Friday, July 31, 2015


The main poster and new trailer of Warner Bros.' new gangster thriller “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp have just been launched by the studio.

The film is based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, about the infamous gangster Whitey Bulger. The film stars Oscar® nominee Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger and Joel Edgerton (“The Great Gatsby”) as FBI Agent John Connolly. The film is directed by of Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”).

In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.

Black Mass” also stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey’s brother, Billy Bulger, who is a Massachusetts State Senator; Jesse Plemons as Whitey’s longtime partner in crime, Kevin Weeks; Dakota Johnson as Lindsey Cyr, Whitey’s former girlfriend and mother of his only child; Rory Cochrane as Steve Flemmi, another member of the Irish mob; Julianne Nicholson as John Connolly’s wife, Marianne; and Adam Scott as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick.

Opening across the Philippines on October 21, “Black Mass” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Check out my movie review.

Press release

Reese Witherspoon and Ant-Man’s Corey Stoll star alongside a gifted set of actors Arnold Oceng, Nyakuoth Wiel, Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal who are also real-life Sudanese refugees in the deeply moving story of “The Good Lie” where orphaned children survived during the civil war in Sudan in the early 1980s. 
                “The Good Lie” unveils the survival story of the children known as “The Lost Boys” of Sudan, young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America. Most Americans knew very little of the civil war in Sudan or of its most vulnerable victims: the more than 100,000 children left orphaned and displaced in the wake of the brutal violence that ravaged southern Sudan. But the U.S. and Sudan were about to be integrally connected by a program that brought thousands of these young Sudanese-called "the Lost Boys"-to American cities from coast to coast in the largest resettlement of its kind in U.S. history.

Though the characters in the film are fictional, "The Good Lie" mirrors what was experienced by many during those years, capturing the tragedies and the triumphs in a story that celebrates the strength of the human spirit.  Many boys were able to escape because they were in the fields taking care of the cattle. They had been told by the elders that if anything happened, they would be safe in Ethiopia or Kenya, so these children-mainly boys but also some girls-walked nearly a thousand miles for as many as four years."

                When screenwriter Margaret Nagle first learned about the Lost Boys she knew she wanted to tell their story and "shed light on a place that's dark, which is what I always want to do as a writer, and at the time, this was a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions that was unknown to most people.   Reese Witherspoon notes, "I was immediately pulled in by the story of the Lost Boys, just seeing their struggle and how they fought to survive...and then getting the opportunity to start over again in America and what inherent challenges that presented to them. The script really offered a perspective of these two worlds meeting."

                Starring as Carrie, Reese Witherspoon says, "We see their acclimation to America partly through her eyes. As much as it was an incredible opportunity for the Sudanese to start a new life in America, it was also a challenging and difficult cultural adjustment for a lot of them, who were still dealing with the trauma of their early life.

                "It's rare to be part of a film that crosses so many cultural lines," she continues. "This story brings those lines together and finds the common humanity in them, while exploring things like isolation, perseverance and the importance of family. It raises a lot of good questions, and I think director Philippe was able to get them all on film, which made it such a rich, rewarding experience for us."

                “The Good Lie” is now showing (opened July 29) exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide.  Check for online ticket purchase and reserved seats.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Good Lie movie review

Telling a lie is considered a sin or violation. Regardless of which upbringing, nobody likes a lie even if most people do it. But when is a lie considered good? The movie The Good Lie tackled that issue. The story is set in a war-torn African country. It centered mostly on the children who escaped from being slaughtered in the village and began their trek along miles of desert that took them days before reaching the refuge camp.

Here's my list of points why I like the movie and why you should watch it. I guarantee no spoilers.

#Even though it stars Reese Witherspoon, her is only instrumental and essential to the story but she was not the protagonist.

#The actors who play the refugees are actors who are also refugees themselves. They also experience the hostilities and they can speak their language.

#It is a true story.

#The movie is also a cross-cultural situation. It makes us aware of the situation happening in countries like these.

#It also has its funny moments.

For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. The Good Lie is shown exclusively for Ayala Cinema. Check out for schedules and ticket reservations.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

American Heist movie review

American Heist is a movie that centered on James and his older brother Frankie, played by Hayden Christensen and Academy Award winner Adrien Brody who got embroiled in a bank robbery. I listed some points why you should see this movie.

#Adrien Brody has done many types of roles. This one will add to the list.

