Sunday, September 18, 2016

8 Things of awesomeness from The Beatles

You must be living under a rock if you have not heard of THE BEATLES. At one point or another, their songs would have been a part of your life (or will be for the younger ones) as generations upon generations would pass on their knowledge, experiences, and music of this legendary band. You may even have been conceived with their music---go ahead ask your parents.
If it’s one thing that Filipinos are known for, it’s their musicality. And whether you’re a fan or not, musically inclined or musically-challenged, here are eight things to look forward to for the theatrical release of THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK

1)      Bonus Feature: The Shea Stadium concert

People would often stay until the credits end for a “secret scene” or some snippet of either a part two or the outtakes. We’re telling you know: Stay until the credits end.  Witness the restored, remastered Shea Stadium performance, the first rock concert ever staged in a stadium in front of more than 55,000 people. This bonus feature will only be available in cinemas.

2)      The Philippines was a hard day’s fright?
Yes, the infamous trip to Philippines back in July 1966 will be in this film. Will it be a revelation? Is all forgiven and forgotten? We don’t know. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out. One thing’s for sure: you’ll find out more about our country when you google “Beatles Manila”. Sikat na naman ang Pilipinas.

3)      A band of brothers
Director Ron Howard captures the emotional moment when the usually reserved Paul McCartney gets misty discussing the first time Starr played with the Beatles. Ringo Starr, an only child, was quoted as saying “I felt like I suddenly had three brothers." This was one of the biggest revelations according to Howard. “The kind of brotherhood that Ringo talks about. And Paul talks about the connection that he and John had creatively and as friends and how important that was, how they all worked together.”

4)      Howard brings you back to the Happy Days  (without the The Fonz)
Get ready to time-travel as the story unfolds right at the brink of their epic yet humble beginnings. Key historic moments were shaping up the world during the rise of The Beatles, and Howard’s fresh parallel approach gives you a better understanding of what it was like from the perspectives of the band, its world, the fans, and their world.  A common response to those who have seen the film was “it was like almost being there”.  Must have been some time machine Ron Howard made.

5)      The music is still AWESOME!
In reality, back then, the audio was really, really bad. This must have been a monumental challenge for the folks back at Apple Corps and White Horse Pictures. But Howard’s team was able to find material that captured the music that screaming fans mostly couldn’t hear. These were then digitized and restored for more detail. The movie captures the sound as it should be. Classic.

6)      Fighting for what’s right  
Back in 1964, The Beatles took a stand that they would not appear unless black fans were allowed to sit where they liked at their concert at the Gator Bowl stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. At a time of racial segregation in America, what The Beatles did was courageous and truly inspiring, much like People Power but the other way around. Little did they know that this “small” act played a key role in helping to stamp out racial segregation in the U.S. This struggle later inspired Paul McCartney to write Blackbird. He added: “We had loads of black friends and many of our musical heroes were black. “To see in the film that we’d actually put it in our contracts to ‘not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience’ – we didn’t remember that. I was very impressed with that. It was very cool.”

7)      Rockin’ it old style: before social media
What would today’s artists do without social media? We can all learn a thing or two from The Beatles. Back then when talent, personality, and showmanship was everything, it took more effort for artists to reach out to their fans, and for fans to keep in touch with their idols. And then there’s the ever present press. In front of the media, they were terrific together in every way: sharp, clever, funny and quick. If John was the wittiest and had edge, Paul was twinkly and charming and George and Ringo often had a good line. Also, Manager Brian Epstein encouraged them to smarten up their image, wear suits and stop swearing and smoking in public, in order to broaden their appeal. Know of anyone who needs the same advice?

