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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zombie Virus Transforms Abigail Breslin Into a Flesh-Eating Killer in “MAGGIE”


Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin stars on a titular role alongside legendary action film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger in the zombie-filled and apocalyptic film “Maggie” where she plays a young woman infected with a zombie virus and whose father’s love proves stronger than the horror of the virus that invaded her being.  

One of this year’s most anticipated movie that spells huge commercial excitement, “Maggie” is directed by Henry Hobson,  one of the world’s go-to directors for innovative title, end and credit sequences for his film works in “Snow White & The Huntsman,” “Robin Hood,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “The Help,” “Rango” and “Tree of Life,” video games “The Last of Us” and “Killzone” as well as AMC’s acclaimed top-rated zombie series, “The Walking Dead.” Adding further talents, Hobson has also (creative) directed the screen and stage looks for the Academy Awards for the past 6 years.  

 
The movie is a heartbreaking take on the zombie genre that twists expectations and puts a human face on an inexplicable horror.  By the time a necrotic viral pandemic spread cross-country to small town America and infected the film’s titular character, 16-year-old Maggie (Breslin), authorities had established a protocol for patients infected with the deadly virus:  they are removed from society and taken to special isolation wards to complete the agonizing and dangerous transformation into one of the walking dead. The authorities do not speak about what happens after that.
               
Wade Vogel (Schwarzenegger) is not ready to give up his daughter.  After  weeks of searching for Maggie when she runs away following her diagnosis, Wade brings his daughter back to her home and family – stepmother, Caroline (Joely Richardson), and her two children. Having lost Maggie’s mother years earlier, Wade is determined to hold on to his precious daughter as long as he can, refusing to surrender her to the local police who show up with orders to take her. As the disease progresses, Caroline  decides to take their two younger children and move out, leaving Wade alone with Maggie to watch helplessly as she suffers.

 
Included in the 2011 Blacklist for best unproduced screenplays, this is the first time that Schwarzenegger has starred in or produced a low-budget, independent film.  “I really connected to the story because I’ve had friends who were really sick,” said the 19-year-old acclaimed actress, who made her big screen debut at age five in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 blockbuster film ‘Signs’.  “I didn’t see Maggie as a zombie movie, but rather a movie about a disease and the isolation of being sick.  I thought it was something I could really go full force into and take my time with the character. Our film is a humanization of zombies. Maggie’s not a monster. She goes in and out of her animalistic behaviors as the virus takes over. There are scenes with her friends that offer moments of relief from her isolation and sadness, the fact she’s dying.  These are glimpses of what her life should be like.  Then, we come back heavier than before because it’s all changing, it’s all going away.” 

 
In a departure for the zombie genre, the true horror and suspense in “Maggie” lays not so much in the blood, brains and gore of the walking dead, but rather in the dark reality of caring for a child or loved one whose terminal illness or behavior make them a danger to themselves and their family – and eventually confronting the even darker choices that behavior presents to anguished, loving parents. 

  Maggie” walks in cinemas nationwide this May 13 from Pioneer Films.
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Jason Statham in his Funniest and Hard Hitting Action Stunts in “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.”
 
Statham stars with Academy Award nominees Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law along with Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Allison Janney with the special participation of Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson. The movie brings at the center of the action the world’s unlikely heroine, Susan Cooper (McCarthy), a brilliant, intuitive and relatable desk agent, 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! 
 
Cooper has another challenge to deal with in the form of Rick Ford (a hilarious performance by 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.

 
Statham’s Ford considers himself a match for anyone. Everyone. All at once. Part Rambo, part Clousseau, Agent Rick Ford embodies the words intrepid, fearless and clueless. Ford’s confidence is far removed from competence.  Ford quits the CIA in protest of Cooper being an agent on the field, and goes off the grid, determined to see the mission through on his own.  “Ford is very intense, yet comically oblivious to his own bumbling,” says Statham.

