Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rain Ready in “THE PRINCE”

Korean pop star Rain is back in fighting form after serving in the army for his country. Back to work and in full action mode, Rain stars alongside Hollywood’s Bruce Willis and Jason Patric in “The Prince” where he plays loyal henchman to Willis’ character who is about to settle scores with Patric playing the title role.

“The Prince” pits two long time enemies – a retired assassin Paul Brennan (Patric) and Omar (Willis), the city’s most powerful man who faceoff once again after twenty years.  Paul Brennan (Patric), a retired New Orleans crime boss, has lived a quiet life off the grid, running an auto repair garage in remote Mississippi when his teenage daughter goes missing, Paul is forced to return to the city and face his former enemies. 

The plot follows the re-awaking of a feud between a retired assassin and the man whose wife he killed years earlier. This man, played by Bruce Willis, exacts revenge by kidnapping the former hit man's daughter. Now the two are chasing each other through the streets of Mobile, although the trailer indicates it's set in Mississippi.  Standing dangerously between the two is Mark (Rain), loyal henchman to Omar. Omar instructs his henchmen to bring Paul to him, but Mark (Rain), measures his words carefully before counseling, Let him do whatever it is he came here for and crawl back to whatever rock he’s been hiding under. “Mark is cool headed and charismatic,” says South Korean actor and singer Rain, who plays Omar’s quick-on-the-draw, right hand man.

For Rain,  whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, “The Prince” is his first action film as he comes back to making movies after his military service.  Rain, known as a superstar musician in Asia, crossed over into acting with his debut in the hit South Korean television series “Sang-Doo” (Let’s Go to School). He solidified his position as an actor with his lead role in the Korean mini-series “Full House,” and became recognized throughout Asia as not only as a singer, but an actor as well. The drama was aired throughout most of Asia, including Japan and China, with an average program rating of over 50 percent. This was the start of Rain Fever that seemed to cross borders throughout the east and Southeast Asia.

During his latest Korean television mini-series, “A Love To Kill,” Rain’s headstrong approach to trials and challenges made him more versatile as an actor. One of the most acclaimed filmmakers in Korea, Chan Wook Park, known internationally for his VENGEANCE Triology (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance), chose Rain to star in “I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Ok.” It was a great honor and opportunity for Rain to finally break into films, and he was featured alongside stars Ji-Hoon Jung and Soo Jeong Im. The film won the Alfred Bauer Award for Particular Innovation in Filmmaking, one of the eight main awards at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival, and Rain received the Best New Actor Award for his role in the film at the 43rd Baek Sang Arts Award in Korea in 2007.

For his Hollywood debut, Rain was cast as a rookie racer in the Andy and Lana Wachowski’s action adventure film “Speed Racer,” based on the classic series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida. This movie boasted the kind of revolutionary visual effects and cutting-edge storytelling that have become the benchmarks of the Wachowskis’ films, and gave Rain his first chance to leave his mark in the American entertainment industry. Impressed by Jung’s work ethic and his huge talent, the Wachowskis’ chose Rain for the lead in their next movie, “Ninja Assassin.” In the 2009 release, Rain plays Raizo, one of the deadliest assassins in the world. 

“The Prince” will open in theatres nationwide on September 10 from Axinite Digicinema.

“ANNABELLE” in Creepy Teaser Trailer, Poster

Ten days after announcing that “Annabelle,” the spinoff of the surprise hit horror film “The Conjuring,” will open worldwide this October, New Line Cinema has now released the first poster art and a two-minute teaser trailer for the movie which may be viewed here

 It may be recalled that Annabelle is the creepy doll that was featured in several of “The Conjuring's” set pieces. The new film explores the early origins of the doll and how it acquired its eventual demonic essence.

Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, and Alfre Woodard, “Annabelle” is directed by John R. Leonetti (who served as a Director of Photography on “The Conjuring”) and written by Gary Dauberman (the upcoming “Crawlspace”). James Wan (“The Conjuring,” “Insidious”) is producing alongside Peter Safran.

Opening across the Philippines on October 08, 2014, “Annabelle” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Director Brett Ratner Makes Over “HERCULES” for New Audiences

The immortal legend of “Hercules” -- the demigod renowned for his mighty deeds and valor – gets a high-adrenaline 21st century makeover as director Brett Ratner (“X-Men: The Last Stand”) and leading action star Dwayne Johnson bring Hercules to life in a modern incarnation . . . as a man struggling to live up to his own lore in a world of fearsome villainy.

