Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Movie News: IMAGINE DRAGONS LAUNCHES NEW SONG “LEVITATE” FOR “PASSENGERS”


Multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band IMAGINE DRAGONS have released their song Levitate and is available for digital download and streaming via all participating digital retailers.

The song is featured in the upcoming Columbia Pictures film Passengers in Philippine cinemas January 08, 2017.

Watch the official video of Levitate at https://youtu.be/W4hWxngE1GA.

From the director of the Oscar Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game and the screenwriter of Prometheus comes Columbia Pictures' action-adventure Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Aurora (Lawrence) and Jim (Pratt) are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As they try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction... only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

Passengers is directed by Oscar-nominee Morten Tyldum, written by Jon Spaihts, produced by Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher and Ori Marmur.

The film also stars Michael Sheen (“Underworld” franchise) and Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix” franchise).

Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Movies: CHARACTERS “SING” THEIR HEARTS OUT IN SOLO POSTERS


Take your first look at the newly released character posters of Sing, the new musical comedy from Universal Pictures and Illumination.

Hugging the limelight are Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Mike (Seth MacFarlane), Ash (Scarlett Johansson), Johnny (Taron Egerton), Gunter (Nick Kroll) and Meena (Tori Kelly).

Check out the character one-sheets below and watch Sing in Philippine theaters on January 08, 2017.

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 optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing 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.

Featuring more than 85 hit songs, Sing is written and directed by Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.

“Sing” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #SingMovie














Movies: MEET THE UNLIKELY HEROES OF “ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY”


Get to know the characters of Lucasfilm's “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first in a new series of Star Wars standalone movies. “Rogue One” tells the story of a group of unlikely heroes, who in a time of conflict band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is an impetuous, defiant young woman who lends her skills to the Rebel Alliance and undertakes a desperate mission. Jones comments on her character, “I wanted Jyn to be as human as possible. She’s strong when she needs to be, she’s incredibly determined and she has to be tough when she doesn’t feel it. But at the same time there is enormous vulnerability.”

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is a respected Alliance intelligence officer. Describing his experience making the film, Luna says, “The film has many layers. There are moments that are deep and dramatic and deserve a lot of attention and rigor as actors. Then there are scenes that are just fun and it’s like choreography. You’re enjoying and having fun with the beat.”


Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) is a blind monk who is a skilled and artful warrior. “Donnie Yen has so much wisdom like his character and he’s got great humor,” says producer Allison Shearmur. “He has a sense of artistry and performance that tells us so much about his character. There’s an elegance, a heroism, a nobility about both Yen and Chirrut.”

Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) is a pragmatic soldier, who has grown up with Chirrut and will follow his closest friend to the ends of the universe. Of his character, Jiang Wen says, “Ultimately, he’s a good man at heart and very honest and is very loyal to his friend Chirrut. And Chirrut’s friends are his friends.”

Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) is a cargo pilot who works for the Empire but changes course when faced with a harsh truth. Riz Ahmed says of his character: “Gareth described Bodhi as a guy in a war movie who isn’t supposed to be there. Everyone on the team is a soldier or warrior in some way and there’s this guy who is there by accident but realizes he has to step up and make himself valuable. He’s an everyman, someone audiences can relate to.”

K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) is a reprogrammed Imperial security guard now loyal to the Alliance. “Alan is like all great comic actors in that, as funny as he is, he can pull at your heart strings as well,” offers Gareth Edwards. “We didn’t want K2 just to be the comic relief. There is something slightly tragic about him trying to find his place in the world. There are moments of fun, but Alan gives him a soul.”


Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) is an outlaw rebel, a man who believes that the Empire must be defeated, but at what cost? “Saw is very clear about what he believes,” says Whitaker about his character. “He’s willing to do things he thinks are necessary to save the people.”

Galen Erso (played by Mads Mikkelsen) is Jyn’s father and a brilliant scientist. On becoming part of the Star Wars family, Mikkelsen says, “It’s a big honor to be part of this legendary film universe. Something very interesting to me about Star Wars is that it’s quite human, even though we have Droids and different kinds of creatures that look very different from the human race.”


Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) is the man behind the creation of the Death Star, a weapon he knows will allow the Empire to take full control of the galaxy through means of fear.

Opening across the Philippines on December 15, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.  



