Monday, December 26, 2016

Movie News: WILL SMITH, A MAN LOST IN GRIEF IN “COLLATERAL BEAUTY”


Fresh from his success as Deadshot in the blockbuster hit Suicide Squad, Will Smith now stars as Howard, a man lost in grief, in New Line Cinema’s life-affirming drama, Collateral Beauty.

In the film, Howard, a successful New York advertising executive retreats from life after suffering a great tragedy. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

The filmmakers sought an actor who could take on Howard's complexities while remaining relatable and appealing. He had to suggest the promise of warmth and humor, and a great heart, even when those qualities aren’t immediately apparent. As producer Michael Sugar puts it, “Will Smith is a star with unparalleled charisma. The role of Howard had to be played by someone audiences can embrace, and we felt that Will was a perfect fit.”

He never lost sight of all the nuances, and made sure to highlight the levity within these dramatic scenes,” director David Frankel remarks. “It was a surprise to me how much natural comedy Will found in this character who’s in such pain, and I think that’s part of his natural buoyancy.”

Howard was a guy who had life figured out, he understood everything there was to know about it,” says Smith. “He considered himself a teacher and a marketing guru. Great guy. He was loving, gave advice, was helpful to all his friends. He knew how to win. But when he lost his daughter, his comprehension of how things work in this world was completely uprooted and overturned.


Grieving has been a study for him,” Smith continues, referencing the approach his character initially takes by scouring books on philosophy and healing that now litter his apartment. “He’s trying to come to some understanding, some sense of meaning and a reason to go on. He gets it intellectually that death is a part of life and things are impermanent, that you have to accept and let go, but the actual process of putting that into practice is going to require something more.”

Howard’s life, such as it is, has come to revolve around a limited set of activities he repeats daily before falling into bed, where sleep eludes him. He checks in at the office, but instead of working he spends hours stacking dominoes. Days, he sits in the dog park, and nights, he races his bicycle heedlessly through the city streets. Sometimes he stops in the darkness just outside a window through which we see people in a circle of folding chairs, talking and comforting each other over some unknown sorrow. But he never goes in.

When death happens out of sequence, a child passing before a parent, it’s like the cycle of life gets broken and we’re not genetically programmed for that,” Frankel suggests. “Is Howard mad? I believe grief can take a brilliant, bright person to a place where they never imagined, to some deep, dark low levels they never dreamed they’d be.”

People have different reactions to loss, different ways of coping and different timetables, as the story suggests. There is no right way and no judgment. But in Howard’s case, he’s not coping at all. “He’s stuck. He’s in a state of permanent stasis and doesn’t know how to get moving again,” producer Bard Dorros says.

Howard’s only consolation seems to be in the letters he writes to Time, to Love and to Death. Says Smith, “It starts out as a catharsis, a way for him to vent his emotions, his anger and disillusionment, which is something everyone can understand.”

But then something wholly unexpected happens.

Opening across the Philippines on January 04, 2017, Collateral Beauty is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.



Movie News: CHRIS PRATT, A DIFFERENT KIND OF GALACTIC GUARDIAN IN “PASSENGERS”


He has firmly secured himself as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men with smash hits as Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World and The Magnificent Seven. Now, Chris Pratt headlines Columbia Pictures' new futuristic thriller Passengers opposite Jennifer Lawrence.

Passengers is about two people who were supposed to be on the trip of a lifetime – the 120-year journey to a new planet – when they get woken up 90 years too early,” says Pratt. “But it turns out there’s a reason they woke up early. They have to solve the mystery of the malfunction, and fix a ship that is quickly failing, if they are going to survive and save the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.”

Pratt’s character, Jim, decides to give up his life on Earth for very practical reasons. “He’s kind of a throwback,” says Pratt, “very much a working class guy. He’s considered a desirable trade, as a mechanical engineer, because he’ll be helping to start a civilization. If something breaks, he’ll be there to fix it.”

When Jim and Aurora wake up 90 years before reaching that destination, those skills kick into high gear. “He’s a problem solver by trade, so he’s trying to figure out how to get back to sleep or contact somebody for help. And then, it turns out that there’s something very wrong with the ship.”