This version of Hercules is an icon who has vanquished lions and hellhounds, and is publicly feared and revered as a super-human champion; but deep within, he remains wounded by tragedy and uncertain of his legacy. Accompanied by five faithful companions, he travels the empire selling his services for gold and using his formidable reputation to intimidate his enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of neighboring Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules' help to defeat a terrifying warlord, Hercules can no longer skate by on the folklore surrounding him.

He must learn to embrace his own myth and become the hero people believe in.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fleeing from the Inescapable in “THE MAZE RUNNER”

Filmmaker Wes Ball, acclaimed for his kinetic powerful 8-minute short “Ruin” that had internet audiences blown away brings his dynamic filmmaking flair in the upcoming young adult movie “The Maze Runner.”

                Based on the bestselling book by James Dashner, “The Maze Runner” stars Dylan O’Brien along with a talented young cast – Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie Sangster,  Will Pouter, Ki Hong Lee, Aml Ameen, Alex Flores, Chris Sheffield, Dexter Darden, Jacob Latimore and Blake Cooper who are all trapped in a enclosed space known as The Glade.

“The Maze Runner” is the first book in the bestselling trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic world where a community of young men discover they’re all trapped in a maze.  When Thomas (O’Brien) surfaces from the bottom of The Glade, things have never been the same, especially when the last one and the only girl in the group followed after Thomas.   They all must work together not only to escape the maze, but solve its riddle and reveal the chilling secret of their entrapment. 

                In the movie, the boys are surrounded by massive walls – industrial yet ancient in design, these chilling walls seem out of place in the wild forest where the boys are thriving each day.   Thomas, along with Minho (Ki Hong Lee) tries to go through the massive maze walls to try to get through an opening that will lead them out of the Glade.  But the boys who were there first warned them that nobody has ever made it out alive from the maze.  There’s something that preys on the ones that stay out too long in the maze. 

                Director Ball cast a talented group of young boys who are all trapped, most of whom are content in the confines and safety of the glade until Thomas came questioning everything.

                Gally, played by Will Pouter whose film credits include “Son of Rainbow,” “We’re The Millers” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is at odds with Thomas’ charging into the unknown.  His character, Gally is all about keeping things safe and normal so as to keep them alive.  

                Aml Ameen, known for his roles in “Red Tails” and TV’s “Harry’s Law” is the father figure of the group.  The very first glader, he was the first one who taught himself everything there is to know to survive the glade.

                Arriving second in the glade, Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“Game of Thrones,” “Nowhere Boy,” and Ferb’s voice in “Phineas & Ferb) is basically Alby’s right hand.  Newt takes up the reins whenever Alby is not around.

                Chuck – played by Blake Cooper (“Parental Guidance”) “He’s this absolutely adorable kid. Sort of a little brother character,” Ball says. Chuck is younger and smaller than most of the other boys. He tries hard, and nobody expects much out of him, though he gets his hero moments.”

Running through the dangerous maze with Thomas is Minho, played by Ki Hong Lee (TV’s “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”) who doesn’t say much  but  runs fast, making him a very valuable part of the team for solving the riddle of the maze. “He’s the fastest, most bad-ass guy who goes out into the maze every day. He’s kind of a mysterious guy, but will eventually open up, too,” says Ball of Lee’s character.

The only rose among the thorns, Teresa is played by Kaya Scodelario (“Clash of the Titans”) who is probably the harbinger of doom because “all goes bad as soon as she turns up,” director Ball shares of Teresa’s mysterious character.

“The Maze Runner” opens September 17 in theatres nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Voice Cast for “BIG HERO 6” Announced

Walt Disney Animation Studios officially announced the voice cast behind the new action-packed comedy-adventure “Big Hero 6,” including Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung and Genesis Rodriguez, with Ryan Potter as Hiro Hamada and Scott Adsit as Baymax. Directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”), “Big Hero 6” hits Philippine theaters in 3D on November 5, 2014.

“We’re so impressed with what these performers have been able to bring to their characters,” said Hall. “The story really calls for each performer to give a wide range of emotions—from light-hearted to some seriously heavy moments—and this cast has been incredible.”

The voice cast and official character descriptions follow.

 Voiced by RYAN POTTER (“Supah Ninjas,” “Senior Project”), robotics prodigy HIRO HAMADA has the mind of a genius—and the heart of a 14-year-old: his state-of-the-art battle-bots dominate the underground bot fights held in the dark corners of San Fransokyo. Fortunately, big brother Tadashi redirects Hiro’s brilliance, inspiring him to put his brain to the test in a quest to gain admission to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. When a tragic event changes everything, Hiro turns to a robot named Baymax, and they form an unbreakable bond—and two-sixths of a band of high-tech heroes on a very important mission.

