Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Movies: MORE “MAGNIFICENT SEVEN” CHARACTER VIGNETTES: THE ASSASSIN, THE HUNTER


Meet the Assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee) and the Hunter Jack Horn (Vincent D'Onofrio) in the newly released character vignettes for Columbia Pictures' action-adventure “The Magnificent Seven.”

Watch the Billy Rocks featurette at http://youtu.be/K-y0mojDOz8 and Jack Horne at https://youtu.be/3-utnlU59GU.

Korean actor Byung-Hun Lee plays Billy Rocks, an assassin who shows expertise with knives and close combat. There’s a history of Asian immigrants in the western frontier, though none had the resources to become badass outlaws like Billy Rocks due to their restricted labor to the railroads and laundry services. Meanwhile, Vincent D’Onofrio plays Jack Horne, a master trapper and tracker.

They are joined in the film by the Bounty Hunter (Denzel Washington), the Gambler (Chris Pratt), the Sharpshooter (Ethan Hawke), the Outlaw (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and the Warrior (Martin Sensmeier).

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Columbia Pictures’ “The Magnificent Seven.”


With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

Opening across the Philippines on September 21, “The Magnificent Seven” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Mag7


Movie News: “DON'T BREATHE” TOPS U.S. BOX OFFICE WITH $26.1-M, OPENS INPH AUG 31


Augus 29, 2016 – Columbia Pictures' gripping suspense thriller “Don't Breathe” – which Variety hails as“a muscular exercise in brutal, relentless peril” – spooked the U.S. box-office with a chilling $26.1-million, easily opening at No.1 for the Aug. 26-28 weekend.

It joins a long list of recent horror films such as “The Purge: Election Year,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Lights Out” and “The Shallows” that have all found success with audiences.
“Don’t Breathe” cost less than $10 million to produce, but it more than doubled its production budget in a single weekend, after rolling out across 3,051 locations. The film follows a trio of friends breaks into the house of a blind recluse confident of an easy score only to find themselves in a terrifying life-or-death struggle.

“This film is going to be a big moneymaker for us,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s distribution chief. “We knew we had something special here. This is a film that’s all about keeping people jumping out of their seats and holding onto the person next to them.”

The No.1 launch of “Don't Breathe” in the U.S. bodes well for the thriller's box-office prospects in the Philippines as the film rolls out in local cinemas starting Wednesday, Aug. 31.
The Filipino audience are great horror fans, and the film's favorable R-13 rating from the MTRCB will likely boost the attraction core genre moviegoers.



“Don't Breathe” created a thunderstorm of excitement and wild buzz when it premiered at the recent South By South West (SXSW) film festival, with some critics describing it as “the best suspense thriller in the last decade.” Now, Philippine audiences will discover why the film has driven reviewers at the edge of their seats.

John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter writes, “the lean and mean pic offers scares aplenty and at least a couple of game-changing twists.”

Meanwhile, Edward Douglas, of the New York Daily News underscores that the film “takes you into far darker territory than anticipated.”

“Don’t Breathe” stars Jane Levy (“Evil Dead”), Dylan Minnette (“Goosebumps”), Daniel Zovatto (“It Follows”) and Stephen Lang (“Avatar”). Fede Alvarez (“Evil Dead”) directs from a script co-written with Rodo Sayagues (Evil Dead). Producers are Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Fede Alvarez.
In his sophomore feature, Alvarez goes for the jugular with an unapologetically brutal and twisted horror-thriller that pits a trio of thieves against an unexpectedly dangerous adversary. Shocking and enthralling, Alvarez’s masterful, visually stunning thriller maintains a frenzied pace to the last chilling minute.

“Don't Breathe” is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Check out my movie review for "Don't Breathe" here

Movies: “SULLY” FILMED ENTIRELY WITH IMAX CAMERAS FOR STUNNING CLARITY, SCALE


A miracle landing deserves an epic-scale shooting. That's why director Clint Eastwood has chosen to film Warner Bros. Pictures' “Sully” – the airborne thriller based on true events -- almost entirely with new ALEXA IMAX® 65mm cameras.

As a result, audiences will see the so-called `miracle on the Hudson' depicted in stunning clarity.

And exclusively in IMAX® theatres, “Sully” will be presented in an expanded IMAX 1.9:1 aspect ratio and fill more of the IMAX screen – offering moviegoers 26% more of the image than standard cinemas for a truly immersive experience.

“Sully” stars Oscar winner Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

“Sully” also stars Aaron Eckhart as Sully’s co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, and Oscar nominee Laura Linney as Sully’s wife, Lorraine Sullenberger.


Eastwood is directing the film from a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the book Highest Duty by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow.

