Thursday, January 30, 2014

"The Right Kind of Wrong" A Pre-Valentine Date Movie

Love at first sight is one of those enduring mysteries that the majority of us believe in and surveys show more than half have experienced. That the object of such affection is a married woman is as classic a dilemma as Paris and Helen of Troy.

In “The Right Kind of Wrong,” a romantic comedy, or perhaps a comedy about the madness of romance, we are introduced to Leo, a total romantic and a failed-writer-turned-dishwasher made famous for his many flaws in a blog called “Why You Suck,” a huge Internet success written by his ex-wife Julie (played by Kristen Hager). Then Leo meets Colette (Sara Canning), the girl of his dreams… on the day she is marrying the perfect man. And so, the ultimate underdog story begins as Leo, a fearless dreamer, risks all to show Colette and the whole wide world all that is right with a man famous for being wrong.

Convinced Colette is his soul mate, Leo goes on the ‘unconventional tours’ that she leads in the scenic town of Mount Yalo and doggedly observes her secret daily rituals. He invites her anonymously to witness him in action – in his job as a dishwasher ‘with themes.’ In the process he discovers that Colette is an outsider, like himself, with a wicked sense of humor and a passion for speaking her mind. In Leo’s war to win Colette’s heart, he gets beat up by kids, loses his home, his job, and (temporarily) his cat. Leo’s pursuit of Colette also changes Leo himself. Because when he discovers Colette has read Julie’s book… he reads it to know what he is up against. And taking in Julie’s complaints, he is finally forced to face the ways he let Julie down. And the ways that his refusal to listen to others -- has let others in his life down too, including himself.

“Colette is a strong-willed woman,” observed Canning, “and, at first, she's really not having this crazy pursuit from Leo, bombarding her at work and doing crazy things all over town. But somehow, he manages to find his way in.” At first, Leo’s demented behavior substantiates the claims Julie makes in her blog-turned-book. “But bit by bit, Colette begins to see a lot of her own traits reflected in Leo's actions and she realizes Leo might not be too far off the mark. Colette has a great line after she reads Julie's book and the blog and she says to Leo, “You know, a lot of the things she [Julie] calls wrong don't seem wrong to me.””

“From my first chemistry test with Ryan, I really hoped that this would all work out and I'd be sitting here in this gorgeous location shooting this film,” said Canning. “I think he's perfect for Leo. We laugh all the time. We laugh in between all these really difficult scenes that we have to shake it off. And he's right there. There's no transition for him between his crazy lovely self off-camera and then what he brings to a scene. It’s great to watch him and to play with him.”

Kwanten returned the affection in his observations about Canning, when he wasn’t ducking her cross punch. “Sara brings such an exuberance to that character. I don't think the girl actually sleeps. She's sort of permanently buzzed. And she loves this character, she loves the story and I couldn't ask for sort of a better co-star.”

“In love, there are no boundaries and there are no obstacles, that is the theme of “The Right Kind of Wrong.” It’s a fantasy that is fun to subscribe to from time to time and if you do, you’ll root for Leo and feel romantically transported to where you can believe what Leo, our hero, says, which is that nothing is impossible,” concludes producer Lantos.

“The Right Kind of Wrong” opens February 6 in cinemas from Axinite Digicinema. Tune in to DWLL 94.7 for a chance to win free posters and tickets to the pre-Valentine date movie of the year.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Award-Winning Troupe Assembled in "The Monuments Men"

“The story of the Monuments Men is one that really very few people know,” says George Clooney, who returns to the director’s chair for the story of a small group of artists, art historians, architects, and museum curators who would lead the rescue of 1000 years of civilization during World War II in his new film, The Monuments Men. “Artists, art dealers, architects – these were men that were far beyond the age that they were going to be drafted into a war or volunteer. But they took on this adventure, because they had this belief that culture can be destroyed. If they’d failed, it could have meant the loss of six million pieces of art. They weren’t going to let that happen – and the truth of the matter is, they pulled it off.”

Part of the drama of the film is that all of the Monuments Men are so unsuited to serving as soldiers in wartime. “Wars are fought by 18-year-olds,” says Clooney. “Once you get to the John Goodmans and the Bob Balabans and the George Clooneys, you know – these guys are not getting drafted.” Producing and writing partner Grant Heslov adds: “They did it because it was clear that they were the only people who could do it.”

The answer was the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives group, which would go to the front lines and, for the first time, try to save the treasures that could be saved. “Culture was at risk,” says Clooney. “You see it time and time again. You saw it in Iraq – the museums weren’t protected, and you saw how much of their culture was lost because of that.”

“Even today, people are still trying to get back the art that was looted from their families by the Nazis,”Heslov says, noting that just recently, a treasure trove of looted art was discovered in a Munich apartment – 1,500 works worth $1.5 billion, paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Dix, and other artists that had been thought to be lost.

Clooney and Heslov note that while the film is based on the true story of the Monuments Men, they did take some liberties with the characters for dramatic purposes. Though many of the characters are inspired by real Monuments Men, Clooney and Heslov have invented characters for the film. More importantly, even if the characters are invented, their story is real. “We invented a few mundane scenes, just to help the story along, but the things in the movie that you’d think are so ridiculous and strange, ‘well, there’s no way that those actually happened’ – those are the things that actually happened,” says Clooney.

Meet “The Monuments Men,” for the film, Clooney and Heslov were able to attract a top tier of actors, including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. 