Monday, November 28, 2016

Movie Review: Moana


I grew up watching Disney movies, I was obsessed with "The Little Mermaid", "Aladin", "Beauty and the Beast", "Mulan", you name it.  I grew up watching these films, memorizing the lines and songs, having all kinds of merchandise from lunchboxes, sleeping bags. I can also break out into song from any of these films (with hand gestures) much to the discomfort of my office seat mate. 

So you can say that with Disney such a big part of my life, I was excited to meet a new Disney Princess and this is "Moana". Which is refreshing as the 56th Disney animated feature film based on an original idea about Moana Waialiki (Auli'i Cravalho), the daughter of a Village Chief from a Polynesian tribe, who sets out with the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to save her home. 

The film starts out with similar Disney themes, Moana is too adventurous for her island, where the people are forbidden to sail beyond the reef. Just like Ariel (The Little Mermaid) before her, who was curious about the humans on the shore. The heroine's first hurdle is to listen to that "voice inside" who is telling her who she really is. In Moana's case, she is to inherit being village chief and the responsibilities that come with it, when all she really wants is to sail out into the ocean. 

As I was watching the film, I thought of this recurring theme which has been the same throughout the years and I felt that it was because there is always a new generation of children who can definitely use this empowering messaging and I'm glad that I got to see the film with two of my nieces. :) 


While the film may begin with these timeless themes, which is no surprise given that Ron Clements and John Musker, the directing team behind Oscar-winning classics The Little Mermaid and Aladdin are behind the film.

 "Moana" takes on its own adventure and for me the film takes on its own feel from that scene when they meet the "Kakamora", for a little added information, that scene which includes these cute-err-terrifying coconuts is actually inspired from Mad Max: Fury Road and I actually thought of it when I saw it, without knowing about it first.  Also one of the Kakamora has the face of Baymax (Big Hero 6) painted on it. (I want a Kakamora!) 

Oh and I also have to commend the music! For the longest time, I have been looking for memorable songs in the recent Disney films but they didn't seem to have that "magic" like the old films did but "Moana" did and with a team made up of “Hamilton” composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, Disney music master Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i, the lead singer of South Pacific fusion band Te Vaka, I was had high expectations which is met. The result is a fun, authentic soundtrack, which will be your newest last song syndrome.   

I'll go ahead and say it "Let It Go" (Frozen) was overrated but in "Moana" it's not only the heroine's song which is memorable but all of the songs! (I kid you not) I was even impressed by Dwayne Johnson's Maui's catchy "You're Welcome" song, "The Rock" had an amazing singing voice (who would have thought right?) and we also enjoyed Tamatoa (Jemaine Clement) Prince inspired "Shiny". The songs reminded me of the older Disney movies where all the songs were good.

 *Currently listening to the soundtrack as I am writing this* 


There is a scene in the film that made me go "Whoah!" (I never thought I'd have that reaction in a Disney movie) and this was when Moana comes face to face with Te Ka, it is a breathtaking moment and seeing that in 3D is just spectacular. 

10/10! (My Nieces gave perfect scores too! And yes, even Paul gave a perfect score! Which is as rare as it sounds.) 

I also personally enjoyed making jokes at Disney's own expense: 

Case in point: 

On top of a high mountain, Maui tells Moana: "If you start singing, I'm going to throw up." This of course is a shot at Disney Princesses bursting into song. 

Disney has even starting making pee jokes and that was just hilarious! 

A fresh new Disney adventure featuring stunning 3D animation (just makes you want to go to the Beach) the story, while maintaining classic themes finds its own lessons to share. Plus a colorful look into the Polynesian culture, which is always a plus for me. 

Moana is the Disney Princess for a new generation. Without an exaggerated tiny waistline, the studio finally leaves the 'love interest' plot behind, focusing on a more important adventure, well for a young wayfinder at least. 


*By the way, there's a post-credits scene, if you guys want to stick around for that*



               


At the Philippine Premiere of "Moana" with my nieces Jasmine and Jillian. 
I rarely post personal photos with my movie reviews but I think I will make an exception for this one. Moana is in cinemas Nov. 30. 

Use the hashtags #MoanaPH #FindYourWay for your Moana posts!

 Photos (c) Walt Disney Studios. 

Events: Sky Cable "Lets Be One" Christmas Press Party


We were thrilled when we were invited to Sky Cable's Christmas Party for for the PRESS and Media. We are Sky Cable subscribers (everyone in the compound we live in with Paul's family, that's how many TV sets (6). 