#After the Star Wars prequels, we rarely see Hayden Christensen in the movies.

#Even though it is an action movie, it is still a family movie. It highlights the bond of two brothers despite the circumstances.

#Jordana Brewster's first movie after Fast & Furious 7. I find her sexy in the rain scene.

#To top this list, Akon's performance is good. He was scary and charismatic in his character. I look forward to his future movie projects. He did well as an actor in this movie.

Over all, the substance of the story is similar to TV-released or Direct-to-DVD released movies but it is still a good movie to watch.

For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.  American Heist is  now showing in the following Philippine cinemas: SM MOA, SM Megamall, SM San Lazaro, SM Sta. Mesa, SM North EDSA, SM Manila, SM Marikina, SM Cauayan, SM Fairview, SM Bacolod, SM Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Davao, SM Lanang, SM Southmall, Teatro De Dapitan, Remar Cubao, Cinerama Recto, Greenhills, Sta. Lucia, Gateway Cineplex Cubao, Gaisano CDO, and Gaisano Iligan.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paper Towns movie review

After watching The Fault In Our Stars, I thought it was just any other young adult genre adaptation that will give me a heavy heart. After seeing the trailer Paper Towns, I figured it may be different. 

Like any adaptation, it is still best to read the original source. Most purists criticize any adaptation but it is really hard to do it. In a foreword written by Dan Brown in Da Vinci Code: An Illustrated Screenplay, he admits that he tried writing a screenplay for the movie but it one page took a lot of pages so he decided to leave it to the experts.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Paper Towns begins the story of Quentin or Q narrating how it started. Although the movie focused on Q and his feelings for Margo, it also give spotlight on other characters like Q's friends who got their own personal issues.

What made this movie appealing because it got the audience/viewer see themselves in the movie. Q, Margo and their friends may mirror the viewer when they were in high school. Unlike any teen flick, there are deep insights you may agree or disagree especially on quotable quotes from Margo. But she has very good insights in life. In my case, I see myself in Q's shoes when I was in my teens. You see your struggles, the bullies you confront, your small circle of friends who stands by you and the girl who is your miracle.

The strongest character in the movie is Margo. She is unlike any girl. She is enigmatic that she herself is became the mystery which only illumined to a privilege to see through her puzzles. Without spoiling this is not the ending you expected but I can guarantee it is not as depressing as Fault In Our Stars because I left the cinema with a smile and a deep sigh of relief.

The story is universal. You don't need to wait for a local network to translate it to Tagalog to understand it. If this was a Filipino movie, it won't be far off. Paper Towns is one come-of-age movie that no one should miss.

For more movie reviews follow the Movie Buff's Reviews and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Paper Towns opens July 22 in Philippine cinemas by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Press release

The first-look trailer of Warner Bros. Pictures' “Suicide Squad” that was shown to the Comic Con crowd a few days has now been officially released wide by the studio.

The new action adventure “Suicide Squad” brings DC Comics’ super villain team to the big screen under the direction of David Ayer (“Fury”), who also wrote the screenplay.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The film stars two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Ali,” upcoming “Focus”) as Deadshot; Joel Kinnaman (“Run All Night,” “RoboCop”) as Rick Flagg; Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Focus,” upcoming the “Tarzan” movie) as Harley Quinn; Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club,” “Alexander”) as the Joker; Jai Courtney (“Divergent,” “The Water Diviner”) as Boomerang; and Cara Delevingne (“Anna Karenina,” upcoming “Pan”) as Enchantress.

Suicide Squad” is produced by Charles Roven (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) and Richard Suckle (“American Hustle”). Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns are serving as executive producers.

The film is slated for release in the Philipines on August 3, 2016, from Warner Bros. Pictures.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Press release

The latest breed of action talents following years of training in various martial arts star in the highly-kinetic film “Die Fighting.”  
Photo courtesy of Crystalsky Media
              The movie starts with four friends known as the Z-Team, Shaolin-forged martial artists who have just won the top award at a Film Festival. Fabien, Lohan, Didier and Jess immediately set their sights for Hollywood, but from within the shadows emerges a new challenge: the four find themselves in front of the seemingly inescapable eye of a mysterious director who forces them to “act” in his own brutal reality film, with the lives of their loved ones at stake. Their every move watched through hidden cameras like mice in a maze, the Z-Team are forced to run a gamut through the seedy underbelly of LA – from robbing an armored truck, encountering a rug Lord, breaking an entire dojo of BLACKBELTS, evading a SWAT team, surviving a blazing gunfight…and it’s all a part of the Director’s script. A dark filmmaker’s game culminating into a shocking ending which reveals just how high the price of success is.