“Chris is very different than Jim,” says Lawrence, who plays his fellow awakened passenger, Aurora. “Jim acts like he’s never really had a girlfriend, and he doesn’t really know how to behave around women; that’s charming and sweet, but it’s not like Chris at all, who’s married and funny. It was interesting to watch him go from Chris Pratt to a shy, insecure, romantic person.”

Director Morten Tyldum says that it was apparent from the beginning that Lawrence and Pratt would be the perfect actors to bring Aurora and Jim to life. “It’s great that they are the biggest stars in the world, but first of all, I wanted to make sure that they were the right actors for these roles,” he says. “I had to get the feeling that they were going to click, that they would have chemistry. They’re very smart people who had a clear understanding of what they wanted the character to do. They really understood the choices, the motivations, the life these characters have to go through – so that made me feel that they really got it.”


“Passengers is an epic, in that it really has everything in one movie,” concludes Pratt. “It’s adventure, it’s romance, it’s a thriller, it’s scary, but it’s emotionally resonant. There are great moments of humor and spectacle.”

In 2015, Pratt headlined Jurassic World, which is the fourth highest grossing film of all time behind Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He will reprise his role of Owen Grady in the second installment of Jurassic World, set for a 2018 debut.

2014 was truly the year of Chris Pratt. He toplined Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was one of the top three grossing films of 2014 with over $770 million at the global box office. He will return to the role of Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is scheduled for a May 2017 release. Plus, Pratt lent his vocal talents to the lead character, Emmett, in the enormously successful Warner Bros. animated feature The Lego Movie, which made over $400 million worldwide.

Opening across the Philippines on January 04, 2017, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers




Movie News: McCONAUGHEY BURSTS WITH OPTIMISM AS KOALA SHOWMAN IN “SING”


Oscar Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey provides the voice of the optimistic koala Buster Moon who is determined to save his struggling theater despite dwindling audiences, in Universal Pictures and Illumination’s Sing.

While anyone else would have faced reality and switched careers, Buster has an unrelenting drive to succeed, by any means necessary. Well-intentioned, he does have a habit of stretching the truth, which usually widens the hole into which he’s digging himself. Nonetheless, he has an irresistible charm because his passion and optimism are utterly contagious.

For the role of Buster Moon, director Garth Jennings found one name immediately came to mind: Matthew McConaughey, whose career has spanned roles ranging from the deeply dramatic Interstellar and Dallas Buyers Club to the absurdly humorous Dazed and Confused. “Matthew realized quite quickly that in order for his character to work, his optimism had to be infectious,” Jennings states. “He had a way of making Buster incredibly endearing and incredibly relatable.”

At the very beginning of the movie, you meet Buster Moon as a six-year-old koala,” Jennings discusses. “He is taken to the theater for the first time by his father, and it completely blows his mind. This experience has a transformative effect, and he grows up desperate to be part of the theater world. We then meet present-day Buster, and he owns the theater that he fell in love with.”


As Jennings and Illumination founder Chris Meledandri developed and shaped the character of Buster Moon, each inevitably found himself inspired by this showman who—through sheer force of will—was attempting to accomplish the nearly impossible. Armed solely with a singular passion to imagine and execute an event that would truly connect with audiences, young and old, Buster is the ultimate creator.

Sing stars Academy Award® winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly.

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.

Opening across the Philippines on January 04, 2017, Sing is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #SingMovie



Movie News: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY ON 4DX THEATRES AT THE AYALA MALLS CINEMAS


“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” at the Ayala Malls Cinemas 4DX movie theatres will wow and amaze you with the magical motion chairs and environmental effects of 4DX technology.

Presented as the first stand-alone Star Wars film, Rogue One is set in the same universe but with a “new view” of the universe.  The grandeur of the scene revealing the spectacular battlefield on the land beyond the galaxy will be accompanied by the swirling wind and deep vibrations from the motion chairs, tilting forward and backward to give a feeling of floating as if you’re really inside a jet plane.  

There will also be series of air shots and tickler effects during fight scenes with storm troopers that will bring much thrill to the viewers. To add more, Jyn Erso’s bold actions in the movie combined with 4DX effects will be delicately woven to come out as an awesome “real-life” moves.


