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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Paglipay: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Atan Dimaya (Garry Cabalic) is a 19-year old Aeta native who is set to marry his childhood friend Ani (Joan Dela Cruz). He must first fulfill the conditions set by Ani's parent and follow the tradition. He must prepare a dowry for Ani's family, which includes two pigs, farm tools and 20,000 pesos cash. In order to save all that money, Atan must go down town to sell their goods and find an extra job.  However, things get a bit complicated when he meets Rain (Anna Luna), a student in UP Manila, who is conducting a research in his hometown. With  the two getting close each day, Atan develops his feelings for her and is now hesitant to continue his upcoming marriage.   

Honestly, I never saw the trailer of Paglipay, and I didn't actually thought that I would like this film.  The film is very authentic from the cast that they choose to play the big roles, from the Aetas speaking their own language up to the traditions that they follow even in this modern age. Everything feels so raw; I can't imagine the hardships they take every single day, especially for those who live in a very remote location where in some of the locals must need to walk 8 to 10 hours to reach the town proper. 

The cinematography was outstanding, and the aerial shots were really impressive giving the viewers a breathtaking scenery of their location. The casts were pretty good too as first timers as they provided a sweet and dedicated performance to make the film such a beauty. Garry Cabalic is a tremendous performer; you can really feel everything he does is very natural. Anna Luna is also a terrific actress who managed to keep at pace with Garry without out-powering him at some of the scenes. Joan Dela Cruz is a bit off at times, but I think she just needs a little confidence boost on herself. 

Overall, Paglipay isn't appealing on paper but rest assured that this is a remarkable film at all means. If you want to experience and watch a different flavor aside from that mainstream formula, Paglipay is definitely a film for you. Authentic, raw and natural this film is one of the best entries and underrated in this festival. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8.5 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Garry Cabalic, Anna Luna, Joan Dela Cruz

Directed by: Zig Dulay
Distributed by: Solar Pictures PH
Now Showing in cinemas
Official Entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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Alien Invasion Goes Global in International “Beyond Skyline” Trailer

Captive Cinema has debuted the first trailer for Beyond Skyline, the sequel to 2010’s sci-fi thriller Skyline. Check out the Beyond Skyline trailer below, along with exclusive photos the in the gallery!


Set concurrently with the previous Skyline film but in a different undisclosed location during the worldwide alien invasion, Mark (Frank Grillo), a tough-as-nails detective, embarks on a relentless pursuit to free his son, Trent, from a nightmarish alien warship.

Starring Frank Grillo (The Purge franchise), Iko Uwais (The Raid), Bojana Novakovic (Edge of Darkness) and Callan Mulvey (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), directed by Liam O’Donnell.

Released and Distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

Check out the trailer below: 

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Jewel (Ryza Cenon) is a simple girl next door living by herself in an apartment unit. However, people didn't know that she has a secret beneath her charming looks. One day, she met her neighbor Nico (Martin Del Rosario), and the two easily got along together. Soon, their friendship blossomed into something different but many questions start to rise especially with the recent killings in the news that somewhat leads to Jewel.

If you are looking forward seeing a Shake Rattle and Roll style of gruesome horror flick for this year's festivities; well, Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B isn't that kind of film. It has a different type of attack with the film shifting more to a romantic genre. I am not saying it's bad considering its another Prime Cruz's entry who also made the remarkable Sleepless. It has that moments both in romantic side and horror parts, but it isn't actually scary yet it is an impressive feat.

The film started slow and gives us a few entry points for us to look forward to the mysterious plot it offers. However, when it started to reveal some of its agenda, the film quickly shifted the tone while still giving some visceral thrills encrypted to a killer soundtrack. I also love the cinematography where the shots' results to a captivating feast to the eyes.

As for the cast, Ryza Cenon and Martin Del Rosario, both did a great job handling their roles. I don't usually see Ryza Cenon even in teleserye role but boy, she was simply outstanding here. I hope to see her land more lead roles as she is just simply astonishing to watch. Same with Martin Del Rosario who also performed well enough and inject energy to compliment Ryza Cenon's presence. I also love the addition of  Vangie Labalan who threw some simple punch lines to lighten up the mood.

