Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jason Bateman Chases The Identity Thief

Jason Bateman was left black and blue while shooting wrestling scenes with Melissa McCarthy in his new comedy 'Identity Thief'.
Jason Bateman during Identity Thief premiere
Jason Bateman was given "a couple of bloody noses" by Melissa McCarthy filming 'Identity Theft'. The actress didn't hold back during fighting scenes for the new comedy and Jason admits things got pretty painful during some scenes. He said: "She looks so sweet then she'll punch you in the throat. All of that tussling and wrestling was painful at times. I paid the bill with a couple of bloody noses. She hit me with a right hook, then a left, then grabbed her camera to take a photo of it." Jason knew he wanted to work with Melissa right from when he saw her in 'Bridesmaids', especially after he how far she was prepared to go for her roles.

What was it about IDENTITY THIEF that made you want to star in the movie and also produce it?

IDENTITY THIEF was a script that came my way. It had an easy concept about someone who steals another person’s identity and it also involved a road trip. It was like two of my favorite movies, MIDNIGHT RUN and PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES put together.

Did you bring this project to filmmaker Seth Gordon?

Seth and I were in London working on the press tour for HORRIBLE BOSSES. I just talked him through it, as the project was in the beginning stages and looked like it could become a reality. He was excited about the concept. When I told him I had Melissa McCarthy in mind for the other main role, he said, “OK, I get it!”

What made Melissa McCarthy the right choice to play the thief that steals your character’s identity?

Melissa is one of the funniest people I know and she was open to playing the part.

What is Seth Gordon like as a director?

Seth is a very nice man that runs a very kind shoot. We were lucky he agreed to do this because he knows how to set a great tone. He is incredibly talented, but the greatest thing about Seth Gordon is that he is just a good guy. You want good people on a comedy set. He is a great leader in that sense.

How important is it in the comedy genre to be able to work on a fun set?

You can’t have a bunch of bad or nasty people on a comedy set and expect them to do anything that’s funny. You don’t want any tension.

You play Sandy Bigelow Patterson. Who is he?

Sandy is basically a guy that I think people are pretty used to seeing me play. He is sort of an everyman that is right down the middle. It is important in every comedy to have that character in the center that we can relate to. That way, we can appreciate all the absurdity that happens around him.

What can you say about Melissa McCarthy’s character?

Melissa’s character is one of the greatest on-screen antagonists I’ve seen in a long time.

What do you believe Melissa McCarthy brought to the role of Diana?

Melissa played Diana with a lot more heart than we had originally intended in the script. Maybe it was our fault to only think that this character has these colors and that character has those other ones. Melissa was able to do so much and not make the character one-dimensional. She can put heart in a scene where it was not intended. As a result, she gives you something more fulfilling to watch.

You hit Melissa with a guitar. What was it like to film that scene?

I don’t believe I have ever hit a woman on or off a set before. I remember apologetically suggesting the idea of hitting her with this guitar to stop her from getting away. Seth Gordon laughed and said it would be great. We built a little side-helmet for the stunt girl and went ahead with the scene.

Did you frequently improvise during this shoot?

There were some things that were improvised, but this script was written so beautifully by Craig Mazin that we didn’t need to do much. Still, we liked to surprise and say things differently with some of the final takes just to make people laugh. Some of those moments made it into the movie.

Even though the film is a comedy with some outrageous moments, it is also grounded in reality. Can you explain further?

In writing the script, Craig did a lot of research to make sure that everything was plausible. You always expand the borders when you take any kind of comedic license, but he tried to deal with all that as responsibly as he could.

Have you ever been the victim of any kind of identity theft?

Luckily, identity theft hasn’t happened to me yet, but it has happened to Melissa and many other people I know. Identity theft is happening more and more, since it is probably a little bit easier with the technology now. I’ve been very lucky so far.

Has your identity ever been mistaken with someone else’s?

I get mistaken for Jerry O’Connell quite a bit, but I don’t mind. He gets it the other way around as well. Every time we see each other, we compare stories.