“SEX TAPE” A Movie About a Movie They Don't Want You To See

“Annie and Jay are a married couple who are ten years down the road. They have two kids and they find themselves in that part of the relationship where they’re not doing their best to keep it alive. They have a very happy marriage, but like a lot of couples, there’s just no time to have sex,” says Cameron Diaz, who re-teams with her “Bad Teacher” co-star, Jason Segel, in Columbia Pictures' outrageous new comedy “Sex Tape.”

“So Annie comes up with this idea – let’s make a sex tape. It’ll be exciting, it’ll be fun, and then we’ll erase it.”
“They film it on their iPad to watch once and – theoretically – erase it,” says Segel. “But Jay doesn’t erase it right away. And then there’s a cloud malfunction resulting from Jay’s use of a new app. Now, there are a bunch of people who should not have the sex tape who have the sex tape.”

Disney Casts Newcomer for Mowgli Role in “THE JUNGLE BOOK”

After an extensive worldwide search ranging from New York to New Zealand, London to Canada, and all throughout the United States and India, The Walt Disney Studios is pleased to announce that 10-year-old Neel Sethi will play the part of Mowgli in Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

Neel is a newcomer from New York picked from among thousands of auditions, and his role in “The Jungle Book” marks his first foray into acting.

“Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” said director Jon Favreau. “Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.”

“Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character,” adds casting director Sarah Finn. “He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”
As Mowgli, Neel will be the only actor onscreen in the film. The rest of the characters will be potrayed through voices by Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Lupita Nyong'o.

Based on the book by Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book” is a combination of live-action and animation and will be released in 3D on October 9, 2015.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"The Walking Dead's" Sarah Wayne Callies Heads “INTO THE STORM”

Sarah Wayne Callies, who was last seen fleeing zombies in TV’s “The Walking Dead,” faces a different kind of menace in New Line Cinema's tornado-disaster thriller “Into the Storm.”

Callies plays professor of climatology and meteorology Allison Stone, who is with the storm chasers as a scientist, not a thrill-seeker. “This is Allison’s first season studying what these guys chase year after year,” Callies explains. “So, she is on the fence as to whether or not they are doing something legit or are just mavericks. She also has a young daughter back home. This is the first time Allison has been away from her, and there’s a real risk that she won’t be coming back.”

Having grown up the with two college professors for parents, Callies is a born researcher and consumed as much information as she could about the field, including conversations with a meteorology professor at the nearby University of Michigan. But nothing could prepare her for experiencing what director Steven Quale had in store for the actors on set. “The first time they turned the wind machine on me, it blew me 20 feet off my mark. But that was part of the draw for me. I get to fly around and do wire work—it’s pure adrenaline, and really fun. How many times in your life do you get to work in a playground like this?”

Callies was also drawn in by the human story in the midst of this big tornado movie. “The tornado is the catalyst, but what happens to these characters is very simple and very moving. It’s about how people who are strangers can become almost family over the course of a single day, when that day threatens all their lives. I think Allison starts this journey very invested in science and ends up more invested in people, so for her, the big question becomes if she should stay with the storm chasers or help Richard Armitage's character, Gary, find his son.”

From New Line Cinema, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, comes the tornado disaster film “Into the Storm.” Steven Quale (“Final Destination 5”) directs the film, which is produced by Todd Garner (“Knight and Day”).
In the span of a single day, the small American town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople, “Into the Storm” throws you directly into the eye of the storm to experience Mother Nature at her most extreme.
Opening across the Philippines in August 07, 2014, “Into the Storm” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Morgan Freeman, an Expert on Human Brain in "LUCY"

Universal Pictures' new mind-bending action thriller “Lucy” examines the possibility of what one human could truly do if she unlocked 100 percent of her brain capacity and accessed the furthest reaches of her mind.

As her abilities keep evolving, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) reaches out to Professor Samuel Norman, an expert on the human brain, to try to understand what is happening to her. Soon after she is supercharged, she finds herself able to do anything from learning Chinese in an hour to beginning to control space and time.

The production was fortunate enough to have Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman join the team as the world-renowned neurologist whose lifelong focus is how we access the information stored in our brain.

As Freeman is quite a science buff, and particularly enthusiastic about the mind’s capacity, the actor was a natural choice. Writer-director Luc Besson notes: “Morgan Freeman is the ultimate professor, for two reasons. First of all, he’s fascinated by the theory we develop in the movie because he’s very familiar with it, which I didn’t know before we met for the film. It was a pleasure for him just to talk about it. And secondly, he’s such a good actor that you believe everything he says.”

