Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Meet the Five Emotions in "Inside Out"

When I saw the trailer of Disney-Pixar's new comedy "Inside Out" I wasn't so sure about what to think about the movie, it was an unusual premise for sure. Paul on the other hand was immediately intrigued and interested, but then I started to think about what it was like growing up as a teenager, an angsty one at that, I cut my own hair, listened to punk rock and honestly had a lot of anger in me, I even wrote a lot of really angry poetry but all that is in the past now, as my sister put it I seem to have had a better disposition in life after meeting Paul :p 

Growing up, being a teenager, it really was a roller coaster ride of emotions and looking at that experience through the eyes of a "team" of emotions in your head was really interesting and so I was hooked. 

In "Inside Out" there is a team of 5 emotions who help guide 11-year old Riley through an unsettling change in her life. I remember being 11- it was no walk in the park. 

"Some psychologists claim that there are 27 emotions" says director Pete Docter. 

We toyed with adding Pride. Or Schadenfreude, who delighted in the pain of others. But it started getting crowded in there. We ultimately settled on five.”

Filmmakers then went about defining each Emotion, assigning them a purpose in Riley’s mind, and tackling the difficult process of finding the right look for each. “The look and design of the Emotions had to remind people that they are personifications of feelings,” says Docter. “They’re not little people. They’re Emotions. They’re made of energy—they’re made up of thousands of particles, which kind of looks like energy. We wanted to capture what emotions feel like—the shapes, the colors—as well as their personalities.”

JOY (voice of Amy Poehler). Joy’s goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. Joy sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy.

FEAR (voice of Bill Hader). Fear’s main job is to protect Riley and keep her safe. He is constantly on the lookout for potential disasters, and spends time evaluating the possible dangers, pitfalls and risk involved in Riley’s everyday activities. There are very few activities and events that Fear does not find to be dangerous and possibly fatal.

ANGER (voice of Lewis Black). Anger feels very passionately about making sure things are fair for Riley. He has a fiery spirit and tends to explode (literally) when things don’t go as planned. He is quick to overreact and has little patience for life’s imperfections.

DISGUST (voice of Mindy Kaling). Disgust is highly opinionated, extremely honest and prevents Riley from getting poisoned – both physically and socially. She keeps a careful eye on the people, places and things that Riley comes into contact with – whether that’s broccoli or last year’s fashion trend. Disgust always has the best of intentions and refuses to lower her standards.
SADNESS (voice of Phyllis Smith). None of the other Emotions really understand what Sadness’s role is. Sadness would love to be more optimistic and helpful in keeping Riley happy, but she finds it so hard to be positive. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is just lie on the floor and have a good cry.

“All of the Emotions are the most cartoony, most stylized characters that we’ve ever attempted in a feature film here at Pixar,” says supervising animator Victor Navone. “They are the kind of characters that might actually be easier to draw on paper—but they’re really hard to do in three dimensions. These characters are so special, so unique—we just wanted to hit a home run.”

Opening across the Philippines on August 19, “Inside Out” is distributed by The Walt Disney Company – Studio Entertainment through Columbia Pictures.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Why the 2015 Fantastic Four Matters

While channel surfing one time, I remember running across 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I watched it for a few minutes and I could feel the vomit coming up my mouth. It was just so bad. Despite being box office hits, the 2005 Fantastic Four and it's successor were met with mixed to negative reviews from fans and critics. 

Jessica Alba who played Sue Storm / Invisible Woman was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actresses for both movies, Alba along with co-star Ioan Grufford (Reed Richards/ Mr. Fantastic) were also nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst On-Screen Partner for Rise Of The Silver Surfer, the only saving grace? They didn't win. So despite having only a few years in between the films, it seems that a re-boot of a Fantastic Four movie is a must, if not as a redemption then as a way for possible future movie crossovers. 

Director Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) teased on a possible X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover, according to the director this would depend on the success of the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse and Fantastic Four reboot. Singer said: "You have to see how the films evolve before you make the decision to commit to that." 

So what can we expect from the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot? 

Here is what we know so far: 

Miles Teller who is 28 will be bringing a younger vibe to Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic which probably means we won't be seeing his distinct white hair. Teller has received numerous nominations for his work on Whiplash and The Spectacular Now, winning the Sundance Film Festival Award for Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting for the latter.