Why did you decide to also produce the movie?

You don’t know how long you are going to be invited to this party, so it is fun to diversify. Like with any profession, you start to absorb and appreciate what other people you work with do, and some of those jobs are very interesting.

What do you enjoy about producing?

I enjoy trying to put together a group of people you really admire, whether you have full or limited access to them. It is kind of like building a sports team because you try to figure out who will do each job best.

Why did you decide to team up with Seth Gordon again?

I knew Seth would be a great guy to team up with again because we share a sensibility and he is such a nice guy. The same thing can be said about Craig Mazin.

What is the audience takeaway from IDENTITY THIEF, apart from all the fun and laughter?

IDENTITY THIEF is just a fun comedy. If there is a theme or a message, it is hopefully under many layers of light-hearted comedy. For me, that message would be that maybe, every once in a while, you should take a closer look at who you think you are because you probably could improve.

“Identity Thief” is released and distributed by
United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corp.
Showing May 1, 2013. Nationwide

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thomas and Friends: Blue Mountain Mystery

SM Cinema Exclusive for Kids

When trouble strikes at the Blue Mountain Quarry, Thomas the Train was called upon by his Narrow Gauge friends for help. He catches a glimpse of a small and unknown engine trying to hide. In order to solve the problem, he needs to know which engine caused the problem. However, he realizes along the way that solving the mystery is harder than how he has imagined it to be.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Identity Thief Movie Review

Poster photo courtesy of UIP
Former teen star Jason Bateman returns for another comedy In Identity Thief. I've known him since his younger days when he was the 2nd person to take up the title role of Teen Wolf after Michael J. Fox in its sequel, Teen Wolf Too.

It took him years to return to acting when he got a supporting role in Hancock starring Will Smith. After Hancock, there were already sequence of movies. In Identity Thief, he plays a hardworking family man who got victimized by a poser who maxed out his credit card. He embarks on an interstate quest to bring this identity thief to local authorities.

It was not Bateman's first time to do a comedy tandem in a movie. He was in a comedy with Ryan Reynolds in The Change-Up. In Identity Thief, he paired up with Melissa McCarthy. I first saw Ms. McCarthy in a popular series Gilmore Girls where she played a chef named Sookie. She has this witty comedy that really hard to ignore in that series.

She took the movies when she starred in Bridesmaids where she delivered another comedy role that is far from her household TV role. It was because of Bridesmaids that Bateman want to work with Ms. McCarthy.

I define the comedy of Identity Thief as smart as well as slapstick so the humor is not for younger audience. Not only that there's witticism, there are lots of stunts involved. The pairing of Bateman and McCarthy is probably the start of something new in comedy. I won't be surprised if they have more movie projects in the future. For now, I am looking forward another movie starring Melissa McCarthy when she pairs up with Sandra Bullock.

Despite the humor, the movie may give you tips how to avoid being victims to identity theft which does happen to a lot of people. Identity Thief is distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation. For more movie reviews and updates, visit and like the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vince Vaughn In "The Internship"

Looks like comedy duo and friends Owen and Vince have found a new thinking playground at the Google campus as featured in the upcoming hilarious movie “The Internship.”
Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

                In an interview with EW on his upcoming true-to-the-times relatable comedy “The Internship,” Vince Vaughn admits that there wouldn’t be any film had Google said no to the concept in the first place. 

                Vaughn, who serves as co-writer, producer and star of “The Internship” reunite with Owen Wilson about friends in their 40s who get laid off from their jobs. Convinced they’ve gone about managing their careers entirely wrong, they resolve to become interns at a tech company and start anew. Hijinks ensue when Vaughn and Wilson compete against wily, fresh-faced 22-year-olds to advance in the company.

“The Internship” sees Nick (Owen Wilson) and Billy (Vince Vaughn), two old-school salesmen who use old fashioned charm and brilliant sales techniques to sell watches. On the night that they try to close a big sale with a client, to their shock, they find out that their company has been shut down because kids don’t wear watches anymore. Suddenly, they find themselves unemployed as two dinosaurs in the digital world.

