Monday, August 7, 2017

JAMES WAN EXPANDS “THE CONJURING” UNIVERSE WITH “ANNABELLE: CREATION”

Press release

Regarded as one of the most creative filmmakers working today, James Wan expands “The Conjuring” Universe with the second chapter in the Annabelle series – New Line Cinema's “Annabelle: Creation” (in Philippine theaters August 23, 2017).

(Watch the newly released “Toy Gun” Clip from “Annabelle: Creation” below.)



Produced by Wan and directed by David F. Sandberg (“Lights Out”), “Annabelle: Creation” is the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful “Annabelle.” In the new film, several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll maker and his wife welcome a nun and six girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. They soon become the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
James Wan

When I was directing the first ‘Conjuring’ and we were designing the Warrens’ haunted artifact room, I remember between myself, the studio and the producers, we all kind of looked at each other and said, ‘You know, it would be incredible if we could tell the stories of each of these objects,’” Wan recalls, referring to the collection the couple had confiscated over their years of paranormal investigation.

Even then, we felt that giving Annabelle that prologue opening was cool, but we sensed she had a lot more stories to tell,” Wan continues. “Every time that doll appeared on screen for just those few minutes, people shifted in their seats. Audiences react to her.”

Wan was thrilled with the manner in which Sandberg embraced and enhanced the horror-verse he began. “David has given this film a very classic period look that takes it outside of the traditional horror films we’re familiar with in contemporary cinema,” Wan says, “and I think that’s been the key to keeping this universe feeling fresh and unique. Each of these standalone movies has a very different flavor, yet they’re all connected.”
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Producer Peter Safran agrees. “What James has built and David has continued with ‘Annabelle: Creation’ are films that tap into the fears we hold in our very makeup, our DNA. We’re all drawn to the idea of this doll, this inanimate object that can somehow wreak such devastation.”

These films are a great example of why we love to go to the movies,” Sandberg concludes. “It’s a safe, shared environment where we can experience such a great range of emotions, from fear to excitement and more. And in this case, we get to find out how another piece of this ‘Conjuring’ and ‘Annabelle’ world is tied together…and maybe even get a hint at what’s to come.”

James Wan is currently in production directing “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson. The DC Super Hero film is scheduled to be released December 21, 2018.

Wan’s production company, Atomic Monster, launched its slate with the highly successful “Annabelle,” released on October 3, 2015. The film was produced by Wan and Peter Safran and grossed over $252 million worldwide. The second release for Atomic Monster was “Lights Out,” directed by David F. Sandberg and produced by Wan (along with Lawrence Grey and Eric Heisserer). The film was released by in July 2016 and earned over $148 million. Next up for Atomic Monster is the latest title in “The Conjuring” universe, “The Nun.” Currently in production, the film is being directed by Corin Hardy and produced by Wan and Safran, and is set for release on July 13, 2018.

Annabelle: Creation” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

ANSEL ELGORT IN “BABY DRIVER”

Press release

ANSEL ELGORT, AWKWARD HOTSHOT BEHIND THE WHEEL IN “BABY DRIVER”

Ansel Elgort has quickly amassed an impressive body of work in a very short amount of time as both an accomplished actor (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent series) and musician. Now, he breaks from the pack as he plays the title role of Columbia Pictures’ U.S. No.1 box-office hit heist thriller Baby Driver (in Philippine cinemas August 02).
Photo credits: Columbia Pictures

Cool but a little naive. Young but with an old soul. goofy at times, but all business when it counts. Thrillingly good at his given task, but not always aware of the consequences of what he does. That’s Baby, a character writer-director Edgar Wright created as a way for moviegoers to live vicariously through a criminal, but also experience the very real fallout of that world.

The Baby we meet at the beginning of the movie – hidden behind sunglasses, dialed in to his iPod playlist, then a hellion at the wheel – is like the greatest gang apprentice ever. “This kid’s a hotshot, but he’s also on the fringes of the gang,” says Wright. “He literally sits as far away from them as he can, because he really doesn’t want to be part of the group. He thinks, wrongly, that he can be a getaway driver but not be a criminal Like, ‘I’m just the courier. I don’t have anything to do with the bad stuff.’ The action scenes are kind of like Baby’s day job, and I think a lot of people that work in a job sometimes shield themselves in a different persona. Then when they’re home, they’re a different person.”

