Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Press release

 Lilly Singh, one of today’s top YouTube talents and digital influencer with more than 1 billion views across the globe, conquers another digital platform as she lends voice to two characters in the upcoming “Ice Age: Collision Course” starring alongside returning voice cast Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Dennis Leary, John Leguizamo, Keke Palmer and Wanda Sykes.   

                Singh is also known by her alias, Superwoman on YouTube.  Singh has catapulted to rock star status in such a short time since she debuted on YouTube and is highly regarded by today’s youth worldwide because of her fun, relatable and inspiring videos.  

                Scrat rewrites the Big Bang Theory in “Ice Age: Collision Course” when his elusive acorn lands on a spaceship  that created the ultimate Scrat-aclysm, sending the mother of all asteroids hurtling toward Earth.  Again, Scrat’s misadventures have life- and world-changing consequences for our sub-zero heroes on the ground.   At the same time, there are earth-shaking events of an entirely different nature playing out for the gang.  Manny (voiced by Ray Romano) and Ellie’s (Queen Latifah) daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) is getting married to Julian (Adam Devine), and to Manny that’s as unwanted a development as an asteroid landing in his backyard.         

                In the ever-changing Ice Age universe, especially one that’s undergoing the enormous changes in “Collision Course,” anything is possible—even Sid (John Leguizamo) finding his one-and-only.  Sid is once again getting dumped, to whom he’s proposed on their first date.    Believing he’ll never have a wedding of his own, Sid takes on the role of wedding planner for Peaches and Julian.  But later on their adventure, a trip to a fantastical world will create a wildly unexpected connection for Sid, which no one, especially Sid, could have foreseen.

                The crash site of Scrat’s misadventures turns out to be a stadium-size Geotopia,  a fantastical world that’s lush and verdant, with beautiful crystals everywhere.  Its crystal meteorite wall has magical properties that have shielded a thriving animal village from the elements and is a place where time stands still.  Its residents include a fetching young sloth named Brooke, who makes an instant love connection with Sid.  Yes, the lovelorn sloth who could never find love has fallen head over heels—and vice versa—with the ultimate female.  With Brooke (Jessie J), Sid is definitely dating up because, notes co-director Galen Chu, (whose Filipino heritage is rooted in Cebu), “She is everything a sloth could hope for: beautiful, bright and bubbly.  You’d never think she would go for Sid, but she does.”

                In Geotopia, Brooke, the sloth tour guide, had a squad of minicorns. They are twins called Bubbles and Misty, both voiced by Singh. Whenever she called them they would come. When Sid reached Geotopia, Brooke is instantly smitten and called on her minicorn squad to bring them together.  

                “It feels pretty cool to be with all the people who are part of the franchise because they are all awesome names to be alongside with.  And usually as digital influencer, it’s kind of always been divided between digital and traditional, but I love punches like this wherein two worlds work together,” says Singh.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Press release

At the heels of blockbuster movies from Chris Columbus such as “Gremlins,” “Home Alone 1 & 2,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Percy Jackson” films and the “Harry Potter” franchise is the faith-based epic “The Young Messiah” which he produced under the direction of Cyrus Nowrasteh.

                Columbus once again demonstrates his acumen for nurturing and cultivating young talents in “The Young Messiah,” replicating his feat from the highly successful “Harry Potter” franchise by casting then unknown talents such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in lead roles.   Columbus now brings the young Adam Greaves-Neal at the center of “The Young Messiah” as the child Jesus along with an impressive supporting cast that includes Sean Bean, Sara Lazarro, Vincent Walsh, Clive Russell, Jonathan Bailey and Christian McKay. 

                “The Young Messiah” is based from Anne Rice’s novel “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt” where the author imagines a year (7th) in the life of the young Jesus.  In the movie, Jesus’ parents, Mary (Lazarro) and Joseph (Walsh) are seen bearing the responsibility of raising the Son of God.  Rice, in her Facebook page previously revealed that she was brought to tears upon seeing film for the first time further stating that “I support it with all my heart. The writing, the directing, the cast are an author’s dream of fidelity to the spirit of the book and book’s concerns for biblical and historical accuracy.  I’m so happy to share this.”