 Finally, one of the most anticipated scenes of the movie - when the Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star, is about to unleash its superpower and the rebellion fights back - the combination of the 4DX effects such as fog, water, scents and chair movements perfectly work in harmony that bring out the immersiveness of the film.

There’s no other way for us fans to experience Rogue One: A Star Wars Story but on 4DX movie theatres at Ayala Malls Cinemas.

 

Ayala Malls Cinemas at Bonifacio High Street opened the first ever 4DX theatre in the country last April 2014.  Since then, the movie-viewing landscape has never been the same.  Tremendous response from movie fans kept the 4DX theatre bustling and thriving especially for action-adventure films.  And now with the additional 2 locations, in U.P. Town Center in Quezon City and Greenbelt 3 in Makati City, this game-changing cinema technology has always been delighting the moviegoers. Last November 18, Ayala Malls Cinemas and partner Korean company, CJ 4DPLEX, pioneer of the 4D cinemas had their contract signing for the additional two 4DX theatres. Now, all these 4DX theatres have been keeping movie aficionados looking forward on their next movie adventure with 4DX.

 As a special treat, Ayala Malls Cinemas is giving away Star Wars bobble heads. Check out its twitter page for details.  ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is now showing at Ayala Malls Cinemas.  Visit www.sureseats.com for the movie schedule. Get updated on the latest blockbusters and cinema promos.  Follow us at our Facebook page @AyalaMallsCinemas, Twitter @ilovesureseats, and Instagram @iloveayalamallscinemas .


Movie News: MARION COTILLARD IN GRAVITY-DEFYING ACTION ADVENTURE “ASSASSIN’S CREED”


Academy Award winning actress Marion Cotillard (“La Vie En Rose”) reunites with acclaimed actor Michael Fassbender (“X-Men” movies) and director Justin Kurzel (“Macbeth”) in the most anticipated thrilling live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft video game “Assassin’s Creed” that tells the story of an ancient war between two rival sects: Assassins and Templars.

Cotillard plays Sofia Rikken in “Assassin’s Creed,” a scientist at the Abstergo facility who saves Fassbender’s Callum Lynch from a lethal injection on death row and introduces him to the concept of genetic regressions. Her motives are pure enough – a drive to eradicate violence from the human genome – but her methods, and the motives of the shadowy Abstergo organization are far from clear.  A well-meaning scientist at the Abstergo facility and the daughter of Alan Rikken (played by Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons) who is a Templar through and through, and is using his daughter’s grasp of complex science to manipulate her motives.

Fassbender responded immediately to the central “Assassin’s Creed” notion, that through technology we can tap the genetic memories of our ancestors and relive their experiences across history. “The idea that we hold in us the experiences, mistakes and memories of our ancestors was really fascinating,” notes Fassbender. “I thought it was a really cool scientific theory that seemed very plausible.”

Reuniting the team that had been responsible for such a critical success was immediately appealing to Cotillard.  “I had such an amazing experience with Justin and Michael on Macbeth,” she notes. “Even before I read it I wanted to work with them again. And I really loved this character. I wanted to make Sofia live, and my focus was to create who she would be on screen.”

 


The movie’s production was assisted by a team at Ubisoft who specialise in researching the history that comes through the games. The events are real. The only embellishment is the notion of two groups that operate in the shadows – the Assassins and their bitter rivals, the Templars, under which Sofia belongs – who orchestrate events that will change the balance of power.

 “There’s this kind of ambiguity to the moral compasses of being an Assassin and being a Templar,” says Kurzel. “The Templars believe in benign control, whereas the Assassins are obviously all about free will. These are two opposing extremes.”

Cotillard agrees with the director while explaining her character, “Yeah, he (Cal) has his way and his ideology to eradicate violence, which goes too far. She has another vision of it. We all want the same thing, but we don’t have the same books, and we don’t have the same vision. I think it’s really bold and amazing because it’s going to be an actual subject for a long time. What it says is really interesting – the different visions. There are no good people and bad people; it’s all just different visions for the same goal, which creates war.”

“Assassin’s Creed” opens January 4 in cinemas nationwide from 20thCentury Fox.  Follow 20th Century Fox (Philippines) Facebook page, 20thcenturyfoxph on YouTube and Instagram and @20centuryfoxph on Twitter.



