Sunday, July 31, 2016


Press release

The latest badass comedy “Bad Moms” brings together an ensemble of extremely talented group of filmmakers starting from the writer/director duo, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore who also penned the outrageous worldwide hit “The Hangover,” along with producer Suzanne Todd, a multiple Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominated producer whose movies have grossed more than two and a half billion dollars worldwide such as “Austin Powers” trilogy, “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Boiler Room” and “Memento.” 
                With a wide array of adjectives to choose from - tiger moms, soccer moms, perfect moms, fed up moms, you name it, they’re all here in “Bad Moms,” the ultimate tribute movie about the awesomeness of mothers starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate and Annie Mumolo with Jay Hernandez, Oona Lawrence and Emjay Anthony.  
                It’s war between the good and the mean in “Bad Moms,” contemporarily set in a world where there’s simply an overload of information – high tech apps, meaningful blogs, ‘expert’ advice, judgy “feedback” – but nothing has ever solved the one big issue all moms face: How to get it all done in the measly 24 hours to keep their family fit, fed and functioning, all with a smile after a long day. Does any app or hashtag address that? Can one blame them if they finally freak out? The answer is clear - #No #NoYouCan’t.
                Further in “Bad Moms,” other moms know not to cross supermom Gwendolyn James (Applegate), the community’s arbiter of acceptable behavior, and Amy Mitchell (Kunis) certainly never meant to.  Life is hard enough. But upon reaching her tipping point, Amy is set to prove the perfect moms wrong and joins forces with Kiki (Bell), a stay-at-home mom and Carla, a single mom, together they brand themselves as “bad moms” eventually losing all fear of anyone else labelling them.

                Kunis signed on as lead character Amy Mitchell, a working mom whose myriad obligations leave her cut off from friendships, let alone the idea of fun for its own sake. Poor Amy is too busy to realize what she is missing.  “Really early on in motherhood, you forget that you’re a girl and you need girlfriends,” said Kristen Bell, a real life mother of two. “Part of the beauty of this film is that it’s about  these mothers discovering friendships again.”       
                “Reading the script, you’d think a woman wrote it, but talking to Jon and Scott, you realize it’s an homage to their wives,” said actress Mila Kunis, a real-life mom herself. In fact, all six of the film’s leading ladies are mothers, as is producer Suzanne Todd.
                Lucas and Moore found expert guides to help them stir the soup, they hosted dinner parties with lots of moms, lots of wine and lots of stories from the trenches.  “What moms talk about is not how it’s usually portrayed in the average Hallmark-y Mom movie,” said Lucas. “It’s way more interesting and fun, and way more R-rated. Sometimes X-rated. And, yes, there’s conflict!”
                Producer Suzanne Todd, a mother of three, agreed. “It just feels like my experience. There were five scenes in the script that I felt like I had lived for sure. I mean exact, like exact detail of dialogue and specific things that happened; because it is kind of a shared collective experience about how hard we try to be good moms, how hard we are on ourselves about not being good enough.”

Monday, July 25, 2016


Press release

In the latest totally relatable movie for mothers all over the world, “Bad Moms” brings together three overworked and under-appreciated moms who ditch conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence when pushed beyond their limits.
                The most hilarious authentic comedy of the year, “Bad Moms” stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell (played Anna in “Frozen”) and Kathryn Hahn, written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore who also penned the highly successful “The Hangover” film series.  The movie is produced by blockbuster maker Suzanne Todd, who is behind worldwide hits such as “Alice In Wonderland” and “Austin Powers” movies.
                “Bad Moms” sees Amy (Kunis), leading a seemingly perfect life - a great marriage, overachieving kids, beautiful home, stunning looks and still holding down a career. However she's over-worked, over committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other moms, Kiki (Bell), a stay-at-home mom and Carla (Hahn), a single mom who all go on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities, going on a wild un-mom like binge of freedom, fun and self-indulgence - putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of devoted perfect moms, Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo).
                Producer Todd, who is also a working mom hopes that multi-tasking mothers and those around them will take cues from “Bad Moms” on indulging themselves of the much needed breaks every now and then.  “Obviously, I’m a working mom and I’ve always been, so I think that all moms are very hard on themselves,” she said. “In the movie, we get to take that on in a real way. I hope that people will go see this movie and come out of it and feel a little differently about themselves and the world or maybe they will feel like ‘I am doing a good job.’”
                Likewise, Kunis further echoes Todd’s thoughts, “I think people like to know they’re not alone. And I think that the second you’re like, “Oh wait,” it’s something you can poke humor at and make light of. I think before, when my parents were raising my brother and I, everything had to look perfect. Whether it was or wasn’t you just didn’t air your dirty laundry so to speak. And I think nowadays, if it’s going wrong I call my best friend like, “I don’t know, there’s this color coming out of her nose and I’m pretty sure she’s dying.” It’s okay to do that now and I don’t think it necessarily was okay before. So I think this movie kind of brings light to that.”
                “Bad Moms” opens August 3 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Press release

Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren stars in the white-knuckle thriller “Eye in the Sky” that tackles the moral ambiguities of modern-day warfare. Co-starring with Mirren are three-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul (from “Breaking Bad”) and the late Alan Rickman (best known for his role in the Harry Potter films as Professor Severus Snape).

