Sunday, June 28, 2015

Schwarzenegger is an Oldie but Goodie In Terminator Genisys

You can't think of Arnold Schwarzenegger without thinking of his iconic role as The Terminator. They go together like bacon and eggs, apple and cinnamon, you can't have one without associating it with the other. Schwarzenegger has a long list of accomplishments to his name but playing James Cameron's Terminator would always be in the top. It would be interesting to note that Schwarzenegger was originally lined up to play Kyle Reese but upon meeting him, Director James Cameron knew he would be a great fit as The Terminator. 

The character of The Terminator is one of the few who was able to transcend roles, in the first movie he was the main antagonist who you would come to fear and hate but in the sequel Terminator: Judgement Day he transcends the role of angagonist to become someone the audience would cheer for and even become a sort of father figure to the then teenage John Connor. 

With the upcoming 5th movie in the franchise, Terminator Genisys I was really curious as to how Schwarzenegger and his character would fit in, given that he is already in his 60s. 

According to producer David Ellison, “’Terminator Genisys’ is not a remake, it’s not a reboot, it’s not a sequel—it’s really a reimagining based on the James Cameron source material. Exploiting the inherent nature of time travel, we go off on a divergent timeline to take these characters that audiences and I grew up with in a completely new direction.”
“I don’t think you can make a Terminator movie without Arnold,” suggests director Alan Taylor. “Certainly, I couldn’t imagine it without him. There’s something about the way he and Cameron built that character and then within the two movies explored such different sides of that character that he basically set the parameters for that world – that mythology means it would be really hard for me to think of a Terminator movie that let go of him.”

“I was very happy to be involved,” admits Schwarzenegger. “I got a phone call telling me that David and Megan Ellison had acquired the rights and the first thing I thought was, “Finally they are doing another one! And finally I am again in the movie! Also, I was very happy when I heard who was writing the script. I just liked the direction it was taking from the beginning.”

Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis says, “I considered Arnold’s character the ultimate Tin Man—how does he become the cornerstone and the heart of the story, for a character that essentially has no heart? There was something really tantalizing about the idea of Arnold playing a Terminator who has aged—of not trying to do any crazy CG stuff, but to respect the change in the actor. The Terminator was always very much of its time—so to be able to tell the story in the moment and the age that Arnold is…it interested us all. The human tissue surrounding the cyborg ages, but he’s also aged on the inside through his very long experience with humans all this time. We thought it would be so much fun to explore.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Who's Who in the Minions Movie

In the Despicable Me movies, we don't get to know a specific (they're all just there, being cute and funny) Minion but in the upcoming Minions movie, not only do we get to know the names of 3 particular minions but we'll get to know their personalities as well! 
When they accidentally lose yet another master, Kevin, Stuart and Bob lead the charge for their fellow Minions in search of the next master to serve, in Universal Pictures' new adventure comedy “Minions.” Their harrowing journey is far from easy, but the quest that is chronicled in the film will introduce us to everything we’ve ever wondered about them.
Kevin (Pierre Coffin) is the proud and protective “big brother” who knows that Minions without a master are Minions without a purpose. It’s Kevin who steps up and ventures out into the world with Stuart and Bob to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.
Stuart (Pierre Coffin) is the “middle brother” of the Minions who feels hungry, mostly, and loves being a rebellious guitar player. Although the perennial adolescent has a short attention span and is a bit apathetic about the mission, he will certainly help Kevin and Bob find the biggest, baddest villain to serve.
Bob (Pierre Coffin) is the innocent and eager “little brother” of the Minions. He embodies unconditional love for everyone and everything, and is a little nervous to go on an unknown journey with Stuart and Kevin.

Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) is the world’s first female super-villain. She is a unique combination of quick-tempered and impeccably stylish. Kevin, Stuart and Bob are drawn to her for her ability to mastermind incredible heists, and they are simultaneously terrified of and smitten by her. Scarlet hires the Minions as her henchmen and charges them with their first mission: to embark on a criminal heist that takes them to London as she attempts to achieve her lifelong dream: becoming the Queen.