When Wright was dreaming up the role, he envisioned a riff on the strong silent type personified by Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen, but with the tension that it might all be a front. “You meet him, and he’s a badass in his profession, and then immediately afterwards you start to meet the real kid. It’s an interesting dichotomy, that he’s really good at a job that he should not be doing.”

Though he initially imagined Baby as short – “because I’m short,” he adds, laughing – he says meeting Ansel Elgort made him realize nobody else could play the title role.

The thing that really charmed me about him was the fact that he’s very musical, and he can play lots of instruments,” says Wright. “One of my favorite scenes with Ansel, he has his headphones in and he’s listening to Dave Brubeck, and starts playing piano on the table. There was something so beguiling and hypnotic about watching a 21-year-old actor play along to some jazz from the ‘50s. Ansel is fascinating in that regard.”

Elgort explains that it was his and Edgar’s mutual love for music that connected them upon their first meeting in LA. “Edgar and I met in Los Angeles and we had lunch, and all we talked about was music,” says the actor. “At the time I didn't even know what this film was about, but we both shared a love for music.”

Says Wright, “Ansel is actually obsessed with music, which the lead character in the movie is. His life is completely governed by music and living to the rhythm of the music he's listening to, and Ansel has a dance background. And also he's a great actor and a nice guy.”

Elgort was excited to take on the role of Baby, explaining, “I loved how eclectic the role was. He’s the getaway driver so I had to learn to drive, he has a deaf foster dad who he signs with, so I had to learn to sign, and his life moves through music so there’s the dance and choreography challenges too.”

In the film, a talented, young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

Baby Driver is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

“BABY DRIVER” SETS WHOLE-DAY SNEAK PREVIEWS JULY 24 & 25

Press release

MANILA, July 22, 2017 – Columbia Pictures’ heist thriller Baby Driver, one of the year’s best-reviewed films, with a 95% Fresh Rating at Rotten Tomatoes, will have whole-day sneak previews on Monday and Tuesday, July 24 & 25 nationwide.  Tickets will be available at regular admission prices.


Moviegoers are advised to check with their favorite cinemas (please see photo graphics) for screening hours. 


In the film, a talented, young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.


Full of reversals, rewinds, fast forwards and heart-stopping skips, Baby Driver is a game-changing, lane-changing, hard-charging blast only director Edgar Wright could have dreamed up.

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

Opening in Philippine cinemas in August 2, 2017, Baby Driver is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Friday, July 21, 2017

TOM HARDY IN “DUNKIRK” (NOW SHOWING)

Press release

TOM HARDY DISPLAYS TRUE GRIT AS HEROIC PILOT IN DUNKIRK
Nominated for an Oscar for his performance in the epic frontier drama The Revenant, Tom Hardy re-teams with frequent collaborator Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in the action thriller Dunkirk (read my review here).
Movie scene photo credit: Warner Bros.

Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

The story unfolds on land, sea and air. RAF Spitfires engage the enemy in the skies above the Channel, trying to protect the defenseless men below. Meanwhile, hundreds of small boats manned by both military and civilians are mounting a desperate rescue effort, risking their lives in a race against time to save even a fraction of their army.

Tom Hardy, who plays Farrier, the more senior RAF pilot, had perhaps the most personal connection to the project. “My granddad was at Dunkirk,” he reveals. “He told me about it.”

Producer Emma Thomas says there were other reasons Hardy was perfect for the role. “He’s in a small cockpit of a plane, so his movements are very restricted, but Tom has a very big presence and can use his physicality in very interesting ways. And once again, we have much of his face covered, but the reason you can do that with Tom is because he is such an expressive actor you don’t need to see all of his face. There are moments in the film where all that’s visible are his eyes, and yet he can communicate and tell a story just with that.”

Hardy says he was eager to reunite with Nolan, stating, “Chris is the best at what he does. He pushes and inspires me as an actor. I’d jump on any role just to be in the company.”

Dunkirk features a multigenerational ensemble cast, including Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy.