8)      Personal connection
Do you believe in Yesterday? When all you troubles seemed so far away? Have you travelled that long and winding road? Yes Pinoys love The Beatles in spite of what happened back in 1966. In a time of turmoil, war, LP’s, and when Pepsi and Mirinda ruled. Their music was embedded in our lives. The legacy was passed on and so were the LP’s, vinyl albums, the Songhits with chords and Jingle magazine, cassette tapes, and so on. There will always be that Beatles song that stirs you, moves you or calms you, and makes you emotional for a few minutes.

The Beatles are back. Prepare to discover them again in The Beatles: Eight Days A Week in cinemas beginning September 21. But come to think of it, they never did leave.

Distributed in the Philippines by Solar Pictures. Solar Pictures is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @solarpicturesPH

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Who is Edward ‘Snowden’? A hero or traitor? [PG]

 “The modern battlefield is everywhere.” Run. Hide. Live. To tell the truth. “There’s something going inside the government that’s really wrong and I can’t ignore it…I just want to get this data to the world.” In Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden,’ CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of classified documents to the press.

“You wanted to be Special Forces? Find the terrorists in the internet haystack.” One nation under surveillance for liberty and justice for all. “The NSA is really tracking every cell phone in the world.” ‘Snowden,’ the politically charged, thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the personal story of Edward Snowden, who exposed illegal surveillance activities by the 
NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world.

 “Did you access an unauthorized program?” He is considered a hero by some and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, ‘Snowden’ tells the story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off. “I feel like I was made to do this and if I don’t do it then I don’t know anybody else who can.”

  “Most Americans don’t want freedom. They want security.” ‘Snowden’ is written and directed by Oliver Stone. The script is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena.

 “They’re gonna come for me. They’re gonna come for all of you too.”  ‘Snowden’ which is slated to hit theaters September 16, 2016, also stars Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend, Zachary Quinto as journalist Glenn Greenwald, Nicolas Cage, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Timothy Olyphant, Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson.

“SNOWDEN” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.
Showing SEPTEMBER 28.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Shot over 32 days in Vancouver and British Columbia, the filmmakers of the latest “Blair Witch” movie striven to capture the authentic spirit of the previous global hit “The Blair Witch Project,” while again pushing the boundaries of found footage films. 


In the new “Blair Witch” movie, 20 years after, a group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offers to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

“The challenge for us was to make a modern horror movie that acknowledged and surpassed everything that’s happened in horror over the last 17 years, including films like The Conjuring, Insidious and Saw, and have the film feel as real to audiences as it did in 1999,” says screenwriter Simon Barrett.

While much of the fear behind the first Blair Witch relied on what wasn’t shown, the sequel terrifies audiences and excites hardcore fans by revealing more of what lurks after dark.

“Whatever evil is in the woods has only gotten stronger since the first film,” says director Adam Wingard. “I wanted to create something that felt like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not in terms of the violence, but in terms of the relentless intensity that movie gives you. You’re constantly running from something into a scenario that’s even more frightening.”

To create a nonstop thrill ride, filmmakers swapped the first film’s 16-mm. black-and-white camera for discrete head cams and a drone. “One of the problems with found footage films is you’re hyper aware of the cameras,” says Wingard. “We wanted to make sure that was thrown out the door, so when the horror happens, you are 100 percent invested and put in a scenario in a way you’ve never been before and completely terrorized by it.” The filmmakers also sought to give fans a smoother, yet one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.

“Audiences complained about the first movie’s shaky cam, but that’s what made it so scary and real,” says Wingard. “We knew we couldn’t get away with that, especially with the mainstream horror audience we were going for. It was always a combination of how to retain that aesthetic but make it easier on the eyes.” To retain that authenticity, the cast often performed directly into a camera lens and lit much of the movie themselves. “They didn’t light up the woods in the original film, so I wanted to light this movie with flashlights,” says Wingard. “A couple of years ago, we couldn’t have done that, but cameras are more sensitive now. We found ourselves in a situation where we could create something audiences had never seen before.” 

“Blair Witch” opens in cinemas, 2D and 4DX on September 14 from Pioneer Films.