                The inspiring story of Jesus as a young boy in “The Young Messiah” sees Greaves-Neal as Jesus embarking on a journey from Egypt to Nazareth after he miraculously brings someone back to life.  When King Herod (Bailey) orders the death of the child, Roman centurion Severus (Bean) is tasked to find the family across the desert.  Young Jesus then turns to his parents for answers as he grapples to understand His own divinity.  But how do they explain God to his own son as they worry about his safety at the same time? 

                “This movie really hangs on a young child,” says Nowrasteh on casting Adam.  The director decided to send Columbus a tape of Adam along with tapes of other boys that they were considering for the lead role and Columbus’ response was immediate, “He said that no one else came close to Adam.” 

                Adam, just nine years old at that time, naturally took on the role without feeling overwhelmed.  “I just think, I’m a boy that can do great and surprising things,” he shared on how he tried to play the role.

                Sean Bean in turn says that his character is also of importance to the story.  “He sees Jesus and his family, he’s out and about on the streets and city all the time, and then he answers to Herod, who sits there on his throne surrounded by concubines and debauchery.  Eventually, he has a big change of heart when he decided who he can be loyal to. And that’s to Jesus ultimately.  You could say he’s the first convert to Christianity, he epitomizes that.”

                “There’s a huge audience for faith-based films and this is the original story of one of the greatest people to have ever lived,” concludes producer Chris Columbus

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Press release

One of the most anticipated movies of the summer, James Wan’s sequel to 2013’s record-breaking supernatural thriller summoned up $90.350 million at the worldwide box office, making “The Conjuring 2” #1 in its opening weekend in North America and expecting to be #1 internationally, outside of China. The announcement was made June 12 by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Coming off of a strong Thursday night total of $3.4 million domestically, the film took in $40.350 million in North America, marking the largest domestic horror opening since 2013’s “The Conjuring,” which went on to gross $319 million in theaters worldwide. Internationally, the film took in a sensational $50 million, doubling “The Conjuring” in the same opening markets. These early successes, along with an A- Cinema Score and a Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, indicate the “The Conjuring 2” is poised to scare up excellent numbers as it expands into additional territories in the coming weeks.

In the Philippines, the Patrick Wilson-Vera Farmiga starrer spooked the box-office with a P106-M in six days, and still counting.

In making the announcement, Kwan Vandenberg stated, “Once again, James Wan has proven himself a true master of the scare, building an onscreen world that not only frightens his fans in the best way possible, but remains with them when they leave the theater. We anticipate strong word-of-mouth will carry the film through the summer corridor.”

New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller “The Conjuring 2,” with James Wan once again at the helm following the record-breaking success of “The Conjuring,” brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up In the Air”) and Patrick Wilson, star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

The film follows the phenomenal worldwide reception of Wan’s “The Conjuring,” which marked the largest opening ever for an original horror movie. It went on to make more than $319 million worldwide and still remains the second highest grossing original horror movie of all time, second only to “The Exorcist.”

“The Conjuring 2” is a New Line Cinema presentation and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Me Before You movie review

At first, I thought it was one of those love stories that is a usual boy-meets-girl type. But when I got to watch it on a advance screening, I thought wrong. The movie was an adaptation from Jojo Moyes' novel of the same name.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The premise of the movie was about Will Traynor, a young man from a well-off family who suffered a paralysis after a road accident. Enter Louisa "Lou" Clark, a former waitress who applied for a job to take care of Will.

