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The Debut (Sous-titres français)

Dante Basco , Eddie Garcia , Gene Cajayon    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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The Debut

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good Filipino-based movie May 31 2004
Considering the dearth of any movies made by Filipinos for international release, this movie is a nice little way of saying, "Hello, we are Filipinos and we very capable of producing quality stuff". Having seen "American Adobo" and thoroughly disappointed, "The Debut" is made of better material. While Dante Basco really shines in the movie, my personal pick is Tirso Cruz who actually acted very very well. He was not over the top, he was well composed, he was perfect for the role. Even his syrupy singing is well forgiven...the movie delves heavily into the cliche-approach (party foods, dancing, dog-eating comments, fob comments, angst-covered youth, wannabe break dancers and such, etc.). I can usually relate to most of the scenes but this was exactly why i didn't give it the whole 5 stars. The next Filipino movie should be devoid of the familiar cultural attack and should start exploring other niches of cinematic brilliance without being too involved with melancholy musings.
As a nice compliment to the movie, I've never seen so many cute and pretty Pinays, so there, I've said the best part of the movie. Hope Gene Cagayon's next flick can transcend the cultural, political, and PINOY-related consciousness and just make a movie we all can be proud. He's on his way...the film was just right, the deleted scenes were rightfully taken out, and the main characters acted with passion and professionalism. I am proud to say this is a great movie to watch, I'll even recommend it to all my Anglo friends...Mabuhay and good job!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the Debut makes a great debut Feb. 18 2004
By A Customer
I am a Filipino American and i personally enjoyed this DVD. It featured great actors including Dante Basco (& his brothers, the Basco brothers), Eddie Garcia, Tierso Cruz III, and many others. This film does show the world a little bit of the Filipino- American life and how many Filipinos are living. This film took 8 years to create and that 8 years produced a very creative movie. This is the first time Filipinos see themselves on the big screen and I think that they probably liked what they saw. The Debut does show how important education is to their culture. The Philippines being a third-world country and their major export humans, it is true that many believe that the only way to be successful is if they become a lawyer or a doctor. I don't blame them because it's a very difficult life in the Philippines, trust me. Ben Mercado, the main character, is in this position. His father wants Ben to go to medical school, but Ben wants to go to a Fine Arts Academy. I won't give out the rest of the story but all I have left to say is that "The Debut" gives the restof theworld a taste of the Filipino lifesytle and culture. *****fIvE sTarS!!*****2 thumbs-up
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3.0 out of 5 stars Please Wake Up! You are a Filipino! Feb. 15 2004
This is a breakthrough film for among the Filipino viewers, Gene Cajayon did an exceptionally job for directing and producing this film. This film not only tells about a Filipino family's living and lifestyle in the land of the free but also of How one can be proud of the culture he or she was born with. I would like also to emphasize that this film is an eye-opener for those Filipino-American teenagers who's looking themselves as one of the white men...hey come'on, wake up from your senses! You're brown-skin men! Never let your ego be polluted with such concept of who's inferior and who's superior! The movie did good for presenting this kind of situation among Fil-Am teenagers.
On a personal note, Cajayon done a good directing by unravelling the real drama of a Filipino family though somehow focusing on a notable character of Dante Basco as Ben, who somehow not getting a sense of pride for his culture and background not unitl He realizes his true identity in a party of white teenagers. This is the turning point of the story..well, nothing's new about it but a simple realization of how Ben cope up with his identity.
Like what I said, this film is a breakthrough but it could really be more interesting to see and watch, a filipino movie with more heart.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cliché but nonetheless entertaining Feb. 2 2004
By A Customer
no one will find this review to be helpful because my views are much different than most, but that's cool.
As a filipino-american, i found this film to be somewhat disturbing to my own identity. yes, there are the parts where the creators of the story play off of stereotypical aspects of the filipino-american community such as rice for nearly all meals and what not. That's totally cool. the part that i found disturbing is that, as a filipino-american, am i sell out if i don't have any filipino friends and don't really cherish my "heritage"? i understand it makes me unique and it is a part of me. BUT it does NOT define who i am and therefore i do not really have any pride in it. It seems that in the film that he seems to somewhat sell out his more "american" side, which american is up for interpretation since there are so many takes on that, so in a way, he's also not american. It seems that the film cherishes being filipino more than it does being yourself, or an individual.
it is a difficult thing to be a hyphenated american, especially nowadays with our loyalty to America being questioned everyday. although i do not think this film is a correct representation of a life as a filipino-american, i think it is a very good one for showing one person's struggle to find his identity. i would not want to show this film to friends thinking that my family is like his because the film plays off of so many stereotypes, in a good way, but not mine nor all.
STILL! do watch it because it is only one representation of being filipino-american, not the canon or model for all filipino-americans.
also, didn't you love Dante Basco (Ben) in Hook? GO RUFIO! RUFIO!RUFIO!RUFIO!RUFIO!RUFIO!
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One step foward or three steps back
Unlike many Asian Americans, who support anything that is produced by another Asian, This is such a poor product. Believe me, I want the movie to be "good", but it isn't. Read more
Published on July 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars An affirming, energized, fun picture of growing up
The Debut snaps a shot of Filipino-American life with strong pace and a rich color palette. The basic plotline isn't really the point here; it's the retelling of a universal story... Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Christopher Cabaldon
4.0 out of 5 stars We're not all that different....
I recently watched The Debut with my Filipina daughter-in-law. She agreed that it is an accurate picture of life in a Philippino family and community. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Mary Haunreiter
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the monumental effort
You can rate and review this DVD from several angles. I give it five stars just for the monumental effort that was put forth by everyone involved in this movie. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2004 by E. Laway
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a hodgepodge than a cohesive film
Okay, by now you pretty much know the primary plot: Ben, Filipino-American adolescent, is having problems with his all-too-strict father, who wants his son to become a doctor... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by Dennis!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
The Debut is a great movie for all to see. It depicts Filipino American life in a realistic manner. When I saw the movie I kept thinking to my self, 'that is so my family'. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD.
This movie was ok. I thought Better Luck Tomrrow was a lot better. The soundtrack was hot and so were many of the songs in the movie. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003 by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Stumbling to a new understanding
A wicked first feature for director Gene Cajayon, The Debut is sincere albeit predictable. However, having said that, it is predictable only because the theme of the movie is so... Read more
Published on Dec 7 2003 by Miguel B. Llora
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay movie
While I have supported my other pinoys and bought a copy of the movie, the movie itself is just okay. Since the subject of Fil-Ams is rarely done, it was a nice change of pace. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2003 by Mario David Uy
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