We're pretty much coach potatoes so if we are not binge watching our latest series obsession we are of course, watching cabled TV! 

It could be Jack TV, HBO, Star Movies, History Channel, Crime Investigation or what you, our days start and end with the TV-no kidding. 


So it was definitely a pleasure to be at their Christmas Party, it was nice to feel appreciated by a brand that is basically part of your everyday life. :) 


And what a party it was! There were interactive booths featuring some of today's top shows in pop culture. The Golden Globes and the X-Factor from 
RTL-CBS and Hairspray Live! from Diva. We had fun with the booths! (Check out the first two photos). :) 

After the sumptuous meal that was served there was a little quiz bee for the guests, okay I'll admit that we were a bit competitive since we had the whole geek banner going on. We didn't win though :( For some reason the other tables were just faster, I did get the "Game of Thrones" question, so I'm good. 

In the quiz bee, all the answers had the word "One" in them. 

Example: 

Q: In "Game Of Thrones" Arya Stark is also known as? 
A: "No One" 

This is of course to commemorate the theme of the party #SkyLetsBeOne and I'd definitely love to be one with Sky :) 

During the party, guests were also informed of the different exciting deals that Sky Cable has to offer, we are personally really interested with their One Sky plan which has cable and internet for a really good price!  Unfortunately its not yet available in our area and we've had to be stuck with poor WiFi service (Yes Globe, I'm looking at you). Hopefully One Sky will be available in our area soon! Maybe next year? :) 


Aside from the food and the games, guests were also entertained by Ivy Grace (Paredes) of the X-Factor and Eric Santos. There were also a few words from Sky Cable Chief Operating Officer March Ventosa. 

Of course a Christmas Party would not be complete without RAFFLE PRIZES! Paul won a gift card from Starbucks (will definitely help with my stickers for the 2017 Planner). I was hoping to win the Sony Sound Bar of the 40 inch TV but I didn't, I did win in the Instagram contest (the first photo in this blog post) and got a lot of Sky Cable goodies, including a bottle of wine which was a big treat for Paul :) 

Maybe next year? :) 

Again, thank you so much Sky Cable for having us! Looking forward to a 2017 with more activties, events, new shows and definitely a lot of TV marathons. Who knows, maybe we'll also get that One Sky plan! 

#SkyLetsBeOne  

Ivy Grace belting out impressive ballads.

Sky Cable Corporation chief operating officer March Ventosa.

Eric Santos serenading the crowd. 

Movies: NICOLE SCHERZINGER PROVIDES VOICE OF MOANA'S MOTHER, SINA


Best known as the lead singer of one of the best-selling girl groups of all-time Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger now breathes life to Moana’s playful and strong-willed mother, Sina, in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 56th animated feature “Moana.”

Also featuring the voices of Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho, “Moana” is a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.

Moana’s mother always has her back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water. But much like Tui, her hard-headed husband, Sina wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef. Above all, Sina trusts Moana to make the right decisions.

“Sina reminds me of all the women in my family—my ohana,” says Scherzinger. “She’s fun, she’s playful, but she’s also very strong. I feel like she’s the backbone of a family, as women often are.”

“She is very loving and caring,” adds head of animation Amy Smeed, “but also has a little spunk to her which comes through in Village Song in the way she bounces as she sings.”


Scherzinger is a Grammy®-nominated triple threat. She has accrued No. 1 singles on both sides of the Atlantic, selling 37 million singles worldwide, 16 million records as a solo artist and a staggering 54 million albums as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls. The incredibly accomplished singer, dancer and television personality stars as Penny in the highly anticipated “Dirty Dancing” remake for ABC. Scherzinger teamed up with Neil Patrick Harris to co-host his new NBC primetime variety series “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.” Harris previously directed Scherzinger in a special engagement of the Tony® Award-winning musical “Rent” at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, for which she received rave reviews for her performance as Maureen.

The “X Factor” judge (both the U.S. & UK versions of the show) has also made a name for herself on the West End stage. By far one of her greatest recent achievements was a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award for her debut performance as Grizabella in a revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats.” In a BBC radio interview, Webber called Scherzinger’s recording of the famed hit single “Memory” the “best recording of anything of my music ever done.”

Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Scherzinger is an ambassador for UNICEF and a global ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 30, “Moana” is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, @disney.ph and use the hashtags #MoanaPH and #FindYourWay.