The ALEXA IMAX 65mm camera that Eastwood used in filming “Sully” is a next-generation revolutionary 2D digital camera developed through a partnership between ARRI and IMAX for use by today's leading filmmakers working in the IMAX® format. The camera, when combined with IMAX’s digital re-mastering process, delivers the highest level of digital image capture and playback resulting in stunning lifelike images with pristine clarity, incredibly fine detail, vivid colors and a higher dynamic range for superior contrast.

Most films today are presented in an aspect ratio called CinemaScope (2.40:1). When a film is presented in CinemaScope, it is cropped and uses only part of the image the movie camera captures. This is the reason most ordinary screens are very wide but not particularly high.

With “Sully,” IMAX provided Eastwood with the ability to use an expanded aspect ratio for the film's IMAX presentation during production through filming with the extremely high-resolution IMAX® camera.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, Sept. 08 in IMAX and regular cinemas,“Sully” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Movies: VIRAL NEED-A-DATE AD TURNED MOVIE IN “MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES”


Based on the real story of brothers Mike and Dave Stangle, who posted the following ad on Craigslist stating their need for wedding dates for their cousin’s wedding:  TWO MEN NEED WEDDING DATES : My brother and I are looking for wedding dates.  We've been told by the bride that bringing dates is "mandatory" so we "won't harass all of my friends all night" and "stay under control.” Rather than ask some fringe women in our lives to go and face the inevitable 'does this mean he wants to take it to the next level!?' questions, we'd rather bring complete strangers and just figure it out. Still reading? In anticipation of your questions we've developed an FAQ section below. 

 The ad became a viral phenomenon in hours, and the story soon spread from the internet to media outlets the world over. It also displayed a remarkable prescience; the boys estimated an 85% chance of their story becoming a movie, though they said, “we refuse the right to let Ashton Kutcher play either one of us.”

 Well, as luck would have it, their story is now a movie – “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” and there isn’t a Kutcher in sight. In the movie, the titular Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are also brothers, warned by their family to smarten-up their hard-partying ways before their sister’s wedding, and to bring two respectable girls as dates. But the girls they end up choosing, played by Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, aren’t quite as wholesome as they expect. And as the real Stangles explain, some artistic license has been taken to turn the film into this year’s hottest R-rated comedy.

 

The core of the film’s comedy and much of its heart is the brotherly bond between the two guys.  “Mike and Dave are close,” states director Jake Szymanski.  “They’ve grown up together, still live together, work together, party together, and ultimately learn some lessons together.”

"Mike and Dave adore their sister,” confirms Efron.  “Their mantra is: ‘We’re doin’ it for Jeanie!  Everything we do is for Jeanie!’  They protect and love her and have put her on a pedestal.  She forgives them for all the mischief they do.”

 To make this wedding go smoothly for Jeanie, Mike and Dave are told they must bring dates to the nuptials.  “So, Mike and Dave come up with a ‘foolproof’ plan to find respectable dates,” says Devine.  “They troll for them on Craigslist—where they can also find lawnmowers and stuff.”

While the filmmakers strove to capture specific aspects of the siblings’ personalities, the physical differences between the real and reel Stangles were striking.  “I want to say that Mike and Dave are around 11 feet tall,” Devine notes.  “They made me and Zac Efron [who plays Dave] feel like little elf people.”

And what did (real) Mike and Dave make of this whole “Hollywood” experience?  “They got guys to play us who are not as good looking as us, or as tall, but they are better actors,” says Dave. “I’ll give them that.  And Stephen Root, who plays our dad, seems to like us more than our real dad.”

This year’s hottest R-18 comedy date movie – “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” will open in cinemas nationwide on September 14 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 





Movies: KATE MARA’S LATEST MISSION IN “MORGAN”


From her rescue mission in “The Martian,” Kate Mara stars anew in the upcoming action thriller “Morgan” where her latest mission brings her to a remote, top-secret location where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident. 

 When “Morgan” (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) suddenly attacks one of her handlers, the corporation overseeing and funding the project calls in a special “risk management consultant,” Lee Weathers, to investigate.  Kate Mara, who had just come off a starring turn in Ridley Scott’s blockbuster, Oscar-nominated “The Martian,” portrays Lee.   “My character is hired to visit the facility and assess Morgan’s viability and whether it presents a continuing risk,” Mara explains.   In short, Lee holds the power of life or death over the subject of her investigation.

 The other scientists and staff at the facility soon come to understand that Lee, despite her position as a kind of corporate crisis manager—a “suit”—is someone not to be taken lightly, and holds more than a few surprises of her own in dealing with an escalating threat.  “Lee is very determined, very skilled, and very well-trained,” adds Mara.

