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Thursday, October 29, 2015

“SICARIO” Battles Today's Swath of Darkest Crimes

From acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners,” “Incendies”) comes “Sicario,” a searing emotional-thriller that descends into the intrigue, corruption and moral mayhem of the borderland drug wars starring acclaimed and award-winning actors including Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt, Academy Award® winner Benicio Del Toro  and Academy Award® nominee Josh Brolin.

Sicario” ratchets into a series of boiling encounters when when Arizona FBI agent and kidnap-response-team leader Kate Macer (Blunt) uncovers a Mexican cartel’s house of death, her shocking find leads to profound consequences on both a personal and global level. Kate is recruited to join a covert black-ops mission headed by a mysterious Colombian operative known only as Alejandro (Del Toro) along with special agent Matt Graver (Brolin) Even as Kate tries to convince herself she’s on a hunt for justice, she is thrust into the dark heart of a secret battleground that has swept up ruthless cartels, kill-crazy assassins, clandestine American spies and thousands of innocents. 

It’s a movie about choices,” adds Benicio Del Toro, who dives into one of his most conflicted roles as the equal parts vengeful and tender hit man Alejandro.  “It’s tough to say whether any character in Sicario is truly good or bad.  Do the means justify the ends?  What happens when go into a situation where you want to kill one guy and you kill 20 innocent people? You got the bad guy, but at what cost?”

 
Kate is tempted by this world,” says Emily Blunt, who breaks the mold with her portrait of a fierce female character whose life is in jeopardy throughout every second of the film.  “She realizes she was barely scratching the surface doing things by the book and now she wants to believe she can do something that will make a real difference.  Yet the very idea of no longer following the rules turns Kate’s whole world upside down.  Nothing makes sense anymore.” 

Josh Brolin, who is known for characters who ply the edges, was intrigued by the movie’s subtext of big questions about values versus security and whether fighting criminals with outlaw behavior darkens hearts beyond repair.  “This movie is a human mystery that you get to grab at and put together for yourself,” Brolin says.  “It’s a suspenseful and emotional puzzle.” 

For screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, slowly, a story began to emerge about a side of the war on drugs few ever have seen in the U.S. -- the story of a war on drugs that often, in practical terms, becomes a war for drugs, as the powers that be jockey for control of the trade.   It was, by necessity, a story full of human ambiguity.  “Crime stories are usually told either from the point of view of the hero or the villain,” Sheridan notes.  “This story couldn’t be like that.  This is a story in which, even when you think the villain has been caught, you realize the problem hasn’t really been resolved. There will be another villaintomorrow.”

Sheridan’s script immediately garnered praise for its blend of a breathless thriller pace with the poignant characters of a sophisticated drama. But at first, he encountered resistance to the obvious risks of making the film. Then he met Thunder Road founder Basil Iwanyk and senior vice president of features Erica Lee.

Iwanyk says the screenplay was just too powerful to ignore; it was tense and timely, it was mesmerizing in its emotional sweep. “We thought it was one of the most beautifully, intensely, emotionally written thrillers that we’ve read in a really long time,” he comments.

Villeneuve felt an instant affinity for the material, but his aim was to leave judgment out of it, allowing the audience to decide whether the methods used by the blacks-op team are worth it in the end.  “I have always thought that the world is gray, not black-and-white, and that the notion of good and evil is oriented by one’s cultural and geopolitical background,” the director comments. “Is there a solution to the continuing growth of the drug trade?  Sicario raises a lot of questions, but it leaves the answers open.” 


High-intensity action explodes in “Sicario” – now in ciemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.
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Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux: Strong Women of “SPECTRE”

 
James Bond, of course, is always drawn to women and Columbia Pictures' new 007 action adventure SPECTRE proves that he can still woo them. Italy's Monica Bellucci (“Malena,” “The Matrix” sequels) and France's Lea Seydoux (Cannes Palme d'Or winner “Blue is the Warmest Color”) play the new women in Bond's life.

In the film, a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Italian Monica Bellucci is an actress that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had tried to recruit in the past, denied only for scheduling conflicts. “We’re delighted to finally get her,” says Wilson. “She is terrific in the role.”