Herb Overkill (Jon Hamm) is Scarlet’s mod husband and a mad scientist. Herb can usually be found in the lab inventing extraordinary ’60s-inspired gadgetry while always loving and supporting Scarlet. Known just as much for his swanky sartorial choices as he is for his ability to invent, there is nothing that Herb won’t do to champion his wife.

Madge Nelson (Allison Janney), the Bonnie to Walter’s Clyde, shows you can never judge a book by its cover. Madge gleefully is the co-leader of the crime-happy Nelson family, who pick up the hitchhiking Kevin, Stuart and Bob to join Walter and their kids on their way to a family stickup.

Professor Flux (Steve Coogan) has long postulated that time is, well, relative. When the Minions encounter him at Villain-Con, they found that he’s invented a time machine and brought future versions of himself to help out in his lab. Now that he has (almost) perfected time travel, the professor is this close to changing what we’ve long held to believe is the space-continuum….

Monday, June 22, 2015

Jason Clarke is a New John Connor in Terminator Genisys

The Terminator's John Connor probably has the most portrayals by different actors at different ages of his life in the history of the franchises' many incarnations and retellings. The character is first portrayed by a teenage Edward Furlong in Terminator 2: Judgement Day to which the actor has won a Saturn Award and MTV Movie Award for his breakthrough performance. 

Here have been the different portrayals of John Connor since: 

23 year old Nick Stahl in 2003's Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines. 
19 year old Thomas Decker in 2008's TV series: Termimator- The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Christian Bale portrays a 34 year old John Connor in Terminator: Salvation in 2009.
Jason Clarke is the new John Connor in the upcoming Terminator: Genisys out in July 1, 2015. 

Since Terminator Genisys is out next week let's talk about Jason Clarke our new John Connor. 

He is most known for his lead roles in the Academy Award®-nominated film “Zero Dark Thirty” and the hit sci-fi sequel “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Now, Australian actor Jason Clarke returns to the big screen to re-invent the iconic character, John Connor, in Paramount Pictures' new action-thriller “Terminator Genisys.”
In the film, when John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including a new T-800 terminator, the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future…
Casting the part of John Connor—particularly for this John Connor, whose character runs the gamut from messianic to maniacal—was an acknowledged challenge among filmmakers. Producer Dana Goldberg begins, “We knew John Connor was going to be one of the hardest roles to cast, because he has to be charismatic—here’s the guy people who have no hope choose to be their hope. These are people who’ve had everything taken away from them, and yet, when this man stands up and says that it’s time to fight, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for him.”

Producer David Ellison continues, “The thing about John Connor is he’s tortured. For some, he’s a prophet, but he says in our movie that he cheats, that his mother raised him and told him everything that was going to happen. That’s a huge burden, and something we’ve found fascinating about John Connor’s character—he will lead all of these people and, in reality, he knows that a great deal of them are going to die.”
Adds Goldberg, “There’s a moment in the film where John wishes a soldier good luck, and the soldier says that he doesn’t need luck—he has John Connor. When we shot it, David and I traded smiles, because we knew that Jason would just fill that moment with everything going on inside—appreciating what the soldier said, but also wishing that there was another world in which this was not his position to fulfill. We think people are going to be blown away by Jason Clarke in this movie.”

Jai Courtney: The Soldier From The Future in Terminator Genisys

When I first heard that Jai Courtney would be playing Kyle Reese in Terminator Genisys, I was a bit dissapointed and I'm still a bit skeptical about it honestly. Mostly because I still remember Courtney as the cruel and sadistic Eric in the Divergent and Insurgent movies. The original Kyle Reese in the first Terminator movie (1984) Michael Biehn had a cute and likeable quality about him' that I haven't seen yet in Courtney. Of course I'm giving the Divergent alum a chance, the producers did cast him after all. 

In regards to the plot, Courtney reminds, “There will be stuff that the fans of the franchise are familiar with, like times and places and characters, but this film is different because we are not just carrying on with what we already know. Things have shifted somewhat…”
The chemistry between Sarah and Reese was at the forefront of producer Dana Goldberg’s mind when filmmakers began to audition actors for the part. She says, “We’d done the movie ‘Jack Reacher’ with Jai Courtney and loved him as a person, and thought he was a wonderful actor. We weren’t sure he was Reese. He came in and he tested with Emilia, and I remember standing on the stage watching his audition, and I emailed someone and said, ‘We just found our Kyle Reese.’ It was clear their first read together.”