 Mara was further attracted to the story’s human elements, as well as to its different facets.  “There’s definitely drama there, as well as a lot of thrills, action, and sometimes horror.  But most of all, it’s about what it means to be human.  I like that it’s so layered.”


 One of the more daunting challenges for both Mara and Taylor-Joy was the brutal fights waged between their two characters.  Designed and choreographed by stunt coordinator Paul Herbert and his team, the battles royale are among the film’s centerpieces, revealing unexpected facets of what appeared to be a trouble-shooting corporate “suit” and an innocent-looking “experiment” gone wrong.

 “Kate and Anya were really impressive,” says director Luke Scott.  “For those fight scenes, they turned themselves into action heroes.”

 An Emmy-award nominee for her role in David Fincher’s television series “House of Cards,” Kate Mara’s impressive film credits include her feature film debut in “Random Hearts” for director Sydney Pollack and was soon followed by “Brokeback Mountain” for director Ang Lee, “Transsiberian” with Ben Kingsley and Woody Harrelson for director Brad Anderson, “We Are Marshall” with Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox for director McG, “Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg for director Antoine Fuqua; and Stone of Destiny with Charlie Cox for director Charles Martin Smith. 

 Mara also appeared in the Academy Award nominated film “127 Hours” with James Franco and Amber Tamblyn for director Danny Boyle.  She co-starred in “Transcendence” alongside Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman.  Her latest works in recent years include “Fantastic Four,” “Captive” and the award-winning “The Martian.”

 “Morgan” will open this September 7 in cinemas nationwide from 20thCentury Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Events: APCC Day 2 Goes Geek Crazy! Day 2 + Photos

Excited friends just got their Day 2 passes. 

As I am writing this, the sun is slowly making its way up the Manila skies. In a few hours the last day of the biggest pop culture event in Manila is about to conclude. Pardon the lack of literary eloquence in this post as time is always against me and we would seen be preparing to check out of the hotel and make our way for Day 3 of Asia Pop Comicon. 

With most of the guests arriving at Day 2 the crowd was noticeably larger and all the booths and exhibits were in full swing. Now, the thing about these kind of conventions is that you don't get to go to all of the events happening, since they are all happening at the same time. So it would be presumptuous to write about a "highlights of Day 2" features. What I will be writing about are my experiences around the convention.


First up was the sit down of celebrity guest and Hollywood headliner Nicholas Hoult with the local press. Nick Hoult has been acting for a long time, you may not remember him as the adorable Marcus in "About A Boy" but he was literally just a boy when he starred across Hugh Grant on the 2002 romantic comedy and has since played a variety of characters, from a zombie, a giant slayer, a mutant and the war boy, "Nux" in Mad Max: Fury Road. 

When asked if this is a conscious decision, Hoult replied: "Outside of working with great people and telling a good story, the aim for me is to play as much varied characters ion  and the stories that I play. I would be bored if the I played the same characters again and again." Will be posting a separate post on the sit down soon! You ca catch him at the Main Stage at 4:00 PM on Sunday. 

Right after the sit down we had to rush to the Main Stage for Millie Bobby Brown's first appearance at APCC. As expected, the hall was filled to the brim with fans eager to see the twelve year old actress, who took the world by storm with the fan favorite and critically acclaimed Nextflix series "Stranger Things" which, since it's debut in July has become a big hit. Brown plays the mysterious and telekinetic "Eleven" and has become a fan favorite. 

Millie spotted local cosplayer Spider-Dan in an Eleven Cosplay in the crowd and took photos. Talk about highlight of his year right!

A fan asked if Millie could pretend that she was breaking everyone's neck with her "Eleven stare".

To which, the surprised actress asked "You want me to pretend to hurt you guys?" and the crowd responded with a resounding "YES!". That's such a weird request, host Delamar Arias said but Millie gladly obliged to the crowd's delight.


Will be posting more on the "Conversation with Millie Brown" on the blog soon. 

We rested for a bit and went around the convention floor to take photos, I was really happy to run into friends from work and in the music scene around the con, some members of my family will be coming on the last day. 

The last media time for the day was with "Game of Thrones'" Joe Dempsie and I was really excited to see him, being a big Game of Thrones fan and all.

When asked if there was a superhero he could play, Joe said he always wanted to be the Red Power Ranger. He went on to say that when he was five years old, he had a falling out with a friend because they both wanted to be the Red Power Ranger. Full post on Joe Dempsie on the blog soon. You can catch him at the Main Stage at 11:30 AM. 

Our last stop was Hiroshi Kitadani's live performance and it was as energetic as we expected as he sang songs from "One Piece" and "Yugi Oh". You can catch another performance later at 6:00 PM. 