To make the situation worse, Billy goes home to find a foreclosure sign on his front lawn and his girlfriend packing her bags to leave him. In the meantime, Nick’s sister offers him a job at a mattress store and he takes it out of despair. After an exhaustive job search online, Billy has Googled everything he can Google. He finally gives up by typing just “Google” into the search box, and finds an opportunity for them to reinvent themselves – with an internship program at Google.

The guys arrive at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California – a world away from anything they have seen before – and are in awe. All the food and drink is free so they load up on coffee and donuts at the “free” coffee cart as if it’s their last meal on earth. On the first day of their internship, they find themselves in a sea of tech-savvy 20-year-olds who they need to compete against to win a full-time position at Google. They team up with Neha, a sexually curious nerd, Stuart, who is obsessed with his cell phone and won’t get off of it, Yoyo, a genius Asian kid that lacks social and common life skills, and Lyle, who is an underdog who wants to fit in. They also meet their nemesis – Graham – an arrogant and aggressive college student who will stops at nothing to win the competition and get the job at Google.

Vaughn wrote the original draft of the story when the US economy was in shambles and most of the people he knew had lost their jobs.  It was that generational sentiment that the skills they have are not significant as it used to be.  And when he saw a portion of what goes inside the Google ‘campus,’ “I thought of taking the characters to this place and give them the chance to work at Google – that felt relatable and rootable,” shares Vaughn.

Google cofounder Sergey Bin checked on the film’s set every now and then which Vaughn is very grateful for – “Everyone at (Google) was very nice and gracious.  But that’s what Google does: You search for something and you find it,” Vaughn concludes.

“The Internship” opens June 7 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ongoing Iron Man 3 movie promos

IRON MAN 3 EARLY BIRD PROMO (ADVANCE SELLING) Target Date of Activity: April 8-23, 2013 Participating Cinemas: Glorietta 4 Cebu Greenbelt 3 MarQuee ATC Abreeza Market! Market! Harbor Point TriNoma Centrio PROMO MECHANICS (ONLINE):
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

1. For every online purchase of two (2) IRON MAN 3 movie tickets in advance on April 8-23, 2013 at participating Ayala Malls Cinemas, moviegoer will get a IRON MAN 3 Poster.
2. Movie goers may reserve their seats or purchase the tickets via their MPass load or credit card.
3. Moviegoers may claim their IRON MAN 3 Poster until June 22, 2013 at the ticket booth of the participating Ayala Malls Cinemas upon submission of their MPass ID or printed notice of purchase and Valid ID (for credit card purchases).
4. All employees of Ayala Cinemas, its subsidiaries, and employees of its contracted agencies including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the promo.

1. For every purchase of two (2) IRON MAN 3 movie tickets in advance on April 8-23, 2013 at participating Ayala Malls Cinemas, moviegoer will get a IRON MAN 3 Poster.
2. Moviegoers may claim their IRON MAN 3 Poster until June 22, 2013 at the ticket booth of the participating Ayala Malls Cinemas.
3. All employees of Ayala Cinemas, its subsidiaries, and employees of its contracted agencies including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the promo.
IRON MAN 3 BE A SURESEATS MEMBER NOW! (SURESEATS PROMO) Target Date of Activity: April 19 to May 5, 2013 Participating Cinemas: Glorietta 4 Cebu Greenbelt 3 MarQuee ATC Abreeza Market! Market! Harbor Point TriNoma Centrio PROMO MECHANICS:
1. All moviegoers of Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Alabang Town Center, Market! Market!, TriNoma, Ayala Center Cebu, Marquee, Abreeza, Harbor Point and Centrio Cinemas can participate in Be A SureSeats Member Now! Promo from April 19 to May 5, 2013.
2. Jut log in to www.sureseats.com to register. Click the “Sign Up Now” button at the Community Tab, and the website will walk you through with the procedure of registering.
3. Moviegoer must select their default theater as: Ayala Center Cebu (if based in Cebu) or MarQuee (if based in North Luzon) or Abreeza (if based in Davao). So on & so forth.
4. After the registration, the moviegoer must activate their account during the promo period.
5. Ayala Malls Cinemas shall validate and confirm the list of new SureSeats member who have registered and activated during the promo period.
6. One (1) registration & activation to SureSeats is equivalent to one (1) entry.
7. There will be one (1) draw for all entries from participating cinemas; the deadline of submission of all entries is on May 5, 2013 at 11:00 PM.
8. New SureSeats members who registered and activated in the SureSeats website during the promo period will receive one (1) IRON MAN 3 Glow In The Dark Shirt:

