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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Automata: Movie Review

By: Lawatsera Lovers

The film starts with a brief explanation that in the future, the earth is already suffering from solar storms, which resulted to wipe out almost the entire human kind. In order for the remaining humans to survive the toxic environment, ROC Corporation developed robots, which have two important protocols that cannot be altered. First, the robots cannot harm a life and second the robot is prohibited from modifying itself and other machines. However, when an insurance inspector Jacq (Antonio Banderas) saw a robot violates the second protocol; he tries to investigate to find out the secrets of this machines.

When we first saw Automata; we hoped to see another sci-fi robot thriller that can follow the footsteps of Will Smith's "I Robot." Apparently, it didn't quite reach the mark and just made a clunkier version of it full of cliches and less action. On the positive side, the film is visually impressive. The robots isn't fancy enough, but they definitely look great on the screen. But beyond it's splendid appearance, the film suffers from the emptiness around its story.    

It is good to see Antonio Banderas taking the lead part, but there are no room for him to explore his character. It seems that the film gradually takes him down to avoid him for doing something awesome. His supporting cast also seems pretty bored in what they are doing, and wishing that their taping would end soon. 

Overall, Automata has the key elements to be a spectacular film, but it chooses not to be and takes a different direction. It is easy to appreciate its outstanding visuals but as a whole, the film failed to perform a magnificent trick that can disappoint its viewers. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 5 out of 10 stars

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Dylan McDermott

Directed by: Gabe Ibañez
Distributed by: Multivision Pictures PH
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Journey From Breathtaking Vistas Into the Core of the Human Soul in “WILD”

Thinking she’d lost everything, Cheryl Strayed walked out of her broken-down life and into the deep wilderness on a 1,100-mile solo hike that would take her to the edge. Strayed’s experiences became the beating heart of an inspirational, best-selling memoir that was about more than just an inexperienced hiker’s crazy, grueling experience walking from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Northwest via the rugged Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  With its mix of punk spirit and vibrant honesty, it also became something rarely seen:  a portrait of a modern, messed-up woman coming-of-age by embracing the call of the wild in her own way.  On the trail, Strayed faced down thirst, heat, cold, feral animals and all of  her worst fears, but even more so, she faced up to change:  pushing through to carve her own path out of grief and a haunted past. 

Now Strayed’s acclaimed book comes to the screen directed by Academy Award® nominee Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club”), adapted by critically lauded best-selling author and Oscar®-nominated screenwriter Nick Hornby (“An Education”) and starring Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon, who optioned the book as soon as she read it.  Together, they set out to capture a story that unfolds largely inside one woman’s head –a flood of memories, fears, ideas, songs, poems, anger and awe – but travels a vast distance.  

From the beginning it was clear that “Wild” had to be shot on the road and trail to capture both Cheryl’s disorienting immersion into the wilderness and her journey towards embracing all its revelations and unknowns.  In many ways the production would come to echo her rites of passage.

Witherspoon notes that while Cheryl took a lot from the solitude she found, she took just as much from the people she met along the way, encounters that become key to the film.  “I love how all kinds of different people come into her life on this solo trek,” she says.  “It reminds me a little of Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries,” where she’s on this journey and she keeps meeting people who bring up something she needs to address in her life.”

Throughout production, Witherspoon’s feet were chewed up, her body left aching and, much like Cheryl had, she passed through some dark and fearsome interior places but was constantly invigorated by the hard-won transformation she was projecting.  “It was never easy, but it was the kind of thing where when you get to the end of the day, you just feel like you’ve accomplished something,” she concludes.  “I felt so lucky to be able to tell a story like Cheryl’s.”   

Ultimately, as she entwined deeper and deeper with the character, Witherspoon found that Cheryl’s infamously weighty backpack and ramshackle boots became a part of her own soul.  While the backpack is often a source a comedy in the film, it also became a metaphor for Cheryl learning to shoulder the weight of the past and keep walking on.   The boots and backpack became a part of me,” Witherspoon notes.  “The backpack came to feel like it was my arm or leg. Sometimes I would forget between scenes it was even on my body.  Sometimes the prop master would have to say ‘you can take it off.’ As Cheryl says in her book, there’s something amazing about realizing that everything you really need in life you could carry on your back.  It is so liberating.  It's a beautiful idea.”

