Thursday, May 30, 2013


Columbia Pictures and director Roland Emmerich has assembled a powerhouse cast to give life to compelling characters in the new action thriller “White House Down.”

            In the film, Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation’s government falling into chaos and time running out, it’s up to Cale to save his daughter, the president, and the country.
Photos courtesy of Columbia Picures
            The character at the center of “White House Down” is John Cale, an ex-soldier and divorced father who’s trying to put his life back on solid footing – especially when it concerns his relationship with his daughter. “Cale’s been trying to figure out his life for years, to get it together. He doesn’t really have the tools to put it all into place,” says Channing Tatum (“The Vow”). “But his heart is good – he’s always wanted to be his daughter’s hero. And now that he’s realizing that he can’t be that, due to mistakes he’s made, he thinks, ‘Well, she idolizes the president – if I can’t be her hero, maybe I can help protect the guy who is.’”

            Opposite Tatum, the filmmakers cast Jamie Foxx (“Django Unchained”) as President Sawyer. Foxx says that the 46th president of the United States is “a man who would do anything to protect America, but also a man who understands that in order to protect America in this day and age, you have to have an understanding of the enemies. If you don’t have that understanding, or a way to open a dialog, you’ll forever be at odds and something drastic will constantly keep happening.”

            Helping John Cale and President Sawyer fend off the ruthless mercenaries and their quest to seize control of the White House is the exceptionally adroit, tough-as-nails Special Agent Carol Finnerty played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Dark Knight”).

            At the beginning of the film, Finnerty has just turned down Cale’s application to join the Secret Service – but even that is not so simple. “Years ago, they had a crazy love affair,” says Gyllenhaal. “It was a long, long time ago, but they were crazy about each other. And now he’s back, she’s interviewing him, and of course he’s super hot and amazing in a lot of ways. He still takes her breath away. But he’s just not qualified to be a Secret Service agent.”

                Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”) plays the ex-soldier-turned-paramilitary-leader, the head of the invasion force, Emil Stenz. “He’s a former Special Forces guy – doing some nefarious things in strange places – and he became a gun for hire,” says Clarke. “And now, he’s been hired to try to take over the White House, to kidnap the president and try to make some money.”

                Joey King (“Oz the Great and Powerful”) joins the cast as Cale’s daughter, Emily. Their estranged relationship is put to the test when they are separated during the crisis at the White House. “At the beginning of the movie, her parents are divorced and she’s not too keen on her dad,” explains King. “That’s why he takes her to his job interview with the Secret Service and gets her tickets to the White House tour – he knows she’s obsessed with all things politics and he thinks that will impress her. And it does – she’s super-excited. But then, when they get separated and all this crazy stuff happens.”

                Richard Jenkins (“Cabin in the Woods”) joins the cast as the Speaker of the House Eli Raphelson, a career politician from the opposing party, and James Woods (“Straw Dogs”) as Martin Walker, the outgoing head of the Secret Service.

            Opening across the Philippines on July 3, “White House Down” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at and join our fan contests.

Bradley Cooper's Final Hangover

Bradley Cooper is the Wolf Pack's resident hunk that proves he can also be goofy or funny the same time. Here are some information about Cooper so far. Here's the link for my direct review of Hangover Part III.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Newly minted as a Best Actor Academy Award-nominee for “Silver Linings Playbook,” Bradley Cooper returns as high school English teacher and unofficial pack leader Phil, in Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ mayhem comedy “The Hangover Part III.”

It’s been two years since the Wolfpack’s misadventure in Bangkok.  Phil, Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are happily living uneventful lives at home.  The only member of the gang who’s not content is Alan (Zach Galifianakis).  Still lacking a sense of purpose, the group’s black sheep has ditched his meds and given into his natural impulses in a big way—which, for Alan, means no boundaries, no filters and no judgment—until a personal crisis forces him to finally seek the help he needs.

And who better than his three best friends to make sure he takes the first step.  This time, there’s no bachelor party.  No wedding.  What could possibly go wrong?   But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off. 

Cooper says of the final film of the trilogy, “There are little story points we maybe glanced by in the original that become pivotal pieces in the larger whole.  Speaking as a fan, myself, watching these movies, the best part—and certainly the funniest—is putting it all together.”  

While Alan’s unhealthy relationship with disaster-magnet Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) ranks high on the list of things that skew his approach to life, there isn’t a single member of the Wolfpack who hasn’t been affected by its fallout. “It comes to light that Chow did something during the time of the first movie that greatly pissed off a very dangerous enemy.  He compounded that offense during the second, and it’s all going to come back on him now—and on Alan, Phil, Stu and Doug,” warns producer Dan Goldberg.  