Movie News: MARK WAHLBERG STARS IN “PATRIOTS DAY BASED ON TRUE EVENTS FROM BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING


From acclaimed director Peter Berg (“Deepwater Horizon,” “Lone Survivor”) and Academy Award® nominee Mark Wahlberg (“The Departed,” “Lone Survivor”) comes “Patriots Day,” a riveting powerful film based on true events of a community’s extraordinary courage in the face of adversity.

                “Patriots Day” relives the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing, the tension-packed dramatic thriller chronicles in detail one of the most sophisticated and well-coordinated manhunts in law enforcement history.

                The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing shattered lives and tested the fabric of the American spirit. But in its wake, an entire city came together to bring the perpetrators to justice before they could inflict further damage. Rather than give themselves over to panic and fear, the citizens of Boston banded together, choosing solidarity over divisiveness in pursuit of a common enemy.


                The story of “Patriots Day” is drawn from real-life accounts including those of the first responders, the law enforcement investigative team, and government officials that worked tirelessly to track down the bombers in record time, and the actual survivors.

                A testament to the city of Boston and its inhabitants, the timely message is that, through dedication and individual acts of bravery, the city – and the country – were able to emerge from the crucible stronger and more united than before, and show the world that love always triumphs over evil.

                Joining Wahlberg is an all-star ensemble of actors including Kevin Bacon (“Black Mass,” “Mystic River”) as FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers, John Goodman (“10 Cloverfield Lane,” “Inside Llewyn Davis”) as Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash,” “Juno”) as Watertown Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese and Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective,” “Gone Baby Gone”) as Wahlberg’s wife Carol Saunders.

                “Patriots Day” opens this January 11 from Pioneer Films in cinemas nationwide.  Trailer link: https://youtu.be/phI9BZG-JFk

Movie News: KEANU REEVES IS BACK IN ACTION IN “JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2”


                From the highly successful R-rated film “John Wick,” Keanu Reeves steps out of retirement from the underworld once again in “John Wick: Chapter 2” where he reprises his role as the legendary hitman in the shadowy world of assassins.

                Directed by Chad Stahelski, “John Wick: Chapter 2” heads to Rome where the world’s deadliest assassins set their killer contracts.  Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Reeves, in recent interviews revealed that that the film would deal with the duality of Wick where something from his past will come back to haunt him. “There's John, the docile man who spent five years married to the love of his life. Then there's John Wick, the deadly assassin feared by the entire criminal underworld.”

 

                A buffet of bullets and unprecedented action on screen when “John Wick: Chapter 2” opens in cinemas on February 8 from Pioneer Films. Trailer link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0mZgQLlQo0



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Movie News: SCARLETT JOHANSSON, A PRICKLY PORCUPINE IN “SING”


Superstar Scarlett Johansson breathes life to Ash, a prickly teenage porcupine with a punk-rock attitude, in Universal Pictures and Illumination’s Sing, a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us.

(Watch the featurette Be Like Ash at http://youtu.be/Loehb4ZGtPQ.)

In the film, Ash auditions for a singing competition with her egotistical, unsupportive jerk of a boyfriend, Lance (Beck Bennett), but only Ash makes it as a finalist. In rehearsals, her rebellious nature continually puts her at odds with contest producer Buster (Matthew McConaughey), who envisions her as a pop-star princess; meanwhile, she wants to write her own authentic rock songs that reflect her unique style. Ash will have to go through a painful breakup, but in the end she’ll prove her integrity and sing on her own term

While audiences know Johansson as an international superstar, not as many fans realize that she’s an accomplished singer/songwriter—who has released two albums and collaborated with Pete Yorn. As the voice of Ash, a disaffected porcupine who has been recently dumped by her no-good boyfriend, Lance, Tony Award-winner Johansson had to tap into her inner angst-ridden teen to deliver Ash’s powerhouse vocals.

While Buster initially sees Ash as a “Call Me Maybe” girl, Ash is determined to perform the type of music Lance tried to control when they were together. “Whenever Ash comes on the screen, I just melt,” sums producer Janet Healy. “Scarlett’s voice coming out of that adorable character is just wonderful. She’s riveting.”


Sing stars Academy Award® winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly.

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.