George Clooney heads the cast in the role of Frank Stokes, a leading art historian. The inspiration for Clooney’s character was art historian George Stout.“In real life, he was a very scrappy guy. He could do anything – like fix cars and radios.” The head of the conservation department at the Fogg, and later the director of the Worcester Art Museum and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Stout was on the front lines during the war, helping to rescue cultural treasures in Caen, Maastricht, and Aachen, as well as Nazi art repositories in Siegen, Heilbronn, Cologne, Merkers, and Altaussee.

Matt Damon takes on the role of James Granger and marks his sixth collaboration with George Clooney. The James Granger character is inspired by James Rorimer, who later became director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Granger’s relationship with Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett) was inspired by Rorimer’s interaction with Rose Valland, an employee of the Jeu de Paume gallery in Paris.

Bill Murray was excited to join The Monuments Men from the minute George Clooney first told him about the project. Murray’s role, Richard Campbell, is an architect. Murray’s character is inspired by several real Monuments Men, including architect Robert Posey. While embedded with Patton’s Third Army during the war, Posey discovered the salt mine at Altaussee, where the Nazis had stashed the Ghent Altarpiece, the Bruges Madonna, Vermeer’s The Astronomer, and thousands of other works of art. For his contributions, Posey was awarded the Legion of Honor from France and the Order of Leopold from Belgium.

John Goodman says that his character, Walter Garfield, represents the people, men and women, who were stuck on the home front but eager to help the war effort in any way they could. Goodman’s character is inspired by the real-life Monuments Man Walker Hancock, a renowned sculptor. Hancock was a native of St. Louis, as is Goodman. “Oddly enough, when my mother and I would take the bus to downtown St. Louis to go shopping, we’d pass one of his sculptures, the Soldiers’ Memorial,” Goodman says. “It just put me in touch with the character. It’s a small connection, but a happy coincidence.”

Check out the trailer below.

Goodman’s character, Walter Garfield, is paired with Jean Claude Clermont, portrayed by Oscar®-winning actor Jean Dujardin, a re-teaming of Goodman and Dujardin from “The Artist.” “Jean’s role as Claude Clermont is a French Jew who is an art dealer in Marseilles,” Dujardin explains. “He escapes and takes refuge in London with his family. He is recruited by the American army for his artistic knowledge. He’s not a soldier, but it’s really important for him to take part in the war. He’s really proud to be a member of the Monuments Men.”

“Downton Abbey’s”Hugh Bonneville plays Donald Jeffries, a flawed man seeking a second chance. “When the characters are introduced, you see them in their natural habitats, so to speak,” Bonneville explains. “Donald’s happens to be a pub. We come to learn that he has made mistakes in life, has been unreliable and George’s character gives him a second chance to re-embrace his first love, which is art.”

Bob Balaban takes on the role of Preston Savitz. “Savitz is an intellectual, an art historian and a theatrical impresario,” Balaban says. Preston Savitz is inspired by Monuments Man Lincoln Kirstein, an American impresario, art connoisseur, author, and a major cultural figure in New York who co-founded the New York City Ballet.

The final Monuments Man in the film is Sam Epstein, played by Dimitri Leonidas. Not yet 19, Epstein is the only real soldier in the group, recruited for his ability to drive and to speak German. “My character grew up in Germany – but Germany rejected him, because he’s Jewish,” Leonidas says. The inspiration for Leonidas’s character is Harry Ettlinger. “I was born in Germany under the Jewish faith,” says Ettlinger. “Hitler was on his way to get rid of all Jews in all the world. My father lost his business, and my parents realized that economic life for a Jew was no longer possible in Germany.”

Cate Blanchett rounds out the cast as Claire Simone, a Frenchwoman in a unique position in Occupied France. “Claire Simone is a curator at the Jeu de Paume – once an art museum but became a kind of depot for art looted by the Nazis,” Blanchett explains. “But her real work goes on at night, when she records the provenance of the works and where they were being taken in an obsessively detailed way. She’s the catalyst for the third act of the movie – the Monuments Men know the works are disappearing but they don’t know where they are going, and they need her information.” Blanchett’s character is inspired by Rose Valland, a French woman who bravely and secretly kept track of the Nazis’ systematic tracking, risking her life in the process.

“The Monuments Men” opens February 12 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

"Crash" Director Paul Haggis Back With "Third Person"

From Academy Award-winner Paul Haggis (“Crash,” “Million Dollar Baby”) comes the romantic thriller “Third Person” which jumps from Paris to Rome to New York as it traces the hidden connections between three very different men. The acclaimed film will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting February 19.

Written and directed by Haggis, “Third Person” had its successful world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and features an all-star cast including Academy Award®-nominee Liam Neeson, Academy Award®-winner Kim Basinger, Academy Award®-winner Adrien Brody, Academy Award®-nominee James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, and Maria Bello.

“Third Person” wends its way through three cities and three tales. The various stories, situated in Paris, Rome, and New York, are, at first glance, all separate, but Haggis effortlessly makes connections among them as the film unwinds, concentrating on three men and their romantic entanglements.

Michael (Liam Neeson) is a writer whose latest manuscript has been refused, so he flies off to Paris to rethink his life, leaving his wife (Kim Basinger) behind in the States. Sean (Adrien Brody) finds himself wandering the streets of Rome and befriends a Romanian woman in a bar, while Rick (James Franco) lives in a tony New York apartment with his son from a previous marriage and his new girlfriend. Gradually, each one of these stories unveils its secrets, testifying to the whims and complexities of life. Surfaces are deceptive in the Haggis universe, but as each story is explored we discover untold pleasures and pains. Life is never easy: it can be deceptive, inhabited by anger and jealousy, but it can also be surprisingly joyous.

