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Monday, July 31, 2017

Lily James, A Burst of Sunshine in “BABY DRIVER”

In 2015, she played the title role in Disney’s live-action feature Cinderella to wide acclaim. Now, Lily James stars as the title character's love interest in Columbia Pictures’ U.S. No.1 box-office hit Baby Driver (in Philippine cinemas August 02).

In the film, a talented, young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets Debora (James), the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Who could bring to life Debora, the kind-eyed, friendly waitress who gives Baby hope that his life could mean something more? Writer-director Edgar Wright found her in British actress Lily James.

I was incredibly charmed by her,” says Wright. “She basically did in the audition what she does in the movie. She inhabits this character, this new ray of light in Baby’s reasonably introverted life. I sent the video of her audition to Bill Pope, my cinematographer, whose opinion I really trust, especially on actors and actresses. I didn’t tell him why I was sending it or what I thought of it. Maybe half an hour later he replied with a two-word email saying, ‘Hire her.’”

Says James about her character, “Debora works a dead-end job and it becomes clear that she has no ties to where she is at this point in her life. She has no family and is a bit of a wanderer who wants to escape. She’s a dreamer and she loves music, which is why she and Baby really connect.”

For Lily James, Elgort makes it easy to sympathize with Baby. “You root for Baby because he’s got such a good heart and you see him at home with Joe, his foster dad, and there’s this beautiful relationship. He’s doing this to get a better life for Joe and himself, and so you want him to succeed, and you don’t want him to get totally corrupted in this horrible world. I think he’s got such a big heart and that shines through in Ansel’s performance, which I think is so beautiful and kind of vulnerable but cool.”

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

Baby Driver is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

“KINGSMAN:  THE GOLDEN CIRCLE” Character Posters Roll-Out

The suave, sophisticated and impeccably attired spies are back in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” starring returning cast members Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Hannah Alstrőm, Sophie Cookson joined by new cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore and Elton John.
The concept for Kingsman was born when Vaughn was working with Mark Millar, the comic book author, on set for “Kick-Ass” back in 2009. Both huge James Bond fans, they came up with the idea about an elite spy that resulted in the franchise’s first worldwide hit.  Kingsman is an elite organization of operatives working outside of the government. Martial in style, they are an altruistic unit that gets things done.  

This year’s hotly anticipated sequel, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” raises the stakes from the worldwide surprise hit original film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” where the spy agency now suffers from a devastating attack that almost killed all of its members.   After the attack, the surviving members of the Kingsman organization forms alliance with their United States counterpart, the Statesman to stop a common enemy.

In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” Eggsy (Egerton) together with Merlin (Strong) and survivor Harry Hart (Firth) travel to America to meet the Statesman – leader Champagne (Bridges), Tequila (Tatum), Ginger Ale (Berry) and recruit them to help them save the world but the spies have seemingly created an enemy in Poppy (Moore), an charming terrorist who takes pleasure in world domination. 

Check out the latest character posters released for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”  The movie will open September 20 in (Phils.) cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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Bruce Willis and Hayden Christiensen's “FIRST KILL”

From the Producers of “Lone Survivor” and “2 Guns” comes action-thriller “First Kill” that puts the audience at the edge of your seats, scene after scene. The movie stars Golden Globe nominee (“Life as a House”) Hayden Christensen with iconic action star and Golden Globe winner (“Moonlighting”) Bruce Willis.

When Will Beamon (Christensen), a successful Wall Street broker finds out that his 11-year-old son Danny (Ty Shelton) is being bullied in school, he takes him on a hunting trip in a small rural town to grow their father-son relationship.

While hunting they stumble upon the assassination of young criminal, Levi Barett (Gethin Anthony) who was involved in a bank heist. Trying to save Barett, Will, takes him to their cabin, but after getting treatment, takes Danny hostage and uses him as leverage to retrieve the stolen money.

There he meets the town police chief, Howell (Willis) where they help each other by solving the kidnapping, finding out the truth about the botched murder attempt and retrieve the money from the bank heist.

The film revolves around a father-son relationship that tests the limits of the two but also the relationship of the son and the criminal. Forcing all men to adapt to extreme circumstances in order to survive.