Opening across the Philippines on January 04, 2017, Sing is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #SingMovie



Movie News: A DISTURBED MAN'S “SPLIT” PERSONALITIES UNRAVEL IN NEW TRAILER


Universal Pictures has just revealed the main trailer for its creepy, pyschological thriller Split – the latest film from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan (The Visit).

Check out the new trailer at https://youtu.be/ERDVACIbgEw and watch the film when it opens in Philippines cinemas on January 18, 2017.

Split stars James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future of Past) as Kevin, a man who abducts three teenage girls who suddenly realize that Kevin is one of 23 personalities.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.


Though Kevin (McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split reunites Shyamalan with producer Jason Blum, who produced the filmmaker’s latest commercial and critical success, The Visit.

Split is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movie News: MICHAEL FASSBENDERS’S “ASSASSIN’S CREED” ROLLS IN CINEMAS STARTING JANUARY 4


The action-packed and breathtaking game-to-movie adaptation “Assassin’s Creed” starring Michael Fassbender follows dual characters Callum Lynch and Aguilar de Nehra in the modern day and 15th Century Spain respectively. In the 15th Century, Aguilar is joined by Maria, a more experienced Assassin than him, who is his most trusted ally. In the modern day, Cal finds himself at the Abstergo facility with a rag-tag bunch of fellow inmates who are all suffering from the effects of prolonged exposure to the Animus, and have their own ancestral Assassin legacies.

From the onset, director Justin Kurzel was adamant about filming as much of "Assassin's Creed" as possible without relying on green screens and computer-generated imagery.

As one of the video gaming industry’s most popular and beloved franchises, “Assassin’s Creed” is famous for its heart-pounding action sequences. The series was among the first to prominently feature Parkour as a major gameplay element, with Assassins breathlessly vaulting over the rooftops of cities including Jerusalem, Florence, Paris and London.

 "We're shooting a lot with real people, in real locations, on top of real churches with real light," Kurzel said. "We're building a lot of the sets to make something that is real and cinematic."

 "There’s very little green screen in this, which is highly unusual in these films," adds Fassbender. "We have stunt guys jumping across buildings in [Maltese capital] Valletta. We’ve got (stunt man Damian Walters) doing a 120-foot leap of faith, without any rope, into a bag, so it’s pretty incredible to see."

                For his big-screen adaptation, Kurzel sought to amplify that dizzying style with thundering carriage chases, elaborate sword fights, and close hand-to-hand combat. The director also realized the film had to prominently feature the Leap of Faith, a signature Assassin’s Creed move in which Assassins leap from the edge of buildings and plummet gracefully to the ground below, landing on their backs in water or bales of hay. “What happens if you do a real Leap of Faith?” Kurzel asked. “What would happen if you actually saw Assassins jump from building to building? The great thing about cinema is that you can bring that human element into it, where the audience responds and reacts to the idea that they are watching real human beings actually put the effort and danger in doing those things.”

                Kurzel and his team tapped some of the top Parkour talents to determine how to stage the action of Assassin’s Creed without relying on extensive CG trickery. The production then travelled to some of the most visually stunning corners of the globe in the hopes of capturing one-of-a-kind sequences that would offer viewers an immersive—and realistic—experience.

                “I never wanted the film to feel like superheroes,” Kurzel says. “I wanted you to look at it and think, Wow, there are human beings doing that and they are doing it like Olympians, as opposed to filming on a parking lot with green screen. You can feel that artifice. That is probably why we went toward a more old-school approach, to make the whole film feel more human and more intimate.”

 

                “Assassin’s Creed” opens January 4 in cinemas nationwide from 20thCentury Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Movie News: “BLADE RUNNER 2049” ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER ARRIVES ONLINE


Columbia Pictures has just unleashed the announcement trailer for Blade Runner 2049, the highly awaited sequel to the classic Blade Runner.

Check out the trailer at https://youtu.be/5JX4Cmsri0k and watch Blade Runner 2049 in Philippine cinemas in 2017.

Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling star in the sequel which is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, upcoming Arrival).

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

The film is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

The film also stars Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian and Hiam Abbass.