I hope you guys come back when I do another write up for my overall APCC 2016 experience, which would probably be the case, we just want to get these photos out, we're just excited to share them with you :)

For our Day 1 highlights you can click here - it has photos too! 


Click here for more photos from Day 2.
#apccph2016 #asiapopcomicon 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Events: Things Heat Up for "Asia Pop Comicon" + Day 1 + Photos


Join the dark side. A cute little trooper gets a special invite. 

It's 3:00 in the morning. I got out of bed after being awake from more than 24 hours. I only need about 5 hours of sleep and I'm good to go but aside from feeling the body ache, which is still there, I'm just bursting with excitement. Day 1 of the biggest  pop culture event in Asia ended a few hours ago and while there were so many things to see and do I am overwhelmed with anticipation with what is to take place a few hours from now.

But before I get carried away (yet again) let's take a look at what we saw during Day 1 + Photos!

We could not get over this cute little storm trooper when he saw the his heroes from the Philippine Garrison. The Philippine Garrison is a unit of the 501st Legion, which is an international organization of Star Wars fans, dedicated to wearing the costumes of characters from the Star Wars franchise. The 501st is devoted to raising funds for children's charities all over the world.



The little guy needed some coaching to join "the dark side" as he posed with the different villains from Star Wars. He was shy at first but eventually overcame his fear to join guys in, bigger versions of his costume. Perks of being one of the few kid cosplayers on the first day.

American comic book illustrator Mike Zeck, meets Filipino fans. His work includes Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars in 1984 and his design for a black and white Spider-Man costume eventually led to the creation of the villain Venom.



Zeck has been coming to the Philippines since 1991, he said that he loves the beaches and the people. Just remove some cars on the road though, he added, during the Asia Pop Comicon press conference, which was held at the Conrad Hotel last Wednesday, August 24. Click here for photos and blog post on the Press Conference!

Fans have been anticipating to join the highly coveted "Hall M" which will feature never-before-seen footage outside of San Diego Comic Con of Marvel's upcoming "Doctor Strange" film. They will also showcase content from Marvel's television and web series. Hall M is limited to 1,000 attendees, which makes the tags highly valuable.

The first batch of fans, get their hands on the highly coveted "Hall M" passes. 

We were really impressed with this White Walker cosplayer who got his make up done at the The Australian College of Hair and Design Manila, which is one of the exhibitors at APCC.

Paul also got to skate for a while, which was a treat since he used to skate back in the day.

There is definitely a lot of activities already going on for Day 1 of AsiaPop Comic con, Day 2 will definitely have more happening! Follow the page and our social media accounts for more updates! 


Click HERE for MORE Photos! 


Events: Coffee and Macarons with Asia Pop Comicon's Finest



Apologies. This is such a late post, as I am writing this Day 1 of AsiaPop Comicon has already transpired and Day 2 will begin in just a few hours but we still wanted to share what went down during the Press Conference for AsiaPop Comicon. We were not able to upload this right away, since after the press conference, Paul and I still had to sleep for work, go to work and then it was already Friday, the first day of AsiaPop Comicon. Phew. I know. More Enervon please? 

Overlooking the waters of Manila Bay at the posh Conrad hotel. Members of the local press were teased with what to expect during the upcoming Asia Pop Comicon, which promises to be the biggest pop culture event in Asia last Wednesday, August 24.

Bringing back that wonder we all used to feel when we were children, AsiaPop Comicon promises to bring the ultimate fan experience by bringing a wide range of pop culture elements in one venue, slated for August 26 to 28 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

They raised the bar by bringing a world class convention last year with over 30,000 attendees and inviting guests such as Paul Bettany, Nathalie Emmanuel, Colton Hayes and so much more and they are surely continuing that tradition this year,

Joining the press conference was a stellar line up of artists in their own fields and they got to sit down with the local press to pick at their creative minds.

Whilce Portacio. 


Whilce Portacio is no stranger to the field of comic books, whether it is the international arena or the local scene. The creator of Bishop (of "Uncanny X Men"), Whilce broke in the comics industry by inking Marvel Comics' classic book "Longshot" in 1985. He has then been a sought-after inker at Marvel and worked as a penciler on "The Punisher" in 1988.

"APCC will help open up Manila to the worldwide stage." Portacio told members of the press. "We're always looking for new people and new ideas." he continues. "I would like to see more Filipino mythology" (on new material) he adds.










Mike Zeck. 

Mike Zeck's work has graced the pages and covers of "Captain America", "Aquaman", "Batman" "Legends of the DC Universe," and many more. He has been visiting the Philippines since 1991.

