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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Injecting new twist on the serial killer movie genre, acclaimed graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi helms “The Voices” with a perfectly pitched cast led by Ryan Reynolds along with Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick in a story so unique about a misfit who walks on a very thin line between being the protagonist and antagonist.    

                In “The Voices,” Reynolds stars as Jerry Hickfang who works at a bathtub factory and attempts to walk the straight-and-narrow, in spite of his talking pet dog and cat trying to influence him. When he accidentally kills an attractive woman from accounting (Arterton), he hastily tries to cover his tracks. But Jerry is beyond the reach of his well-meaning psychiatrist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) and Lisa (Anna Kendrick), the only woman he ever truly loved, and spirals into a world of violence where he ultimately finds salvation.

                Director Marjane Satrapi typically only works on pieces she has written, but “I just couldn’t put the script down,” she recalls. “I thought that it was an extremely ambiguous, very unique story. This crazy world of Jerry’s was one of the best descriptions of schizophrenia that I ever read. I don’t like so much to film reality because I live in reality. I prefer, when I have the opportunity, to create a whole world around something.”

                “What Jerry wants in life is to be accepted and to be seen by people as a good person, somebody worthy of their friendship, but ultimately he is one of the loneliest guys on earth,” explains Ryan Reynolds of his character, who has no family and lives above a derelict bowling alley at the edge of a small town in Michigan. “He is something of a misfit and throughout the course of the movie we find he has a lot of demons and a lot of baggage that he carries around with him all day. He strives to be a good person but walks that thin line between protagonist and antagonist.”

                “I was attracted to the idea that Jerry has these dual natures, the proverbial angel and devil on his shoulders,” continues Reynolds. “Mr. Whiskers, who is kind of a Scottish mercenary and the voice of destruction and violence, and Bosco, who sounds a bit like a dim southern gentlemen that voices kindness and compassion, are Jerry’s cat and dog, his dueling natures, he listens to each of them. I don’t think he particularly likes the cat, but Mr. Whiskers serves a purpose in his life and Jerry’s warped mind keeps him safe.”

                Producer Adam Stone further enthuses on the film’s uniqueness, “It’s not just a thriller, or just a comedy or just a fantasy,” whose Mandalay Vision focused on the script when it appeared on The Hollywood Black List three years ago. “It’s a completely original screenplay that’s not formulaic; you don’t know if you should laugh or cry, and I love that!” Adds producer Matthew Rhodes, “I love psychological thrillers and THE VOICES is unique in that it makes you think, really makes you feel, as we follow Jerry down the rabbit hole and discover he is not the person he thought he was. He struggles because he doesn’t want to be evil.”

                “The Voices” will open this June 3 exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide.  Visit for schedules and more exciting news and promos. 
Prepare to burn in the upcoming and most awaited thrilling adventure of the year, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” where the course of the Gladers’ lives who successfully survived the Maze will define the rest of humanity’s future.  

                Reprising his role as Thomas, Dylan O’Brien returns along with fellow Gladers Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangster set in a more challenging post apocalyptic future where they sprint for another run of their lives.  Director Wes Ball is at the helm once again in this next chapter of the epic “Maze Runner” saga where our young heroes search for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.

                Check out the first trailer reveal of “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” here:

                “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” opens at cinemas on September 9 in the Philippines from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

If you are looking for an action-packed espionage film with just the right amount of hilarious scenes that would surprise and entertain you, you should watch "SPY" in theaters.

We have seen several secret agent films that are usually serious and filled with high-tech gadgets and stunning locations. But what do we get if we add some hint of hilarious antics and unexpected twists to our regular spy film - it gets even better. Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is known for her impeccable comedic style in "The Heat" and "Identity Thief" stars in this fantastic comedic-espionage. Susan Cooper's character may be out of her element. But not out of her league.

What we love about the film is the unexpected timing of the comedy in regular and intense situations. It wasn't just a slapstick kind of comedy but a great action film in its own right. The action sequences were intense. One of our favorite scene was the kitchen scene where Susan battles an assassin with a kitchen knife, defending herself only with a pan and some salad ingredients. The amount of key elements for a spy film was in the perfect proportion. Jason Statham's performance was hilariously engaging and a breath of fresh air from his usual action roles. Jude Law was the "almost" perfect British spy ensemble in the film that still surprise the audience with his witty antics. Miranda Hart's performance was also a great way to balance the comedic style of Melissa. The outstanding chemistry of the cast was brilliant!

Be sure to stay for the end credits scene.

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.

Melissa McCarthy: When the World Needs a New “SPY”

In the latest all-out high-octane action and laugh-out-loud “Spy” movie, Jason Statham describes his role in the film as “different from anything I’ve done, and it’s been great fun.”