Bellucci, meanwhile, says that she was delighted to finally join the series. “I said yes right away because I was very happy to work with Sam Mendes and to be part of this project,” she explains. “I have so much respect for the James Bond films in general because I think they are such a big part of cinema history. And I respect so much all the James Bond girls; I think they are beautiful actresses and talented and it was very interesting for me to be part of this history.”

 
The character she plays is a seductive Italian woman who holds a number of secrets. “Her Mafioso husband is killed and she risks the same thing happening to her,” Bellucci explains. “When she first meets Bond she doesn’t trust him because she comes from a world where only corrupt men have the power.

But the chemistry and the attraction between them is so strong and she realises her feminine power over him. Then she trusts him. He saves her and she gives him the information he needs.” She laughs. “And they find an interesting way to sign a contract with each other!”

 
Another woman playing a pivotal role in SPECTRE is Madeleine Swann, who is brought to the screen by French actress Léa Seydoux. “She’s a doctor and she’s a strong woman,” Seydoux says of her character. “She is intelligent, independent and she doesn’t want anything to do with Bond when she meets him for the first time. She’s not impressed.”

As the story progresses, however, events force a change in their dynamic, and their relationship softens. “She understands Bond very well because she has an insight into the world that he lives in,” the actress continues. “For his mission he needs to understand things from his past and he needs Madeleine for the information she can provide. Eventually, it is a very strong relationship between them.”

  Opening across the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 06, SPECTRE is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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“BOY NEXT DOOR” Ryan Guzman in “JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS”

 
Ryan Guzman, lead star of the hit thriller “The Boy Next Door” and TV's new toprater “Heroes Reborn,” lends a masculine presence to Universal Pictures' female-oriented musical-adventure “Jem and The Holograms.”

In the film, as Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples), a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar as her alter ego Jem, she and her band of sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.

In Jerrica's musical journey, there is one person in her new Hollywood home that she’s slowly growing to trust. His name is Rio, and he is portrayed by Ryan Guzman. The music-intern son of Erica Raymond, founder and CEO of Starlight Music, Rio is tasked with helping Jem and the Holograms navigate through their newfound stardom. His job would be easier, however, if he wasn’t falling for one of its members...

Guzman discusses his role: “While Erica is all about making money, Rio is more about discovering artists who can entertain. He is not impressed by Jem and the Holograms when he first meets them, but that’s because he thinks they are just another pop group that is popular for all the wrong reasons. Later on, he finds out there is more to them than meets the eye. He connects with them and realizes they aren’t in it for the fame; they are just doing what they love.”

Not only does Rio help the band traverse the perils of newfound stardom, he aids Jerrica and Kimber on their quest to find out just who their father was, as well as what he has in store for them. Explains co-star Stephanie Scott who plays Kimber: “Rio taps into the storyline of our hunt for Synergy, and the process of figuring out what message our dad left for us. He helps us bring it all together.”

 
Ryan Guzman is a former MMA fighter who caught the notice of Hollywood.

Born in Texas and raised in Sacramento, California, Guzman never thought of becoming an actor, much less a professional dancer. At age seven, he developed an interest in martial arts and earned his first black belt in tae kwon do by the age of 10. This led him into the octagon as an MMA fighter in Sacramento until his fighting license expired in 2010. A gifted athlete, Guzman was also a sought-after left-handed pitcher with a fastball clocked between 87 and 90 miles per hour. A shoulder injury ended this dream and transitioned into a career in print modeling, followed by acting.

Guzman worked successfully in San Francisco, starting with LOOK Model Agency at the age of 18, before moving to Los Angeles, where he joined the esteemed Wilhelmina agency at 22. Guzman has since starred in television commercials for Old Navy, Gillette, Candie’s and the Oprah Winfrey Network. He has modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch, Affliction and Reebok, among other brands.

After his success in modeling, Guzman signed on with a talent manager and went into the audition process for acting roles. Just a few short months later, he booked the male lead role for Lionsgate’s “Step Up Revolution.”

