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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independent filmmaker Fabien Garcia, a martial arts enthusiast who’s been training in Judo since he was six helms and stars in the action movie to beat in “Die Fighting.” 

                In “Die Fighting,” a team of Shaolin-trained kung fu actors are about to make their big break in Hollywood when a shady director forces them through a gauntlet in Los Angeles, forcing them to act and react in a brutal action reality movie, filming their every move as they are pitted against a gallery of thugs.  To make their way out of the movie and keep their families alive, they must face every death-defying challenge the director throws at them or be killed in the filming process.

Martial Artists Trapped in Brutal Reality Film in “DIE FIGHTING”
                A fan of Jackie Chan and Jean Claude Van Damme films among others, Garcia grew up in France with a love for martial arts films.  When he was fourteen, he started to train in the traditional art of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, a Vietnamese martial arts that includes weapons work too.  Along with his mixed training in Jiu Jitsu and Vovinam, he learned to incorporate different fighting styles in his competitive fights.  It was during his stay in the Shaolin monastery that he met his partners in film production, Laurent Buson and Yannick Van Damm.  “They were going inside the monastery when I was leaving and we quickly became friends. Yannick Van Dam was a few years ahead of us so he was our big brother and showed us the ropes. Laurent was in another school and Yannick slept in the monastery since he was already one of the monks’ disciples,” recalls Garcia.

                Garcia further shared on his training in the martial arts before being caught in producing films, “After Shaolin, living in the Beijing Sport University was paradise. The training was different, only 2 to 3 hours a day, but the quality of the teaching was also more efficient, as the teachers were all former Wushu national champions. They were the best and knew how to help you improve fast without killing your body. We trained two years in the Sport University and became friends with a national Wushu champion and Beijing Wushu team member, Wang Xiao Na. She was our private teacher until she became pregnant, so we went to Beijing Shi Cha Hai Sport School. That's where the Beijing Wushu Team and a young Jet Li trained.”

                In a review by Bobby Blakey of,  he finds the movie surprisingly unique and highly recommends it too to be seen in the big screen. “The story itself is pretty simple and straight forward, but they thrust in an interesting twist in the end to help it stand out, but rest assured the fighting is the reason to check out this film. The found footage genre is so over used, but here it finally gets a revitalized feel thanks to the awe-inspiring martial arts and will hopefully be only the beginning to seeing this amazing group come together to showcase their skills. If you are a fan of martial arts on any level you have to check out this film. You will not be disappointed.”

                “Die Fighting” opens July 15 in cinemas from Crystalsky Multimedia. 
Charlize Theron is looking for a killer who has plagued her for most of her life in the newly mystery thriller, ‘Dark Places’. The story is based on ‘Gone Girl‘ author Gillian Flynn’s worldwide best-selling novel, which has been on the NY Times best-seller list for over two years.

Libby Day (Charlize Theron) was only seven years old when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. In court, the traumatized child pointed the finger at her brother, Ben (Tye Sheridan), and her testimony put the troubled 16-year-old in prison for life. Twenty-five years later, a broke and desperate Libby has run through donations from a sympathetic public and royalties from her sensational autobiography, without ever moving past the events of that night.

When Libby accepts a fee to appear at a gathering of true-crime aficionados led by Lyle Wirth (Nicholas Hoult), she is shocked to learn most of them believe Ben is innocent and the real killer is still at large. In need of money, she reluctantly agrees to help them reexamine the crime by revisiting the worst moments of her life. But as Libby and Lyle dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding the murders, her recollections start to unravel and she is forced to question exactly what she saw – or didn’t see. As long-buried memories resurface, Libby begins to confront the wrenching truths that led up to that horrific night.

Also stars Nicholas Hoult, Corey Stoll, Christina Hendricks, Chloë Grace Moretz and Tye Sheridan.

DARK PLACES is released and distributed by CAPTVE CINEMA.
Dustin Hoffman decided to become an actor he dreamed of a career as a classical pianist. Now, at age 77, Hoffman gets the chance to indulge his passion as Boychoir’s inscrutable Master Carvelle.

“I wanted to be a musician but I was never talented enough,” says Hoffman. Initially, he studied music at Santa Monica College before making the switch to acting.

