Once, I snagged a copy of "I Girasoli (The Sunflower)," that classic Vittorio De Sica tearjerker starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni that Carlitos Siguion-Reyna remade as "Saan Ka Man Naroroon." Dawn Zulueta stood in for La Loren as the lovelorn beauty crossing desert, mountain and sea in search of the amnesiac Richard Gomez, who'd come under the care of Sharmaine Arnaiz (in a luminous debut). Three photogenic stars, but how would they hold a candle to the Italian bombshell?
I never found out. The DVD's subtitles were from another movie. Sophia was crying her heart out in Italian, but the translated dialogue was, I suspect, from "Gone in 60 Seconds." Well, Nicolas Cage is part-Italian, so maybe there was a connection there. I threw the disc away.
With the recent introduction of the "8-in-one" (8 movies in one disc) format, things have gotten only curiouser and curiouser. I have a theory that whoever is writing the general titles of these 8-in-one discs is either 1) a junkie, 2) an alien sending out coded messages to his earthly underlings, or 3) a closet surrealist. The funny, outlandish titles are matched only by the funny, outlandish cinematic mash-ups they offer--"Breakfast at Tiffany's," say, side by side with "The Flintstones." DVDs on crack, I tell you. Some actual samples:
At the Time of Criminal Case Hair
Femme Fatale/Way of the Sun/Taxi Driver/The Amityville Horror/Belly of the Beast/Lucid/Three Days of the Condor/Population 436
Murder the True Facts Factual Records
On the Waterfront/The Big White/The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio/Far From Heaven/Kiss Kiss Bang Bang/Dial M for Murder/City of Angels/Murder on the Orient Express
Big Ages in Plot in Literature
Edmond/Veronica Guerin/Willard/ The Motorcycle Diaries/ Lost in Translation/ The Beach/ Narrow Margin/ The Boxer
Make to Smile the House is Close
Meet the Parents/The Nutty Professor/Big Momma's House 2/A Fish Called Wanda/Meet the Fockers/Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps
The Feeling Article of the Classic Movie Dream
Emma 1 and 2/A Tale of Two Cities/Madame Bovary/Byron/David Copperfield
And Crime the Paradise of the Comedy
Sexy Beast/Without a Paddle/The Bone Collector/Blue Streak/O Brother, Where Art Thou?/Plan B/Crash Landing/One Night at McCool's
Unlawful Entry/Unfaithful/8 Femmes/Dangerous Beauty/The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1 and 2/The Flintstones/Breakfast at Tiffany's
PLUS: My best DVD finds last year: A 7-disc boxed set of Carl Sagan's Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV series, "Cosmos," bought for P300 in Quiapo. And a 9-disc Claude Chabrol collection, at P450 a great steal since it has the best works of the director often called the "French Hitchcock." It got the titles right this time.