After the international success of “Step Up Revolution,” he reprised his role in the Trish Sie directed “Step Up All In” alongside Briana Evigan.

In January 2015, Guzman was seen as the male lead role opposite Jennifer Lopez in the Universal Pictures thriller “The Boy Next Door.”

  Opening exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide on Nov. 4, “Jem and the Holograms” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Watch New Clips From “SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE”

As the Philippine opening of Paramount Pictures's “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” looms, the studio has now released two new clips from the teen-oriented horror comedy for fans to enjoy.

Watch the clip titled “How to Build a Campfire” and a trailer cutdown below: 


   

Packed with blood-soaked gags and inappropriate humor, “Scouts Guide” is said to be equal parts gory horror and raunchy comedy, pulling no punches on both grounds.

The movie stars Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan and Sarah Dumont.

 
In “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”, three scouts and lifelong friends join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to become the world’s most unlikely team of heroes. 

When their peaceful town is ravaged by a zombie invasion, they’ll fight for the badge of a lifetime and put their scouting skills to the test to save mankind from the undead.

  Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 11, “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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“THE GOOD DINOSAUR” – A Coming-of-Age, “BOY” and “DOG” Story

 
In a world where dinosaurs never became extinct and humans roam the wild, Disney-Pixar's “The Good Dinosaur” features a simple, relatable story in which an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

It’s the story of a boy and his dog—only in our story, the boy is a dinosaur and the dog is a boy,” says director Peter Sohn.

It’s also a coming-of-age story,” adds Sohn. “Arlo is afraid everything. But his father, Poppa, is always there for him, encouraging Arlo to step out of his comfort zone, to confront his fears, to make his mark.”

Arlo is young and vulnerable,” says character art director Matt Nolte. “He’s so unsure of himself and we wanted to capture that in his look. He’s smaller and thinner than his siblings.”

Poppa is powerful and capable,” adds Nolte. “He has perfect posture and he walks in a straight line—he knows where he’s going—whereas Arlo actually zigzags.”

His siblings, sister Libby and brother Buck, are bigger than Arlo from the very beginning. Work and chores around the farm seem to come easily to them, which only shines a brighter light on Arlo’s inabilities. Arlo desperately wants to impress his family, but finds himself falling short time after time.

Poppa gives Arlo a job—a mission to earn his mark,” says Sohn. “Arlo is tasked with catching a critter, a pest who’s eating the food they’ve stored for the winter. At last, Arlo has a chance to prove his worth. But in the end, he can’t do it. He can’t kill this creature he’s captured, and he sets it free, much to his father’s disappointment.”

Poppa’s subsequent tough-love lesson turns tragic, and Arlo has trouble coping. “He blames the critter for everything,” says Sohn.

Arlo‘s anger ultimately results in a major misstep that leaves him lost and far from home. His chances for survival are dubious until an unexpected ally shows up and lends a hand. The critter, later dubbed Spot, doesn’t venture far from Arlo—despite the dinosaur’s angry feelings about him. “Spot is really the opposite of Arlo,” says story supervisor Kelsey Mann. “He’s incredibly brave, tenacious and resourceful. He’s been out in the wilderness his entire life. So Arlo is forced to lean on Spot for support.”

The unlikely friends embark on an eventful journey through stunning but often unforgiving environments in an effort to get Arlo home. Along the way, they encounter an array of intriguing characters, including a family of T-Rexes. According to Mann, they’re the dinosaur version of cowboys. “They’re ranchers—quiet, intimidating, tough and massive. They play a big role in opening Arlo’s eyes to his fear.”

The T-Rexes were largely inspired by a family in the Pacific Northwest that some of the production team met. Filmmakers were captivated by their way of life after a research trip to their ranch, where they took part in moving cattle on horseback. Says Sohn, “It wasn’t even a about the cattle—though it was thrilling to see hundreds of them eyeballing us. But the way the members of this big family love each other and teach each other made such an impact.”

  Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 25, “The Good Dinosaur” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #GoodDinoPH.
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“AMERICAN ULTRA” Mashes Up Comedy with Violence, Romance

 
L.A. Weekly describes it as “A bloody valentine attached to a bomb. It's violent, brash, inventive and horrific, and perhaps the most romantic film of the year.”

