From ‘Nether’ to the highways of California


Karen Kunawicz

The ads for Red Turnip Theater’s The Nether were intriguing so I caught one of last weekend’s shows at the Power Mac Center Spotlight at The Circuit, Makati.

The story is part encapsulated soap opera, part The Matrix (I don’t want to give away too much as it relies on a twist near the ending). My gamer date seemed to really enjoy it and all the references it makes to the world of games and online personas.

For me, however, the standout wasn’t the story—it was the acting. Jenny Jamora is a force of nature while both Bodjie Pascua and Bernardo Bernardo show us why they’re veterans and masters of their craft.

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The Nether cast is rounded out by TJ Trinidad and Junkya Santarin and Alba Berenguer-Testa, alternating as a little girl named Iris.

As of this writing, the comedy film CHiPs scores at 20-percent on the Rotten Tomatoes “tomatometer.” It’s a buddy comedy based on the popular TV series from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox.

Jenny Jamora is the relentless Agent Morris in ‘The Nether’

I didn’t think it was that bad. But perhaps this was so only because I was in a good mood that evening, and I was watching with a lot of friends. Michael Peña and Dax Shepard (who also wrote and directed the film) take on the roles of Francis “Ponch” Poncherello and Jon Baker. One’s an FBI agent going undercover to investigate a thievery ring inside the California Highway Patrol, the other is former professional motorcycle riding champion trying to save his marriage by joining the CHP.

My favorite scene happens to be the ending when Tupac’s “California Love” starts playing—pretty much because it reminds me how awesome that song was.

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For this week’s movie openings we have a showdown of badass women: Scarlett Johansson plays “Major,” a futuristic super soldier in the live action adaptation of the landmark comic and 1995 anime film, Ghost in the Shell. Director Rupert Sanders of Snow White and the Huntsman fame has a huge responsibility of pleasing the hardcore fans of the source material. Will it pass muster?

In The Revenger (aka The Assignment in North America), Michelle Rodriguez plays Frank Kitchen, a formerly male hitman who was forcibly given a sex change. Walter Hill of the classic cult film, The Warriors directs. Sigourney Weaver also stars.

The Nether—Red Turnip’s fourth season finale—ends its run on April 9. CHiPs opened on March 23.


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