Blade Runner 2049 will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Movie News: ELLE FANNING SPARKLES AS A COUNTRY GIRL IN “LIVE BY NIGHT”


Coming a long way from playing Sleeping Beauty in the smash hit Maleficent, Elle Fanning now stars opposite Ben Affleck in Warner Bros. Pictures’ gangster film Live by Night, as Loretta, the sweet and naïve daughter of the Tampa police chief.

It was the many facets of Loretta’s journey that would prove an exciting challenge for the young actress. “At first, Loretta has such sparkle, this girl with a twinkle inside her who is looking for adventure in life, she’s so excited to follow her dreams. Oddly, it’s when she loses that sparkle, loses that twinkle that she had, that she discovers her real purpose in this world,” Fanning reveals.

Live by Night tells the story of Joe Coughlin (Affleck), a WWI vet who’s a self-proclaimed anti-establishment outlaw, despite being the son of the Boston Police Deputy Superintendent. Joe’s not all bad, though; in fact, he’s not really bad enough for the life he’s chosen. Unlike the gangsters he refuses to work for, he has a sense of justice and an open heart, and both work against him, leaving him vulnerable time and again—in business and in love.

Loretta’s initial meeting with Joe is very brief. The next time they come in contact, the tables have definitely turned. Both the children of policemen, the comparison ends there; their paths have taken them in very different directions. Still, Joe can’t help but have a measure of respect for the slip of a girl who could, with just a few words, bring his world crashing down around him.


The script called for Fanning to master a couple of lengthy monologues, one of which took place in front of a large crowd, Joe included. With Affleck’s blessing, Fanning took the opportunity to speak her lines aloud for the first time when cameras were rolling. “I just wanted to go for it, to feel that energy, and Ben was so helpful and so giving—both as a director and as an actor in the scene.”

“Elle gave Loretta such an angelic presence and, at the same time, a broken innocence,” observes producer Jennifer Davisson. “It’s trickier than it sounds to do that, but it was important for the character and she got it.”

“Elle’s an extremely gifted actress,” Affleck states. “In the book, the character starts out at 13, but in the script I wrote her to be closer to the cusp of womanhood, someone who was straddling that line of being a girl and being grown up. I thought it would make Loretta’s storyline even more heartbreaking.”

Fanning was just 17 during production, yet, Affleck adds, “Despite being so young, she completely relaxes into the part; she doesn’t push, so it’s very natural, very real. She really does break your heart in the film.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 18, 2017, Live By Night is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Movie News: GYLLENHAAL, FERGUSON, REYNOLDS UP CLOSE IN NEW “LIFE” POSTER


Be careful what you search for,” goes the ominous warning in the tagline of the newly unveiled poster artwork for Columbia Pictures' upcoming sci-fi horror-thriller, Life.


Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada and Ryan Reynolds, Life opens across the Philippines in 2017.


The film tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research and their methods end up having unintended consequences, the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.


Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), Life is written by Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese (Deadpool) and produced by David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn.


Life is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Music: A Night with Aia, Barbie and Kitchie


Another late post. So sorry - you know how it is. "Rogue One", big baby news (apparently I was already pregnant when we saw "Secrets"- so rest assured this baby has been exposed to great music) I have to take it easy, no more burning the midnight oil to write posts and get them done right away (although I really want to). 




December 10, 2016. 

Despite the infamous Manila traffic, which has become a horror story of sorts, urging residents to stay at home, the brave flocked Greenhills-notorious for traffic jams and difficulty and scarcity of parking spaces, especially during the holiday rush, faithful fans were still patiently in a long line, snaking ouside the iconic Music Museum, eager to see a once in a lifetime show. 

They say that two's company and three's a crowd, well that certainly was not case during a great night for OPM, when three of its timeless and long enduring female singer-songwriters Aia De Leon, Barbie Almalbis and Ktchie Nadal joined forces - for an unforgetable performance, which showcased each of their musical prowess. They thrilled fans who were able to enjoy a good dose of old favorites, probabbly bringing back a memory or two with certain songs and lyrics. Like for me personally, Barbie Almalbis' "You can take the whole wide world with your boyish charm" from her song "Just a Smile" was for a boy, I had a crush on in College (and no, it was not Paul) and were also able to discover (not so) new songs, probabbly adding to new favorites. 