For my review, I will list down what I thought about the movie:

  • If you think of U.K, you only know London and its sights. The movie in other areas of the British domain. I love the castle ruins.
  • Seeing another potential image for Emilia Clarke that is not the  Khaleesi.
  • Besides Emilia Clarke, another Game of Thrones actor Charles Day is also part of the cast.
  • Besides Game Of Thrones, there are more pop-culture references that is also connected with the movie: Sam Claflin is from Hunger Games, Matthew Lewis; better known for his role as Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter movies, and Jenna Coleman; for her role as Clara in Doctor Who TV series.
  • The colorful ensemble of characters delivers a comical approach despite the heavy theme of the movie. It is somehow similar to Richard Curtis' screenplays.
  • The British has a different approach of delivering smart comic lines.
  • Despite the seriousness of the issues outlined in the movie, I still think that it gave me some heaviness of heart but it also made me feel good in the end.
  • Author Jojo Moyes wrote the screenplay herself. It's a rare thing for authors who can write screenplays.

This ends my list. My verdict: I highly recommend it. For the guys, I suggest you bring a white handkerchief to offer it for your movie dates. Nothing beats old school. For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Press release

Last year saw him star as Finnick Odair for the last time in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.” Now, British heartthrob Sam Claflin stars as Will Traynor, the complicated, wheelchair-bound patient of Emilia Clarke's Louisa, in New Line Cinema’s deeply moving romance, “Me Before You.”

Claflin shares what attracted him to the project: “The writing itself was so beautifully done, and the subject matter surrounding this very challenging character was handled so well, it really got me thinking. That was a big draw for me.”
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema

At one time, Will’s world was all-encompassing; he lived a “no limits” lifestyle. Now, two years on, we find him utterly confined. Betrayed by his own body due to a spinal cord injury, he resides—even he would not say he lives by any definition of the word—at his parents’ countryside home. Lou, on the other hand, has rarely stepped outside this little town, and even stepping into the grand Traynor estate—the “castle,” as it’s called by the locals—is foreign to her. Yet they meet, whether by chance or by fate.

Though Will has all but given up, Lou becomes determined to show him that life is worth living. But the former “master of the universe,” as author and screenwriter Jojo Moyes describes him, will be a tough nut to crack, even for the ever optimistic Lou. The writer explains, “They get off to a rocky start. Will was the kind of guy who liked to throw himself out of airplanes and climb mountains, determined to suck the marrow out of life. But thanks to one really random accident, he now has to be cared for by other people, and he’s decided he just doesn’t want to carry on like this, given what he’s lost.”

Claflin confesses that the physical challenges Will faces were a large part of what made him want to play the character. “I initially had very little understanding of the world Will lives in or the story we’d be telling,” he says. “But this particular character’s journey delves deep into that experience. It opened my eyes.”

To portray Will, the actor would only be permitted movement from the neck up and in one finger and thumb—the result of two years of intense physical therapy. 

Director Thea Sharrock admired Claflin’s ability to play the many facets of the character. “Will can be an ass, he can be unkind—no two ways about it,” she laughs. “I wanted somebody who had innate warmth, charisma and incredible kindness within him in order for Will’s transformation to feel genuine, and Sam accomplished that with ease.”

Part of Claflin’s transformation to Will included losing weight—a total, he says, of “over three stone” (more than 40 lbs)—because the character’s immobility over two years would have naturally induced muscle loss. But though Will is unable to move his body, his mind is as sharp as ever.

I had to really become in tune with Will’s brainpower because that is still functioning as well as ever; he’s very bright, very clever. Underneath that, he’s also a sensitive soul—though it might not seem that way at first,” Claflin adds.

As with any film romance, one of the most critical elements was the chemistry between the romantic leads. “Once we had whittled our candidates down in the casting process, we brought the finalists in to read together,” the director says. “That was the decider. As soon as Sam and Emilia met, the casting director and I looked at each other and knew we’d found the right pair.”

Emilia and I have nearly worked together a few times, but it never worked out for some reason, scheduling, whatever,” Claflin says. “This seemed to be the perfect timing and the perfect project, and she’s quite literally the perfect co-star.”

Sam is an absolute dreamboat,” Clarke concludes. “It was brilliant playing opposite him. He’s the easiest person to work with, he gives so much, and it was just wonderful.”

“Me Before You” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

The film's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is now available to download/stream via digital stores. Get the CD for only Php 459.00 at Astroplus/Astrovision stores starting June 10.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Press release

Thomas Jane, known for his role in “The Punisher” and Laurence Fishburne, known for his works in the blockbuster action trilogy “The Matrix” star in the latest thrilling action film “Standoff.”

