Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cine Lokal Offers A Plus Size Treat This 2018!

Press release

Cine Lokal opens this year with laughter and love with Ang Taba Ko Kasi, a 2016 entry to CineFilipino Film Festival starting January 12 in select SM cinemas.
Photo credit: Cine Lokal

From director Jason Paul Laxamana  who also directed 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, a featured film of FDCP’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017, Ang Taba Ko Kasi features curvy and beautiful Pambansang Bestfriend, Ms. Cai Cortez in her first ever leading role, supported by Ryan Yllana and Laluna Sangre’s Mark Neumann.

The story is about a fat girl who is torn between her hot swimming instructor, who motivates her to lose weight, and an equally fat friend, who wants her to accept her appearance.

Catch Ang Taba Ko Kasi at these following dates and SM Cinema: 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 6:00pm and 8:30pm SM Mall of Asia, Megamall, North Edsa, Fairview, Southmall, Bacoor, Sta. Mesa and Bacoor.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Press release



Three critically acclaimed films that will soon be shown in the Philippines are expected to reap honors in the 75th Golden Globe Awards on Monday morning, January 8.

They are Steven Spielberg's The Post, Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name and Joe Wright's Darkest Hour – all distributed locally by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, The Post tells of a cover-up spanning the terms of four U.S. Presidents that pushed America's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.

The timely thriller is nominated for six awards, namely Best Picture Drama, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.

The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project.

Meanwhile, Call Me By Your Name, the gay romantic drama set in Northern Italy in 1983, is the story of seventeen year-old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) who begins a relationship with visiting Oliver (Armie Hammer), his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.

Hailed for its “ravishing filmmaking and piercing wisdom,” Call Me By Your Name is vying for Best Picture Drama, Best Actor (Chalamet) and Best Supporting Actor (Hammer).

Finally, Darkest Hour gets a Best Actor nomination for its lead Gary Oldman as real-life British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.

Call Me By Your Name opens in Philippine cinemas on January 31, followed by Darkest Hour on February 14 and The Post on February 21.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ang Larawan gets a unanimous “A” from the Cinema Evaluation Board

Press release

“Ang Larawan,” the lone musical entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, has gotten a grade of “A” from the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).
 L-R: Aicelle Santos, Rachel Alejandro, Paulo Avelino 
and Cris Villonco. Second row (seated), L-R: executive producer
 Girlie Rodis, executive producer Celeste Legaspi, and 
Nanette Inventor, Dulce, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo,
 Cara Manglapus. Third row (standing): producer
 Alemberg Ang, composer Ryan Cayabyab, 
 Bernardo Bernardo, director Loy Arcenas and Rayver Cruz.
The musical written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio and composed by Ryan Cayabyab is the only film this year wherein all CEB eleven members who previewed gave the highest grade. The CEB summation stated, “It is seldom and rare that the members of the Board give a unanimous A to a film.“

Based on the play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, “Ang Larawan” tells of how financially troubled Marasigan sisters Candida and Paula hold on to their father’s masterpiece in spite of great interest and attractive offers from potential buyers.

West End star Joanna Ampil plays Candida while multi-awarded pop singer/host and entrepreneur Rachel Alejandro portrays Paula. Urian Best Actor Paulo Avelino takes the role of Tony Javier, the boarder who is persuading the sisters to sell the painting to an American buyer.

The rest of the cast features a stellar ensemble composed of OPM stalwarts Celeste Legaspi, Dulce, and Nanette Inventor; stage and film luminaries Robert Arevalo, Nonie Buencamino, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Noel Trinidad, Jaime Fabregas, Leo Rialp and Bernardo Bernardo; and young stars Aicelle Santos, Cris Villonco, Cara Manglapus, Jojit Lorenzo and Rayver Cruz. OPM icons Ogie Alcasid and Zsa Zsa Padilla have very special roles.

Culturtain Musicat Productions is the production outfit behind this film directed by Loy Arcenas.

The CEB praised the various aspects of production with one member citing that the movie is “enthralling, captivating and beautifully helmed!” The board described the performances by the leads and supports as “excellent.” Another member reiterated that, “’Larawan’ is a brilliant, fabulous production with great acting and excellent technical elements.”

As soon as CEB grade was released, the filmmakers took to social media to express their gratitude and joy. “Wow! What a blessing!” said Rachel Alejandro; while Celeste Legaspi declared, “Very proud!”  Joanna, who is touring as part of the international production of “Cats,” wrote on Facebook, “All the hard work is paying off.”