Long before the lights opened inside the Music Museum went on, fans in the audence were already shouting confessions of love and devotion to these ladies, which shows that despite the years that have passed (decades, even) their fans have always been there, cheering them on, eager to see them perform, and yes perhaps even to sing along, because well, we Filipinos just love to do that. 

Former Imago front woman, Aia de Leon was up first and chose to communicate with the audience through the use of a LED screen, which had hilarious lines, reflecting her friendly persona and drew laughs from the audeince as well. As she was performing, I realzied that I knew most of (if not all) the Imago songs, and just confirmed how big a part they were of my College years. 

Not limiting herself to the stage, Aia bravely walked to the audience and without any accompanying microphone for herself or her guitar, performed "Sundo" which caused goosebumps (and a bit of a tear) because it was just so raw and so beautiful, again with the audience eager to sing along (with second voice pa!) and I fell in love with the song and with Aia all over again. 




Its good to know that she is coming out with new songs next year, mostly digital releases and maybe some physical copies, to those who may be interested (raises hand). 

Never faltering in her guitar skills, Barbie Almalbis opened her 45 minute set with a jaw dropping display of her magic fingers as she played the guitar like a queen, slaying any wannabe Guitar Hero. Her technical playing has always set her apart as a musician, elevating her songs to more than just your pop song on the radio. 

Of course her unique and signature voice still has not changed over the years, endearing fans of multiple generations to this now proud mom of two. In case you didn't know, she recorded her last two albums at home so she can be with her kids. Now those are some #MomGoals. 




From a household name, Kitchie Nadal was the girl next door, who was the face behind that hit song, "Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin" do you remember when it became a smash hit? It was everywhere! Yet Nadal has become more than just that song, at the pinnacle of her success she decided to travel, for two years. Instead of pursuing what would have no doubt been a career with hit after hit, she chose to travel, and work with NGOs, helping children which was evident during the concert as she asked three talented boys, from her "ROAR" project to perform with her on stage. 

"They became viral with a video on Youtube" she tells the crowd proudly. 

It is as if these three talented singer-songwriters each went on their own personal journeys, bringing with them their own experiences, their own lessons in life, and it is these very personal and very different roads which have allowed them to break free from the cookie-cutter, singer-songwriter mold and become their own personal brand of musicians. 





As if a 45 minute set per artist was a great enough show, the ladies also shared the stage together, covering songs from The Cranberries and yes, even Nirvana. They each also performed each others' hit songs, much to the amusement of the crowd. 

Now it is no surprise that the show was a sold out success and if you missed it, fear not because the mighty trio will be back in February! So make sure to start saving up for that! (Tickets may run out fast!) It is concert season after all, with it being Valentines and all. 


"Secrets" : A Night with Aia, Barbie and Kitchie was an intimate show, one that I will not soon forget (I made a Spotify playlist, as a reminder) and a "secret" that is too good to keep to myself. 

#AiaBarbieKitchie  


Click HERE for MORE Photos. 


Movies: MICHAEL SHEEN, AN ANDROID BARTENDER IN “PASSENGERS”


He is known to millions as a vampire in the Twilight saga films and a werewolf in the Underworld franchise. Now, Michael Sheen now stars as Arthur, the android bartender on board the intergalactic spaceship in Columbia Pictures' exciting new action-thrlller Passengers, 

In the film, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim (Christ Pratt) are two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.

An android with a remarkably human upper half, Arthur moves with efficiency, grace, and skill, and responds to passengers’ worries and anxieties with a kind word and warm heart – if a little naïveté. “Arthur is an important element to their mental state, because he’s the closest thing to a human that they have besides each other,” says Lawrence.

“He’s programmed to be the greatest bartender ever,” says Michael Sheen. “He’s empathetic, he’s able to listen, and he mixes a fantastic martini. But there’s a limit to how much he’s interacted with people: he’s usually dealt with thousands of people in very short interactions, but he’s in new territory with Jim, interacting with one person for a very long period of time.”

So, because Arthur is not quite human, Sheen and director Morten Tyldum discussed just how to shade the performance subtly. “Bartenders are the ultimate confidants, and when Jim meets me, I am someone he can talk to,” says Sheen. “The challenge was I had to figure out the balance of how robotic and how human should Arthur be?”