                A contemporary international thriller set in the shadowy world of remotely piloted drone warfare, “Eye in the Sky” tracks London-based military intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren) who is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of dangerous terrorists from their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya. The mission suddenly escalates from a “capture” to a “kill” operation as Powell realizes that the terrorists are about to embark on a deadly suicide mission. From his base in Nevada, American drone pilot Steve Watts (Paul) is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine year old girl enters the kill zone just outside the walls of the house. With unforeseen collateral damage now entering the equation, the impossible decision of when to strike gets passed up the “kill chain” of politicians and lawyers as the seconds tick down.

                Director Gavin Hood returns to the realm of contemporary warfare with the tense thriller “Eye in the Sky,” which explores both the practical application and the ethical ramifications of drone warfare.  “I was aware of all the different aspects of drone warfare,” begins Hood, “because I’d made a film about American military adventures with Rendition. I’d read articles, I’d read opinions and I’d read books. I had always tried to keep up-to-date with what was happening in the American military but I hadn’t taken a deep dive into this very specific question of targeted assassination.”

                The collateral damage caused by a drone strike extends beyond potential human casualties. The killing of civilians, even accidentally, has a profound impact on the propaganda war.  For the filmmakers, it was vital that the narrative posed these difficult questions while asking the audience to decide on the answers. “What you don’t want to do as a director is preach to your audience,” says Hood. “You want to create a sense of pace, a sense of tension, a thriller, while at the same time, raising difficult, philosophical questions in the mind of the audience.

                “In order to do that you have to keep the story moving forward so as to keep the tension alive, while at the same time finding moments where the story breathes, which allows the audience to catch up. You need to give the audience time to process the arguments.

                “And then, just when the audience thinks they have sided with one particular argument, you throw in another argument that turns it on its head and has the viewer asking, ‘Wait a minute, do I really think what I just thought a minute ago? No, maybe I don’t.’ And just when they’re agreeing with someone else, here comes another point of view.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lights Out movie review

At least once in our lives, we fear the darkness. Darkness cloaks us from seeing what is beyond our vision. Because our eyes needs light to transmit data through our eyes to the brain what should be seen. This is the theme of this newest horror movie from James Wan, who's responsible for The Conjuring movies.

Even though James wan is not directing, the story was well presented. But you can't help that there are similarities to his previous works. For example, there is always a deeper origin to what happened. Second, there is always a child affected.

Even though it is not Halloween yet, it's nice to have a good scare. I even watched it alone. I had no friends to watch beside me as I heard the audience did the screaming instead of me. So I dare you to watch Lights Out and if you are as bold as I was, watch it by yourself.

The movie was adapted from a short movie by David F. Sandberg. Lights Out is released and distributed by Warner Bros. Philippines. For more movie reviews, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Monday, July 18, 2016


Press release

One of the most globally recognized actresses today, Teresa Palmer (“Warm Bodies,” “The Choice,” “Point Break”) now stars in New Line Cinema's horror-thriller “Lights Out,” in Philippine cinemas Thursday, July 21.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

When Rebecca (Palmer) left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie (Maria Bello), has re-emerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

“I’m a huge horror fan, so I was excited to be a part of this,” says Palmer. “It’s petrifying. The monster in `Lights Out' is what your nightmares are made of. She truly is the scariest thing you can imagine. I think we equate fear with a dark energy and she’s as dark as you can possibly get, from the way she looks to the way she interacts with the characters in the film. She’s just a total nightmare.”

But as much as there is dysfunction and pain here, there is also love – which, in its way, amplifies the peril for all of them. “Outside the scares,” adds Palmer, “it’s a great dramatic story about a family that’s been derailed by this entity.”

First impressions of Rebecca would indicate a fiercely independent young woman; smart, unsentimental, and hard as nails. Always on her guard. “She comes across as a fighter with a tough exterior,” producer Lawrence Grey says, “but, through the course of the story, we see the sensitivity and compassion inside. Growing up, Rebecca had problems – the kind of problems you don’t talk about.”

