Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: STOLEN

Story: Nicholas Cage plays a thief who just got out of prison and races against time to save his kidnapped daughter.

Review: It is quite a while since I watched a Nicholas Cage movie. The last time was National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Stolen may remind you of another movie, Taken, that recently had a sequel. When I got to watch it, I realized that the movie was better than what I saw in it's trailer.

It's a good plot. A thief for a hero that just got out of his prison sentence and suddenly his daughter was kidnapped. But having a thief or a criminal as hero is nothing new even to Nicholas Cage. Remember Con Air? Nicholas Cage's character is considered an antihero. He is not entirely heroic. He just wanted to get his daughter back.

Nicholas Cage rarely have movies that frequent but when he has one, it is surely good because he doesn't get movie projects without quality. Stolen is showing in the Philippines exclusively at SM Cinemas.


Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Jane Lynch (“Glee”) lends her voice to Sergeant Tamora Calhoun, the woman who runs the platoon of soldiers in the popular game Hero’s Duty, in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 3D adventure comedy “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

             In the sci-fi battle zone of Hero’s Duty, Sergeant Calhoun is more than just a pretty face—she is the tough-as-nails, take-charge leader who fights for humanity’s freedom. When she’s not offering in-game intel, she’s training her troops for the next attack wave. This unrelenting commander is driven by a personal vendetta and will stop at nothing to protect the player and the arcade from a virulent Cy-Bug invasion. 

             Lynch talks more about “Wreck-It Ralph” and her character in the following interview:

             Q: What does it mean to you to voice a character in a Disney film?
             Jane Lynch: To be a part of an animated Disney film is a dream come true. It was a preposterous fantasy. They have a rich history of wonderful films, starting with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which was the first one I ever saw. It was like a fantasy, the animation was so beautiful and the Snow White was beautiful. But the evil queen was so mean and it really affected me. 

            “Lady and the Tramp” and “Jungle Book” were huge animated films when I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s. I loved the music in “Lady and the Tramp,” its love story and that iconic Italian meal they shared. Disney films tell great stories that touch your heart. Our film “Wreck-It Ralph” is in that tradition and I think people are going to really love it.

             Q: Who is Wreck-It Ralph?
             Lynch: Wreck-It Ralph was programmed to be destructive. He decides after 30 years of being the bad guy in his game that he wants to be the hero—the person who saves the day. So he leaves his vintage 1980s Fix-It Felix Jr. game for Hero’s Duty, a modern, first-person shooter game. 

             Q: Do you think Calhoun is a good role model for girls?
             Lynch: I think it’s great for little girls to see a woman in a leadership position—especially in the military. Sergeant Calhoun’s authority is unquestioned—she’s definitely in charge. She also has a heart. She has a soft side, tenderness and vulnerability, which shows that you don’t have to shut that part off if you are a woman in a leadership position. It’s inspirational for girls to see that women can attain these positions of authority.

             Q: Are you a fan of video games?
             Lynch: I played “Asteroids” and “PAC-MAN” when they were brand new so they were really exciting. Games have become so sophisticated with characters who have desires and needs, proclivities and flaws—the person playing the game actually gets to step into the shoes of these characters. And the situations are nuanced and exciting, which just increases the draw of video games for kids and adults.

             There’s actually a rich history of video games—a 30- or 40-year history—and this movie gets to show all of that.
             Q: How important was it to you to record with your cast mates?
             Lynch: Working on an animated film can be very lonely when you sit in a booth by yourself. But working together changes everything. There’s actually give and take—you can feel the chemistry and that’s always fun. It brings the film to life in a way that’s tough to get when you’re by yourself in the booth.

             We played a lot. We’d do a scene as it was written, but [director] Rich [Moore] was great about letting us try it a different way. John [C. Reilly] was always thinking. Jack [McBrayer] was always thinking. I’d like to think that I was always thinking, too, so we’d come up with lines or moments we could add and Rich was completely open to them.

             (“Wreck-It Ralph” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Outstanding Movie Highlights From CinemaWorld This December

Making its way closer to the hearts of Filipinos, CinemaWorld continues to deliver exciting movies from different parts of the world.

CinemaWorld is an international channel that offers mainstream programming that is fresh, unique, and different.  It provides movie lovers a variety of titles which they cannot find anywhere else.  All movies on CinemaWorld are shown in their original language, with English subtitles.

The month of December is filled with remarkable movies highlighting stories of people from different walks of life, perfect to enjoy this holiday season.

Luisa, a mobile phone company executive, feels invisible at the age of 44.  She lives alone, having been left by her husband, while her daughter studies away from home.  During an evening office party, her colleague Jorge, who is of the same age as her and whose partner for the evening is a young company phone salesgirl named Marina, ignores her. Indignant, Luisa turns to an actress and to her table tennis coach to help her become “visible” and seduce Jorge. Catch An Invisible Woman, as Maria Bouzas shows off how she won the Mestre Mateo Award for Best Actress as the titular character.  


