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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Honor Thy Father: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

This year's MMFF is sparked with controversy as the committee stripped the Honor Thy Father from earning a nomination nod for the Best-Picture Award. The film also fights for the slots in cinemas as theater owners decided to pull-out the film two days after its release date. But despite all of it; the film managed to succeed to deliver an efficient story that is truly remarkable and outstanding. 

Edgar and Kaye (John Llyod Cruz and Meryl Soriano) are husband and wife. They have a daughter and lives in a simple home in Baguio. Their income mostly came from an investment company of Kaye's father as they try to convince some folks to join in their scheme. However, it turns out that the company is a fraud, and her dad was left lifeless because of the scam. Soon, enraged investors threaten their family if they cannot return their money back. Now it's up to Edgar to dig up a hole from his dark past and tries to come up with a plan before its too late.

Honor Thy Father is one of those films you really want to consider watching on the big screen. It's powerful and meaningful right from the get go. Director Erik Matti and writer Michiko Yamamoto once again delivers a solid film after OTJ (2013) that gives hope to our industry. They created another one-of-a-kind movie that isn't the typical main-stream film that we always get in our theaters. It is a dark and brave flick that pushes its way through the barrier of tough competition and announces its existence with its strong story. 

Once again, John Llyod Cruz provides a spectacular performance. He plays Edgar with conviction, a man who would anything for his family. He shows how desperate Edgar can be as he carries all the emotional weight on his back. Meryl Soriano brings more depth and convinced everyone with her dramatic act. The supporting cast also solidifies the film by their effective and meaningful performances to make it more believable. 

Overall, Honor Thy Father is a crafty film that gently peels its contents slowly until it reaches the main core. It doesn't rely on explosive action sequences and simply focuses on one man who is desperate to find a way for his family to survive. It isn't a film for everyone but if you're one of those people who dislike MMFF because of the mainstream formula we get each year; this is certainly a movie you wouldn't want to miss. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 9 out of 10 stars 

Cast: John Llyod Cruz, Meryl Soriano

Directed by: Erik Matti
Distributed by: Reality Entertainment
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide
Official Entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2015

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Walang Forever: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

Mia (Jennylyn Mercado) is a successful script writer of some blockbuster rom-com films. It turns out that her stories were basically some of her experiences in her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Ethan (Jericho Rosales). However, after their painful breakup, Mia has lost touch in writing her stories and eventually her last films were a big flop. Soon, the two met again in their reunion, but it didn't go well for the both of them. But when Ethan accidentally watched one of Mia's previous work based on their love story; he tries to pursue her again without telling a big secret that could be the biggest test of their relationship. 

Again, the combination of Director Dan Villegas  and writer Antoinette Jadaone proved that they are an unstoppable force in creating a rom-com film. They made another film that has a different formula and provides a complete package which the viewers can relate easily and fully appreciate the story. 

Walang Forever is a solid entry that provides quality entertainment from start to finish. A perfect mix of romance, comedy and drama that will definitely hit you straight through the heart. It simply catches your attention from the very beginning and instantly turns you to be a big fan of the lead stars.

Jericho Rosales still shows that he is one of the best leading men up to date. He just mesmerizes everyone with his incredible acting plus his boy next door look that is simply hard to ignore. Jennylyn Mercado enters as the same girl we saw a year back in English Only Please. She acted so natural, and her personality is just oozing with charm. The movie benefits with the pleasing chemistry between the two leads, but we would also like to commend every single supporting cast that brings more complexity to the entire film. 

However, the story isn't polished enough and had some questionable issues that we wouldn't to spoil out. But, without mentioning it out; it is still a great film, and we really enjoyed watching it last night along with hundreds of people filling up the entire cinema.

