Little Boy/Big Boy: Movie Review

It would be surprising when a movie labeled as an “indie film” is not actually gay-themed and "Little Boy/Big Boy" is no exception to this label. In fact, its director has already produced three previous films which have similar themes namely "Kambyo", "Ang Lihim ni Antonio" and "Ang Lalake sa Parola". Another thing that is controversial right now is how these indie films have very liberal sexual themes. To quote one friend of ours, "Is indie the new name for movies we labeled as porn films a few years ago?" We do not know if this is actually the trend of indie films but we’d like to think that if these liberal scenes actually help the story’s development, then go ahead and put them! But if it does not make the experience of watching the film any better, then why would there be a need to showcase these? Can Director Jay Altarejos impress us as first time viewers? Can "Little Boy/Big Boy be more than your typical gay indie film?

Raymund, a graphic artist is doing his usual day to day activities when he was suddenly tasked to take care of his seven year old nephew, Zach, for the next two weeks. In the middle of those two weeks, Raymund suddenly finds himself in a relationship like nothing else he has been in, with another guy named Tim. Tim teaches him the value of acceptance, self-respect and loyalty. Can Raymund take care of Zach while maintaining his lifestyle and can this budding relationship with Tim actually work?

To our surprise, the film still delved to be the typical indie film. We expected a lot of different things and sadly, we feel that nothing much has changed. A lot of scenes, especially the sexual ones, felt that they were added just for the sake that they become controversial - deviant maybe. If you ask us, those scenes did not make much an impact on the film and without them this could have been made available to a wider variety of audiences - young and old. What we like about the film though is how it portrays homosexual love and the theme of family. It shows that, "Hey, homosexuals can be parents too!" Also, the film never feels complicated and it actually borders to being very simple and straightforward. Most of the time, we would say that this is bad but it actually works in this movie, making it very meaningful and compelling. Sadly, most of the public would probably remember the very "open" scenes rather than the relationship of two men and a boy living as a cohesive family. If you are going to watch "Little Boy/Big Boy", be mindful that it would require an open heart and more importantly an open mind. With this, maybe it could even be a wondrous gem that could actually change lives and change perspectives.

Catch "Little Boy/Big Boy" in theaters starting august 5, 2009. Thanks to Viva Films for bringing this film to the mainstream audience.

Rating: 2 reels

Why you should watch it:
- portrays homosexual relationship in a very positive light
- simple story yet very meaningful and compelling

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- some scenes feel like they could have been left out or cut and the film would have been the same
- one of the actors had trouble speaking in English so why force him to speak in English?
- if "Brokeback Mountain" made you quiver, then you ain't seen nothing yet

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  1. Guys, stop reviewing, okay. you don;t know anything about films and filmmaking.

    for critics and reviewers to work, they should know film, film language and film criticism. obviously, basing on your writing, you have none.

    please, state your credentials.

    this site is a trash.

  2. obviously, you don't know a thing about indie films and its origin. with the kind of "reviews" you are giving it is evident that you are just a bunch of amateurs trying to look like a pro. please study more of the genre you are trying to delve into so that your future readers won't feel they are cheated.

  3. Hey Rom. They have a point. Indie films are just gay. Indie=gay

  4. Carl, what do you know about indie films? have you seen the works of Khavn De La cruz? if not try to see one and do not just generalize with a sweeping comment. it goes to show that you know nothing about the indie movement in the Philippines. Try going to UP film center, CCP etc. gets?

  5. I may not know a lot about indie films but most of those I've see/I see are gay themed. No offense. Read the titles of the films this director made, they're definitely gay

  6. There you go Carl, you admitted that you don't know a lot of things about indie films. that is why you should not issue a sweeping comment that indie films are gay films. there are gay themed indie films but not all. like there are gay mainstream films but not all. like there are gay people but not all. gets? Quit viewing indie films with gay theme so that you will have a broader perspective of what is indie films. i am watching indie films since the 80's and only now(year 2000 onwards) that gay stories are prevalent.

    the reviewer of this blog should know and study very well the indie movement in the Philippines like those of Raymund Red, Frutto Corre, Roxlee, Khavn dela Cruz and other pioneers and award winning indie film makers that this country and the world is very proud of.

  7. Hi Anonymous/Rom,

    If you still do not know, we do not claim to be critics. In fact, we created this blog in order to let the less-critical people know which films they should spend money on or which movies they should just skip because honestly speaking, the majority of film viewers are just normal people like us.

    Our vision is to bring simple and honest movie reviews without the technicalities that come with those who are professionally into film. And with your comment, we are very happy that our vision is actually happening and blatantly seen.