“Ang Larawan” is Joanna’s first starring role in a film and she began preparing for it way back in 2014.

The CEB recognition is the latest of a string of accolades that “Ang Larawan” has been receiving ever since its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival last October. Variety’s Richard Kuipers said, “This musical adaptation of a beloved Filipino play is a class act.” Local press and writers who have watched the film at an advanced preview are predicting “Ang Larawan” will be embraced by music-loving moviegoers and will be a strong contender for MMFF awards.

The film has also gotten endorsements from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Senator Bam Aquino, Congresswoman Pia Cayetano, and Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas.

Noting that “Ang Larawan” is a period movie, not a formula film, and that the musical genre remains untested, the CEB commended Culturtain Musicat Productions for taking a risk. “So, kudos, congrats, and thanks to the brave, intrepid band of producers and their fearless funders for this film. May their tribe increase and may this movie reach as wide an audience as possible.” Furthermore, the CEB made a clear call to the moviegoers “to see this film and spread the good word: go out and see Filipino films!”

For updates and information, check out anglarawan.com and facebook.com/AngLarawanTheMovie/

Monday, December 11, 2017




MANILA, Dec. 11, 2017 – Opening three days earlier than in the US, Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins its roll-out in Philippine cinemas on Wednesday, Dec. 13 with screenings starting at 5 in the afternoon.
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets in now at their favorite theaters to avoid missing out to be one of the first in the world to watch the eagerly anticipated sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Last Jedi recently held its Tokyo and Los Angeles premieres to incredible audience response.

Meanwhile, Lucasfilm has released two featurettes to let fans in on the secrets behind the production.

The featurette “The World of The Last Jedi” explores the real-world locations behind the new planets in the story, and may be viewed athttp://youtu.be/zIauywtvcjI.

The second featurette, “Training Montage” shows how the cast prepared for their very physical roles. Watch at http://youtu.be/-py2awmME8s.

In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers.
In Philippine cinemas Dec. 13, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is distributed by the Walt Disney Company (Philippines).

Friday, December 8, 2017

Bossing Is Back with multi-generation cast in Meant To Beh

After one year of absence in last year’s MMFF, the Bossing Vic Sotto is back in the MMFF bandwagon. Not as Enteng Kabisote but with something different. “The Metro Manila Film Fest is meant for the family”, says Sotto; “it is the only time of the year were we are with our families.” “So, I am making something different by doing something family oriented.”
L-R: Chris Martinez, JC Santos, Dawn Zulueta and Vic Sotto
Joining Bossing is the multi-generation of casts like JC Santos, Sue Ramirez, Daniel Matsunaga, Andrea Torres, Gabbi Garcia, Ruru Madrid and making his movie debut is the cute TV sensation Baste. Reuniting with Vic Sotto after 20 years is Dawn Zulueta. Bossing and Dawn last worked together in an OK Ka Fairy Ko movie.

Besides Dawn and Bossing, the only supporting cast present was JC Santos, whom I saw transcend from his career in theater to mainstream entertainment. For Vic Sotto, it was also a humbling experience. Knowing that the younger cast members are also professional and he also learned from them. Dawn also said that it was also their task to make themselves an example to cast members so there won’t be barriers between them in any way. JC felt honored when he said, “So this is what is like to work with Bossing.” Vic Sotto adds, “Baste is such a revelation that he will be big someday. Not just literally but also figuratively, he jokes.” He is also professional at his young age.

“Meant To Beh” is directed by Chris Martinez for OctoArts Films. It will run for the whole duration of the MMFF from Dec. 25, 2017 to January 7, 2018. For more movie blogcon coverage, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Press release


Mel Gibson plays Kurt, the alpha male father of Mark Wahlberg's character, in Paramount Pictures’ comedy sequel, Daddy’s Home 2 (in Philippine cinemas November 29.)
Photo credit: UIP

(Watch the TV spot `Grand-Dads Are Coming at http://youtu.be/j4dMnAPZu70.)

In 2015’s Daddy’s Home, audiences saw sensitive stepdad Brad (Will Ferrell) go to war with badass biological dad Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) for the affections of Dylan, Megan and their mother Sara (Linda Cardellini). Since then, Brad and Dusty have put aside their differences and settled into a working relationship as “co-dads,” but their lives are thrown into chaos with the holiday arrival of their own fathers: over nurturing Don (John Lithgow) and tough-as-nails Kurt (Mel Gibson).

