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Colma: The Musical 2006
Description: In the city of Colma, just south of San Francisco, the dead outnumber the living one thousand to one. Here, one wouldn't expect teenagers to explode out in song, or dance around cemeteries and streets. But, that's exactly what happens. Greatest pals Rodel, Billy, and Maribel search themselves in a state of limbo; new out of high school, they are just beginning to discover a fresh globe of part-time mall jobs and ruining college parties. As newfound revelations and romances challenge their relationships with one other and their parents, the trio gotta assess what to keep onto, and how to greatest follow their dreams. It's a love song to the city, and to the residents who dream of a better (and more musical) life.
Released: 21 Mar 2006 Director: Richard Wong Writers: H.P. Mendoza (screenplay), H.P. Mendoza (story), Richard Wong (story) Actors: Jake Moreno, H.P. Mendoza, L.A. Renigen, Sigrid Sutter Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical
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Colma: The Musical Reviews:

There's a easy emotional acuity at the heart of this 2007 coming-of-age musical. True, at a poverty row budget of $15,000, it has the production values of a direct-to-hotel porn movie, but first-time director Richard Wong and first-time screenwriter, songwriter and co-lead H.P. Mendoza manage to create something substantive from the tired premise of three close mates just out of high school and still reeling from painful romantic breakups and experiencing the social alienation that makes their respective streets to self-discovery bumpy ones. The acting feels stilted and the melody rather derivative, but the movie somehow makes it to the finish line through its honesty about how life is for social outcasts living in San Francisco's suburban necropolis. It's all the more forgivable for the enthusiastic effort that shows.Shot on digital video in the true city of Colma, the film opens with the three leads singing the "Rent"-inspired rave-up, "Colma Stays", which describes the anonymous tiny city with intelligent imagery. Lanky Jake Moreno plays Billy, the most inchoate of the trio, an aspiring actor who not only lands a sales job at the mall (Serramonte for all you SF locals) but also a helping role in a local community theater production. He can't seem to receive over his ex-girlfriend much to the chagrin of not only a smitten fellow actress but also close pal Maribel. With a cheery spark masking an uncertain melancholy, the cherubic L.A. Renigen makes party woman Maribel the earthbound glue holding the trio together just barely. Her shining moment comes with "Crash the Party", a dead ringer for Blondie's "Dreamin'", preceded by the film's funniest moment, a frozen-stare buy of alcohol with fake IDs related to the liquor shop stage in "Superbad".The most challenged and challenging hero is Rodel, played with studied deadpan by Mendoza. Rodel is a gay poet and slacker, closeted from his traditional Filipino father and increasingly jealous of Billy's ability to transport on with his life. He provides the film's most painfully realistic moments, as well as the most lacerating lines. Yet, his plaintive rendition of "One Day (Pt. 2)" provides genuine heart to the story's climactic moment. Not everything is wondrous. Moreno's nasal vocals, which create him sound like Bert on "Sesame Street", receive wearing for the repetitive monotone. The barroom shanty stage runs too long, especially in ¾ time, and the "Deadwalking" duet between Renigen and Mendoza is marred by the arty Bergmanesque intrusion of ghostly couples dancing in the cemetery. The 2007 DVD offers a several surprising extras given the film's weak budget - an infectious and insightful commentary track from Wong and Mendoza and fifteen mins of deleted and extended scenes that were wisely excised from the final cut. Definitely a worthy first effort.


OK, as a Bay Zone resident (albeit a transplant) and indie movie maven, I couldn't stay away from seeing this film. I'm considerably older than the characters and I didn't grow up in the Bay Zone so I didn't relate to the storyline (or maybe it was just the mediocre acting, which was overshadowed by the perfect singing). Still, I thought this film was a guilty pleasure, kinda like your favourite Mexican restaurant or greasy spoon--you know you shouldn't, but you're glad you did.Part of what makes this movie fun is its foray into camp. Some of the musical numbers were just too over the top. Billy's musical declaration of love for "Tara" would have been sweet were it not for the two guys in the background scaling the facades of the buildings and every other. The true topper is where Tara releases the band holding her hair back so the breeze'll catch it--except she's got short hair and it hardly works. It's difficult to take this seriously, particularly when you realize that Billy and Tara first met at a party where Tara's operatic "Is someone in the bathroom?" is responded to by Billy's "I'm taking a sh!!!!!!!t." The camp factor is equally show in the songs we see during the performance of "Friend Joseph" (some sorta spin-off of "Pal Joey"?), a present in which Billy performs. It's just "quirky quirky quirky, so damn quirky, quirky quirky...." I guess it's a bit of a cinematic love letter to the area--there's even a shot of Maribel reading a ebook nearly each San Franciscan will recognize. I was at a screening that was followed by a Q&A with the director and one of the cast--there's a sequel in the offing if this is well-received. For some reason, I can't wait to see it. :-)


