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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Man on Fire: Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm aka Human Torch in the New “FANTASTIC FOUR”

Acclaimed young actor Michael B. Jordan is set to blaze the superhero genre anew in this year’s highly anticipated latest “Fantastic Four” movie.  Starring alongside equally talented young actors Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, Jordan plays Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch wherein he undergoes physical changes after mankind’s first journey to an alternative universe.  Johnny’s transformation leaves him an unparalleled power - covered in fire and never burns, combust the air around him, shoot fireballs and can propel himself through the air on jets of flame.

Jordan earned critical acclaim for his starring role as Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale Station” which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. The film was also screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival where it won the award for Best First Film.  After appearing in both “The Sopranos” and “The Wire,” Michael B. Jordan rose to prominence with his role in the NBC drama “Friday Night Lights” and continued to take a recurring role in the show “Parenthood.” Jordan’s diverse television career also includes appearances in “CSI,” “Without A Trace,” “Cold Case,” “Burn Notice,” “Bones,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “House.” His feature film career began with 2001’s “Hardball,” which starred Keanu Reeves. In 2012 Jordan appeared in the George Lucas-produced movie “Red Tails” and in the Josh Trank-directed phenomenon “Chronicle,” a tale of three teenage boys who develop superpowers.  Continuously rising to be one of Hollywood’s lead young acts, Jordan will soon be seen in the movie “Creed” where he plays the titular role.
A huge fan of “Fantastic Four,” Jordan has excitedly slipped in to his role as the charismatic Johnny Storm, “I grew up loving comic books so I was a big fan. And so it’s great to get to play a character like this. It’s a big deal to me,” enthused Jordan.

The new “Fantastic Four” sets an origin story wherein the four meet each other for the first time.  With Ben Grimm aka The Thing (Bell) and Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic (Teller) being best friends and Johnny (Jordan) and Sue (Mara) as siblings, the four eventually become superheroes over the course of the film.  “It’s the Fantastic Four! It’s fun. These are characters you may be familiar with, but you’re seeing them in a new, fresh way. It’s a different take. I think the film is grounded in real emotions - you get to know these characters and hopefully care about them. They’e learning about themselves at the same time. It’s a superhero movie, but a grounded superhero movie. It’s exciting. It’s an action packed drama,” Jordan shares on what audience can expect from the movie.
  Groundbreaking story, action and special effects unfold when the latest “Fantastic Four” (3D) movie opens August 5 nationwide in Philippine cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.  Like 20th Century Fox (Philippines) on Facebook for more updates.
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Friday, July 3, 2015

Terminator Genisys: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

A group of survivors led by John Connor (Jason Clarke), is in the midst of destroying Skynet, but it already sent a Terminator to 1984 to kill his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke). To prevent that from happening John also sent his loyal soldier Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) on the same year to save his mother. However, when Kyle arrives to that time-frame, things were different and everything seems to have changed. Soon, Kyle teams up with Sarah and Terminator, she calls "Pops" (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to try and stop Skynet and prevent Judgement Day from happening.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back to the franchise that launched his career, and now he proves that his robotic roots are still working pretty nicely.  I’m old but not obsolete,”he claims and yes, he sure did provide some spark to revive this franchise even they created a confusing timeline that sometimes didn't make any sense. 

The strong action sequences are quite entertaining but a bit tiring in the long run. However, there are some moments that we really admire especially the scenes when they are being chased down T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee) that brings back some of the cool stuffs from "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" our personal favorite film in this franchise.

The cast amazingly did a great job with Arnold Schwarzenegger manage to show why he is still the face of this franchise even he is already 68 years old. He just sets the mood and spilled some humor, especially when he throws that awkward smile. Emilia Clarke was a bombshell and yes, we need to start to watch Game of Thrones to see more of her. She brought a lot of will power to her character and a strong presence throughout. Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney were both a fair choice but didn't offer much to make their characters enjoyable. We don't want to miss out J.K Simmons, who brought color even he only had a limited screen time. 

Overall, Terminator Genisys is fun even with it's polluted alternate timeline. With an after credit scene rolling hinting that this is not the end for this franchise; they might try to inject a bit more consistency in it to bring back the same vibe just like the first two films offered us. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 7.5 out of 10 stars  

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clark, Jason Clarke 

Directed by: Alan Taylor
Distributed by: United International Pictures PH
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide

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IMAX Corporation, Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions and Bad Robot recently announced that “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” directed by Christopher McQuarrie and starring Tom Cruise, will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® format and released in IMAX® theatres in the Philippines beginning July 30.

