Saturday, May 28, 2016


Press release

Award-winning actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks stars in “A Hologram for the King” set in recession-ravaged 2010 as an American businessman named Alan Clay adapted from the book of the same title by acclaimed author Dave Eggers.
Photo courtesy of OctoArts Films
                Hanks’ role in the movie is a broke, depressed and freshly divorced man who arrives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. His mission: sell a state-ofthe-art holographic teleconferencing system to the Saudi government.  Adrift and alone in an unfamiliar land, Alan befriends taxi driver Yousef (Alexander Black), who chauffeurs him through the desert to the “King’s Metropolis of Economy and Trade,” a surreal ghost town of vacant skyscrapers and half-completed construction projects. Baffled by the bureaucratic reception he gets at the so-called “Welcome Center,” Alan struggles to figure out why his small IT support team is being forced to spend its days in a sweltering tent as it preps for the big presentation. Worse, because of the Saudi way of doing business, he’s unclear if the king will ever show up for the long-scheduled meeting.

                Clay arrives in Saudi Arabia without any prior knowledge of the place, other than his own cartoonish, stereotypical concept, according to Hanks.  “Though he’s not a happy guy, when Alan tries to sell the upbeat nature of the 3-D hologram and rally his team, he becomes this other guy, the former Alan Clay, a man with energy and vibrancy. That’s where the comedy comes from.” 

                In addition to emphasizing the book’s humor, Tykwer bolstered the romantic elements as he translated Eggers’ story from page to screen. “The longer I worked on the script, the more profound the love story became because it connects to this whole third-act decision where the movie becomes a more optimistic tale,” Tykwer says.  Alan is coaxed out of his funk by Zahra Hakem, an alluring, talented surgeon portrayed by London-born Sarita Choudhury. In her role as CIA Division Chief Saul Berenson’s long-suffering wife Mira on the Emmy-winning series “Homeland,” the half-Indian, half-English actress developed an avid following that included Hanks himself. “I remember seeing Sarita for the first time on ‘Homeland’ and thinking, ‘Alright, I don’t know who she is, but that  woman is riveting. I don’t know where she comes from but I can’t take my eyes off her.”

                In Hollywood’s finest black-comedy tradition, “A Hologram for the King delivers laughs spiked with bittersweet undertones. “We’ve made a crisis comedy that points the finger at the fact that our economic structure is falling apart and the apocalypse seems to be looming just around the corner,” Tykwer says. “We use comedy as a tool to embrace tragedy like a balloon you stick with a needle so it explodes and the energy that comes out is cheerful. Despite all of
Alan’s problems, I hope this movie cheers people up.”

                For Hanks, who’s earned iconic status and five Academy Award® nominations by playing regular, good-hearted Americans who triumph overhard luck circumstances, A Hologram for the King is the story of a man who stumbles upon an emotional and spiritual oasis after wandering in the desert. “Why make a movie about a guy where nothing ever works out for him? That might work fantastically as a piece of literature but as far as the cinema goes, the story requires this other thing — for want of a better word, let’s just call it hope.”      

                “A Hologram for the King” opens June 1 in cinemas from OctoArts Films International.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Press release

The story of the hapless Gyeon-woo (played by Cha Tae-Hyun) in the fall-of-your-seat Korean romantic hit movie “My Sassy Girl” continues in the highly-awaited sequel “My New Sassy Girl” where he is now married to an unpredictable tough woman played by Victoria Song.

                In "My New Sassy Girl," Gyeon-woo has trouble forgetting his "old" sassy girl (Jun Ji-hyun), but soon reunites with his childhood love (Song). The "new" sassy girl, the only child of a rich family in China, returns to Korea to marry Gyeon-woo despite disapproval from her family. However, Gyeon-woo's married life with his new, but familiar sassy girl is tougher than he ever imagined.  Directed by South Korean veteran Jo Geun-shik, “My New Sassy Girl” now explores the problems of the newly married couple. 

                Cha Tae-hyun who reprises his role shares that, “The new movie elaborates on the romance, and love can be blind, risky, and unpredictable theme.  There's no change to the characters, except that Gyeon-woo was a student back then, and is now an office worker and a husband.  The woman has changed, but her way of treating me hasn't changed at all. I loved the plot a lot. I think there will be a new trend of people following certain actions from the film as there was with the first film.”

                Victoria Song, a Chinese actress-singer, revealed in her previous interviews that she felt she had to live up to the expectations set by the actress in the first movie.  “Jun Ji Hyun's effect on the movie is a big pressure for me," Victoria said. "However, this is a new step for me. I believe I have the strength to overcome the pressure."