 
Director Paul Feig, once an aspiring stuntman, is a fan of Statham’s movies, and, as with Nancy and Miranda Hart, tailored the Ford role to the actor. Melissa McCarthy says, “Jason’s Rick Ford is going to blow your mind. He’s a bit of a sociopath, but Jason plays him with such conviction. He doesn’t wink at the camera or allow it to go into spoof, which is what makes it so ungodly funny.”

  Side-splittingly funny,  riveting and action-packed, “Spy” opens very soon this May 21 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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Harrison Ford Connects Mysterious Pieces of Time in “THE AGE OF ADALINE”

 
One of cinema’s greats, Harrison Ford, who have starred in the most successful and acclaimed films in history, including the landmark “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises plays a pivotal role in the latest unforgettable love story to unfold on screens, “The Age of Adaline” with Blake Lively in the title role along with Academy Award winning actresses Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn.
 
In the movie, having miraculously remained 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Ford and Baker) threatens to expose the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

 
Harrison Ford plays Ellis’s father, William, a college professor. “Harrison Ford was the first and only choice to play William as far as I was concerned,” says Krieger. “We needed someone who brought real intelligence to the role and was clearly a heartthrob in his day. Harrison has always been great playing an academic, be he also captures the ethereal side of William.”

Lively admits she was a little nervous to meet the Oscar®-nominated actor she says. “Maybe I should not have watched the Indiana Jones trilogy before shooting. He is a brilliant actor, and true personal hero.”

The script’s whimsical premise paired with its down-to-earth approach to Adaline’s miraculous life caught the actor’s fancy. “This is very different from anything I’ve done before,” says Ford. “It’s one of those movies that is about being transported into a fantasy, but played very realistically. It’s a very clever construction. It was a delight to work on an ambitious movie that has a magical thinking to it. The audience is taken to an extraordinary world, but not the world of high-tech science fiction. It has roots in everyday life plus just enough magic to excite your imagination and open your heart.”

 
The film’s leading lady made a lasting impression on the Star Wars star, “She works very hard at what she is doing and is terrific in the part,” says Ford. “As an actor, she’s fully prepared, she’s inventive, she’s patient and she’s very generous with the other actors.”

Ford’s character is celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary when his son brings home a girl who looks, sounds and acts exactly like a woman he was in love with 45 years earlier. “William is a scientist,” says the actor. “He knows there’s no realistic way this can happen. His wife, played by Kathy Baker, thinks he’s pining for this long-ago romance.”

Ford has special praise for Baker, whose work he says he has admired for many years. “Kathy was terrific in helping make that part of the story come alive,” Ford says.

 
Baker shared Ford’s sentiment, “The Age of Adaline was a dream job for me. Harrison is fun and funny and smart and professional and witty and wise, and I was very lucky to have the opportunity to work with him. The film is beautiful to look at and is full of romance and magic; I am looking forward to sharing it with our audiences."

Lively says the film is unlike any she's ever seen in its exploration of that idea. "It's about love and loss and what they mean if you were able to live forever," she says. "Is that a gift or is it a curse? I walked away from Adaline's story thinking that life happens exactly the way it's supposed to. To live life surrounded by the people you love, to come and go with them, that feels like the perfect order to me."

  An unforgettable journey in time starts when “The Age of Adaline” opens May 20 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

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“PACIFIC RIM” Pilot Robert Kazinsky Stars in “HOT PURSUIT”

He previously starred in Guillermo del Toro’s hit sci-fi actioner “Pacific Rim” as hotshot pilot. Now, British actor Robert Kazinsky stars in New Line Cinema's comedy “Hot Pursuit” as Randy, who is not averse to aiding and abetting the female fugitives played by Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara.

Randy is not exactly on the right side of the law himself and is, in fact, sporting an ankle monitor.

In “Hot Pursuit,” an uptight and by-the-book Officer Cooper (Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow, Daniella Riva (Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas, pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

The women discover Randy when they steal his truck…without realizing he’s passed out in the back,” director Anne Fletcher grins. “So now he’s seen them, he knows who they are, and they’re in another predicament because that monitor allows the authorities to track him down once he’s outside of the jurisdiction. But Cooper may know a way around that, if Randy’s willing to help.”

