Friday, February 26, 2016

Risen movie review

I've seen many movies and features for Lent. Sometimes, I get to see one feature after another but they are all the same. But this is the first time, I got to watch a story about Lent in another perspective.

The story set on Clavius, a Roman Military Tribune assigned in Caesarea. He reports directly to Pontius Pilate when one of the biggest historical events happened. The crucifixion of an innocent Jew.

Joseph Fiennes was OK to play the role of the character Clauvius. What I didn't expect was Tom Felton, who plays Lucius, his aide. At least he is trying out other roles besides a nuisance to a boy wizard.

Just like Ben-Hur and the Fourth Wise Man, the protagonist is not part of the Biblical canon. In layperson's terms, it is not found in the Bible. But it does not mean that it may or may not happen. What I like about the movie was that it didn't just focus on the spiritual aspect of the story. It was not too preachy. But it also focuses on the socio-political aspect of it.

One should realize who was the governing superpower during this era. How was the politics in Judea during the time of Christ. Overall, this movie favors religious denominations with Judeo-Christian background or Trinitarian. But I suggest not to ignore the socio-political and not just focus on its spiritual content.

Remember, the cross is just a tool for torture and nothing more before Yeshua died in it. I used the original Jewish name of Jesus because that is the name used in the story. For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Press release

 Robert Pattinson, best known for his role in the highly-successful young adult blockbuster “Twilight” films essays a more mature role starring with Nicole Kidman and James Franco in the true-to-life story of trailblazing woman  in “Queen of the Desert” directed by award-winning Werner Herzog.

Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson
                Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell aptly referenced as the “Queen of the Desert,”  bring to the big screen the true-life story of Bell, who was a British political officer and archaeologist but ultimately a trailblazer on her terms. The story details the extraordinary adventures of Bell wrestling with the conflicts of love and tragedy, enemy and friend, and foreign and familiar as she sought to understand and unify people from different cultures.

                Gertrude Bell, a real-life British woman who was alternately a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. While only a commoner herself, Bell was nonetheless a kingmaker, helping found the modern states of Iraq and Jordan and installing their first rulers, King Abdullah and King Faisal.

                Another legendary character that appears in this film is T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, played by Robert Pattinson.  His role as T.E. Lawrence is a British Army officer whose writing earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, on whom David Lean’s 1962 classic blockbuster movie epic is based. Lawrence was a good friend to Bell over the years, as the duo helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq. “I needed an Englishman, who still has the air of a schoolboy, but who is very intelligent. He plays Lawrence of Arabia, but at age 22, on an archaeological site. Pattinson is very good in this role. He is an intelligent man and the choice was quite natural”, says Herzog of casting Pattinson.

                Pattinson says landing the role was “just crazy”.  “I’ve been a fan of Herzog since I was 16. I met him for that job three years ago; I thought it was never going to happen and when it finally did, it was amazing. Riding around Morocco on a camel, it was pretty great,” says Pattinson in his previous interviews.

                Of working with the director, Pattinson says, “It’s insane because he wrote the script as well and it’s one of the most difficult scripts I’ve ever read. Werner’s great. He’s exactly what you’d expect. He’s got so many amazing stories. He’s got insane confidence as well. I think that’s where all his creativity comes from. He’s got 100% belief in himself.”

                From Axinite Digicinema, “Queen of the Desert” opens March 2 exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Press release

The student is now a teacher in “Kung Fu Panda 3” where Po (voiced by Jack Black), the dragon warrior had been tasked by their master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to take on the responsibility of further training the Furious Five.  As Po faces the insurmountable challenge of training his idols, the “best of the best” Kung Fu warriors in all of China – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu), Crane (David Cross) and Mantis (Seth Rogen), he then meets his biological father Li Chan who made his way to the Valley of Peace looking for his long lost son.
Photo courtesy of Dreamworks Animation/20th Century Fox
                “Kung Fu Panda 3” brings Po in full circle as he continues his evolution as a hero, leaving his comfort zone to become a teacher and finally become the Panda he was meant to be - bringing together his biological family and his kung fu family to become a master of the past and the future.