Each city in Haggis's film provides a physical landscape that reflects the dilemma of the characters, and the locations are used in very different ways. The sensuality of Paris, the warmth of Rome and the edge of New York all heighten the atmosphere. “Third Person” is a film of unexpected wonders, subtle shifts of mood, and powerful emotions. Redemption can be found amidst the chaos, but so can its opposite. Haggis pulls the strings masterfully while negotiating between the two.

"The opportunity to work with the master himself - Paul Haggis - on creating an intelligent and intriguing relationship movie was an exceptional and fulfilling challenge for me. To see how this group of brilliant actors interpret the characters from the film, was an experience that far exceeded my expectations," says producer Paul Breuls.

"This is an incredibly personal story, the way 'Crash' was an incredibly personal story," Haggis shares. "I posed several questions to myself, as I was going along, and they were all about being in love with someone who is impossible."

“Third Person” is distributed in the Philippines by Axinite Digicinema.

"Maleficent" Conjures New Trailer Featuring Lana Del Rey Song

Walt Disney Pictures has just unveiled the second trailer for its fantasy adventure “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. The trailer, which features Lana Del Rey's unique, never-before-heard rendition of the fairy-tale tune "Once Upon a Dream," may be viewed below.

Del Rey's reimagining of the renowned song from Disney's classic animated film “Sleeping Beauty” will be featured in full during the end-credits of “Maleficent.”

The film explores the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty" and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king's newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.

Opening across the Philippines on May 28, 2014, “Maleficient” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The New Action Hero in "Robocop" is played by Joel Kinnaman

Man and machine unite in Columbia Pictures' “RoboCop,” a reimagining of the 1980s cult classic, starring actor-on-the-rise Joel Kinnaman (TV's “The Killing,” “The Darkest Hour”).

In the film, police officer Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) becomes the star product of OmniCorp, the world’s leading robotics defense company. In a Detroit ravaged by crime, OmniCorp sees an opening for the perfect policeman – a robot that can clean up the city, without putting police lives at risk. Trouble is, the idea of a robot pulling the trigger makes people anxious. To get it done, they compromise: after Murphy is mortally wounded, he wakes up in the hospital mostly a robot, barely a man at all – but all cop.

“OmniCorp’s idea is that they need a man inside the machine, a man who makes the decisions so the corporation won’t be held liable if something goes wrong,” says Kinnaman. “They leave his emotions intact in social situations, but when facing a threat or when a crime is committed, the computer takes over. When they realize his emotions make the system vulnerable, they completely shut them off. But when Alex comes in contact with his family, his emotions find a way back and override the computer system. He starts making his own decisions again.”

Kinnaman says he was attracted to play the role of Alex Murphy after meeting with director José Padilha. “José described his vision – his philosophical and political ideas that could fit inside the concept of RoboCop,” says Kinnaman. “You could use that concept to talk about a lot of other interesting things. He wanted to make a fun action movie that discusses philosophical dilemmas that we will face in the very near future. And I wanted to be a part of that.”

The issues aren’t just ethical or moral, but also very personal for Alex Murphy. “In the movie, people have to believe that the machine knows what it feels like to be human, so they keep Alex Murphy’s brain intact. He has all his emotions. He has all his memories. He has cognitive capabilities. However, he can’t hold his son or have sex with his wife,” says Padilha. “It’s a nightmare being Robocop. The movie is very much about the drama of this man facing the existential question – how am I going to go forward like this? Is Alex a machine or a human being?”

“We’re talking about a plausible future, but one that doesn’t exist yet,” says the actor. “Jose makes it very believable – not too outrageous or farfetched. We’re close to the world of this movie – we have bionic limbs, they’re attempting fake hearts. It’s still science fiction, but it’s a realistic leap in the future.”

Kinnaman says that, like many actors, being in costume helped him to portray the role – even if this costume was by far a greater challenge than he’d ever faced before. “The suit weighs about 45 pounds. It was constantly uncomfortable, constantly at the wrong temperature, either too hot or too cold. But that was very helpful. As awkward as I felt being in there, I realized that it paled in comparison to what Alex Murphy was feeling. I might have felt insecure and naked – because, weirdly, you don’t wear clothes in the suit – but Alex would have felt 100 times that weirdness. It completely helped my character.”

Despite the physical discomfort of the suit, Kinnaman sought to express the way that RoboCop represents the cutting edge in robotics through his character’s movements. Gone are the days of the clunky and jerky robotics. “They are getting very good at making humanoid droids move very realistically – for example, in Japan, they have nursing droids with very soft movements that give comfort to old people,” Kinnaman notes. “So the idea we had for RoboCop’s movement was that it would be superhuman: everything would work exactly as it should on a human body. He walks perfectly, extremely fluid.” Still, they couldn’t resist making a small nod to the past. “We also did want to make a small homage to the way Peter Weller moved – for example, when I was walking, I’d turn my head first and then the shoulders afterward.”

Opening across the Philippines in Feb. 05, 2014, “RoboCop” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

The Lego Movie Constructs Big, Fun, Adventure Brick by Brick

Anyone who ever designed a universe from a heap of parts on their bedroom floor will know what Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, writer/directors of Warner Bros.' new 3D animated comedy “The LEGO Movie,” mean when they say that, growing up, they always had buckets of LEGO® bricks. “We’d build spaceships and all kinds of crazy things, but it wasn’t just the building, it was the infinite possibilities of things to make and express that was so irresistible and exciting,” says Miller.