“I have small hands so I can’t reach much more than an octave,” he says with his fingers stretched over an imaginary keyboard. “And, I think you have to have one of two qualifications; you have to have a really good ear or be a good sight-reader, and I’m neither.”

Directed by Canadian François Girard (The Red Violin), Boychoir stars Garrett Wareing as 11-year-old Stet, a troubled kid blessed with a golden singing voice.

When Stet’s mom dies, his long-lost dad (Josh Lucas) shows up and arranges for his son to attend the prestigious American Boychoir School (a real institute founded in 1937 and located in Princeton, New Jersey). The unruly boy comes under the watchful eye of Hoffman’s strict choirmaster Carvelle, who helps turn him into the star of the school’s world-renowned travelling choir.

It’s an unusual role for Hoffman; Carvelle is a steely disciplinarian and rather subdued. Hoffman’s performance lacks the lively exuberance we’ve come to expect from the actor whose résumé includes such classic movies as Midnight Cowboy, All the President’s Men and Tootsie.

But keeping Carvelle somewhat in the shadows was a conscious choice. “There was a discussion to keep the characters two-dimensional except for the lead, it’s the story about the boy,” says Hoffman, adding that the decision mirrors a choice made in another of his films.

“When we did ‘All The President’s Men’, in the first cut — Robert Redford produced it — we had scenes with our wives and our girlfriends at home, and the first thing Redford said was cut the scenes out, we should be two-dimensional, it’s the story that’s three-dimensional. We shouldn’t know anything about them outside the newsroom, and I think that was the decision made here, you should know nothing about me outside of what I do.”

Hoffman bonded with Wareing, and when asked if he considers himself a mentor to the young actors he works with, he smiles and says, “I think what the public maybe doesn’t understand is that’s what we actors do constantly.

“Most of us, we mentor each other, and sometimes the director doesn’t like it so you have to talk out of the side of your mouth like in those old prison movies, ‘The next take, just do it the way you want, you were great, oops here comes the guard.’ We want the scene to be as good as it could be. If you are better than the other actor then the scene’s not going to be as good.”

It’s been almost five decades since his breakout role in The Graduate, and from work as disparate as Tootsie, Midnight Cowboy and Straw Dogs, this remarkable actor has continued to push his talents in sometimes surprising ways. With Oscars for Kramer vs Kramer and Rain Man, and a Lifetime achievement from the AFI way back in 1999, it would be easy for him to hang up the gloves and bask in the fame.

BOYCHOIR is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.


Monday, June 29, 2015

                 Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody and “Star Wars” actor Hayden Christensen play brothers embroiled in a bank robbery that would make or break their bond in the exciting and gripping action thriller “American Heist.”

                In the movie, James (Hayden Christensen) owes his life to his older brother, Frankie (Adrien Brody) after he took the rap and landed in prison. However, now Frankie is out and James' guilt sets in while James is simultaneously trying to revive his relationship with Emily (Jordana Brewster).  With promises of a new future and money, they turn to Frankie’s underworld connections, Sugar (Akon) and Ray (Tory Kittles), in the hopes that one last job would be the answer to change both their lives.

                “American Heist” is directed by Sarik Andreasyan who is from Yerevan, Armenia and by the age of 29 has become one of the top-3 highest grossing Russian directors according to Variety Russia.  Andreasyan’s previous hits include the successful remake of the Russian cult classic "Office Romance" and the widely beloved box office hit "Moms", making him one of the most talented and profitable directors in his country. The sequel to "Moms" - "Happy New Year, Moms!" sees Sarik working with the ensemble cast studded with the legend himself - monsieur Alan Delon.

                In 2013, along with the establishment of Glacier Films, the American chapter of Sarik's career began. That summer, his creative collaboration with the incredible talents of Adrien Brody and Hayden Christensen resulted in the highly-anticipated action drama "American Heist". Sarik and the creative minds at Glacier Films produced 3 more films within their first year – one of which was a Sundance hit - "Cooties" starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson.

                From Crystalsky Multimedia, “American Heist” will open on July 22 in local cinemas nationwide (simultaneous with its US release).  See the film’s trailer here - 

Rewriting the horror genre, “The Vatican Tapes” began when Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment received the haunting spec script that took the classic horror concept of demonic possession and elevated it to an even more chilling level by introducing the anti-Christ.