                As Po attempts to instruct his idols – Tigress, Monkey, Viper, Crane and Mantis – in the finer points of kung fu, chaos reigns in the Training Hall, a place of discipline, honor and sacred practice. “The Five have become positive and optimistic about their friend Po, but they have serious doubts about his abilities as a teacher.  And for good reason!” says Lucy Lui.

                According to Jack Black, who once again voices the iconic role, that scene points to the fact that “Po is no Shifu, let’s be honest.  He’s freaking out and doesn’t think he’s up to these new responsibilities, which are weighing him down even more than the countless dumplings he consumes.”

                It is Shifu who first recognized and channeled Po’s passion for kung fu, and, now, once again pushing Po to the next level, insists he become a teacher.  “Shifu knows Po must face the challenge of becoming a teacher, but he also knows it’s not going to be easy,” says producer Melissa Cobb.

                Short of stature and, sometimes, of patience, Shifu is a fun and complex character. Oscar® winner Dustin Hoffman returns to voice the role, to which he brings four decades of experience as one of the world’s great actors, as well as world-class comedy chops.
                Unlike Shifu, the Furious Five have serious doubts about Po’s ability to teach kung fu.  These protectors of the Valley of Peace take their art form very seriously and have always had the best-of-the-best instructor – Shifu – keep a weather eye on them.  Now, they have to take instruction…from Po?

                The victims of Po’s instruction are Monkey (voiced by the legendary Jackie Chan), whose mischievous and playful nature masks a cunning martial arts ability; Crane (David Cross), the pragmatist of the group; Mantis (Seth Rogen), the smallest and most temperamental of the Five; Viper (Lucy Liu), the team’s “mother hen”; and Tigress, the strongest and boldest of the Furious Five.

                Po’s cluelessness as a teacher reminds us of the character we met and fell and love with in KUNG FU PANDA.    Po has no bigger fans than the filmmakers who have brought him to life.  Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who’s been with Po from the very beginning of his journey, notes: “The trait I love most about Po is his boundless enthusiasm.  It’s a pleasure to spend time with Po, because he’s just so passionate about everything.” 

                “The fact that he discovers what makes him special and uses that to become the best he can be, is also something we can all identify with,” Yuh Nelson continues.  “Everybody wants to learn what makes them unique and to use that information to become a better person.  I think that’s great for kids and adults to hear – and it’s important for us, the filmmakers, because we certainly don’t fit into any kind of mold!”           

                “Kung Fu Panda’s” theme of being the best you, you can be, clearly resonates with Jolie Pitt.  “It’s telling us we don’t need to emulate others; we should focus on who you are and your personal growth,” she explains.  “That’s relatable to everyone.  We’re always trying to find our best selves and our center.”

                “Kung Fu Panda 3” opens March 9 in cinemas (2D, 3D and IMAX 3D) nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.       

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Press release

The balance between life and death was disturbed in the horror film “The Other Side of the Door” when an inconsolable mother, Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) disobeyed a sacred ritual when she opened the door that separates the living and the dead in a desperate move to talk to her son who died in an accident.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
                 After Maria and Michael’s (Jeremy Sisto) eight-year-old son Oliver dies tragically in a car accident, the boy returns to the world of the living, but in an altered form.  His reappearance affects everyone in the family, including his sister, Lucy (Sofia Rosinsky).  “Lucy is put at risk by Oliver’s return,” says scribe Ernest Riera.  “She’s the first person to get in touch with Oliver once he’s back, because she’s a child and believes in the supernatural more readily.”

                “The Other Side of the Door” is a story about a family and about a woman who crosses the line from grief to madness,” says Callies.  “I have never played a character that revolved so completely around loss and the inability to heal.  Until that tragedy, Maria had always walked between raindrops.  She’d been so fortunate, and then in the space of an hour it all changes.”

                As the story unfolds, the American expat family starts to uncover a side of India many Westerners have never experienced. “India is a unique and extraordinary place, and until you’ve been there, you really don’t know what it’s like,” says producer Rory Aitken. 

