Movie Review: ‘Patay na si Hesus’ (2016)

Review by Brylle Fajardo

Patay na si Hesus is a satirical social comedy that effectively sheds light on issues that remain prevalent with the Filipino culture, while simultaneously being able to wildly invoke laughter to the audience. As soon as Iyay, a single mother, learns of her estranged husband’s passing, she immediately calls up her children for a ride from Cebu to Dumaguete to pay respect and attend her husband’s wake. They, along the way, would uncover and resolve the grudges and troubles among them for a one hell of a delightful ride. While its simplistic filmmaking certainly isn’t its strongest suit, it doesn’t hinder the substantial material within the film that gets evocatively addressed.

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Victor Villanueva’s road movie thrives the most when it utilizes humor without being afraid to pinpoint the irony and flaws resting in Filipino culture. Inevitably, some comedy movie tropes still pop up, as it isn’t devoid of senseless (yet still hilarious) gags here and there. It hits and misses whenever it makes use of over-the-top humor, as some of its comedic material just comes off as pretentious, so as to fail to contribute to the storyline. Stellar performances are delivered from its remarkable cast, as Jaclyn Jose portrays her role tremendously well as Iyay, a heavily-burdened mother in need of coming to terms with her unresolved familial issues. Chai Fonacier pulls off a role that is very much out of her comfort zone, as a lesbian who finds herself in an uneasy, and troubled relationship.

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Vincent Viado becomes the film’s heart that beats so sensibly –  giving a genuine and pure portrayal of a differently abled man longing for individuality just as Melde Montanez takes on the hilarious role of a frustrated graduate who’s had a streak in failing the board exams. His undeniably great depiction makes him appear to be a highly-experienced actor despite being a neophyte. Character development is well-highlighted, with each of its main characters given an arc and a conflict to resolve. Such correspondence makes it convenient to connect and love these characters what with their colorful depictions getting us involved in the oft ridiculous ways. With its fusion of an excellent screenplay and brave direction, Patay na si Hesus wins big in its attempt to be a fun-filled yet culturally-essential ride.

Rating:

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* Patay na si Hesus is distributed by Columbia Pictures Philippines, and is an official entry to Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017, which will be held from August 16 to 22 in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

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New Actor Experiences a “Rough Night” Playing Dead Stripper

Australian model-turned-actor Ryan Cooper stars as a male stripper who’s accidental death leads to unforgettable bachelortte weekend in Columbia Pictures’ new adult comedy Rough Night (in Philippine cinemas August 9, 2017).

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz, Rough Night is about five friends from college who reunite when they rent a beach house in Miami for a wild bachelorette weekend that goes completely off the rails. Just when all hope is lost, they realize there’s more to the story than they could’ve ever imagined.

The unsung hero of the film is actor Ryan Cooper, who plays Jay. “This was one of the hardest roles to cast because we had to find somebody who was willing to play a dead person,” says co-star and producer Paul W. Downs. “There is only one scene with dialogue and then he plays a dead person for the rest of the film, but he’s also a huge piece of the movie. We are so lucky that we found Ryan because he’s physically gifted, funny, but also he let himself go through torture. He was thrown out of cars, put into the ocean, stuffed into things that he shouldn’t have been stuffed into. He did an incredible job of playing dead.”

Producer Matt Tolmach says that Cooper proved to be an incredibly gifted physical comedian. “It’s an incredibly challenging role, because you can’t react to any of the craziness happening around you,” he notes. “Playing dead isn’t just playing dead – there’s a way to do it that is real and funny. He created a presence in his deadness, whether it was getting dumped off the jet ski or hitting his head or popping his eyes open after Kate McKinnon tries to close them. These are acting moments, and he did it brilliantly.”

Moving a human being put the girls’ strengths to the test. “The most difficult thing to do was lifting a dead body,” says castmember Jillian Bell. “It’s surprising what a workout it is. We said that by the end of filming, we would be in good shape just carrying around this dead man.”

To become a corpse, Cooper entered into an opened eyed, meditative state where he enjoyed being a voyeur of the action going on around him. “I find playing dead relaxing,” says Cooper. “I meditated for an hour and a half, focusing on one point, as a little prep.”

“Most of the time I keep my eyes open,” continues Cooper. “It’s been hilarious seeing the girl’s reactions and having a hand in a face, a face in a face, a foot in a face, and showered by spittle.”