  Wild” opens February 4 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox distributed thru Warner Bros.

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 “JUPITER ASCENDING” – An Original, Epic Adventure From “MATRIX” Creators

Filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski once again invite audiences into uncharted territory and fantastic new worlds with Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Jupiter Ascending.”  Their first original science fiction action adventure since “The Matrix” Trilogy, “Jupiter Ascending” reveals a universe in which the Earth is just one small piece of the vast machinery of galactic commerce—a prize, about to be seized and stripped of its most precious resource: humanity.

I can’t even remember a time when alien intelligence or the potential inherent in the vastness of space didn’t fascinate us,” says Lana Wachowski.  “Who didn’t love Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’?  And the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ had such a profound impact on us.  But as storytellers, what got us excited about that potential was answering the question, ‘If someone else is out there, and they know about us, why don’t they want us to know about them?’”

Written, directed and produced by the Wachowskis, “Jupiter Ascending” is conceptually sci-fi but encompasses elements of their other favorite genres.  A thriller and an action epic, it is also, at its core, a love story between two people who would never have met if not for one extraordinary event that might only happen once in centuries, if it happens at all: a Recurrence, a human born with a gene pattern that’s an exact duplicate of one that has already existed. 

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is a Recurrence.  Her genetic profile has been identified as a match for a woman who, before her mysterious death, controlled one of the most dominant ruling families in the universe.  This makes Jupiter, despite her humble upbringing, the beneficiary of unfathomable wealth and the pivotal figure in a monumental power struggle, with the Earth set in its crosshairs.  To the family’s existing heirs, it just makes her a target.

Beginning in present-day Chicago and traversing the cosmos, “Jupiter Ascending” offers a breathtaking panorama, at turns majestic and menacing, as one young woman, plucked from the most ordinary life, comes to terms with a regal identity she never knew, and the risks and responsibilities that come with it—not just for herself but for everyone she loves and every human being on her planet.  In the process, she may find not only her true strength and purpose but, possibly, the love of her life.

Whether drawing audiences into an aerial firefight between rival alien bounty hunters across Chicago’s night sky, or launching them into the far reaches of space, these are filmmakers who do not hold back.  Producer Grant Hill, their producing partner since “The Matrix Reloaded,” knows well, “What excites them is the challenge of it and the immense scale of a film like this, its look and design.  The spectacle of it is just magnificent and that was very much the intent: a big, broad spectrum sci-fi movie. “The Wachowskis are known for their innovation and imagination,” Hill further notes, “but it’s not spectacle for its own sake.  It always serves the story, and in this case that means traveling through several wholly individual realms, each of which had to be created with its own life forms and technologies, and each with its own ways to transport people through space and wage these momentous battles.”

The filmmakers’ purpose in setting so vast a stage is to frame the revelation to a shaken and incredulous Jupiter that humanity did not originate on Earth, and that her planet is part of a much larger enterprise and social order that dates back more than a billion years.  It’s an asset among many, currently owned by the formidable Balem Abrasax, as played by Eddie Redmayne.  Though they sprang from the same DNA eons ago, the Abrasax family represents a culture so evolutionarily advanced that they now view the human population on Earth as no more than livestock, a cash crop they can cultivate for their own purposes.  And harvest.   

As shocking as this is to Jupiter, so is the knowledge that she somehow holds the key to controlling all of it.  But in order to accomplish all that lies ahead, Jupiter must sweep aside the doubts and the limitations she has always accepted.  She needs to find the courage and the focus to stride forward and claim her birthright despite all the odds against her, and be the person she was clearly meant to be.