9. Moviegoer may only win once in the whole duration of the promo.
10. Confirmation and announcement of winners will be on June 5, 2013. Winners will be notified via email (registered via SureSeats) and SureSeats News Feed.
11. Claiming of premium item will be from June 5 to August 4, 2013 from the respective default theater. Winners must present the printed notice in the email and one (1) valid ID.
12. Prizes not claimed within sixty (60) days from the receipt of notification shall be forfeited
13. All employees of Ayala Cinemas, its subsidiaries, and employees of its contracted agencies including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the promo.

For more movie updates, releases, and quality movie reviews, visit and like the LENS blogs on Facebook.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bayang Magiliw movie review

I rarely review Tagalog movies because I rarely got invited to one. I only spend if the director and story is really that good. It usually happens if its an independent production and not mainstream. I never heard of the movie Bayang Magiliw until I was invited on the day itself.

It turned out worthwhile to watch. The movie is about a fictional town of Magiliw where reproductive health methods are considered outlaw. The movie tackles issues why reproductive health should be implemented. Even though the RH Bill is already a law, there are still anti-RH supporters who are not open minded. I recall that there was a city that bans selling contraceptives and condoms at a drug store.

Even though the movie's fictional, there are situations and characters may be too real. It is also funny and entertaining. It is rare that movies shows social relevance which is only seen in independent movies. You can't blame me not to watch local movies because they don't show the same quality movies like the independent movies. I heard that in the mainstream, restrictions are also made from doing quality movies. It's OK to do movies that are fantasy and horror and romance genres and do all sequels as many as you can but we are just limiting ourselves to that. We can do something new from time to time. This movie was shown exclusively at SM Cinemas.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Melissa McCarthy turns up the Heat as an 'Identity Thief'

Oscar®-nominated actress MELISSA MCCARTHY starred in the smash-hit comedy Bridesmaids as Megan, the confident sister of the groom, opposite Kristen Wiig.  The film was directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow.  For her role in the film, McCarthy was nominated for a BAFTA, a Critics’ Choice Movie Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.  She won a 2012 MTV Movie Award for Comedic Performance of the Year.  Last year, McCarthy won an Emmy Award, and she recently received her second Emmy nomination for starring as Molly on the top-rated CBS comedy Mike & Molly, which is currently airing in its second season.  She also received a nomination for guest-hosting Saturday Night Live.  McCarthy was last seen in Universal Pictures’ This Is 40, for director Judd Apatow.
Now the 42 year-old plays Diana in the comedy IdentityThief. Her character steals the identity of Sandy Bigelow Patterson, played by Jason Bateman.
Photo courtesy of UIP
What appealed to you about this project?

I was excited to get a call from Jason Bateman and was looking forward to meeting him because I love the movies he has been involved with over the years. I thought we would get along and be friends, which is the goofy thing every fan thinks.

Apart from starring in IDENTITY THIEF, Jason Bateman also produced the movie, correct?

The truth is that once he said, “Let’s do it!” he really made everything happen very fast. Jason is a good producer.  He’s also nice and smart. I could tell he really wanted to make the same kind of movie that I wanted to make.

What makes Jason a good producer?

Jason pays a lot of attention on set and actually watches what’s going on very carefully. For him, to have the title of producer is not just a name, which was nice to see.