Boston Globe calls its stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, “Tender, forgiving, and sexy, they're the hottest couple on screen at the moment.”

They're talking about Buena Vista International's new dark comedy “American Ultra,” the trippy story of Mike (Eisenberg), a convenience store clerk and his girlfriend, Phoebe (Stewart) whose sleepy, small-town existence is disrupted when his past comes back to haunt him in the form of a government operation set to wipe him out.

"The script is funny and scary and violent and sweet," producer Anthony Bregman says. "It makes you swing in so many directions emotionally, which makes for a great movie experience. [Screenwriter] Max Landis knows the action genre well, which allows him to make fun of it while living up to the conventions and expectations."


A large part of the humor comes from the fact that the filmmakers never lose sight of the idea that reclaiming his hardcore combat skills doesn't change who Mike is. "Mike is a bit of a dreamer and he never loses that quality," says producer David Alpert. "It's just that now people are trying to kill him. We always tried to maintain a connection to what it would really be like if the stoner guy in your town got these abilities."
 
Director Nima Nourizadeh, whose first film “Project X” has established him as an innovative new talent in Hollywood, impressed the producers with his ideas for maximizing both the action and the humor in the script. "Nima is a startling visionary in terms of how he sees a scene," says Landis. "He didn't change the script much, but the things he added made it even better. He structured the rhythms and beats in a way that is genuinely funny and fun to watch."

Nourizadeh brought a sharp sense of humor, as well as an authentic sense of danger and visual excitement to the script, according to Bregman. "He is better than anyone I can think of at establishing a really calm, stable atmosphere on screen that eventually explodes into a state of complete choreographed chaos. It's really fun to watch that build and ignite."

 
The writer and director first met in April 2013 to exchange ideas about future projects. Landis told Nourizadeh about “American Ultra,” a spec script no one outside of his team had read yet. "The script really exceeded my expectations," says the director. "Max is an intriguing storyteller. He feeds you information a little bit at a time until you are suddenly somewhere unexpected and completely crazy. His writing is always entertaining, but what separates this from other action comedies I'd read was that he nailed down the relationships between the main characters. It was the perfect second project for me."

Producers Bregman and Alpert agreed. "The combination of Max and Nima was irresistible," Bregman says. "Max's first feature script, `Chronicle,' is a favorite of mine. It was made on a modest budget with really interesting visuals that made it seem much bigger than it was. Nima's `Project X' was, in my opinion, one of the best movies of the last few years. It's another small film with a really big reach. Both were fun and entertaining and innovative, and at the same time dealt with big issues in a subtle way. It's exactly the sort of movie I want to see."

"Teaming Max and Nima up and then adding Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart to the mix feels like we're looking at the next generation of great Hollywood filmmakers," concludes Alpert.

  American Ultra” will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Oct. 28
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Director/ Writer Petr Jakl Discusses Horror Film GHOUL


Czech director Petr Jákl, once a stuntman in American movies, has come a long way from his roots in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He started out with roles in foreign films in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and quickly found a spot in Hollywood playing supporting characters in movies like xXx and AVP: Alien vs. Predator. Not content to stay in front of the camera, Jakl has now written and directed two of his own projects. The latest one, Ghoul, is hitting Philippine theaters on November 11.

Eric Shirey (Cinelinx) had the opportunity to interview Mr. Jakl while he was busy promoting the film. They talked about the rich history, superstitions, the supernatural leanings of the Ukrainian people, and more about the background of the movie Ghoul. Read on to climb inside the head of this up-and-coming director, writer, producer, and actor.

How did you get involved in Ghoul?