As filmmakers, their interest took a different focus. “Chris and I were inspired by the ingenuity and humor that comes out of the international LEGO community,” says Lord, referring to such outlets as LEGO Cuusoo, the LEGO Group’s fan submission site for potential new products, “ReBrick” forums where people can share their creations, and the growing number of unique short films, using LEGO bricks and minifigures, that are produced and shared online by individuals from every corner of the world.

Such is the fascination of the LEGO brand, an endlessly evolving and hugely popular construction toy that has cultivated creativity across generations and cultures since its inception. Committed to upholding that principle, Lord and Miller knew from the start that this could be no standard animation but a virtual build, a feature-length motion picture made entirely of LEGO bricks and elements.

“We both thought,” Lord continues, “‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to make a big, fun, action-packed LEGO adventure that captures the feeling of being a kid putting these pieces together, but on a truly epic scale?’ And what if it could retain that handmade quality these little films have that’s so engaging. Because part of the appeal of LEGO bricks is how accessible they are as an art form, we wanted to make a film that felt like something anyone could do in their own basement…provided they had a gigantic basement and a few million bricks!”

Actually, closer to 15 million, if you count each brick, character, set piece, and prop needed, as the filmmakers ultimately realized their vision for the film.

Indeed, “There are two different ways people play with LEGO bricks,” Miller relates. “One is to follow the instructions on the kit and put together this awesome thing, whatever it is, which you then set on your shelf and never use so it doesn’t break, and the other is to take a pile of random pieces and make something from your own imagination, then take it apart and make something else. ‘The LEGO Movie’ uses these two different approaches as the basis for its story, which is really about innovation and creativity and the importance of change.”

Producer Roy Lee calls the directors “two of the most creative people I know. They did an amazing job on ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,’ which was a fairly thin book, and they came in and reinvented some of the characters and really expanded it from what was on the page. With the LEGO concept, we had a blank canvas and they were the perfect guys to come in and invent a whole new world to explore.”

True fans and true originals, they brought equal parts reverence and irreverence to “The LEGO Movie.”

States Miller, “What we always try to do with our movies is create something that would make us laugh, and make our friends laugh. We don’t ever want to do something that talks down to kids.”

“Obviously, kids and their parents will get it,” Lord says, “but we wanted to bridge the generations and keep in mind that there’s a community of adult LEGO fans who make the most complex and incredible creations a kid might not even think of. My favorite films are the ones I can take my granny to, or my parents and my girlfriend, or my nieces and nephews, and know we will enjoy it together. That’s the most fun you can have at a movie theater—when people of all ages are laughing together.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, Feb. 6, “The LEGO Movie” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Hugh Jackman to Star in Live-Action Peter Pan Feature Film

BURBANK, CA – January 24, 2014 – Academy Award® nominee Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) has been set to star in Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming live-action Peter Pan feature for director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice”). The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Jackman will portray the villainous Blackbeard in an all-new tale about author J.M. Barrie’s beloved character Peter Pan, the boy who would never grow up.

Silverman stated, “Hugh Jackman always delivers indelible performances that resonate with audiences. We know he will create a Blackbeard who will be a powerful presence in this original Peter Pan adventure.”

Kroll added, “There is a reason that Hugh is known and loved the world over. He is uncompromising in his dedication to every role, and we are all thrilled to be working with him again.”

Best known to audiences worldwide for his portrayal of the Wolverine, Jackman most recently wrapped production on “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” reprising his role as the conflicted Super Hero for the sixth time in that popular film franchise. In addition to an Oscar® nomination, he won a Golden Globe Award and earned a BAFTA Award nomination for his gripping performance as Jean Valjean in 2012’s “Les Misérables.” This past fall, Jackman led an all-star cast in the acclaimed dramatic thriller “Prisoners.” Also an accomplished stage actor, he received a 2004 Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical “The Boy From Oz.”

Wright will direct the as-yet-untitled Peter Pan adventure from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti and Paul Webster are serving as producers.

The film is set for a worldwide release beginning July 17, 2015 (including The Philippines).

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, scary but remarkably cinematic

The story starts in June 2012 in Oxnard, California. Jesse has a party with his family and friends to celebrate his high school graduation. One morning, Jesse finds a mysterious bite on his arm which somehow gives him superhuman abilities. When he and his friend Hector are confronted by two thugs who attack them, Jesse knocks them out. When they relate the incident to their other friend Marisol, Jesse cannot remember how it happened

Anna, the strange old witch-like neighbor of Jesse, is killed, and the police suspect that Oscar, a former classmate of Jesse, is the prime suspect. Jesse and his friend decide to find out what Anna's apartment looks like. They find black magic rituals and a picture of Jesse and several VHS tapes - including tapes of Katie & Kristi (from the third film). The next day, Jesse and Hector meet Penelope. Penelope finds a trap door in the apartment leading to a basement and is grabbed by an arm before she breaks free and runs away. Jesse arrives back and chases Oscar who reveals that he did kill Anna because she bit his arm. Oscar then commits suicide by jumping from a building onto the top of a car.