Overall, Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B has its moments but still raises many questions as the characters needed more depth, especially with Jewel. The film has a worthy material, but please we badly need a sequel for this one. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 7 out of 10 stars  

Cast: Ryza Cenon, Martin Del Rosario

Directed by: Prime Cruz
Now Showing in cinemas
Official Entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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“EDGE OF TOMORROW” Director Reunites With Tom Cruise For “AMERICAN MADE”

Director Doug Liman reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow star, Tom Cruise, in Universal Pictures' American Made, based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. History.

Watch the new trailer of American Made below:

Liman, who refers to the film as “a fun lie based on a true story,” offers that he has long appreciated stories of improbable heroes working against the system. “Barry Seal, our lead character, took America for an unbelievable ride,” reveals the filmmaker. “Interpreting his story has the makings for an entertaining film that is equal parts satire, suspense and comedy—and always surprising.”

Liman loved the fact that, while so many films have been made about people being run over by the government, Seal’s story was one of someone “who screwed over the White House. Barry is a zealot-like character who really did cross paths with so many household names from the ’80s—ranging from Ronald Reagan and Manuel Noriega to Bill Clinton and Oliver North.”


The quintessential American success story, Seal was recruited for surveillance activities on communist activities in Central America, and ultimately to deliver weapons to rebels in that area who were fighting communists. The U.S. war on drugs and the war on communism had two fronts, and Seal knew them equally well.

He was a real opportunist, and he had an empty airplane on the way back,” continues the director. “If it absolutely had to be there overnight and it was illegal, Barry Seal was your guy. Since he was conducting illegal operations with the CIA’s help, he could get in and out of the country undetected. Well, there was no point flying back with an empty airplane, so Barry thought he might as well bring drugs back with it. So he ended up working for both the U.S. government and for the Colombian drug cartel at the same time, and unbeknownst to the other. He played both sides, and became fabulously wealthy while he was doing it. Still, it was never about the money for Barry. It was about the excitement, the challenge and all about the flying.”

Pilots themselves, Cruise and Liman gravitated toward the human elements in Barry’s life, as Barry tries desperately to keep a normal family in the midst of challenging choices. He is crazy about his wife, Lucy, and will do whatever it takes to keep her and their kids happy. Their marriage is passionate, but practical. Of course, these characters are inspired by members of the Seal family; but, just like with any film, the team would take a great deal of creative license in telling the story.

For Tom Cruise, this longtime labor of love wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Liman. Of his director, he reflects: “Doug brings a unique humanity to his films. He comes up with ideas as we’re working, and the friendship that we have allows us to trust one another—where we’re willing to try anything. We push each other, and he’s someone who wants to make great films and to entertain an audience.

Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 13, 2017, American Made is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pauwi Na: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Pauwi Na is about a story of a family who lives in the slums of Manila. Mang Pepe (Bembol Roco) is a pedicab delivery driver in the market while his wife Remy (Cherry Pie Picache) is a laundry woman in their neighborhood. Their daughter Pina (Chai Fonacier) sells some cigarettes on the street while their son JP (Jerald Napoles) tries to earn some cash in different ways to tend to his blind pregnant wife (Meryll Soriano). Soon, the whole family agrees that they can't take their miserable lives anymore so they decided to take a road trip from Manila to an undisclosed province by pedicab.

Paolo Villaluna's Pauwi Na is inspired by an article he once read in the Philippine Daily Inquirer where a family decided to go to their province by pedicab because they don't have enough money for transportation. Pauwi Na can be easily compared to Patay Na Si Hesus with the means of the road-trip theme and some comedy aspects, but it separates itself from it as it also provides some emotional key points along the way. It's not entirely pure comedy flick but also gives the viewers something that can play with their emotions in some of the scenes. It shows the everyday struggle of a real Filipino family and what they do in their daily lives in order to survive.