Robert Hansen and Sofie Lassen-Kahkle star in this Danish romantic comedy of not-quite-requited love.  Three months after breaking up with her highschool boyfriend Viktor, Anja discovers that she loves him after all.  The movie is a hilarious race against time as Anja tries to win Viktor back before he marries someone else.  Produced by the famed Regner Grasten, it became so popular that it spawned two sequels, “Anja & Viktor – Flaming Love” (2007) and “Anja & Viktor – The Ups And Downs” (2008).

Behrouz, a 12-year old boy, who was raised in a poor family, dreams of having his own bike.  He finds out that each player in the champion football team in a provincial tournament is awarded a bike, so he tries hard to secure a place in his school team.  However, he knows nothing about football!  Directed by Abbas Moranian, Iranian film director, Behrouz Hit Me, Mom! won Audience Award, Best Film, Best Child Actor and Best Director Diploma at the Hamedan Children Film Festival in 2010.  

Piero, an openly homosexual gay rights activist, runs as the more progressive candidate in the mayoral election of Udine, Italy.   At the other end stands the bigoted right-wing candidate, who builds physical walls around his community to keep foreigners and drug dealers confined to their various neighborhoods, and his candidate for vice-mayor, pro-family values champion, Adele.  In an odd twist of events, Piero temporarily sets his political loyalties and gender preference aside and sleeps with the gorgeous Adele, betraying his male partner, Remo in the process.  Actor Luca Argentero was nominated for Best Actor Award at the Ente David di Donatello (the Italian Academy Awards) playing Piero Bonutti in this 2010 Italian Comedy Different From Whom?. 

With the war in Iraq intensifying, a prominent radio journalist and his technician pretend to report live from Baghdad, after losing their plane tickets and money in this Adventure Comedy, starring Gerard Lanvin and Gerard Jugnot.  As the duo hide out in the Barbes area of Paris, in an attempt to pull off the ultimate scam, the listeners tune in awaiting the latest word from the front lines of the war.  Special Correspondents was produced in France and directed by Frederic Auburtin of French Romantic Comedy Paris, Je T’aime.

The Best Things In The World is poignant portrait of teen life through the journey of 15-year-old Mano, whose world is turned upside down because his parents are divorcing and his love interest is infatuated with someone else.  He and his sensitive older brother Pedro are deeply affected by the knowledge that their father, Horacio, is gay, and that he is leaving their mother, Camila, for Gustavo – and that is not even counting the love triangle where he, his love interest Carol, and his rival Artur figure in.  Starring Caio Biat as Artur, whose role won him the 2012 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize for Best Supporting Actor, The Best Things In The World, a 2012 Brazilian movie that talks about family, is one move to watch out for.

Celebrate the holidays with award-winning movies from CinemaWorld on Cable Link and through the a la carte subscription or HD Movie Package of SkyCable.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Newlywed music superstar and talented actor Justin Timberlake is back on the screen as baseball scout Johnny Flanagan who develops feelings for the daughter (Amy Adams) of a veteran scout (Clint Eastwood), in Warner Bros.' engaging drama “Trouble With The Curve.”

             In the film, Gus Lobel (Eastwood) is an aging baseball scout for the major league team, the Atlanta Braves. Long since widowed and living alone, Gus has embarked on a recruiting trip—maybe his last, considering his age and the changing business—to find a talented young player. He’s joined by his daughter Mickey (Adams), a busy corporate lawyer. The two have maintained a mostly episodic and often strained relationship in the past, which secrets and lies have not helped to mend. As they reconnect and attempt to work out their personal issues, they cross paths and fates with Johnny (Timberlake), an upcoming rival scout, in a season that will be deeply cathartic for all of them.

             Timberlake says that the atmosphere Lorenz fostered on set enabled the actors to better define those relationships. “Amy and I were able to establish really good chemistry between the two characters, which I think is a testament to Rob. He was completely all-knowing of the story we were telling, and what was right and what was interesting about each character.”

             A former pro pitcher, nicknamed The Flame for his 100-mile-per-hour fastball, Johnny’s career was cut short, and he has turned to scouting…for now. Timberlake reveals, “The first time we see him, he’s on the side of the road, watching a bunch of kids in a pick-up game and speaking into a recorder, giving the play-by-play. It’s an early hint that, now that his career as a player is over, he’s honing his chops, hoping to get into broadcasting.”
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

             The actor drew on his own experiences “calling” games. “When I was a kid, I used to mimic the announcers, trying to replicate that rhythm and charisma they have. It’s an audio-only performance so you really have to connect to your audience—the fans—because you’re narrating a part of life that they’re so passionate about.”