                “Standoff” pits Carter (Jane), a troubled veteran against a deadly assassin named Sade (Fishburne) trying to kill a 12 year-old girl after she witnesses a murder.  Bird, played by Ella Ballentine, is the 12-year-old girl coming to grips with the loss of her own parents.  One day while in the cemetery, she witnesses a brutal murder and captures photos of the event on her camera, and attempts to flee with her guardian. But the ruthless Sade kills her guardian and then turns his attention to Bird.

                Bird runs toward Carter’s house for help. Concerned, Carter runs to her rescue, but is shot by Sade from a distance. The two victims dash inside and up to the second floor. Armed with a single-barrel shotgun, Carter shoots Sade from the top of the stairs as he enters the living room. Both men assess their wounds and their firepower, and Carter realizes that he has only one shell left. A narrow staircase and a thick wardrobe prevent the men from taking a clear shot, so a game of psychological manipulation ensues.

                In recent interviews, Jane enthused on working with Fishburne, “It was a two-hander and I liked that it would just be me and Laurence in a house. That’s always really fun for an actor. When Laurence was interested, it became an easy, “Yes.” So, I went up to Canada and made the movie. It was an interesting little script, and it was like working with jazz musicians, where it’s people you admire and you like their groove and you want to play with them for a little bit. That’s what this kind of thing is about. It’s very fun. It was fun for me.  Laurence and I were there playing off of each other the whole time. Some days, I would come in and just be off camera all day because they’d be downstairs shooting Laurence. And then, on other days, Laurence would be off camera, all day, just playing to me while they were shooting upstairs. It was interesting, in that respect. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, where you’d show up to work and not have to get into make-up or wardrobe because you were there to support the other actor. That was your job that day, but that was fun.” 

                “Standoff” opens June 15 in cinemas to be released by OctoArts Films International.

Monday, June 6, 2016


MANILA, June 6, 2016 – As a treat to horror fans, Warner Bros. has announced that the year's most eagerly awaited horror thriller “The Conjuring 2” will have special midnight screenings on Thursday morning, June 9 at 12:01AM in selected theaters at regular admission prices.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Fans of the horror genre are one of the most appreciative and expressive moviegoers out there, and holding midnightscreenings for `The Conjuring 2' is our way of enhancing their movie-watching experience,” says Francis Soliven, General Manager of Warner Bros. Philippines.

The movie has been rated R-13 with no cuts (only patrons 13 years old and above will be admitted).

The participating theaters (in alphabetical order) are: Abreeza Davao, Alabang Town Center, Century, CommerCenter, Eastwood, Evia, Fisher Mall, Gaisano Davao, Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Newport, Power Plant, SM Aura, SM Clark, SM Fairview, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM Pampanga, StarMall Alabang, StarMall EDSA, StarMall San Jose, Trinoma, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa and Vista Mall Taguig. (Please check your favorite theaters for updates, if they're not on this list as of presstime).

New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller “The Conjuring 2,” with James Wan once again at the helm following the record-breaking success of “The Conjuring,” brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.

James Wan is a master of paranoia, of playing on such universal fears as being in the dark, being alone and, in the case of “The Conjuring 2,” being overtaken by the unknown. “Everybody has fears,” he says. “My job is to tie into the collective subconscious and into our greatest fears, in this case it’s the unexplainable—demons, possession, haunting. These are things that really happened, that really happen, and that makes them that much more terrifying. For me, as a filmmaker, it’s a really creative genre. You can kind of do anything…so long as it scares the hell out of the audience!”

Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up In the Air”) and Patrick Wilson, star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

The film follows the phenomenal worldwide reception of Wan’s “The Conjuring,” which marked the largest opening ever for an original horror movie. It went on to make more than $319 million worldwide and still remains the second highest grossing original horror movie of all time, second only to “The Exorcist.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, June 09, “The Conjuring 2” is a New Line Cinema presentation and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.