"I love the beaches. I love the people." He says. "Just get rid of a few cars." He adds, referring to the traffic, which got members of the local press to laugh.












A first time visitor to the Philippines, Ken Lashley has been a veteran working on such titles, such as "Excalibur", "Black Panther", "X-Men", "Spider-Man", "Flash", "Superman" among others. 

"I was so excited to get here, I didn't care how many airplanes I took." he said.

Ken Lashley. 

When asked about the state of comic books in 2016, Lashley answered that "The (Comic Book) movies have done a lot of things, but it does not translate to comic sales. People easily recognize what you do though." 

He gives a shoutout to all aspiring artists out there, "Draw all the time. For every artist, there are a 1000 bad drawings. Always hustle. 


Jason Palmer.

"I've never felt so welcome, even before I left" says illustrator Jason Palmer, who is best known for his illustrations of "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" among others. 

"I was already getting messages, even before I left for Manila." 


Shinichiro Kitai. 
Shinichiro Kitai, art director of DEVILROBOTS, a design team of five from Japan are well known for their whimsical, yet sometimes sinister characters and designs. When asked what he was looking forward to in the Philippines, Kitai answered "Jollibee" which was met with laughter from the press. 

Kitai explains that Jollibee shows the Philippines as a happy people. 

"Somebody get this man, his fast food." Host Justin Quirino said laughing. 

Rounding up the line up of guests during the Press Conference is the Queen of Cosplay herself, Alodia Gosiengfiao, who is a household name when in comes to Cosplay.

Alodia Gosiengfiao. 


"It's nice to know that even world renowed artists are looking for new talent." Alodia said, aside from Cosplay she is also an artist herself and an avid gamer. When asked to give advise for the CAGE Cosplay Competition participants, she says "Have fun and be careful. Some people are starting to work with dangerous material." she added, laughing. 

Catch all of these guests and much, much more at AsiaPop Comicon happening this weekend! 



Click HERE for MORE PHOTOS!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Movies: FOOD DISCOVERS TRUTH ABOUT EXISTENCE IN NEW “SAUSAGE PARTY” TRAILER


Columbia Pictures has just released the new trailer of the eagerly anticipated animated comedy “Sausage Party” which may be viewed at https://youtu.be/1SVpot9-xTo.

“Sausage Party,” the first R-rated CG animated movie, is about one sausage leading a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store. The film features the vocal talents of a who’s who of today’s comedy stars – Michael Cera, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Edward Norton, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Kristen Wiig.



Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures present a Point Grey production, Sausage Party. Directed by Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan. Screenplay by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg. Story by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill. Produced by Megan Ellison, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Conrad Vernon. Executive Producers are Jonah Hill, James Weaver, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter, and David Distenfeld. Co-Producers are Pilar Flynn, Alexandria McAtee, and Jillian Longnecker. Visual Effects Supervisor is Bert Van Brande. Editor is Kevin Pavlovic. Music by Alan Menken & Christopher Lennertz. Music Supervisor is Gabe Hilfer.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Sausage Party” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Pets


When the first trailer for "The Secret Life of Pets" first came out I was immediately sold-I mean "Come on! It's a movie about Pets!" And what pet owner doesn't wonder what their pets are up to when they're not at home? I know I do and my office mates can bear witness to that  with my 2 AM musings of "I wonder what NamNam (my cat) is doing?". 

So "The Secret Life of Pets" was definitely on my to-watch list but when the full trailer came out and we got more of the movie's feel, my seatmate at work (movies is one of our go-to topics) pointed out that the premise of the film was a lot like "Toy Story", new pet is in the picture and now old pet is threatened; a group of abandoned pets are out to wreck havoc on poor unsuspecting humans-(just change pets with toys) and I actually realized that too but nevertheless I still entered the cinema excited to watch the film. 

You see, I'm a "pet person" just because I have a cat, people immediately assume that I prefer cats over dogs, when in fact, I don't mind having either. Just don't tell Paul since he's pretty set on just having one cat :P 

So regardless of the similarities with "Toy Story" I was still willing to give "The Secret Life of Pets" a chance. 

I'd watch again just to see this cutie. 

So the movie revolves around the premise of what your pets are up to when you walk out the door. 

"Where do they go?" Asks the cute terrier Max, voiced by Louis C.K. who just wants to be with his owner Katie 24/7. While Max is content to spend the day waiting for his owner to come home, the other pets living in his apartment, have their own agenda, whether it is eating that turkey in the ref, watching out for squirrels or getting a back rub from the mixer, these domesticated pets have the easy life all figured out. 