Movies: ANISTON'S FEISTY CEO CANNOT STOP HER “OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY”


Golden Globe and Emmy award-winner Jennifer Aniston stars in Paramount Pictures' Office Christmas Party as pragmatic CEO, Carol Vanstone who announces plans to shut down one of her underperforming branchs days before Christmas.

Realizing no mere Holiday party can lift the spirits of his employees, eccentric branch president (and Carol’s kid brother) Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) enlists the help of Chief Technical Officer Josh (Jason Bateman), and Lead Systems Engineer Tracey (Olivia Munn) to make their own Christmas miracle by throwing an epic, unforgettably over-the-top Christmas party to win over a high profile client (Courtney B. Vance) and save everyone’s jobs.

“We created this character for Jennifer because she’s absolutely fearless when it comes to playing somewhat unlikeable characters in comedies,” says director Josh Gordon. “For her, the more daring the role, the better.”

Rather than play Carol as a villain, Aniston framed her character in terms of her relationship with Clay in their youth. “I looked upon Carol as sort of a grown up Jeanie Bueller to Clay’s Ferris Bueller,” says Aniston. “She has incredible resentment toward him because he’s a goof off and got every break growing up. She’s wants to prove herself as the smartest, most competent person in the room. Sadly, she didn’t really develop her soft, fuzzy side.”


Aniston and Bateman were directors Will Speck and Gordon’s first choice for their respective roles, having worked with both previously on 2010’s The Switch. Office Christmas Party marks Aniston’s fifth collaboration with Bateman and second with Speck and Gordon.

“Jen and Jason are very close friends,” says producer Scott Stuber. “They spend a lot of time together on and off camera, which results in their great chemistry. The relaxed, fluidity of their performance style really sets the tone for the whole cast.”

“We’re all like family at this point,” says Aniston. “There’s definitely a shorthand and confidence as to how we all work together. If you have that trust, you can immediately tell one another what works and what doesn’t.”

The latest comedy from directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Blades of Glory, The Switch) co-stars Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung, and Courtney B. Vance in the funniest movie of the holiday season.

Opening across the Philippines on Dec. 07, Office Christmas Party is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Movies: “CARS 3” TEASER TRAILER WARNS EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE


Wasn't really excited when I first heard that there was going to be a 3rd Cars movie BUT when I saw the surprisingly dark and cryptic trailer I was impressed and now curious. 🚗

The unexpectedly dark teaser trailer of Disney/Pixar's Cars 3 is off to the races, arriving with a cryptic tagline, “From this moment on, everything will change.”

Check out the trailer at https://youtu.be/E4K7JgPJ8-s and watch Cars 3 when it opens in the Philippines in 2017.

In the film, blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines.



Movies: ROMANTIC MANGA FEELS IN “YOUR LIE IN APRIL” – IN CINEMAS DECEMBER 7


I haven't been following any anime series for some time now and I definitely miss it-so definitely looking forward to this! 

Award-winning and best-selling romantic manga series "Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso" by Naoshi Arakawa  is now a live-action film “Your Lie in April” starring promising young actors Suzu Hirose and Kento Yamazaki that will open in Philippine cinemas on December 7.

The much-awaited teen manga drama, “Your Lie in April” stars up-and-coming actors Suzu Hirose and Kento Yamazaki in a coming-of-age story inspired by music. The exciting cast includes Anna Ishii, actress and member of the popular girl group E-Girls and the hot, young actor Taishi Nakagawa. Their heartrending tapestry of love is not to be missed!

A master of the loves story genre, Takehiko Shinjo of “Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu (I Give My First Love to You)” and “Kiyoku Yawaku (Beyond the Memories)” will direct the film.

Director Shinjo describes “Your Lie in April” as a story of the wonders and value of love, but also the pain, tears and heartbreak that often accompany it. “My goal is to deliver a film that leaves the viewers with a warm, gentle feeling. With the charm of Suzu Hirose, the sincerity of Kento Yamazaki, and a young, talented cast including Anna Ishii and Taishi Nakagawa, I hope to weave a tale of brilliant and heartfelt love,” shared Shinjo.