    It is our right to blog about anything we want because this is our site - this is our opinion not yours. Now it is your right to come back or not.

    By the way, thanks for the comment guys.

  8. Suit yourself Rom :)

    All I know is I visit this site before I watch a film, I ain't watching any movie with gay scenes.

    Peace out! Have a nice life

  9. suit yourself, one is forcing your homophobic ass. and so what if the director has only made gay films? have you seen any of these films? if you haven't, you have no right to complain.

    rom is right, there are other indie films which do not tackle homosexual issues. and besides, there is nothing wrong with having "gay"films. have we, gays, complained about the prevalence of "straight" films, most of which are thrash anyway.

    and to these bloggers who review films, better not call your articles reviews. because reviewing a film entails a lot of knowledge and responsibility. and "technicalities" go with it. and, putting up a site like this, would elicit comments. kaya, wag kayong pikon.

    and you know what, you may be right, majority of indies are gay films. you know why, because we want to hear and see our stories. and we, as a community, support our films. try supporting "straight" indie films. baka mas maraming gumawa to suit your taste.

    i hope you stop disparaging gay films because these are legitimate expression of art or porn, whatever suits you. and, besides, you should have known that you were watching a gay film. or you just wanted to score free tickets for the other films. cheapskates.

    ang saya, dahil sa film na to nagkabuhay ang site niyo.

    and, try looking at the list of the films you've seen- hollywood trash.

  10. Hi Pips,

    I have not seen the movie, and I don't really watch indie films. Gusto ko lang magcomment... hahaha...

  11. Hi Jed and Vit,

    More power to your site.

    I absolutely agree with the review. So much of the movie was unnecessary. I guess they had to put in all the sex scenes just to get talked about…

  12. Hi Anonymous,

    Actually happy to have you back.

    First, about your comment about being "pikon". Look first who was very tactless when giving comments? Who's more pikon? We answered in a civilized way and you already call that pikon? Maybe you need to rethink what you associate with that word because the way we see it, it is you that was pikon and still pikon.

    Second, if you must know, we get in free to whatever movie we like anywhere, anytime. So we actually find it really funny that you call us cheapskates. And besides, we already knew this was a gay themed film - we even promoted it a few days before the premiere.

    Finally, who gave you the right to define what a review is? We have been doing this for almost 1 and a half years and no one has complained that our reviews are not "reviews".

    Oh by the way, thanks for commenting again! We hope to hear from you soon!

  13. I Hate Rubbish FilmsAugust 5, 2009 at 11:30 PM

    Why can’t you take criticism?

    Accept the opinion of these reviewers for they did an honest review of the film; one from their point of view. Rubbish or not, they have given their take on what they saw; if the film doesn't strike a chord with their taste of movies, then so be it.

    Accept it. You just didn’t make a good enough movie for these two reviewers.

  14. Jed and Vit said: Look first who was very tactless when giving comments?
    it's tackless not tactless ay sus ginoo ka dudong kung di ka maalam mag inglis tagalog na lang 'bay sus ginoo ka man!

    remember that you are publishing a blog seen all over the world. mind your grammar and review your sentence construction aside from reviewing your post carefully.
    just a piece of advice


  15. Dear Rom,

    You are wrong about "tactless". Just look it up and we are sure you will find out which is which. Maybe you are the one who needs lessons in English not us!

    Now it is pretty obvious you are nitpicking for anything to come by to instigate something. Please, if you won't comment constructively, just don't. This is becoming senseless already.


  16. Hoy Rom, tol balik kang grade 3 or kaya naman grade 1 english. Nangbabara ka lang mali pa! Wahahhaha. Ano kayang school mo?! Kaching elementary! WAHAHAHAHA

  17. I Hate Rubbish FilmsAugust 6, 2009 at 12:23 AM

    tackless <-- It's underlined in red.

    anong kala mo i-tack-tack mo? i-tack-tack mo?


  18. hey,

    it's getting interesting. see, a "gay film" has made your site interesting.

    anyways, thank you for watching the film. and maybe, just maybe, for straight viewers those scenes are too much.

    points to ponder:
    - brush up on the following: what a film is, an indie film, elements of film, film history and film criticism. you might want a thing or two.

    - and not because nobody has challenged you in the past, you're doing great.

    - you've been doing this for 1 1/2 years, but hey, it's the first time that i've encountered your site. thanks to this film.

    - and please, don't brag about "we get in free to whatever movie we like anywhere, anytime." good reviewers pay and watch the film anonymously. this just doesn't add up to bein independent as "reviewers".