Overall, Walang Forever is a true gem in this year's festival. It is a movie you shouldn't miss especially if you want a decent romantic-comedy picture with two talented stars getting the best out of each other.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 9.5 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Jericho Rosales, Jennylyn Mercado

Directed by: Dan Villegas
Distributed by: Quantum Films
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide
Official Entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2015

Walang Forever: Teaser Trailer
Walang Forever: Teaser Trailer Opens December 25, 2015Starring Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado #MMFF#walllllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Posted by Lakwatsera Lovers on Friday, 13 November 2015
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Paramount Pictures has just rolled out three new teaser posters for director Michael Bay’s action-thriller “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” The one-sheets proudly display their unmistakable patriotic theme.

Based on the non-fiction book by Michtell Zuckoff, the film tells the story of the six members of the security team that fought to defend the Americans stationed at the embassy in Benghazi when it came under attack.

John Krasinski leads a cast that includes James Badge Dale (“Iron Man 3”), Max Martini (“Pacific Rim”), Pablo Schreiber (“Orange Is the New Black”), and David Denman (“The Office”). The screenplay was penned by The Strain author/writer Chuck Hogan.

  13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” opens across the Philippines on January 27, 2016 and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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“THE FINEST HOURS” Depicts Greatest Boat Rescue in U.S. History

A heroic action-thriller, Disney's “The Finest Hours” is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history in the U.S. Presented in Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D, the film transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

Directed by Craig Gillespie, “The Finest Hours” stars Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films); Academy Award®-nominee Casey Affleck (“Interstellar”); Ben Foster (“3:10 to Yuma”); Holliday Grainger (“Cinderella”); John Ortiz (“Silver Linings Playbook”); and Eric Bana (“Lone Survivor”).

Produced by Jim Whitaker (“Cinderella Man”) and Dorothy Aufiero (“The Fighter”), the screenplay is by Oscar® nominee Scott Silver (“8 Mile”) and Oscar nominees Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (“The Fighter”) based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Doug Merrifield (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) serves as executive producer.

On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on anything caught in its destructive path, including two 500-foot oil tankers. The SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer, bound for Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine, respectively, were both ripped in half, trapping their crews inside. For the senior officer aboard the stern of the Pendleton, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), he quickly realizes that it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and encourage them to work together to keep the ship afloat for as long as possible.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station in Chatham, Massachusetts was busy helping local fishermen protect their boats from the storm when they received word that the damaged ships were adrift in nearby waters. Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana), the recently-appointed station chief, immediately dispatches the CG 36500 lifeboat under the command of Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) to search for survivors.

Webber and his crew of three men on board the 36-foot motorized, wooden lifeboat, set off on the perilous mission with bleak prospects at best, and before they even clear the harbor, the boat’s windshield and compass are destroyed. Yet the men persevere, and despite hurricane-force winds, 70-foot waves, frigid temperatures and zero visibility, miraculously locate the Pendleton and rescue 32 of its 33 men in the midst of the turbulent storm.

Facing the worst of Mother Nature, they head back into the belly of the beast, returning a total of 36 men home on their battered 12-seat lifeboat.

  Opening across the Philippines on January 27, 2016, “The Finest Hours” 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.
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Golden Globes and Annie Awards (2016) Nominee for Best Animation “SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN THE PEANUTS MOVIE” Voice Cast

Golden Globes’ and Annie Awards’ 2016 nominee for Best Animated Motion Picture, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie (3D)” will finally be seen in Philippine theatres starting January 8.
From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the Ice Age films, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” is at its core, about everyday anxieties we encounter while growing up, going to school, and dealing with the perceptions people have about one another.  “We took that theme and changed the overall tone of the movie, which resulted in a stronger message, one that both adults and children can relate to,” says Craig Schulz, son of Charles.   
The universal appeal of all Peanuts characters—encompassing Charlie Brown’s eternal underdog status, Linus’ heart, Franklin’s philosophy, Marcie’s introspection, Lucy’s crabbiness, Sally’s unrequited affection for her Sweet Babboo Linus, and Snoopy’s many personas— is the reason the strip and its characters have remained relevant as Peanuts celebrates its 65th anniversary with a big screen debut and casting the right young actors would be crucial to the film’s success. 