Gibson describes his character: “Kurt’s an astronaut, a hard living, womanizing kind of dude still up to his old tricks even though he’s not a youngster anymore. There’s some fun to be had with the arrested development of this character. He loves his son, but he wasn’t and isn’t the ideal father, and that’s created a pretty dysfunctional relationship.”

Director Sean Anders admits to being flustered having Gibson on set. “Mel’s an extremely talented director and actor, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I felt a little like a dad being intimidated by a step-dad and just wondering what dynamic he’d bring, but as soon as he got here, he couldn’t have been a more funny, warm, affable guy.”

Mel Gibson was perfect for the role of Dusty’s father,” says producer Chris Henchy. “Mel brings a swagger, a bravado, and just an intensity that pairs well with Mark Wahlberg’s. When you see Kurt, you understand Dusty. They’re father and son, and there’s a lot of testosterone and competition. A lot of the conflict and the comedy comes from Kurt reacting to what a helicopter parent Dusty has become,” Henchy says.

On the other end of the parenting spectrum, John Lithgow plays Don, the friendly, affectionate, polar opposite of Kurt’s aloof, lone wolf.

Don has a big heart, and is the kind of guy who will deliberately change planes on a trip so he’ll meet as many new people as possible,” says Lithgow of his character. “He loves to talk, telling these conventionally dull stories that only he and Brad find exciting, jumping from subject to subject and clearing any room he walks into.”

Even though we play complete opposites, all four of us get along great, playing off of each other and knowing exactly who our characters are and how they relate to the others,” says Lithgow. “Dusty begins feeling envious of Brad’s closeness with Don, but our seemingly perfect relationship falls apart halfway through. The bond between father and son is incredibly complicated, which makes for a great story and gives me a lot to play with as an actor.”

It wasn’t until we got everyone in the room standing next to each other that we realized the magic of seeing Mark with Mel and Will with John,” Anders recalls. “Apart from being great actors and each of them bringing so much to the table, they really look like their dads. They even walk a little bit like them. There’s just something about them that works so perfectly.”

In Philippine cinemas November 29, Daddy's Home 2 is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Press release



MANILA, October 30, 2017 – Like a champion gladiator, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok (see my non-spoiler review here) conquered the Philippine box-office for the Oct. 25 – 29 period, raking in a thunderous P201.56-M for the No.1 spot and bragging rights as the Biggest October Opening Weekend Ever in PH history.
Photo credit: Marvel Studios
The latest Thor action-adventure also claimed the 4th Biggest Opening Weekend for 2017 (following Beauty and The Beast, Wonder Woman and Spiderman Homecoming), as well as the Biggest Opening Weekend for a solo Thor title.

In comparison with recent Marvel Studios blockbusters, Ragnarok’s weekend rollout is 35% higher than that of Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 2, 43% more successful than Doctor Strange, and outplayed Captain America: The Winter Soldier by 30%.

The three highest ranking cinemas in terms of sales are SM Mall of Asia (P7.92-M), SM Megamall (P7.38-M) and SM North EDSA (P7.06-M).

In fourth to tenth notches are Trinoma (P5.48-M), Glorietta 4 (P4.37-M), Greenbelt 3 (P4.04-M), Power Plant (P3.35-M), Greenhills Promenade (P3.15-M), Alabang Town Center (P3.07-M) and Uptown Place (P3.056-M).

Completing the Top 20 are Venice Cineplex (P3.052-M), SM Cebu (P2.94-M), Robinsons Magnolia (P2.92-M), Ayala Malls Cebu (P2.84-M), Shang Cineplex (P2.74-M), SM Aura (P2.63-M), Bonifacio High Street (P2.62-M), U.P. Town Center (P2.586-M), Eastwood (P2.582-M) and SM Southmall (P2.42-M).

Internationally, Thor: Ragnarok has topped the box office with $107.6 million in 52% of overseas markets, a week ahead of its U.S. release on Nov. 3.

Directed by Taika Waititi from a script by Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom and Eric Pearson, Thor: Ragnarok picks up after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In the film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins. 

Now showing across the Philippines, Thor: Ragnarok is distributed by the Walt Disney Company.