                Director Johannes Roberts and Riera were fascinated by the Aghori, Indian natives who have a connection to the evil spirit that has returned with Oliver.  To ensure authenticity in the portrayal of the Aghori, the filmmakers conducted extensive research into various Hindu rituals and mythologies. 

                Another spiritual figure in the film is the Myrtu, a creature that comes to take Oliver back to the underworld.  “She too communes with the dead, like the Aghori, but is an amalgamation of ideas and a made-up entity,” Roberts explains.  He and Riera were careful not to depict or mimic any real Hindu gods and goddesses, so they created Myrtu from several inspirations, including Greek mythology and mixed Indian myth.

                Javier Botet who portrays Myrtu, a four-armed figure,  sees Myrtu as “a hunter and victim, at the same time.  Myrtu must control and punish humans who, like Maria, disobey the rule to never open the door.  Myrtu is like a mother lioness keeping limits, with ferocity.  It’s a powerful, violent, but ultimately sad character.”
                The story’s Indian setting is a critical element and required many different locations and builds and  the city of Mumbai was determined to best fit the filmmakers’ creative and technical needs.  As the epicenter of the Bollywood industry, which produces far more movies than Hollywood, the city of Mumbai has a distinct filmmaking culture and audience.  Mumbai, or Bombay, as some call it, is a modern metropolis with a multi-layered nature: architectural vestiges of its colonial past provide sharp contrasts with a congested and connected metropolis.  It was important to the film’s creative team to find a balance between the real and imagined India of yesterday and today, and to represent the concentrated intensity of colors, tastes, smells and sounds through a variety of locations, both familiar and never before captured on film. 

                Aitken found the Indian setting to be a strong draw.  “The fact that it’s set in India and has an Indian mythology and Hindu symbolism is a new kind of twist,” he remarks. “I hadn’t seen that before.”

                “The Other Side of the Door” opens February 24 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Press release

France’s “Bastille Day,” the country’s national holiday commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the attack on The Bastille. The Bastille is a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. Many people in France associated it with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy in the late 1700s. On July 14, 1789, troops stormed the Bastille. This was a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution. Fête de la Fédération was held on July 14, 1790. This was a way to celebrate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France.

Richard Madden and Idris Elba
                The fight against  terrorism has become a global issue unifying countries and strengthening security measures to protect its people – such measures and struggle of government working with various entities will soon be seen in the latest thrilling action film against terrorism in “Bastille Day.” Starring this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards’ double winner Idris Elba, who won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (“Beasts of No Nation”) and  Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries(“Luther”), Elba takes on the role of a former CIA agent who embark on an anti-terrorist mission in France. 

                James Watkins directs the engrossing and mind-blowing “Bastille Day” written by Andrew Baldwin where a young American artist Michael (Richard Madden) living in Paris and a washed-up CIA agent Sean (Elba) who are thrown together and tasked with diverting an imminent attack on the city.

                On the eve of Bastille Day, a young French woman, Zoe Naville (Charlotte Le Bon), slips across Paris with the intent of planting a bomb to make a radical political statement but means to kill no one. At the last moment, she decides that she cannot commit this violent act. Michael Mason, an American artist and pickpocket, steals Zoe’s bag, keeps what he can use and throws the rest away into a garbage bin next to a busy Metro stop. 

                At the same time, inside the ultra-secure CIA Station in Paris, Sean Briar, an agent brought in from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq in the wake of a mission that has gone terribly wrong, struggles to adjust to his reassignment as a desk-bound data analyst : a misfit real warrior in a world of cyber counter-terrorists.  When the bomb goes off, Michael becomes the only suspect. Briar is determined to find him and bring him into custody before the French authorities do.  From then on, Briar, Michael, and Zoe will be bound together in a 24-hour suspense ride across the city, in a frantic attempt to expose a conspiracy of chaos and greed that only they can prove.