Again, it’s Phil who is the first to lose patience.  However, once dragged in, he will likely be the last to give up.  Though some see this alpha-male character as the most level-headed of the group, Cooper disagrees.  “If Phil represents the voice of reason, that’s a pretty messed up reality they’re living in,” he suggests.  “I think Phil’s view on life is demented in its own way.  He can be highly moral but, at the same time, it’s a very specific and personal code.  He marches to the beat of his own drum, so he may seem rational on the surface, but he’s actually willing to go to some pretty extreme places to get things done.”

“This movie was rugged, brutal, massive,” adds Cooper.  “I mean, we have parachutes flying around Vegas at night, wild animals in places where they shouldn’t be, lots of crazy things going on.  But it’s all grounded.  I don’t think there was ever a point where [director] Todd [Phillips], or anyone, thought, ‘Let’s outdo the first or the second film.’  The intention was just to tell a good story, and it feels like the normal progression of the lives of these three guys.”

Bradley Cooper has signed a two-year, first-look deal with Warner Bros., announcing his production company, 22nd & Indiana.  

            Cooper most recently starred in the Academy Award® nominated film “Silver Linings Playbook,” for which he received his first Academy Award® nomination.  Directed by David O’ Russell, the film was an adaptation of the Matthew Quick serio-comic novel and also starred Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.  “Silver Linings Playbook” debuted at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and went on to earn seven Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.  

Cooper won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his performance.   Additionally, he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical and a Screen Actors Guild® nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, as well as nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Male Lead, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role. 

            In May 2011, Cooper starred opposite Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha in “The Hangover Part II,” directed by Todd Phillips, the blockbuster hit sequel to 2009’s “The Hangover,” which was the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.  “The Hangover Part II” went on to surpass the original in international earnings and the two films combined have earned more than $1 billion worldwide.  

            A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hangover Part III

This is it. The final adventure of the Wolf Pack. Phil, Stu, and Doug are now in content and happy with their married life until the group's black sheep Alan needs to be brought to psychiatric care on which the group volunteers to accompany him. Seems like a simple road trip but this is the Wolf Pack we're talking about. All bets are off when disaster magnet Leslie Chow escaped prison and is in contact with Alan.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
Review:  It may not be like the first Hangover, but they gave it all what they got just to make the audience not leaving the cinemas without laughing. What makes this good was there was no wedding this time. But the best part of it was that it won't be a Hangover movie without Alan and Chow. They are the ones who brought the laughter. 

One revelation was that Melissa McCarthy made a good addition to the humor of Hangover. It may be a good idea to give Ms. McCarthy and Zack Galifianakis another shot of teaming up in another comedy.

Hangover Part III is worth watching in cinemas just to see the Wolf Pack for the last time before they make a bow. Released and distributed by Warner Bros. in association with Legendary Pictures. For more movie reviews, visit and like the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fast And Furious 6

Movie franchises usually don't last long unless they are really good. But there are exceptions. There are longest running movie titles that are made every year that has no quality and yet surprisingly were box-office hits. Not all movie franchises are that good. The only exceptions were James Bond movies and currently The Dark Knight trilogy and Fast & Furious movies. I got to appreciate it first in The Fast & The Furious were it began but it became really interesting after Tokyo Drift.
Fast & Furious 6 trailer shown at Hot Import Nights 2 Manila

Not only the cars are the real stars of the movie but there are also continuity from the fourth movie onwards. Adding Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to the story is a good idea and it never conflicts with Vin Diesel in regards to stardom.

This movie will close the full circle at last when a scene will show where Tokyo Drift fits in the franchise. Usually, sequels were not good but in this case, it keeps on getting better. Just like what they mentioned, Fast & Furious will have three more movies in line. Pardon me for not doing coverage when the cast was here in the Philippines. I was not on the guest list but at least I got to write this review.

For more quality movie reviews and more, visit and like the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

The Great Gatsby movie review

Adaptation from a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When I first heard about this movie, I am not sure if I want to see it. I am not a fan of Baz Luhrmann but I am curious about F. Scott Fitzgerald since I like the movie, The Curious Case of  Benjamin Button.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

But I never thought I will like the film. Although it looks like the story can relate in modern times like a telenovela, Luhrmann made it more cinematic and let us experience it in 3D. As for Leo DiCaprio, I believe it was his best performance since Inception.

