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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Foreigner: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Quan Ngoc Minh (Jackie Chan) is a Chinese immigrant living in London, who accompanies his daughter to a shop sale beside a bank. However, a group of Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombs the bank besides the store leaving a dozen of casualties, including Quan's daughter who was killed in the blast. Meanwhile, Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) is the IRA representative of the British government - and with his background and intelligence Quan thinks that he is the key to plot his revenge against the bombers. This starts a tactical battle between the two man who has the same goal with different motives.


The Foreigner is an action-drama film that introduces us to a very different Jackie Chan. We often see Chan playing a high-spirited character who makes fun with his trademark moves and lighting up the screen with his comedy antics. Here, his character needs to descend into a dark tone which he eventually nails even if its pretty awkward not to see him smile and despite his age, Chan can still sell his impressive moves. We are not comfortable seeing him with this kind of role, but he sells his character as we feel all his emotional distress.


The film is pretty serious at all times and with its violent content, some of the scenes are difficult to digest including one of the bomb scenes where an entire family is included in the blast. Director Martin Campbell keeps the film at pace and came up with creative action-packed sequences and effectively uses his lead stars to take on the challenge. However, he isn't afraid in bringing in a darker picture filled with drama. Luckily, his actors responded well, and made sure that they bring out the best out of each other.



The political angle is quite tricky, especially if you don't know anything about the history of IRA. It has that times where we need to pull out our phones and search in google for some answers. It is hard to convey two stories, but even it is messy at times they still managed to pull it through.

Overall, The Foreigner is an average and enjoyable revenge thriller. It is a different Jackie Chan flick but same as before it an entertaining feature from the master himself.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8 out of 10 stars

Cast: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan

Directed by: Martin Campbell
Distributed by: Viva International Pictures
Now Showing in cinemas

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Meet The Iconic DC All-Stars in “JUSTICE LEAGUE”

 
After fighting side-by-side across decades of comics, the iconic DC all-stars are going all in to save the world in their first-ever big-screen team-up, Warner Bros. Pictures’ epic action adventure Justice League, hitting Philippine cinemas November 16.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder from a screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, with executive producers Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck.

Conceived by comic book writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky, the original incarnation of DC’s legendary League of Heroes – the Justice League of America – teamed up for the first time in 1960 on the pages of The Brave and the Bold #28.

 
MEET THE LEAGUE...

Batman / Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, the billionaire detective is putting together a team of Super Heroes to combat a force threatening the entire planet. For the first time, Batman understands that he, alone, cannot save the world.

Wonder Woman / Diana Prince (Gal Gadot). The world’s first and foremost female Super Hero, Wonder Woman embodies the unrivaled force and grace of a born warrior with the genuine compassion of a true humanitarian. The first to joinBruce Wayne’s team, Diana’s natural confidence and unmistakable intelligence make her an indispensable ally.

Aquaman / Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa). Half-human, half-Atlantean, Arthur Curry is an outsider who does not feel at home on the Earth’s surface or under the sea. That is, until the world is threatened and he joins Batman’s newly assembled team of heroes.

The Flash / Barry Allen (Ezra Miller). Barry Allen is an excessively energetic student attending Central City College, where he studies criminal justice with the hope of one day freeing his incarcerated father. More than eager to team up with crime fighting icon Batman, Barry’s remarkably quick wit is surpassed only by his ability to move at hyper-speed.

Cyborg / Victor Stone (Ray Fisher). Part man, part machine, Victor Stone is a former star athlete at Gotham City University. After a horrific accident nearly cost him his life, he was saved when his father, scientist Silas Stone, used alien technology to reconstruct his body. In the process, Silas turned Victor into a human computer, organic with biomechatronic body parts. In other words, a Cyborg.

  Warner Bros. Pictures presents an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual Production, a Zack Snyder Film, Justice League. The film will be released in 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX worldwide beginning November 16, 2017, by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. 




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“THE STAR” Soundtrack Album Releases First Track “LIFE IS GOOD”


In anticipation of the worldwide release of Sony Pictures Animation’s animated motion picture The Star, in Philippine cinemas December 6, Epic Records and Sony Pictures Animation will release The Star: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack in stores and online October 27.