                “Bastille Day” opens very soon this April in cinemas nationwide in the Phils. from Axinite Digicinema. Check out the film’s trailer release here:

Friday, February 19, 2016


Press release

Invading cinemas earlier than expected, “Kung Fu Panda 3” will have sneak previews (whole day) on February 29 (Monday) and March 1 (Tuesday) nationwide in the Philippines, in 2D and 3D screens.

Photo courtesy of Dreamworks Animation/20th Century Fox
                The latest and third instalment in the global phenomenal franchise, “Kung Fu Panda 3” ruled the US box-office for weeks and is tracking almost US$200 million to-date. The latest kick-ass and hyper-action family-oriented animation brings back Jack Black as the loveable Po along with the Furious Five, Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie Pitt), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Crane (David Cross) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) with their Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) who now brings the franchise into full-swing action mode as he takes on to be the Furious Five’s master. 

                Po, considered as the Dragon Warrior is now tasked by Master Shifu to take on the role of being the teacher to the Furious Five, a task Po is not so ready to take on, not initially at least.  Making the transition from student to teacher isn’t the only upheaval in Po’s life.  His long-lost biological father, Li Chan, has made his way to the Valley of Peace and to an emotional and hilarious reunion with Po.  Acclaimed “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston joins the franchise to lend his voice to Li.

                Meanwhile, Po and the Furious Five have yet to encounter their ultimate nemesis, Kai (voiced by J.K. Simmons), once brothers-in-arms with Po’s father figure mentor Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), the ancient tortoise who now lives in the spirit realm.  In the Spirit Realm, Kai has taken the chi from thousands of masters, collecting them as jade amulets on his belt.  With this accumulated power, he defeats Oogway, breaks free from the Spirit Realm, and arrives on Earth.  The only one who can defeat Kai is a master of chi, and the only teachers of chi are pandas – or so Li tells Po. 

                Black embraced the opportunity to revisit one of his most treasured movie characters and found it easy to reclaim his inner-Dragon Warrior.  “I just go back to a younger me, when I was starting my career,” he explains.  “That’s how I see Po – as young lover of kung fu.  My love was rock and roll and acting, but Po and I share that unreserved passion.   I, too, was a young Dragon Warrior,” he jokes.

                “Kung Fu Panda 3” kicks in full blast in cinemas on its regular opening day on March 9 in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D screens nationwide from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Press release

The battle is bigger in IMAX! Take your first look at exclusive IMAX poster of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” which has just been unveiled by Warner Bros.

The one-sheet also nicely reminds viewers that “select footage” were filmed using IMAX cameras.

From director Zack Snyder comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Opening across the Philippines in 3D, 2D, and IMAX 3D theaters on Black Saturday, March 26, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Press release


                Based loosely on the life and rise of inventor and home shopping star Joy Mangano, starring Jennifer Lawrence in the titular role for which she is nominated in the Best Actress category in this year’s Academy Awards, the genre-blurring story of “Joy” follows the wild path of a hard-working but half-broken family and the young girl who ultimately becomes its shining matriarch and leader in her own right.  Driven to create and take care of those around her, Joy experiences betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love.  Ultimately, she finds the steel and the belief to follow her once-suppressed dreams.  The result is an emotional and human comedy about a woman’s rise – navigating the unforgiving world of commerce, the chaos of family and the mysteries of inspiration while finding an unyielding source of happiness.

                Joining Lawrence is a typically wide-ranging Russell ensemble including Robert De Niro as Joy’s hot-tempered yet hopelessly romantic father; Edgar Ramirez as Joy’s ex-husband, a struggling musician living in the basement … with her father; Diane Ladd as Joy’s insightful and influential grandmother; Virginia Madsen as Joy’s soap-opera addicted mother; Isabella Rossellini as her father’s well-off Italian lover; Dascha Polanco as Joy’s life-long friend and confidante,; Elisabeth Rohm as Joy’s rivalrous sister and Bradley Cooper as the mogul-style home shopping executive who becomes both Joy’s ally and adversary. 