Consequently, director David F. Sandberg adds, “She has commitment issues and other difficulties she’s dealing with, because she just never got over what happened when she was a child. Teresa is amazing in bringing all of this to bear in her performance. Her emotions feel so real.”

Going home is certainly not on Rebecca’s agenda. But when she gets a call from the Child Services case worker at her brother’s school, concerned that young Martin has been falling asleep in class, Rebecca has a fair idea what’s been keeping him up at night. What she once tried to rationalize as her own bad dreams and imagination, she now realizes must have been real if it’s happening to him. And if Martin is dealing with the same malevolent force that drove her from the house at 16, she can’t let him face that alone.

“I appreciate the vibrancy that remains in Rebecca, despite all the hardships she’s had to navigate,” Palmer says of her character. “She is clearly wounded by her past, but there’s a determination in her to fight and persevere, regardless of the cards she’s been dealt. Running was the easiest option when it was her alone, but now that she needs to protect Martin she’s ready to get in there and take on whatever it is that’s got him in its grip.”

“Lights Out” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Press release

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” meets “Date Night” couple in the upcoming action comedy “Keeping Up with the Joneses” starring Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
                “Keeping Up with the Joneses” follows an ordinary suburban couple Jeff (Galifianakis) and Karen (Fisher) living in solace until an ultra stylish couple, (Gadot and Hamm) moves in to the neighbourhood.  Spying on their new neighbours, they find it hard to keep up with the Joneses especially when they discover that Mr. and Mrs. “Jones” are covert operatives.

Friday, July 8, 2016


Press release

“Marauders” reels into action when a bank is hit by a brutal heist, all evidence points to the owner (Bruce Willis) and his high-powered clients. But as a group of FBI agents (Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista and Adrian Grenier) dig deeper into the case — and the deadly heists continue — it becomes clear that a larger conspiracy is at play.

                Bruce Willis portrays Jeffrey Hubert, president and owner of Hubert National Bank, and the target of repeated heists.  An air of entitlement and authority, he goes ballistic when the local newspaper smells a scandal beyond simple robbery.

                “Marauders explores the idea of to what lengths you go to right a wrong, and then where does that place you. Does that place you on the side of wrong? It’s almost revenge. And then when does revenge go wrong, or is revenge ever right, or are you avenging something?” Meloni states.

                “I knew that I wanted Marauders to be gritty and dark and to have a lot of rain,” recalls director Steven C. Miller, of his first read through the script. “As soon as I got to Cincinnati, it really matched what I wanted to see. I love movies that always have rich architecture and everything in the scene has got a lot of substance to it. You can almost touch the texture in the scenes. Cincinnati is just rich with that; I mean the history of the city, the buildings and the architecture are just a great backdrop.

                Miller’s previous film with Bruce Willis proved invaluable, “I understood his process and how he’s gets into the character and moves through a scene.” When casting the rest of the roles, Miller found that a lot of the actors he liked were on producers Randall Emmett and George Furla’s list. A few nights before each actor arrived, Miller gave them a call. “We kind of hashed out what their character was about, their arc and where they were going in the story, and really what they as actors wanted to do. Bringing their own style to the mix, their own thing to the game, gives the movie its own personality.”

                Shooting in Cincinnati was somewhat of a homecoming for Bautista. “I not only spent a lot of time here wrestling, but my MMA coach is from here, my boxing coach is from here, so throughout the years training I’ve spent a lot of time in the city and the arenas. It doesn’t feel like I had to leave home and come to a strange town; as soon as I got here I went straight from the airport to the grocery to stock up on food. It is a comforting to see familiar places and familiar faces.”

                 “We’re running and gunning, its very high paced, high energy and we just have to be on top of it, and the style of film making and the production really reflects the energy that you’re going to feel on the screen,” assures Grenier. “One thing I really love about this particular shoot and working with Steven Miller is he’s nimble, he’s lean and it really does allow for a vitality, a sort of visceral quality to the filmmaking and in this day and age, you don’t need a lot of fancy lights or set ups to get good story and good action. He’s almost like a Special Forces operative – he gets in, gets the job done and gets out. That’s really exciting to watch that kind of energy; it’s guerilla film making, but on a high, high level,” adds Grenier.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Press release

Barely two years ago, 35-year-old Swede David F. Sandberg was a debt-ridden wannabe filmmaker who had never held a steady job, let alone made a feature. He had been rejected by the Swedish Film Institute even for a relatively modest shorts investment. He and his wife, Lotta Losten, got by in part on her salary as an employee.
L-R. Sandberg, Palmer and Wan.

