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Sunday, November 09, 2014

WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON “THE HUNGER GAMES” SETS ANOTHER RECORD - “MOCKINGJAY – PART 1” STUPENDOUS ADVANCE TICKET SALES IN THE U.S.

The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.” The upcoming “Mockingjay –Part I” has so far positioned itself as the top and only contender in the box-office game. The odds have begun in “Mockingjay’s” favour, based on Fandango’s report that its advance ticket sales has already set a record for the year, surpassing the previous record-holder that is “Divergent” while at Movietickets.com, “Mockingjay Part 1” has already exceeded the first day advance sales of any 2014 film.


Based on the bestselling trilogy of a novel written by Suzanne Collins that has sold over 65 million copies in the U.S. alone in print, “Mockingjay –Part 1” finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, from an adaptation by Suzanne Collins and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik.

DISNEY/PIXAR Announces “TOY STORY 4” Will Open on JUNE 2017

To infinity and beyond!

Nearly two decades after Pixar Animation Studios created the world’s first computer-animated feature film with “Toy Story,” it revealed plans for Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” an adventure that returns audiences to the world of the studio’s signature characters.


John Lasseter, director of the original “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” will direct the film, which opens a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the “Toy Story” gang.

The story was dreamt up by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, the storytellers who have been the driving force behind all three “Toy Story” films.

“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. ‘Toy Story 3’ ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another ‘Toy Story’ movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.” Writing team Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste and Jesse Forever”) joined the project, and Pixar veteran Galyn Susman (ABC’s “Toy Story OF TERROR!” and “Toy Story that Time Forgot”) is producing.

The film is slated for release on June 16, 2017.

“THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES” Final Trailer

Watch the final trailer of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” which has just been released by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema here.



The third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves.


SHAILENE WOODLEY’S Coming of Age in “WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD”

“White Bird In A Blizzard” brings together an eclectic versatile cast headed by Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Thomas Jane, Christopher Meloni and Gabourey Sidibe based on acclaimed book of the same title by Laura Kasischke and directed by Gregg Araki that tells the story of a girl’s coming of age under unusual traumatic circumstances.


Set in the late 80’s, on the surface, Kat’s (Woodley) home life seems perfect. A normal, college-bound teenager, Kat listens to the era’s Depeche Mode, hangs out with her tragically hip pals, and is critical of her parents. She’s also having her first romance with, literally, the boy next door and is starting to feel comfortable in her own skin—all under the watchful eye of her glamorous, but disturbed, homemaker mother, Eve (Green). When her mother mysteriously vanishes, Kat and her father suppress their emotions and try to resume their lives. Years later, Kat’s subconscious is consumed by images of her mother, whose peculiar disappearance she can’t fully comprehend.

Shailene Woodley, as Kat, commands the screen with the allure of a young woman embracing her sexuality and beginning to understand the power that accompanies it. Veteran filmmaker Gregg Araki uses a carefully curated soundtrack to build a tantalizing dream world and contrasts it with the stark reality of the characters who inhabit it, indicating all is not right beneath this placid façade of American suburbia.

Araki, in the following question & answer further delves into the book’s theme and on adapting the novel to a film populated with today’s most talented of actors.

TOM HARDY Stars in Crime Thriller "THE DROP"

Tom Hardy heads up a phenomenal cast in this gripping tale of crime and passion in “The Drop” from a screenplay of world-renowned crime novelist Dennis Lehane.


At first glance nothing looks particularly unusual as the movie starts. But as the clientele of the bar put their hands on their hearts, Bob (Hardy) discreetly stashes an envelope of cash behind the bar. Indeed, there's more to Cousin Marv's bar than meets the eye. Cousin Marv (played by the late James Gandolfini) has been drawn into working with a group of nefarious Chechen gangsters, meaning his employee Bob has to go along with the scheme. Meanwhile, the bartender has found an abandoned pit bull puppy in a trash can, leading him to cross paths with the beautiful but troubled Nadia (Noomi Rapace) and her violent ex-boyfriend Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts). It's the set-up for an explosive, emotional drama with plenty of twists and turns.