Pauwi Na is pretty compelling right from the very beginning as it sets up a light tone and carried the momentum through the end. It has an awesome cast that knows how to deliver their characters neatly. Bembol Roco and Cherry Pie Picache are both believable in their roles as they portrayed a couple with undying love for each other through thick and thin. Jerald Napoles continues to make his name in comedy, and even he is known for his comic style; he proves that he could also act in a different way and touch the hearts of its viewers at the same time. We are also staring to love Chai Fonacier as she turns to be a gem in this film. After giving us a great time watching her in Patay Na Si Hesus, Chai once again gave a remarkable performance. Meryl Soriano, on the other hand, was terrific playing the part of Isabel. She always had that spotlight whenever she, and Jess Mendoza start a conversation. The two really light up the screen with the delivery of their crazy antics plus the touchy message in the last part.

Overall, Pauwi Na is deeply affecting at some points and is carried well by its dedicated and talented cast.  Director Paolo Villaluna turns the inspirational material into gold with a mix of black humor and drama without entering a dull course. It is a one of a kind of adventure that really deserves all the recognition and awards it has received so far.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryl Soriano

Directed by: Paolo Villaluna
Distributed by: Solar Pictures
Now Showing in cinemas 
Official Entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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4-Minute Footage From “IT”  To Play in Front of “ANNABELLE: CREATION”

MANILA, August 17, 2017 – Warner Bros. Philippines has just confirmed that an exclusive four-minute footage from the upcoming horror thriller IT has been attached to play before Annabelle: Creation when the latter opens in cinemas across the country on Wednesday, August 23.

The fresh footage will only be seen in theaters and won't be officially released online.

Audiences of Annabelle: Creation are likewise advised to stay in their seats after the end-credits.

New Line Cinema's Annabelle: Creation has David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) helming the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful Annabelle, which scared up nearly $257 million at the worldwide box office during its run in theaters. The new film is once again being produced by Peter Safran and James Wan, who also partnered so effectively on The Conjuring movies.

In Annabelle: Creation, several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

The film stars Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Philippa Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s Homeland, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

Meanwhile, New Line Cinema's IT is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, and will open in Philippine cinemas September 7, 2017.

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama), IT stars Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (Netflix’s Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming Cops and Robbers), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) and Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic).

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James Corden Lends Voice to Hi-5 in “THE EMOJI MOVIE”

British comedian James Corden (Into the Woods) lends his voice to Hi-5, an open-face palm Emoji ready to give you a Hi-5 at any time, in Sony Pictures Animation’s new comedy The Emoji Movie.

His favorite catchphrase? “Hi-Five!”

In the film, Hi-5’s a big ham, brimming over with exuberant confidence. He used to be a Favorite, a highly respected celebrity. But recently Hi-5 has been usurped by a new Favorite… Fist Bump Emoji. Hi-5 can’t stand the rejection and just wants to be popular again. But his adventure with Gene – an Emoji which has EVERY expression instead of just one -- makes Hi-5 realize that it’s more important to have one true friend than it is to be popular.

Hi-5 is a fading rock star who wants to get back on top,” says director-writer Tony Leondis. “He hopes that by going on this journey with Gene he can be popular again. What he learns along the way is that having one real friend is more important than having ten thousand likes.”

James Corden gave the filmmakers a hand in bringing the character to life. “He’s such a talent. A brilliant actor and writer. When I saw the play ‘One Man, Two Guvnors,’ I was blown away and really wanted to work with him someday,” Leondis says. “Hi-5 is the wild card – you never know what he’s going to do or say. He’s always throwing curveballs into the equation. And no one is better at that than James.”

Hi-5 used to be one of the favorites, but as time has gone by, Alex has forgotten about Hi-5, and he started using Fist Bump,” says Corden. “He feels like he’s been forgotten, and he’s convinced that if Alex could just see him again on the Favorites board, Alex would remember how great Hi-5 is and start using him again.”

Corden was drawn to the story and the way it created a hidden world behind the popular icons. “You can punctuate any moment with a great emoji,” he says. “In the film these are characters with spirits, and souls, and hearts, and minds with something very, very real at stake for all of them.”

I thought it sounded quite charming – these things that you use in your life all the time have a personality, something to lose, and real friendships,” concludes Corden. “That felt very fun to me.”

