Friday, March 31, 2017


Press release


Oscar-nominated actor Matt Dillon (Crash, There's Something About Mary) stars as an FBI Agent on the case of the elderly bank robbers in New Line Cinema's a fun and fast-paced comedy Going in Style.
Photo credits: Warner Bros.

In the film, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin team up as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Albert, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

The inevitable wrench in the works comes in the form of smug FBI agent Hamer (Dillon), whom director Zach Braff thought “would legitimately feel like an FBI agent but also be a good foil for these guys, and be funny, and Matt was perfect,” he states.
Assigned to the first bank robbery, in which Joe (Caine) was a bystander, Hamer is still trying to get to the bottom of that when, surprisingly, the bank gets hit a second time.
Hamer wants to win; he’s that guy who has to be right, says Dillon. “In his initial meeting with Joe, who’s just a witness to the first bank robbery and hasn’t even done anything criminal yet, Hamer feels that Joe’s a little condescending, telling him how he should do his job, and suggesting that maybe he should watch more Law & Order. Hamer finds it a bit amusing but, of course, just on that line of being insulting.”
Hamer’s not dumb, either. He’s a good investigator for the most part, and he has a feeling these three coots are up to something, though he can’t quite figure it out. But he’s certainly not going to give up trying.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2017Going in Style is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Press release

Your favorite Smurfs buddies – Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy – and rivals Papa Smurf and Gargamel, are back in Columbia Pictures Animation's Smurfs: The Lost Village, the fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs. Learn more about their characters and the actors playing them in the following descriptions.

Hefty (Joe Manganiello) is that guy who hits the gym twice a day and will make sure you know about it. But just when you think he’s hard core, he shows you that he’s just a big softie inside. “True Blood” and Magic Mike’s Joe Manganiello voices the role of the blue hunk. “Hefty is the coolest, strongest Smurf in Smurf Village,” says Manganiello.

Manganiello was excited to be a part of the movie in order to share it with his young family. “What I love about this movie is that it returns to the look that my generation all remember as kids, so it’s nostalgic for adults – but it’s also going to usher in an entire new generation, including my two-year-old niece, who loves the Smurfs and is going to get to see her uncle play Hefty.”

Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) is all heart… and all thumbs. He’s always eager to lend a helping hand or pitch in however he can – even if it might have been better if he’d just stayed home. Luckily, his good intentions and wide-eyed wonder make whatever mess he’s made utterly forgivable, and in the end, he always impresses us all. “He’s such a good fella – the kind of guy you want on your team, so long as your team doesn’t require hand-eye coordination or grace or ability,” McBrayer says. “If you need somebody with team spirit, Clumsy is your Smurf.”

Brainy (Danny Pudi). When the chips are down, there’s no more resourceful Smurf with a better idea to solve the problem. “Brainy’s the whiz kid on Team Smurf. He’s always trying to figure out how to solve a problem,” Pudi says. “He can get hyper-focused at times, but he has a very good heart and he does it for his friends.”

Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin). Kind and warm, Papa Smurf’s number one concern is the safety and well-being of the Smurfs and his beloved Smurf Village. “Papa is the patriarch of the Smurfs – he really cares about each and every one of them,” says Patinkin. “You might say he’s Papa Bear – even a little overbearing at times – but he’ll always be there for Team Smurf.”

Gargamel (Rainn Wilson). Equal parts dangerous and idiotic, Gargamel is the grandiose, self-important, iconic foil of the Smurfs. All he craves in this life is to be celebrated and revered as the most powerful wizard in the world, but the greatest obstacle standing in his way is his incredible ineptitude.

I’ve been a Smurf fan from the get-go – I even remember the graphic novels from way back,” says Rainn Wilson – Dwight from “The Office” – who creates the character. “I loved the cartoon and Gargamel was always my favorite character. I always related to him – what can I say? Gargamel is greatly misunderstood and needs a little love.”

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, March 31, Smurfs: The Lost Village is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Press release

Frozen and Bad Moms star Kristen Bell dives into the role of Karen, the undeserving object of rookie cop Jon Baker's (Dax Shepard) self-improvement efforts, in Warner Bros. Pictures' new action-comedy CHIPS.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

In the film, Jon Baker is still reeling from the breakup of his marriage. Karen is a trophy from his heyday as a pro motorbiker that he can’t let go. He’s convinced he can get her back once he gets out of his slump, so he continues to live in the tiny guest room behind the luxury home they once shared, and that Karen still occupies, just to remain close. And, in spite of her total lack of interest, Shepard offers, “he continues to attend couples therapy. Alone.”