                Likewise, Cha has high hopes that the audience will still love the sequel despite changes in the lead female role. “Gyeon Woo' from 'My Sassy Girl' is a character I can't help but note as memorable. Even after all the characters I've played, it's a character who will forever be connected to my name.  I was determined to not participate in the second movie, but because of my personal attachments, as well as my trust in director Jo Geun Shik, I'm just hoping that things will work out in the end," Cha admits.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Press release


Adapted from the novel by Dave Eggers, “A Hologram for the King,” starring Tom Hanks is set in a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, author Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel turned movie is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.

                This latest Tom Hanks starrer is directed by Tom Tykwer who has solidly established himself as a young Spielberg for this well-endowed type of international co-productionalism that basically milks state funds on a global scale.  What Tykwer likes about “A Hologram for the King” Tykwer is its tacky surrealism, and he indulges in it. Tom Hanks is the fool in the dunes, but he gets a nice bath in the end, and even romance. When was the last time anyone thought of putting Hanks in a sex scene? That must have been Philadelphia, again. But then Saudi-Arabia is so strait-laced that even Everyman has an edge.

After Tom Hanks gave Dave Eggers' National Book Award-nominated novel A Hologram for the King a rave review on his Twitter feed in 2012, only one issue remained unresolved for the two-time Oscar-winning actor. "I was already a big fan of Dave Eggers' work, having read a bunch of his stuff including things he did with McSweeney's literary review," Hanks says. "Then I read A Hologram for the King in one sitting and my only question when I finished it was whether or not he wanted a movie made out of his book."

German filmmaker Tom Tykwer, who co-directed Hanks in the 2012 sci-fi epic “Cloud Atlas,” felt just as strongly about the source material. "A Hologram for the King hit a very particular nerve in me," Tykwer recalls. "It was the most contemporary novel I'd read in a very long time so I felt like it couldn't wait: this story had to be made into a movie. It's very much about now, yet it still it has the sense of a classic novel in that it's a book for all times. I found that to be a brilliant mix so I turned into this very pushy machine trying to put the movie together as fast as I could."

Tykwer, who had worked with author Eggers previously on a miniseries adaptation of the San Francisco-based author's novel “What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng,” arranged a meeting with Hanks and Eggers at a Los Angeles hotel. After pitching his ideas for the book's cinematic adaptation, Tykwer and Eggers came to a very un-Hollywood-like agreement. "Dave and I trust each other," the director explains. "I love that he offered to get rid of all the contract stuff and just write on some piece of paper 'I promise not to be an asshole' and then we would both sign it. We're very much on the same page when it comes to artistic exchange. Dave understands that once you let somebody take over your vision, you have to keep some distance."

Tykwer was equally excited about partnering once again with Hanks. "Working with Tom is liberating for a filmmaker because he's so open-minded to every moment and every situation," Tykwer says. "He's like a superintelligent child who comes into a room and says, 'Okay, what are our toys?' And then, 'Let's explore what we can do with them!' That's super inspiring because when you come up with a new idea, he picks it up really greedily and does something with it in a wonderfully playful way."

Friday, May 20, 2016


Press release

  The most rewarding family bonding experience is about to happen at SM Cinemas with its latest Family Movie Day weekend promo on May 28 and 29 featuring the latest version of the timeless story of “Pinocchio.”

            “Pinocchio” is the latest recipient of the Gold World Medal at the recently concluded New York Festival from Carlo Collodi’s classic story.  Directed by Stepan Gajdos, the latest reimagining of “Pinocchio” is a blend of real film and computer animation. “Pinocchio” comes to life when a good-hearted old toymaker named Gepetto carves a puppet from a wood that he found.   To Geppetto's delight, Pinocchio comes to life - and like most little boys, he's full of reckless whims and wild ideas.  His crazy escapades lead him into a series of madcap adventures from joining the circus to visiting the inside of whale! Along his journey, and throughout all the fun, Pinocchio learns to be considerate and courageous and learns what it takes to become a real boy.

            From CrystalSky Multimedia, “Pinocchio” stars Germany’s most acclaimed actors, led by Mario Adorf, best-known for his appearance in the Academy Award®-winning "The Tin Drum", Inka Friedrich ("Summer in Berlin"), Sandra Huller ("Requiem"), Ulrich Tukur ("The White Ribbon") and Benjamin Sadler ("Dresden"), in a suspenseful and humorous adventure.

            With SM Cinemas’ latest promo, families can choose to buy two tickets with two free tickets for kids, provided that children must be below 4ft. in height in qualify.  Patrons can also opt to buy four tickets and SM  will give free coupons from their (malls’) partner merchants.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Press release

 It has been 10 years since the heroes of “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” saved humanity and themselves from threats within and without. Now, in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” things are – at least for people like Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) – a little more settled. Humanity is aware of the mutants living among them and relations have been, for the most part, peaceful. But all that changes when the ancient, incredibly powerful mutant known as Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) awakens in the early 1980s and begins to destroy the world as we know it, convinced that he can create civilization again the way he thinks it should be. With Bryan Singer once more directing, “X-Men: Apocalypse” promises a huge global adventure and another thrilling mission for the world’s favorite mutants.