It is a Luhrmann trademark to make it appear like a periodical piece with a modern soundtrack. But unlike the modern times who's into sex, drugs and rock & roll, it was sex, wine and jazz. I am sure that Filipinos can appreciate it regardless of the English language but it will be better to watch it in the movies rather than wait for it to be translated to Tagalog on local TV.

The Great Gatsby is released and distributed by Warner Bros.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Call movie review

Story: A 911 emergency operator helps track a serial killer after a call from the latest victim.

Review: This is the first time I saw Halle Berry as a protagonist in a suspense-thriller involving a psychopath killer. The movie is so simple yet it has this suspense factor that can make the viewers surprised with a little scare.

It is not a big-budget movie but it afford to cast an Academy award winner like Halle Berry as the movie heroine. The story can be compared to a TV movie but there are times that TV movies are as good as the mainstream movies.

This is the first movie I saw under Captive Cinema. I also realized that there are also more movies that are just as good like Rush starring Chris Hemsworth(Marvel's Avengers) as a real life car racer.

Alan's Back. Zack Galifianakis Interview about Hangover Part III

Zack Galifianakis is one reason what makes Hangover movies so good. What's the Hangover movie without  Alan in the Wolfpack. Below is the interview with Zack Galifianakis about Hangover Part III.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
 He has endeared himself to worldwide audiences by playing Alan, the mayhem-causing member of the Wolfpack. Now, comic actor Zach Galifianakis reprises the eccentric character for the last time in Warner Bros.’ male-oriented comedy “The Hangover Part III,” the epic finale of the hugely successful franchise.

In the film, the only member of the Wolfpack who’s not content is Alan. Still lacking a sense of purpose, the group’s black sheep has ditched his meds and given into his natural impulses in a big way—which, for Alan, means no boundaries, no filters and no judgment—until a personal crisis forces him to finally seek the help he needs.

And who better than his three best friends – Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) -- to make sure he takes the first step? This time, there’s no bachelor party. No wedding. What could possibly go wrong? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

The guys, led by Doug, who is Alan’s brother-in-law as well as his friend, stage an intervention in the hopes of getting him into a facility where he can get some help and put his life in order,” says director Todd Phillips. “Knowing he can’t do it alone, Doug enlists Phil and Stu. So it’s helping Alan that brings the four of them together.”

Naturally, Alan is resistant, but he finally gives in to the irresistible promise of a road trip with his three best friends. “Alan has to be told he’s having a midlife crisis because he’s not aware of it,” Galifianakis admits. “He has no idea. I guess it’s more like a coming-of-age crisis, but it’s hard to come of age when you’re already over 40.”

            Unbeknownst to the four of them, though, Alan’s long-overdue bid for mental health coincides with an equally momentous event occurring halfway around the world: Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) is breaking out of prison, “Shawshank”-style, and, like a malevolent genie freshly uncorked, will waste no time in bringing havoc into the lives of anyone close to him. And no one is closer to him than Alan.
            As a result, states Helms, “What starts out as a fairly magnanimous gesture quickly escalates into utter chaos and hell.”
Still, Phillips asserts, “If you talk to people who love these movies, they’ll often say they wish they had a friend like Alan, and that’s largely attributable to Zach. He has such sweetness behind his eyes, that he can say and do most anything and you’ll think, ‘Oh, he didn’t mean it like that.’ So he gets away with all sorts of things. People love Alan for his innocence, his big heart, and his ability to just have a good time without worrying about what other people think—which is good, even though he always goes too far and screws it up.” 

            “It’s kind of bittersweet knowing that, after this, I won’t be able to play Alan ever again. It was a nice run, though,” Zach Galifianakis remarks, considering the persona that has earned a worldwide following and made a significant impact on his own life and career. 

Knowing that “people come to these movies not to be enlightened, but to laugh and be entertained,” co-screenwriter Craig Mazin adds, “I think we laugh more when we care, and Todd and I care very much about these characters so we wanted to finish this in a meaningful way, and that meant dealing with Alan.” 

Consequently, “The Hangover Part III” nudges Alan onto an inner journey he desperately needs, that runs parallel to the story’s main action. “I hate to suggest he grows up because I don’t know how possible that would be, but something definitely starts to change in him, at a cellular level,” offers Dan Goldberg, Todd Phillips’ long-time producing partner.

This allowed us to mine comedy from the deeper aspects of the characters,” Goldberg continues. “We couldn’t rely on the same things that worked before, either in character or story. Alan has given us a lot of laughs, and this movie is no exception, but there comes a time when you think, he can’t go on like this. What if he was your friend? One element that comes across so well in these movies is that no matter how insane things get, the friendship feels real. You believe these guys truly care about each other. So the question eventually becomes, how could they allow one of their own to continue on such a self-destructive path?” 