Bob’s simple life becomes much more complicated when he discovers a battered pit bull puppy in a trash can. Turning to his neighbor Nadia (Noomi Rapace) for help, he nurses the puppy back to health, as their mutual concern for the dog sparks an unexpected attraction between them. But when Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts), the dog’s original owner and Nadia’s abusive ex-boyfriend, tries to reclaim both of them, and a robbery at the bar puts Bob in the crosshairs of the Chechen crime boss who owns it, Bob is forced to face the shocking truth about the people he thinks he knows best—including himself.

Friday, November 07, 2014

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Officially Titled “STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS”

Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm have announced today, November 7, 2014 following the completion of principal photography, that Star Wars: Episode VII is now officially titled “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”


The film stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer.

The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

DREAMWORKS’ “PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR” (3D): REVEALS FIRST FOUR MINUTES

Dreamworks Animation’s “PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR” (3D) star in their own feature film, a spin-off to the studio’s enormously successful “Madagascar” series which have earned close to two billions dollars since their debut in 2005 - and further explores the back story of the  popular Polar foursome penguins, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private (respectively voiced by Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, John DiMaggio and Christopher Knights)


                In the movie that will finally blow the spy quartet’s cover, the penguins will face-off with an eccentric genius and brilliant creature from their past known as Dr. Octavius Brine or Dave (voiced by John Malkovich).  Step back in time...only to move fast forward and discover how they came to be the world’s fearless agents in the world of espionage.  They soon join forces with an elite spy group known as the North Wind led by a panache of a wolf known as Agent Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) to stop Dave from his evil plans.  

                Directed by Simon J. Smith and Eric Darnell, “Penguins of Madagascar” (3D) will finally reveal the untold story of the world’s most hilarious covert birds onNovember 26 nationwide in cinemas (Phils.) from Dreamworks Animation and 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

World War II Action Drama FURY Now Showing

AMERICA’S BOX-OFFICE WINNER AND NUMBER 1 FILM “FURY” NOW SHOWING IN (PHILIPPINES) CINEMAS


               The World War II action drama “Fury” that recently landed number one at the North American box-office at $23.5 million debut starring Academy Award Winner Brad Pitt is now showing nationwide in the Philippines.


               “Fury” puts together a winning cast along with Pitt, a squadron of fearless soldiers in a Sherman tank called Fury – Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, Jason Isaacs, Jon Bernthal and Logan Lerman.  The movie brings these American soldiers to German territory during the last days and bastion of World War II.    

                Rotten Tomatoes, worldwide online reference when it comes to movies reflects an 80% score among critics with an overall consensus that the movie is a well-acted, suitably raw depiction of the horrors of war that offers visceral battle scenes. 

               The intensity of the screenplay that "Fury" director David Ayer wrote for Fury has become his hallmark, but the movie, like his screenplays for Training Day, The Fast and theFurious, and other films, also demonstrates a deep connection between the characters.  “David’s movies are visceral and real, but they’re also deeply about brotherly love and friendship in the most extreme circumstances,” says producer Bill Block.


               Details of the tankers’ memories come alive in Fury– for example, that every fifth bullet from the machine gun is a tracer; that there are so many tracers that the heat can melt the barrel; that the difference between outgoing and incoming artillery is the incoming’s telltale whistle; that the outgunned Sherman tanks could find ways to use their exceptional mobility against the Germans’ mighty Tiger tanks.  It’s these details that make the film feel true-to-life.

               “Veteran accounts are hugely important, because they bring it to life,” says David Rae, one of the military technical advisors on the film.  “They give you the actual ground truth of how a crew fought through different theaters – through Normandy, North Africa, through the low countries, and finally to Germany, that final push.  They give you interesting stories that you can grab hold of and emotionally attach yourself to.”


               There were five main tanks used for filming, all various models of the M4 Sherman tank: in the film, the tanks are nicknamed Fury, Matador, Lucy Sue, Old Phyllis, and Murder Inc. 

               To populate the tank crews, Dowdall says, “We thought that the best thing would be to use trained tank crews – not collectors, but guys who’d been to Afghanistan and other combat situations recently.  They could not only command the tanks properly, but think on their feet if something went wrong with one of these seventy-year-old vehicles.”   For the Fury herself, there were three main vehicles used by the production.  First, naturally, was a real tank, supplied by the Bovington Tank Museum, a late-war Sherman with a 76mm gun. 