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
                The world of 1983 also has undergone upheavals in the treatment of mutants.  This next stage of human evolution is now accepted by most—but not all—of humanity, thanks to the heroism of Raven/Mystique, who (as seen in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) prevented the assassination of the U.S. president and a war between mutants and humans. 

                Jennifer Lawrence is back as Raven aka Mystique, a blue-skinned shapeshifter, is seeking her true purpose, as well as elusive self-acceptance.  In the years leading up to “X-Men: Apocalypse,” she had tried to stay hidden from the world, shunning her celebrity as the face of hope and change for the new, mutant-integrated world.  She resists bearing the weight of that label, and feels much of her past doesn’t warrant the world’s perception of her as a hero.
Now, Raven is living by her own code and working independently as an underground mutant savior, to fight against the remaining instances of human exploitation of mutants and save those still being persecuted.

                “The character is more ‘Raven’ than ‘Mystique’ in this story because she cannot be her true mutant self in a world that she feels is still not as mutant-friendly as it’s perceived to be,” says Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, who first played the role in “X-Men: First Class” and then reprised it in “Days of Future Past.”  “That’s why she has basically been Raven since the events of the previous films, so no one would know she’s that mutant. When we meet her in this film, she’s been living a covert life as Raven.”  Raven’s mission to help mutants where she can culminates in her leading the X-Men in a massive battle with Apocalypse.  But first she is reunited with the two men with whom she is closest, and with whom she shares a complex and evolving history: Charles Xavier (aka Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto).  Raven and Charles have a long history together and were part of the original X-Men team.  In the subsequent years they grew apart, separated by both distance and philosophies. 

                Costume designer Louise Mingenbach drew upon the resources and inventory of numerous costume rental houses in the U.S. and MontrĂ©al and scoured retail vintage stores across North America to find thousands of wardrobe items needed to dress performers in 1980s apparel from Cairo, East Germany, and the U.S.  For Jennifer Lawrence, Mingenbach took into account Raven’s modus operandi:  “She’s fighting for a cause and is not particularly concerned with how she looks,” says the designer.  She found Lawrence a “Chrissie Hynde type” studded leather jacket and an old rock-‘n-roll t-shirt.  “1983 was the great era of the rocker chick,” says Mingenbach, “and that kind of look reflected Raven’s rebellious nature.”

Friday, May 6, 2016


Press release

From the surprise romantic blockbuster South Korean film “My Sassy Girl,” the comical and lovable Cha-tae Hyun is back in his latest romantic misadventures in “My New Sassy Girl.” 

                Following the sincere, funny and hapless Gyun-Woo (Cha-tae Hyun), he is now married in “My New Sassy Girl” to his childhood sweetheart played by Victoria Song.   In the movie, Gyun-woo is trying to mend his broken heart after being separated from his love at the end of the first film.  He then finds himself reunited with his childhood sweetheart while mending his broken heart.  In no time, Gyun-woo falls in love once again, marries her and goes through a honeymoon which no man would ever dream of.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Press release

Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult star in “Equals,” an emotionally and visually arresting film set in a dystopian future where where everyone has had their deepest feelings and emotions genetically deactivated to promote a more stable, violence-free culture. 

                When a Silas (Hoult) and Nia (Stewart) start to experience feelings, it throws off the balance of their lives and the oppressive society around them. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Drake Doremus, it was necessary to cast two young actors capable of delivering nuanced and subtle turns over a demanding schedule in making “Equals.”

                For his part, Hoult was a fan of Doremus’s work and was switched on by the script and its sci-fi future set story. “Drake has got this brilliant touch with films — the way he cuts and edits and gets performances out of people makes him one of the most exciting directors around,” says Hoult. “He has a way of getting a performance out of you but not making it a performance, and instead making it very true and honest. He made me feel very comfortable during the filming.”

                For both Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Stewart (The Twilight Saga), two veterans of global franchise movie series, “Equals” provided a very different challenge and change of pace from mixing it up with mutants and vampires.

                The magical screen chemistry between Hoult and Stewart is a testament to the actors and director’s hard work in rehearsal. The two actors would sit in front of each other saying ‘hello’ for an hour. “By the end of it, you’ve fallen into this vacuum of honesty,” Stewart says. “For whatever reason, that acting exercise carried over into the way we addressed each other on set. I knew when he was lying, he knew when I was lying. That alone is scary and bare and very vulnerable.”