Jason Statham in his Funniest and Hard-Hitting Action Stunts in “SPY”

Byrne takes on the role of Rayna, a beautiful and privileged Oxford-educated daughter of a recently deceased arms dealer who becomes frenemies with Susan Cooper, a novice spy who gears up for action after Fine (Law) suddenly goes off the grid during a dangerous assignment. Agent Cooper leaves her dreary desk job behind, entering the world of international espionage in Europe.  Soon, Rayna and Susan butt heads when Rayna has come into possession of an unusual inheritance, a small tactical nuclear weapon enough to give the world a total meltdown.

Rose Byrne Plays Comical Frenemy in “SPY”

Jude Law says:  “As far as Fine is concerned, he and Susan are the perfect team, unflappable, the cream of the crop in the CIA. He sees the relationship as purely platonic, despite the occasional flirtations. Certain elements of that she may misread, or perhaps hope will develop into something more. He doesn’t imagine that she has any real desire to leave the basement, but you could argue that he wants Susan to remain there because without her he might be lost.”

Uber “SPY” Jude Law: All is Fine in the Espionage Game

Escape to Neverland as Warner Bros. presents another look at director Joe Wright’s lavishly fractured take on Peter Pan. Check out the new trailer for Pan below! Pan is set for a worldwide release in 3D and 2D in theaters and IMAX on October 9.

Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M. Barrie, Pan follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny-to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

Pan is a live-action Peter Pan feature directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice). Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M. Barrie, the action adventure follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny—to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

An Exclusive Look at Neverland in upcoming Fantasy Film "Pan"

The film stars Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis) as Hook, Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Tiger Lily, Adeel Akhtar (The Dictator) as Smee, and newcomer Levi Miller as Peter.

Rounding out the cast are Taejoo Na (The Kick) as Kwahu, Nonso Anozie (Son of God, Atonement) as Bishop, Kathy Burke (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Mother Barnabas, Kurt Egyiawan (Skyfall) as Murray, Lewis MacDougall (UK TV’s “In the Name of the Children”) as Nibs, newcomer Leni Zieglmeier as Wendy Darling, Jack Charles (Mystery Road) as The Chief/Tiger Lily’s father, and Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables) as Mary.

Check the Latest Character Posters of the upcoming Fantasy Film "Pan

Watch the newest "Pan" Trailer below:

Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy have already collaborated in the smash hit comedies: “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat.” In “Spy,” which Feig wrote and directed, the gifted actress plays the brilliant, intuitive and relatable Susan Cooper, who has worked in the dreary basement at CIA headquarters for years. Her colleague is the charming, sophisticated and self-absorbed super spy Bradley Fine, played by Jude Law. An unsung hero, Cooper is the one who guides her partner via a computer and an earpiece, when he is out on perilous assignments, steering him through sticky situations around the globe. Fine gets the credit for all the successes, but it is actually Cooper doing most of the complicated work. She is also secretly besotted with the charismatic Fine, but it’s a case of unrequited love.

                When Fine goes off the grid while trying to locate a nuclear bomb, Susan Cooper volunteers to go out into the field herself, becoming a bona fide spy, infiltrating the world of international espionage in Europe. She has to confront the villainous, rich and ultra-glamorous Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) who is the daughter of a notorious arms dealer, with access to a nuclear weapon. It is up to the intrepid Agent Cooper to stop her before she wreaks global havoc! 

Uber “SPY” Jude Law: All is Fine in the Espionage Game

                Cooper has another challenge to deal with in the form of Rick Ford (a hilarious performance from Jason Statham) a supposedly ace operative. Ford turns out to be bumbling, intense and supremely arrogant. He completely underestimates Cooper, who surprises everyone with her all-round excellence. Out of her element at the start, Susan Cooper rapidly learns all the skills required for her new job. We see her dangling from a helicopter, racing around on a scooter and engaging in a kitchen fight with a deadly assassin. Side-splittingly funny, the film is riveting and action-packed. Also starring are Bobby Cannavale and 50 Cent.

Rose Byrne Plays Comical Frenemy in “SPY”

                A much more unorthodox confrontation and action in the movie takes place later in the week, at a Budapest restaurant kitchen, where Susan and an assassin (Nargis Fakhri) engage in a fight to the finish with fruits, vegetables, turkey legs and cooking utensils. Perry and his stunt team spent weeks choreographing and rehearsing, and “pre-visioning” the fight on computer. Food, pots and pans go flying, as the bruises mount on both McCarthy and Fakhri with each take.

Melissa McCarthy: When the World Needs a New “SPY”

                “Who knew salad could be a weapon?” says Fakhri, a Queens, New York, daughter of Czech and Pakistani parents. “Melissa got me good with some potatoes but I returned the favor with some breadsticks. It’s hard to do this kind of scene, but when it’s Paul Feig, you take one for the team.”