              As producer and lead actor Laurent Buson noted, “A lot of the punches and kicks have to be real in order to be believable” to the audience. And no doubles were used; the actors are the fighters.  With “Die Fighting,” as with Z Team’s many short films, the battles play out with hardly any  obtrusive camera tricks. The Z Team ethic mandates that the full range of martial art techniques be filmed without the choppy editing utilized in so many other action movies.

              Director Fabien Garcia shot the movie like a Hong Kong action flick “because it is easy to understand what is happening” on-screen, whereas “American films are the opposite” of this visual aesthetic. Using three high-end digital cameras, including a Red One (Mysterium-X), the cast and crew filmed the meticulously-crafted action scenes with some notable influences in mind. The script even makes a few direct references to the movie heroes from the Z Team’s youthful years who themselves have undergone martial arts training since they were young. Without sacrificing originality, an homage was made each to Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon,” Jackie Chan’s “Drunken Master 2,” and Chow-Yun Fat’s “Hard Boiled.”

              During the epic showdown between best friends turned savage by the manipulations of the  Director, Laurent insisted that Fabien kick him particularly hard for a realistic effect. The result was Laurent having to fight with a broken rib for 9 of the 10 days in the warehouse finale.  Yet and still, director Fabien was meticulous about getting enough footage to pull the best takes from his actors/fighters. Similarly in post-production, Fabien was a painstaking editor who took a year and a half to cut together the rough assembly. That’s the true meaning of “kung fu”—working skillfully toward a particular endeavor.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Press release

How many miles would you go for a friend? In the very endearing coming of age movie, “Paper Towns” based on bestselling tome by John Green, high school friends drove and rode more than a thousand miles for a friend to find the girl he’s smitten with since he was nine.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
              From the same team that produced “Fault In Our Stars,” “Paper Towns” tells the story of Quentin (Nat Wolff), a romantic and studious teenager, who is in love with Margo (Cara Delevingne), his beautiful and enigmatic next-door neighbor.  Good friends as children, they have since grown apart. But one night, towards the end of high school, Margo persuades Quentin to join her on a wild, night long adventure, which involves a series of outrageous pranks.  But the next day, Margo disappears, leaving behind a trail of clues. Q and his friends set off on a road trip to track her down.

              Directed by Jake Schreier, Q’s story began when he was nine when the lovely Margo moved into the house next door. A studious boy who has his life mapped out, Q is close to his similarly clever and slightly nerdy classmates, Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith).  In finding Margo, the group bonds along their journey and what begins as a mission to find the missing girl turns into a fun-filled, transformational journey of discovery, as they head for a ‘paper town’, called Agloe in New York.

              While the story centers on the relationship between Q and Margo, the supporting cast have their own interesting trajectories. “Everybody is at the center of their own story and I wanted them all to have arcs,” says Green. Justice Smith plays Q’s friend Radar who is on the road trip with his girlfriend Angela. “He’s nicknamed Radar because he looks like Radar from M*A*S*H, but the only similarity is that they both have glasses and they're both very intelligent,” says Smith. “Radar is obsessed with looking up facts and solving puzzles and mysteries. He is obsessively organized. 

              Smith and Jaz Sinclair who plays Angela, were actually friends before landing the roles in “Paper Towns.” “It was a huge coincidence that we ended up playing boyfriend and girlfriend. We have lots of chemistry and a solid connection; it’s awesome,” Sinclair shares. Also on the road trip is Q’s friend Ben (Abrams), who is obsessed with Lacey (Halston Sage) but considers her to be way out of his league. “Lacey is known as the pretty blonde girl in high school but you find out that she is actually very smart and she has a brain, there’s a lot more to her than her looks,” says Sage of her role.

              Director Schreier brings an inimitable style and enthusiasm to the film, but it’s the author’s original story that gives “Paper Towns” its heart.  “John really admires teens and sees them as thoughtful and emotionally questing human beings,” adds Isaac Klausner. “He identifies high school years as a time when your intellect is fully formed and you're deeply curious. His characters don’t feel like the generalized whitewashed teenagers you often read, they feel like real people.   It is the sort of coming of age story that we haven't seen in a very long time,” concludes Isaac Klausner. “It has adventure, comedy and mystery and it explores big ideas. I think the film is going to be really great fun and incredibly touching.”

