Thursday, March 5, 2015

EVERYTHING'S BIGGER, BETTER, SILLIER IN NEW “SPONGEBOB MOVIE”


In Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies' new comedy adventure “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” fans will see fully realized, three dimensional versions of their favorite characters for the first time.

"The show has always had an element of animation and live action; animated characters in Bikini Bottom and a few live action segments in our world," says executive producer and series-creator by Stephen Hillenburg. "But we've never done anything on this level."

"From the beginning, we knew we needed to do something big," says director Paul Tibbitt of the initial planning stages of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." After years of working within the constraints of a television, the film allowed the creative team to explore new creative possibilities for the series' classic characters. "We're used to having these huge ideas for stories which we'd inevitably have to scale back in some way," explains Tibbitt. "But for the film, we realized we could bring the studio (Paramount) a crazy new idea, and they'd give us the latitude to make it happen. Nothing was off the table."


"Everything is a little bigger and better this time around," says Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob. "But it isn't a reboot; it's not ‘SpongeBob Begins.’ We aren't going to tone down the silliness and get back to SpongeBob's gritty, butt-kicking roots. If anything, we've only gotten sillier."

"We've only briefly seen our characters out of the water in the show and first movie, but they were always in 2-D," says Tibbitt. "We wanted them to not only leave the water, but this time, actually have some weight and depth. Animation has come a long way since the first film in 2006, and it was exciting to use these new tools to make our characters come to life in our world in a believable way."

Bill Fagerbakke, the voice of Patrick, comments, "In the past, our characters have been stick figures outside of the water, but this time around, the visual presentation is completely new. Everything is different. It's like they're going to Oz."

Australian Visual Effects house Iloura (who had previously created Mark Wahlberg's stuffed bear companion in "Ted") was responsible for bringing the familiar characters to life in the film's "real world" sequences. "We've been blown away by some of the shots in this film," Tibbitt explains. "Iloura is so good at integrating all the elements and making these characters seem like they're all in the same world."

"It's a radically different visual experience than the fans have ever seen before," says executive producer Cale Boyter. "But there was a lot of care put into making the 3-D versions of characters stay true to their 2-D roots."


Life in Bikini Bottom couldn’t be better for eternal optimist SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) and his friends: loyal starfish Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), the sardonic Squidward (Rodger Bumpass), scientist squirrel Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence) and crustacean capitalist, Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown). When the top secret recipe for Krabby Patties is stolen, eternal adversaries SpongeBob and Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) must join forces on a trip through time and space to harness their internal superpowers and battle fiendish pirate Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) with his own plans for the delicious delicacies.

Opening across the Philippines on Black Saturday, April 04, “SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

“DOWNTON ABBEY'S” LILY JAMES IS NEW “CINDERELLA”


Lily James, best known to audiences as the defiant Lady Rose on “Downton Abbey,” stars as the loving and kindhearted Ella, the young woman whose spirit can’t be broken, in Walt Disney Pictures' new live-action “Cinderella.”

The filmmakers needed to find the perfect actress to embody Ella, someone who radiated goodness and innocence, and who could make audiences see past her good looks and focus on the story beneath her exterior, instead.

Says director Kenneth Branagh, “It was extremely difficult to find someone who could be witty and smart, sharp but not cruel, has a twinkle in her eye and who has an inner beauty as well as a physical beauty, but Lily James’ Cinderella encapsulates all of those qualities. You have to root for Cinderella, you have to like her, you have to be on her side, and so an innate likeability was important.”

He continues, “Lily brought all that the first time she came in to read for the part. She’s a very beautiful girl, and her warmth also allows it to be a very approachable beauty, and somehow we feel that she could be our friend as dazzling as she is.”

Adds producer Allison Shearmur, “Lily James is Cinderella. She is kind. She’s interested in the quietest person in the room, she has great interest in all people from all walks of life. She’s got a great big heart. She’s a good person, and she’s spectacularly beautiful, but she’s not a cartoon.”

Producer David Barron agrees, and says, “On the surface Lily has this wonderful wide-eyed innocence and a joy in just being alive and discovering the world around her, but she’s incredibly smart and has a directness and an emotional intelligence that allowed us to embrace this very multi-layered Cinderella.”

For Lily James, the opportunity to play one of the world’s most celebrated and best-loved characters was a dream come true. She explains, “I liked the fact that Ken wanted to keep it light and magical, much like a fairy tale. And in addition to the fact that Cinderella is so special and kind and unique, we also had a great opportunity to create a whole life beyond the fairy tale, making it richer and giving each character their own specific back-stories.”

She continues, “The heart of the story is Ella’s strength and how, even under the cruelest of circumstances, she manages to maintain goodness, purity and positivity.”

To prepare for the film, James tried to live healthily, implementing a daily yoga routine to get the kind of posture and grace and elegance that Ella would have had. She also took horseback riding lessons for six weeks, and did a great deal of research on spirituality, reading up on great leaders and pacifists like Gandhi.

“I wanted to make Ella seem as real as possible, but didn’t want her to appear as if she had no faults because I was afraid the audience wouldn’t relate to her if she was too perfect,” James says.

A live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually-dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.


The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her.

And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

“Cinderella” will be released in the Philippines in IMAX and 2D cinemas on Thursday, March 12, through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.

ULTRON LAYS OUT MURDEROUS PATH TO PEACE IN NEW “AVENGERS” TRAILER


Ultron thinks he's found the problem with humanity...but unfortunately for us, that problem is our very existence!

Earth's Mightiest Heroes assemble once more in Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" in April 22 in the Philippines, and they've got the biggest trailer yet below.

Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.


Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.


Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963.

Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in April 22, 2015.