Kazinsky offers, “Randy decides to help them because, first of all, he finds Cooper exceptionally attractive and appealing, and second, they’re wanted, he’s a criminal himself and, well, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, right?”

The Englishman says he was eager to play the role because “I wanted to work with Reese; that was the key thing. I’ve been an admirer of hers for a long time so this was an opportunity to get to do that. And Anne is a great comedic director and this part was unlike anything I’ve done before.”

While Kazinsky acknowledges it’s a small, though critical, role, he confesses, “In my entire career I’ve never played a nice guy, or a ‘good guy,’ or somebody who doesn’t die! It was a chance to play something funny and light, and a character who’s not a total douchebag, and it was not something I get offered very often,” he laughs.

We did a far-reaching search for Randy,” producer Bruna Papandrea notes. “We joked that we went all the way to England to cast our real American man. But Rob is just so charismatic and dynamic and has all the qualities we wanted Randy to have. Cooper has to be kind of swept away by what is really the opposite of what she might expect to find.”

Rob was just fantastic,” Witherspoon agrees. “He brought such great energy to Randy and played him as this sort of loveable, noble guy who likes to take care of women and protect them from the bad guys, even though, you know, he’s a convicted felon. A felon and a gentleman.”

Kazinsky will next be seen on the big screen in the action adventure fantasy “Warcraft,” directed by Duncan Jones and based on the video game of the same name.

On television, he has appeared on the hugely popular HBO series “True Blood,” playing Ben, the love interest of Anna Paquin’s character, Sookie, and recently wrapped filming on the FOX pilot “Frankenstein.”

  Set for release across the Philippines on May 7, “Hot Pursuit” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Isabel Lucas: Bikini-Clad Femme Fatale in “CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR”

 
Isabel Lucas, best known for her debut feature roles in the Australian television series “Home and Away” and in the blockbuster action movie “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” continues to emerge as one of Hollywood’s up and coming leading actresses as she equally stars with music pop star Nick Jonas in the thrilling and edgy thriller “Careful What You Wish For.”
 
In the film, Lucas stars as Lena Harper, a sultry gorgeous married woman who caught the attention and passion of Doug, a high school student who gets into a serious web of lies when he starts having a torrid affair with Lena.  Married to a wealthy investment banker, played by Dermot Mulroney who plays Elliot Harper, Lena and husband moved in to a town next door to Doug’s family vacation house at Lake Lure where the two lovers met.  Doug and Lena secretly hook up when her husband is out of town, eventually, Doug discovers shocking domestic issues as their affair continues.  Keeping his affair from his family and best friend, Doug suddenly finds himself trapped at Lena’s side when Elliot is found dead in the couple’s home.  Upon further investigation, it seems that everyone has become a suspect, with all evidence leading to Doug as the prime suspect. 

 
It’s definitely a different role than anything I’ve ever done before, one of those things I really wanted to challenge myself,” Nick said of the “intense” movie. When asked if he got nervous in his naked intimate scenes with Lucas, “It doesn’t make me nervous, I think it’s important for me to take steps and continue to grow as an actor and push myself in this way. I think, for the audience, they have to be prepared to come see a movie that’s pretty intense.” He continued, “The whole movie is not sex. It’s a part of the movie. The story overall is an exciting one, and one I think people will be taken by.”
 
Likewise, Lucas said in recent interviews about her role, shared what it’s like filming those sexy scenes. "Sometimes you just have to jump straight into it. The more that I can shed my own personal thoughts, fears, ego, so forth, the better.   When you're heading into uncomfortable territory, too much overthinking can just make it worse.”

 
Further, she says that she has a lot of respect for her co-star Nick Jonas, "I really felt like he blossomed and grew as an artist - because he is younger, and being in this movie was sort of bigger shoes for him to fill in some ways. It was really incredible what he brought to this role. He was able to be spontaneous and take so many risks.”