 
Back in 2010 we went to the Ukraine to attend a festival. I had a chance to speak to some villagers and all of them mentioned famine in 1932 and the cannibal Chikatilo. It was very interesting because they spoke about cannibalism like it was something that was part of their life. I started to investigate more about it and I found more connection between the famine and Chikatilo. I also like the Ukrainian habits and how they believe in psychics, they are superstitious, and a lot of the people there also believe in supernatural forces. I decided to use those as much as possible and blur the lines between reality and fiction. Nobody will be sure what is real and what is not. That’s why I bought the real footage of the cannibal Chikatilo. That´s why I shot a real documentary with survivors of the famine that is used in the movie. I also shot the movie on the real locations where these horrible things happened and where Chikatilo was born.”

Give us a brief synopsis of Ghoul. 

 
Ghoul is a supernatural horror and also partly a thriller film involving the real life story of the Soviet Union’s most violent serial killer and cannibal. Andrei Chikatilo killed more than fifty people. Three Americans travel to the Ukraine to film a documentary about the cannibalism epidemic that swept through the country during the famine of 1932. They have chosen an area from which many more people are disappearing for no apparent reason. After being lured deep into the Ukraine forest for an interview with one of the last known famine survivors, they quickly find themselves trapped in a supernatural hunting ground.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience making Ghoul.

 
I wanted to find actors who were not well known, but they had to be great. That´s why I did the casting in seven countries for almost six months. I had one actress from London, two actors from LA, and the others were Ukrainians. When the actors from California got to Kiev, they were pretty scared right from the beginning because they knew that we were going to shoot in real locations where people were killed. We had to go to the frontier zone between Russia and the Ukraine every day. Border police told us not to go alone to a forest because there are wolves and bears and that we should avoid speaking to strangers there and such. We had mostly night shoots in the forest. Some situations were really scary during the shooting because we thought that somebody was watching and we could not get rid of that feeling. I think it also helped to build a real atmosphere for the movie and it was a part of my plan.”

What sort of message (if any) do you think Ghoul is trying to deliver to audiences?

 
I have to mention that we started to shoot Ghoul in 2011 before the Ukrainian Revolution and before “the conflict” between Russians and the Ukrainians began. There was no political reason to show a Ukrainian cannibal eating people and his connection with the famine caused by Soviet Union leader Josef Stalin. I just wanted to make the movie so real that people would feel like they are in the Ukraine in danger. That’s also why I interviewed real people and let them say what happened. Their stories about cannibalism are extremely horrifying because they are true.”

If you were in line at the movies and someone was trying to choose between Ghoul and the other movies playing, how would you convince them to see yours?

 
I would say, ‘Would you be scared if you were in a cottage in the middle of a forest far from any civilization and Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer would be outside watching you?’ That’s how you will feel when you watch “Ghoul.” The two of them together are not as brutal and dangerous as Ukrainian cannibal Chikatilo. He killed and mutilated more than fifty people and he ate their parts. He was extremely brutal so people nicknamed him the Red Ripper. When you watch the movie you will be surprised who is really out there waiting to get you!”

 GHOUL will haunt theaters throughout the Philippines beginning November 11. 

Check out the official trailer below: 
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Dressmaker: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

In 1951, Tilly Dunnage and formerly known as Myrtle (Kate Wnslet) returns to Dungatar, her tiny hometown after working abroad with great fashion designers. She came back for her alcoholic mother (Judy Davis) and also to unwrapped the mystery around her childhood days. She is back for revenge and is still searching for some answers on why her town insists that she is a murderer.

We are not sure on what to expect on Kate Winslet's latest featured film - The Dressmaker. At first, we though that it has a serious story mixed with a dramatic formula added with a bit of sleepy powder to make our eyes close at some point. Thank goodness, it isn't. It is a fun wacky revenge themed plot that manages to be silly yet entertaining and enjoyable throughout. It just have some questionable twist and turns that aren't necessarily needed, but they still managed to pull it through.

The casts were pretty impressive. Kate Winslet made a classy act and proves that she can still handle her thing. But it was Judy Davis, who stole most of the show. She came up with an outstanding performance; giving life to her character and builds a great chemistry with Kate Winslet to bring an enjoyable mother and daughter relationship. Hugo Weaving manages to generate most of the laughs with his colorful character and Liam Hemsworth provides the charm even its pretty clear that he is too young to play Kate's counterpart. We also don't want to forget the stunning Sarah Snook who looked like Emma Stone. 