                Outside of Joy’s family, her biggest ally – and later her greatest business rival – is QVC executive Neil Walker, portrayed by long-lived David O. Russell collaborator Bradley Cooper, an Oscar® nominee for Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle as well as Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.   Cooper and Russell talked about bringing a dash of early Hollywood mogul to the character, having Cooper explore an easy flair and optimism new to their work together.

                The character both soothes Joy with his exuberant love of invention and fires her up to outdo his expectations.  Cooper explains:  “Neil’s a fictional composite of several people at QVC who worked with Joy.  What’s so interesting about him is that he’s a guy who becomes more relaxed the more the pressure increases.  I liken him to certain coaches I had growing up who were always on an even keel amidst utter chaos – and in that way I think he has a kinship with Joy.  At the same time, he takes his business very seriously.  He sees himself as a Jack Warner or Daryl Zanuck, building an empire of dreams.  He’s not messing around and there’s no irony to him.  He believes everything he says.” 

                Rather than a typically malevolent corporate presence, Cooper approached Neil as someone who is exhilarated by giving people that one-in-a-million shot.  “Neil is someone who doesn’t look like other television executives, just as Joy doesn’t look like an inventor,” Cooper observes.  “And he’s very aware that he was given a chance by Barry Diller to make QVC work.  So he loves that he’s now in a position to give others who might be iconoclasts the chance to realize their biggest ideas.  When he meets Joy, she’s on the precipice of changing her life and he gives her that opportunity.” 

                Cooper notes that he grew up with QVC.  “My mother always ordered from QVC, and it was always on in my parents’ bedroom,” he recalls.  “I’d come home from school and the front door would be wedged open with a QVC package waiting.  I even had the Miracle Mop in my college dorm.” 

                He had fun exploring the behind-the-scenes life of that world he only saw from the other side.  But Cooper’s greatest pleasure was watching Jennifer Lawrence fully embody Joy. “She has become this incredible force. She always was from the start – but now it’s being realized in new ways,” he comments.  “She has this grounded, very rooted way of walking through a movie.  It’s similar to what I’ve encountered with De Niro; I find them very similar in terms of the way they approach the work.  That’s probably why David works with both of them over and over.” 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How To Be Single movie review

What I like about the movie How To Be Single:

#The main character is played by Dakota Johnson. You will forget that she is in 50 Shades Of Grey movie. She is a lot better actress here and comedy suits her.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

#Alison Brie. I love her since The Five Year Old Engagement. She looked so young for her age, And this movie is one of her best roles since Unikitty in Lego Movie.

#Rebel Wilson. Not just she made you laugh but this movie will be different without her. 'Nuff said.

#It is not a traditional Valentine movie. You can really relate if you are single. It is also universal. But this movie will make singleness a good thing.

#You can watch it even if you are alone because you can understand being single. It can be watched by couples so that they will learn to appreciate singleness. But it is best to watch with your circle of friends.

#The male characters are a colorful batch of different personalities that made this movie good.

#But the best part, these women are empowered.

How To Be Single is the second best movies that opened this week. The first one is Deadpool. Opens February 11 in Philippine cinemas through Warner Bros. For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Press release

  Starring Jennifer Lawrence in the title role, the relatable incredible success story in “Joy,” helmed by director David O. Russell explores of how one person, confronted with madcap circumstances, endless obstacles and a long road of self-searching, forges a meaningful, joyful life, loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano (home TV shopping magnate).
Credit: 20th Century Fox

                The film stars Academy Award® winner Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games series) as Joy, in a multi-hued portrait that spans from youth to her 40s, from dreams deferred to fighting for her honor to striving for self-fulfillment. 

                Says Lawrence: “This is a story about so many things.  It’s not just the story of Joy. It’s about family, imagination, faith in yourself, about the ruthlessness of success and what it means when you find it. I love most of all how much Joy changes.  I loved taking her from vulnerable and self-deprecating to cold and strong, and I loved that she turns into a real matriarch of her family.” 

                Joining Jennifer Lawrence on the journey of “Joy” is a wide-ranging, hugely accomplished ensemble cast typical of David O. Russell’s films including Robert De Niro as Joy’s hot-tempered yet hopelessly romantic father. De Niro embraced Rudy’s massive contradictions – his fiery temper and romantic charm, his blue-collar work ethic and love of style, his paternal regrets and love for his children. 