                Mark Neveldine directs “The Vatican Tapes” from a screenplay by Chris Borelli and Michael Martin about a woman who has been consumed by the anti-Christ.  Neveldine, having gone to Catholic school, had a personal grasp on the world of The Vatican Tapes, and after discussing the project with producers, Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, he jumped aboard the project. “I’ve always wanted to do a possession film.  Something supernatural, but grounded in reality,” says Neveldine. 

                Neveldine collaborated with Lakeshore on the script, focusing on how to balance fantastical elements and reality.  They found that equilibrium by developing the main female protagonist, Angela, and her relationship with her father.  

                “Angela is the everyday girl that we all know.  While she hasn’t done anything wrong, this possession befell her and as we follow her chilling journey, we are rooting for her to overcome the devil,” explains Borrelli. 

                “We try to ground the film in reality and add a human element to the story,” says screenwriter, Michael C. Martin. “We found that human emotion by developing the relationship between Angela and her father, Roger.” 

                Along with incorporating the human emotion to the film, the filmmakers looked for ways to rewrite the rules of the horror-thriller genre. 

                “There are no decapitations, there are no blood sprays, and there aren’t any knives stabbing eyeball scenes.  There are none of the normal grab-bag of tricks that you use in a horror film.  This is more about subtlety.  This film demonstrates the slow build and the slow escalation of dread,” explains Wright. 

                “This is a film about demonic possession that can consume anybody.  We don’t try to pull any punches,” says Neveldine.  “We’re not trying to look for any jump scares.  Instead, I want to get under peoples’ skin.”

                “The Vatican Tapes” opens July 22 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films. Check out the film’s chilling trailer here:  

Expand your “Breakup Playlist” experience with the official soundtrack featuring the voices of lead stars Piolo Pascual and Sarah Geronimo!

Now available: ‘The Breakup Playlist’ official soundtrack!

Days before the grand opening of “The Breakup Playlist,” Star Music has released the official soundtrack featuring songs recorded by lead stars Piolo Pascual and Sarah Geronimo.

The album, produced by Star Music audio content head Jonathan Manalo, features original songs and covers, including Eraserheads’ “With A Smile” and Kitchie Nadal’s “‘Wag Na ‘Wag Mong Sasabihin.”

Pop-rock Princess Yeng Constantino wrote two cuts in the soundtrack: Theme song “Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” (with Jonathan) and “Patawarin.”

Here are Eight (8) things you need to know about 'The Breakup Playlist' :

Here’s the track listing of “The Breakup Playlist,” which you can also stream on Spotify:

“Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” – Sarah Geronimo and Piolo Pascual
“With A Smile” – Piolo Pascual
“Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin” – Sarah Geronimo
“Ikaw Lamang” – Sarah Geronimo and Piolo Pascual
“Bida” – Sarah Geronimo
“Patawarin” – Piolo Pascual
“Nagsimula Sa Puso” – Sarah Geronimo
“Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” (Acoustic) – Sarah Geronimo and Piolo Pascual
“Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” (Minus One) – Sarah Geronimo and Piolo Pascual

“The Breakup Playlist” is a story of two musicians, Trixie David (Sarah) and Gino Avila (Piolo), whose journey is chronicled through the songs they wrote, sang, and listened to in the process. She’s studying to become a lawyer (her mother’s desire, actually), until she meets him, the man who will inspire her to pursue her true dreams and capture her heart.

“The Breakup Playlist” was written by Antoinette Jadaone (“That Thing Called Tadhana,” “Relaks, It’s Just Pag-ibig”) under the creative management of Kriz Gazmen. It’s directed by Dan Villegas and produced by Star Cinema and Viva Films.

The movie opens nationwide this July 1.
After their story conference last Thursday, June 25, the lead cast of the upcoming film “Etiquette for Mistresses” was revealed together with director Chito S. Roño.

The all-star cast consists of Queen of All Media Kris Aquino, Chinita Princess Kim Chiu, award-winning actress Iza Calzado, and Optimum Star Claudine Barretto.

Claudine expressed her excitement over her big comeback and working with three of the best actresses today. She showed that by getting back to work right away to do their look test for the film.

Cinematographer Neil Daza (@neildaza) shared photos from the look test and gave us a first glimpse of Kris, Claudine, Kim, and Iza in character for their roles in the “Etiquette for Mistresses,” on Instagram last Sunday, June 28.
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