Overall, The Dressmaker is a remarkable film, especially if you love fashion and style. It's a unique take for a revenge themed film with talented actors clearly playing like there were just having some fun. It is good to have something fresh in the cinema once in a while, and The Dressmaker is a perfect choice for you to experience something new. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8.5 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving 
Directed by: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Distributed by: Axinite Digicinema Inc.
Opens November 4 in cinemas

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Bond Villains Execute Sinister Plot in “SPECTRE”

 
Certified screen baddies Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained”) and Dave Bautista (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) prove to be formidable villains for Daniel Craig's James Bond, in Columbia Pictures' new 007 action adventure SPECTRE.

In the film, Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE and he comes face to face with an enigmatic and chilling character – the organisation’s leading man, Oberhauser, played by two-time Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz.

In this film it’s the classic, and the classical, protagonist/antagonist dynamic,” Waltz says. “The dynamic is that the hero’s major existential quest needs to be thwarted, and every obstacle needs to be set up to the degree that endangers not just the achievement of this quest but endangers the existence of the hero himself.

Everybody was very aware that this dynamic is, to say the least, very desirable in this context,” Waltz continues. “That dynamic is what makes these stories really interesting.”


Waltz is especially happy to star in one of Daniel Craig’s Bond films given their grittier and, on occasion, darker tone. “With Daniel, some of the jocular tone from the earlier films evaporated and that was very much on purpose,” says the Austrian star. “During the course of Daniel’s films, Bond has emerged a more troubled soul and less of the ironic prankster type. Whether that continues in this film, or shifts again, audiences will have to wait and see.”

As is often the case in Bond films, a very distinctive henchman supports the main villain. One only need consider Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob, or Francisco Scaramanga and Nick Nack, to name but two. In SPECTRE, the filmmakers not only introduce Oberhauser, but also Hinx, his muscle-bound field agent, played by Fil-Am actor Dave Bautista.


I think this film has something of an old-school feeling, especially when you consider the history of SPECTRE,” Bautista says. “They’re this large, mastermind organization that is everywhere. They’re very mysterious and it’s important that they remain that way.

I always thought it was really cool to be the bad guy,” he adds, “but being a member of SPECTRE, specifically, is really great.”

Hinx, he notes, is a great match for Bond. “The character is really, really strong which you notice in one fight scene in particular. When you think of Bond you don’t often see him losing in a fight. But it happens in this film.”

Another important man in the SPECTRE story is Mr. White, played by Jesper Christensen. The character was responsible for Vesper Lynd’s betrayal of Bond in Casino Royale and he also appeared briefly in Quantum Of Solace. “He appears to be a crime boss of some kind but it turns out he’s not completely at the top because there’s someone over him,” says Christensen.

 
The man at the top is Oberhauser. “White has fallen out with his associates and he’s been in hiding,” Christensen continues. “Now, though, he has been found, and he’s being slowly poisoned.”

When Bond finds White, the latter is almost at death’s door. “He doesn’t really know what to do,” says Christensen, “but Bond makes White help him in his investigations into SPECTRE. Bond hits on White’s love for his daughter. White has one daughter and that is the only thing in his life that he really cares about. To protect her, he lets Bond in on some secrets.”

Through the revelations made in SPECTRE, it transpires that there is one man behind all the tragedy that Bond has faced during the last three films.

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 06, SPECTRE is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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“KRAMPUS” is Coming to Town in December

 
He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake…” goes the classic Christmas carol, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” But what if the lyrics were about something even more terrifying than a large bearded man with a sack of gifts?

That’s the basis of new film which will more likely fill you with festive fear than cheer. Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Krampus,” a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the Christmas holiday.

Directed by Michael Dougherty, “Krampus” stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Emjay Anthony, Allison Tollman, David Koechner, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania Owen and Krista Stadler.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.

All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

  Opening across the Philippines on December 2, “Krampus” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Experience the Beauty of Korea With Bareumi Tours

Last week was one of the best vacation of my life. I am one of the travel agents who experienced the beauty of South Korea sponsored by Bareumi Tours. They invited us to participate a 4D/3N familiarization tour and witness some of the best places in Korea in their newest itinerary called 4D 3n "GUMI" National Industrial Complex & "DAEGU" The City of Korean Beauty. 