  Opening across the Philippines on August 23, The Emoji Movie is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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Ayala Malls Cinemas' Exclusive “A FAMILY MAN” is a Timely Offering For Families on Aug. 23

Action and blockbuster star Gerard Butler stars in his latest passion project “A Family Man” that tackles the under-explored world of corporate headhunting with characters confronting relatable and universal challenges: “the balance between work and family, husband and wife dynamics, the father and son relationship, losing a job and finding a job.”
Opening exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas’ Trinoma and Greenbelt 1 screens starting August 23, “A Family Man” is a family drama that deals with real-life dilemmas. A simple, elegant and classic throwback movie about a deeply touching father and son relationship.

Dane’s (Butler) journey is predominantly framed through his relationship with Ryan, which is constantly transforming over the course of the film. Producer Craig Flores described the wide search that went into Ryan’s casting: “We reviewed hundreds of self-tapes and auditions from all around the world to find the right kid. Very tough decisions were made, but we ultimately discovered that Max Jenkins was born to play the role.”
Their relationship, the emotional center of the film, came to be founded on the genuine connection formed between Gerard and Max. “A father/son relationship can be very complicated and, in our movie, it is. Dane thinks that the best way to take care of and nourish his family is to make a lot of money. This steers him away from the family unit and isolates him from his wife and kids. He doesn't try to connect on an emotional level with Ryan and leaves the boy alone much of the time to fend and learn about life for himself.”

Key to the films’ emotional highs is Mark Isham’s music used in the movie that heightens the emotional journey of Gerard Butler’s character, Dane Jensen.  The electronic and ambient half of his score, inspired by the groundbreaking music of Brian Eno, complements the modernity and commerciality of Dane’s work-life and its complicated but invigorating morality. As Isham reflects, he was seeking to convey “the fun and challenge Dane experiences at work.” His electronic score manages to be sleek, propulsive, and unsettling. Early in the film, when Dane makes a questionable decision, the score refuses to indicate whether this was a bold move or an ugly mistake. The percussive electronic notes build and build tension and momentum—before breaking into silence.

As “A Family Man” goes on, and Dane’s family life begins to overwhelm his professional, Isham allows strings to layer in and over the electronic soundtrack. As Isham explains, while he uses the electronic elements to “give it a contemporary feel, the string quartet brings it straight to the heart.” When Dane’s story reaches an emotional crescendo, the strings take over the soundtrack, crafting a moment of clarity and joy.   Like the film, the score walks a careful line that is unafraid of the intimacy of its characters and themes but still restrained and real.

  A Family Man” is an Ayala Malls Cinemas exclusive that will open in Trinoma and Greenbelt 1 screens on August 23.
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Filmmakers Discuss What Makes “PATAY NA SI HESUS” So Alive

No one gets crucified in the new satirical comedy “Patay na si Hesus.” Well, no one or nothing except Pinoy cinema's tired cliches, our outdated biases, predictable expectations and actors' over-the-top performances.
The latter gets skewered by the cast's purposely deadpan dialogue delivery – led by the effortless Jaclyn Jose – rendering punchlines funnier, the stabs more razor-sharp.  Did we mention that most of the lines are in Cebuano? How more eccentric can this film get?
Patay na si Hesus,” which opens in Philippine cinemas August 16 as part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, is a quirky look at a family's roadtrip from Cebu to Dumaguete, en route to the wake of its estranged father, the titular Hesus.
Jose plays Iyay, the feisty mother to a brood of three: Hubert, who has Down Syndrome; Jude, a lovesick trans man; and Jay, who is living the bum life.  One unplanned detour comes after another, each pushing this family closer to confronting the past and figuring out how to enjoy the ride to an uncertain future. 
In the following interview, director Victor Villanueva, screenwriter Fatrick Tabada and producer and co-writer Moira Lang, discuss what gave life to a film about death, and why audiences should take the time to attend the wake.  Quick answer: Because they'll laugh all the way.