The soundtrack assembles new music from a bevy of powerhouse superstars befitting of the cast’s blockbuster pedigree. Leading the tracklisting, Mariah Carey performs the film’s theme song “The Star.”

The first track for instant grat is “Life is Good” by A Great Big World. Watch the song's lyric video below: 



Following that, Fifth Harmony will release “Can You See”.
 
In addition, Kirk Franklin, Kelsea Ballerini, Zara Larsson, and more serve up new tracks recorded specifically for The Star. Each artist got into the spirit with show-stopping and standout performances.


Spring Aspers, Head of Music for Sony Pictures, commented, “The filmmakers of The Star have delivered a funny but faithful turn on the nativity story, and Mariah Carey’s soulful performance of the film’s theme song adds a layer of depth and emotion that will have audiences feeling the spirit. This compilation is full of Christmas classics old and new that not only perfectly fit the film, but make the perfect soundtrack for the season.”

Check out the full tracklisting below.

1.Mariah Carey – “The Star”
2.Kelsea Ballerini – “Children Go Where I Send You”
3.Kirk Franklin – “We Three Kings”
4.Fifth Harmony – “Can You See”
5.A Great Big World – “Life Is Good”
6.Zara Larsson – “Mary, Did You Know”
7.Yolanda Adams – “O Holy Night”
8.Saving Forever – “What Christmas Means to Me”
9.Jessie James Decker – “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)”
10.Casting Crowns – “His Eye Is on the Sparrow”
11.Jake Owen – “What Child Is This?”
12.Pentatonix – “Carol of the Bells”*

*digital-only bonus track

In Sony Pictures Animation's The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

The film stars the voices of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, and Tracy Morgan and Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Directed by Timothy Reckart, the screenplay is by Carlos Kotkin, with a story by Simon Moore and Carlos Kotkin. The film is executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Brian Henson, and Lisa Henson, and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook.

The Star is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.



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Official Name For Han Solo Film Revealed

Director Ron Howard Wraps Shooting, Announces the Movie's Much-Anticipated Title


It’s time to set your hyperspace coordinates.

In a surprise announcement today, director Ron Howard revealed the official name of the untitled Han Solo film – Solo: A Star Wars Story. The announcement came in a post in which the acclaimed filmmaker (with a little help from an anonymous Wookiee) thanked his cast and crew as principal photography wrapped.

Check out his special message below:



Howard has documented his experience making Solo: A Star Wars Story on Twitter and Instagram throughout production — with everything from photos with cast members to teases of vehicle controls to shots of his morning coffee. StarWars.com has compiled all of his updates in one post, which you can view at this link: http://www.starwars.com/news/here-are-all-of-ron-howards-twitter-and-instagram-updates-on-the-untitled-han-solo-film

Solo: A Star Wars Story, set prior to the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, is slated for release on May 25, 2018.

Punch it.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is distributed by the Walt Disney Company (Philippines).


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They Took His Reason to Live. Now, He Has No Reason to Forgive. Jackie Chan Hunts Pierce Brosnan in ‘THE FOREIGNER’


Two legendary stars go against each other in a gripping and relevant action thriller from the director that helmed the Hollywood blockbuster film “Casino Royale”.

In “The Foreigner”, Jackie Chan plays Quan, a restaurant owner who lost his daughter in a politically-motivated bombing. In search of the people responsible, he seeks the assistance of Irish Deputy Minister, Liam Hennessy, played by Pierce Brosnan. When the latter expressed powerlessness to help, Quan points out Hennessy’s best-forgotten past that proves his capacity to identify the bombers. Desperate to squeeze information out of Hennessy, Quan mounts his own explosive attacks. As the conflict between the two men escalates, Quan’s tragic past also unravels, and the quest for the terrorists becomes more persistent.

(It’s) about settling your demons,” says Producer Scott Lumpkin (Masterminds, Safe Haven, Best of Me) of this film based on the best selling novel, “The Chinaman”, by acclaimed crime writer Stephen Leather. “Quan is wrestling with tragedies in his past…It's time to pay back those that have done wrong for everyone.”