 Noah Schnapp voices Charlie Brown 

After an exhausting search, Martino found his Charlie Brown in ten-year-old, Scarsdale, New York resident Noah Schnapp.  “Noah has a great voice for Charlie Brown, but also has a similar temperament to the character,” says director Steve Martino.  “That allowed us to rely on his natural tendencies and it really felt like Charlie Brown.”
Alex Garfin voices Linus who is nominated for an Annie Awards for his work in the movie. Casting the voice of Linus led to several sleepless nights for Martino.  “Linus was my favorite voice from the original Peanuts specials and was the voice I was most worried about casting,” he recalls.  “Linus had this wonderful natural lisp.  It was never overdone but it felt so ‘real.’  Eleven- year-old Alex Garfin, from New York, landed the role.  “In our story, Linus is that steady, supportive friend for Charlie Brown,” says Martino, “and like Noah does with Charlie Brown, Alex has a temperament that feels like Linus.”
Hadley Miller voices Lucy

Likewise, Hadley Miller who voices Lucy is also nominated for her voice acting at the upcoming Annie Awards. It takes a confident actress to play Lucy, and Martino found that in ten-year-old Huntington Beach, California native Hadley Miller.  But rest assured, Hadley does not have the disposition of her crabby, bossy counterpart, Lucy.  “Hadley has this sweet, well-mannered personality and I wondered if she could play the bold, brash side of Lucy,” says the director.   But that concern was alleviated when Hadley stepped into the recording booth.   
Although the Little Red-Haired Girl has only a few lines, she is an undeniable force in the story, as Charlie Brown’s major crush.  “It was important that her voice have both sincere and sweet qualities,” says Martino.  Ten-year-old Francesca Capaldi, best known for work on the Disney Channel TV show “Dog with a Blog,” takes on the role.

 Francesca Capaldi voices Little Red-Haired Girl

Early in the recording process, Craig Schulz attended a voice session of Mariel Sheets, the young actress who portrays Sally Brown.  Sheets had no idea who Schulz was, and during a break, Schulz recalls how she rattled off lines from the Christmas and Halloween specials, beat for beat, with perfect pacing.  “She was phenomenal,” he praises.   
The great thing about working with kids is that they have extraordinary imaginations,” says Martino.  “Given that they are acting in an empty room, and with no costumes, set, or props, they have only our ability to paint a picture in their minds of the scene they are playing.”

Snoopy’s love interest, Fifi, presented another voice casting challenge. They found their Fifi in Tony and Emmy award winner Kristin Chenoweth. Chenoweth won a Tony and Drama Desk awards in 1999 for her portrayal of Sally Brown in the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” 

  Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie (3D)” will open January 8from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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Non-Fiction Book “THE BIG SHORT” Now a Provocative Film

Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (“The Blind Side,” “Moneyball”), Paramount Pictures presents the sardonic comedy “The Big Short” directed by Adam Mckay (“Step Brothers”) and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.

In the film, when four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

Five years ago, when director Adam McKay read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, he became fascinated with a farce of a different kind. Intrigued by the mixture of comedy, drama, and outright tragedy in Michael Lewis' brilliant behind-the-scenes look at the lead-up to the global economic meltdown, McKay yearned to take a break from absurdist comedies and bring “The Big Short” to the big screen.

"I started reading the book at around 10:30 at night and thought, 'I'll just read 40 pages,'" McKay recalls. "I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading the whole thing that night and finished at six in the morning. The next day I told my wife about the characters and how the book weaves together all these different storylines and how it's like a 'get rich' story that's ultimately about the fall of the banking system, corruption and complacency, and how it's funny and it's heartbreaking at the same time. And she's like, 'You should do it.' And I said, 'I'm the guy who did Step Brothers.' I didn't even look into it, because I just assumed a Scott Rudin or a Plan B had already bought the rights to this book."

Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, had in fact partnered with Paramount Pictures to develop “The Big Short” as a motion picture. Producer Jeremy Kleiner found striking similarities between the author's approach to baseball and Wall Street within author Michael Lewis' book Money Ball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.