                Hoult says: “Kristen is incredibly intelligent, and her understanding and passion for this is amazing to see. I find it very inspiring because I can’t quite figure out everything that’s going on, but she explains it and once she’s in the scenes, I believe her.”  Doremus knew that Kristen was initially apprehensive about taking on the role. “It’s a very difficult arc to pull off, but I think after the first day of rehearsals, she was very excited and embraced the challenge, and felt really comfortable.” Stewart attests that Doremus simply does what so many people want to do —“to allow themselves the freedom to discover.”  

                Additionally, Hoult says: “This is the first time Drake is doing work with a script, so we’ve got exactly what we need and at times what we’ve got on the page is exactly what we do, but at other times, he told us to go off and see what happens. With Kristen as the other lead, that’s very easy to do because she’s able to go anywhere and be honest.”

                Doremus, a Sundance Grand Jury award winner with his previous work in “Like Crazy,” knew he wanted to experiment with a genre that he had never done before in order to grow as a filmmaker. Picking the sci-fi genre was a bold move and making a love story in a world where love doesn’t exist perhaps even bolder.  “For me the film is about long-term relationships, what it means to fall in love, to ride the wave and changes of a relationship, and how by the end of a journey you need to remember what you felt and why you were in that relationship in the first place,” Doremus says. “It’s about trying to maintain what the relationships and love actually mean and love that changes and grows and becomes something else. It fascinates me and I wanted to portray that.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Press release

Expectant moms, single moms, stepmoms, gay moms, estranged moms, long-lost moms and mothers of all kinds get their due in an emotional tribute to the tie that can’t be broken in “Mother’s Day,” an endearing and entertaining romantic comedy about everyone’s first love, our mothers.

                Director and producer Garry Marshall once again brings together an all-star cast for a joyous holiday celebration in his new film, “Mother’s Day.” Marshall tackles the complicated connection between mother and child through a series of deftly interwoven stories that salute the sometimes maddening, often conflicted and always powerful bond of maternal love in a movie about the impact mothers have on their children’s lives — even when they don’t mean to.

                Jennifer Aniston ( “Friends”), Kate Hudson (“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”), Julia Roberts (“Pretty Woman”), Jason Sudeikis (“We’re the Millers”) and Britt Robertson (“Tomorrowland”) star in interwoven stories about a group of women with one important thing in common- mothers. In the week before the one day of the year when Mom comes first, the lives of a group of strong, loving and wildly imperfect women, from a divorced mother dealing with her kids’ new stepmom to a young mom trying find her own birth mother, provide an emotional and humorous reminder that every mom is her own kind of hero.

                Julia Roberts, marking her fourth appearance in a Garry Marshall film, was the first star on board, agreeing to play Miranda, the queen of a ubiquitous home shopping network. Sleekly coiffed and impeccably turned out, Miranda has a secret that will be revealed by the end of the film.

                Jennifer Aniston plays recently divorced Sandy with two sons. She and her ex-husband, Henry (Timothy Olyphant), are on exceptionally good terms until he impulsively weds his much younger girlfriend and Sandy finds herself struggling with the idea that she’s replaceable. “It comes out of the blue,” says Aniston. “She suddenly has to share her children with their new stepmom. It’s a complete game changer when another person comes in as a co-parent to your children.”

                Shay Mitchell, from the television series “Pretty Little Liars,” plays Henry’s new wife, Tina. Tina is young and naive, but her affection for both Henry and his children is authentic, says the actress. “She really does care so much for the kids and is trying genuinely to play the role of being their other mom. She doesn’t think Sandy will be upset at all. They’re going to work as a team and raise these kids as best they can.”

                Kate Hudson plays Jesse, a happily married mom who is estranged from her own mother. “Jesse and her sister Gabi cut off their parents because they have both made lives they know their parents wouldn’t approve of. Gabi is married to a woman. Jesse married an Indian man and has a child with him.” Hudson explains.

                The film also introduces a “Mister Mom” Bradley (played by Jason Sudeikis), the father of two girls is facing his first Mother’s Day without his wife, a Marine killed in combat. It has been almost a year since her passing and the kids are trying to move forward, but Bradley has only scratched the surface of his mourning. The storyline adds a note of poignancy to the movie as he struggles to let go of the past for his children’s sake.

                Britt Robertson, who recently starred opposite George Clooney in the blockbuster "Tomorrowland," plays Kristin, a new mom who has never met her birth mother. Kristin’s British boyfriend Zack (Jack Whitehall) wants very much to marry her, but she’s not sure. Adopted as an infant, Kristin fears that because she’s never known her birth mother, she doesn’t know what kind of woman she’s going to be. “I immediately said yes to this project,” Robertson recalls. “I just loved all the different storylines and the different kinds of relationships between mothers and children. I think everyone will find a character they can relate to.”