Unapologetically wild and based on a true-to-life ad gone viral, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” hits theatres on September 14 nationwide starring Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick. 

In “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” Mike and Dave are brothers (played by Devine and Efron), warned by their family to smarten-up their hard-partying ways before their sister’s wedding in Hawaii, and to bring two respectable girls as dates. After posting an ad on Craigslist, they’re contacted by a cadre of prospective suitors, and they ultimately settle on Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza), whose interest in Adam and Dave extends to little more than the prospect of a free holiday on the islands. But the girls they finally chose, aren’t quite as wholesome as they expect. And as the real Stangles explain, some artistic license has been taken to turn the film into this year’s hottest comedy.

The other woman in the boys’ life is, of course, their sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard), whose Hawaiian wedding provides the backdrop for the unexpected girls-gone wild / dates-gone-horribly-wrong hijinks. But Jeanie’s big day is also ground zero for the guys’ determination that Jeanie be happy—no matter how crazy things get.

“Mike and Dave are party boys with good intentions,” Beard shares of her onscreen brothers. “Jeanie was like that, too, when she was growing up with them. They’ve protected Jeanie her entire life, but now there’s a new man in her life, her fiancĂ© Eric, and he brings out her sweeter side.”

A special massage brings out yet another side of Jeanie. Having been accidentally mauled by an ATV driven by…who else?...Mike, Jeanie is ready for some serious rest and relaxation. A nice massage seems like the perfect idea, but Alice has something a little more potent in mind for Jeanie. She makes arrangements with the masseur, Keanu, for him to go the extra mile.

Beard says filming the scene was a highlight for her—not only of the film, “but of my life!” she exclaims with a laugh. “My bare butt was exposed for almost an entire day’s shooting, and I was being used like a slip ‘n slide. The scene was a little sweaty, a little oily, but all great. I was laughing so hard, which was interesting because Jeanie is getting so much pleasure out of the massage, that all the shaking of my body from laughter kind of worked for the scene.”

The brothers are determined not to screw up their sister Jeanie’s destination wedding. “Mike and Dave love Jeanie and Jeanie loves them, as well,” director Jake Szymanski continues. “She just wants her special day to go without a hitch.”

“Mike and Dave adore their sister,” confirms Efron. “Their mantra is: ‘We’re doin’ it for Jeanie! Everything we do is for Jeanie!’ They protect and love her and have put her on a pedestal. She forgives them for all the mischief they do.”

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” in cinemas nationwide on September 14 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros

Friday, September 9, 2016


"Ultraman Ginga S The Movie" will give away over 400,000 worth of toys on its Meet and Greet at SM Cinemas onSeptember 10 and 11.

The main character of the Ultraman will have a Meet and Greet on September 10 (Saturday) at the cinema lobby of Mall of Asia at 12:00 – 1:00pm and at SM Southmall at 5:00–6:00pm. The meet and greet continues on September 11 (Sunday) at SM Megamall cinema lobby at 12:00-1:00pm and at SM North Edsa at 5:00-6:00pm.

For a chance to win Ultraman Ginga S toys, simply purchase tickets of the movie at any participating SM Cinemas nationwide and present the ticket during the Meet and Greet to claim your prize.

"Ultraman Ginga S The Movie" sees an evil space warrior, Etelgar who forces a beautiful young alien princess, Alena, to trap every Ultraman hero in the Galaxy. In order to stop Etelgar and save the princess and their fellow Ultramen, two handsome young men, Hikaru and Shou, must each transform into new Ultra-heroes, Ultraman Ginga and Ultraman Victory, and combine their super-powers. 

Catch "Ultraman Ginga S The Movie" on September 10, 11, 17 and 18 at SM Cinemas nationwide. Golden Phoenix Hotel is the official residence of Ultraman Ginga S in the Philippines.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Daniel Radcliffe, who rocketed to worldwide stardom in the phenomenal “Harry Potter” films, stars anew in the intense action thriller “Imperium.” Inspired by real events, the movie is directed by Daniel Ragussis and also stars Toni Collette, Tracy Letts, Devin Druid, Pawel Szajda with Nestor Carbonell and Sam Trammell.