I'm really looking forward to seeing him stand by Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) they are in a complicated relationship after all, being the parents of John Connor and all. 

(L) Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese in Terminator (1984) and
(R) Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genisys (2015). 

“When I heard there was going to be a fifth installment to this franchise,” says Courtney, “I didn’t freak out to begin with – I’ve been involved with pre-existing things before – and then I read the script in a locked room, you know with cell phones handed in and all that sort of stuff. That’s when I got pretty excited! I realized that that the guys behind this had the intention of making something pretty cool. That’s when I became invested in the idea.

“It was a pretty funny process getting the role,” narrates Courtney, “I was on a film in Australia shooting so I got on a plane Saturday morning, landed in LA, went straight to the audition with director Alan Taylor and the producers and Emilia, got back on a plane to Australia that night, missed Sunday and showed up for work Monday morning. So, just because of the 30 hours I had to spend in the air that weekend I was pretty sure I wanted this role just to make it worth it and fortunately it all worked out.”

James Cameron: Thumbs Up to Terminator Genisys

James Cameron and The T100.

When people hear the name James Cameron they immediately associate with movies like Aliens (1986), Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009) among others, of course Director James Cameron, who has a Best Director Academy Award under his belt found his first success and acclaim in The Terminator (1984)-his directorial debut. *He directed Pirahna II in 1981 after the original director left due to creative differences with the producers. Cameron also received praise for the sequel to Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). 

With the new Terminator Movie - Terminator Genisys set to hit the cinemas on July 1 it would be interesting to see what Cameron has to say about the upcoming movie. 

After an early screening of Paramount Pictures' Terminator: Genisys, Cameron has officially endorsed the upcoming series reboot. Watch the featurette in the video below. 

So what did Cameron like so much about Genisys? “It’s being very respectful of the first two films,” he continues in the clip, “and then all of a sudden it swerves and now I’m going on a journey.”

“Terminator Genisys” is directed by Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”) from a screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier.

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future…

*Opening across the Philippines on July 01, 2015, “Terminator Genisys” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.*

Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the titular Terminator. 

Always Something New At Toycon

We've been going to Toycon for the last few years now and despite the annual trip I have discovered that there are always new sights and sounds that give a refreshing take on this annual celebration of our inner child.

While the usual toys, displays, cosplays are always there, I never get tired of looking at them and pointing at finds that either bring back childhood memories or drool in envy. Although lacking the physical strength to stay an entire day at Toycon, since we would come from Friday night we still make the trip and go through the jam packed halls, you might think that it's an inconvenience but we love it. It's like having all your favorite stores and shops in one place. :) you get to see so many different things, some a blast from the past, hard to find old toys bearing their age with pride, others advancements in technology like that 3D printer we've been seeing for the past two years.

Vinyl Hunt at Toycon 2015. 

This year, Paul and I were ecstatic to find Vinyls being sold at the event! And with our recently acquired Motorino Record Player we immediately looked through the records. They were already old and pre-owned but there were classics nonetheless. Thanks to my sister and cousin for my advanced birthday gift which was my Vinyl haul :) that was definitely something new for me at Toycon :) 

As I was going through the different stalls and booths I realized that Toycon is always a great place to swing by every year for geeks and pop-culture lovers alike. Why is that? It's because you get a chance to see everything that is up and coming in the second part of the year. From Coming Soon movies to new apps that will keep your geek heart satisfied you get to see everything at Toycon.

Local Comic Book Artists at the Flipgeeks Booth. 

My Flipgeeks team has their own booth which features our very own local comic book artists. Their works are on display and you can also have drawings and sketches commissioned. This is just another way that Toycon features our very own local talent and in a venue wahere they can be appreciated.

"I'll Be Back." 

We've been going toToycon for the past few years but I can say that we haven't had that ultimate Toycon experience yet. There are always regrets of I should have stayed longer, I should have gone to this booth or I should have watched that band perform. This just makes me more determined to come back the following year ready and prepared to have that ultimate Toycon experience. Of course having an ample budget to go on a satisfying shopping spree is definitely a must to. So no, Toycon isn't the same thing year after year. In fact there are always new things to see and experience. Who knows next year I might finally be able to write about that ultimate Toycon experience. 