               The tank – which was a rolling set that had to be dressed and maintained as a picture vehicle every day – also became a second home of sorts for the actors who portray its crew.  “When they had boot camp, they were taught to live outside;later, when Fury became available to them, we couldn’t really get them out of it,” says Tank Crew Supervisor Jim Dowdall.  “They put their own stamp on it.  They began to live and to eat inside it.  Between rehearsals, instead of getting off the tank, they just hunkered down inside and talked and lived like a tank crew would.  I think that shows in the movie – there’s a familiarity.”

               Jon Bernthal – like all of the actors – became very attached to the Fury.  “They say it ain’t the size of the dog in a fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.  She’s a badass tank,” he says, describing the tank.  “She’s not the biggest, not the strongest – you should see the Tiger! – but she’s all heart.”

               Adds Logan Lerman: “Seeing the tanks up and running, these seventy-year-old vehicles – it was a beautiful sight.” 

               Over the course of the 24 fateful hours wherein the movie takes place, the actors' training will be tested as their roles as the five men of the Fury – Wardaddy (Pitt), the commander; Boyd Swan (LaBeouf), the gunner; Grady Travis (Bernthal), the loader; Trini Garcia (Pena), the driver; and Norman (Lerman), the assistant driver – take on 300 enemy German troops in a desperate battle for survival. 

               "Fury" is now showing at a theater near you!

Cast of “HORRIBLE BOSSES 2” Together in Main Poster

Good guys and villains huddle up for the main poster of New Line Cinema’s adult comedy “Horrible Bosses 2,” the follow-up to the 2011 hit comedy “Horrible Bosses.”
 
The new one-sheet art features Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as everyone’s favorite working stiffs.  Posing with them are returning castmembers Jennifer Aniston and Jamie Foxx, and new “bad guys” Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz.

            Fed up with answering to higher-ups, Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day) and Kurt (Sudeikis) decide to become their own bosses by launching their own business. But a slick investor soon pulls the rug out from under them.  Outplayed and desperate, and with no legal recourse, the three would-be entrepreneurs hatch a misguided plan to kidnap the investor’s adult son and ransom him to regain control of their company. 

            “Horrible Bosses 2” was directed by Sean Ander.
            
 Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 26, 2014, “Horrible Bosses 2” is a New Line Cinema Presentation distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

“THE HOBBIT” Final Chapter Reveals Character Posters

The character poster artworks for Peter Jackson's “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” have been unveiled online. The one-sheets individually feature in close-up shots the film's eight major characters namely Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Galadriel, Legolas, Tauriel, Bard and Thandruil.



The third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Get to know the PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR

BE VERY READY. GET TO KNOW THE WORLD’S GREATEST SPIES IN “PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR” (3D) IN THIS LATEST CLIP FROM DREAMWORKS ANIMATION.


Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private, the world’s most elite covert group proves that super spies aren’t born, but they’re hatched. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) , together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), from destroying the world as we know it.

A DreamWorks Animation feature presentation, “Penguins of Madagascar” (3D) will open soon this November 26 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Ultimate Killing Machine “JOHN WICK” Back for Vengeance

Known as the legendary killing machine in a hyper-real, super-secret criminal community, “John Wick” (played by Keanu Reeves), walks its dark halls once again after retiring from the ruthless world he used to live to avenge the death of his wife.  After the sudden death of his beloved wife, John Wick (Reeves) receives one last gift from her, a beagle puppy named Daisy, and a note imploring him not to forget how to love. But John’s mourning is interrupted when his 1969 Boss Mustang catches the eye of sadistic thug Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen). When John refuses to sell the car, Iosef and his henchmen break into his house and steal it, beating John unconscious and leaving Daisy dead. Unwittingly, they have just reawakened one of the most brutal assassins the underworld has ever seen.


                “The character is extremely hard-edged,” says director Stahelski. “Rather than presenting him as a stereotypical badass assassin on a rampage, we wanted to emphasize that he’s a man who has suffered loss after loss. Keanu brings an emotional side to every role he plays. He’s never hard as nails. As John, he goes through a full range of emotions: depression, anger, sorrow and hope and, ultimately, when he goes into rampage mode, he still communicates his humanity.”

MARVEL STUDIOS UNVEILS PHASE 3 OF MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Last October 29, 2014, during a special event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed the films that will make up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring a mix of fan-favorite characters and several heroes who will be making their big-screen debuts.