                If Rudy is a thorn in Joy’s life, Golden Globe nominee Edgar Ramirez takes on the role of Joy’s ex-husband, and is literally the man beneath her feet – still living in her basement (with her father) even though they are irrevocably divorced.  Russell was intrigued immediately when he learned Joy Mangano was still close friends with her ex.  “It’s a story not often seen on screen, where a couple gets divorced, yet remain best friends,” says the writer-director. 

                Joy’s bedrock supporter is her insightful and influential grandmother, Mimi, her role model as she tries to lead the family forward as a matriarch. Portraying Joy’s biggest champion is Diane Ladd, who has appeared in more than 120 film and television roles since she started her career on a 1970s soap opera and garnered three Academy Award® nominations:  for Martin Scorsese’ ode to female independence, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, David Lynch’s Wild At Heart and Martha Coolidge’s Rambling Rose.  Ladd says she was flat-out moved by the story.  “We’re not living in the easiest of times, but I think this story reminds us that we all have a right to try to fulfill a dream.  A lot of times you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off but this film says ‘Get out there and don’t give up.’” 

                Lawrence was fascinated by how Joy stays so focused on her family’s constant needs– and then, suddenly, takes a dauntless leap for herself.  “I think Joy always felt she had to be the rock of her family, the foundation holding everyone up,” she observes. “She forfeited her dreams to support everyone else and put them on hold for almost her entire life.   She put other people in front for so long that I think it took time for her to realize there was something else inside her that had to be expressed, that had to breathe.  And I think that’s why the story of Joy had to span four generations, because it often takes that long to create a full life.  Joy kept burying that inventive part of herself but when she finally finds the faith in herself to move forward, it’s unstoppable when that happens.  It’s addicting when you find that inner strength.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Press release

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, “Deadpool” tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
                Along with Deadpool fighting in the buff, the film’s torrid scenes between Wade and Vanessa, and Deadpool’s non-stop and off-color verbal stylings, all contribute to the film’s R-rating.  “I think the R-rating allows us to have a level of reality that wouldn’t be possible with a PG-13,” says Miller.  “I also think it’s an important step in the expansion of the genre.  There’s a type of film that can only be made with this rating, and that really expands the boundaries of the stories comic book movies can tell.”

                “Deadpool” star and producer Ryan Reynolds has no bigger fan than Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, who has a fun cameo in the film and also serves as an executive producer.  “There’s never been a character like Deadpool, and Ryan Reynolds plays him as though he was born to play the role,” says Lee. “Just like Robert Downey, Jr. was born to be Iron Man, you just can’t picture anybody else besides Ryan as Deadpool.”

                Reynolds embraced the character’s myriad (and often twisted) facets.  “In the comic book world, Deadpool is a man of our time with the ability to spout just the right thing, in terms of a pop culture reference, at the worst possible moment,” he quips.  “That’s what makes him interesting to me and also makes him sort of limitless.”

                The character’s accessibility is defined partly by his twisted sense of humor.  “It really draws you in,” Reynolds notes. “Deadpool has this bright, optimistic outlook on life, even though his life is pretty shitty.  I mean, he’s become horribly disfigured from the experiments that gave him his powers.   And, he can’t find love and he’s more than a little insane.”

                Reynolds’ director is also infused with Deadpoolian traits.  “Tim has a bit of Wade Wilson’s acerbic attitude in him,” says Reynolds.  “He sort of speaks, moves and talks like him, too.  I think that helped Tim access the character.  He really understands how to balance the over-the-top action and humor with pathos, because in some ways, Wade Wilson is a tragic character.”

                Bringing the exploits of an unconventional superhero to life sometimes created an equally unexpected vibe on set.  Notes Stan Lee: “When you see Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds working together, they are both so in sync; they see the movie the same way.  It’s though they’re playing a game and each one of them is doing his job so magnificently.  When I did my scene in “Deadpool,” I didn’t even know I was working.  When it was over, I said, ‘When do we start?’ and Tim said, ‘You’re finished.’  That’s how effortless he makes it seem.” 