                Says Perry: “The kitchen fight took two days to complete and demonstrated Paul’s commitment to ramping up the action. He’s an enthusiast of 1980s Jackie Chan movies, as am I, so I had a good idea what he wanted: low, wide-angle impact shots coming into the lens. It’s funny, kinetic and violent.”

“Spy “opens May 21 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick stars alongside Ryan Reynolds in the bizarre crime thriller “The Voices” about a man in his 30’s suffering from schizophrenia who speaks to his pets, a dog and a cat which he regards as his conscience.    

                In “The Voices,” Jerry (Reynolds) is that chipper guy clocking the nine-to-five at a bathtub factory, with the offbeat charm of anyone who could use a few friends but one who needs his medication to function normally.  With the help of his court-appointed psychiatrist (Jacki Weaver), he pursues his office crush Fiona (Gemma Arterton) and later his other officemate Lisa (Kendrick). When Fiona agreed to go out with him on a date and carelessly stood him up to go out with her other friends, Jerry’s odd behaviour begins to get the better of him.  During the night when Fiona stood him up, he finds her on the road trying to get a ride going home, Jerry then offers her a ride while his hallucinations start to fill his mind until he realizes he has already slit open Fiona’s throat.  Once at home, his dog Bosco tells him to confess to the police but on the other side, Mr. Whiskers says otherwise.  Jerry then disposes Fiona’s body part by part until her detached head inside his fridge.   A week after, Jerry decides to return to work and eventually goes out with Lisa who has long been interested in him but has no idea of Jerry’s psychotic tendencies.

Ryan Reynolds Tries to Fit in Despite Being a Misfit in "The Voices"

                “It was the script for that movie that totally blew me away at first,” enthuses Kendrick, “and then it was knowing that Marjane (Satrapi) was directing it. Ever since I saw Persepolis, I knew I had to work with her. It’s one of those movies that lives inside my mind and keeps popping up all the time.   And then when I knew Ryan Reynolds was going to be playing the lead, I had to say yes. You see that’s how it happens to me. People always ask me why I do so many films, but I never set out with that in mind.”

                Doing all three characters was a challenge, says Reynolds. “On set, we’d go through the scene. I would perform Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, and then I would also have to do Jerry. It was tough.” For Jerry, these voices represent the intersection of his fantasy and reality worlds, and his struggle to follow a righteous path. “It’s about a guy on a tightrope,” says Reynolds. “It’s about a guy who’s walking that very thin line between protagonist and antagonist."

                “The Voices” opens exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide on June 3. Check out Ayala Malls Cinemas’ for more exciting movie offerings. 
                 “Sword of Vengeance” is a historical action film, which tells the story of The Harrowing of the North: The infamous genocide ordered by William the Conqueror, to control the unrelenting Rebels of the North. After the brutal slaughter of 100,000 inhabitants, armies killed off all livestock and salted the earth; no crop or plants could grow for decades to follow. The northern forests and lands laid in eerie, lifeless devastation.

                Directed by Jim Weedon, who began his career in music videos editing for bands such as U2, Blur and Jamiroquai, “Sword of Vengeance” is replete with a great visual style where the director faced an incredible challenge in making the film distinctly unique from the norm of the current myriad of period action films. 

                “From the start I was conscious of the fact that the film needed to stand apart and to have a singular identity. The budget wouldn't allow for us to compete with many of the studio productions of the moment, but I also didn’t want to, what I wanted to achieve for the audience was something equally arresting but in a completely new realisation. I have been a fan of the chambara style of Japanese samurai movies since childhood. I was intrigued with the idea of creating a medieval world that tonally sat within this style. Immediately we gave the film a very distinct and unexpected look and style,” shares Weedon.

                The fact that the filmmakers removed so much dialogue meant that the sound had to work suitably hard to convey the unsaid. Further, Weedon disclosed that “Both Roland Heap (sound designer) and Stephen Hilton did an incredible job of creating the sonic nature of the film. I wanted the audience to have a musical roller-coaster ride as they witness the storyline unfolding. We really pushed the sound design and musical approach to bring the visuals into a very vivid but chambara life. Sound is integral to my commercial work and something that always creates the unexpected in the visuals. This can be the most rewarding and unexpected aspect of filmmaking. The film needed to have a certain aesthetic to its overall look. I went for a bleach bypass approach in the grading to achieve very little colour in the film. To help this aim the wardrobe was specifically designed to be muted, working with blues, greys and black, the only real colour coming through is the inherent hues from the fur that the heroes wore.”

                “Overall I believe we have achieved what we had set out to do, to create a world that stands apart in the realms of period dramas. SWORD is exciting, unforgiving and relentless, it makes no apologies as we are thrown into a world of dark times and dark deeds,” assures Weedon.

                Starring notable character and stage actors such as Stanley Weber, Annabelle Wallis, Karel Roden and Ed Skrein, “Sword of Vengeance” will open this June 3 in select theatres from Axinite Digicinema. 

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