Our flight was scheduled to leave Manila at 2355 via Jeju Airlines and will arrive at Icheon airport at 0450 in the morning. We arrived safely and was warmly greeted by President of Bareumi Tours - Ms. Julia Lee, and our tour guide Ms. Chian.

Let's start our Day 01 itinerary ( Incheon Int'l Airport > Yang-Gu Country > Inje)  

From the Airport, you'll travel to Dutayeon Pond and Waterfall while enjoying a very delicious Kimbap home made by Ms. Julie. It's a long drive but with a beautiful scenery outside and a place without traffic you'll arrive quickly and right on schedule. 


Dutayeon Pond and Waterfall were simply majestic. The place was wonderful and perfect place for nature lovers. It is the best place to start your tour as the cold weather will greet and welcome you to Korea. 

Before going to our next destination; we had a stop at a local restaurant. It's a traditional Korean cuisine where we had a fantastic Pork Belly BBQ. We had a portable gas stove on our table, and we cooked our meat together with its side dishes. All in all, its a very satisfying lunch.


Our next stop will be at the Eulji Observatory and 4th tunnel. The place is located near the Military Demarcation Line where you'll see the exotic mountains of North Korea. I only had one picture because cameras our not allowed inside the premises. 


DMZ tour to the 4th tunnel is not advisable for claustrophobic people. First, you'll have to walk long cold tunnel and when you reach the end of it; you'll  ride a mini train to enter a much smaller tunnel buried at a depth of 145 meters below ground and measures two meters high and two meters wide.


After visiting these lovely places it's time to check in to Inje Speedium Hotel & Condominium (One of Korea's Largest Auto Theme Park). My room was fantastic as the view was awesome where you'll have a perfect scenery of the whole race track. 


Day one was tiring but at the same time it was fun and adventurous. I love the places we visited it was already a blast for day one.
Day 02 ( Inje > Yeongdong > Gumi) 

After our breakfast inside the hotel,we checked out and went on to face another exciting day.  The first stop in day two would be in "Chateau Mani Winery" (one of the largest winery in Korea) where we enjoyed a 20 minutes "Wine Foot Spa" 
"Chateau Mani Winery" 

 Wine tubs


Wine Foot Spa :) 

After our foot spa, we went on to have our lunch on their wine cafe where we are served with a delicious Smoked Duck BBQ meal. We are also served with wine and many side dishes with kimchi. I never tried to eat a duck and I never though that this is delicious, This is one of the best lunch I had in years.

Smoked Duck BBQ feast

After our lunch, we went to visit the Korean Folk Music Experience Center. We learned how to play a Korean drum, and it brings so much fun.You can learn and try different musical instruments in the area but due to limited time, we only tried one.

Me and Ms. Julia

From Yeongdong, we traveled by bus to the city of Gumi, and our first stop was a tour to the Samsung mobile factory museum. We had a tour inside and learned the history of Samsung. They had a wall with all the phones they made through the years, and we learned some of their future technology that they are still enhancing. Sadly, taking pictures is not allowed inside. 

   Samsung Mobile Factory

Our next destination brings us to the birth place of President Park Chung Hee. It is a special place here in Gumi because President Park Chung Hee had a lot of great achievements on his term. We also had a chance to watch his legacy inside a hyper dome and take a lot of pictures inside the premises. 


Pabebe wave inside inside the President's National Restoration Hall

We head on to our hotel to cap off the day but during our dinner. We were all welcomed by the Vice Mayor of Gumi. They had a short presentation about the city and there are a lot of places to visit. We also had our Jjimdak dinner a yummy chicken meal that ended our day on a high note. 


Day 02 is incredible. The food was awesome, the wine spa, learning the Korean instrument and visiting the birth place of the President was pretty outstanding and fun day.