Click HERE for MORE Photos!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Minions Shine In Own Movie

Ever since they appeared in "Despicable Me" in 2010, the Minions have become a household name. They are literally on everything, shirts, pillows, cellphone cases, you name it and a bright yellow Minion is smiling back at you. Kids and adults alike just love and adore them. 

My week is not complete without a Minion Meme on my timeline, either expressing sadness on the impending Monday or happiness on the upcoming weekend, or it could be expressing a sassy opinion or two. :) 

If you are like me, you have probably wondered as to where these yellow crazies came from? 

What are they?

Well-all our questions will be answered in the upcoming Minions Movie! 

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri explains that, in their typical subversively sweet fashion, the Minions got their own way when it came to a prequel story. He says: “We didn’t set out to give the Minions their own movie, the Minions demanded it. After `Despicable Me 2' was finished, we found that our team—which is made up of hundreds of the most talented individuals with whom I have ever had the privilege of working—could not stop themselves from animating these characters.”
Since the Minions were introduced on screen in summer 2010, Meledandri and his fellow filmmakers have watched as the tribe and their mayhem have been deeply embraced by worldwide audiences. He feels that the connection we have found with them comes down to their irrepressible spirit. The producer shares: “This spirit comes from a combination of their design, the animators who bring them to life and their vocalizations under the direction of Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Together, they have created a persona that is just irresistible.”
Meledandri’s longtime fellow producer, Janet Healy, who has collaborated with him on every Illumination film to date, shares his passion to make films full of complex personalities. She reflects on why Minions are so beloved throughout the world: “What appeals to everyone—no matter what country they live in or their age—is that the Minions are subversive, childlike, sincere, expressive and invincible. They’re also ageless and without a specific language. People are eager to see them in their own movie, and we’re very excited to give them a prequel to the Despicable Me movies that features the Minions and the story of where they come from.”

The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions” begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.
But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.
The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind...from annihilation.

Opening across the Philippines on July 08, “Minions” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Max Races To Our Hearts- in Cinemas on June 25!

People probably think I'm a cat lady since I post a lot of our cat's photos online. Well the truth is I'm a dog person too, I guess I like animals and pets, generally. :) We just had to get Nam-Nam since we had some vermin trouble a while back. :P 

I guess we at some point in our lives we had that pet dog that made our day, who was always there waiting when we got home from a long day at work or in school. I would usually stay away from dog movies since I know I would probably end up ugly crying but Max seems to have a unique and interesting story of a Military Dog in Afganistan. 

Directed by Boaz Yakin (“Remember the Titans”), “Max” stars Josh Wiggins (“Hellion”) as Justin Wincott, Lauren Graham (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” TV’s “Parenthood”) as his mom, Pamela, and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways”) as his dad, Ray.

A precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service.

“When people connect with an animal there’s a primal bond that often goes beyond what we experience with other people,” says Director Boaz Yakin, this was the initial inspiration for the film. 

Yakin, a self-proclaimed dog-lover attests, “I wanted to tell a story that was emotional and heightened, while still keeping it rooted in reality.” He turned to longtime friend Sheldon Lettich, who co-wrote the screenplay.

“Sheldon is a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran and brought in the idea of using MWD’s. These dogs risk their lives, or have their lives put at risk, going far ahead of their units in order to literally smell out danger,” he adds.

That instinct was reinforced when Yakin and Lettich watched one of the many viral videos of MWDs lying mournfully beside their handler’s casket at their funerals, loyal to the end and beyond. Such videos have touched a deep chord in millions of viewers around the world.

Lettich shares, “When we saw the video of the MWD grieving over his partner, we knew that was the core of our canine hero.”

But what happens when a MWD is unable to work anymore due to injuries, stressor trauma, which can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Thanks to Robby’s Law, which went into effect in 2000, MWDs are no longer simply euthanized. They can be adopted by their handlers or other former handlers.

"It’s like a human coming back, it’s an adjustment. We wanted to follow a fictional dog home stateside after his handler’s death and see where that took the dog—and the family,” Lettich explains.