While we were working on it, we knew that Jackie Chan would be playing Quan and we had Pierce Brosnan in our sights too,” says screenwriter David Marconi (Enemy of the State, Live Free or Die Hard). “So, when I was doing the script, it was with these actors in mind.”


Jackie Chan, who is legendary for his explosive martial arts action sequences and larger-than-life performances readily accepted the challenge of playing a character that has “a quiet, almost solemn intensity”. He says, “Every year, I try to do something different…(this) will give audiences a chance to see another side of Jackie Chan.”

It‘s a character we haven‘t seen him play before. We all expect Jackie to come in and start kung fu-ing‘ everybody, but Jackie approached the character from a cerebral perspective,” explains Lumpkin. “He meticulously plans how he's going to approach his antagonists…you can see that in his mind as the character develops.”

Producer Jamie Marshall (Twilight, Warrior, Immortal) admits to have been “a little anxious” about Jackie playing an older man because the actor has so much energy and youth…but after hair and makeup and three hours of rehearsals with director Martin Campbell, he came in on the first day of shooting as Quan.” Marshall was blown away.

 
An actor oozing with class, Pierce Brosnan brings a sense of balance, coolness and class to the character of Hennessy. “Hennessy is completely believable - he's got a great charm at the beginning, but slowly he reveals how much of a bad-ass he is,” describes Lumpkin.

This is Brosnan’s reunion movie with Martin Campbell who directed him in the 1995 James Bond movie, “Goldeneye”. Campbell is known for his expertise in storytelling, always capturing the character’s emotional high point within the scene. 

 With a brilliant cast and director, “The Foreigner” is nothing short of magic. Proudly presented by VIVA International Pictures and MVP Entertainment, it is showing in cinemas on October 18, 2017.



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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Brad's Status: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) has a simple life in Sacramento with his loving wife Melanie (Jenna Fischer), and their musical prodigy son, Troy (Austin Abrams). He seems pretty satisfied in his life until he, and his son went on to a trip to Boston for a tour to several colleges. This made Brad anxious on how could he pay for his son's tuition expenses. Soon, Brad can't help himself to compare his life to his college friends who have skyrocketed their careers and made him think where he could be now if he made an entirely different path during his younger days. 


After a disappointing Zoolander 2 , Ben Stiller is back on the big screen with Brad's Status. This isn't your typical Stiller slap-stick comedy we always knew. The film is pretty straight-forward and doesn't need to be flamboyant at any means. It basically rode on Stiller's heart-felt performance as he made his character relatable at all times as it made me realize a lot of things too after watching the film. It is also occasionally funny, especially with those scenes where Brad keeps on over thinking the future on what may happen when his son succeeds together with his day dreaming adventure. 


Director Mike White laid a smooth screenplay and slick direction. However, some of the scenes became repetitive at times. There is so much room for him to explore and give more entertainment factors but definitely handed the message of the film right in front of the audiences. 


Overall, Brad's Status is an affecting dramedy flick that sends Ben Stiller back to Earth. He simply sleepwalked and effortlessly did a great job in portraying his role. It may not be a movie to recommend for everyone,  but it certainly deserves to be seen on the big screen.

Lakwastera Lovers rates it 6.5 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer

Directed by: Mike White
Distributed by: Solar Pictures PH
Opens October 18 in cinemas


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Marvel Unveils New “BLACK PANTHER” Trailer

Long live the King! Marvel Studios has just debuted the new trailer for the action-adventure Black Panther from director Ryan Coogler (Creed).

Check out the new trailer below and watch Black Panther in Philippine cinemas in February 2018.


Marvel Studios’ Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.

  Marvel's Black Panther will be distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Marvel, namely, (FB) MarvelPhilippines, (Twitter) @marvelstudiosph and (Instagram) @marvelphilippines.

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Engaging True Story of Firefighters in “ONLY THE BRAVE”

 
A chronicle of amazing courage on display is about to be seen in “Only the Brave” from director Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”) starring American Award-winning actor Josh Brolin (“Milk”), Miles Teller (“Fantastic Four”) Jeff Bridges (“Iron Man”) and Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”), based on true events from sixth deadliest forest fire in the united states, the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013.

Only the Brave” tells the heroic story of the Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters, a unit of local firefighters who are dubbed as the “SEAL team six of firefighters”, through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country they become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the United States.