The book that got McKay and Plan B so excited about making a film about the events leading to the banking crisis comes from the mind of master non-fiction storyteller Michael Lewis. After working at a big Wall Street bank himself in the 1980s, Lewis wrote the bestseller Liar's Poker, a funny and revealing look at the lucrative and deceptive world of bond trading. The author had no plans for a follow-up until the 2008 financial collapse. "I started reading about how big banks like the one I had worked for lost hundreds of billions of dollars trading in the subprime mortgage-bond market," Lewis recalls. "The banks had become the dumb money at the table and were losing huge amounts ... so I wondered, 'How does that happen?'"

In search of answers, Lewis met with former investment bankers who'd lost their jobs after the meltdown. "We'd go out for a beer and they'd tell me off the record, 'The only reason I'm explaining to you why I lost 10 billion dollars on a single trade is that you're the reason I'm in the business. I read Liar's Poker and that got me excited to be a Wall Street trader.' After a few conversations I realized, 'Jesus Christ, I created this crisis!' I had a personal stake in these dummies responsible for losing all this money who had been led into the profession by this book I wrote. So then I tried to sort out how these institutions at the heart of capitalism became stupid and did such suicidal things. Banks like Goldman Sachs are filled with extremely bright, well-educated, best-and-brightest types from Harvard, Yale and Princeton."

But it wasn't these Ivy League former Masters of the Universe who ended up being the protagonists in Lewis' book. Instead, he turned his attention to the misfits who defied the prevailing wisdom of banks, government regulators and media pundits and bet everything they had on an unprecedented failure of the American housing market. "I found out about these outsider oddball types on the periphery who figured out just how corrupt the system had become," he says. "These are the guys that made The Big Short a book and not just a magazine piece. The guys who bet against the banks and made fortunes - those were the characters who interested me."

  Opening across the Philippines in January 2016, “The Big Short” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Young Adult Novel “THE 5TH WAVE” Takes Battle to the Big Screen

A powerhouse cast led by ChloĆ« Grace Moretz (“If I Stay”), Nick Robinson (Jurassic World”), Ron Livingston (“The Conjuring”), Alex Roe (upcoming “Rings”), and Liev Schreiber (“Salt”) stars in Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of Rick Yancey’s bestselling novel “The 5th Wave,” the first book in his planned trilogy.

In the film, four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie (Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him.

Yancey’s book was published in 2013 to critical and popular acclaim, with over 20 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers list. The second book in the trilogy, The Infinite Sea, met with similar acclaim and success, with the third book, The Last Star, set for release next year.

It’s hard to put this book down once you start reading,” says Tobey Maguire, who produces the film with Graham King, Matthew Plouffe, and Lynn Harris. “Rick’s writing is wonderfully cinematic and he has managed to write a version of an alien invasion that feels like it hits all of the classic science-fiction tropes while remaining grounded in a way we haven’t seen on screen before. The idea that the invasion happens in waves in order to pick apart civilization felt both unique and universally relatable. The loss of electricity, disease, earthquakes, tsunamis — these are fears that are really part of modern life right now. That immediately sets it apart from a lot of science fiction fantasy.”
Producer Graham King says that though the exciting elements of the film will attract audiences, it is the heart of the film that will immerse them. “There’s an element to it of an alien invasion, there’s a threatening element as they’re taking over the planet, but the core of the film is really the breakup of one family and how they put it back together,” he says.

The story has all these incredible elements, but the thing that put it over the top for me was that it was set in a very understandable reality with a lead character that we all know,” says Plouffe. “At the start of the story, our hero, Cassie Sullivan, is the girl that sits next to you in high school and lives in Anytown, America.”

One reason for the book’s popularity is the way that it crosses over from young adult fiction to adult fiction, and from sci-fi to general fiction. Author Rick Yancey says that the book focuses on the universal themes that we all face. “All my books, not just `The 5th Wave,' have to do with what makes us human,” comments Yancey. “The thing that really appealed to me about this story was, when everything else has been stripped away, what are we left with? What are the important things? In the 21st century, we now have so many trappings, with so much technology, that take us one-step back from the human connection. In `The 5th Wave,' all those things are taken away, and each character confronts in their own way, how do I deal with this new world? What are the things that really matter? What am I willing to sacrifice to have those things? Plus, it’s a thriller, it’s a survival story, it’s a story of people trying to prevail under nearly impossible odds, and it’s a love story too, about love in all its permutations.”