Which is what happens to Max; shipped stateside, the only human Max seems willing to connect with is Kyle’s teenage brother, Justin, so He is adopted by Kyle’s family, essentially saving his life. But Justin has issues of his own, such as living up to his father’s expectations for him; he isn’t interested in taking responsibility for his brother’s troubled dog. However, Max may be Justin’s only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of a tough-talking young teen, Carmen, who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion.

Justin’s growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race against time to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for. But they each might also find an unlikely new best friend…in each other.

“The military aside, people connect with dogs so strongly,” says Yakin. “We often are able to relate to animals, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with animals, in a way that we don’t with people.”

He continues, “Max became a metaphor for loss and for getting this family to understand and deal with that loss. And to discover what they need to do in order to reconnect with each other.”

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, June 26, “Max” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Save Me Hollywood: Headlights Intimate Press Launch

In a game of "Cyber Tag" members of the Save Me Hollywood Street Team were invited to a secret party that the band was holding for the press. It was nice to see the band in a laid back atmosphere as they talked about their new EP Headlights. Members of the press were also present to ask questions about the band, the journey to their new record as well as what to expect from the group with the release of their new EP. 

I wasn't sure if we were invited as fans or maybe as part of the press as we do get invited to press launches, maybe for both but for whatever reason we were there, Paul and I still did our usual thing, photos for him and writing for me. :) 

The Band answering questions from the Press. 

For the second record, the band talked about being more comfortable with each other, they made a conscious effort to move to a different direction with their sound and you can easily hear this on their new record Headlights. "We wanted to spread our wings a little bit more: build from what we already knew and put elements that weren't explored in the previous album," says Aaron Corvera. 

"Most of the songs from the Your Story To Tell (album) was written when I was in College and a lot has changed since then. I'd like to think that what I write about now are topics more people can relate to. I write about what I know, and more life experiences mean more knowledge." 
Adds Julz Savard, who pens all the lyrics. 

I wrote an EP review for Save Me Hollywood's Headlights a few weeks back. 

Here's an excerpt: 

The Headlights EP shows us that Save Me Hollywood has more tricks up their sleeves. We see a raw and vulnerable side of them but still delivering well written songs worthy of representing Original Pinoy Music to other countries. There is less distortion giving the new songs a more refined sound. 

The EP had not been released yet and had only been available on Spotify and was a great music experience. :) Still can't wait for the physical copy of the EP- speaking of which, the launch of said EP will be on June 19 at B-Side in Makati ^_^ 

That's such an awesome line up I'm actually tempted to go on leave T_T 

I also really suggest that you guys go to the show since Julz will be going to London in July for her studies in Fashion. So better catch this gig! 

Boss! I'm going on leave on Friday o-kaaay? 

I was really impressed (and touched) that the band also invited some of their fans at the press launch. They really make an effort to keep in touch and keep them updated. It's just like friends hanging out.
Unfortunately Paul and I had to duck out early since we had a screening of Jurassic World to go to. We might have missed on some fun hang out sesh but we definitely appreciate the effort :) 
Hopefully next time we can stay longer :) 

Headlights will be available in CDs at Astroplus, Odyssey Music & Video and is released 12 Stone Records and is distributed by Universal Records. You can listen to their music on Spotify, Deezer and iTunes :) 

Click HERE for More Photos! 

Marvel Goes on a different scale with Ant-Man!

At 4'11 (and 3/4) I've probably heard all jokes and jibes on my height. From being asked to stand when I'm already standing to being accused of looking like a kid being asked to buy all sorts of condiments from the store (suka) vinegar,  (toyo)-soy sauce, you name I was supposedly sent out to buy it. 

So it's nice to see Marvel give a nod to the "little" hero for a change. 

From living a vertically challenged life it would be nice to see Marvel take on a whole different scale and go smaller for Ant-Man. Yeah, people might think that bigger is always better but what about the little guys? That fight scene between The Hulk and Iron Man in the Hulkbuster was awesome but what about going small for a change? It will definitely be a new challenge and a whole new frontier for movie producers to create and for audiences to watch. 

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Judy Greer as Maggie, Tip “Ti” Harris as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Wood Harris as Gale, Jordi Mollà as Castillo and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.
Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” delivers a high-stakes, tension-filled adventure in Philippine cinemas on July 15, 2015.