                The filmmakers remain convinced the time is right for this unique movie event.  “When comic book movies first appeared, they had to be ‘tentpole’ movies, which had to appeal to the broadest possible audience,” Miller says.  “Deadpool was always meant to be an edgy film, and the time is right for it.   The genre of superhero and comic book films is wider and it feels like it’s time to do a film like this, that sort of pushes the boundaries a little further.”

                Rated R-16 by the local censors board, “Deadpool” is released by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros.

Monday, February 8, 2016


Press release

She has become one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars after landing the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the box office record-smashing “Fifty Shades of Grey” for which she received a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Now, Dakota Johnson headlines New Line Cinema's romantic comedy “How to Be Single,” based on the book by Liz Tucillo (TV’s “Sex & the City”). Also starring Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann, the film follows a host of singles at various stages of—and with varying opinions on—the single state.

Returning to her comedy roots, Johnson deftly handles her character, Alice’s fumbling attempts to meet men upon finding herself newly single, especially when paired with Rebel Wilson’s extreme party girl, Robin, the perfect tour guide through the world of free drinks, hook-ups and text message protocol.

Just out of college, Alice is worried she’s missing out—on what, she’s not quite sure, but taking a “break” from longtime boyfriend Josh in order to make sure he’s the one is the right thing to do…isn’t it?

How to Be Single” takes us along with Alice as she ventures into a new job, a new city—New York—a newly unattached life, and all that goes along with it. Johnson says, “I loved how believable the story was—we’ve all been that person who is stumbling through, trying to figure things out.”

Screenwriter Dana Fox, who worked with Johnson previously, was happy to see the actress go back to a comedic role after several more dramatic parts. “Dakota is just naturally talented, especially when it comes to comedy, both physical and verbal,” she states. “As a writer, it’s such a pleasure for me to work with her again, because nothing comes out feeling ‘written.’”

When we first meet her character, Johnson observes, “She is sort of this doe-eyed, curious young woman starting college. She meets a boy right away and is quickly in a comfortable and nurturing relationship.”

Fast forward four years. “Like so many of us, Alice has always depended on someone, whether it’s her parents, her sister or her boyfriend. Suddenly, she has this profound moment of realization and forces herself into what she thinks is an awakening, but which is really just a break up,” the actress acknowledges. “But taking a break turns into a total explosion of life as she knows it, and now she has to figure out how to handle it.”

After persuading her very serious boyfriend she needs to experiment with being on her own, Alice heads to Manhattan to start a new job as a paralegal. “Right away, she falls into the hands of Robin, who’s kind of insane,” Johnson laughs. “Alice has been sheltered and established a lot of boundaries for herself; Robin has zero boundaries and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her, so long as she’s having fun.”

The role of Alice required a convincing amount of girl-next-door naiveté in order for moviegoers to slip into her shoes, or at least remember a time when they did. Director Christian Ditter found Johnson to be “absolutely gorgeous but at the same time completely relatable. She’s talented and gives a very authentic performance, which makes it easy for the audience to see themselves in her place. She grounds the story for all the other characters, who are much more outrageous.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, Feb. 11, “How to Be Single” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Based on the critically acclaimed, bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, New Line Cinema’s and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ “Me Before You” stars Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games” series), under the direction of Thea Sharrock, making her feature film directorial debut.

Oftentimes you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…
Louisa “Lou” Clark (Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet. Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge.

Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up. That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives—and hearts—changing in ways neither one could have imagined.

The film also stars Charles Dance (TV’s “Game of Thrones”), Jenna Coleman (“Dr. Who”), Matthew Lewis (the “Harry Potter” films), Vanessa Kirby (“About Time”), Stephen Peacocke (“Hercules”), Brendan Coyle (“Downton Abbey”) and Oscar nominee Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs,” “Tumbleweeds”).

Sharrock directs from a screenplay by Jojo Moyes and Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (“The Fault in Our Stars”), based on the book by Moyes.