Jesse is becoming even more dark and his homicidal actions are uncontrollable, during which he tortures the family dog and murders his grandmother after she tries to save him by using magic. Hector and Marisol seek help from Arturo and find that Oscar had been in contact with Ali Rey, who had researched demons after the events of the second film. She tells them about a coven using demons to create an army of possessed young men and gives them an address where a final ritual is to take place. Before they can head to the address, they are attacked by a now-possessed Jesse, whom they manage to knock out. Hector and Marisol decide to take him to the hospital but Hector's car is rammed by a mysterious truck. Hector and Marisol are knocked out and Jesse is kidnapped. After regaining consciousness, Hector and Marisol seek help from Arturo and his friend, Santo, before heading to the address where they believe Jesse has been taken. There, they find a gateway that takes them to an "unholy place", which is Grandma Lois' house at the time the third film ended. More horrifying events happen that time seems to melt and characters from past episodes come alive once more. Watch how this installment of paranormal activity unfolds and horrifyingly ends. 

The cast of Paranormal Activity: Marked Ones are Andrew Jacobs as Jesse, Richard Cabral as Arturo, Carlos Pratts as Oscar Hernandez, Gabrielle Walsh as Marisol, Jorge Diaz as Hector, Catherine Toribio as Penelope, Noemi Gonzalez as Evette, Gigi Feshold as Natalie, David Saucedo as Cesar Arista, Julian Works as Pablo, Molly Ephraim as Ali Rey , Katie Featherston as Adult Katie, Chloe Csengery as Young Katie, Jessica Tyler Brown as Young Kristi, and Micah Sloat as Micah.

Paranormal Activity: Marked Ones is directed by Christopher Landon and is distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation. Showing on January 29, 2014 at your favorite theaters.

"Pudsey The Movie" First Trailer

Pudsey, the charmer that won the world over when they won in 2012’s Britain’s Got Talent with his owner is now a bone-a-fide movie star in “Pudsey: The Movie.” Check out its first trailer reveal below.

The family movie is being produced by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment with Vertigo Films, under the direction of Nick Moore starring the voice of BGT judge David Walliams as Pudsey. The movie also stars Jessica Hynes, John Sessions and Ashleigh (Pudsey’s owner).

In the movie, Pudsey, along with his siblings Molly (voiced by Izzy Meikle-Smith), George (Spike White) and Tommy (Malachy Knights) have moved to a new village called Chuffington-on-Sea with their mother Gail (Hynes). Upon settling in the village, they soon find themselves on a new breed of adventure as they discover that an evil plan is being hatched by Mr. Thorne (Sessions) along with his cat Faustus.

“Pudsey: The Movie” will open in cinemas very soon from Axinite Digicinema.

Friday, January 24, 2014

RAK of Aegis - A musical featuring the songs of Aegis by PETA

Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) presents RAK OF AEGIS A musical featuring the songs of Aegis

A rock comedy musical using the songs of Aegis will tackle Filipino resilience, or how the country faces and resolves compromising situations, whether this be a natural disaster or a broken heart. Set in a subdivision that has been flooded for two months, “Rock of Aegis” will revolve around the love interests of the main characters, whose names are derived from those of Aegis band members as a tribute to the Filipino novelty rock group that made waves in the 90’s.

Written by Liza Magtoto
Directed by Maribel Legarda
Musical Direction & Arrangement by Myke Salomon

Date of Performances: 
January 31 to March 9, 2014

Ticket Prices: Inclusive of Service Charge 
VIP: P 1,042
Orchestra: P 833.60
Balcony: P 625.20 

Get your tickets at Ticketworld

8th Spring Festival at the Shangri-La Plaza Cineplex

Shang Cineplex, in cooperation with the Ateneo de Manila’s Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies, celebrates Chinese New Year with the 8th Spring Film Festival, a selection of eight Chinese language films running from January 24 to February 2. Admission is free. 

Check out the schedule below.

Note: Schedules are subject to change without prior notice. Seats are on a first come, first served basis. For more information, call Shang Cineplex at (63 2) 633-2227 or (63 2) 633-4735.

For more info on the films, check it out below.

The gem of this year’s selection is opening film Aftershock (Tang shan de di zhen, 2010, Feng Xiaogang). It tells a story of a family over forty years, beginning with a tragic loss suffered during the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake. The film is often painfully melodramatic, but there is an undeniable sense of grace lurking behind the camera. The scenes of destruction take a backseat to a variety of subplots that cleverly map out of the course that China has taken in the past forty years. It does feel gratuitous at times, but the end effect is still pretty winning in a blockbuster drama kind of way.

The Li Mi Conjecture
Also interesting is what the festival is calling The Li Mi Conjecture, known more widely as The Equation of Love and Death (Li MI de caixiang, 2008, Cao Baoping). Zhou Xun plays Li Mi, a taxi driver in the city of Kunming. She’s spent the past four years searching for a boyfriend that disappeared, and one night, a couple of coincidences lead her to a man that looks exactly like that vanished boyfriend. The film’s labyrinthine structure doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny, but director Cao has quite a talent for making the journey fun enough to make it not matter. And lead actress Zhou Xun is a real discovery in this film. Her performance alone makes the movie worth watching.

Snowfall in Taipei
Snowfall in Taipei (Tai bei piao xue, 2009, Huo Jianqi) charms with exquisite cinematography. Much of the romance that the film generates is drawn more from the imagery than it is from the story, which can mainly be described as “fluffy.” The film concerns a budding pop idol that suddenly leaves Taipei after a fight with her music producer boyfriend. She runs off to the small village of Tungchung, where she lies low and falls in love with a local. Leads Tang Yao and Chen Bo-lin look really good together, but the star of the picture is clearly director of photography Sun Ming, who really sells the beauty of small town life in Taiwan.