The next two films to be released by Marvel are AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON on May 1, 2015, and ANT-MAN on July 17, 2015. Marvel revealed the dates and titles of nine additional films through 2019, including upcoming Captain America, Thor, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy installments, along with films featuring Black Panther – who, Feige announced, will be played by Chadwick Boseman – Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and the Inhumans.



The announced films are as follows:

·        5/1/15 – AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
·        7/17/15 – ANT-MAN 
·        5/6/16 – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
·        11/4/16 – DOCTOR STRANGE 
·        5/5/17 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (previously dated 7/28/17)
·        7/28/17 – THOR: RAGNAROK
·        11/3/17 – BLACK PANTHER
·        5/4/18 – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART I
·        7/6/18 – CAPTAIN MARVEL
·        11/2/18 – INHUMANS
·        5/3/19 – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART II

Ten films have already been released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with 2008’s IRON MAN. All 10 films opened at #1 domestically and have collectively grossed over $7.1 billion globally.

Two of these films, MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS and IRON MAN 3, set records as the #1 and #2 domestic openings of all time with $207.4 million and $174.1 million respectively. MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS went on to become the third biggest film of all time worldwide, while Marvel’s IRON MAN 3 ranks as the sixth biggest film ever. They are the two highest grossing Super Hero films of all time.

Earlier this year, Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, which broke the April opening domestic record with $95 million, earned $714 million worldwide and is the #5 film of 2014. Most recently, Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY crossed $757 million globally after opening with a domestic August record of $94.3 million and setting an October debut record in China, where it has now grossed nearly $90 million. It’s the #1 film of the year domestically and the #3 film worldwide.

For full coverage of  event, visit marvel.com.

Halloween Greeting from “HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2”

Columbia Pictures has just released a special video featuring the spooky but beloved characters from “Hotel Transylvania 2” wishing everyone a fa-boo-lous Halloween this Friday, Oct 31. The video also shows Count Dracula giving safety reminders on how to make this Halloween a “monster of a celebration.”

Catch the featurette here at http://youtu.be/plXX6lVFt5Q.


“Hotel Transylvania 2” is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2012 smash hit “Hotel Transylvania” from Sony Pictures Animation. Director Genndy Tartakovsky returns to helm the sequel, as do screenwriters Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel.

The original's principal cast also reunite for “Hotel Transylvania 2” led by Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Cee-Lo Green, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon and Jon Lovitz.

Opening across the Philippines on September 2015, “Hotel Transylvania 2” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

“ANNABELLE” NOW THE HIGHEST-GROSSING HORROR FILM EVER IN PH

New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller “Annabelle” has just become the biggest-grossing foreign horror movie ever released in the Philippines.


The film about a doll possessed by an evil spirit has terrified the local box-office to the tune of P121.13-million as of yesterday, Oct. 13, this according to Francis Soliven, General Manager of Warner Bros. Philippines which distributed the movie.

The gross of previous record-holder “Insidious: Chapter 2” at P113-million was actually surpassed by “Annabelle” after only 12 days of release. Going into its third week, the demonic doll is tracking to dominate the coming weekend again as audiences’ appetite for a good scare seems boundless.

“We expect to continue excellent box-office performance for `Annabelle’ as the Halloween season ushers in,” says Soliven.  “The combination of an engrossing story, great filmmaking and reliable association with last year’s hit horror film `The Conjuring’ propelled `Annabelle’ to succeed.  The film delivered in a huge way.”

About “Annabelle”:

She terrified you in “The Conjuring,” but this is where it all began for “Annabelle.”  Capable of unspeakable evil, the actual 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 Alfre Woodard (“Twelve Years a Slave”) stars as Evelyn, a neighbor who owns a bookstore.  

“Annabelle” reunites the filmmakers behind 2013’s hugely successful supernatural thriller “The Conjuring.” John R. Leonetti, who served as cinematographer on “The Conjuring,” directed the film.   James Wan, director of the global hit, produced “Annabelle” with Peter Safran. Gary Dauberman wrote the script. 