Director Allen Rosenbaum, who directed teen hits such as “Aquamarine” and “Ramona and Beezus” as well as addicting television series “90210,” “Gossip Girl” and “vampire Diaries” describes Lucas’ role as fragile yet more dangerous than she appears. “I look forward to bringing the fascinating characters to life in this provocative and sexy coming of age thriller," said Allen in a statement. "The lead character of Lena is a uniquely complex femme fatale -- a compelling archetype that hasn't been brought to the screen in some time and is due a revival.  I am thrilled to be collaborating with the talented Isabel Lucas on this project and am excited by the depth and mystery she will infuse into the film."

  Careful What You Wish For” opens May 6 in cinemas nationwide from Axinite Digicinema. 

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

“PITCH PERFECT 2” Clip Shines a Light on the Filharmonic

Universal Pictures has just released a “Pitch Perfect 2” video featuring the Filipino-American a capella group The Filharmonic which may be viewed below: 

The Filharmonic stars in the film as Team Philippines, one of the international singing groups that will compete with the Barden Bellas in the world championships.

The Barden Bellas are back in “Pitch Perfect 2,” the follow-up to the original smash hit. The comedy is helmed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of “Pitch Perfect,” and produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks. Writer Kay Cannon returns to the team to pen the next chapter.


The film stars Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Hailee Steinfeld with John Michael Higgins, Katey Sagal and Elizabeth Banks.
 
With Los Angeles as home base, The Filharmonic is a band unique in their musical talent and cultural diversity. The group of Filipino-American youngsters who were featured in NBC’s hit musical competition, “The Sing-Off”, has much to sing about. Making the semi-finals, finishing the first “Sing-Off” National tour, sharing the stage with Linkin Park, Black Eyed Peas and Pentatonix, then being part of the movie “Pitch Perfect 2” is only the kick-off to their amazing journey. They consist of six members: Vocalists VJ Rosales, Joe Caigoy, Trace Gaynor, and Barry Fortgang, Vocal Bass Jules Cruz, and Beat boxer Niko Del Rey. Their melodic vocal style exemplifies an urbanesque hip hop sound with 90's nostalgia.


 Opening across the Philippines on May 13, 2015, “Pitch Perfect 2” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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Riveting Mystery Unfolds in Disney's “TOMORROWLAND”

 
The upcoming mystery adventure film “Tomorrowland” starring George Clooney traces its origins from a theme park attraction Walt Disney himself created as a section of Disneyland in 1955. It was a time when Americans imagined an optimistic future. Over the years, particularly in the 1970s, the public’s view of the future started to grow dark.

This shift intrigued writer/producer Damon Lindelof (TV's “Lost”), so when he began to synthesize the story for “Tomorrowland,” he looked for what the theme park attraction meant and how it could be represented in a storyline. “I really wanted to recapture that earlier optimism,” comments Lindelof.

Then Lindelof heard about a box that had been discovered accidentally in a closet at the Disney Studios. The mystery box contained all sorts of fascinating models and blueprints, photographs and letters related to the inception of Tomorrowland and the 1964 World’s Fair. Lindelof was excited by the find and recalls, “I began to imagine that the contents of the box were a guide to a secret story that nobody knew. But if so, what would that story be? And the most obvious answer to me was that there really was a place called Tomorrowland that was not a theme park but existed somewhere in the real world.”

This idea became the jumping-off point for the story of “Tomorrowland,” which Lindelof would later develop with director/producer Brad Bird and executive producer Jeff Jensen.

 
Tomorrowland” is a quintessential Disney movie with grand scale and scope, innovative storytelling and amazing special effects. When it opens in the Philippines on May 20, 2015, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of non-stop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Tomorrowland” features a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, and also stars Hugh Laurie (TV’s “House M.D.”), Raffey Cassidy (“Snow White and the Huntsman”), Tim McGraw (“The Blind Side”), Kathryn Hahn (“This Is Where I Leave You”), Keegan-Michael Key (“Horrible Bosses 2”) and Thomas Robinson (“The Switch”).