  Set for release across the Philippines on Feb. 05 in IMAX 3D and 2D cinemas, “Jupiter Ascending” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Taylor Lautner in Non-Stop Kinetic Action in “TRACERS”

Impressive stunts are normally the silent heroes of movies.  As a moviegoer, we know they’re there because we can’t believe our eyes. But they are supposed to take us seamlessly into the action and have us believe that James Bond or Jason Bourne are those daredevils flying through the air, racing across roof-tops, skiing down impossible and impassable slopes…and on and on and on. 

Parkour has hit big in some of America’s urban areas.  The prestigious New York Times previously ran an article in its Sports Section: “Parkour, as Pastime Born on the Streets, Moves Indoor and Uptown.”  The article notes, “They are skateboarders without skateboards, urban acrobats who scale walls, hurdle mailboxes and leap between buildings in stunts that might give ‘Spider-Man’ pause.”  The article goes on to note that, “Practitioners of parkour, a daring pastime born in the streets, have long seen public spaces as their playground, and parkour as the ultimate rebel’s game; one with no rules, league, equipment or winners.  It started in France and has spread around the world: Gaza, Tokyo, Rome and Miami are parkour towns.”

And this is the world in which “Tracers” is set, and the world that Cam (Taylor Lautner) is brought into through Nikki and her gang of lost, broken boys and Miller, their nefarious leader. 

In the heart-stopping “Tracers” starring Taylor Lautner, along with him are the film’s truly unsung heroes - stunt coordinator/2nd unit director Gary Powell and assistant stunt coordinator Lee Morrison who are responsible for the breathtaking action scenes at the backdrop of the very popular sports parkour.  “Kids all over the world are now doing because it’s actually a very cheap but very good exercise where it’s all natural stuff so pretty much everyone can do it.  So for Tracer we embraced that with our lead character Cam, played expertly by Taylor Lautner, a bike messenger riding throughout New York City with ease and speed.  He meets up with a group of kids that are using parkour as a way of getting around New York without being seen by the authorities…and he takes to their modus operandi and quickly becomes part of their gang,” says Gary Powell of the movie’s story and action style.

Very much the look and the story of Tracers take place on New York rooftops.  “We spent a lot of time looking around for these rooftops so, said Powell, “what makes it look so good is that the parkour is done for real; there’s no cheating. If we’re high up, we’re high up; if we jump in gaps we jump in gaps.  There’s no computer graphic enhancement.  We had a rooftop for one scene where there was a wall that was eighteen feet high.  Taylor ran toward it, hit a plank, and ran up the wall.  That’s pretty impressive.” 

For Taylor Lautner, Tracers provided an opportunity for him to show the world that he’s an actor to be taken very seriously.  He’s emerged into a talented force on screen that not only can pull of the amazing demands of a fast-paced action thriller, and is equally facile at the more character-driven connective threads that keep Tracers as a whole a fast-paced, heart-stopping drama too.

The story is also refreshingly new.  “It’s a very unique story,” says Lautner.  “I haven’t seen anything like it in that I’ve never seen a movie rooted in the world of parkour – the art of movement and the movement of art combined – rooted in an intense connection between the mind and the body.  Also,” adds Lautner, “the issues that our characters are dealing with throughout the narrative and their complex relationships with one another are extremely original ideas which is something I really love about it.”

Director Daniel Benmayor knows that audiences are going to be blown away by the excitement and authenticity of Tracers. “They can expect something that feels real and possible and relatable because we don’t have super-tweaked special effects.   So as extraordinary as the stunt work is – and it is extraordinary – it feels grounded, believable, realistic on a level where the audience can actually access it and it doesn’t feel fake to an audience either on the emotional side or on the action side.  And again I have to emphasize that Taylor did great work both in terms of character development, his character’s arc, the plot, his emotion, plus seeing him do the real stunts which is pretty amazing stuff!

  Tracers” opens February 4 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.
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“300” Star Jack O'Connell Plays Real-Life War Hero in “UNBROKEN”

He received wide acclaim as the tenacious young Greek soldier in the global box-office hit “300: Rise of an Empire.” Now, Jack O'Connell gets his biggest breakthrough role as the Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini in the Angelina Jolie-directed epic drama, “Unbroken.”