Me Before You” is a presentation of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). Set for release across the Philippines on June 15, 2016, it will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Press release

First rule of the singles scene: Boys buy the drinks! To pick up the tab—and more—the filmmakers from New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “How to Be Single” cast a host of hot comedians from film and TV fame to play the men ready to show the women a good time.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

They are Anders Holm (“The Intern”), Nicholas Braun (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”), Damon Wayans, Jr. (TV’s “New Girl”), and Jake Lacy (HBO’s “Girls”).

Serial single Tom is a bartender with a tried-and-true formula for getting a girl out the door before dawn. “He’s got love ‘em and leave ‘em down to a system,” says Anders Holm, who plays the philandering flirt with a premeditated lack of amenities in his bachelor pad. “He’s used to getting his way and getting any girl he wants.”

“I think Anders is one of the greatest rising stars in comedy acting,” director Christian Ditter says. “The role is a ladies’ man, but I wanted to cast someone really interesting and fun who could mine the humor in Tom, and he brought all that.”

Holm says that he and Ditter discussed at length how far to take Tom’s bad boy behavior. “We talked about whether he’s a nice bad guy or a bad nice guy, and decided that he’s really the worst kind of good guy. He’s a genuinely nice dude caught in a pattern of easy chicks, no personal commitments, and he doesn’t know how to be serious even if he finds someone he could be serious with. He’s created a lifestyle that’s now his identity, and he’s lost in it. Not that it really bothers him.”

When Alice (Dakota Johnson) dips her toes in the pool of Manhattan’s single men, she dives right into the deep end with Tom, the polar opposite of her longtime beau, Josh. “They were two awkward college freshmen who fell for each other,” Nicholas Braun says of his character and Alice. “Josh was a safe option and a good guy who treated her well. I don’t think there was any danger of being surprised with Josh, and I think that’s part of why she leaves him.

“Alice is a girl a lot of girls can identify with,” he adds. “She’s at that stage of life where you don’t want to feel settled down, you need to do some soul searching. And while Josh is a good example of someone who thinks that this relationship is the only one for him, even Josh isn’t going to wait for his girlfriend to go off and have sex with a bunch of guys just so she can see if he’s still the one for her. He’s gonna look around, too.”

While Alice is on the lookout for someone new, she meets a single dad, David, who is attracted to her but hesitant to test the relationship waters again. Damon Wayans Jr. portrays the wary widower venturing back into the dating world.
“He’s trying to maneuver his way through that part of life again, but he may not be ready for it,” Wayans offers. “He sees Alice once and finds her intriguing, but it’s not until they wind up seeing each other again, randomly, that the sparks fly.”

Wayans enjoyed working with Johnson. “Dakota is very fun and very free and thinks on her toes. She likes to improv a lot, which was great for me,” says the comedy veteran.

“Damon Wayans is such a funny guy and I adore his work,” Ditter conveys. “In this film, he has one of the more serious roles, and he played the part so well, never letting it get too heavy or dramatic. He brought just the right balance to it.”
Alice isn’t the only one who meets what could be the right guy at what may be the wrong time. Her practical, all-work-and-no-play sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), is surprised to be an object of interest for the much younger Ken, played by Jake Lacy. Sweet and sincere, Ken is crushing on Meg in a big way. “She’s in it for the quick and dirty,” Lacy says, “and Ken digs that, but he wants to see things through, to keep it going afterward. She’s also pretty sure that he’s too young for her, and I like that he’s trying to break down the barriers she keeps putting up.”

“Leslie was wonderful to work with,” Lacy relates. “She’s smart, funny, talented, quick and beautiful. She had different ideas every time we started a scene and had really thought through every moment, which made it easy to play off of her and give her something new in every take, too.”

We were very lucky that all the actors we had were very good on their feet and could riff off each other,” says Ditter, “which allowed for a lot of experimentation. I think that by having our very talented ensemble contribute creatively, we got the fresh, contemporary feel we were going for.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, Feb. 11, “How to Be Single” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.