The Hollywood Reporter praises the performance of Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones) in the film saying “A British actor who displays both a credible Southern accent and an entertaining relish for his intriguing character,”.

Directed by Stephen C. Miller and screenplay by Nick Gordon. It co-stars Megan Leonard (The Life and Death of John Gotti), Tyler Jon Olson (Marauders) and Jesse Pruett (Vice, Precious Cargo).

  First Kill” opens August 2 in cinemas from Octo Arts Films International. 

Check the film’s trailer here: 

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Biggest Indie Film Festival The 13th Cinemalaya @ Ayala Malls Cinemas  

Ayala Malls Cinemas brings the biggest independent film festival in the country closer to the audience as the 13thCinemalaya Film Festival opens on August 5 -13 at Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 1, TriNoma, Fairview Terraces, U.P. Town Center, and now reaching Pampanga audiences at MarqueeMall.
This year’s highly-anticipated Cinemalaya features an exciting lineup of nine full length feature films and twelve short films featuring talented and iconic actors in their most challenging roles yet such as Sharon Cuneta, Alfred Vargas, Jake Cuenca, Boots Anson-Roa, Yayo Aguila, Bembol Rocco, Gina Alajar, Angel Aquino, Niño Muhlach, Lou Veloso, Mon Confiado, and Ricky Davao along with up and coming talents to watch out for.

Ayala Malls Cinemas, in partnership with the Cinemalaya Foundation, has been home for the last seven years to the cinematic, and highly creative works of new and veteran Filipino filmmakers.  Wholly attuned to this year’s Cinemalaya theme “See the Big Picture”, Ayala Malls Cinemas’ state-of-the-art digital screens render clear images and crisp sounds enhancing the quality of films selected for this year’s festival that provides a pleasant viewing experience.  
This year’s entries in the Full-Length category include “Ang Guro Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa” (My Teacher Who Doesn’t Know How to Read) by Perry Escaño, “Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha” (The Family that Doesn’t Weep) by Mes De Guzman, “Bagahe” (The Baggage) by Zig Dulay, “Baconaua” by Joseph Israel Laban, “Kiko Boksingero” by Thop Nazareno, “Nabubulok” (The Decaying) by Sonny Calvento, “Requited” by Nerissa Picadizo, “Respeto” by Alberto Monteras II and “Sa Gabing Nanahimik ang mga Kuliglig” (Clouds of Plague) by Iar Arondiang.  
For the first time in the history of the festival, twelve films (instead of 10 in the past) have been selected to compete in the Short Film category – “Aliens Ata” (Maybe Aliens) by Karl Glenn Barit, “Bawod” (Bent) by TM Malones, “Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25” by Carlo Francisco Manatad, “Hilom” (Still) by P.R. Patindol, “Islabodan” (Free Men) by Juan Carlo Tarobal, “Juana and the Sacred Shores” by Antonne Santiago, “Lola Loleng” (Grandma Loleng) by Jean Cheryl Tagyamon, “Manong ng Pa-aling” (Man of Pa-Aling) by E del Mundo, “Maria” by Jaime Habac Jr.,  “Nakauwi Na” by Marvin Cabangunay and Jaynus Olaivar, “Nakaw” by Arvin Belarmino and Noel Escondo, and “Sorry For The Inconvenience” by Carl Adrian Chavez.
We at Ayala Malls Cinemas believe in the great talent of our Filipino filmmakers, and we want to help them reach out to a variety of audiences by making Cinemalaya available in our cinemas,” said Amir V. Precilla, General Manager of Ayala Malls Cinemas.
See the big picture as Ayala Malls Cinemas’ opens its screens for the full slate of this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival.

Log on to to book tickets in advance and follow Ayala Malls Cinemas’ social pages - Facebook AyalaMallsCinemas, Twitter @ilovesureseats and Instagram @iloveAyalaMallsCinemas for the latest updates.
Experience it best at Ayala Malls Cinemas. 