In what could be considered as a controversial casting choice, Michael B. Jordan will be playing Johnny Storm / The Human Torch, who has always been drawn as Caucasian in the comics. Captain America (Chris Evans) played the role in the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four movies. While fans have no doubt on Jordan's acting prowess (he is an award winning actor and has even been dubbed as a 'young Denzel Washington' ) the only issue they have is Why cast a Black Human Torch? 

In an article I read, the writer explores why casting a black Human Torch can make the movie a better one. The Fantastic Four has always been seen as a family unit and  in the 1960s, the 'traditional' family was always seen as white. 

Times have changed and it's been 50 years since the Fantastic Four have been created, modern families consist of a mixed unit now. We have interracial marriages, families of mixed ethnicities as well as interracial adoptions and speculation is that this is the direction to which the movie will take, since Sue Storm / Invisible Girl who is Johhny's sister will be played by Caucasian actress, Kate Mara. 

With this change to the modern American family why not change Marvel's first family? In this way it makes them more relatable and relevant to contemporary audiences. 

Jordan's casting also means completely severing Chris Evans (a Caucasian actor) to the role and allowing Jordan to make the role completely his. Plus, in my opinion, it would be nice to see more heroes of different ethnicities. 

The new Human Torch talks about the backlash on his casting: 

"I know I can't ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books Jordan says in an interview. But the world is a little diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961".

"This is a family movie about four friends - two of which are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister - who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That's the message of the movie,if people can just allow themselves to see it." 

Fun fact. Miles Teller and. Michael B. Jordan co-starred together in the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, along with Zac Efron. 

Kate Mara plays Sue Storm / The Invisble Girl. Jamie Bell plays Ben Grimm / The Thing to complete a younger and edgier Fantastic Four. 

Probably considered as the most controversial super hero reboot yet, Fantastic Four has a lot working against it but sometimes it is these movies that pass through trial by fire (pun intended) which come out as successful and memorable. 

The new Fantastic Four opens on August 5 nationwide, from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Attack On Titan: Movie Questions Answered

Attack On Titan is just two weeks away from being shown in cinemas and some fans of the original material might have some unanswered questions about the movie adaptation. 

Based on the Japanese dark fantasy manga series, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, Attack On Titan has been a commercial success, earning fans all over the world. The series has received critical acclaim for it's atmosphere and story. 

The series opens with a post apocalyptic world, where in the remaining survivors of the human race hide behind closed cities, protected by towering walls to hide themselves from Titans, humanoid giants who eat people (whole and raw) for no apparent reason. The humans have lived peacefully for over 100 years but are suddenly reminded of what it means to live in fear of Titans when a colossal Titan appears. 

While Attack On Titan can be considered as one of the most anticipated adaptations of the year, speculations from fans have increased as promotional images and trailers were released. I've done some research and here are some answers to some FAQ on the upcoming movie. 

In an interview with Cinema Today, a Japanese website, Attack On Titan screenwriter Tomohiro Machiyama (also a famous columnist and critic) explained the reason for the changes in the movie. Director Shinji Higuchi decided to change the setting of the story in Japan. In the original material, the characters are made up of different races so instead of getting Japanese actors to portray Caucasians and vice versa, the decision was just to change the setting to Japan. In this way they could cast Japanese actors to portray Japanese characters, which is why Armin has black hair instead of blonde hair, It's important to note that most of the changes in the movie will stem from this decision 

Where is Levi ? 

It's surprising that one of the series' most popular character (Levi) is not in the movie. The decision to 
not include Levi in the first movie, at least - fans are still hoping for him to appear in the sequel(s) has two contributing factors, the first is a simple case of his name not being Japanese enough. In the decision to change the setting of the movie in Japan and having Japanese characters instead of a mix of races was to change the names of the characters as well, except for the main characters (Eren and Armin) Jean and Sasha get to keep their names though. So instead of Levi we have Shikishima? 

Another reason for dropping Levi's character is so that the story can focus on main characters (and the relationship) between Eren and Mikasa (we'll talk about that kiss later). In the anime and manga, Levi steals the show as an even more popular character than protagonist Eren, that would pose some challenges in the movie version but has left some fans dissapointed. 

The Kiss 

With the release of the recent trailer a scene revealed what you would think is Eren kissing Mikasa but at closer look it seems to be Shikishima kissing Mikasa, whoever is kissing who this seems to be a betrayal for fans as this is a far cry from the original story, while this may not be a surprise for most audiences.  Did the movie jump the shark on that kiss? Fans may not be happy about it but it's something that can be appreciated by broader audiences, it really is a gamble and we'll only be able to see if it was a winning bet when the movie comes out. 