Marking her fourth big-screen collaboration with real-life husband, Shepard, Bell says, “Karen needs to be the person audiences don’t want for Jon. They should be shouting, ‘No, don’t do it!’ Karen is vain and all about appearances, and she thinks she’s the ultimate prize. Things started going south in their marriage the day he stopped placing first in his events. That’s the kind of person she is.

Dax almost didn’t cast me,” Bell continues. “After he wrote the role, he sat me down and said, ‘I’m not positive you can be as unlikable as I need you to be for this,’ which I took both as a compliment and an insult,” she laughs. “Because I can be very unlikable.”

Kristen Bell was most recently seen in Bad Moms, alongside Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo and Christina Applegate. She will return for the sequel, Bad Mom’s Christmas, to be released this November. She will also appear in How to Be a Latin Lover, alongside Rob Lowe and Salma Hayek.

Bell starred as Anna in the blockbuster animated feature Frozen, which has grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide, making it the highest grossing animated film and the 9th highest grossing film of all time.

In 2014, she reprised her beloved title role in the film adaptation of Veronica Mars, which raised $2 million on Kickstarter in less than eleven hours and broke the record at the time for the fastest project to reach $1 million and $2 million. Bell appeared in a guest-starring arc on NBC’s hit series Parks & Recreation. She also starred in and co-produced the comedy Hit & Run, written and directed by her husband, Dax Shepard.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 23CHIPS is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Press release

Singapore, 20th March 2017 – Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (see my review here) charms its way to the hearts of audiences in Southeast Asia, taking in a remarkable cumulative box office of USD$14.9million across the region on its' opening weekend. The live-action adaptation of the beloved classic tale opened to the number one position at the box office charts globally.
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

In the Philippines, the film opened in cinemas on 16th March, and lands itself as the biggest opening weekend of 2017, garnering a cumulative box office of USD$6.3million locally.

Internationally, the film has secured its’ position as one of the top 10 openings of all time, achieving USD$350 million at the global box office till date.  Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is poised to continue its stellar performance at the box office.

About Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Press release


In Columbia Pictures' terrifying thriller, Life, Oscar-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal stars as astronaut David Jordan who has the distance and remove of a man who has spent over 473 days on the International Space Station.
Photo credits: Columbia Pictures

No one knows this home better than he does. The new crew members joining him are there using his home in space as a base for their game-changing mission.

Also starring Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, Life is about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa, who previously dazzled critics with Safe House. “I think Daniel Espinosa wanted to create a world that was suffocating, in a way,” says Gyllenhaal of his director. “In other movies, you can separate yourself from the reality of what you’re seeing. Daniel wanted to create an environment where everything was truly alive. Not only feeling that from the creature itself, but also truly alive emotionally.”

Gyllenhaal was intrigued not only by the script’s scares, but the larger ideas behind the characters. “It was a beautifully paced, terrifying script. It’s a fun idea – you think you know where it’s going, and then it evolves into something where you really, really don’t,” he says. “The life form is literal, but it’s also an incredible metaphor for what can happen. Curiosity is one of the most important human traits, but I think searching too far can be full of hubris. In that way, the life form is a repercussion for that kind of curiosity.”

While Gyllenhaal was attracted to the project for the script and story itself, he also saw a way to honor a family legacy with his role. “My grandfather was a doctor, and Daniel and I talked about the similarities in my character to my grandfather,” he says. “It’s a bit of an homage to him.”

Jake Gyllenhaal has established himself as one of the finest actors of his generation. With his new production company Ninestories, he is also on his way to becoming a filmmaker of note – sourcing material, developing it from the ground up, collaborating with bold storytellers, and shepherding the projects through release.

In 2014, Gyllenhaal starred in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, which he also produced. Playing an eccentric loner who finds his calling as an investigative crime journalist who will stop at nothing to get the story, Gyllenhaal received BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics’ Choice, and Independent Spirit Award nominations and was recognized as Best Actor citations from numerous critics’ groups.