             It was Gus, in fact, who brought Johnny up to “the show” when he pitched for the Braves. Now, Gus and Johnny, who’s scouting for the Red Sox, are both looking to add a coveted player to their respective teams. In spite of their presumed rivalry, Gus still acts as something of a mentor to the younger man, who even picks up a few pointers from Mickey.

              “Trouble With The Curve” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Story: Gus Lobel is a veteran baseball talent scout proves he still has the knack of looking for real baseball talent despite the threat of old age.

Review: Clint Eastwood is known for action films way before I was born. He is known to many Western movies and Dirty Harry movies.

Years after Clint Eastwood retired from doing action movies, he started doing movies that fans didn't expected him to do. Directing and starring in drama movies. Despite that it was unexpected, the movies were given positive reviews from critics.

It was only couple of years back when we last saw Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Even though it is not action, Clint Eastwood still has this toughness in him despite his years that will intimidate. He has this stare and snarl that will make you think he says, don't get in my way or I'll ram you down.

Unlike Gran Torino, Trouble With The Curve has no depressing tone in it. It even has slice of comedy. Even though it is a PG-13 movie, it has lessons about family life especially if there are unresolved relationships between a parent and a child.

As for the baseball aspect, I learn to appreciate the game more. Like any team sport, the game play is not the only concern, it also starts with the selection of players. Trouble With The Curve stars Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman. Released and distributed by Warner Bros.

Friday, November 23, 2012


20th Century Fox goes epic this 2013 with its family-oriented films infused with the latest breakthroughs in movie technology to make the most unforgettable movie viewing experience.

                From the shelves,  acclaimed bestselling books “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, “The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs” by William Joyce and Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” translate into screens and bring to life characters and places nurtured in the deepest alleys of the mind. 

                “Life of Pi” in 3D is a film from Ang Lee that tells the survival of a young boy named Pi Patel (played by newcomer Suraj Sharma) at sea for 227 days with a wild Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.   Following the loss of his family in a shipwreck, Pi struggles to survive with the tiger in a lifeboat on a perilous voyage across the Pacific.

                “Epic” in 3D is lifted from pages of “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs”  starring the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Steven Tyler, Beyonce Knowles, Christoph Waltz and Pitbull.  Directed by Chris Wedge from the worldwide hit “Ice Age” series, “Epic” follows a girl who has been magically transported into an unknown deep forest revealing a hidden world unlike any other.   “Epic” tells the story of a battle raging all around us between the forces of good, who protect nature, and the forces of evil, who wish to see it destroyed.  When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and unique characters to save their world…and ours.
                Poseidon’s teenage son Percy Jackson is back starring Logan Lerman who goes in the deepest of seas in “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” to find the Mythical Golden Fleece.  The son of Poseidon, continues his journey to fulfill his destiny along with his friends to save Camp Half-Blood from monsters. Returning cast includes Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan and Kevin McKidd.  

                Old school meets new school parenting when comedy legends Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play Artie and Diane Decker in “Parental Guidance,” who are called in by their daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) to help care for their three grandkids. When their parenting methods collide, the once-orderly household gets out of control.  “Parental Guidance” spins into a heartwarming chaos when left with their grandkids, Artie and Diane employ unexpected tactics which means using some new parenting style to help teach their grandkids how to act and behave like kids.

                20th Century Fox also releases inspiring 3D animation from DreamWorks lot - “The Croods” and “Turbo” are about changing the pace of history and destiny with courage amidst the odds.         

“The Croods” is a prehistoric 3D comedy adventure that takes us back to the beginning of time.  In a previously undiscovered era known as the Croodacious – we find the Crood family when Mother Nature was still experimenting and the flora and fauna we know today hasn’t evolved yet.  The Crood family, led by Grug (voiced by Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage), an over-protective father who, like all dads, is doing all he can to hold his family together at a time when cataclysmic changes are happening.  Together with his wife (Catherine Keener), kids (Emma Stone and Clark Duke) and ornery mother-in-law (Cloris Leachman) in tow, Grug guides his family through this spectacular environment, full of amazing creatures, to find a new cave to call home. Along the way, they encounter Guy (Ryan Reynolds), an imaginative and resourceful newcomer who takes risks and wholeheartedly embraces the promise of tomorrow.
Photos courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
                “Turbo” tells the story of an ordinary garden snail who goes for his impossible dream to become the greatest racer in the world.  Turbo, the ultimate underdog who is obsessed with speed and all things fast has made him an oddity and outsider in the slow and cautious snail community. When a freak accident gives him extraordinary speed, Turbo sets out to try to make this dream come true.  “Turbo’s” all-star voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson. 

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