  Opening across the Philippines on May 20, 2015, “Tomorrowland” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.
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World Acclaimed Commercial Director Jalmari Helander Directs Samuel L. Jackson in “BIG GAME”

 
After dodging bullets and the powers that be being at the helm of the Avenger’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Samuel L. Jackson takes on his latest dangerous job as the President of the United States in “Big Game” where the threats are more difficult to evade sans the superpowers around him. 
 
Reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s film “Air Force One” where terrorists are after the President’s life, “Big Game” amplifies the action thrills from the plane, on the air and on land when Air Force One crash-landed in front of a 13-year-old hunter named Oskari played by Onni Tommila. Knowing his way in and around the forest, Oskari leads the President far from the terrorists.

 
Nearby, the President finds the bodies of his murdered Air Force One crew and realises his chief of Security, Morris (played by Ray Stevenson) have betrayed him.  The villains, wanting to show the world that they are the deadliest terrorist group in the world, a batch of rich and power-hungry terrorists pays millions of dollars to the corrupt presidential security group and White House insiders to arrange for the downing of the presidential plane that is on its way to Europe for a summit near the Finnish border. The terrorist group, led by madman Mehmet Kertulus, unleashes a series of Chinese-made missile to take down Air Force One. But, before the plane blows up, President Moore is able to evacuate in an escape pod and crashes in the wildest part of Finland. Moore is fortunate enough to land in the vicinity of a Finnish kid named Oskari who is out in the wilderness as a part of his survival/initiation rite to prove to the village that he can become a real man. Together, they must survive the harsh environment of Finnish wilderness and escape well-equipped and well-trained terrorists.

 
Big Game” takes place in Finland, but while some locations were shot there, most of the shoot took place in Germany.  The wild outdoor locations, explains the director, played a major part in creating the atmosphere of adventure. “As director and screenwriter, it was important to me personally that the main character is Finnish, but at the same time, I’m very interested in creating a movie that transcends language barriers,” Helander says. 
 
When “Big Game” debuted at Toronto International Film Festival, it was met with general praise from critics, who described it as being a lot of fun and also very, very silly. Likewise, Variety’s Dennis Harvey decribes the film as - “has all the trappings of a muscular, expansive popcorn adventure, with sweeping aerial shots of the spectacular terrain (much of it actually shot in Germany) and a conventional, thundering orchestral score. Taken in a lighthearted spirit, it’s all good fun, with well-handled if increasingly improbable action.”

  A throwback to the big action movies with a contemporary punch, “Big Game” opens this May 6 in theatres nationwide. 

 
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“UNFRIENDED” Shoot Pushes Limits of Improv

 
Actor Will Peltz shares: “The shape of everything changed so much during the process of rehearsals, as well as during filming. Being able to create these moments on-the-fly became an exciting journey. It’s cool to see this era that we live in come to life in a dark, twisted way.”

The way the film was shot, the cast members were completely separate from one another, each operating from a desktop in a separate room in a house in Santa Clarita, California. Still, they had to react to each other as though they were in the same space, which meant that each take was a little different. It was a bit like filming a live play, and each had only one camera pointed at him or her. As there weren’t clear cuts, some takes went on for almost an hour and a half. Sidman, who also served as director of photography, created a special network for the crew and actors to interact and film with their GoPros.

 
Greaves walks us through his process: “The script is structured like an 85-minute play, so we did long takes, including a few that were the full length of the movie. We have these actors who are trapped in separate rooms for this period of time, not speaking to anyone—except into the GoPro. You get to a place of truth that is so beyond what you could get if we did it in multiple takes and breaks. At the end of 85 minutes, the cast is seeing these things happen and they’re so in the moment that these reactions couldn’t have happened otherwise.”