But a short film the couple made in their apartment in Sweden — about a woman who sees a scary supernatural creature only when the lights are out — changed their fortunes. The piece was made for a contest run by the horror website Bloody Disgusting. Less than three minutes long, with no dialogue or budget (Losten played both the woman and the apparition), “Lights Out” unexpectedly went viral via Reddit — nearly a year after they made it.

As the online legend of “Lights Out” began to grow, Hollywood agents and producers took notice, culminating in New Line/Warner Bros. making a feature deal. When the resultant movie premiered last June at the Los Angeles Film Festival ahead of its July 22theatrical release, "Lights Out" concluded one of the most improbable of modern filmmaking journeys.

“I had a long-term plan to make these little shorts,” Sandberg said, “and maybe we could prove to the Swedish Film Institute that we knew we what we’re doing, and get money for a longer short, and then eventually money for a Swedish feature.”

He paused. “It’s been interesting to skip all those steps.”

“Lights Out” (the full-length feature) centers on twentysomething Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) and her pre-adolescent brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman), whose mother, Sophie (Maria Bello), suffers from a disassociative mental illness that has her talking to a friend no one else sees. When Rebecca and Martin start spotting an apparition in the dark, they wonder if they too are suffering from a disorder. They set out to discover the truth.

Sandberg had come up with the idea on a whim, as he thought about those innocuous bedroom silhouettes that look more ominous in the midnight dark. He was soon playing with the effects (simple, involving a split screen) and turning the lights on and off.

“It’s something everyone experiences,” Sandberg said. “I was almost surprised no one had explored it before.”

He was truly taken aback, though, when months later, in spring 2014, the short went everywhere. “Someone had linked to it on Reddit. I saw it had 8,000 views, and I thought, ‘That’s awesome.’ And then it had 70,000 views, and I thought, ‘That’s awesome too.’ And then it went to a million and it became a crazy circus,” he said of the movie, whose minimalist concept and undercurrent of jittery dread helped it hop borders. “I had to make a spreadsheet of all the [industry] people I talked to and what we said the last time we spoke.”

One of the people who got in touch was Lawrence Grey, a producer known for variety of genre and other fare from newer creators. (“Hidden,” “Last Vegas”). Grey saw in “Lights Out” the potential for a much larger story. He soon brought on veteran horror screenwriter Eric Heisserer (2010’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street”) and James Wan (“Saw,” “The Conjuring” franchise), the latter spitballing a series of ideas with Sandberg.

With high-return genre investments such as “Annabelle” paying off in recent summers, New Line soon greenlighted the movie, fast-tracking it so that it was shooting in a manner of months, keeping Sandberg aboard.

“I was a little shocked they would let me direct, because everything I had ever done on movies was in my apartment by myself," Sandberg said. “I think they thought I was more experienced than I was.”

Grey said he realized the flier everyone was taking. “The first movie set David was ever on was the set of his own Warner Bros. film. So he is very green," the producer laughed. “But I think no matter how many movies you've made, it comes down to taste, and you could tell right away David had it.”

Slated for release across the Philippines on July 21, “Lights Out” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Press release

It’s an all-or-nothing online game in the exhilarating thriller “Nerve” set on the streets of New York City, where amateur daredevils competes for the highest payoff that mines their online information, exploiting their wildest dreams—and their deepest fears.  “Nerve” stars Dave Franco, Emma Roberts, Emily Meade, Kimiko Glenn, Marc John Jefferies, Brian Marc, Samira Wiley and Juliette Lewis. 

                A cautionary tale for the highly-active social network generation, “Nerve” starts with an industrious, shy high school senior Vee Delmonico (Roberts) who is challenged by her best friend to take part in the game.  Vee breaks out of her comfort zone when she impulsively signs up for Nerve, an adrenaline-fueled competition that streams live over the internet. Young thrill-seekers challenge each other to a series of dares that rapidly escalate from mildly embarrassing to downright deadly, as an anonymous community of “watchers” instigates the action.

                Suddenly, Vee becomes an overnight superstar once partnered with a mysterious stranger named Ian (Dave Franco), their instant chemistry makes them online stars and fan favorites.  As the night wears on, though, Vee alienates her longtime friends and puts her life on the line in pursuit of money and celebrity. Making a discovery about Ian’s past, Vee finds her family’s future at risk. As the tension mounts, the stakes rise—and the possible outcome shifts from win or lose to life or death.

                The directing team of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, best known for their work on “Catfish” and the “Paranormal Activity” series, have created an action-packed urban adventure that also offers keen insights into online behavior. “Our first film, Catfish, started a national conversation about the internet and identity,” says Joost. “This is a similar opportunity to talk about the way all of us, teenagers in particular, communicate these days. We can do all kinds of things on the internet that we might not do in real life.”

