Showing posts from August, 2014


Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) stars in Universal Pictures' new comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” which will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Sept 3.

In the film, after sheep farmer Albert (Seth MacFarlane) backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman named Anna (Theron) rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband (Liam Neeson), a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

For their leading lady, writer-director-star MacFarlane and his team loved the idea of having Charlize Theron take on the role of Anna. From the director's first meeting with her, he knew she was the perfect fit. He states: "I love it when an actor comes in with a very strong pre-existing point of view about what they want, and it shows on screen. With Charlize…


Mia Hall thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam. But caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate, in New Line Cinema's romantic drama “If I Stay.”

Directed by R.J. Cutler, “If I Stay” is a film adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel by Gayle Forman.

Chloe Grace Moretz (“Carrie,” the upcoming “The Equalizer”) plays Mia whose life has always been infused with a rich soundtrack, because music has always been a priority in her house. Mia’s father was the drummer in a punk band before he became a teacher. Her mother carted Mia along to his gigs as a toddler and reveres women like Blondie’s Deborah Harry. Mia’s little brother, Teddy, who is already pretty good at drums himself, idolizes Iggy Pop.

But Mia wants to play the cello at Juilliard. And …


Just days after the launch of teaser poster of “Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends,” the final chapter to director Keishi Otomo's blockbuster trilogy, Warner Bros. Pictures has released the highly-awaited trailer which may be viewed HERE.

Based on the Kyoto arc of the popular manga series written & illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the “Rurouni Kenshin” sequels follow the story of Kenshin Himura (Takeru Satoh), a legendary swordsman in the wars accompanying the turbulent fall of Japan's Shogunate in the 19th century. Once feared as 'Battosai the Killer', he has adopted a peaceful life since the arrival of the 'new age'.

But Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), the 'Shadow Killer' and successor to Kenshin's position as the deadly assassin, has since then been scheming in the Kyoto underworld, raising an army of disaffected former samurais with the aim of overthrowing the new regime.

“Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends” also stars Emi Takei (Kaoru Kamiy…


She terrified you in “The Conjuring,” but this is where it all began for Annabelle. New Line Cinema has just unveiled the main trailer of its upcoming supernatural thriller “Annabelle” which may be viewed HERE.

Capable of unspeakable evil, the actual Annabelle doll exists locked up in an occult museum in Connecticut—visited only by a priest who blesses her twice a month.

In the film, John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long.

On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now...Annabelle.

Annabelle Wallis (“X-Men: First Class”) and Ward Horton (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) star as the Forms. Oscar nominee Al…


MANILA, August 22, 2014 – Kenshin Himura is washed ashore and found by a mysterious man holding a sword in the teaser poster of Warner Bros. Pictures' “Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends,” the final chapter to director Keishi Otomo's blockbuster trilogy, “Rurouni Kenshin.”

The second installment, “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno” is now playing to capacity crowds in Philippine theaters, and is trending to open at No.1 for the weekend box office.

Asked if “The Legend Ends” will be the same as “Kyoto Inferno,” director Keishi Otomo replies, “The theme of Kenshin’s atonement for the many people he’s killed does not change. A man who lives in atonement, and a man who does not, must inevitably do battle. But I want Kenshin to be falling apart. Kenshin doesn’t face Shishio as a straight-down-the-line champion of justice. He gets confused; his certainties are shaken.”

Based on the Kyoto arc of the popular manga series written & illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the “Rurouni Kenshin” seq…

REVIEW | Locke (2014)

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) writes and directs a surprisingly riveting one-man show. The drama takes place entirely inside a BMW, on a nighttime and life-changing journey from Birmingham to London. 
Behind the wheel is Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), a veteran construction foreman, in an unwavering and self-redeeming mission to do what is right: to be on the side of Bethan, a one-night stand from months ago, while she gives birth to his child. This isn't so surprising, except it's right on the eve of a historic concrete pour that he's in charge of—and he's got a big date with his family at home.
Through Locke's conversations alone with his boss, assistant, wife, his two sons, and Bethan via his hands-free car phone, we experience Locke's life unraveling in a tense and emotional way. Knight's masterful script, filled with rich and poetic dialogue, is brilliantly delivered by the cast of disembodied voices, particularly by Lock&#…

REVIEW | Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno

By Guest Reviewer: Ariel Aquino

I have been a fan of the animé Samurai X when it was shown here in the Philippines 14 years ago, so I was one of the fortunate ones not only to witness the Asian premiere of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno held at SM Megamall, but also to catch the movie two weeks before its official release before everyone else and to see the actors and the director behind the movie in the flesh—I just could not believe that I was breathing the same air as them. But time flies when you are having fun, or, at least in my case, starstruck, and suddenly I was back from my self-created quagmire to write my two cents on Kyoto Inferno.

Two years after the live action film Rurouni Kenshin, Keishi Ōtomo gives us the second installment, Kyoto Inferno. The story starts with Kenshin Himura, played by Takeru Satoh, being commissioned by Home Minister Okubo (Kazufumi Miyazawa) to help the government arrest Shishio Makato (Tatsuya Fujiwara), who is Kenshin's successor in the new…

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A powerhouse cast of famous Japanese actors is assembled by director Keishi Otomo for the epic action thriller “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno,” the first of two sequels to the 2013 blockbuster “Rurouni Kenshin.”

Appearing for the first time opposite the hero Kenshin Himura (Takeru Satoh) as the crazed Makoto Shishio is the popular character actor Tatsuya Fujiwara. Performing in hot, heavy, stifling bandages that even make it hard for him to hear, he becomes the personification of pure evil. And Fijiwara gives justice to the role with a powerfu, terrifying performance.