Ryan Cooper was born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to an Australian missionary family. His father traveled through PNG, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand. After high-school in Auckland New Zealand, Ryan worked as a Carpenter for six years but rose quickly to fame in 2008 after he was featured in the DKNY Jeans campaign with Bahati Prinsloo. His rugged good looks landed him campaigns for Armani Exchange with Izabel Goulart, Hugo Boss underwear, Trussardi Jeans and Esprit underwear with Gisele and Erin Wasson. He’s been seen in television commercials around the globe for brands such as Paramount pictures, Garnier, Macy’s and Just Jeans.

From fashion, Ryan continued to extend his reach into film and television. Ryan continues to build his body of work spending time writing, directing and developing skills in all areas of the film world. His short film Left Behind, is about the confrontation between a mother struggling with her depression and a son’s resolve and unorthodox method of helping her see reason. It was inspired by the loss of loved ones and in a effort to raise awareness for “the blackdog institute” who research and help monitor depression and other mental illnesses.

Rough Night is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

New ‘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.

Catch the Biggest Indie Film Festival, The 13th Cinemalaya at Ayala Malls Cinemas

Ayala Malls Cinemas brings the biggest independent film festival in the country closer to the audience as the 13th Cinemalaya 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.

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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.

Full Length Films Lineup:

Cinemalaya - Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa

Cinemalaya - Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha

Cinemalaya - Baconaua

Cinemalaya - Bagahe

Cinemalaya - Kiko Boxingero

Cinemalaya - Nabubulok

Cinemalaya - Requited

Cinemalaya - Respeto

Cinemalaya - Sa Gabing Nanahimik Ang Mga Kuliglig

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.

Short Films Lineup:

Shorts A

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Cinemalaya - Fatima.jpg

Cinemalaya - Islabodan.jpg

Cinemalaya - Lola Loleng.jpg

Cinemalaya - Manong.jpg

Cinemalaya - Sorry For The Inconvenience.jpg

Shorts B

Cinemalaya - Bawod.jpg
Cinemalaya - Hilom.jpg

Cinemalaya - Juana and the Sacred Shores.jpg

Cinemalaya - Maria.jpg

Cinemalaya - Nakauwi Na.jpg

Cinemalaya - Nakaw.jpg

“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 http://www.sureseats.com 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.

First “Proud Mary” Poster Guns with Style

Columbia Pictures has just unveiled the nostalgia-inspired poster of its new action thriller Proud Mary starring Oscar-nominee Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hidden Figures).
Check out the one-sheet art below and watch Proud Mary in Philippine cinemas in January 2018.

Killing for the man, every night and day, Mary (Henson) is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.
Babak Najafi (“London Has Fallen”) helms the film which co-stars Billy Brown, Margaret Avery, Xander Berkeley, Neal McDonough, and Danny Glover.
Proud Mary is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Here “IT” Is, the Year’s Scariest Trailer!

“You’ll float too.” Watch the official main trailer for New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name.
View the trailer at below and watch “IT” in Philippine cinemas on September 7, 2017.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/warnerbrosphils/videos/1756209357741931/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/-epmpApLcLw

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), “IT” stars Bill Skarsgård (“Allegiant”) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”), Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”), Wyatt Oleff (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming “Cops and Robbers”), Jack Dylan Grazer (“Tales of Halloween”) and Nicholas Hamilton (“Captain Fantastic”).


Muschietti is directing “IT” from a screenplay adapted by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman. Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti are producing, with Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison and Jon Silk serving as executive producers.

A presentation of New Line Cinema, “IT” will be released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.

Cross the Line in the New “Flatliners” Trailer

Dare to cross the line in the new trailer of Columbia Pictures’ new suspense thriller Flatliners starring Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna and James Norton.
Check out the trailer here, and watch Flatliners in Philippine cinemas Sept. 29, 2017.

In the film, five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins from their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.

Flatliners is directed by Niels Arden Oplev, from a screenplay by Ben Ripley, story by Peter Filardi.


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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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!

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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.

Chilling Thriller “The Snowman” Launches Teaser Poster

The minimalist but creepy teaser poster for Universal Pictures’ new suspense thriller The Snowman (in Philippine cinemas Nov. 01, 2017) has just been unveiled online and may be seen below.

Michael Fassbender (X-Men series), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) star in The Snowman, a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller.

In the film, when an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.
The Snowman is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.