City Monkey
City Monkey (2010, Patrick Kong Lingchen) concerns a nineteen year-old boy who’s part of a local parkour team. Trouble starts when he neglects his studies, and his mother forbids him from doing any more parkour unless he passes his exams. City Monkey is ostensibly a film about parkour, but it’s really more of a family film with parkour around the fringes. There isn’t really much in the plot that covers the new sport, all of the dramatic tension drawn from the main character’s relationship with his family. The film has trouble finding direction, but it moves at a refreshingly relaxed pace, making good use out of its talented cast.

1911 Revolution
1911 Revolution (Xin hai ge ming, 2011, Li Zhang and Jackie Chan) comes at a tail end of a small trend of star-studded Chinese historical films. The films, though often gorgeously lensed and competently acted, generally don’t have much ambition beyond a straight retelling of events. And so it goes with this one, which recounts the overthrow of the Qing dynasty by Sun Yat-sen and his allies. There’s a good amount of spectacle in all this, but not a lot of drama. Often, the film will stop dead in its tracks for a long block of text explaining what’s going on. Not even Jackie Chan can make that fun.

Saving Mr. Banks - Untold Story of Mary Poppins. The Journey from Book to Screen

In 1961, Walt Disney invited “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers to his studio in Los Angeles to discuss, in person, his continued interest in obtaining the movie rights to her beloved book and character—a pitch he first made to her in the 1940s. Still hesitant and disinterested after all those years, Travers wanted to tell the Hollywood impresario to go fly a kite but with dwindling sales of her books and a bleak economic future looming, P.L. Travers said yes and embarked on a two-week sojourn in Los Angeles that would ultimately set the wheels of the beloved film in motion.

Now, Walt Disney Pictures presents “Saving Mr. Banks,” a film inspired by this extraordinary, untold back story of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen, starring two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson, fellow double Oscar® winner Tom Hanks and acclaimed actor Colin Farrell.

“Mary Poppins’” journey to the screen begins the moment Walt Disney’s daughters beg him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins.” Walt makes them a promise to do so, but it is a promise that he doesn’t realize will take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Expounding on the premise of the film, director John Lee Hancock says, “It’s really a fantastic story, but it’s not the behind-the-scenes look at the making of ‘Mary Poppins.’ You’re not on a soundstage with a young Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Our story takes you back two to three years before the actual production of the movie began.

“Walt Disney saw the promise of that movie, which made it worth dealing with P.L. Travers to secure the rights. That’s our story, a fantastic story, about a beloved movie, its own story and characters, and the origins of how it became this amazing, groundbreaking film. On a deeper level, it’s also about two storytellers and Disney’s journey trying to discover why P.L. Travers holds on so dearly and protectively to her story and the image of this father she adored,”Hancock concludes.

Colin Farrell co-stars as Travers’ doting dad, Travers Goff, along with British actress Ruth Wilson (Disney’s “The Lone Ranger”) as his wife, Margaret; Oscar® and Emmy® nominee Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under”) appears as Margaret’s sister Aunt Ellie (who inspired the title character of Travers’ novel); and a screen newcomer—11-year-old Aussie native Annie Rose Buckley—is the young, blossoming writer, nicknamed Ginty, in the flashback sequences.

The cast also includes Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner Paul Giamatti (“Sideways”) as Ralph, the kindly limousine driver who escorts Travers during her two-week stay in Hollywood; Jason Schwartzman (“Rushmore”) and B.J. Novak (“Inglourious Basterds”) as the songwriting Sherman brothers (Richard and Robert, respectively); Emmy winner Bradley Whitford (“The Cabin in the Woods”) as screenwriter Don DaGradi; and multi-Emmy winner Kathy Baker (“Edward Scissorhands”) as Tommie, one of Disney’s trusted studio confidantes.

“Saving Mr. Banks” is directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side”) from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith.

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 26, “Saving Mr. Banks” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fantastically Real in "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty"

Ben Stiller directs and stars in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY(opening January 22 in Phils.), James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. 

In 1939, when James Thurber first published “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” he brought a playful, modernist style to the story that lured readers directly into the experience of Walter Mitty’s fantasy life. In Ben Stiller’s latest adaptation, he hoped to do something similar, using modern cinema to open the story up visually in a way that couldn’t have been imagined in Thurber’s day. He knew there were several ways to approach Mitty’s fantasizing. But there was only way he felt that was right for what he wanted audiences to feel: using a deftly crafted hyper-reality that merges Mitty’s inner stream of consciousness into the fabric of what’s going on in his outer world.

Check out the movie’s latest featurette with Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig talking how the movie is about courage and going into the unknown: 

“Everybody can connect with the idea of talking to somebody while actually having this crazy, imaginary fantasy going on in your head of where you’d rather be in that moment,” he explains. “That’s what we wanted to capture.” 

Stiller thought intensively about how to achieve that. Creating Walter’s fantasies would certainly involve many moving parts, and a sense of spectacle, but Stiller used his effects judiciously, with an eye towards unbroken integration into the flow of the action. “In terms of visual effects, we wanted the overall approach to be very photo-real,” he says. “I’ve always found that the best results come from doing as much as you can practically in real-life situations and then just tickling that with the digital effects.” 

Ultimately, Stiller would put together a visual design team including Oscar-nominated director of photography Stuart Dryburgh(“The Piano”), production designer Jeff Mann (“Tropic Thunder,” “Zoolander”), editor Greg Hayden (“Tropic Thunder,” “Zoolander”), costume designer Sarah Edwards (“Salt,” “Michael Clayton”) and visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron (“Life of Pi”). 