Originally a Choshu clan samurai known as ‘the shadow assassin’, Shishio fought alongside Kenshin against the Shogun’s Shinsengumi police. Viewed as Kenshin’s successor, he was known to few people. He and Kenshin never met.

Fighting, as was Kenshin, at the battle of Toba-Fushimi that sealed the overthrow of the Shogunate, Shishio was then betrayed by his own side and his body set on fire, the new government wishing to conc…


Dreamworks Animation reveals the latest full length trailer of "Penguins of Madagascar" where we get to see our favoritepenguins as toddlers and follow them through as they grow up to become the world's most reliable yet hilarious spy quartet.

"Penguins of Madagascar" is a spin-off from the blockbuster "Madagascar" franchise where the scene-stealing penguinsstarted out composed of Skipper, Rico, Private and Kowalski who are now stars of their own self-titled movie.

In "Penguins of Madagascar," Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (John DiMaggio) and Private (Christopher Knights) join forces with a super-secret animal organization called North Wind to fight the many-tentacled menace North Wind's leader, meanwhile, is a wolf known only as Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).

The core group of penguins will be joined by actors including John Malkovich, Peter Stormare, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru and Werner Herzog as …


From the beginning, Disneytoon's “Planes: Fire & Rescue” was destined to break new ground. “Not only is it the biggest visual effects movie we’ve ever done here at Disneytoon Studios,” says producer Ferrell Barron, “nobody had ever really attempted to do an animated movie featuring fire of this magnitude before—the size, scope, scale and frequency of smoke and fire in this is really extraordinary. So the first thing we had to do is dig into the effects side of the film, because it was so important that we get fire right. It had to be real.”

John Patton was tapped as the effects animation lead for the film. “Out of 1224 total shots in the film, more than half feature some kind of effect: fire, smoke, water. And ‘fire’ is in the title of the film—it’s a key element in the story—we had to make sure we nailed it.”

So the team studied the science of fire through online research, books and talking to a host of firefighters. Says Patton, “We referenced a lot of live-action fire footage…

REVIEW | Life Itself (2014)

Anyone who has ever been acquainted with the name Roger Ebert and understands the magic of cinema will find pleasure in Steve James’ poignant documentary on the legendary film critic.
Filmed on the last months of Ebert’s life, we see a tenderly and skilfully weaved biography of the film critic, deftly capturing what is only necessary to provide an overall picture of who Roger Ebert was. This is not just a tribute to a famed movie reviewer—but to a man, friend, colleague, and husband driven by his passion for cinema and commentary, as well as his inspiring disposition as a victim of cancer and his astonishing optimism in the face of death.
Providing just the perfect amount of information, the deeply touching documentary is truly a work of love, respect, and admiration for Ebert. Emotional, painful, and oftentimes funny (especially with the Siskel and Ebert part), Life Itself, based on Ebert’s memoir of the same title, is a big thumbs up—a must-see for movie lovers and commentators.


REVIEW | Chef (2014)

From directing superhero blockbusters like Iron Man and The Avengers, Jon Favreau surprises us with an alternative  to his directorial skill—by serving us a delicious concoction of indie goodness.
In Chef, Favreau plays Carl Casper, a celebrated chef in an upscale LA restaurant owned by the strictly traditional Riva (Dustin Hoffman), who puts a cork to his creative juices. This is rather tricky, because a famous food blogger (Oliver Platt) is arriving to review his menu. The result is a hilarious social media catastrophe, even made more hilarious by the fact that Carl knows nothing about social media.
The apt and very funny illustration of the Social Media Age is perfectly utilized to support the story, but the film’s entrée is, of course, the food porn. Chef is simply bursting with passion for food and cooking, tenderly and lovingly captured in rich details. Prepare for mouth-watering sequences that are not advisable on an empty stomach. Kinda mean, how this film teases you. Even th…


Ayala Malls Cinemas continues to celebrate with the nation as Cinemalaya’s 10th Anniversary recently opened (August 2) at their latest digital screen at Fairview Terraces.

The latest satellite venue of the festival which is Ayala’s Fairview Terraces in Quezon City hosted an opening night featuring “Separados,” a romantic comedy drama by GB Sampedro starring Alfred Vargas, Anjo Yllana, Jason Abalos, Victor Neri, Ricky Davao and Erik Santos. Inspired by true events, “Separados” is about the bittersweet saga of six men who separated from their wives.

In attendance at the Opening Night at Fairview Terraces are cast from the movie headed by the movie’s director GB Sampedro along with Anjo Yllana, Alfred Vargas with his wife, Angel Jacob, Melissa Mendez and Menggie Cobarrubias. 

“This year's batch of filmmakers will undoubtedly rise up to the challenge of the previous years with new stories to tell us and new lessons to be…

REVIEW | Into the Storm (2014)

No movie is more apt this typhoon season in the Philippines than Into the Storm.

If natural disaster thrillers excite you, and you're longing for that heart-stopping stress and adrenaline rush of experiencing a catastrophic natural calamity from the safety of your cinema seat, then this might be a fun film for you.

In small-town Silverton, everyone is aware of the high school graduation ceremony taking place that day. It's a windy, cloudy day, and graduating senior Donnie (Max Deacon) is filming his classmates' time capsule video and is also busy pushing his father, Silverton High's vice principal, Gary (Richard Armitage), away.

Nearby, a team of storm-chasers, headed by ruthless filmmaker Pete (Matt Walsh), is roaring through the countryside, looking up—and drooling—at the ominous sky for any tornado sightings. But there's a problem—even with a meteorologist, Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies), in the team, the tornadoes are seemingly unpredictable and frustratingly…