Plouffe says that he knew that The 5th Wave was not going to be your usual alien invasion story from the very first page. “Rick opens the book with a quote from Stephen Hawking about how if aliens come to Earth, it’ll be much like Christopher Columbus discovering America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans,” Plouffe recalls. “With that, I knew from the beginning that there was something a little different about this. It felt sophisticated and knowing from the get-go.”

  Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 20, 2016, “The 5th Wave” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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Latino Actor Guns For People's Votes in “OUR BRAND IS CRISIS”

In Warner Bros. Pictures' “Our Brand is Crisis,” front and center of the election chaos stands presidential candidate and veteran politico Castillo, who sees his consultants (led by Sandra Bullock's Jane Bodine) as a necessary evil, and whose mix of charm, pride and privilege is deftly captured by Portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida (“Fast Five”).

The actor nearly didn’t make the “Our Brand is Crisis” shoot because of an ill-timed gym injury shortly before production, but instead opted to use the situation to his advantage. “Castillo is not an easy guy, not a smiling, happy guy. He has issues. He’s impatient. So I used my own discomfort for the character,” he says.

He’s a man with money and power,” de Almeida continues. “Castillo is not used to being told what to do, especially by a woman, but these are experts who are well-paid and have run successful campaigns in other countries so he’s willing to hear them out. Then there’s a turning point when he sees the results of Jane’s work, and even if she has a tough way of explaining things and confronts him with the truth, and even if he has a hard time accepting that, he can’t argue with the results.”

Jane sees immediately who Castillo is. Perhaps it’s because these two personalities, often vocally at odds, are oddly simpatico in their single-minded pursuit of the prize.

Joaquim plays Castillo brilliantly like a person who has once been president but is no longer the president, and is trying to get his groove back,” notes director David Gordon Green. “In that respect, he is similar to Jane in not wanting to step down from the throne and wanting to get back into control. But is he looking out for the best interests of the country, or just addressing his own ego?”

We auditioned many actors and when Joaquim read we all looked at each other and said, ‘That’s the guy,’” recalls producer Grant Heslov. “He really captures that toughness and machismo and Castillo’s sense of entitlement, while alluding to aspects of this man we may never know.”

Bullock agrees. “There’s great sub-text in his work. He makes Castillo someone both endearing and repulsive. He gives the role an element of power and depth, and it’s clear that he hasn’t been an angel.”

Coincidentally, this film marks the second time that de Almeida has portrayed a Bolivian president. The first was in “Che,” when he appeared as real-life President Barrientos.

In “Our Brand is Crisis,” a Bolivian presidential candidate failing badly in the polls enlists the firepower of an elite American management team, led by the deeply damaged but still brilliant strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine. In self-imposed retirement following a scandal that rocked her to her core, Jane is coaxed back into the game for the chance to beat her professional nemesis, the loathsome Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), now coaching the opposition.

But as Candy zeroes in on every vulnerability – both on and off the campaign trail – Jane is plunged into a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits nationally to boost their numbers. “Our Brand is Crisis” reveals the cynical machinations and private battles of world-class political consultants for whom nothing is sacred and winning is all that matters.

  Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 13, 2016, “Our Brand is Crisis” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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Horror-Thriller “THE FOREST” Unveils First Trailer

The first trailer of Columbia Pictures' upcoming suspense thriller “The Forest,” has been unveiled and may be viewed below: 

The trailer for director Jason Zada’s horror film finds Natalie Dormer straying from the path through Japan’s Aokigahara Forest in search of her missing twin sister.

Rising with terrifying grandeur at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the suspense-filled setting of the supernatural thriller “The Forest.” A young American woman, Sara (Natalie Dormer of “Game of Thrones” and “The Hunger Games”), journeys there in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. 