That was an incredible challenge, one that Sheen rose to meet with a creative, technically difficult, and utterly believable performance, according to Tyldum. “Michael had to bring humanity to it, and at the same time, you have to understand that beneath the surface is a machine, without making it a cliché,” says the director. “There’s a naïveté and a wisdom to it at the same time. He becomes their friend, the one they talk to, the one who gives them advice. At the same time, there was such precision to the performance. He could never look at his hands while doing things, because a machine wouldn’t have to. He was mixing drinks, very casually and with no effort, and talking with incredible comedic timing. That’s incredibly hard, and he pulled it off so flawlessly.”

Part of Sheen’s performance came through a physical transformation, with the help of the on-set special effects team. The team designed a rig to move him swiftly back and forth behind the bar; with Sheen kneeling on the rig, the filmmakers could control his movement, like an android’s – later painting out Sheen’s legs and the rig with a robotic stand.

“The computer-driven rig had to move really smooth and really fast,” says Special Effects Coordinator Daniel Sudick. “We would record a move in sync and in speed with the camera on the computer, and be able to play it back with precision as many times as it is needed.” It took eight weeks for Sudick’s team to build the Arthur rig, and another three weeks to test it to make sure everything worked well together.

Of course, the role required Sheen to be prepared to move with a rig that would start and stop suddenly, without tensing or bracing his body and without revealing any discomfort in his facial expression. “When I accepted the role, I didn’t know what I was getting into,” says Sheen. “The special effects rig moved really fast, but was a great practical build as it made the performance feel more real.”

After production, the VFX department replaced the rig and Sheen’s lower half with the robotic design that controls the bartender’s movements. The result – Sheen’s performance combined with the effects wizardry – is a character that is fully part of the world of the film, according to Tyldum. “You never one moment stop believing that he actually is an android,” he says. “You are fully immersed in the fact that he’s not a human because Michael plays the nonhuman part so well, but at the same time you fall for him and you care for him so much. It’s such a wonderful performance.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 04, 2017, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers

Movies: NAOMIE HARRIS, A SYMPATHETIC GRIEF COUNSELOR IN “COLLATERAL BEAUTY”


Fresh from winning Best Supporting Actress of 2016 from the National Board of Review for Moonlight – and predicted to earn an Oscar nomination as well -- Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribbean) now stars as sympathetic grief counsellor Madeline in New Line Cinema’s thought-provoking drama,Collateral Beauty.

In the film, Howard (Will Smith), a successful New York advertising executive retreats from life after suffering a great tragedy. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

Even as questions and emotions are being stirred up, there exists a quiet, personal touchstone for Howard. Somewhere in the city after hours, a group of people, diverse in every way except in the pain they share, sit together to talk about lost loved ones, to break out photos and offer one another comfort and community.

Many nights, Howard approaches this meeting place. He peers into the window from a distance, watching the gentle movements and welcoming smile of the woman who leads the group. Sometimes she looks in his direction, and then he turns away.


Madeline is a grief counselor who walks the walk every day with the people in her support group. Like them, and like Howard, she has lost a child. But unlike Howard, Harris says, “I believe that soon after it happened, Madeline began looking for ways to deal and cope, and she gravitated toward these support groups very early on. What I admire about Madeline is how strong she is. She’s full of love and so brave in that she’s willing to face this loss the way she does, determined to learn and grow from it, whereas Howard turns away from that. He can’t face it. He can’t begin to deal with it.”

Madeline’s healing is accomplished through her work. “She’s found a way, through her own grief and loss, to find meaning in life by helping others deal with their own loss, and I really connected to that,” Harris adds. So her glimpses of this haunted figure outside the window make her want very much to reach out to him.”

“Madeline takes a special interest in Howard and feels that with a little bit of coaxing he might become a participant in the group, and then she can really help him,” director David Frankel offers, adding, “Naomie’s chemistry with Will is very specific and powerful. She has a fantastic ability to convey emotion that is deep below the surface.”

One of Madeline’s gifts is her patience. She hopes that one day, when he’s ready, Howard will cross that chasm and come inside. When he does, she will be there for him.

Opening across the Philippines on January 04, 2017, Collateral Beauty is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.