The fifth installment in the blockbuster “Mission: Impossible” franchise, the new film is produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. The executive producers are David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger of Skydance Productions and Jake Myers. Drew Pearce, Christopher McQuarrie, Will Staples, Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier and Dylan Kussman wrote the screenplay, based on the television series created by Bruce Geller.

Rogue Nation” reunites Cruise with stars from 2011's “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” including Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. Joining the cast is Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris.

In the film, Ethan (Cruise) and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate, an International rogue organization, as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

"IMAX is so important in giving the audience the best experience of the film we have made. I am very happy to have this partnership on the next Mission," said Cruise.

"After the innovative way we worked with our longtime partners Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Bad Robot and Tom Cruise on the record-setting `Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,' we are beyond thrilled to once again offer audiences The IMAX Experience® of the latest installment of this action-packed franchise," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "This film was literally made for IMAX and summer moviegoing."

Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures said, "Audiences the world over proved with the last Mission that The IMAX Experience® is not to be missed and so we are all thrilled to again partner with Rich, Greg and everyone at IMAX to bring this next exciting installment to their screens this summer."

The Mission: Impossible franchise has earned more than $2 billion at the box office, making it one of the most successful franchises in movie history. The 4th installment in the globally successful franchise, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” earned nearly $700 million worldwide and became Cruise’s highest grossing film to date in his storied career.

The IMAX® release of the latest “Mission: Impossible” film will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, July 30, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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Kevin, Stuart & Bob: Get to Know the Adorable “MINIONS”

As the story of Universal Pictures' new adventure comedy “Minions” begins, the Minions are currently masterless in the frigid Antarctic, having grown despondent the more time they spend without a master to serve. Over the centuries, they have had such great intentions for their numerous bosses, but in true Minion fashion, they end up accidentally getting each and every one of their masters killed. When the Minions finally do meet Gru, they’re more relaxed and less insecure. In 1969, however, they’re still in the middle of a steep learning curve.

Although Kevin, Stuart and Bob are very much Minions at the core, it was crucial to provide differentiation not just to their look, but to their unique sounds. Producer Janet Healy says that it wasn’t until the Illumination team began developing “Minions” that they started discovering their distinct personalities. “It was hard at first because the Minions have always been a group that share characteristics of impatience and childishness and buoyancy,” she says. “When we decided to differentiate these three characters and track them, we realized how to make our heroes very distinct and show what each of them are thinking and feeling through their pantomime and sounds.”

Producer Chris Meledandri describes the characters: “Kevin is the older brother of the three, and he desperately wants to be heroic. Bob is the littlest, and I think of him as the Agnes from “Despicable Me” of the group. He just loves everybody; he’s a very happy little guy. Stuart is more of the adolescent, the rebellious one. By the end of the movie, you get the sense that the three of them are their own little family.”

As Kevin is the elder statesman of the tribe and filled with nothing but good intentions, he sounds a bit more responsible—sometimes stern—and is quick to admonish his younger siblings when they’re too distracted by nonsense or chicanery. Stuart’s sound is much more laissez-faire, and he’s quite partial to a flippant “meh.” He goes with the flow but is not interested in any drama (that he didn’t create). Bob’s vocals are much more childlike. He is so joyous, so full of life, but also easily scared of the adventure ahead and is prone to gasps and “ooooooh”s.

Director Kyle Balda explains that the three members of the Minion tribe that we get to know over the course of the film actually revealed themselves to the animators as the animation process evolved. He explains: “When you storyboard a scene, you start to know who Kevin, Stuart and Bob are. You let your imagination run, and you think that Bob wants to go this way or that. So you let him go that way and see happens. You don’t try to always reign in the characters and make them do what you think they’re supposed to do. You play a bit, and often it can take you someplace really interesting.”

Balda jokes that if our heroes had anything to say about running the production of “Minions,” he knows exactly what they’d have done: “Stuart absolutely wants to do his own thing, and he would love to get in front of a camera and talk about the movie and take all the credit. Bob would just be fascinated with all the lights and the technical aspects and not know what was going on most of the time. And Kevin? Kevin would take it all very, very seriously.”

Of particular importance to the filmmakers was to make Kevin, Stuart and Bob’s journey not just a humorous one, but a global one. Meledandri shares: “Through the course of the movie, the Minions not only traverse time, but they also traverse geography. The movie takes you from New York City, Orlando and Australia to China, India and London, where a big portion of the film transpires.”