            A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Juggernaut actor Al Pacino in Stand Up Guys

In Stand Up Guys, Al Pacino stars as Val, a freshly minted ex-con who reunites with longtime friends and aging associates Doc (Christopher Walken) and Hirsch (Alan Arkin) for a final, epic night on the town. But as their quixotic-comedic adventure ensues – launching our veteran wise guys into more mayhem than most mortals will experience in a myriad of lifetimes– they are also offered a chance to reflect on their looming mortality,the glories of youth and their unshakable bond of loyalty;the code of honor which has made them the men they are today.
Photo courtesy of Crystalsky Multimedia
Born in East Harlem and raised in the Bronx, New York, Al Pacino is one of the movies’ true living legends. Having first made his mark as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Pacino is an eight-time Academy Award nominee whose films include: And Justice For All, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Glengarry Glen Rossand Scarface. Pacino finally won his Oscar for a starring turn in Scent of a Woman (1992) and has appeared in such recent hits asOcean’s Thirteenand HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack (as euthanasia activist, Jack Kevorkian), for which he received both Emmy and Golden Globe awardsfor Best Actor in 2010/2011.

A familiar presence on the New York stage (Richard III, Merchant of Venice, Salome), Pacino has also worked as a producer and film director (Looking for Richard, 1996; Wilde Salome, 2011).

Stand Up Guys marks Pacino’s first prominent pairing with Christopher Walken, his second with Alan Arkin (with whom he costarred on screen in Glengarry Glen Ross in 1992) and his first film with veteran character actor and up-and-coming director, Fisher Stevens (producer of the 2010 Oscar winning documentary, The Cove). Dressed in a black leather blazer, a cotton jerseyand jeans, Pacino met with the international press at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. 

What attracted you to Stand Up Guys?
I thought it was an interesting script. I liked these characters. They were sort of unusual, kind of exotic. It was a small film, but it had a certain touch to it, a certain lightness to it. And, you know, Chris Walken was involved and I love Chris. So part of it was that. And then part of it was that Fisher (director, Fisher Stevens) told me he was directing. I really like the guy and always have; he’s a very special kind of person. He’s a wonderful actor and he really knows how to direct. Anyway, he told me he had this picture and I knew they were going to do it here (in Los Angeles), so I’d be close my young kids. So I thought:“Ok, let’s do it.”

I understand Fisher Stevens was part of your inner circle when you lived in New York. He used to play poker with you?
He did, many years ago.

What kind of a player was he?
He wasn’t very good. But the good thing about Fisher is he thought he was. So we liked to encourage him. And if he reads this I’m(laughs)...  What I like about poker more than anything else are the guys that we get, the group. A lot of them are old friends and people I’ve known my whole life – even as a teenager I knew some of these people. I like that gathering. There’s something comforting about it. It’s for very low stakes, so there’s a friendliness and people confer… People talk.

What was it like working with Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin?
It wasn’t as hard as movies usually are because we’re all friends. I’ve worked with Alan Arkin before (Glengarry Glen Ross). I’ve known Chris all his life practically.  We almost did Hamlet together once for Joe Papp (at the New York Public Theater). We almost did a lot of things, you know. So here was an opportunity to really work with him and I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed it. Every day, to be with a guy like that.

You still perform regularly both on stage and on screen. After all these years, do you still prefer the theater?
Yes, maybe because I started in the theater. I feel freer there. I feel closer to that environment and ultimately it gives me more pleasure in expression. I’ve always felt that. It’s a little more taxing in some ways because no matter what, even if it’s just at night that you perform, your day is sort of occupied. You’re thinking about it all the time.

What is it about acting that’s held your interest all these years? Do you still enjoy it?
Every time I get the urge to act, I lie down till it passes (laughs)... That’s Oscar Wilde, who says that about exercise (laughs)... I mean, I love it when I’m in the environment that makes it possible. But mostly it just varies from project to project. You know, sometimes I wonder, why am I doing this?  It’s like anything else.

Have you ever considered retiring?
Oh, no, I don’t even know what that means, really. Retiring to what? I think it’s all about understanding what you’re capable of doing. If a role interests me, excites me or challenges me, then I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t try it. If the roles become far and fewer between, then that’s ok too, because then I’ll find other things to do.