First-time director Richard Wong and first-time screenwriter, songwriter and co-lead H.P. Mendoza manage to create a nice low-budget coming to age musical that is better than a lot of the large Broadway musicals. The film follows three close mates on their adventure from high school to their adventure to self-discovery. The film opens with the song 'Colma Stays', which describes the tiny city as nowhere ville. It's even funnier when you had live there, like me, but Colma is nowhere like 'small town'. It's cute much actually connected to Daly City, and South San Francisco. It's does change. It's only 20 mins away from San Francisco, but the filmmakers made it seem like it's Colma is far from nowhere cool and there isn't anything to do. It's no way, slash off from the world. Still, there is more dead folks than alive folks in Colma. Anybody who is a Bay Zone local who live South Bay will appreciate the inside jokes, but the film is a bit limited due to that reason. The only folks that can similar to the movie is a tiny group of folks that live near or close by of the city of Colma. Billy (Jake Moreno) is the an aspiring actor who can't receive over his ex-girlfriend, while not seeing that a fellow actress Tara (Sigrid Sutter) is smitten with him as well as his close pal Maribel. (L.A Renigen). Maribel seems the hero that rarely has much going for her, besides partying. She's not that interesting of a character. She's a bit annoying, and snobby. The only highlight of the movie was her singing 'Crash the Party' which is nice non slash one take musical number. Not only is it, a nice song that sounds related to Blondie 'Dreamin', but the method they movie it is nice how they did without one mistake. While, Maribel has barely a character, Rodel (H.P Mendoza) has too much of it. Rodel is a gay slacker, who receive beaten by his traditional Filipino father and increasingly jealous of Billy's ability to transport on with his life. I love how the camera puts a black line between them in the laundry scene, making two boxes. He everytime complaining, yelling, making fun or in negative mood. It's makes you wonder why the another folks even hang out with him. Seeing how he wrote the screenplay, the storyline follows method too much of him. Sadly, he can not sing as well. It felt repetitive monotone. Honestly, none of the actors can sing that well, but H.P Mendoza is cute awful. I do like H.P Mendoza making fun of folks that party method too much with the song. "Could We Receive Any Older". Thank you, Mendoza. I want I had the guts to tell that to certain folks in my life. I love the fact that the characters define their relationships and express their feelings almost entirely through song. Another songs that were cute nice are 'Tara', and "Goodbye Cupid or Goodbye Stupid'. 'Goodbye Cupid' was cute funny drunk bar song. I do like the Hulk Hogan look a like guy at the bar. It's weird in a way, that everybody there, sounds like a Muppet hero there. 'Deadwalking' was a interesting song with folks dancing over people's graves. It's a pretty song, but it's seems kinda disrespectful for those folks who were buried there to be filming a musical there. It's does present what Colma is known for. I don't like "One Day' and 'Mature', it's just sounds like any slow normal karaoke song. The acting isn't that good. The characters can be cute obnoxious and unlikeable. Still, it was funny how mean-spirited they can be. The language can be a bit harsh. Not all the territories in Colma: The Musical were in Colma. The Theater was located in San Francisco Point Distract. The Cafe stage was on Ingleside neighborhood in SF. The Lincoln Park Store is in Clement St, San Francisco, CA. where they receive fake IDS. It's was kinda funny, in a way, because in 2012, the zone was busted for lottery fraud. I kinda want they test more of Colma. Colma: the Musical is a nice watch, for fanatics of musicals, or folks that know the area. Even if you're not from Colma, you could give it a try.



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