Creating the Titans 

Considered as an ambitious endevour, there is a lot of CGI graphics that would be used in the movie, especially with the titans, it is basically unchartered territory in movie making. Titans are not robots, they are humanoid giants, that come in different sizes. Creating a 17.5ft robot that turns into a 1977 Camaro seems to be more realistic on screen. Also Japanese studios are not known for creating CGI heavy movies. Even Hollywood has their own tricks with movies that use a lot of CGI, so yes the rains in Pacific Rim and all that smoke in Godzilla are tricks which serve as smoke and mirrors so to speak. How will the team behind Attack On Titan take on the challenge of creating the titans on the big screen? The CGI and effects don't just end with putting the titans on screen but also creating the 3D Manuever Gear and making it work. Wait? 3D Manuever Gear?! It's a mechanism worn as a belt which allows the wearer to swing through buildings and trees in order to reach the Titan's weak point - the nape of the neck. One of the best things in the anime was watching the characters move through the city or forest with their 3D MG, how will that be translated on the screen is something that we'll have to wait for the movie to see. 

Movie adaptations of our beloved anime, manga, series, comic books have been common in the last few years, while changes are inevitable for many reasons it's important to look at each work as a separate entity. Books are books, anime is anime, manga is manga, etc. If you get caught up with the details it may ruin what could have been a good movie experience for you. The Attack On Titan movie adaptation is an ambitious undertaking that could possibly be a make-or-break in Anime-to-Movie adaptations. Don't get to hung up on the details, take things as they are and just try to get lost in the moment. It will be hard to judge a movie based on trailers alone, we can only really know once we're sitting in that movie house and watching the movie on screen. 

From Pioneer Films, Attack On Titan will premiere in Philippine cinemas on August 12, 2015 while the sequel, Attack On Titan: End of The Wolrd will follow on September 2015. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Get Lost. Get Found with Paper Towns

Paper Towns might start of as any ordinary young adult romantic movie, boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl becomes popular in high school and they drift apart but that's where the ordinary ends. Quentin is in love with Margo (Cara Delevingne) who has become the "it" girl in school. They have drifted apart despite being best friends when they were kids. One night, Margo breaks into Quentin's room and takes him on an adventure, the next day Margo disappears but leaves behind clues which Quentin along with his friends follow, hoping to find Margo. 

I just got out of the cinema from watching Paper Towns and I am writing this review in a frenzy just because I loved Paper Towns so much. I read the book prior to seeing the movie and I honestly didn't know what to expect of the movie and I really enjoyed it! Until now my tummy hurts from all the LOL moments in the film. The wit and humor in the book was easily translated to the screen. The tandem of Q (Quentin) -Natt Wolf and his friends, Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith) was just HILARIOUS. It was spot on-crazy funny but without trying too hard, it seemed that they were a real group of high school friends. The chemistry of the three male leads is undeniable. It's as if they really did know each other from when they were "fetuses". 

Sorry, I really am getting ahead of myself since I enjoyed the movie so much. There is so much more than just laughing and enjoying the movie because in the journey to find Margo the three friends cement their friendship and go on a road trip that will change their lives forever. We see the three friends grow in their adventure and get out of their comfort zone and do things they would not usually do (like skip class). 

More than just a love story, Paper Towns is a coming of age story which challenges stereotypes and placing people in boxes and under labels. As John Green, the author of Paper Towns said the story also looks into the complexities of people and seeing them for who they really are rather than who we want them to be. 

Watching the movie, made me reminisce my High School days (about 11 years ago). High School is such an interesting part in our lives, it is a time of self discovery when you learn things about yourself that you never knew and you also have a million questions at the same time. It can be a very beautiful time in our lives, yet it can also be frightening and confusing. Yet, one thing is for sure about High School, it is when you witness the miracle of friends and seeing the movie pulled on a few heart strings as I remembered and missed my High School friends. 

There is no dull moment in Paper Towns, from a night of 'righting wrongs' to an investigation of Margo's dissapearance to going on an impromptu road trip. Your stomach will ache a good kind of ache from laughing at the well delivered comedy. It is a beautiful movie of love, friends, growing up and of overcoming labels and stereotypes. 

We all get one miracle. Make sure to let your miracle know that they're yours. 