However, a big change comes in Max's life-literally, when Katie brings home Duke, a massive mongrel voiced by Eric Stonestreet. Max wants Duke out but Duke has other ideas. 

What follows is a crazy adventure that brings these domesticated pets out in the streets of New York where they run into the cutest villain ever a white fluffy rabbit named Snowball, voiced by the hilarious Kevin Hart. 

Snowball has assembled an army of abandoned pets and plans to have their revenge on the humans who left them. Max and Duke get mixed up in the group and must now find their way back before Katie gets home!  


The story unfolds within a day and is more adventure comedy than anything else. There are a number of plot holes for me, especially with the large number of characters introduced, it's hard to warm up to anyone except for the villain Snowball! 

Yup. I don't think I've ever fallen in love with an antagonist as much as I have with Snowball. I would watch the movie again just to see and hear this cutie. Casting Kevin Hart was a genius move! I'm going to get me his Happy Meal toy soon! 

You would expect that the film would have a heartwarming climax, I was ready to shed some tears but it never really comes to that. It seems like it's just the crazy adventure of a bunch of friends out in New York. Granted of course that they walk on all fours and are covered in fur or feathers. 

The comedy is a bit slap stick and a bit of an overkill (literally) at times but that is another saving grace of the film. It's one big laugh trip as you see adorable pets, both domesticated and abandoned make their way through the sewers and the streets of New York. Also- what is it with pets wanting to drive cars and buses? 

While the film tries to cement a sort of foster brotherhood between Max and Duke, this is not really highlighted, given the many things happening and the many characters coming in and out of scenes. 

I still enjoyed the film even if it was not as grounded as I would have wanted. It was fun and that should be enough to bring the kids and the family to enjoy. 

7 out of 10. Discover "The Secret Life of Pets" with your family-in theaters August 24. 


Movies: WITH “DON'T BREATHE,” JANE LEVY AINT THROUGH WITH HORROR-THRILLERS YET


We loved watching her as the sassy Tessa in TV's "Suburgatory" but more than that and after her breakthrough performance in 2013's “Evil Dead,” Jane Levy plays another strong but flawed female character in Columbia Pictures' terrifying suspense thriller “Don't Breathe.”

Determined to escape her abusive mother and save her younger sister from the dead-end existence that seems inevitable for them both, Rocky (Levy) will do whatever it takes to get away. She and friends Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zovatto) have pulled off a series of elaborately planned burglaries in order to come up with enough cash to escape their dire Detroit hometown. Their petty crimes have netted meager rewards, however, so when the trio learns that a blind man (Stephen Lang) living in an abandoned neighborhood has a small fortune stashed in his house, they agree to go for their biggest and final heist. But their plan goes dangerously wrong when their intended victim turns out to be more frightening than they ever anticipated.

“Don’t Breathe” reunites director Fede Alvarez with Jane Levy, whose unforgettable turn as the demonically possessed Mia in “Evil Dead” has inspired graphic tattoos of the character’s blood-drenched image around the world.

“This is a completely different character on some levels, but Rocky definitely shares some similarities with Mia,” says Alvarez. “She’s a fighter, that’s for sure. She has a purpose for going after that money and nothing will stop her. But the Blind Man is pulling from the opposite direction with the same fierce resolve.”

Levy was the director’s first choice for the role from the beginning, but it appeared initially that she would be unavailable for the shoot. “We went through a lengthy process of trying to find the right girl,” Alvarez says. “No one lived up to our expectations. And then suddenly Jane became available and everything fell into place.”

After “Evil Dead,” Levy says she had decided she was through with horror-thrillers. “But here I am, and it is because of Fede. He is the perfect director to bring the story to life and make it so much more than a genre film. It has an epic, mythological feeling for me. It’s been elevated in a way that only Fede could. This movie reminds me of a graphic novel in many ways. The palette is really beautiful — grey with pops of color.”


In order to get away from her mother, Rocky has started committing small-time burglaries with her friends Alex and Money. “They do it partially for the thrill, but mostly because they don’t have money,” says Levy. “They start out stealing whatever little things they find, but then they hear that the Blind Man is sitting on a whole bunch of cash. If they can get their hands on that money, they can get out of Detroit.”

Alvarez, she says, has created four characters that subvert the idea of good guys versus bad guys, upending easy expectations. “You’re rooting for Rocky, even though she’s doing something dishonorable,” Levy says. “It was a challenge to make her likable, but Fede has created archetypal characters who are complex mirrors of humanity. In this situation, Alex is the brains, Money is the drive and Rocky is the heart, so you can root for her.”