As a special treat starting Friday, June 12, moviegoers can catch a six-minute extended look at Marvel's "Ant-Man" when they watch "Jurassic World" in IMAX 3D.

Marvel's smallest hero comes to life in the biggest way imaginable with the immersive IMAX experience, featuring the most advanced technology in picture and sound.

The Show Must Go On! Tricot Pushes Manila Show Without Drummer

Matta Ashita. Oyasumi.
See you tomorrow. Goodnight.
(c) Sonson Mercado 

Tricot's second Manila show (the last leg of their Hip Step A N D Jump Asia Trip) has been one roller coaster of emotions - really. First, finding out that the band was doing an Asian tour and making a stop in Manila had everyone on a high. The whole street team, of which I belonged to was ecstatic to say the least. Our favorite Japanese lady trio was coming back-so soon! After a successful (if I do say so myself) What's Ochansensu-Su ? Asian Tour. Here they were again ready to give their Filipino fans another #feels experience. 

After securing our early bird tickets we could feel the excitement and anticipation mounting. Plans of printing a Tricot Street Team shirt were made. Gifts to give the girls were prepared. We were literally just counting down the days. Then - the first dip in the roller coaster happened. We received news that DSLRs, Point & Shoot Cameras and recording devices would not be allowed. Now this was a punch in the gut especially for Paul and myself who regularly, about a 100% of the time take photos and even cover gigs and shows. I was really pissed off and could have possibly overreacted.

Once the dust settled and we came to accept that we wouldn't be able to take photos of our beloved Japanese trio with our DSLR. We decided to just go ahead and enjoy the show. Maybe it's also time to invest in some stealth mode cameras :) 

After getting home from work, Saturday morning (we work the night shift) I had to take sleeping supplements just to make sure that I could get some rest (I probably wouldn't be able to sleep from so much excitement). 

Upon waking up to get ready, the biggest and possibly the most damaging turn in the roller coaster happened. 

We found out through a Facebook post that due to unforeseen circumstances Tricot's drummer (the group is currently a 3 piece band with session drummers filling in during live shows and tours) could not travel to Manila. Those who purchased early bird tickets (P1,000/each) would have their ticket refunded in full. The band was still going to play a short set for the fans. Acts originally slated to perform Skymarines and Encouters With A Yeti will still be performing. One of the country's most sought after bands Up Dharma Down were included in the line up. 

So that I won't make any mistakes
I dive into the shining light.
(c) Sonson Mercado

Mixed emotions were surging through me. I didn't know what to think or feel. Then I began reading the comments of my fellow Tricot fans and while they were comments of dissapointment and dismay, there were still comments of encouragement, messages of hope and rallies of "Let's go and Support them!" resonated throughout Social Media. With a renewed sense of purpose we started to get ready for the show. The roller coaster was starting to pick up again. 

This time around we invited friends over to join us in the show. Their first show was so amazing we just had to tell our friends. Arriving at 19 East a little before seven in the evening, the members of our Street Team were already there. They have been at the venue since around 3 in the afternoon (talk about dedication). The attendance sheet, which is actually a beautiful piece of original art created by Pejie, one of the Street Team members was already being passed around. The group gave a similar one last year which was signed by all the members, it now hangs in vocalist's Ikyuu Nakajima's room. 

Attendance Sheet! Members of the Street Team signed up on this original art
by resident Tricot Street Team Artist Pejie Abia.

After a light dinner, the doors opened and we went inside with our friends and Street Team members. Davao based electro pop act Skymarimes opened the show. I really enjoyed her set, even if she seemed nervous, her music and vocal prowess was very impressive. I look forward to seeing more of her gigs :) 

After Encounters With A Yeti, Tricot was already set to perform. You can almost feel the excitement in the air, it was that palpable. I rarely get into a fan girl moment but when the girls started to come up on stage I felt as though I was going to cry. Paul and I get to watch a lot of shows and gigs but I never get that emotional that I want to start bawling out. 