Paper Towns is showing in theaters nationwide on July 22 from 20th Century Fox and is distributed by Warner Bros. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I believe that OPM is very much alive

Reaching Out: Julz Savard of Save Me Hollywood at B-Tone Bar, Tanay Rizal 

I've always been an optimistic kind of person, you know the type that looks at the glass half full instead of half empty. So with regards to the statement that OPM is dead, I would have to disagree. Sure, there is truth and a painful reality to these "non-singers" and "pabebe" wannabes, sold out concerts in arenas of people who can't sing and albums sold from box-office personalities who only come out with covers of love songs.

I foam at the mouth when I think of these things especially since I know of so many underrated talented artists who play the local bars around the Metro, record songs from their rooms and peddle their CDs for half the price of foreign artists. 

Just open the radio stations, what is the ratio of foreign songs being played to local ones? Which songs are dominating the charts? Clue, they are most likely not from around these parts. 

Soft whispers, Strong Pulse 

It's a good thing that there are radio stations like Jam 88.3 which constantly play and promote local independent acts. Did you know that the radio station worked with Vinyl Titan Stachmi to produce and release a compilation of songs from some of the country's up and coming artists and release it on Vinyl? I'm a proud owner of Fresh Filter Vol. 1 and I'm listening to it right now as I am writing this, all the more determined to let the people know that OPM it is not dead. It is very much alive, playing to crowds in small bars, in soft whispers, a strong pulse, felt unfortunately only by a few.

OPM is alive, in the crowded bars of the Metro. Em Tolentino of Circa in District 2140, formerly Freedom Bar.  

There is an argument that our music scene is in the state that it is also because of consumers who choose to patronize novelty songs, the kind that eat your brain cells and offers no art, imagination or which cannot stir feelings aside from the kind of band-wagon hype which makes mindless zombies out of our population. Yes these are the masses who can't see (or hear) behind a beautiful face "singing" heaven forbid another love song cover. We can't do anything about that anymore, it's already there. The situation is what it is so the question is what are you going to do about it? 

Here's My Problem 

How and why do I say that OPM is still alive? Well- my problem, yes, it is a problem is that there are so many good OPM bands and music out there that my problem is I don't have the time or the funds to discover, listen and experience them all. 


Currently on my CDs/records to purchase list: 

Toni B. - Carnival 
Imago - Kapit
Never The Strangers -(New album)
Save Me Hollywood -Headlights 
The Ransom Collective- 
Idioms and Dispositions - 
Cheats - 
Drive Me To Juliet (Cebu based) - Kiss & Tell (album)
Jensen & The Flips - Honeymoon 
Barbie Almalbis - (New Album) 
Techyromantics - 
MOONWLK -20Twelve
Up Dharma Down -Capacities (on Vinyl) 

I'm looking forward to new music from these artists: 

Midnight Meetings 
Mad Hatter Day 
Tandems '91
Tom's Story 
Loop (Iligan based) 
Skymarines (Davao based) 
Reese & Vica 
Kai Honasan 
Reese Lansangan 
Paraluman (currently recording in the studio)
December Avenue

Happy that Circa just released their long overdue EP :) 

*Apoligies for bands/artists I may have forgotten to mention* 

There are so many bands I've been meaning to check out but haven't had the time, between working the night shift and having events on weekends it's been a challenge. Speaking of working the night shift there are actually a lot of gigs and events that we couldn't go to or had to pass on because of our nocturnal schedule. We'd probably have more bands and artists to feature if we had an ordinary schedule. I haven't even been to 12 Monkeys bar yet, been wanting to go there but nothing has worked with our schedule yet. Hopefully soon. 

'Right back at 'ya' Monty Macalino of Mayonnaise at 70's Bistro 

Tools Of The Trade 

Social Media is a double edged sword but in the case of promoting OPM you can actually put it to good use. Amplify.ph is an awesome website where you can download songs and get to support the artist at the same time. The website also has articles which features playlist for different moods as well as staff picks and recommendations to help you get started. 

Some of our up and coming artists are also on Spotify! Tip. Don't check out the OPM playlist on Spotify itself, I have an OPM playlist you might want to check out, just follow me @ica_cheng. 

News on gigs and events is easier to spread through social media. Follow your favorite local bands on their social media sites for news and updates, some bands are active on social media and even reply to tweets, questions and comments :) 

Once you have a band or artist you've come to like, don't be selfish-share them to friends and family! Post it on your timeline! Instead of sharing those pabebe videos, post something worth while. 