As most of us run from danger, they run toward it – they watch over our lives, our homes, everything we hold dear, as they forge a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire.

 
Josh Brolin who plays Eric “Supe” Marsh in the movie, feels honored to be able to portray such a powerful role.

It’s a tragic story about these hotshots that perished in a fire, but it’s really not about that,” he said. “It’s really about their lives and what kind of bravery these guys had to go exactly where most people don’t want to go.”

In an article from Variety.com, Scott Haze who plays firefighter Clayton admits that it was a role he would not say no to, taking on a role full of bravery and emotion.

I always want to spend time with Clayton again, and I feel like I just did.” And when somebody looks me in the eyes and says that, that’s why I want to do parts like this.”

Only the Brave” is packed with Hollywood’s highly versatile actors. Taylor Kitsch (“John Carter”)James Badge Dale (“World War Z”, “Iron Man 3”)Alex Russell (“Carrie”)Geoff Stults (“Grace and Frankie”)and Ben Hardy (“X-Men Apocalypse”).

The movie is sure to touch your hearts and souls and give a deeper importance to the role of firefighters in the world, seeing them in a new light wherein they give everything they can to protect the community, their family and everyone around them.

  Only the Brave” hits theaters October 18 and is distributed by Pioneer Films.

Check out the Trailer Below:

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Reality of One Man's Sexuality Explored in Adolf Alix's (Jr.)  Acclaimed “4 DAYS” Exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas –  Greenbelt 1 and Trinoma

 
Adolf Alix Jr.’s LGBT themed film “4 Days” starring indie actor Mikoy Morales and Sebastian Castro that made its debut at the 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival will now screen at exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas’ Greenbelt 1 and Trinoma starting October 18.  

4 Days” takes on the struggles of a gay relationship in times of confusion, curiosity and whether to stay inside or come out of the closet.  The movie is not the highly typical gay love story where boy meets boy and falls in love, it goes through the downfall of questioning the reality of one man’s own sexuality,  whether or not to choose a woman because of societal culture or to accept the fact that it is okay to love a man even if you’re a man yourself.

 
A showcase of the brilliance and bold directing style of Adolfo Alix Jr. who started his career in TV but is now making his name in the world of films,  “4 Days”  is an affecting and delicate take on wrestling with one’s own demons and finding one’s true self and love.

Alongside “4 Days” is the short film “Kinabukasan”, also directed by Adolf Alix Jr. that will play before the full feature film that includes Superstar Nora Aunor with Alden Richards.  Also an acclaimed work of the director, the short film tells the story of a lover and a son who meet a day after losing the person they loved the most.

  Check and log on at Ayala Malls Cinemas’ www.sureseats.com for schedule and advanced ticket purchase of “4 Days.”


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“HAPPY DEATH DAY” Opens at No.1 in US, Scares Up $26.5-M

It's celebration time for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse's Happy Death Day as the new suspense-thriller opened at No.1 in North America this weekend October 6-8, with $26.5 million from 3,149 locations.

(Check out the film's new spots below and watch Happy Death Day in Philippine cinemas October 18.)





A horror spin on Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day centers on Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as a woman who wakes up to the same day — her birthday — every day, and is murdered every time. Christopher B. Landon directed the film based on a script by Scott Lobdell.

The film, which earned a B CinemaScore, particularly appealed to female and younger moviegoers — the audience was split 54% female, as opposed to 46% male, and 63% was under age 25. The release date was pegged to Friday the 13th and the weeks leading up to Halloween.

 
We’re obviously thrilled with the release,” said Universal’s executive VP of domestic distribution Jim Orr. “It’s an original, scary, and exciting twist on the genre,” he added, pointing to the studio’s successful partnership with Blumhouse. “They bring a lot more to the table than the standard genre fare.”

Earlier this year in January, Blumhouse’s Split opened to a monster $40 million in January, and went on to earn $278.3 million worldwide. Then, the next month, Get Out was a smash hit as well with a $33.4 million opening and $253.1 million in global grosses by the end of its run. The production house is also responsible for the hugely profitable Purge and Paranormal Activity franchises.

Happy Death Day is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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