The critically acclaimed film follows the incredible life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini who survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during World War II—only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a series of prisoner-of-war camps. 

Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s (“Seabiscuit: An American Legend”) enormously popular book, “Unbroken” brings to the big screen Louie Zamperini’s unbelievable and inspiring true story about triumph over tribulation and the resilient power of the human spirit. 

First and foremost among the casting challenges facing Jolie was discovering the film’s Louie.  Who would be able to embody all of the elements required of a young actor to play this extraordinary man?  “It was such a very difficult task,” Jolie recounts. “We had to find somebody who not only had a physical resemblance to Louie, but someone the audience would want to go on this journey with…someone who looked like he belonged in the period of the movie and didn’t look too modern.

He also had to be someone you would believe as an Olympic athlete, someone who could survive a plane crash and the most intense deprivation, first adrift in the ocean in a raft for 47 days and then, for the remainder of the war, endure physical and mental abuse in several Japanese POW camps,” the director continues. “We had to have someone who’d be able to do all these things physically and also have a strong spirit.”

It was a daunting process, she admits.  Lightning did strike, however, in the person of Jack O’Connell, a then 23-year-old British actor who made a deep impression on all involved.  O’Connell made his feature debut in the feted British independent film “This Is England,” appearing subsequently in several other low-budget features.  He gained prominence with the U.K. television drama “Skins” and was last seen in fearless performances in the prison drama “Starred Up” and the action-adventure “300: Rise of an Empire.”

At the end of his audition, when I heard his real accent, I was intrigued,” recounts Jolie.  “Then I saw footage of some of the work he’d recently done and I saw this fire, a sense of someone who could understand the greater meaning of the film. When I finally met Jack, I couldn’t stop smiling because there was something about the way he carried himself, and the way he talked about his life and his family, that connected to Louie and the story.  I could see that he was a fighter.  I knew at 23 it might be difficult for Jack to understand and bring to life the universal themes of the story—the level of sensitivity required to understand love, loyalty, faith and forgiveness doesn’t always come with a fighter.  But the more we spoke, I saw that Jack understood the themes of the story and would love and respect Louie.”

For his part, the performer was certain that he was the man for the job.  “I felt so excited and honored when I heard about the film and asked to audition,” O’Connell relays.  “I was absolutely astounded when I learned I had won the part.  It is definitely the biggest honor of my life to be able to portray someone whom I have, hand on heart, no guilt in calling a legend.  There’s no doubt it was a big, big challenge.  It’s difficult to comprehend the physical and mental endurance of this man, let alone have to portray it.”

O’Connell dived into his preparations, immersing himself in Louie’s life and Hillenbrand’s book, listening to period-specific music and watching films from the era, the very first steps in what would be an unforgettable, life-changing journey.

  Opening across the Philippines on February 18, “Unbroken” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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New face, same proven efficacy

The extreme weather conditions nowadays have caused perennial problems to local farmers, destroying their crops and farms. Problems such as this result in loss in income and delay in deliveries of farm produce in the market.

But the real enemy of farmers are the unwanted visitors in the farm that destroy plants and crops—the pests. However, unlike typhoon, crop pests are controllable. With available crop protection products like insecticides and herbicides, farmers have an ever-present partner in solving such problems.

 Dow AgroSciences’ leading insecticides and herbicide distributed by Jardine Distribution, Inc. have new faces, but promises to provide the same proven and trusted efficacy. 

While there are a lot of crop protection brands in the market, very few have stood the test of time and have really been reliable partners of Filipino farmers in their successful crop production. Dow AgroSciences’ (DAS) products Nurelle, Lorsban and Clincher, which are distributed by Jardine Distribution Inc. (JDI), are among these trusted, tried and tested brands when it comes to crop protection.

With the advent of generics or me-too products in the market, DAS (an American company) recently changed the packaging of the said three popular products for better product recognition and alignment with their company brand identity.
Despite the changes, DAS and JDI promise the same trusted brand efficacy and quality that they have been giving their customers for many years now.  JDI maintains its promise to provide sustainable and cutting-edge solutions for modern agriculture.