When people ride in our car and I'm playing some of my OPM picks I tell them (proudly) "OPM Yan!" And go on telling them how this artist is still in College and made the album before she was 20 (yes- B.P. Valenzuela that's you) or how members of this band also work in a Call Center like us. We bring my siblings and older nephew to local gigs and introduce them to local acts they can look up to. :) For our younger nephew, we watch Myx with him and recommend some OPM picks :) We make sure the next generation know what good OPM is. 

I really wanted this piece to take an empowering direction, instead of pointing fingers and complaining about how OPM is dead, let's be part of the solution. Let's actually do something. There are so many ways and means to help get OPM out there, it's not going to be easy, we would all need to do our part. Let's keep OPM alive, it's struggling to stay alive but honestly with the amazing quality of music out there, it shouldn't be. Are you up for the challenge? I know I am. #OPMIsAlive 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mad for Mad House

During the recently concluded Geekgikan we were doubly excited to find some geek stalls at Cubao Expo and one of these was MadHouse Avenue clothing. 

There's nothing like proclaiming your geek love with the shirts that you wear, which is something that we always do. 

Check out MadHouse Avenue on Facebook and on Instagram as @madhouseave ^_^  They have awesome designs you might want to make your own! 

The Force is Strong in This One. 

This was shot in our bedroom, using a Nikon SB600, as an off-camera light source.  We only used a white cloth as the background for the series of images, we still went for the dark and edgy look during post processing phase.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Night of Comebacks: Paramore Night 16

It was nice to come back to where it all began, 2 years ago on Paramore Night 3 was actually our first time to cover a local gig. Needless to say I'm a big Paramore fan and through the magic that was Social Media I got invited to the event. We came to enjoy a night of Paramore songs but came out falling in love with OPM. Two years and countless of local gigs later we went back to cover Paramore Night 16, I say come back because we've been absent for the last few Paramore Nights due to work schedules and what not so it was like a homecoming of sorts really. It was nice to see old faces and say hi to old friends. 

It wasn't just Team PCheng who had a comeback on Paramore Night 16, local band favorites Mad Hatter Day and Circa both just came back from hiatus and performed to happy fans, who were glad that they were back. 

On Sunday the next day, Mad Hatter Day teased fans with photos and posts on social media of the band going in the studio (The Yellow Room Recording Studio - in Ortigas) to record music. It's good knowing that this talented group is back to doing what they do best which is to kill at live shows and create awesome music - can't wait to see and hear what they have in store! 

Paramore Night 16 was also special since Circa released their EP Skylights I got a copy and I loved it! Will he posting an EP review soon. You can also listen and get a copy of their EP on Spotofy, iTunes and Deezer. 

When we go out on gigs, we love discovering new bands and for this particularl gig we were really impressed by Inday Bote. Their vocalist had an impressive voice and their songs were well written. Will definitely look out for this band. 

Mayonnaise performed last and the crowd loved them, I think that they have a new secret weapon and no, it's not front man Monty Macalino's wit and charm since that has long been in the band's arsenal. Their secret weapon? Guitarist and Vocalist Maan Furio who sang the Paramore covers for the band. She's so cute with her glasses and shy demeanor you can just put her in your bag and judging by the way fans lined up for a photo op with her after their set I can see that they loved her too. 

The highlight of the evening was when The Used In Manila tickets were raffled off. I almost won though since our number was just one less than the lucky number that was drawn :( So yeah cue in the tears. 

Although we didn't score the tickets it was still an awesome night of music and seeing friends. It was a homecoming for many and I hope that we wouldn't have to wait too long for the next one. 

Click here for more photos.

Go BIG with Ant-Man

It seems that Marvel has their formula for success down that even with a relatively unknown super hero, audiences will be leaving the cinemas with a new favorite hero. It's interesting to note that it is not the special effects and CGI graphics which make Ant-Man a highly recommended movie. 

It's the characters which you come to love and love to hate which makes you laugh, cheer and jeer in the movie house. It is these characters whose search for redemption or desire to do good and save the world or just kick back and enjoy the good life which is what keeps you invested throughout the movie. 

Of course, the awesome special effects and CGI don't hurt at all especially since we see new stunts on a totally different level. Remember the big fight of The Hulk and The Hulkbuster (A.K.A. Veronica) in Avengers: Age Of Ultron? Well, we've already seen these big bad as* fight scenes, what we haven't seen is taking the fight to the size of an insect- a small insect at that. 

Imagine two ants having an all out Super Saiyan battle, complete with large-hole-in-the-wall damages; well that just scratches the surface of it because half of what makes the fight amazing is how the two Super Saiyan ants interact with seemingly ordinary objects. 