Working with some of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers in both independent and studio films, Gyllenhaal starred in Ang Lee's classic Brokeback Mountain, for which he received an Oscar® nomination and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor; David Ayer’s End of Watch, which placed in several critics’ Top 10 Films of 2012; Jean Marc Vallee's Demolition; Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw; Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest; Denis Villeneuve’s highly acclaimed films Prisoners and Enemy; Richard Kelly's cult hit Donnie Darko; Jim Sheridan's Brothers; Duncan Jones’ Source Code, David Fincher's Zodiac; Sam Mendes' Jarhead; John Madden's Proof; and, most recently, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, for which he earned a BAFTA nomination.

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, March 24, 2017, Life is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Press release


Coming off The Girl on the Train and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Rebecca Ferguson now stars as a feisty scientist in Columbia Pictures' terrifying thriller, Life.
Photo credits: Columbia Pictures

Also starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, 
Life is about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

The film is also about men and women under extreme pressure and facing an unknown, ever changing threat where there’s nowhere to run from it.

Even though our characters are experts in different areas when that expertise goes over the threshold into human instinct, it’s about what your behaviour is when you are threatened or scared?” explains Ferguson.

The actress plays Miranda North, on loan to the mission from the Centers for Disease Control. By the book and focused on her work, she is there to keep everyone on the crew and back home on Earth healthy - no matter what they encounter in space.

Miranda is a microbiologist sent up to protect everyone on Earth from whatever this is that we find,” Ferguson says. A rigorous scientist, she has set up multiple firewalls to protect themselves and Earth from possible contamination. “The firewall is, first, the container that the specimen was in. And then the room. And then the station itself. She has to do whatever she can do to protect Earth, because we don’t know what this life form is.”

Ferguson says that each of the characters responds to the moment of discovery – and the threat it represents. “We all have our own relationship to this creature. Some of us love it, we nurture it. Some of us want to kill it off in the beginning. And that creates an incredible tension in the group,” she shares.

Co-star Ryan Reynolds has nothing but praise for Ferguson. “Rebecca is such an incomparable actress in what she is able to say and convey,” comments the Deadpool star. “Her character has a real conflict that she is dealing with throughout the entire film. I would say that the central female character is really the heartbeat of the whole film. She really has to carry a whole burden that none of the other cast members have to carry. And she is so good; she is such an intelligent, emotional and smart actress. It was really a pleasure to watch her work. She does these simple, subtle movements and moments and she just tells everybody everything they need to hear in the most emotional way possible. She is really quite a gifted performer.”

The stunning Golden Globe-nominated European actress first caught the attention of international audiences playing the iconic Queen Elizabeth in the hit BBC/STARZ series The White Queen. For her portrayal of Elizabeth Woodville, Ferguson was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film, and the months that followed established her as an actress to watch.

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, March 24, 2017, Life is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Press release

The year's surprise smash hit, with a current US box-office gross of $111-million – Universal Pictures' suspense thriller Get Out is also shaping up as 2017's best-reviewed film to date.

The film currently boasts a “99 percent Fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which is higher than any movie released so far this year.

Opening March 15 in Philippine cinemas, Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya as a young black photographer who heads upstate with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her wealthy parents but encounters increasingly strange behavior. Critics are hailing the film as trenchant, entertaining, and frightening.

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, raves “Part of what makes Get Out both exciting and genuinely unsettling is how real life keeps asserting itself, scene after scene.”

Joe Morgensern of The Wall Street Journal, says “A memorable horror flick if ever there was one, Get Out starts with a great title and a promising idea -- a black man's fear as he walks at night down a street in an affluent white suburb. Then it delivers on that promise with explosive brilliance.”

There's so much here that [director-writer Jordan] Peele gets right,” commends Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times, “and he delights in turning familiar thriller tropes on their head: In this racially charged context, he knows exactly how to exploit the sight of an approaching police car for maximum stomach drop.”

Peter Travers of Rollingstone, describes the film as “A jolt-a-minute horrorshow laced with racial tension and stinging satirical wit. How is one movie all that? See Get Out.”

Finally, Peter Debruge of Variety, applauds, “Blending race-savvy satire with horror to especially potent effect, this bombshell social critique from first-time director Jordan Peele proves positively fearless - which is not at all the same thing as scareless.”