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Unravel The Doll's Mystery in “ANNABELLE: CREATION”

Annabelle is coming to theaters again, and this time audiences will be taken through the infamous doll’s very beginnings—from her first home in a little girl’s room to her first possession of a little girl’s soul, in New Line Cinema's “Annabelle: Creation.”

After a chilling cameo in “The Conjuring,” followed by a starring role in her own film, it became clear to filmmakers that moviegoers were ready to uncover the origins of the doll that has both terrified and captivated them.

So, on the heels of his successful feature directing debut, last summer’s hit “Lights Out,” director David F. Sandberg was tapped to helm “Annabelle: Creation,” the next chapter in James Wan’s “Conjuring” universe produced by Peter Safran and Wan.

I was already a big fan of ‘The Conjuring,’ it felt like a classic that stood out from a lot of other modern horror movies,” Sandberg says. “I remember I was really intrigued by that world and excited to do my own sort of classic take within the genre.”

When I was directing the first ‘Conjuring’ and we were designing the Warrens’ haunted artifact room, I remember between myself, the studio and the producers, we all kind of looked at each other and said, ‘You know, it would be incredible if we could tell the stories of each of these objects,’” Wan recalls, referring to the collection the couple had confiscated over their years of paranormal investigation. “Even then, we felt that giving Annabelle that prologue opening was cool, but we sensed she had a lot more stories to tell. Every time that doll appeared on screen for just those few minutes, people shifted in their seats. Audiences react to her.”

To craft the story, the filmmakers turned to scribe Gary Dauberman, who had written “Annabelle” and was eager to dive back in. “The first film I wrote extended the mythology of the doll,” he says. “For this one, we wanted to dig into her history and see if we could find out how the evil started.

Dolls are things that bring people joy, right?” he continues. “They’re given as gifts, passed down through generations. So I wanted to set that up for Annabelle by starting her out from a place of love—a happy family—in order to sort of lay the groundwork for a nice contrast to all the bad stuff that would follow.”

With a toy taking center stage, kids seemed an appropriate addition to the tale. While batting around more ideas, Dauberman relates, “It was James who had the idea to make the kids orphans, and from there I had my playing field. Then I just had to figure out what it is about this particular doll that makes it so haunting and evil.”

Sandberg says the sense of dread already attached to her carried over to the set of “Annabelle: Creation,” revealing, “even the actors were a little wary around her, asking me, ‘Do I have to touch the doll? I don’t really want to touch it,’” he smiles.

In fact, at the request of certain cast members, the production brought in a Catholic priest to bless the set and the prop Annabelle dolls, much as they did before cameras rolled on “The Conjuring 2” and the most recent production, “The Nun.”

Just in case.

Opening across the Philippines on August 26, “Annabelle: Creation” is a New Line Cinema presentation, an Atomic Monster/Safran Company production. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Exclusive Art For PH “CARS-IFIES” The Iconic Jeepney

MANILA, July 28, 2017 – Ever wondered how the Jeepney, a distinctly Pinoy cultural icon, would look like if it were a character in Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” series? Wonder no more.

To celebrate the release of Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” (now playing in PH theaters), the studio has revealed an exclusive art for the Philippines featuring the Jeepney as country’s very own “Cars” character!

The exclusive art was drawn by Michael Daley, a story artist at Pixar Animation Studios. For Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3,” Daley was responsible for visualizing the script into panels of drawings.

It is also worth noting that Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” features a team of filmmakers from all over the world, including two hometown heroes from the Philippines, namely Nelson Bohol and Paul Abadilla. Working on the film as Set Designer Artist and Sketch/Envronment Artist, respectively, these hometown heroes are based in San Francisco, California, working alongside the director of Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3,” Brian Fee.

Michael Daley joined Pixar Animation Studios in November of 2014. He began as a story artist on Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3,” and is currently working on upcoming Pixar projects in development.

As a story artist, Daley helps create the initial visuals, or the blue print, of the film. The story artist’s simply drawn rough version of the movie work as a foundation to build the computer graphics and bring the story to life.