Question: Fatrick, what motivated you to write this script? How did the story come about? Was it somehow autobiographical?
Fatrick Tabada: I wrote this for a school requirement. So the initial motivation was just to pass the course. And then I submitted it to QCinema which gave it a grant, the seed money that jumpstarted the film. I based the story on my family, so, yes, it's semi-autobiographical. Like the family in the movie, my family had been estranged from my father for thirteen years when he died. Like them, we went to his funeral. I named Miss Jaclyn's character after my mom - Fatima, nickname: Iyay.
Q: Please talk about the characters. They are not the usual bunch, which is refreshing.  What compelled you to create them?
FT: Being exposed to people from all walks of life and coming from personal experience, I believe it is important to create on-screen representations of people that are less depicted in mainstream media, e.g., a strong-willed single mother, a person with Down syndrome, and a transman. They are so underrepresented, or portrayed negatively, and sometimes treated as objects of ridicule. But these are authentic characters with real attributes that everyone can relate to. That's why it's important for me to write about them because they actually reflect and present an accurate, if whimsical, picture of a contemporary family and society as a whole.

Q: Victor, what drew you to the script?
Victor Villanueva: I love the characters. Tawang-tawa ako sa script, but at the same time, I initially had my doubts if I can pull it off as this was a different kind of comedy. But I remembered the wise words of our producer, Bianca Balbuena, “If it doesn't scare you, it's not worth doing.” So I took the plunge. 
Q: What's it like directing Jaclyn Jose?
VV: She's very professional, very collaborative with the cast and crew. She's a master of deadpan acting – I think she's an underrated comedian.
Q: Moira, was the script's satirical tone on purpose?  Did you always imagine it to be a comedy?
Moira Lang: When I read Fatrick's first draft I laughed out loud several times. It's irreverent bordering on iconoclastic, and that's just my cup of tea. Strictly speaking, it's not a comedy - the premise is not comedic: Learning of a family member's death, a mother and her children go on a road trip to make it to that person's funeral. It's a drama filled with razor-sharp observations on family, that's also a showcase of the finest deadpan acting there is, that's also a wry commentary on the traditions we have frankly though quietly outgrown as a people, that's also a lovingly forgiving take on human frailties. All these, combined, are what make the preview audiences react to it with laughter and tears.    
Q: The film clearly brims with commentary on religious issues.  Care to discuss this?
ML: A great majority of our population is Catholic, but how deep that Catholicism still runs in our veins is, I think, subject to debate. I do not question the sincerity of those who practice their faith nor belittle even the most rote displays of religious tradition. I believe, however, that when it comes down to matters of the heart, especially where it involves family, it is compassion - and not the moral judgments of religion - on which we rely instinctively, primally. I think the film succeeds in showing that. We absorbed the best part of religious teaching (love of the other) more than the bad (fire and brimstone and the fires of hell). And I think that is divine. 
  Patay na si Hesus” is produced by T-Rex Productions and distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gear Up and Move With NOIX GEAR!

"To impress" or "To Express"? - Well, it could be both.
While it is true that fashion trends is every yuppies sort of medium to express his or her personality, many would agree that along with that raging hormone to self-expression is the longing to be noticed by peers.
The quest for yearning is endless and for unto it, NOIX GEAR is born. Here's comes a young brand ideal to grow old with. NOIX GEAR in all its potential is well-driven to weather the test of times.

Established in 2016, NOIX GEAR is a lifestyle brand that takes its inspiration from the popular street wear and highlight fine details in-between.

It embodies an individual’s adventurous persona on a wide-range of influences ranging from street style, music, arts and fun. There's so much variety of clothing designs and colors to choose from and each items comes in all sizes.

NOIX GEAR innovates and re-define what urban ‘street fashion’ is. It introduces a unique approach to COOL, CLEAN and COMFY streetwear that symbolize an exciting lifestyle of a young blood on the GO!.

There is no better way than to gear up with an easy-to-wear COOL, CLEAN and COMFY streetwear that both express and impress. NOIX GEAR powers up with that global feel.

To check its latest array of designs of NOIX GEAR at and enjoy up to 30% OFF on their items.

For more info: visit or follow “@noixgear” in social media via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. #GearUpAndMove #NOIXGear
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