(aka 'The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros')

Directed by Auraeus Solito


  There aren’t many love stories about a rookie cop and a 12-year-old boy, but in many ways that’s what young Filipino director Auraeus Solito’s debut feature offers. Maxi (Nathan Lopez) is an unapologetically effeminate Manila lad who gets on surprisingly well with his gangster pa (Soliman Cruz) and street-thug brothers, teasing each other or taking in a DVD in the modest home that Maxi keeps with pride when not swishing fabulously around the slum streets. Tension arrives in the beefy shape of new man on the force, Victor (JR Valentin), who presents Maxi with an appealingly robust model of manhood by determining to overcome the laissez-faire corruption that, problematically, allows his family to thrive. The bond that develops between the two is affectionate and intense enough to get tongues wagging at home and down at the station, where Victor’s zeal is almost as unwelcome as it is on the street.

Made on a shoe-string with generous help from friends and family, this is not without its rough edges: Michiko Yamamoto’s script sets up some intriguing conflicts but comes to a somewhat fumbled climax. But the occasionally handmade feel, hand-drawn credit sequence and all, works to the film’s benefit. It’s hard to resist the raucous, vivacious tone encapsulated in its bold, vibrant wardrobe and set dressing and Lopez’s charming and affecting pivotal performance, all of which yields a vivid sense of a capital city rarely seen on screen. Solito also has a cheeky cinephilic sensibility: the haughty chutzpah of the closing homage to ‘The Third Man’ is worth the admission alone.

Excerpt from Timeout Film Guide (London) located HERE

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Release: July 13th, 2005 - Philippine Independent Film Festival

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DVD Review: TLA - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution TLA - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:40:39 
Video 1.72:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.50 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English / Filipino / Tagalog (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (burned in)

Release Information:
Studio: TLA

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.72:1

Edition Details:

• Photo gallery
• trailers 

DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 12




TLA's treatment of fine films to DVD is becoming progressively worse... and worse. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros DVD breaks ever rule in digital disc production - non-anamorphic widescreen (in some made-up, cropped, ratio of 1.72:1), burned in subtitles (non-removable), rife with combing (see last capture) and rendered to a puny single-layered disc. Come on! This film deserved much better. The colors and detail are barely acceptable and the deficiencies definitely impinge upon viewing. 

Supplements are non-existent with a photo gallery of poor quality images and three trailers (including one for this film). I enjoyed this quirky movie but I know I would have appreciated it even more if I wasn't shaking my head at all the very noticeable 'combing'. Really.... I have friends who could have done better in their basement with a decent VHS copy - they probably could have added a commentary too. The film is worth seeing but this DVD is a travesty. 

Gary W. Tooze



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Combing from interlaced transfer...



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Distribution TLA - Region 1 - NTSC



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