The constant yin and yang of dreams and reality in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” made for an extremely ambitious production – one which would take on the rigors of shooting in the middle of New York City then jet off to the other-worldly environs of Iceland, where cast and crew moved from volcanoes to helicopters to the middle of the frosty ocean. 

Each location would host scenes that could not have been filmed elsewhere in the world. In New York, Stiller had the chance to shoot the epic chase between Walter and Ted in the live-wire dynamics of a typical crowded day in the city.

In Iceland, Stiller would shoot a scene that pushed him to new edges both as director and actor: when Walter jumps into the raging waves of the North Atlantic, which Stiller simulated with his own plunge into the ocean. “It was really important for me that we not do that scene in a tank,” he recalls. “I felt we had to shoot in real high seas, with a real boat there, a real helicopter and real waves,” he explains. 

“That’s when Mitty literally dives into life,” muses John Goldwyn. “It’s the big transition moment of the movie, and it looks incredibly real, because most of it is.” The scene turned out, just as it does for Walter Mitty, to bring a bit more reality than even Stiller anticipated. 

“We were about a mile out at sea with seven-foot swells -- which, when you’re in the water, are really big,” admits Stiller. “The boat with the camera in it went away to come back and do the shot, but there was this two-minute period where I was just in the North Sea with nobody around. I was in the ocean just by myself with a briefcase, floating there waiting for the camera to come back and was thinking, ‘I hope they can find me when they come back for the shot,’” he laughs. “There was a real sense of danger and it was one of those moments when I thought, ‘oh, this is what real filmmaking is all about.’” 

Step out and live your dream. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” opens January 22 in cinemas nationwide from 20thCentury Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

300: Rise Of An Empire Unleashes New Movie Trailer

Warner Bros. Pictures has just launched the third trailer of its action adventure “300: Rise of an Empire”. See below.

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel “Xerxes,” and told in the breathtaking visual style of the 2006 blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

Cate Blanchett - 2014's Best Actress Front Runner in the Movie "The Monuments Men"

Cate Blanchett, this year’s Best Actress winner at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics’ Choice Movie Awards (for her role in “Blue Jasmine”) and nominated at the 86th Academy Awards (Oscars) stars in a sweeping true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history where she is the only woman among “The Monuments Men.”

Based on the real history chronicled in the non-fiction book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History” by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter, “The Monuments Men” is an action drama focusing on seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians who went to the front lines of WWII to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. The Monuments Men found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.

The film is directed, co-written, co-produced and starred in by George Clooney with a phenomenal ensemble cast including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett.

Cate Blanchett rounds out the cast as Claire Simone, a Frenchwoman in a unique position in Occupied France. “This story opens up the Second World War in a way that gives you a different perspective on it,” says Cate Blanchett, who plays a key role as Claire Simone, a woman who holds the key to the secret location of thousands of priceless pieces of stolen art.

“These men were spurred on by a higher ideal. So many of the works that we take for granted in the great museums of the world were returned by this band of men – it was a near impossible task. Absurd, in a way: non military men going to the front lines and asking generals to stop bombing a certain church or area to save a window, or a sculpture or mural – you wonder how they were able to save anything at all. It’s an extraordinary, selfless thing that they did, done to preserve history.”

“Claire Simone is a curator at the Jeu de Paume – once an art museum but became a kind of depot for art looted by the Nazis,” Blanchett explains. “But her real work goes on at night, when she records the provenance of the works and where they were being taken in an obsessively detailed way. She’s the catalyst for the third act of the movie – the Monuments Men know the works are disappearing but they don’t know where they are going, and they need her information.”

Blanchett says that there was truly something different about the ways the Nazis went about looting art. “In every war, there’s looting. What was shocking to me was the mathematical, calculated and systematic way the Nazis went about their looting, and the fact that their acquisition of works began as early as 1938.”

The other element that made the Nazi looting different was the so-called Nero Decree. “When Hitler realized he was going to lose the war, he ordered that everything the Nazis had amassed was going to be destroyed. He was going to leave nothing in the hands of the victors,” Blanchett explains. “In relation to the art, what the Nero Decree meant was that everything that they had stolen was to be destroyed.”

“Matt’s character, Granger, must win her trust,” Blanchett continues. “There was an understandable fear on the part of the French that, if the works were recovered by the Allies from the Nazis, they’d simply go to collections or collectors in Russia and the United States. From that standpoint, did it really matter whether it was stolen by the Germans, the Russians or the Americans?”

Ultimately, Granger and Simone forge an unusual bond, Blanchett says. “I think the love story that exists between them is a mutual love of art, of culture.” Blanchett says. “They are both gripped – passionately gripped – by the importance of saving this work for all time. They believe that no single person can ever truly own a masterpiece. It’s for everyone. So, I think they’re united in the nobility of the cause.”

Blanchett’s character is inspired by Rose Valland, a French woman who bravely and secretly kept track of the Nazis’ systematic tracking, risking her life in the process. “Rose Valland was, at first, a volunteer and then overseer at the Jeu de Paume, which adjoins the Louvre. During the war, it was a depot for looted Jewish art collections and other objects. Hermann Göring basically used the Jeu de Paume as a shopping mall – the Nazis set it up like an exhibition space for the pilfered art,” Blanchett explains. “Her work singlehandedly saved crate-loads, castle-loads full of works of art that otherwise could have easily been destroyed. The fact that she was working alone was an act of extraordinary bravery. I think she was able to achieve what she did because she didn’t stand out – she was the woman least likely.”