You've probably seen that story on Facebook that tells about what happens when a train is 5 minutes late in Japan, the conductor bows in front of the passengers and even gives them an excuse slip for being late. So you can just imagine what the girls could be thinking. The fans really appreciated what the band did, that they decided to give a short performance to the fans. The girls only had two and a half hours to re-arrange songs and practice. The early bird tickets were refunded and for other artists, if a show wasn't going to push through they could just refund the tickets and that's that but for Tricot they wanted to give a little something to the fans.  They probably also know that they have a strong fan base in Manila and didn't want to dissapoint the fans. Whatever the reasons were, we definitely got more than what we bargained for. 

Tricot does not usually perform acoustic sets, not even in Japan so even if we didn't get that live full band set we were hoping for. We got a rare emotional acoustic performance from the girls. Nothing could have prepared us for that, by the time their set was over I was already literally crying. 

Oyasumi By Tricot (Special Acoustic Performance in Manila) 

(c) masterlevi04

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Relevance of Jurassic World to the Times

In anticipation of Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, I went ahead and re-watched the first 3 movies plus special features on DVD (thanks to an awesome P450.00 offer for a boxed set). As I re watched all 3 movies, I relived my childhood memories of this well loved franchise. 

In my GMovies Member Feature, I talk about how scenes like the greedy lawyer being eaten by the T-Rex (Jurassic Park '93) while sitting in the toilet stuck to my head. It really left an impression on me; I think there was a time I was actually afraid a T-Rex would magically appear while I'm at my most vulnerable in the bathroom. 

For many of us, the Jurassic Park was not just a movie, they are memories. 

22 years after the first film grossed over a billion dollars in the box office. We are once again brought back to Isla Nublar where a theme park that never opened is now a fully operational luxury resort. All is well in the resort but in the search for a new attraction (because apparently Dinosaours aren't wow enough anymore) something is born in the lab, something that has never walked the earth before. Something that is supposed to be "bigger, better, cooler"

"This is where you play god" 
-Alan Grant (Jurassic Park III- 2001)

Say hello to the Indominus Rex. 

Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong) who played the same geneticist in the first movie, reprises his role and manipulates genes to create a genetically modified dinosaur, one that never existed and whose abilities are still unknown. 

Enter the Indominus Rex, raised in isolation after devouring it's only sibling (not a good sign) is now reaching maturity and preparations in making her the newest park attraction are already underway. 

Zach and Gray - the new kids in  the park. 

Real Characters, Relevant to the Times 

Aside from the new dinosaurs (yes there's more than one) there are also new human characters. I felt as though these characters were so realistic that they made Jurassic World relevant to the times. Despite a span of two decades since the first film, World seems fresh and it's because of the characters whose dreams, hopes and fears are like many of us that they become very real and relatable. 

Because there are always kids in Jurassic Park - 

Gray (Ty Simpkins) is an eleven year old boy who, like other boys his age love dinosaurs and in a world where they actually exist who wouldn't ? He is extremely intelligent and may actually be a genius, he seems to have some social anxiety which is the case more often than not. 

Zach (Nick Robinsons) is Gray's older brother who at 16 likes what boys like-girls. He looks forward to moving out the house when he reaches 18. 

The brothers are sent to spend some quality time with their career driven Aunt, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who runs Jurassic World. 

Tita (Aunt) Power in Jurassic World 

Claire  Dearing is a very busy woman overseeing about 20,000 guests per day, she gives her nephews special passes and sends them off to explore the resort. Claire is a distant Aunt from her nephews (she doesn't even know how old they are) which creates an interesting dynamic. As a (proud) #TitasOfManila (Aunts Of Manila) - I have no kids yet but I adore my nieces and nephews. I'm glad that this relationship was highlighted in this film. This is especially important in the Filipino culture where the extended family plays an integral part in the upbringing of the children. So hooray for the Titos and Titas! (Uncles and Aunts) out there! 

Another Jurassic Nostalgia: Do you remember who first had the 'flare idea' ? 

An Unlikely Hero 

The last Jurassic Movies had scientists (Paleontologist Alan Grant - Sam Neil and Mathematician Ian Malcolm - Jeff Goldblum)  as it's heroes. For Jurassic World it's ex-military  expert in animal behavior Owen Grady who is currently doing a training study with a pack of Velociraptors to whom he has developed an Alpha relationship. Claire initially asks Owen for help to evaluate the security of the Indominus Rex's Paddock. Owen is strong, decisive and quick to act, he believes in the natural order of things and where humans stand in it. 