“Your Lie in April” follows a musician with absolute perfection and mechanical precision, piano prodigy Kosie Arima (Yamazaki), is considered a human metronome. But Kosie lost his ability to play when he lost his mother. In April of his sophomore year in high school, Kosei’s childhood friends Tsubaki Sawabe (Anna Ishii) and Ryota Watari (Taishi Nakagawa) introduced him to a violinist named Kaori Miyazono (Hirose). Kaori is a willful free spirit, as ethereal as the clouds in the sky, and Kosei finds himself drawn to her unrestrained, exuberant performance. “Kaori aggressively urges Kosei to play with her, forcing him to face the painful memories of his mother. But one day, Kosei discovers that Kaori has a secret. 

“When I read the script, I pictured a beautiful span of time, in which each character battles his or her own, personal issues. In preparing for the role of Kaori, I touched a violin for the first time. It’s still a struggle, but day by day, I am coming to terms with the violin as well as the role. Together with the director and cast, I hope to make “Your Lie in April” a beautiful film brimming with color,” says Hirose of the film.


Likewise, Kento Yamazaki shared that the film taught him that everyday, life is full of color. “Portraying the struggles and challenges of a musical prodigy is challenging, but with the support of Director Shinjo, the staff and cast members, I tried my best to embody Kosei Arima. The concert scenes in the original manga are so dynamic that you can almost hear the music. I’m new to the piano, but I’m practicing hard every day so I can express Kosei’s flux of emotions in the music. I hope “Your Lie in April” adds color to the viewer’s world as well.”


Get your hankies and tissues ready for the painful truth masked in the sweetest of lies that will break your heart in “Your Lie in April” when it opens in cinemas on December 7 nationwide from Pioneer Films.  

Trailer link:  https://youtu.be/gVSiuaiAkjY

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Magic Continues for a New Generation of Potter Fans (and the old ones are happy too!)



After seven books and eight movies, you'd think that the world is content with how Harry Potter ended but with the release of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" and of course "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" (which just grossed P126.42 M in four days!) we know that Muggles just can't get enough of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world. 


Last Halloween I saw a number of folks dressed up as characters from Harry Potter, from kids who were not even born yet when the books came out. (Their parents probably put them up to it but I'm sure that they've come to love the movies as well) to adults who wanted to bring the magic to the work place. Indeed the magic which J.K. Rowling has created for what now seems like generations is surely far from over. 

The cuties clad in Gryffindor colors? Daughters of my former English (and Economics) High School teacher and I can say that Miss Gaye has those #ParentingGoals down right! 

We just saw "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" last week (movie review here) and I tell you it was indeed a reminiscent trip down memory lane as the movie 'read' so much like a "Harry Potter" book. It's on its second week in cinemas now! Make sure to see it!   


The lovely folks from Sky Cable's Digital Marketing went on a "Harry Potter" theme for their Halloween Party. Complete with "Undesirable No.1" posters! 


This little cutie is about to have his first birthday and guess what the theme is? :D

So no, I don't think we have seen the last of that Potter magic and if "Fantastic Beasts" were any indication I think we're still on for more! And as a Potter head I couldn't be happier. 

Indeed, Rowling has helped redefine literature and children's literature as we know it. Now, Harry Potter is a discussion which both adults and children can enjoy. 

Thank you to Miss Gaye and Chie for sharing your photos! 

As if we needed more evidence of Potter love, there is a Harry Potter themed cafe along Maginhawa Street, Nook Cafe. we've been meaning to visit but haven't yet, one of these days for sure! 


Movie Review: Allied




Two spies posing as husband and wife, plan to take out a Nazi Ambassador in the French Morocco in WWII. The setting is unique and you will just love the costumes and the culture, which you can't help but notice and appreciate despite the tense situation. 

It is "good old spies" as Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) try their best to convince neighbors that they are a blissfully married couple, when in fact they have just met! Just an everyday occurrence in the life of espionage and spies, I guess. 

In a story where spy meets spy, the attraction is intense (those were some pretty intense sex scenes, hence the R16 rating and probably the film just trumped "Titanic" in best car sex scene-yes I said it) and pretty soon Max and Marianne become husband and wife for real and have a child together. 

With WWII is raging, Marianne has resigned from spy work and is a happy house wife while Max still continues his work battling Nazis. It is a relatively happy marriage and family life until Max is presented with evidence that Marianne is a sleeper spy working for the Germans, if proven that she is, it is on protocol for Max to kill her himself  or be face being executed for failing to obey orders. 