              It’s a date with friends when “Paper Towns” opens July 22 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Press release

Channing Tatum reprises the title role and again serves as a producer on Warner Bros. Pictures' “Magic Mike XXL,” the highly awaited sequel to the 2012 worldwide hit “Magic Mike.”
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Three years after Mike Lane (Tatum) quit the stripper spotlight for a different kind of life, he’s come to realize he traded one grind for another. The business he launched isn’t exactly crushing it, and the girl he thought was the one…wasn’t. But it’s more than that. Tatum explains, “You definitely get the sense that something vital is missing. He’s just not ‘switched on’ the way he was when he was dancing.”

For Mike, it was never just about the money. Or the women, or the parties, or the fame. It was his passion. And the crew he left behind? They were the best friends he ever had.

Describing the new story, Tatum says, “The first movie was more about him rejecting that life because he feared maybe it was holding him back from seeing what else he could do. But now that he’s stepped away and some time has passed, he remembers everything that was good and cool and fun about it and, most of all, about the guys who were on that wild adventure with him. It might not have been perfect and neither were they, but he loved those guys and they had some great times. Mike has been working very hard since the closing frame of the first movie, and we catch up with him at the point where he realizes he needs a little bit of that old mojo. He needs some of that crazy life to shake things up for him again.”
It’s time to get out there and have some fun, doing what he does best. So, when the former Kings of Tampa look him up on their way to the stripper convention in Myrtle Beach – an event that is every bit as outrageous as it sounds – Magic Mike can’t resist. He’s in.

It was vital that for “Magic Mike XXL” the dance routines were not only original, sexy and breathtakingly intense, but integral to the story and the characters. Director Gregory Jacobs affirms, “We wanted the dances to connect thematically to each of the guys and reflect some kind of character development with a big payoff at the end.”

“Channing, honestly, has the most incredible ideas; he’s so instinctual and a lot of it comes from him,” choreographer Alison Faulk says. Offering a couple of examples, “Adam plays on the machismo element and he’s athletic, so we challenged him with some hip-hop moves and a kip-up, which is a kind of full-body rising movement from the floor that requires a lot of abdominal strength.”

Tatum lent his expertise, working closely with Faulk and Jacobs to craft the most powerful dance performances, not only for himself but for all the roles – a process that could have been far more awkward if not for the fact that he and the choreographer share a longtime association. “We spent hours in a room, trying to figure out the right dance moves,” he says. “We were saying things like, ‘Don’t put your crotch here; put it more over here.’ It was ridiculous.”

Their dedication was evident throughout, starting with the first beats of Tatum’s opening number, a stirring freestyle solo that Mike executes in the garage where he makes furniture, triggered by Ginuwine’s “Pony” on the radio. As Magic Mike, it was his signature song, and hearing it still sets his body irresistibly in motion. Alone, he moves seemingly for the pure pleasure of it, ingeniously incorporating the drills and sanders of his trade while gliding across workbenches and spinning off chairs as the music guides him – perhaps reminding himself that dancing is still a part of who he is.

Not that there was any doubt. “Channing’s performance is unbelievable,” Jacobs states. “It’s really impossible to take your eyes off him when he starts to move. And it’s there, in that first dance, when he hears that song and the call of this trip is so strong that he can’t pass it up.”

Opening across the Philippines on July 15, “Magic Mike XXL” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Press material

The filmmakers of Warner Bros. Pictures' “Magic Mike XXL” amped up the volume with new female characters that introduce unexpected challenges and directions. Playing them are Amber Heard as the elusive Zoe, a photographer who catches Mike’s (Channing Tatum) eye; Andie MacDowell as Nancy, an uninhibited Southern Belle who might have something BDR (Joe Manganiello) had given up hope of ever finding; and Jada Pinkett Smith is Rome, a woman from Mike’s past.

The guys who wowed audiences around the world in the rousing hit “Magic Mike” are back. This time, they’re turning up the heat and taking it on the road – with a revealing new story, a fresh perspective on the future and a bigger, bolder set of some of the hottest and most exciting dance moves ever captured on the big screen.