(Day 03 Gumi > Daegu)

After having our breakfast in the hotel we had a 10-minute walk, so we can ride a cable car up to Mt. Geumo to visit the Haewoon-sa Temple. Ms. Julie told us that during the Spring season, the mountains are going to be filled with cherry blossoms. We don't need to travel all the way to Japan during spring time as we can experience the same thing in Korea.

 
After our trip to the Haewoon-sa Temple at Mt. Geumo, our next destination will be at the Nongshim Ramyun Factory. It was the largest Ramen Factory in Korea where you'll see how the noodles are prepared from start to packing. Pictures are also not allowed inside, but you can take some on the reception area.   


Before lunch time, we had a stop at the Dongseongro shopping street where we had our one-hour shopping time. There are a lot of stores from cosmetics, boutiques and food stalls where you can buy some items as your pasalubong. After our shopping spree, we went on to take our lunch at Bareumi Sushi Buffet. 

 Bareumi Sushi Buffet


The place was fantastic, and the unlimited sushi will make your stomach fight for space to taste all the food on their bar. The fruits, and the desserts will also fulfill your cravings for sweets. It was just perfectly awesome. 

After our satisfying lunch, we head on to visit Oriental Medicine Museum. With our tour guide in Daegu, we went inside the museum to experience one of the programs of Oriental Medicine. We had a 20-minute foot bath experience and also know more about the history of people living in Yakjeon Ally. We discovered the 400-year-old history of Yangnyeongsi and Yakjeon Ally all in one place. 

Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Museum

Foot Bath Experience 



We head on to our walking tour in Daegu and we visited a Catholic church. After we reached the bus, all of us were given a coupon worth 5,000.00 won which we can spend around Seomun Market. We had another hour to shop and tour the place before we head on to Daegu 83 Tower. 

  
Free Coupon 

We reached 83 Tower at night, and we toured around the whole place. It was simply majestic, especially when you already reach the top and have a view of the city. They also have a lot of attractions inside like the huge trick art museum and a lot of restaurants to dine in. 



Trick Art Museum

View from the Top

 The Tower!

After taking some more pictures, You'll have to ride a cable car to reach a great spot to take some pictures with the glimpse of the tower.

cable cars

Group Picture

Next stop will be our dinner, where we had a hefty steak plus wine. The serving is big, and it was a flavorful treat for our last night in Korea. We also had ChiMc and beer after our dinner while we were welcomed by some executives from Daegu City. They gave us some souvenirs and even did a song number for us. After that we head on to our hotel to take a goodnight sleep after our busy itinerary. 

Steak for Dinner

Day 03 was my favorite. We visited a lot of places and ate a lot of mouth-watering foods. It was tiring, but it was extremely  worth-it . 

(Day 04 Daegu> Seoul > Incheon Int'l Airport )

We all need to wake up early to pack our things, as our bus will need to leave earlier with our things. We had our breakfast first and then we head on to the KTX (Bullet Train) Station. It is a 1hr and 45-minute ride from Daegu to Seoul but no problem as we all have our comfy seats. The train also has a public wi-fi so you can surf or sleep while traveling inside the train. 

Seoul Station

When we reached Seoul, we once again rode our bus all the way to the duty-free shop where we had our shopping time. We also had a chance to meet the other staffs from Bareumi Tours. After our shopping time, we head on to Bareumi Shabu Buffet for lunch. It was my first time to try a Shabu Shabu restaurant, and it was fantastic. The food was delicious, and it was fun cooking the beef and vegetables in front of you. 



After our lunch, we had another shopping time around the area before we leave and head on to another souvenir shop before we head to the airport. 

Day 04 is more on shopping time and tourists loves to have more free time to shop. 

Overall, it is a one-of-a-kind experience at South Korea. The places we visited are all special and the foods were simply irresistible. I would like to thank Bareumi Tours, Ms. Julia Lee, Ms. Chian, Sir Tommy, and Sir Sean for making our trip wonderful. 

They didn't make us feel that we're tourists but they made us feel that we're their family during our stay. 

We can now sell this package to other groups who also want to have fun in Korea like we all did. You can email us at grandholidays_travel@yahoo.com for more details or call us up at 687-3232 / 687- 8989. 

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