Opening across the Philippines in August 31, “Don't Breathe” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Movies: MILES TELLER STEPS INTO A DANGEROUS WORLD IN “WAR DOGS


Miles Teller (“Whiplash,” the “Divergent” trilogy) stars as a twentysomething who became a multi-millionaire as an international arms dealer in Warner Bros. Pictures' new comedic drama based on true events “War Dogs” (in Philippine cinemas Aug. 24).

Directed by “The Hangover” trilogy's Todd Phillips, “War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan military—a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.

“It’s a cool story,” says Teller who plays the real-life character, David Packouz. “You have to respect what they were able to do; at one point, they had a $300 million deal going. That’s an insane amount of money for a couple of guys in their early 20s who were just fakin’ it till they made it. It’s fascinating how things can kind of snowball and you can get in way over your head.”

The allure of financial freedom isn’t lost on David, but for somewhat less hedonistic reasons than his partner-in-crime Efraim, played by Jonah Hill. Miles Teller explains, “He is struggling to make ends meet when Efraim shows up. Efraim was his buddy when they were kids and they would get into trouble together. When he comes back into his life, David gets reenergized and excited by the opportunity to make some real money because he has a pregnant girlfriend and is wondering how he is going to provide for his family.”


The real David Packouz admits, “I won’t lie, it was pretty awesome for a while. We would go to parties and people would introduce themselves: ‘I’m a stockbroker or I’m in real estate… So what do you do?’ ‘We’re international arms dealers.’ The initial reaction went from ‘You’re kidding, right?’ to ‘You’re full of s**t,’ but once they realized we were not joking, they were blown away. One reason the story is so crazy is that very few people make it big in the arms business, especially at our age. The fact that we won a contract to supply the entire Afghan army was totally bizarre.”

Phillips reveals that they decided early on to tell the story from Packouz’s perspective, noting, “We realized the best way into this story was through David’s eyes. David represents the everyman stepping into this world he knew nothing about, much like the audience.”

The director, who had first met Teller when he produced the comedy “Project X,” says, “I think Miles is a world-class actor. It’s almost as if he doesn’t have to try. I don’t mean that in a negative way; he’s just naturally gifted. It’s amazing to watch. We were lucky to have both him and Jonah in the movie.”

War Dogs” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.



TV + Events: Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown Heads to Manila for APCC 2016!

The boys from "Stranger Things". 

I haven't written about a TV Series in some time, surprisingly movies can be very demanding. There is more than one new movie release in a week and that means one advanced screening in a week (at least) and with work, catching up on sleep and keeping sane that can eat up a lot of your time. I don't how my other colleagues do it. 

So even if I may be the first to get to see movies (ever so grateful) that may not be the case for TV series, especially the ones you need to download or stream in order to see. You see, we have a very unreliable ISP which is funny considering all we do online. So whenever a TV series is out that needs downloading I would have to seek out my suppliers (people in the office, or even my cousin) to get my dose...err..supply. So while the whole world was already going crazy over Netflix's "Stranger Things" I had to patiently bid my time to get my hands on it. 

So, in one rainy August weekend I was finally (all snuggled up in the bed, dressed in sweat pants) ready to binge watch the series, everyone has been raving about.

"Stranger Things" is the good kind of science fiction, borrowing elements from Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher", Steven Spielberg's "E.T." and "Stand By Me". 

The series brings you to a small town in Indiana when a boy disappears (after playing Dungeons and Dragons - for ten hours!) under mysterious circumstances. The series hits all the elements that make a great story right on the head! You will come to care for the well written characters, and the narrative will reel you wright in after just a few minutes of the first episode.

The series definitely brings in the 1980's nostalgia, from the music, the fonts and all the tiny details that you will surely appreciate once you spot them on. There are also many references that will make your geek heart flutter.

Millie Bobby Brown as 'Eleven' in the Netflix hit "Stranger Things". 

The series has been the surprise obsession of 2016 with critics and fans praising the eight episode science fiction, thriller. Aside from the King-Spielberg-Guillermo nods the series has also become well loved due to its fresh cast of children. One of them, the scene stealing, badass Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown. 

Ever since her break out role as Eleven there have been numerous fan art, tattoos, painted murals of the shaven ,Eggo-loving, psychokinetic.

The Spanish-born, British actress has since then been the object of affection for fans all over the world, being invited to conventions left and right. She will soon make her way to Manila as part of Asia Pop Comicon and fans are excited!

Aside from being the darling of the internet and of science fiction fans, Millie also boxes and sings! She recently released the video of when she shaved her long brown locks for the role of Eleven and I must say that she's a real trooper! I've watched models twice her age cry like a baby on America's / Asia's Next Top Model but Millie took it all in stride! 

It gas also been reported that Millie has been getting a number of roles and offers, in what role would you like to see her in next?