The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions” begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.

The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind...from annihilation.

Opening across the Philippines on July 08, “Minions” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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“MAGIC MIKE XXL” Grinds Earlier with Sneaks July 6 & 7

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Magic Mike XXL” goes back to the grind earlier than you expect as the Channing Tatum-starrer, will hold special sneak previews in selected theatres everywhere on Monday and Tuesday, July 6 & 7.

The film will be shown in its U.S. and original, uncut version which was rated R-16 by the Movie and Television Review & Classification Board.

Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, “Magic Mike XXL” finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel.  But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them. 

On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.

As happy as the characters were to get the show on the road, so were the actors who portray them.  “There was never a dull moment,” states Joe Manganiello, reprising his role as Big Dick Richie (BDR), alongside Matt Bomer as the picture-perfect Ken, Adam Rodriguez as Latin sensation Tito and Kevin Nash as wild-man Tarzan. “When we were cast in the first movie, none of us had a clue we would have this kind of chemistry, but it didn’t take long.  There was some kind of providence in assembling this group.  It just works.”

Consequently, while showcasing the tight group dynamic, “Magic Mike XXL” also plays up their individual personalities and talents to a greater extent. The cast also got the opportunity to demonstrate their comic timing, as the story takes them from a rowdy reunion in Tampa to some hilariously bumpy but rewarding detours through Savannah on their way to the big event. 

Says Jacobs, “It’s Mike’s journey but it’s also a journey for all of them.  We spent a lot of time fine-tuning and weaving each one into the story because it was important to all of us that the other characters were well developed and that everybody had his moment to break out and shine.”

Everyone took the letters XXL to heart,” says Bomer, who additionally makes his big-screen singing debut in the film.  “We put everything into our performances because so much of what this movie is about is the culmination of this one last ride these guys want to share.  They want to go out with a bang so that, whatever happens after this, they can say, ‘We closed that chapter on a high note.’”

  Opening wide across the Philippines on July 15, “Magic Mike XXL” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.
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Acclaimed Director Fuqua and Academy Award Nominee Gyllenhaal Team Up in Boxing Movie “SOUTHPAW”

Acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day") and screenwriters Kurt Sutter ("Sons of Anarchy" ) and Richard Wenk ("The Mechanic") team up to tell a riveting story in  "Southpaw" about a boxer named Billy "The Great" Hope, reigning Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World (played by Academy Award® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal). Billy Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife (Rachel McAdams), an adorable daughter (Oona Laurence) and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson) leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker), a retired fighter and trainer to the city's toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on Tick's guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves.

  Southpaw” opens in Philippine cinemas this July 22 from Pioneer Films. 

See the fight below:

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Haley Joel Osment Is Teaching 'Sex Ed

The student is now a teacher.

With his first major Hollywood appearance back in 1994, in a scene where he was waiting for his school bus, Haley Joel Osment was Forrest Junior, Tom Hank’s son in “Forrest Gump”. He was just five. And best known for his role as the freaky "I see dead people" kid in M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 thriller “The Sixth Sense”, Osment is returning to the big screen ... awkwardly that is.

In “Sex Ed”, the 27-year-old plays a guy named Eddie who lands his first teaching gig at an inner-city middle school. He soon finds that his highly pubescent pupils are receiving no form of sexual education. And though he isn't really equipped to teach them, he's takes on the challenge of explaining “the birds and the bees”, much to the chagrin of their parents. Also a problem: The teach just happens to be a virgin.

Osment isn't the only familiar face you'll spot in this indie comedy. There’s Lorenza Izzo (The Green Inferno, Hemlock Grove), Glen Powell (Expendables 3, The Dark Knight Rises), Laura Harring (Gossip Girl), Abby Elliott (Saturday Night Live), Retta (Parks and Recreation), George Eads (CSI), Matt Walsh (Veep), and Lamorne Morris (The New Girl). 

Sex Ed”, uncut and in all its glory, will be hitting theaters on July 22, 2015, released through Solar Pictures.

MTRCB Rating: R18

Check Out the trailer below: 
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A Haunting Decent Into Darkness in “THE VATICAN TAPES”

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 below: 

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Sandra Bullock is Baddest Villain Scarlet Overkill in “MINIONS”

Academy Award-winner Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side,” “Gravity”) stars in Universal Pictures’ “Minions” as Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first female super-villain. 
Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob are drawn to Scarlet for her ability to mastermind incredible heists, and they are simultaneously terrified of and smitten by her.  She hires the Minions as her henchmen and charges them with their first mission: to embark on a criminal heist that takes them to London as she attempts to achieve her lifelong dream: becoming the Queen. 