Producer Virginie Besson-Silla was also thrilled to see Freeman come aboard. “Morgan is one of the only people who could play God,” she enthuses. “So, to play the character of wisdom in the film, it was pretty obvious that he was the perfect actor.”

Freeman was equally excited to join the cast, admitting that he holds his character in high esteem. “Professor Norman has written about the brain for years,” he says. “He gives lectures all over the world and has been at the Sorbonne, in Paris, for a number of years. Because he’s preeminent in the field, he is tracked down by Lucy, who’s trying to figure out what’s going on with her brain.”

The veteran actor offers that Professor Norman is flattered to be contacted by Lucy: “When she calls him up and says, ‘I’ve read everything you wrote,’ he replies, ‘You can’t have.’ And when she starts quoting what he wrote, he says, ‘We’ve got to meet.”

Opening across the Philippines on August 06, “Lucy” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

“TARZAN” Swings Into Action as Filming Begins on New 3D Adventure

Principal photography is underway on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ new Tarzan 3D action adventure, starring Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s “True Blood”) as the legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters, including “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 & 2,” is directing. Jerry Weintraub (“Behind the Candelabra,” the “Ocean’s” trilogy) is producing the film, together with David Barron (the “Harry Potter” films, upcoming “Cinderella”). Susan Ekins, Nikolas Korda, David Yates, Mike Richardson and Bruce Berman are serving as executive producers.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Action superstar Dwayne Johnson experienced a massive jolt on the set of Paramount Pictures' epic adventure “Hercules” during a scene when his Greek hero was chained to stone pillars.

"It's when Hercules breaks through the chains and becomes the demi-god he was born to be," says Johnson. "I was actually yelling with all the power I could muster, 'I am Hercules!' I gave it my all and made myself pass out every time we did it. But I honestly felt in that moment that I was born to play this role."

From the looks of it, he might be right.

Even as a child, Johnson, 41, idolized the Herculean legend — "He was the first superhero." But with his 6-foot-5 frame and his famously heroic stature, Johnson is one of the few actors who could legitimately portray his hero onscreen. The effort has taken a decade, and came into focus when director Brett Ratner came onboard four years ago. Johnson took eight months to sculpt his body to demi-god status and maintained it during the taxing shoot in Hungary.

"It's incredible, he's up every morning at 3:45 right on the treadmill, then it was right to the gym for hours," says producer Beau Flynn. "And then it was to the makeup chair, then shooting all day in the heat. And repeat that for 90 days."

Johnson's first transformation into his character took 41/2 hours after being adorned with a wig, beard, makeup and wardrobe. "It looked incredible, we had succeeded," says Johnson. "But it was like, how the hell can we cut the time down?"

Eventually they whittled the daily process to 3 1/2 hours, though the lush yak-beard ("Yes, real yak hair," says Johnson) alone took 2 1/2 hours of application.

"The No. 1 goal is to make the definitive version of Hercules," says Johnson. "We know we're going to be under a microscope." But he's confident moviegoers will accept his "passion-driven" project based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

The story finds Hercules after he has endured his famous 12 Labors (which included slaying a nine-headed hydra and the fearsome Nemean lion), punishment bestowed on him after killing his family in a fit of insanity.

Hercules is still in a dark place mentally, with scars from his many battles. But now he is traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he's hired to train an army for an epic battle.

The setting allowed Johnson, wearing Hercules' Nemean lion headpiece and wielding a massive oak club (with the lion's claws), to lead war scenes featuring more than 1,000 soldiers.

"Green screen and effects can be fantastic. But when you have real men, real sweat and even real blood, it's very gratifying," says Johnson. "You feel the substance."

After he was done with some serious clubbing, Johnson would recover in modern Hercules style.

"I had the club of Hercules and the Nemean lion's head in my room," says Johnson. "I'd come home to that and catch something on the BBC with a glass of tequila."

From Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, "Hercules" stars Dwayne Johnson as both man and myth, leading a band of mercenaries to help end a bloody civil war in the land of Thrace and return the rightful king to his throne. A tormented soul from birth, Hercules has the strength of a God but feels the suffering of a human. Unimaginable villains will test the mythical power of Hercules in director Brett Ratner's gritty take on one of the most epic action heroes of the ages.

“Hercules” also stars Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Tobias Santelmann, Rebecca Ferguson, Isaac Andrews and John Hurt.

The film is produced by Beau Flynn, Barry Levine and Brett Ratner. Based on Radical Comics' "Hercules" by Steve Moore, with a screenplay by Ryan J. Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Directed by Brett Ratner.

Opening across the Philippines on July 23 in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D cinemas, “Hercules” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.


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