Max sets out on a desperate mission to prove her innocence. 


I have to commend on the good old spy work that Max and Marianne did, unlike modern movie spies like James Bond and Ethan Hunt, Max and Marianne did not have the help of a back up team made up of individuals who are expert in their fields. No extraction team to get them out when shit hits the fan. Just the two of them in a den of Nazi soldiers and I have to admire this and its WWII there were real spies on real missions at this time! 

Speaking of real, one of the gems of "Allied" is that it is actually based on a true story

Allied's Oscar-nominated screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) heard the story of two undercover WWII spies who fell madly in love only to be set mortally against each other when their true identities were exposed. (Read more here). 

Which makes "Allied" even more sad, to think that two people who love each other are set at opposite sides because of war. It leaves you with a heartache that you will bring with you even days after seeing the movie. 

Oscar winner, Robert Zemeckis the innovative mind behind Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Flight (aaand "Back to the Future" you can read more here) helmed "Allied" and I love his use of symbols throughout the film. The way Max (Brad Pitt) would "spy on"  Marriane through mirrors like they never got "being a spy" of their system and how there was always suspicion. Or when Max and Marianne made love for the first time in the car with a dessert storm just outside them, I think it was a foreshadowing of the "storm" that would test their love. 



Brilliant performance from Marion Cotillard, she is perfect as Marianne! Brad Pitt looks gorgeous! Okay so there was a little controversy before the film came out with the whole "Brangelina" split but putting that aside, you can still appreciate the movie. 

Can I also just add that those aerial dog fight scenes are the most beautiful (yes, I know that's a disturbing statement) that I've seen.  

7 out of 10. They say that all is fair in Love and War but that is not always the case. Sometimes, one wins over the other, good if its love over war but when it's war who wins over love, then that is just another reminder of how humans can be so miserable and should always serve as a reminder for us, for those of us who live in peace, to never let it happen again. 

Allied is now showing in cinemas and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Movie News: “TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT” FIRST TRAILER DROPS ON DEC 16


Director Michael Bay has announced that the first trailer for Paramount Pictures' Transformers: The Last Knight, will premiere in theaters on December 16 in front of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Bay took to social media to respond to fans’ questions about when they could expect the first good look at the fifth Transformers film. Watch his reply at https://youtu.be/0pZvtmkwCjg.

Transformers: The Last Knight stars Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Anthony Hopkins, Isabela Moner, Stanley Tucci, John Goodman, John Turturro, and Josh Duhamel.


The most recent film in the franchise, 2014's “Transformers: Age of Extinction” grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.

Opening across the Philippines in June 21, 2017, “Transformers: The Last Knight” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Movies: SELENE MUST MAKE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE IN “UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS”


An immensely gifted English actress who has proven to be one of the industry’s most versatile and charismatic performers, Kate Beckinsale returns in the fifth installment of the fan favorite sci-fi fantasy, Underworld: Blood Wars, where she reprises her role as the iconic action hero Selene.

Underworld: Blood Wars follows the next generation of Vampires and Lycans (a breed of Werewolves) and the war that continues to wage between the two species. In the film, Vampire Death Dealer Selene fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that has betrayed her. Aided by her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must end the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.

For Beckinsale’s character, the stakes have never been higher. “There’s been this longstanding feud between Vampires and Lycans but in Blood Wars, Selene’s very much disenfranchised from both factions,” the actress explains. “She’s not really part of the team of vampires anymore and she’s on the run from everyone. Selene’s tough and incredibly inventive about killing monsters and all of that, but her motivation has always been love. In Blood Wars, it’s the love for her daughter Eve that keeps Selene going.”

Blood Wars pushes Underworld mythology into exciting new realms while drawing on the strengths that continue to thrill fans 14 years after the series’ inception. “The thing that makes Underworld so successful is the fact that you’re immersed in this vampire world which is not real, and yet the drama between all these creatures is universal,” says direcor Anna Foerster. “I hope audiences are wowed by the action but I also hope people enjoy where Selene goes emotionally. After all this fighting and hardship, at the end she comes to a place where she has a new outlook on life. Selene is ultimately a tragic character, but if she can also evoke hope for audiences, then I think that’s a pretty big thing.”