Do you get a sense of accomplishment from directing?
None whatsoever. Sometimes when I do a movie and I’m sitting there to see a [test screening] of the movie – you know, you do that just to get a sense of what the audience thinks. And I’m sitting there and I’m thinking…“I hope somebody grabs hold of that film right now and re-cuts it and makes it good!” (Laughs)… That’s my fantasy. I do enjoy it, though, I have to say. I don’t know that I have a sense of “accomplishment.” But I enjoy doing it, and when it’s done it isn’t the worst feeling in the world if it’s pretty entertaining and an audience responds to it. But it’s not what I… I look at the world as an actor. That’s my, for want of a better word, that’s where I find my expression. Through that.

Are you an easier to direct as a result?
Is Fisher Stevens around?  (Laughs)… I think that when I was younger, I was much more difficult. If I’ve learned anything from directing, I’ve learned what directors go through with actors. A certain amount of empathy is gotten out of that by doing it yourself. I understand directors a little more…

Do you think you’re a better actor now that you’re older?
Well, there’s no doubt that I’ve gotten easier to work with. There’s no doubt. I mean they tell me that! But I do think so. You start to understand things. When I was younger, it was tougher.

How do you deal with negative reviews?
It depends. I hear about things all the time, but I don’t… The thing is, once it’s done, it’s done. I don’t mind people giving notes while we’re working. That’s one thing. But when something is completed, what’s the point? You just say, “Excuse me, there’s nothing I can do about it now, I’m sorry. See you next year!” I tend to keep a politic distance.

Have you ever had a stand up guy in your life? Either now or in the past, someone who’s there for you, in your corner, who you knew you could always rely on?
Well I have what I think is, yes, a couple of people. But when I was growing up… I come from the South Bronx. So when I was growing up, I had people around me who I could really depend on. I felt that closeness. I think that’s one of the things that I wish my kids had more of. These friendships that develop early on in life that I had. We were out in the streets and that’s where I learned all my… My social education came from having to deal with that, my peers. And I’m so eternally grateful for that. Without that, there’s no ‘me’ here at this table, that’s for sure.

Can you tell us more about them?
Well, there’s my great friend (the acting coach) Charlie Laughton, who’s unfortunately afflicted with MS and is completely paralyzed. I’d write him every day practically when I was in New York - he’s out here. And several others. Maybe a couple of guys that I play cards with too. In movies and plays, you find people you gravitate to, but what we do is so all over the place that it’s hard to maintain those kinds of friendships.

Are you a stand up guy?
I like to think I am, yeah… The thing is you like to think you are, but it’s all about the moment it comes, you know. We like to think certain things and then we’re surprised, one way or the other, when the moment comes.

Is that what attracted you to this film - the idea that the concept of loyalty is something which is disappearing from today’s world?
That, I couldn’t speak to – whether it’s disappearing or not. I really don’t know; it’s all relative. But it was one of the things that drew me to it because I felt, in a way, I understood it. I’ve been through it, you know.  I’ve had very close friends in my life, two or three, that were as important to me as anybody else [now]. I met them early on in my life and they died of course. But my relationship with them was… It was vivid. I can look back at it now and it’s still vivid. This all happened before I was sixteen…I [still] have a lot of friends. I have some wonderful… I have friends who are, you know, people that Icould have been married to that now are very close friends of mine. They may be the closest of my friends, believe it or not. “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove” (Shakespeare; Sonnet 116). Love is there. It’s always there, right?

I notice you have two books in your pockets.
Well this is Othello, Shakespeare.

And the other?
This is an Edward G. Robinson biography (laughs)…I like biographies. I’m also reading Richard Burton’s diaries now, which I’m enjoying. Robinson too;he was a great actor and a great guy. But Burton – I had the joy of meeting him, and it’s a funny story with him. Like Marlon Brando, he was one of the people I really admired. Anyway, I saw him do Camelot when he was older and I got to meet him. “Oh, oh, oh… good to see you,” he says. And I said, “Mr. Burton you were really wonderful up there.” And he says, “Yes, I was thinking maybe we could get together. Can I have your number?” Anyway, I was so nervous that instead of my number I wrote:  “Best Wishes, Al Pacino.”  That had to be what, thirty, forty years ago (laughs)… And reading his diaries now – well, very interesting stuff. Yeah, I’m always reading something.

What about your autobiography? Would you like to write one?
Yeah, but you know, as long as I can express things in my work and whatever…I do give [talks] occasionally… I do readings, and then I do question and answer stuff. I find that as you do that, you remember things. I mean, it’s a long time I’ve been doing this. So the stories do come… The stories do come.

"Stand Up Guys" is released and distributed by Crystalsky MultimediaShowing nationwide!