With its tagline ‘Dating Bisa, Sa Bagong Mukha,’ the products are only expected to continue their legacy of providing the most innovative and effective solution to the most challenging issues for farmers that will help them yield better results,” said Sandra De Guia, Product Manager for the said products.

Jardine Distribution, Inc. goes to different provinces to re-launch the DOW AgroSciences’ Lorsban 3E Plus, Clincher 100 EC, and Nurelle 275 EC and assure farmers that that the products have the same proven efficacy.

Nurelle, a pest-control solution for green leafhoppers, whorl maggot, brown planthopper and rice stemborers, is a broad spectrum insecticide that contains two active components having dual action against insect pests. The first component is responsible for quick action while the other one ensures long residual effect.
It also has triple killing action and a quick knockdown effect on pests. This particular product gives longer protection for crops which means farmers need not spray every now and then, making it more economical to use.

On the other hand, Lorsban 3E is a highly effective solution to control a wide range of insect pests in crops. It is the ideal worm-killing solution in vegetation especially for crops such as rice, potato, corn and beans.

It has an active component which kills worms such as armyworm, corn earworm, and bean leafrollers by affecting the nervous system of the insect that leads to paralysis and eventual death. This insecticide kills insect pests through multiple actions namely contact, stomach and respiratory.   It provides longer protection and lesser spray interval for crops, making it also more cost-effective to use.

Meanwhile, Clincher is a solution made to kill grasses in direct seeded-rice paddies. The target grasses or weeds absorb the nutrients of the crops which can result in poor harvest. Clincher has an excellent rice tolerance (safe to crop) as compared to other herbicides applied 9 to 21 days after seeding.
This solution is called the “grass escape specialist” because it easily and effectively kills major grass species such as Trigo-Trigohan, Telebisyon, Palay-Maya, and Pulang-Puwit in the rice fields. It doesn’t have any phytotoxic to rice plants.

Nurelle and Lorsban 3E are available in three sizes—1000 ml, 500 ml and 250 ml—while Clincher has 1000 and 500 ml variants.

Dow AgroSciences is a multinational company that specializes in agricultural chemicals and is part of the larger Dow Chemical company based in the US. This year, the company is celebrating its 50th year of successful operations here in the Philippines.
Jardine Distribution, Inc., a member company of Jardine Matheson Group, represents a number of leading brands in crop protection, local and foreign-made pesticides, plant growth regulators, plant nutrition, hybrid rice seeds, and vegetable seeds.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Into The Woods: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

First, we would like to thank RX 93.1 for the advance screening tickets we won on their Instagram page. Finally, we are able to see the star-studded film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Into The Woods" that really had some amusing numbers throughout the film. Also take note for the outstanding performances from its cast and amazing turns from Johnny Depp and Chris Pine. 

A Baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) only had one wish for their family: to finally have a child to make their lives complete. However, a witch (Meryl Streep) cursed them and in order to reverse it; they need to find four specific key ingredients in three days time before the blue moon arrives. The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn and the slipper as pure as gold.

At the very beginning, the film introduces us to our beloved Fairytale characters singing that sets your mood on and signals that they are off to a great start. The musical numbers are really fun to watch with each cast given enough time to shine with their corresponding piece. The songs tell the story with the lyrics woven neatly with every character without making a messy trail. The only problem is the film did some dark twist at the end that hurts them a little and made it a bit tedious.

After seeing Emily Blunt kicked some alien ass in last years "Edge of Tomorrow," we even love her more here as the bakers' wife. She is simply astonishing even outshining the very gorgeous Anna Kendrick, who played Cinderella. We also liked Chris Pine that stood alongside Billy Magnussen performing "Agony" that gives most of the laughs with the two prince singing their hearts out. James Corden was great and Johnny Depp made his mark as the wolf even in a short amount of time. Meryl Streep plays the witch with conviction and the two youngsters (Daniel Huttlestone and Lilla Crawford) definitely had their moments.