Producer Janet Healy discusses the character’s undeniable draw and why Scarlet is so crucial to a story set in 1969: “Scarlet is a glamorous woman in this time of empowerment and emerging equality who is actively recruiting henchmen.  She’ll accomplish everything that a man can to become the biggest super-villain in the world of villains; she’s the biggest thing since sliced bread for them.  I love that Scarlet is beautiful, ambitious and forward thinking, and her husband has the ability to invent anything to make sure that she’s successful.  As well, they’re the epitome of stylishness.”

The world has never seen a female super-villain before Scarlet,” adds producer Chris Meledandri.  “She also happens to be the baddest of the villains, the reigning celebrity of them all.” 

Casting Bullock as Scarlet was an early idea from Meledandri, who hoped to juxtapose her approachable sound with the heart of a character bent on revenge and power assumption.  His logic was that if Scarlet were voiced by someone with a more diabolical bent, you’d know within an instant for whom you should root.  But with a performer so inherently likable as Bullock, fans will find themselves occasionally rooting for her.  That is, even when she’s threatening the Minions, you often understand her point of view.  “Sandy is so iconic, and she is so well known for playing incredibly empathetic characters,” shares the producer.  “She brings those qualities of empathy to this super-villain and comes to the role with such strength and determination and charm, qualities that make for a compelling, dimensional character.”

What attracted the Oscar®-winning performer to the role of the world’s first female super-villain was that Minions offers entertainment for all audiences.  She reflects upon what piqued her curiosity to voice a character who is on such a nefarious quest: “Great villains are always the most fun to play.  It’s more fun to be mean and crabby than it is to try and make nice with everybody all the time.” 

As Bullock discussed Scarlet’s backstory with the filmmakers, she learned that Scarlet’s rise to power actually made quite a good deal of sense.  Growing up, Scarlet had nothing.  She had no friends, no money, and she looked at the Queen as a woman of ultimate power.  While many girls want to be the princess, Scarlet quickly realized that princesses have no power.  With a pathological need to be loved and respected, Scarlet aspired to be the woman telling the princess what to do.  Truly, if the Queen says something, you do it.  She loves the Queen, and so she thinks people will love her if she has that crown.

As part of the worldwide phenomenon of Minions, Bullock enjoyed bringing Scarlet’s personality to life, noting: “My purpose in this film is to just be perpetually crabby and irritated the entire time.  Scarlet’s like a spoiled eight-year-old little girl.  She didn’t get the attention she needed growing up, so now she’s going to find a way to be the Queen.”

Although the Minions speak nary a word of English, the actors felt keenly aware of what was being said by them.  Bullock elaborates: “What I love about the Minions is that you can’t really understand them, but you absolutely feel what they’re saying.  They emote with so much emotion that the language barrier doesn’t exist.” Evoking Scarlet, she pauses, “We had an unspoken, beautiful relationship.”

  Opening across the Philippines on July 08, “Minions” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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“CREED” Steps Inside With Teaser Trailer

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s “Creed.” The film explores a new chapter in the “Rocky” story and stars Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role. The film also reunites Coogler with his “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.

Watch “Creed's” teaser trailer below which has just been released by the studio: 

In the film, Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer.  Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend.  Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.
With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title…but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?

Creed” also stars Tessa Thompson (“Selma,” “Dear White People”) as Bianca, a local singer-songwriter who becomes involved with Adonis; Phylicia Rashad (Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias”) as Mary Anne Creed, Apollo’s widow; and English pro boxer and former three-time ABA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Bellew as boxing champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan.

Coogler directs from a screenplay he wrote with Aaron Covington, based on characters from the “Rocky” series written by Sylvester Stallone. The film is being produced by Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Sylvester Stallone and Kevin King Templeton. Joining Coogler behind the scenes are director of photography Maryse Alberti (“The Wrestler”) and costume designer Emma Potts (“127 Hours”), as well as his “Fruitvale Station” team: editors Claudia Castello and Michael P. Shawver; production designer Hannah Beachler; and composer Ludwig Göransson.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes a Chartoff Winkler Production, “Creed.” 

Opening across the Philippines on Dec. 02, 2015, “Creed” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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