Do you have any questions for Millie? Send them over and maybe we can ask her!



Millie Bobby Brown.




Events: Nicholas Hoult No Longer About A Boy But A Man of His Own

(L) Nicholas Hoult in "About A Boy" in 2002. 

When the news broke that Nicholas Hoult would be headlining this year's Asia Pop Comic Con, articles online began recalling his past roles, mostly in his recent works as Hank McCoy/ Beast in the X-Men movies, the War Boy in the critically acclaimed "Mad Max: Fury Road", and as the zombie "R" in the young adult book to movie adaptation "Warm Bodies" to which he received three Teen Choice Award Nominations and won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Performance.. He also received acclaim for his performance as Tony Stonem is "Skins".

What most people may have forgotten is that Nicholas Hoult started acting at the age of seven and played the cute Marcus Brewer in "About a Boy" in 2002 and starred across Hugh Grant in the comedy drama. Hoult was nominated as Critic's Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer. 

I honestly feel "old" since I remember the movie and I think I watched it a couple of times back then. This was when Hugh Grant was starring in romantic comedies and well, Hoult was just a kid and now look at him!

Aside from starring in pop culture hits, Hoult has done voice work in video games. He voiced "Elliot" in the video game, "Fable III". Hoult has 'model' on his list of work, as he was the face of Tom Ford eyewear Spring Collection in 2010.

Nicholas Hoult for Tom Ford Eyewear in 2010. 
Aside form his multi media performances, Hoult is currently working with Christian Aid, which is the official relief and development agency of 41 British and Irish churches. 

Hoult also works closely with the Teenage Cancer Trust. He has also been known to support the "Enough Food IF campaign", which aims to end global hunger. 

There is much buzz that this Hollywood headliner is on his way to our shores for Asia Pop Comicon. It just goes to show how much of the convention circuit has grown in the Philippines. 

We're excited to see Nicholas Hoult this weekend! Do you have any questions for him? Send them over and we just might get the chance to ask them for you! 

#apccph2016 





Movies: JENNY SLATE LENDS VOICE TO POMERANIAN IN “THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS”


 After voicing for the sheep Bellwether in “Zootopia” – and before doing voice work as Harley Quinn in the upcoming “The LEGO Batman Movie” -- fast-rising actress Jenny Slate (“Obvious Child”) will be heard as a Pomeranian dog in Universal Pictures and Illumination's “The Secret Life of Pets,” opening in Philippine cinemas August 24.
Slate plays Gidget, a naïve, but gutsy Pomeranian who is 50% fluff, 110% tough, and a secret admirer of hero dog, Max.
In the film, Max (Louis C.K.), a quick-witted Terrier rescue who’s convinced he sits at the center of owner Katie’s universe, finds his pampered life turned upside down when she brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy, yet cunning, bunny named Snowball, whose army of pets are out to turn the tables on humanity…all this and making it home before Katie returns at dinnertime.


Jenny Slate is an impresario of voices and a filmmaker in her own right, who returns to Illumination with “The Secret Life of Pets.” Says “Pets” producer and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri: “We’ve worked with Jenny before, and she’s so talented and vocally special. She’s defined a personality for Gidget that is all about the unexpected. On one hand she’s this adorable, fluffy, white Pomeranian, but she turns out to be our toughest character. She also has this massive crush on Max. She looks like the quintessential dog from a pocketbook in Beverly Hills, but she turns out to be hard-driving, unyielding and quite heroic.”
Developing the voice of Gidget proved to be a breeze for Slate. “They told me they were interested in using a version of my own voice. And once I saw her and her pink bow, I felt like it was a no-brainer,” she explains. “I wanted Gidget to sound like candy sounds. Like the crinkle of a wrapper or the sweetness of saltwater taffy. There is so much to do with a character who is bright-eyed and really positive but also has a short fuse.”


Over the last few years, Slate has done voice performances for a shell, a sheep, a snake and a dog. “I guess I have played a lot of animals,” Slate laughs. “It makes a lot of sense to me that I would be a cartoon. I feel like a cartoon as a person. I really, really do. Around the time I made Marcel The Shell, I became more aware of my speaking voice. I always thought I sounded like my mum – weirdly, I thought I had a deep voice. I sometimes listen back to my stand-up sets, and I am really surprised by my own voice.”
Slate will next be seen starring in “Gifted,” which also stars Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer, and will lend her voice to “The LEGO Batman Movie,” which also stars Will Arnett.

Oh and in case you missed it, she's also dating Captain America himself-Chris Evans! I guess Captain likes it when his girl makes him laugh! :) 
“The Secret Life of Pets” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.