Dunkirk is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

BABY DRIVER movie review

Baby Driver is the story about getaway car driver named Baby (played by Ansel Elgort) who wants to get out of robbing banks. But he has to pay for the money he owes Doc (Kevin Spacey). You can categorize it as an action/dark comedy movie.
 
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures
As for the cast, their respective character suits them all. Ansel Elgort combines his charms with the wit and theatrics similar to Charlie Chaplin. Kevin Spacey still appears authoritative and a fearsome character. Jamie Foxx, John Hamm, and Eiza Gonzales combines the mixed between comical and violent characters of bank robbers that you never seen before. Lily James provides the love interest aspect for Baby which is darkly different from her Cinderella character.

It is different kind of car stunts which is simpler than Fast & Furious because there is only one getaway car that does all the stunts for every heist. Baby’s private music tracks are not just soundtracks but really part of the story which makes it fun.


The month of August surely opened with a good movie starting with Baby Driver. This is probably the ideal movie adaptation of the video game Grand Theft Auto. For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DUNKIRK movie review

Press release

Besides being a movie buff, I am also into history. One of the specific eras in history that interest me is the World War II era especially the European battlefront. It got me hooked because it was the Great War that shows the battle between good and evil. Most of the wars in years after that are just civil conflicts.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Dunkirk is one of the crucial times in World War II because this is part of the Battle of France. U.S. hasn’t joined the War yet because Pearl Harbor hasn’t happened yet during this battle. Even though some knows the outcome of this story, the movie showed how it affects the Allied Forces in Dunkirk.

Since this is a war movie, it has lots of explosions and fast-paced scenes that may give dizziness especially in IMAX because the screen is so huge. Some scenes also have angles from a first person perspective as if it makes the audience part of the movie.

What I didn’t expect was that it still makes me felt good in the end after all the war-torn scenes. What I didn’t expect was the movie was only an hour and a half long because director Christopher Nolan usually makes 2-hour movies. This is the movie I highly recommend watching especially in IMAX. Despite the war story, it is also inspiring because 400,000 soldiers couldn't go home but home came for them.

Viewed on SM IMAX Megamall last July 18. For more movie reviews blogs, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PRODUCTION UNDERWAY ON NEW LINE CINEMA'S “ISN'T IT ROMANTIC?”

Press release

Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth Adam Devine and Priyanka Chopra
provide topsy-turvy love and laughs under the direction of Todd Strauss-Schulson

BURBANK, CA – July 10, 2017 – Principal photography has begun on New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic?” starring Rebel Wilson (“How to Be Single,” the “Pitch Perfect” films), Liam Hemsworth (the “Hunger Games” films), Adam Devine (“The Intern,” the “Pitch Perfect” films) and Priyanka Chopra (“Quantico,” “Baywatch”), under the direction of Todd Strauss-Schulson (“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” “The Final Girls”).

New York City architect Natalie works hard to get noticed at her job, but is more likely to be asked to deliver coffee and bagels than to design the city’s next skyscraper. And if things weren’t bad enough, Natalie, a lifelong cynic when it comes to love, has an encounter with a mugger that renders her unconscious, waking to discover that her life has suddenly become her worst nightmare—a romantic comedy—and she is the leading lady.

Wilson stars as Natalie, alongside Liam Hemsworth as Blake, a handsome client; Adam Devine, as her earnest best friend, Josh; and Priyanka Chopra as yoga ambassador Isabella.

Strauss-Schulson directs from a screenplay by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox & Katie Silberman, and Paula Pell. Todd Garner (“Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “Tag”), Gina Matthews & Grant Scharbo (“13 Going on 30,” “What Women Want”) are producing, with Marty Ewing (“The Accountant,” “It”) and Jeremy Stein (“Into the Storm”) executive producing. Filming is taking place in and around New York City.

Collaborating with Strauss-Schulson behind the scenes are director of photography Simon Duggan (“The Great Gatsby,” “Hacksaw Ridge”), production designer Sharon Seymour (“Argo,” “The Town”), editor Andrew Marcus (“Begin Again,” “Sing Street”), and costume designer Leah Katznelson (“How to Be Single,” “Sleeping with Other People”).

The film is set for release in the Philippines a day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, 2019, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.