“The Monuments Men” opens February 12 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Crime Has A New Enemy In "Robocop"

It is the year 2028, when the city of Detroit is being patrolled by the most unique and relentless crime fighter in the world: the half man/half robot Alex Murphy, also known as RoboCop. Condemned to a certain death after being the victim of a terrible explosion, our hero was given a second chance by the powerful corporation OmniCorp, specialized in designing and constructing robots, that offers him the possibility to inhabit a new and powerful mechanical body that enables him, not only to continue living, but to be stronger and faster than he ever could have imagined.

When Murphy’s wife Clara reluctantly signs off under strenuous pressure the authorization for her fading husband to be a part of the newly devised RoboCop program, as what is explained to her as the only way of keeping him alive, little does she know that they are puppets in the middle of a gigantic political and corporate battle.

That is the story of Columbia Pictures' “RoboCop,” based on the classic cult movie directed by Paul Verhoeven in 1987, which will hit theatres all over the world as an action-packed adventure constructed around themes that seem more relevant today than ever before.

Being a physicist before getting involved in filmmaking, the Brazilian director Jose Padilha was fascinated by the themes of the story: “Humanity has evolved a lot, which we can see through the increase of our average life-span. There is undeniable progress. I love science because it has changed things mostly in a very positive way; but, as a famous physicist once said, ‘Science is a key that can open two doors: the door to heaven and the door to hell.’ So, you should be weary of what you do with it and keep your eyes open. And the reason to make a movie like RoboCop is precisely to discuss things like what does it entail to have robots pulling triggers. Because if they kill a kid by mistake, who is to blame? Once you get autonomous machines making life and death decisions accountability becomes fuzzy, and that is something we need to discuss because it is an area where science can go astray.”

The first step was to construct an exciting script around that concept and find the right actor to play Alex Murphy/RoboCop, a role that would end up in the hands of Joel Kinnaman. “There is a big difference between the vision of a robot in 1987 to our future vision of a robot now, because today we already have robots and people with bionic hands and legs that work perfectly well,” explains the Swedish born actor. “So, our vision of a robot in 15 years is going to be something that is pretty advanced!”

“I am pretty sure we will have international debates in the UN trying to decide what is correct or incorrect about the use of autonomous robots in war,” foresees Padilha, “and the same thing will be discussed in every country in regards to their law enforcement laws and the constraints and of what robots can or cannot do. It’s going to happen! And our movie is grounded this way, as its premise is that you cannot use robots for law enforcement in America. Only a conscious human being can be allowed to pull the trigger, because only a human being understands what it is to be human and the true value of human life. So, contrary to the original movie, my RoboCop doesn’t die and become a soulless robot. His brain is intact! This way the emotions and cognitive capacity of Alex Murphy are in there the day he wakes up and finds out he is a robot.”

Opening across the Philippines in Feb. 05, 2014, “RoboCop” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Winter's Tale Unveils Main Poster and Banners

Warner Bros. Pictures has just unveiled the main poster art and three character banners for its upcoming romantic fantasy “Winter’s Tale.” The film is written and directed by Oscar®-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and based on the novel by Mark Helprin.

Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, “Winter’s Tale” is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil.

The film stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay (TV’s “Downton Abbey”), and Oscar® winners Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint and Russell Crowe. It also introduces young newcomers Ripley Sobo and Mckayla Twiggs (both from Broadway’s “Once”).

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 13, 2014, “Winter's Tale” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Monday, January 20, 2014

[Horror] Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.


The story begins in June 2012 in Oxnard, California. Recent high school graduate Jesse has a party which includes his family and friends to celebrate his graduation. One morning, Jesse finds a mysterious bite on his arm. Later, he and his friend Hector are confronted by two thugs who attack them, but the thugs are somehow knocked out by Jesse. When they show the incident to their other friend Marisol, Jesse cannot remember how it happened. After some strange activity, he realizes that he has superhuman abilities before he tests and plays with them.

Anna, the strange old witch-like neighbor of Jesse, is killed, and the police suspect that Oscar, a former classmate of Jesse, is the prime suspect. Jesse and his friend decide to find out what Anna's apartment looks like. They find black magic rituals and a picture of Jesse. They also discover several VHS tapes - including tapes of Katie & Kristi (from the third film). The next day, Jesse and Hector meet Penelope. Penelope finds a trap door in the apartment leading to a basement and is grabbed by an arm before she breaks free and runs away, while Oscar emerges from it and hides himself in the bedroom. Jesse arrives back and chases Oscar upon seeing him, who reveals that he did kill Anna because his arm had been bitten by her. Oscar then commits suicide by jumping from a building onto the top of a car.

Jesse is becoming even more dark and his homicidal actions become uncontrollable. More horrifying events take place one after another as Jesse is slowly being possessed by something or someone, that time seems to melt and characters from past episodes come alive once more. Watch how this installment of paranormal activity unfolds and horrifyingly ends. 

The cast of Paranormal Activity: Marked Ones include Andrew Jacobs as Jesse, Richard Cabral as Arturo, Carlos Pratts as Oscar Hernandez, Gabrielle Walsh as Marisol, Jorge Diaz as Hector, Catherine Toribio as Penelope, Noemi Gonzalez as Evette, Gigi Feshold as Natalie, David Saucedo as Cesar Arista, Julian Works as Pablo, Molly Ephraim as Ali Rey , Katie Featherston as Adult Katie, Chloe Csengery as Young Katie, Jessica Tyler Brown as Young Kristi, and Micah Sloat as Micah.

Paranormal Activity: Marked Ones is directed by Christopher Landon and is distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation. Showing on January 29, 2014 at your favorite theaters.