    - lastly, credentials, credentials, credentials. nasaan?


  19. Jed&Vit,

    btw, just saw the film. Enjoyed it. Short, sweet, simple and coherent. Walang pretensions. Production is solid. wonderful cast esp the little boy.

    typo error in my earlier "you might learn" instead of want.

    And yeah, I learned from this site that you got free tickets. Sorry if I called you cheapskates. But, it might serve you well as "critics" if you don't get freebies. and you will help the local film industry.

    I Hate Rubbish Film: "Accept it. You just didn’t make a good enough movie for these two reviewers."

    Unfortunately, I am not the filmmaker. So, it should read: "The filmmakers (director, writer, etc.)didn't make a good enough movie for these two reviewers."

    This statement is more valid.


  20. Hey vit & Jed,

    you guys were just stating your comment about the movie..nothing wrong with that! i will still continue viewing your posts...

    continue to be true and be TACKFUL! TACKFUL ! hahahahahhahahhahahah :)) (dictionary please ) =)

    hahahahhahah! c:)

  21. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks again for the comment. It's good to know you enjoyed the film and as a matter of fact, we even mentioned some of the things you did like - like the simplicity of the film.

    We really hope you understand that we are always open for any criticisms but just as long as these criticisms are respectful in manner and tone.

    We really hope to hear from you soon - good or bad comments! Lots of luck and again, thanks for your time.

  22. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for the support! Just spread the word about our site okay? :)

  23. Just to add some perspective on the comments above, there are three things that we need to understand I guess, whahahaha…(caveat: I do not intend to sound like an expert on art, esp on film critiques, or blog reviews, just adding some perspective).
    First, the intention of this blog I believe is not to give some high level film critique on indie films or any film for that matter. Yes, the reviews lack some of the elements of a real or high level film analysis; however, the reviews are coming from the perspective of a normal audience not a film/art critic. The intent of the reviews, if you try to read all of the entries in this blog (I doubt if critics did?), is more of informing the normal audience and giving some perspective on what a normal viewer understood from the films. So don’t expect to get some in depth analysis on positioning of the light, plot development, etc.etc in films…The target audience are the normal viewers, so give them something they can understand, i.e. normal reviews. Basic marketing principle. If people claim to be film analyst, then the question is, why have not NOTICE that the reviewS written are for normal people. Recognition of that fact alone does not invite questions with regards to the technical aspect of criticizing any film.

    Second, true enough indie films are not gay films. As far as I recall during my Art Studies class in UP (also I took it to understand at some point what Art is), indie films are so called because they are not for commercial use, hence independent. Independent from any influence that commercial viewers expect to see as in the case of a commercial film and letting the director work its way to something “artistic”. (Of course, I maybe wrong and my definition is too shallow, that’s just based on my memory and what I got when Peque Gallaga spoke in our class; don’t ask my credentials because I’m no film major). Now to put it in context, gay themes have become the subject of indie films in the Philippines because the “gay theme” is something not normal in the Philippine society. So when you placed a not normal in the silver screen, it becomes deviant and becomes an Indie film. Some gay films are worthy of being regarded as Indie Films, but as the Indie Film industry progresses, it seems that we are now having a homogenous theme, i.e. Gay/homosexuality. Now, that makes people say that Indie Films are gay films. Just try to mention indie films and I challenge anyone that the result will statistically correlate to my point, they will associate it with coco Martin, Marco Morales, Masahista, Daybreak and all other Gay Films. Because almost every indie film created these days has that same gay theme, they are just changing the plot. To add to that, what people expect in “indie films” is if Marco Morales would again have frontal exposure or whoever male artist will. When indie films are still being introduced in the Philippines not so long ago, I remember films such as “Sa North Diversion Road” and “Sarong Banggi”, but now we barely have these films (Correct me if I’m wrong, I’d like my statistics to be updated). Somehow I don’t like regarding Indie Films as gay films, because to be critical about it, such regard has some negative connotations to gays LIKE ME.

    Third and last, if we don’t like the site or reviews just say so through a decent and polite comment and try to look at the whole context. Bigger picture as they say. As much as your opinion is respected, do respect also the reviewers’ say; it’s their blog after all and they are also entitled for their OWN opinion. “De gustibus non est desputandum”.

  24. Hi Ramil!

    Thanks for the very long comment and thanks for supporting our site!

    We wish you the best in life!

  25. Hi,
    Fine way to get introduced of the movie. It looks to be a very entertaining movie as it has got subject of two boys. The moview review creates a natural image of the movie to the audience. It can guide them to be specific to their thinking.