It's not just these minuscule fights which bring something new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also Ant-Man's ability to command armies of ants; it may not seem that impressive but if you've been bitten by a fire ant then you know that these guys mean business; multiply that one tiny fire ant exponentially and you're in for a very bad day. 

Honestly after seeing the movie I will never look at ants the same way again. #ANThony 

Ant-Man as a hero is something refreshing and unique and whatever beautiful words I use will not bring it justice; it is something you need to see and experience on your own (in 3D if you can). 

After talking about the awesomeness of the fight scenes, the special effects and the CGI allow me to talk about loveable characters of Ant-Man. 

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) if you're a 90s kid you probably remember him from Clueless, which celebrated it's 20 year anniversary recently - and deym he has aged gracefully -is such a cutie! is a Robin Hood kind of burglar who after being released from prison wants to live a straight life. 

Unfortunately that's not going to be easy given that companies aren't so keen on hiring ex-cons. 

Pushed by his desire to be a better father to his daughter, Scott is caught in a web or in this case - ant hill of big proportions. 

Scott, along with his unlikely team plan a (more than a) heist to steal technology that is similar to the Ant-Man suit, that in the wrong hands can mean disaster. 

Micheal Peña plays Luis, Scott's hilarious side kick of sorts and he steals the show! Early review for the film praised Peña for his refreshing and natural humor. You would think that Marvel would have used up all the jokes and delivery in the book but here comes Peña with spot on delivery you can't help but crack up every time he comes on the screen. 

I also love how the movie uniquely handled the subtle romance in the film (no nauseating or awkward scenes) which is a first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Speaking of MCU, the film was able to seamlessly blend the characters and timeline to the rest of the movies in the MCU without giving you a headache. It's worth mentioning that you should starry after the movie for not one but two post-credit scenes!!! 

All in all, it was a good family / date / friend film with lots of touching father-daughter scenes that left the little ol' daddy's girl in me teary eyed. 

A refreshing take on an origin story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man will bring you to a whole different world, in an entirely new scale-where no Avenger has gone before. You will laugh, you will cry and you will be amazed. Ant-Man is loads of funny and full of heart. Time will fly by in the cinema just because you're enjoying the movie so much and like me, you'll probably have more respect for ants afterwards. 

Adorable photo of Paul Rudd with some eager Marvel kids at an exclusive movie sneak peek of Ant-Man. Something tells me we'll be seeing a lot of kids dress up as Ant-Man for Halloween and maybe Ant-Man themed birthday parties? 

All photos in this post are from Marvel Studios. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Team Anj Photoshoot

Being the new team on the floor or having a significantly small number of members did not hinder Team Anj from bagging the coveted title of Team Of The Month.

It wasn't an easy achievement but they did it, despite challenges, the team worked hard and persevered in the end.

There was this new beautiful mural that was painted near the office which we wanted to use as the background for their shoot. We had challenges with the lighting but made do with using an SB-600  as off-camera-flash. We just had some trouble with the mall guards who were shooing us away. We were happy with the how the photos came out - we just had to work hard to get them and it was all worth it in the end.

Team Anj is a fun and young team who did not let their being new in the process hinder them - they worked hard, were rewarded and it was all worth it in the end.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jason Momoa: More than just a Khal

Facebook timelines went on fire with the news that Game Of Thrones star Jason Momoa will be coming to Manila for the AsiaPOP Convention on September 17-19 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. While that is a few months away, here are some exciting facts about the 6'4" model, actor and director. 

 Momoa was propelled to the limelight when he portrayed the role of Khal Drogo in the hit TV Series "Game Of Thrones" he got the role when he performed the 'Haka' a traditional ancestral war dance from the Maori people of New Zealand. 

Momoa is of Native Hawaiian descent from his Father's side and of German Irish and Native American descent from his mother. 

He is a rare Renaissamce man who through his extensive travels studied pastel painting in Paris and Buddist teachings in Tibet.  

For his role as 'Aquaman' Momoa says that one of the coolest things about getting to play Aquaman is representing his culture. "They're not too many brown superheroes, so I'm really looking forward to representing Polnesians, the natives." He said at the Walker Stalker Con Panel in Atlanta. "My family are some of the greatest water men on earth. I'm not but I'm going to train with them. But it's really just an honor being Polynesian". 

Aquaman is slated for release in 2018 and will be helmed by James Wan who directed Fast & Furious 7 and The Conjouring. Momoa will be making a debut as Aquaman in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. 