Overall, Into the Woods provides a two-hour spectacle filled with lively music while avoiding to be flashy. It is extravagant in its own means and a charming cast rounding it up with brilliant performances. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8.5 out 10 stars

Cast: Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine

Directed by: Rob Marshall
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios PH
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide

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Staging the Perfect Crime in “KIDNAPPING FREDDY HEINEKEN”

World-acclaimed actor Anthony Hopkins whose portrayal of Hannibal in “Silence of the Lambs” gave chills to moviegoers across the globe is set to give the world anew a much stronger thrill in the upcoming tightly-paced crime thriller “Kidnapping Freddy Heineken” in which he plays the titular character.

 “Kidnapping Freddy Heineken,” based on the true story of the widely followed crime event of 1983, when the real Freddy Heineken, the flamboyant Dutch brewer was kidnapped by masked men outside his main office in Amsterdam and was held captive for 21 days.

Hopkins in the titular role as Freddy Heineken stars alongside today’s most sought leading men – Sam Worthington, Jim Sturgess and Ryan Kwanten along with Mark van Euwen and Tom Cocquerel in a movie that is about to reveal to the rest of the world the story on the planning, execution and the ultimate downfall of the kidnappers of the beer tycoon.  Reported to have been the largest ransom ever paid for a kidnapped victim, getting away with the perfect crime, the men eventually kept on running, but as all games played, they cannot forever hide when time is running out. 

Directed by Daniel Alfredson who helmed the highly successful and well-received “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest,”  “Kidnapping Freddy Heineken” poises to be one of 2015’s most-awaited thriller.

   Kidnapping Freddy Heineken” opens March 6 in theaters nationwide from Axinite Digicinema.
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“FANTASTIC FOUR” Teaser Trailer Revealed!

Be ready for what’s coming this 2015 – from 20th Century Fox comes “Fantastic Four” teaser trailer below that will open August 6 in the Philippines.

Fantastic Four” stars Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm aka the Torch, Kate Mara as Sue Storm and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm aka The Thing along with Toby Kebbel as the legendary villain Dr. Doom in the contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team that centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

  Opens August 6 in cinemas nationwide

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“BIG BANG THEORY'S” Kaley Cuoco, The Bride in “WEDDING RINGER”

In Columbia Pictures' new adult comedy “The Wedding Ringer,” creating all of the pressure and stress for the hapless groom Doug (Josh Gad) is his bride Gretchen, who is determined to have a perfect wedding.

She's played by "The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, who thought the script was "laugh out loud funny," and sheds more light on the character and her motives.
"Gretchen starts out like Little Miss Sunshine; sweet and not affected, but as the wedding gets closer she gets more stressed and a little darker," says Cuoco-Sweeting. "She doesn't start out that way, but there's definitely a bit of a build, which is fun."

The actress continues, "Gretchen's family isn't exactly in love with Doug. I don't really understand it, but they think that she should be with a gorgeous, tall athlete. Doug and Gretchen's relationship is cute at the beginning and you think that they are both totally in love, but as things go on, you see that Gretchen is probably in the relationship for a lot of the wrong reasons."

For the other players in The Wedding Ringer, keeping a straight face when working with the comedic duo was not easy to do, on or off camera. "Kevin Hart and Josh Gad are the most hilarious human beings I have ever met in my life," Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting enthusiastically reports. "I never stop laughing when I am on set with them. They are constantly making jokes and are always on. I find them both endlessly entertaining which makes it difficult when we do scenes together because I have to use all my will not to laugh and ruin takes. Watching Kevin and Josh work together is just an entire other level of comedic genius. That's why this movie's going to be great. They're hysterical and their chemistry is off the charts."

Cuoco-Sweeting thanks director Jeremy Garelick's wife for turning her on to the film. "I actually kind of owe this film to Jeremy Garelick's wife, Sam, who I go spinning with," says Cuoco-Sweeting. "I was in class one day, and she was sitting with me and she said 'Oh my God, Jeremy's doing this movie called `The Wedding Ringer' and there are a million names for it, but you'd be so perfect for the wife.' She told Jeremy and the rest is kind of history. So I would like to say, thank you Sam!"

