s (Liza) gearing up. She’s quite excited and we’ve done several rehearsals already for critical, emotional scenes.

“Ang dami nang nangyari so I am shocked that every now and then, may balitang hindi matutuloy or nagbitiw ako. Unless I am fired, I am very much still into ‘Darna,’” he said.

The principal photography of the film began March this year and Erik said they are preparing for the “bigger stuff.”

“We started shooting the simpler scenes first, the ones that are easy to prepare for. Aside from that, we have to get ready for the complicated set up. We’ve started already two months ago,” he said.

Sadly, Erik reiterated that the movie won’t be joining this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

“I think it’s tough to put a target to a film this big. There are a lot of things that are unknown. The production is quite big. The post-production is also quite extensive. I think ABS-CBN is trying to come up with a very special project with ‘Darna.’ To put a playdate to it, parang sayang din lang para sa project,” he explained.

As of writing, Star Cinema has yet to announce when “Darna” will be released in cinemas nationwide.

Praises for Darna

Ever since she was heralded as the new Darna, Liza has been getting her fair share of bashers who tell her she’s not fit for the role.

Erik thinks the only way for people to stop saying she would not give justice to the iconic role is for them to see her in full physical form.

He shared he has seen Liza in costume and in training. He lauded the young actress for her dedication to and passion for the project.

“When Daniel Craig became James Bond, ang daming nagsabi na iba pa din si Sean Connery. Nu’ng lumabas siya, everyone believed him. I think hindi ’yan (bashing) mahihinto until they see her and believe her kapag nakita siya na, ‘Ay oo nga, she’s the perfect Darna,’” the director said.

“We need to see her in full physical form. Grabe ’yung change from a year ago when we started. That’s because of the dedication of Liza as well. She had to forego a lot of things. She dedicated so many days for the trainings and if people will notice, she’s out of everything now, she’s out of the limelight because of the kind of passion she puts into her trainings,” he added.

On Liza’s costume, Erik revealed they have incorporated into the suit what’s required of Darna and made sure that “it’s more towards a fighter, a savior, a defender.”

“Hindi naman pwedeng naka leggings si Darna,” he joked.

“We didn’t think of (being conservative). We only thought of what’s good for the role. Dati kasi bikini na parang weird din minsan, itatanong mo sa sarili mo kung bakit ’yung superhero naka-bikini,” he explained. “Of course, with all the gender sensitivity now, we have designed something that is more of a warrior, more of utilitarian costume.”

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