Rome is now the impresario of a one-of-a-kind exotic entertainment palace, which takes Mike and his buddies (Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash) down a rabbit hole of possibilities that are nothing short of inspiring and brings a fresh focus to their performances. Likewise, Pinkett Smith, who had never been to a strip club before, says, “When I saw how exhilarating it was to be with other women in that environment and see how much joy they were getting from celebrating these beautiful men and really exploring that primal nature within us, it was an eye-opening experience for me.”

“Rome’s club is so far removed from anything they know, they come away from it realizing that they all have something unique to offer,” adds Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, Mike has his first of several chance meetings with Amber Heard’s Zoe at a beach party, illuminated mainly by car headlights. An intriguing young woman with a flair for candid photography, Zoe is someone he’d like to learn more about, but, for the moment, she gives him only a smile and something to think about. “What I like about the way these two interact is that they don’t follow a traditional trajectory of ‘boy meets girl, boy chases girl,’” Heard observes of their keep-‘em-guessing interplay. “It’s not about that. We get the impression that they have something to impart to each other which is not possible in their first meeting, though they’re drawn to each other.”

Another unscheduled but equally inspiring detour takes them to a formal-looking plantation house owned by a very informal woman: Nancy, played with authentic southern charm by the South Carolina-born Andie MacDowell, whose breakout role was in Steven Soderbergh’s now-classic “sex, lies and videotape.” Says director Gregory Jacobs, “She was the first person I thought of when this character was written.”

Recently divorced, unabashedly flirtatious and a mite inebriated, Nancy is toasting her newfound freedom with some girlfriends, and they couldn’t be more delighted when these five handsome hunks in shorts and sleeveless shirts enter the floral-wallpapered parlor like gladiators taking the arena. For MacDowell, “It was a totally different experience than I’ve ever had in my entire career; a lot of big, crazy, talented male energy.”

Playing at being mysterious, Manganiello offers, “My character has had some difficulty romantically, that has become a source of concern for him. Let’s say it takes the right kind of woman to handle a guy like Big Dick Richie.”

“And Nancy says, ‘Bring it on,’” MacDowell counters enthusiastically. “She’s primed for a good time and she may have finally found the right man.”

“Magic Mike XXL” reunites Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias, stars of the 2012 worldwide hit “Magic Mike.”

Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, “Magic Mike XXL” finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them.

On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.

“Magic Mike XXL” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Press release

Academy Award nominee and multi-awarded young actress Abigail Breslin, known for her remarkable portrayals in movies such as “Little Miss Sunshine,” “August: Osage County,” “Ender’s Game” and “Maggie” stars in another avant-garde role in “Final Girl.”

                Abigail Breslin takes on a very tough and chilling role in “Final Girl” where the tables are turned when a group of young men becomes the hunted when they finally met their match in one girl, an assassin who’s been trained since she was young and has chosen the group to be her final task.  

                Beyond the continuing battle between the sexes, in “Final Girl,” Breslin plays real badass assassin Veronica, a new student who is shy and vulnerable – the perfect target for a group of teenage boys who lure girls into the woods to hunt and kill them for sport. It's only after they get her alone and escaped, eventually revealing she's armed and knows how to defend herself. Little do they know, Veronica is an assassin-in-training, and she's chosen killing these boys as her final test. When the dust clears, Veronica will find out if she can be the final girl these boys ever have a chance to hurt.  

                During filming, it was reported that Breslin sent a stuntman straight to the medic on the set while filming “Final Girl” after she punched him in the face.  Abigail was shooting a huge action scene where she was hanging out of a car and then "pretending" to knock out her scene partner when things got hairy.   Sources say that Abigail accidentally clocked the stunt guy for real and the punch was so powerful, he had to stop filming and was rushed straight to the on-set medic.  Abigail was extremely apologetic when it happened. And as for the guy, he resumed filming a short time later with a giant black eye.

                "She is doing everything in the movie," director Tyler Shields explained. "She is unlike anyone has ever seen her before. You will see the dangerous and the beautiful side of Abigail Breslin." 

                “It’s really exciting and bizarre; and Tyler Shields directed it, and that speaks on its own, if you know who Tyler Shields is. I’m just really excited for people to see it,” Breslin stated.

                Breslin stars alongside a powerful cast of young actors – Alexander Ludwig and Wes Bentley of “The Hunger Games” series and Cameron Bright of the “Twilight” series.

                “Final Girl” hits theatres this July 8 from Pioneer Films.