Beckinsale expects Underworld: Blood Wars to satisfy a key expectation for fans of the franchise by showcasing Selene at her most warrior-like. “All sorts of horrible things happen to Selene but then she manages to dispatch everybody because she gets really pissed off,” the actress says. In between the fast and furious combat scenes, Underworld: Blood Wars offers a darkly thrilling cinematic vision of uncommon integrity.

“It’s difficult these days to get a genre movie of this type made if it’s not based on an existing comic book or video game or something like that,” Beckinsale muses. “Underworld is original, and given the fact that it also has a female lead there are a lot of reasons I feel really privileged to be one of those few women who gets to do this kind of movie. I think audiences like to see women taking names and kicking ass but I also think at this point, there’s a historical legacy element to Underworld that people find appealing.”

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, December 02, “Underworld: Blood Wars” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.



Movies: STARS ALIGN TO CREATE MOVING SOUNDTRACK FOR “MOANA”


With film credits like “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” under their belts, filmmakers John Musker and Ron Clements clearly enjoy telling stories with music. Their lates film, Walt Disney Animation Studios' “Moana” is no exception.

The diverse and dynamic team behind the film’s inspired music includes Tony®-, Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning lyricist/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who counts among his credits Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and multiple Tony-winning “Hamilton” and the Tony-winning “In the Heights.”

“I really related to Moana in a lot of ways,” says Miranda, who was “transported” by the Clement-Musker-helmed feature “The Little Mermaid” at age 9. “She has a family that she loves, an island that she loves, but there’s a voice inside that’s calling. The idea of quieting life enough so that you can hear that inner voice was something really worth writing about for me because I think it’s so important.”

Three-time Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina created memorable scores for films like “Speed,” “Tarzan” and the Oscar®-winning “Training Day,” and also co-wrote songs, produced and arranged the score for Broadway’s musical production of “The Lion King.”

Opetaia Foa‘i, the founder and lead singer of Te Vaka, is a winner of numerous world music awards, including the Senior Pacific Artist award for his contribution to Pacific music.


The soundtrack features seven original songs, plus two reprises, as well as two end-credit versions of songs from the film. Written and performed by Foa‘i and Miranda, “We Know the Way” showcases the rich and vibrant voyaging life of Moana’s ancestors. “After meeting with [directors] John and Ron in 2013, I actually started writing that song on the flight home,” says Foa‘i. “It came quite naturally. Then Lin added his beautiful lyrics and it just came to life.”

“How Far I’ll Go” is Moana’s song. “It’s intimidating to write an ‘I want’ song for a Disney animated movie,” says Miranda. “You think of Ariel with ‘Part of Your World’ or ‘Reflection’ from ‘Mulan.’ This is Moana’s chance to say for herself how she feels and where she belongs.”

“Where You Are” is written by Miranda, Foa‘i and Mancina and performed by Christopher Jackson, Rachel House, Nicole Scherzinger, Auli‘i Cravalho and Louise Bush. The song introduces the audience to Moana’s village and the key players.

Written by Miranda and performed by Dwayne Johnson, “You’re Welcome” showcases the colorful personality of Maui. “I just thought that it would be really fun to hear The Rock sing ‘You’re welcome for my existence. You’re welcome that you get to meet me,’” says Miranda. “Dwayne has such incredible charm and he totally delivers the character’s confidence and cockiness.”

Jemaine Clement was tapped for “Shiny,” a song written by Miranda and Mancina that spotlights Tamatoa, the 50-foot crab with trust issues. “Disney has some great villains like Jafar, Scar, Cruella and Ursula,” says Miranda. “Tamatoa is mean and ostentatious, so we really wanted to create the anti-lesson of the movie. If Moana’s journey is listening to her inner voice, Tamatoa is there to say, ‘It doesn’t matter. Who cares? It’s really about how you look.’ He’s from the deepest, darkest part of the sea and feels his armor is important. You got to be shiny.

“I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)” was written by Miranda, Mancina and Foa‘i and performed by Rachel House and Cravalho. “The song marks a really important moment in the film when Moana is doubting her decision to take on this huge challenge,” says MacDougall.

With music by Foa‘i, Miranda and Mancina, and lyrics by Foa‘i and Miranda, “Know Who You Are” is performed by Auli'i Cravalho, Vai Mahina, Olivia Foa‘i, Foa‘i and Matthew Ineleo. The song is heard late in the film as Moana’s journey nears its culmination.

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 30, Moana is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, @disney.ph and use the hashtag #MoanaPH.