            Still showing across the Philippines, “Annabelle” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Music from the Heart in “THE BOOK OF LIFE”

One of the world’s most influential personalities, Oprah Winfrey, was recently enthralled by the upcoming animated feature “The Book of Life” from 20th Century Fox directed by Mexican filmmaker Jorge R. Gutierrez whose unique visual and storytelling flair were enjoyed by many in his television works such as “Mucho Lucho,” MAD” and “El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera.” 


Another new song, “No Matter Where You Are,” is performed by a real-life married couple known as Us the Duo, who introduced the tune as their marriage vows – and then landed a record deal. The song is performed by Diego Luna and Zoë Saldana. “Us the Duo” is the first musical (artist) act to have been established via Vine and had become Vine’s first major-label signing.  Oprah became so enthralled by the end-credits song entitled “No Matter Where You Are” that she had the real-life married artists “Us The Duo” included in her U.S. tour of “The Life You Want Weekend.”  The couple introduced the tune of the song as their marriage vows that landed them a record deal. 

In a recent interview with Billboard, “Oprah fell in love with the movie and she heard about us,” says Michael Alvarado, married to Carissa. “We are super jazzed about what’s being spoken about and just trying to inspire the listeners there,” says Alvarado further who shared that their mission is to “inspire people through music, encouraging people to pursue the passion they have in life and showing that love still exists, that relationships are important.”

In the “Book of Life,” Gutierrez presents yet another unique, vibrant and visually spectacular world and characters with a stellar voice cast that includes Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube and Kate Del Castillo.  

“The Book of Life” tells the legend of Manolo (Luna), a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to reunite with his one true love and defend his village. Manolo, Maria (Saldana) and Joaquin (Tatum) – three best friends – have been close since childhood.  Their bond was interrupted when Maria, who was a bit too rebellious for her father’s taste, was sent to Europe to become a proper lady.  Joaquin joined the military academy and became a legendary bandit-fighter.  But Manolo didn’t go anywhere – he stayed in San Angel and practiced to become a bullfighter, as his father did before him, and his father before him.

Music is a big part of the magic of “The Book of Life,” and the production was lucky to land the formidable talents of two-time Oscar® winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla, the father of Latin alternative music, making his animated feature film debut.  Under his supervision, the filmmakers landed rights to cover, with a Latin twist, beloved songs from Mumford and Sons (“I Will Wait”), Elvis Presley (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”), Radiohead (“Creep”), Biz Markie (“Just a Friend”), Rod Stewart (“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”).  Additionally, there are beautiful, original songs written by Santaolalla and the award-winning Paul Williams.


“The music hails from all cultures and eras,” says Gutierrez.  “The story is set in the past but the music is current.  And the idea behind the characters singing these familiar songs is that mariachis don’t compose music; they sing familiar songs.  So that’s what Manolo does; he grabs music from the culture.”

“Gustavo is known to mix the sound of Latin America with Northern influences, including electronic, punk and rock,” del Toro elaborates.  “That became the sound of “The Book of Life” – the idea that these songs from all over the world, and from different eras would go through the film’s ‘sound machine’ to sound authentically Mexican, but at the same time have a global reach.”

For example, Manolo’s soulful singing of Radiohead’s “Creep” emanates from what he thinks is a quiet moment of solitude – though Maria is listening.  He then embarks on the time-honored tradition of serenading the girl of one’s dreams.  Accompanied by his rotund mariachi friends, the Rodriguez brothers (voiced by Cheech Marin, Gabriel Iglesias and Ricardo Sanchez “Mandril”), they try fun, though hardly romantic versions of Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” – the latter to the accompaniment of a toy piano. 

These are great songs, to be sure, but Maria is unimpressed.  That is, until Manolo, absent his three pals, warbles a new song, “I Love You Too Much” (music by Gustavo Santaolalla, lyric by Paul Williams), which touches Maria’s heart.  “Manolo realizes he has to sing from the heart and not use someone else’s song,” the director explains.  “‘I Love You Too Much’ is a love song that pours out of his heart and soul, and it works!”

                “The Book of Life” is set in Mexico, but its music, heart, humor and themes are universal – as are its talented cast and crew.  “We have people from all over the world who worked on this movie,” says Booker. Above all, the film is about the importance of shaping one’s own destiny.  As The Candle Maker (voiced by Ice Cube) tells us, “Write your own story.”

                “The Book of Life” opens October 16 in cinemas (2D and 3D) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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