An icon for over 70 years, Aquaman is the King of the Seven Seas. This reluctant ruler of Atlantis, caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and Atlanteans looking to lash out in revolt, is committed to protecting the entire globe.

Momoa has two children with wife American Actress Lisa Bonet who is the ex-wife of rocker Lenny Kravitz. Zoe Kravitz (Insurgent movies, Mad Max, X-Men: First Class) is the daughter of Bonet and Kravitz. The modern family have a tight knit relationship. 

Road to Paloma is the first film where Momoa worked as director, writer, producer and where he also stars in the lead role. 

There is so much to say about the multi-faceted Mamoa, he will surely be under the public's eye and in the news for the next few years. Make sure you guys save up for AsiaPOP Convention to see him and of course Aquaman in 2018. :) 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Enjoy Marvel Movies for only P50.00 in Select SM Cinemas!

Remember that Cornetto commercial "San Makakarating ang P20.00 mo?" (Where is your P20.00 going to get you?). I ask you the same question with "San Makakarating ang P50.00 mo?" 

Well apparently you can re-watch and enjoy your favorite Marvel movies in all the glory of the cinemas PLUS get an extended look at Ant-Man before it hits cinemas on July 15. 

Marvel's Super Hero Mania is available at select SM Cinema Branches: Mall Of Asia, North Edsa, Megamall and Manila. 

Promo is available from July 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12! 

Sky Cable offers 190 channels for FREE! As it's 25 year Anniversary treat

Good News! Sky Cable is offering over 190 channels - FOR FREE! From July 4-11 with no additional charges! 

As part of their 25th Anniversary celebration Sky Cable is changing the definition of TV Marathon with FREE channels - why hello - CI, HBO Hits, Cinemax and so much more! :) 

Promo is open to all new and existing SKYcable and Destiny Cable digital subscribers within the following areas:

Mega Manila: Metro Manila, CAMANAVA, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan (San Jose del Monte)

Regional – Cebu, Baguio, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, Dumaguete and General Santos.

From July 4 to 11, 2015, the following channels will be made accessible:

To digital subscribers with standard definition boxes.

The following channels will be available to digital subscribers with high definition boxes. 


    Cinema One
    Fox Action Movies SD
    Fox Family Movies SD
    HBO SD
    HBO Family SD
    HBO Hits SD
    HBO Signature SD
    MAX SD
    My Movie Channel
    Star Movies
    Screen Red
    Tagalized Movie Channel
    Turner Classic Movies

    Al Jazeera
    BBC World
    Channel News Asia
    CNN SD
    DZMM Teleradyo
    Fox News

    TV Maria

    AXN SD
    CT Channel
    Fashion TV SD
    Fox SD
    Jeepney TV
    Lifetime Channel SD
    O Shopping
    RTL-CBS Entertainment SD
    Sony Channel
    Star World SD
    Telenovela Channel
    Universal Channel SD
    Warner Tv SD

    Channel M SD
    CTS Korea

Balls SD
Crime&Investigation SD
FoxCrime SD
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
Fox Sports News
Manila Jockey Club
NBA Premium SD
Solar Sports

Channel V
MTV Pinoy

Australia Plus TV
Deustsche Welle
KBS World
NHK World Premium
Saudi 1
TV5 Monde
Voice of America

Da Ai/Tzuchi
Celestial Classic Movies
Phoenix Chinese Channel
Phoenix InfoNews
Star Chinese Channel
Star Chinese Movies

ABP News
Life OK
NDTV Goodtimes
NDTV India
Star Gold
Star Plus
Zee Cinema
Zee Smile

Animal Planet
Discovery Channel
History SD
Knowledge Channel
Nat Geo People SD
Nat Geo Wild
National Geographic SD
Travel Channel SD

Asian Food Channel
Diva Universal
Food Network Asia SD
Living Asia

2nd Avenue
3ABN International
ABS-CBN Sports+Action
Light Network (formerly ZOE)
SMNI (formerly ACQ-KBN)

The following channels will be available to digital subscribers with high definition boxes.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ant-Man could be Marvel's new Underdog

When I first saw the trailer to Marvel's upcoming movie Ant-Man I thought to myself "Ant-Man?? Seriously??" I honestly was not familiar with the hero. My friend to my side had the same reaction as I did when we saw the trailer in the movie house. As the idea of Ant-Man, burrowed itself in my mind the more intrigued I became. 