In “Imperium,” Radcliffe takes on the role of Nate Foster, a young, idealistic FBI agent who goes undercover to take down a radical right-wing terrorist group. The bright up-and-coming analyst must confront the challenge of sticking to a new identity while maintaining his real principles as he navigates the dangerous underworld of white supremacy.

“Imperium” co-writer Mike German has the kind of pedigree that commands respect: he served in the FBI for 16 years, 12 of them as an undercover agent tasked with infiltrating dangerous white supremacy groups in order to prevent domestic terrorist attacks. German successfully embedded himself with extremist groups on multiple occasions, leading to criminal convictions. German’s real life experiences infiltrating homegrown white supremacist terror cells intent on starting race wars, form the basis of the “Imperium” screenplay.

Setting the movie in the present day was something German and Ragussis quickly agreed on, believing the film could better address important law enforcement and terrorism prevention issues that have dominated the national conversation. Therefore, the film brings attention to the FBI’s seldom discussed racial-ethnic mapping program, in which American Muslims and other minority populations are controversially targeted. IMPERIUM also explores the challenges faced by FBI agents working with limited resources to prevent domestic terrorism from white supremacists and other right-wing extremist threats. With the government prioritizing the fight against the Islamic terrorist threat, FBI agents working on battling domestically cultivated perils often must fight for funding and proper support.

In the end, Mike German expressed admiration for Ragussis’s efforts to create a film of thematic and emotional integrity true to what he experienced in the field, commenting, “Daniel’s unique vision and dedication to telling this story in an accurate, non-sensationalistic manner impressed me from day one. The final product depicts the inner workings of the FBI and undercover agents in particular, more accurately than any film I’ve seen. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

“Imperium” opens September 14 in cinemas nationwide from OctoArts Films International. 


Luke Scott’s directorial debut “Morgan,” a compelling sci-fi thriller poses one of the big scientific questions of our time: if artificial intelligence becomes as smart, if not smarter than humans, then what do we have to offer?

Morgan (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), being the next step in human evolution and a bioengineered being with synthetic DNA poses great divide on the moral and practical ambiguity of humanoids. At one month, she (it) was walking and talking; at six months, she exceeded her creators’ wildest expectations. Morgan is enigmatic and unpredictable—a lab-created being with emotional capacity and conflicting traits that blur the line between being human and synthetic.

Scott, a talented commercials director and son of acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott (who also produces the film), shares that their biggest challenge was finding their Morgan—the artificial, yet organic being that would represent Scott’s vision of the next step in human evolution.

The actor would have to portray a character that is physically, mentally and intellectually amplified. She would have to balance these enhanced attributes with a clear emotional interpretation of her/its world, and the flawed people with whom she interacts each day. “That’s one of Morgan’s many ironies,” says Scott. “Morgan is as imperfect as a human, but in other ways, she is absolutely perfect.”

Before finalizing casting, Scott and his teams wrestled with how to characterize Morgan. She? It? Human…or something else? “I came to identify Morgan an ‘it’ because I’m essentially the scientist who created her,” Scott says with a laugh. “But we always intended Morgan to be somewhat feminized because there is an inherent strength to the feminine form.”

After a long search, Scott chose Anya Taylor-Joy to portray Morgan. He had been impressed by her performance in director Robert Egger’s award-winning feature debut The Witch. “In that film, I saw that Anya had a unique delicacy and access to her emotional landscape that is critical to the character of Morgan,” says Scott.

Unlike her director, Taylor-Joy eschewed research into the field of synthetic life, opting instead for numerous discussions with Scott. “We didn’t discuss specific scenes,” says the actress. “It was more about Morgan’s viewpoints on certain things and events.”