Jason plays the straight-shooting family man that becomes the victim of your character, Diana, when she steals his identity and starts to spend his money. How do you see these opposing characters?

I see the two characters as two very opposite people with wildly different lives. Even though they are so different, they are also kind of stuck in their routine lives.

What do you think Jason Bateman brought to the role of Sandy Bigelow Patterson?

Sandy is a family man and a really good guy and Jason was just very funny as Sandy. It is really hard to play the kind and centered person that everyone can relate to and still be so funny.

How do you see your character, Diana?

Diana is a slightly crazy character who is really just lonely and running the same cycle over and over again because that is what she has always done.

Diana goes from someone we initially don’t like to a person the audience ends up warming up to. Can you expand further?

Yes, that character arc was the whole point of Diana’s journey. I didn’t want her to be that kind of one-dimensional thief that just doesn’t care. I thought it would be better if she was the kind of person who hadn’t even thought about what she was doing to people, then finally realized that she is destroying this nice man’s life and understand that her actions have consequences. To see how she confronts the fact that what she does really affects others is interesting because not a lot of comedies go there.

How do Sandy and Diana affect each other’s lives?

The interesting thing is that when Sandy and Diana get together they realize they are both living lives they weren’t expecting. That is the weird common bond they have that maybe allows them to become friends. In this way, they can both change. He can become more in control of his situation and my character can take some responsibility for what she is doing.

What can you say of director Seth Gordon?

A: When I first met Seth, he talked about how we were all going to get along well during the shoot. He made sure everyone was nice and nobody was crazy, which really paid off in the end.

Did you have a good time making this film?

Yes, we had such a good time! It wasn’t an easy movie to make because it was so physical, but Seth played a big part in making sure we enjoyed the shoot. The same goes for Jason, who knows how to keep a light tone on set.

IDENTITY THIEF is also a road movie. Do you enjoy road trips?

I really like road trips. I remember driving to California from New York and getting into some really remote places where I could hardly recognize the country I was in. I loved that experience and the variety of it.

Your character, Diana, is resilient, isn’t she?

I remember comparing Diana to a cockroach in regards to her resilience. Sometimes she is in pure survival mode and manages to get back up and walk away from dangerous situations.

Was it physically challenging to pay Diana at times?

Yes, it was very physically challenging! Both Jason and I had a lot of bruises and some bloody noses along the way, but it was really fun.

Which action sequences were the toughest to shoot?

I think the sequence in Diana’s house, when Jason comes and tries to put handcuffs on me, was the toughest to shoot because that house was in Atlanta and the air conditioner was broken. It was hard to focus and think, but we had to spend two or three days fighting.

Did you manage to develop a very effective throat punch?

I can say I have never before punched anyone else in the throat other than Jason Bateman. Now that I kind of have a taste for it, anything can happen! After all, he did hit me with a guitar, which was a fun improvised moment.

Do you enjoy improvising on set?

I love to improvise if I’m working off of a really well-structured script. I don’t like it when you have to find what isn’t there or fix it. I prefer when everything is already there and you can change something just to surprise people. Then, it becomes really fun.

Have you ever been the victim of identity theft?

Years ago, somebody managed to drain my entire checking account leaving me with nothing. I couldn’t even put gas in my car, pay my bills or get food! I remember being in a bank crying my eyes out and thinking, “I can’t leave without any money!” Somebody had been writing out checks in my name for three days.

Did you meet with any real identity thieves to prepare for this role?

A lot of research had already been done by all of the production team, and I preferred not to meet with identity thieves because I wanted to stick more to why she was doing what she was doing rather than how she was doing it.

What do you think it takes to do something like stealing someone’s identity?

Nowadays, you would have to be tech savvy to steal someone’s identity. I don’t think I could do it because I just have no ability with technology. I guess I would have to pickpocket, as I can barely work a computer.

"IDENTITY THIEF" is released and distributed by
United International Pictures through
Solar Entertainment Corp.