Marvel has already explored everything big in all their past movies. What would happen if they went on the opposite direction and went on a smaller scale instead? 

Before Guardians Of The Galaxy came out, people were predicting that it would be a flop but it turned out to be a box office hit and currently holds the title of 'our favorite Marvel movie to date'

Guardians- taught us that you don't need to have a popular super-hero to have a successful movie. Could Ant-Man be going on a similar direction as well? 

Early screenings of the movie have resulted to positive reviews from critics. 

Here are some witty tweets. 

"Ant-Man is both fun and funny."
-Christina Radish @ChristinaRadish

"Marvel's most human film to date." 
-Jack Giroux @JackGi

"Ant-Man is great. Way better than Age Of Ultron."
-Gregoryellwood @HitFixGregory 

"Most inventive action scenes yet and tons of heart."
-Erik Davis @ErikDavis 

A little research revealed some interesting facts on the original Ant-Man. 

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas in the movie) became the first Ant-Man in Tales To Astonish #35 (1962). 

Ant-Man was a founding member of The Avengers (and yes- the guy in the gold tin suit is Iron Man).

Pym appeared alongside The Avengers in the team's debut in Avengers # 1 in 1963. 

In later years, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) becomes Ant Man to save his daughter. 

When Marvel’s “Ant-Man” hits Philippine theaters on July 15, director Peyton Reed believes the movie will surprise audiences. “Ant-Man is an incredibly powerful character,” says Reed. “He can shrink down to a very tiny size and actually command armies of different types of ants. The great thing about the comics and the great thing about this story is you get to see what kinds of things a bunch of ants can get done and the interesting ways in which they can help Scott Lang aka Ant-Man.”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new action-packed adventure brings us master thief Scott Lang as the present-day Ant-Man. After being armed by Dr. Hank Pym with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, Lang must embrace his inner hero and help 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.

Directed by Peyton Reed, 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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Paper Towns" is more than just Cara Delevingne

Aside from the usual excitement of a John Green novel being adapted into a movie is the fact that one of the most mysterious and beautiful models of this generation - Cara Delevingne in it and this has probably doubled the must-see factor for the upcoming movie Paper Towns. On a regular day my news feed is filled with praise and admiration for her unique beauty (look at those eyebrows!) goofy expressions, her rock star and wild child persona which keeps fans and admirers wanting more. 

Delevingne plays the mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman, the 'it' and popular girl who loved mysteries so much that she became one. Adapted from John Green's novel Paper Towns, the story reviolves around 'Q' (Quentin) a childhood friend of Margo's who has always been in love with her ever since they were kids. 

Sometime before graduating High School, Margo takes Q on an all-night adventure through their hometown, and then suddenly disappears--leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship--and true love.

People may be looking forward to watching the movie because of Cara Delevingne but I've read the book and I assure you that the movie will be more than just a love story with a beautiful leading lady. 
Q and his friends are witty and hilarious and the bonds of their friendship will be tested and bring about crazy adventures that they could never have imagined. 

The heart of “Paper Towns” rests in its depictions of friendship and its accompanying adventures, mysteries and even the aggravations that pull young people together at a significant point in their lives.  Q, Ben and Radar are the best of friends.  Their circle of friendship grows with Margo’s disappearance. As author John Green explains, “Q, Ben and Radar are extremely tight but as their high school years come to a close, they grapple with the fact that their friendship is soon going to be different.”
    “There’s a real connection between these friends, and so the humor between them feels lived in and real,” adds Schreier.  “Ben is this nerdy kid who desperately wants to have a girlfriend but has no idea how to go about getting one,” says Austin Abrams, who takes on the role.  “Like the other characters, he undergoes big changes in his thinking about girls, and realizes that a girl he’s long had a crush on, Lacey, is not only pretty, she’s actually very cool and sweet.”

For the part of Radar, the filmmaker cast newcomer Justice Smith. “Radar is a really sweet kid who plays saxophone in the high school band,” says Smith. “He’s a little afraid of bringing his girlfriend Angela to his home because his parents own the world’s largest collection of black Santas.  He’s very embarrassed that his house has, you know, like, 4,200 black Santas in it.”
 Green uses that story element as a mirror to Q’s initial, superficial view of Margo.  “It’s ludicrous how monolithically we imagine Santa,” he points out.  “And there’s a moment in the story when Angela, upon learning of this unique collection, says, ‘I think it’s really cool that your parents are helping to make Santa more complex.’”