In Universal Pictures’ Get Out, a speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The VisitInsidious series andSplit) and the mind of Jordan Peele, when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation.

At first, the young man reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Equal parts gripping thriller and provocative commentary, Get Out is written and directed by Jordan Peele and produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, as well as Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko), Edward H. Hamm Jr. (Bad Words) and Peele.

Get Out is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Press release


Welsh actor Luke Evans (The Girl on the Train, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) smashes his way to playing Gaston, the shallow and arrogant villager intent on marrying Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney's live-action fantasy adventure, Beauty and the Beast.

A former War hero, Gaston holds court in the village tavern and has every eligible woman in town wrapped around his finger. Smitten with Belle, who is strong-willed and impervious to his charms, Gaston becomes consumed by rejection and jealousy and leads a mob of villagers to the Beast’s castle to rescue Belle and kill the Beast.

For the role of the egotistical village heartthrob, the filmmakers were concerned the part would be difficult to cast. With a popular character like that from the 1991 animated film, it was important he transitions into a human character the audience would find believable in a real-world environment. The screenwriters bestowed Gaston with some new characteristics to make him appear more contemporary and credible, fashioning him to be a war hero who saved the town from invaders and someone who is easily provoked. Director Bill Condon explains, “With a short temper, he can easily lose control when anyone or anything crosses him, which became an interesting way to take something that was cartoonish and turn it into something real.”

As a bonus, Luke Evans is even an accomplished vocalist, having starred in a number of West End stage productions, and Gaston has a substantial amount of singing in the film.

Luke Evans agrees, saying “I come from the world of musical theatre so I feel very passionate about telling a story with music and lyrics, and what these geniuses did back in 1991 was tell a story which was very, very old and make it appeal to everyone. It has left a lasting impression on many generations of filmgoers.”

Here’s the thing about Luke Evans,” says Condon. “He has all the qualities that are right for Gaston but he has this other thing which comes from years of working on a stage and which is so important to have in a movie musical, and that’s the joy of performing. This is a role he was born to play.”

In discussing his character Evans says, “Gaston doesn’t see the world the way everyone else sees it. He’s at the top of the pyramid and everyone else is below him. He thinks he can do no wrong and does not understand why Belle does not want to be his wife. I mean, God, is she mad? Is she blind? Is she stupid? He doesn’t get it, which is funny in and of itself, so I really tried to play up the comedic aspects.”


The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast, the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, and use the hashtag #BeOurGuestPH.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Press release

Universal Pictures' Get Out, a new horror-thriller about race relations, rode critical raves to a smashing box office debut at No.1 for the Feb. 24 – 27 weekend, according to Variety.

The low-budget film was the weekend’s top-grossing domestic release, earning $30.5 million, and propelling its director and writer Jordan Peele atop Hollywood’s A-list. The film, which centers on a black man who discovers that his girlfriend’s liberal, lily-white hometown is guarding a sinister secret.

Get Out also extends Blumhouse Productions’ hot hand. The film company scored earlier this year with Split, a thriller about a man with a personality disorder that racked up $130.8 million stateside on a $9 million budget. Universal distributed, marketed, and partnered on both movies.

It’s entertaining, it’s thought-provoking, and it’s subversive,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “I have seen [‘Get Out’] play with audiences. They enjoy themselves and they’re telling their friends.”

Box office sages argue that Blumhouse is becoming synonymous with the horror genre in a way that is resonating with consumers. Its lineup of hits includes Sinister, Insidious, and Paranormal Activity. They also praise the company’s fiscal conservatism (most of its movies carry budgets that are less than $10 million), and its emphasis on storytelling.

The best special effect is a great script,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “It proves a great movie and a well executed story doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.”

In Universal Pictures’ Get Out, a speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele, when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation.

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods).

At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Equal parts gripping thriller and provocative commentary, Get Out is written and directed by Peele (Key and Peele) and produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, as well as Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko, Bad Words), Edward H. Hamm Jr. (Bad Words) and Peele.

The film also stars Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men series), Stephen Root (No Country for Old Men), Milton “Lil Rel” Howery (The Carmichael Show), Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year), Marcus Henderson (Pete’s Dragon) and Lakeith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton).

Opening across the Philippines on March 15, Get Out is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.