In “The Wedding Ringer,” Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is a lovable but socially awkward groom-to-be with a problem: he has no best man. With less than two weeks to go until he marries the girl of his dreams, Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan, (Kevin Hart) owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. What ensues is a hilarious wedding charade as they try to pull off the big con, and an unexpected budding bromance between Doug and his fake best man Jimmy.

  Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 11, “The Wedding Ringer” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Self-Aware Robots in Sci-fi Action “VICE”

Iconic action stars Bruce Willis and Thomas Jane star in the futuristic action thriller “Vice” where a robot becomes self-aware that sets things apace when her dangerous escape starts.  

"Vice was built in the middle of a city and the problem is that people go in there and get their freak on, do all this crazy stuff, and then come back outside and think, 'I can get away with anything in Vice so why can’t I do it out here,'" begins Thomas Jane who plays detective Roy Tedeschi. The authorities are kind of hands off with Julian’s (Willis) robot creations because of all the tax revenue the resort generates. "But crime goes through the roof in my city and Roy gets a briar stuck up his ass about this Vice place. He is intent on shutting it down, bringing the place to its knees or blowing it up, whatever he can get away with.”

I like these kind of characters, archaic guys who are living in an old world. It’s the old world versus the new world type of thing,” continues Jane.  “Roy’s the kind of guy that if four bullets will do it, he will use them.  He will never use just one; if he can empty a clip into you, why would he use just one?”  “Thomas is one of those very unique, eclectic actors that shows up on set and he breathes life into the character,” adds Miller. “He creates actions, movements, words, and situations that really take Roy to the next level; when you put Thomas in one of those action sequences. He just lights it on fire!”

Julian Michaels' corporation has built Vice, a resort for the wealthy where they can do anything that you could possibly imagine, even murder, rape, or kill because the permanent Residents are artificial, cloned from human DNA and built on endoskeletons,” begins director Brian A. Miller. “The story revolves around a Resident that starts having memories of horrible things that have happened to her and she breaks out, only to discover the original creator of ‘Artificials’ and once they meet they decide to work together to take down Vice once and for all. I was immediately attracted to the script because of the way it takes a dystopian future and combines it with a perfect America we no longer have, and really turns it on its axis,” says Miller, a confessed sci-fi buff who grew up on “Blade Runner,” “Metropolis” and the “Star Wars” trilogy.

I was attracted to the story, the action and the arc of the characters, that is really what I was looking for as a director,” concludes Miller. “People nowadays live their lives vicariously through technology or social media. They’ve forgotten about interaction between human beings. I think people will relate to the character and the bureaucracy of what is going on in this film, including government that allows corporations more control without regulation.”

On the surface, it’s a revenge story about an artificially intelligent being who becomes self-aware for the first time,” begins writer Andre Fabrizio, who shares a love of science-fiction with writing partner Passmore. “On a deeper level I think what appealed to Jeremy and I was more the inevitability of artificial intelligence and how it should be treated as well as the fact that there is an assumption that artificial intelligence shouldn’t be viewed with the same rights.”
  Vice” opens January 28 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

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1:43 to pursue acting career with Viva

AFTER three successful albums and a string of hit songs, the members of Filipino boy band 1:43 believe they ripe to pursue their acting careers, either as a group or individually.

Last week, the group composed of four stylish and talented young men Anjo Resureccion, Gold Aquino, Yuki Sakamoto, and Yheen Valero together with their founder and manager Chris Cahilig signed a co-management contract with Viva Artists Agency (VAA) owned by Vic Del Rosario. The strategic move aims to fulfill 1:43’s long-term plan to become television and movie stars aside from being pop idols.
While we will remain intact as a boy band, we feel that it’s the right time to take our showbiz careers to a higher level. We are thankful that Boss Vic (Del Rosario) readily and warmly welcomed us as Viva’s newest talents,” explains 1:43 spokesman Anjo.