In the company of expatriate Aiden (Taylor Kinney of “Chicago Fire”), Sara enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness from which she must fight to save herself.

  Opening across the Philippines in February 2016, “The Forest” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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Up and Coming Talented Young Actor Josh Green Stars as Mischievous Brother-To-Be in “ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS 4: THE ROAD CHIP”

The Chipmunks we know and love, Alvin, Theodore and Simon embark on a journey across the U.S. and for the first time, they’re on a mission to keep their family together in the fourth instalment of the hugely successful family adventure franchise in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.”
In their latest adventure, through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them.  They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother, Miles, played by Josh Green.
The idea of Dave tying the knot doesn’t thrill the boys; in fact, they fear it’ll uproot their lives – and maybe uproot them from Dave’s home!  Further complicating matters is Sam’s (Dave’s special friend played by Kimberly Willams-Paisley) teenage son, Miles (Green), who has an instant dislike of the Chipmunks.
Miles is definitely introduced as the classic teenage ‘bad boy,’” says Josh Green.  “I also like comparing him to Alvin.  Both cause trouble and are loud and harsh.  “Everyone has a little Alvin in them,” he continues.  “You know, that voice inside that says, let’s go out there and cause a ruckus.”

In the midst of their hostilities, if not all-out war, The Chipmunks and Miles learn they do have one common goal: stop Dave’s wedding to Sam.  The ‘Munks are afraid their family will change forever if Dave gets married and, worse, Miles becomes their stepbrother.  Miles, says Green “is also not okay with Dave and Sam’s plan of, ‘Let’s get this family together, and we’ll all be happy now.’”
It’s a journey filled with adventure, laughs, music and lots of local color.   But director Walt Becker also notes that it’s also about Alvin, Simon, Theodore and Miles finding their way into a kind of blended family.  He further points to the film’s new blended family elements as an entryway to this new chapter in the Chipmunks’ lives.  It’s no longer just the three boys and Dave Seville.  Two new characters – a love interest for Dave, and her teenage son – enter the scene, and turn the ‘Munks’ life and family topsy-turvy. 
I think the idea of a blended family is one that many people can relate to,” says Becker. “The Chipmunks are always trying to do the right thing, but end up doing it in the wrong way.  You can mine a lot of comedy from those family experiences.”
Josh Green is a Bowie Maryland native and began his acting career performing in regional productions of plays, including “The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?” “Rabbit Hole” and “Columbinus.”  After high school, Green moved to New York to study the craft at New York University and pursue acting full time.  He quickly branched out into television and film.  Green was the guest lead in the pilot episode of ABC’s “Black Box,” and appeared on the critically acclaimed CBS series “The Good Wife” and CBS’ “Unforgettable.”  He shared the screen with Emily Van Camp in the feature film “The Girl in the Book,” and will be seen in the independent film “Fair Haven,” where Green stars opposite Tom Wopat.  Green recently made his New York stage debut in MCC’s “Lost Girls,” directed by Jo Bonney.

  Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” opens January 20 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In Perfect Tune With Meghan Trainor and Award Winning Legendary Artists in “SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN THE PEANUTS MOVIE” (3D)

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved Peanuts Gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation.  Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron.  From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the “Ice Age” films, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” will prove that every underdog has his day.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” features the iconic music of Vince Guaraldi, who composed the beloved “Linus and Lucy” song from the television specials.  “Let me put your concerns to rest,” confirms Martino, “the ‘Linus and Lucy’ song and all the cues you know and love are in the film!”
Martino turned to longtime Peanuts collaborator, jazz legend David Benoit, to perform the memorable title tracks for the film.  To bring to life the iconic “voice” of Ms. Othmar (the kids’ teacher) and all the other adult voices in the cast, the filmmakers tapped New Orleans jazz legend Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. 
At the helm of all the music is composer Christophe Beck (“Frozen,” “Ant Man,” “Pitch Perfect”).   In one memorable scene, Snoopy teaches Charlie Brown to dance (so he can impress the Little Red-Haired Girl).  Knowing the scene called for a song, Martino turned to one of the world’s top new musical artists, Billboard Music Award winning and Grammy nominated Meghan Trainor, to pen an original tune for the film.  “Meghan has written a wonderful song that expresses Charlie Brown’s optimistic attitude as he works with Snoopy to become a better dancer,” says Martino.  “She is such an amazing singer songwriter and a shining example of the thematic heart of our story.” 
Trainor met with the team at Blue Sky and seemingly overnight captured the essence of the film in song.  “Musically, Meghan had me from her very first rough demo,” Martino says.  “My foot was tapping and I had a huge smile on my face as I could see this moment in the movie being lifted by her unique talents.”
Trainor commented: “As a lifelong fan of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, I was thrilled to be offered the chance to see an early version of “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” —and to then be inspired to write a song that captured the film’s spirit, energy and sense of joy.  And it was a pleasure to work with director Steve Martino to make sure the song did right by the incredible characters and world he’s bringing to the big screen.”