Shelley Hennig describes the moment in which she suggested an attempt at filming the entire movie in one sitting: “Once we began shooting, I was becoming confused as to why we weren’t running the script from start to finish, since all of our rooms were well-lit for it. I ultimately suggested it to Nelson and Leo, and they loved the idea. I wasn’t sure what I’d gotten myself and the rest of the cast into, but it wound up being one of the most satisfying experiences of my career. I have to give major credit to rest of the cast—I don’t think it would have worked if everyone involved weren’t great improvisers, including Leo and Nelson, who played ‘Laura’ for us, on earpieces, as we shot in real-time.”


 
The only contact that the cast had with the outside production was via the actual desktop and the earpiece. A result was that they would sometimes forget they were on a movie set, which allowed them to embrace the organic nature of the project. Actor Courtney Halverson explains: “You’re alone in a room filming all day, but it was kind of cool because you start to believe you’re this character and this is your room, but you also have people in your ear telling you things in real time, so concentration was key.”

Even though each cast member was secluded in a different room, whenever they took breaks, they would reconvene and discuss what to do differently. Even during filming, any time there’d be a small break, the cast would stay plugged in on their computers, which allowed them to get to know each other. Peltz shares: “We’d show up to set every day and have breakfast together and then we all went to our separate rooms, talking to each other over the computer. That’s where we really got to connect, because we’d be spending nearly 10 hours a day in front of the computer. Then, we’d all come back together in reality over lunch. Then it was back up to the computers.”

  Opening across the Philippines on April 29, 2015, “Unfriended” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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 “HOT PURSUIT” - New Comedy From “THE PROPOSAL” Director

 
From Anne Fletcher, the director of the hit comedy “The Proposal” which starred Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, comes New Line Cinema's new female buddy comedy “Hot Pursuit.”

In the film, super-straight arrow Officer Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is both honored and thrilled to be assigned the seemingly simple task of escorting mob wife Daniella Riva (Sofia Vergara) across Texas, where she and her husband will testify against a major drug lord. It’s a rare day out of the property room, and the intensely enthusiastic petite policewoman vows not to let her captain down. Having already earned the unfortunate distinction of prompting her own verb within the precinct, she is determined not to “Cooper it” this time.

However, upon meeting the dynamic Mrs. Riva—a curvaceous Colombian beauty with opinions as strong as her accent—it’s clear this will be no walk in the park. And before they can even agree on what high heels the statuesque Daniella can pack, the cops and Mr. Riva are ambushed, making his wife a widow and turning their anticipated easy drive from San Antonio to Dallas into a run-for-your-life race against time…and a lot of flying bullets!

Veteran comedy director Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”) offers, “It’s something of a modern-day female ‘Odd Couple’ sort of buddy comedy, with Reese Witherspoon playing the wild and crazy one and Sofía Vergara playing the straight man—or in this case, woman. But Reese’s cop is so normal she’s a little off, and Sofía’s trophy mob wife is a lot more resourceful than she seems.”

I was interested in directing this movie because I love Reese and Sofía,” Fletcher continues. “I instinctually understood the visual opportunity for comedy in their physical pairing and felt the brilliance of their chemistry, which I knew would be there. Putting those two together just seemed like a lot of fun to me.”

Reese came to me about the movie at a time when I was in the middle of a million things, but I’m so glad the timing worked out and that I was able to jump on board with her,” Fletcher states. “Every day was a joy to work with Reese, not only as an actor but as a fellow filmmaker. Showing up and participating is important to her. That helps the process, and I really enjoyed working with both her and Sofía in their on- and off-camera roles.”

Vergara, known for the liveliness she infuses into the parts she plays, admired Fletcher’s energy. “She has so much of it, it’s insane! It’s so great to be on set at four in the morning when everybody else is passing out and it’s like she’s just woken up!” the actress declares, adding that she “couldn’t have picked a better director for my first movie role where I’m in almost every scene. She was so patient and so empowering. It’s not that I don’t want to work with men, of course, but this was very refreshing. I was so proud to work with Anne.”

Witherspoon felt the same, stating, “Anne has this incredible personality that’s funny and engaging, and she loves her work. She also has a terrific sense of physical comedy and was so helpful just coaching me through the very physical moments in the movie.”