About Disney’s “Cars 3”

Lightning McQueen is back on the big screen, but he’s not a rookie anymore. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” is now playing across the Philippines.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Patay na si Hesus: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Iyay (Jaclyn Jose) is a single mother who just received a news about the death of his estranged husband. Forced to pay respect, Iyay drags his family into a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete. Together with her three children Hubert, Jude and Jay - they embark to an unforgettable journey with surprising twist and turns that will challenge the whole family. 

If you don't have any idea about the film, you'll think that this movie is all about religious stuff that we tend to get at a cable channel during holy week. However, it turns out that Patay ni si Hesus is a hilarious comedy flick that doesn't need to step on to the breaks when delivering its comedic material. Like other Hollywood road trip films, Patay ni si Hesus offers different kinds of situations that will surely make you laugh out loud as Director Victor Villanueva skillfully patch a no-holds-barred comedy theme and generates a fun and entertaining feature. 

Fresh coming from her win at Cannes, Jaclyn Jose leads the cast of Cebu based actors and puts them under her wing. She effortlessly brought Iyay into life and made the audience believe that they are really a true family with each of the cast members responding to the challenge of the script. Chai Fonacier is the energizer and also the charm of the film who had the biggest story arc among Iyay's children.  Melde Montañez connects well with his punch lines and delivers it smoothly while Paul Vincent Viado responded and added more color to the cast even he has a down syndrome. 

Overall, Patay na si Hesus is a great comedy film that surely deserves your time and hard-earned money during its theatrical run this August at Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. It has that surprising moments that you won't see on a regular comedy mainstream. I am sure that you'll definitely enjoy this as much as I did. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8.5 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Chai Fonacier, Melde Montañez

Directed by: Victor Villanueva
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures PH
Opens August 16, 2017
Official Entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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Kita Kita: Movie Review

By: Matt Suzara

Lea (Alessandra De Rossi) is a tour guide in Sapporo Japan. She is engaged to a local bartender but after a painful evening, she collapsed and lost her sight. Enter Tonyo (Empoy Marquez), his neighbor who visits her regularly to bring food after the incident. At first, Lea gives Tonyo a rude reception but his perseverance paid off.  Soon, the two get along together with Tonyo helping Lea get to her feet once again. Will fate let Lea regain her sight and let her love a person she has never seen before or end up blind but happy for the rest of her life?

The trailer stormed social media platforms as the unlikely pairing of Empoy Marquez and Allesandra De Rossi introduces a fresh rom-com with an intriguing premise.  The film opened a week ago and with a lot of positive reviews and warm feedback, Kita Kita is already a certified Blockbuster hit. 

Finally, we got our schedule free to see Kita Kita and with a last full show screening on a rainy Thursday night, it was a jam-packed crowd in attendance. The film was just extra-ordinary and a refreshing rom-com that truly deserves the supportive reception from the audience. The story was amusing and funny throughout but has that strong points to make you weep and cry.  Although I already anticipated some of the scenes because of the spoilers, I've heard and read, but I didn't expect that I will still get affected with the twist.

The two leads made the most out of their characters and made sure that it will leave a mark to its audience. Empoy Marquez easily commits to his role being the Empoy we all know. He is funny because of his typical one-liners and spills, but he has that charm that is hard to resist. Alesandra De Rossi truly made her presence felt in every scene and creates a whimsy chemistry with Empoy. I think the two did a pretty good job portraying their characters as they connected well to the viewers right from the very start.

I haven't seen the previous works of Director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, but I heard that both films are a masterpiece. I admire what she has done to this film and how she was able to take out the successful basic formula of mainstream rom-com's and come up with a solution that generates a fresh new take to this genre. The shots were incredibly astonishing giving the viewers a free trip to Japan with majestic scenery. The soundtrack was perfect as the version of Kz Tandingan's  "Two Less Lonely People in the World" got stuck in my head that keeps on playing over and over again.

Overall, Kita Kita has all the reasons to be seen on the big screen. It is a genuinely funny but emotionally heartfelt romantic comedy we all deserve to see. I can't wait to see it again and experience the same feeling I felt when we watched it last night. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 10 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Alessandra De Rossi, Empoy Marquez

Directed by: Sigrid Andrea Bernardo 
Distributed by: Spring Films
Now Showing in cinemas

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