                 “We take a shy girl, sit her in front of the internet, and she’s suddenly inspired to be someone she didn’t have the courage to be yesterday,” says Schulman. “Someone in cyberspace is daring her to be something she may not want to be. Vee goes down the rabbit hole to the dark side of that. The online audience can be powerfully alluring. All of a sudden you’re posting pictures you never would’ve shown anybody, and that’ll catch up with you.”

                The game operates through a smartphone app, allowing prospective players to sign up and start taking chances instantly. Getting out is another story. “The watchers have access to your personal information from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat—everything else you’re using,” says Joost. “They custom-craft dares based on your fears and aspirations. It starts out pretty easy and fun. But the game tries to find your limits.”

                The more sinister side of the internet seemed like a topic that was ripe for exploration to actress Emma Roberts, who plays Vee. “People are putting their whole lives on the internet today,” she notes. “This movie captures that phenomenon and takes it one step further.”

Roberts says she thinks twice now when she uses Instagram, Twitter—or even email. “Nothing’s ever truly private. I think this movie taps into that feeling. Whatever you post can potentially be seen by anyone, whether you want it to be or not.”

                Are you a player or a watcher?

Monday, July 4, 2016


Press release

Anne Hathaway returns as Mirana, the mild-mannered, kind White Queen, and the beautiful younger sister to the spiteful Red Queen, in Disney's fantasy adventure “Alice Through the Looking Glass” in Philippine cinemas July 6th.

In the film, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

Question: We get to see the backstory of the divide between the sister queens. Was it fun to go back in time and play that younger character with Helena Bonham-Carter (as the Red Queen)?
Anne Hathaway: It was fun to learn that she’s not perfect. I think she’s sort of lovely in the first one but a bit oppressively good so it’s nice to know that, like everyone, she’s got a past and she has regrets and she feels shame, she feels guilt and that you forgive her these things so I actually was really thrilled that we were trying to see what the emotions were about this character who looks so fantastical but then feels so believable.

Q: What kind of relationship did you have with Helena while filming? Did you discuss the scene together?
Anne: I think Helena is one of my favorite people on the planet. I think the world is better because she is on it. She’s so inventive and fresh, literally all the definitions of fresh. She’s got a wonderfully fresh mouth and she’s fearless and vulnerable and open and friendly and I admire her so much so it was really exciting for me to have more scenes with her this time around. Yes, I got to work with an incredible actor but also because I got to talk to her between scenes which I love. I think we had a really nice time crafting a sisterly relationship together and trying to find something that felt true to us and that people would understand.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the wild costumes in the film?
Anne: I wore no trousers. I loved it, actually. I thought that Colleen Atwood’s costume probably created my character. I had certain ideas about who she was and as soon as I put on the dress, it was like “Oh, she’s there.” I also started to think about the relationship between her and Helena and I thought if you have a family member who has a very large personality, has a lot of emotions, you compensate by taking up less space. I thought here’s somebody who is literally turning herself into almost weightlessness and yet it is still so ornamented so I just thought it was very rich and very airy for my airhead character.

Q: What was your initiation to Lewis Carroll’s books and what do you appreciate more now that you’ve looked closer through these movies?
Anne: I first read “Alice in Wonderland” when I was 19 and in college so I think being nineteen and fairly dramatic I focused so much on how well Lewis Carroll described madness, just the idea that you see the world just a little bit off and I remember feeling very connected to that at that time. And, as you feel when you encounter people who champion that way of living, I felt a kinship and at home and was very pleased with it.

Q: You have been in some family-oriented films like “The Princess Diaries” films. Now that you are a young mom, do you think “This is something that my son can watch”?
Anne: You give me a lot of credit as a mom. When I was seventeen years old, I thought “My kids are gonna watch this someday.” I didn’t think about that when I did `The Princess Diaries' and I got questions about being a role model. It never occurred to me that actors should be role models for a multitude of reasons but, that’s not what I’m interested in so I don’t make films for that reason. If they happen to work out that way sure, I’m thrilled.

I’ve now been in a lot of films where you can have a date night in a theater with your family or you can sit down on the couch in sweat pants and become a human amoeba and just chill out together and feel warm and connected and I’m proud of that in my body of work are stories that allow families to experience them together. I can’t say that I’m going to continue to make them because I have a child now. I just will hopefully continue to make them because I respond to them and seek challenges as an actress.

Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, and use the hashtags #AlicePH and #ThroughTheLookingGlassPH.