"Oh, yeah. Ohhhh, Ahhh, that's how it all starts. Then there's running and um, screaming." 
- Dr. Ian Malcolm 
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Terminator + Game Of Thrones Equation: Emilia Clarke is the new Sarah Connor

There are a few franchises that cross paths and become even closer than the theory of six degrees of separation as much as The Terminator franchise and the hit HBO series Game Of Thrones does. Here is how their equation works. 

1. Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) played Sarah Connor in the Terminator TV spin off, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. 

2. Terminator Genisys director Alan Taylor is also a Game Of Thrones director! He directed tha last 2 episodes of Season 1 of Game Of Thrones. Taylor then became an executive producer for Season 2 of the TV series and went on to direct four more episodes. You can read more on Director Alan Taylor here

Director Alan Taylor on set. 

3. Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) is the new Sarah Connor! 

Let's talk more about that shall we? 

Mother's Mercy: Emilia Clarke as the new Sarah Connor. 

An undeniably talented actress, Emilia Clarke has garnered the attention of audiences for her pivotal performances and intriguing beauty. In 2013, Clarke received an Emmy Award nomination her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen (or the Mother of Dragons) on HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” based on the bestselling novels by George R.R. Martin.
To take on the iconic character of Sarah Connor, the filmmakers of Paramount Pictures' “Terminator Genisys” chose Emilia Clarke for the role. “We go back a long way,” smiles director Alan Taylor, clearly happy to be working with his “Game of Thrones” star again.
Producer David Ellison interjects, “We all love `Game of Thrones,' and there is a strength, and a sense of honor and nobility to Emilia—those are things that can’t be taught. You either have them or you don’t. I think those attributes work perfectly for Sarah Connor, whom I consider a seminal female heroine in cinema.”

Clarke echoes her colleagues when she says, “Arnold (Schwarzenegger) is the first thing that comes to mind when you say ‘Terminator,’ and you can’t do it without him. Probably what I love the most about this script is the relationship between the Guardian, played by Arnold, and Sarah. It’s the heart. It’s beautiful. We get to see his character in this whole other gorgeous light. Watching her all this time has kind of softened him—except, of course, when people have tried to kill her. That hasn’t softened him at all!”
While the guardianship of Sarah has had an effect on the Guardian, the Guardian’s presence has also affected Sarah. Co-star Jason Clarke feels, “Emilia brings a strength in femininity—the Sarah we pick up now is different. She didn’t have to grow up without a strong parental presence. I think there’s a bit more confidence in the woman, not just the paranoia of knowing there’s a future out there that’s trying to end her existence. There’s a bit more ‘girl about town’ that I think helps—you can see her truly start to fall in love with Kyle Reese.”

The weeks prior to the start of principal photography for “Terminator Genisys” saw Emilia Clarke entering the arena of training—the very physical shooting schedule included stunts, fights, heavy wirework and…weapons.
Clarke jokes, “Yeah, there was training every day with guns, lots of guns, and then some more guns, and then a few more guns thrown in. I didn’t know anything about guns before this film, and now, well, I know a lot about guns! Since I had done some stunt work before, they also had me preparing, to get a physical understanding of what was going to be needed. This Sarah was brought up by a Terminator to be a warrior, so she has a huge body of knowledge when it comes to fighting and survival. So a lot of what was done was to help me feel comfortable embodying that part of Sarah, always being prepared. I worked with an amazing military advisor, and a weapons specialist, and then stunts and just physical training.”

Mommy's very angry.
-Ian Malcolm. The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Sorry guys! I'm still on a Jurassic World high!

Paramount Pictures presents the action-thriller “Terminator Genisys” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons Matthew Smith, and Byung-hun Lee.
In the film, when John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including a new T-800 terminator, the Guardian (Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future…

Will definitely be missing Game Of Thrones especially with the finale for season 5 just around the corner so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the Mother Of Dragons on the big screen (for the first time) kick butt with big as* guns. 

Opening across the Philippines on July 01, “Terminator Genisys” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.