Two-time Academy Award winner Randy Thom, Supervising Sound Editor and Supervising Sound Mixer on “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie,” is no stranger to the world of animation.  A legend in the craft of sound design and mixing, Thom, who is based at Skywalker Sound, has worked on over 20 animated films, including the “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Rio” films and “The Incredibles” (for which is won an Oscar).
 “Even though we used contemporary equipment we employed special techniques to antique them, incorporating characteristic sounds you’d recognize from the specials,” Thom continues.  In a nod to the classic specials and to the legacy of Charles M. Schulz, Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, the filmmakers were granted access to the library of Melendez’s recordings of Snoopy’s voice.  “It was really important for us to use Bill’s voice, so I approached his studio and secured a majority of the recordings he had made over the years,” says Craig Schulz.

  The warmth and merriment of the holiday season continue as “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” opens January 8 (also in 3D) in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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Taking The Movie Experience to a Whole New Level at Ayala Malls Solenad Cinemas

The newest Ayala Malls Cinemas opened its doors at Solenad in Nuvali last November 18, 2015. Located at the 3rd level of the mall’s cinema building, it houses four (4) state of the art theatres – bringing to the local community the latest technology that will elevate one’s cinematic experience - with (1) Recliner Seats, (1) Dolby AtmosTM, and (2) Dolby Digital theaters.

Present during the opening ceremony was the Ayala Land team led by its executives Ms. Meean Dy – Ayala Land SVP & Head of Strategic Landbank Management, Ms. Myrna C. Fernandez – AVP-Commercial Business Group, and Ms. AC C. Legarda, Senior Division Manager-Commercial Business Group.  Santa Rosa Mayor Arlene Arcillas and family, Congressman Dan Fernandez and Santa Rosa homegrown celebrity Alden Richards were also in attendance.  Guests were also the first to experience the recliners seats, watching the epic final installment of The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2.

A first that the Solenad Cinemas is bringing to the locale is the full, leather Recliner Seats.  The 100-seater cinema gives new meaning in movie watching – one can enjoy the latest blockbusters in great comfort with a special USB charging feature.  It’s as if you were watching in your own home, but with superb theatre technology. 
Another first that the local community will delight in is the Dolby AtmosTM theatre.  Hear and feel every sound with this latest sound technology.   It creates a powerful, moving audio by introducing two important elements to cinema sound: audio objects and overhead speakers. The movie's sounds will flow all around you, completely immersing you in the action, heightening the impact of the story and creating a powerfully moving cinema experience. 
One of the more convenient offerings of the Ayala Malls Cinemas is the quick access to movie information, via   You can easily view Solenad’s movie schedules and soon, reserve and purchase tickets online using any major credit card or the Ayala Malls Cinemas’ MPass card.  This reloadable prepaid movie card lets you pay for your movie tickets online and over the counter plus lets you enter the theater ahead with just a flash of the card.
The cinemas at Solenad also has a Movie Snackbar that offers delicious snack meals like nachos, popcorn, mozzarella sticks, sandwiches and more.
With all these new entertainment offerings and excellent customer service, each member of the family will surely enjoy movie watching in superior comfort with the latest in sound technology.
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