We hope to start doing commercial movies and television appearances as well as viral videos and short films anytime soon. We are confident that Viva will take care of us,” he adds.
1:43 popularized “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo,” the monster hit song that won the 2013 PMPC Star Award for Music “Song of the Year” and the “Most Promising Performing and Recording Group” in the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation’s 45th Box-Office Entertainment Awards. They are also behind hit songs “Ang Saya-Saya” which became the official theme song of GMA 7’s sitcom “Ismol Family” and the Youtube hit “Hayop Sa Ganda.”

New Member
The resignation of Argee Golding in early January paved the way to the entry of top ramp and commercial model and rapper Yheen to the pop group. Argee, an international taekwondo medalist from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), left the group with heavy heart to enroll in a school for pilots in Subic.

Yheen is perhaps the most qualified person to take over Argee’s place in 1:43. He is exceptionally handsome and charismatic and has been trained to perform on stage by no other than the iconic choreographer Tita Geleen Eugenio in his former boy band,” relates Yuki.
In fact, when we are being formed in 2010, our manager Uncle Chris offered him a slot in 1:43 which he declined due to his prior commitments. I think he is really meant to be with us,” jests Gold.
In such a short time, Yheen has already assimilated with the rest of 1:43 and has recorded two tracks for their upcoming album— the feel-good “Tara Na” which is expected to be released on radio this week, and a surprise electronic dance music (EDM) track where he showcased his rap skills.  
1:43 is supported by McJim Classic Leather, BellaVita Land Corp., and Level Up! Interested parties may book 1:43 by sending an inquiry at or by visiting the 1:43 Fan Page on Facebook.

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“THE BOY NEXT DOOR” Seduces Jennifer Lopez

Global superstar Jennifer Lopez plays a separated wife who's seduced by a young male neighbor in Universal Pictures' “The Boy Next Door,” a psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes much too far.

The key to a successful psychological thriller is for the audience to be able to imagine that they could find themselves in the same situation as at least one of the film’s characters. As for the role of Claire, Lopez was drawn to the character’s authenticity. The actress/producer shares: “I felt that Claire’s vulnerability to her situation and circumstances makes her human. When her husband cheats on her with another woman, she feels unworthy, undesirable, dismissed. Her attraction to the titular character, Noah, stems from his coming in at this time and making her finally feel attractive and wanted.”

Screenwriter Barbara Curry, a former federal prosecutor, was determined to create a strong and contemporary female protagonist with her inaugural screenplay. Says Curry: “I wanted Claire to be a strong character who is deeply flawed. But Claire’s flaw is not that she succumbs to temptation by sleeping with this young man. Her real flaw is that she can’t forgive her husband for his infidelity. It’s a flaw of pride, really. I thought it would be interesting to have this strong, proud woman make a mistake that’s equal to her husband’s, so she would finally understand how he could have made his mistake and be deserving of forgiveness. That’s the moral of this story. We can’t be so strong that we are unable to forgive.”

The writer imagined Claire as a woman at a crossroads. With a pending divorce from her once-beloved husband, struggling to balance her work as a high school teacher with a teenage son who doesn’t fit in with his classmates, Claire has very little time to consider what she wants or needs. Curry walks us through where we find her protagonist: “I knew both male and female audience members would need to get behind Claire, even though she makes this terrible error in judgment. So I tried to stack the deck against her. She is extremely vulnerable when she meets Noah. Like anyone might feel when their spouse cheats on them, Claire feels worthless, unattractive, unloved. And here comes Noah, someone who seems to understand her and appreciate her. There is a physical attraction between them, certainly. But it’s more than that. There is a real emotional connection, a meeting of the minds. And that is something Claire really needs at this low point in her life.”

Well-known to audiences as a director of big-budget studio films such as “xXx” and “The Fast and the Furious,” Rob Cohen had long wanted to work with Lopez. He gives: “I read the script and understood exactly what they liked about it, and knowing that Jennifer would be starring was a huge draw for me. She is a completely self-made entertainer who came from the Bronx, and since Selena, she’s carved a series of very memorable performances that have one thing in common: a natural, emotional level.”

  Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 28, “The Boy Next Door” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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