Like climbing—or more precisely, being shoved—out of a window, being dragged by her co-star, and even (sort of) impersonating a world-famous male pop star.

I love physical comedy,” Fletcher says. “As a dancer and choreographer, that was my go-to, that’s heaven to me. And what these women brought to the table, how silly and crazy they were willing to be…I loved it. It’s rare to get to do physical comedy with people who are truly capable of it, so when I get that little gift, I take it and run.”

She always finds a funnier way to do it,” Witherspoon observes, “while clearly understanding the emotional journey of the characters. As she puts it, ‘If you strip all the comedy away you still have to have a great friendship at the center of the film.’”

In addition to her esteem for her leading ladies, Fletcher also loved the characters at the core of that relationship. “One has one way of doing things and the other has another, very different way. But they have to work together and figure out how to get where they need to go—without getting killed along the way!”

  Set for release across the Philippines on May 7, “Hot Pursuit” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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Ridley Scott Produced Film “CHILD 44” Opens Today (April 29) at Ayala Malls Cinemas

 
From blockbuster and acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott comes a chilling action drama “Child 44” based on Tom Rob Smith’s best-selling novel of the same titled starred in by Hollywood’s most admired actors headed by Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassel, Joel Kinnaman and Jason Clarke about an unlikely hero amidst desperate times.
 
Orphan-turned-war-hero Leo Demidov (Hardy) has risen through the ranks of the MGB, the state’s domestic security apparatus, to become a star investigator of dissident activity. When he and sadistic colleague Vasil (Kinnaman) capture suspected spy Anatoly Tarasovich Brodsky (Clarke), the “traitor” names Leo’s own wife, beautiful schoolteacher Raisa (Rapace), as a co-conspirator.

 
Forced to investigate Raisa on suspicion of treason, Leo also takes on the case of a boy found carved up alongside railroad tracks. Despite evidence to the contrary, Leo describes the death as an accident to the boy’s father, MGB Agent Alexei Andreyev (Fares Fares) because Stalinist decree dictates, “There is no crime in Paradise.”  
 
When Leo refuses to denounce his wife, MGB Commander Major Kuzmin (Vincent Cassel) exiles the couple to the grim industrial city of Volsk. Confined to a one-room hovel and stripped of rank, Leo and Raisa learn that dozens of other dead boys have suffered gruesome “accidents” near railroad tracks under almost identical circumstances as Alexei’s son. Teaming with local Police Chief General Nesterov (Oldman), they sneak back to Moscow and pursue clues before zeroing in on mild-mannered factory worker Vladimir Malevich (Paddy Considine).
 
 
Desperate to rein in his former colleague, the increasingly psychotic Vasili tries to stop Leo and Raisa before they catch the child murderer, who has no place in Stalin’s supposedly crime-free Communist society. In the end, only one man survives the spectacular forest showdown between hero, pedophile and bureaucrat. But despite the victims and the damage done, the Soviet State remains immune to Leo’s inconvenient truths.
 
The author’s fans include Oscar®-winning filmmaker Ridley Scott. Galvanized by Child 44’s rich characterizations and epic scope, Scott arranged nine years ago to meet the novelist at his London production headquarters. “It was slightly surreal,” recalls Smith. “I’d gone from having this project I thought might not even get published to talking to Ridley Scott in his office sitting next to a Gladiator sword and a prop from Alien. Ridley was full of incredible ideas for the project.”
 
Scott initially intended to direct Child 44 himself. Then he saw Swedish director Daniel Espinosa’s 2010 crime thriller Snabba Cash (aka Easy Money). The highest-grossing movie in Swedish history, Snabba Cash showcased Espinosa’s inventively staged action sequences and stylish editing.  In Child 44, Espinosa saw an opportunity to blend visceral action sequences with psychologically nuanced character arcs against a rich historic tapestry, thus a thrilling and engaging masterpiece was produced.

  Child 44” opens April 29 exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide. Log on to www.sureseats.com for schedule. 
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