When Taylor-Joy’s Morgan suddenly attacks one of her handlers, the corporation overseeing and funding the project calls in a special “risk management consultant,” Lee Weathers, to investigate. Kate Mara, who had just come off a starring turn in Ridley Scott’s blockbuster, Oscar-nominated “The Martian,” portrays Lee.

One of the more daunting challenges for both Mara and Taylor-Joy was the brutal fights waged between their two characters. Designed and choreographed by stunt coordinator Paul Herbert and his team, the battles royale are among the film’s centerpieces, revealing unexpected facets of what appeared to be a trouble-shooting corporate “suit” and an innocent-looking “experiment” gone wrong. “Kate and Anya were really impressive,” says Scott. “For those fight scenes, they turned themselves into action heroes.”

“Morgan” opens in cinemas September 7 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stars Join Ayala Malls Cinemas’ New Level of Movie Experience at Greenbelt 3

Take the pressure off and indulge in your favorite movies in Ayala Malls Cinemas’ latest state-of-the-art theaters at Greenbelt 3 for the urban cineastes looking for an entertaining respite from the day’s grind.

Ayala Malls Cinemas’ recent unveiling at Greenbelt 3 cinemas introduces two exciting cinema concepts that will surely make Makati cineastes fall in love again and again with the experience of watching movies at the big screen.

Pioneering the 4DX invasion in Makati, the game-changing cinema technology 4DX theatre immerses the audience all throughout the movie, engaging all the senses while the action unfolds on screen. Greenbelt 3’s 4DX cinema is the first in Makati and the 3rd location of Ayala Malls Cinemas (the other two are in Bonifacio High Street and U.P. Town Center).

Greenbelt 3 cinema 5 is now equipped with 144 magical motion seats and an auditorium filled with environmental effects that will fully immerse you in each scene and let you experience being in the movie. The precise choreography of motion system and environmental effects will thrill you. 4DX motion chairs heave up and down, roll side-to-side, and pitch forward and backward to allow you to physically participate in the action on-screen. These motions will be harmonized well with featured effects such as bottom and back shaker, water, fog, scents, wind, lightning, face air, bubbles, leg tickler. The 4DXTM is in partnership with CJ 4DPlex, the world’s first 4D cinema company for feature films.

Most love watching movies on screen as they are windows to a different world. And this experience is placed on whole new level with Greenbelt 3 cinema 4 as moviegoers will be treated to movie entertainment in luxury and full comfort. It currently houses 92 fully-motorized leather recliner seats. For that unparalleled convenience, recliner seats are also equipped with USB port for gadget-charging needs and fold-able tables for snacks.

Squad goals achieved indeed at Greenbelt 3 cinemas’ recent launch that featured the worldwide blockbuster hit “Suicide Squad” from Warner Bros., graced by local celebrities and prominent personalities including Nadine Lustre, Arci Munoz who came in as Harley Quinn, Paul Salas, Ella Cruz, Francis Libiran and Makati City Vice-Mayor Monique Lagdameo. Also present in the event are Ayala Malls Cinemas General Manager Amir Precilla, Greenbelt General Manager Mina Domingo, Ayala Malls Group Head Rowena Tomeldan, Ayala Malls Cinemas Deputy General Manager Rolando Duenas, Ayala Malls Cinemas Marketing Manager Rhia Arda, Ayala Malls Cinems Marketing Supervisor Gail Santos, Ayala Malls Cinemas Booking and Promotions Manager James Bartolome and Warner Bros. General Manager Francis Soliven. 

The urban vibe is very much alive at Ayala Malls Cinemas Greenbelt 3 where an elevated level of movie experience awaits on the big screen. Now, with these cinema advancement, there’s more reason to head out to Ayala Malls Cinemas Greenbelt 3 and book that next blockbuster movie. See it in the big screen, see it in Ayala Malls Cinemas.