Official First Trailer of “mother!” Reveals Darren Aronofsky’s Horror Film

Paramount Pictures has revealed the official first trailer of its upcoming horror thriller, mother!, which may be viewed at https://youtu.be/FiZeZdpO8Hs.
A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.

Opening across the Philippines on September 20, mother! is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

“The Dark Tower” Tops US Box-Office, Opens in PH Aug 30

A new Stephen King big-screen adaptation made its way to the top of US box office as Columbia Pictures’ The Dark Tower opened at No.1 for the August 4 to 6 weekend. The fantasy action-thriller collected an estimated $19.5-M over the weekend from 3,451 theaters for a $5,651 average.

(Watch the new Dark Tower spots “Battle” at https://youtu.be/so9FGYHtjZA and “Hope” at http://youtu.be/69TY9IDAn3w.)

Demographics the Idris Elba-Matthew McConaughey actioner were typical of a sci-fi action thriller with the crowd being 58% male and 68% over 25.

With good international appeal, The Dark Tower is poised for a successful global rollout. The film opens in Philippine cinemas on August 30, 2017.

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There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Knight Warrior, Roland Deschain (Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

The Dark Tower is directed by Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), with a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen & Nikolaj Arcel, based on King’s novels. Producers on the film are Akiva Goldsman, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Erica Huggins.

The Dark Tower is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

James Wan Expands “The Conjuring” Universe with “Annabelle: Creation”

Regarded as one of the most creative filmmakers working today, James Wan expands “The Conjuring” Universe with the second chapter in the Annabelle series – New Line Cinema’s “Annabelle: Creation” (in Philippine theaters August 23, 2017).

(Watch the newly released “Toy Gun” Clip from “Annabelle: Creation” below.)

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Produced by Wan and directed by David F. Sandberg (“Lights Out”), “Annabelle: Creation” is the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful “Annabelle.” In the new film, several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll maker and his wife welcome a nun and six girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. They soon become the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

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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,” Wan continues. “Every time that doll appeared on screen for just those few minutes, people shifted in their seats. Audiences react to her.”

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Wan was thrilled with the manner in which Sandberg embraced and enhanced the horror-verse he began. “David has given this film a very classic period look that takes it outside of the traditional horror films we’re familiar with in contemporary cinema,” Wan says, “and I think that’s been the key to keeping this universe feeling fresh and unique. Each of these standalone movies has a very different flavor, yet they’re all connected.”

Producer Peter Safran agrees. “What James has built and David has continued with ‘Annabelle: Creation’ are films that tap into the fears we hold in our very makeup, our DNA. We’re all drawn to the idea of this doll, this inanimate object that can somehow wreak such devastation.”

These films are a great example of why we love to go to the movies,” Sandberg concludes. “It’s a safe, shared environment where we can experience such a great range of emotions, from fear to excitement and more. And in this case, we get to find out how another piece of this ‘Conjuring’ and ‘Annabelle’ world is tied together…and maybe even get a hint at what’s to come.”

James Wan is currently in production directing “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson. The DC Super Hero film is scheduled to be released December 21, 2018.

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Wan’s production company, Atomic Monster, launched its slate with the highly successful “Annabelle,” released on October 3, 2015. The film was produced by Wan and Peter Safran and grossed over $252 million worldwide. The second release for Atomic Monster was “Lights Out,” directed by David F. Sandberg and produced by Wan (along with Lawrence Grey and Eric Heisserer). The film was released by in July 2016 and earned over $148 million. Next up for Atomic Monster is the latest title in “The Conjuring” universe, “The Nun.” Currently in production, the film is being directed by Corin Hardy and produced by Wan and Safran, and is set for release on July 13, 2018.

Annabelle: Creation” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Scarlett Johansson Gets Funny in Rare Comedy “Rough Night” (Opens Aug 9)

Superstar Scarlett Johansson takes a break from superhero duties as she plays the bride-to-be in Columbia Pictures’ new bachelorette-party comedy Rough Night (in Philippine cinemas August 9, 2017).

Also starring 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.

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Johansson plays Jess Thayer, who has dedicated her life to public service, and has set her sights on becoming a member of the state legislature. “She is definitely a socially conscious person,” explains Johansson. “She’s involved in the community and wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. That’s why she’s running for state senate.”

Jess’ devotion to her constituents has come at the expense of her personal relationships. “Along the way, she’s neglected the people that are closest to her, as we do sometimes,” explains Johansson. “She’s career driven and focused on making a difference.”

Jess is one of those people who has moved on from her crazy college days and is trying to forge a new life in a genuine, earnest way,” explains writer-director Lucia Aniello.

Johansson was excited by the idea of working in comedy. “I read the script and it was just so funny,” she says. “It made me laugh out loud, and I’m not a person that laughs out loud. I laugh a lot on the inside, but it made me belly laugh. I just loved how real the relationships were between these girls and how very earnest the characters were. I responded to these characters and how very real and raw they are.”

In Johansson’s portrayal of Jess, Aniello was in awe of her uncanny ability to strike the perfect balance between humor and vulnerability. “Scarlett not only is such an incredible actress, but, she also can be vulnerable, goofy, and silly,” says Aniello. “The ability to have that in a lead has grounded the movie exactly how I think we intended it to be. Scarlett can also destroy a punchline – she can just kill it. It’s just been incredible to have that flexibility with an actor.”

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Tony and BAFTA winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson was most recently seen in the lead role of the Major in Ghost in the Shell, a live-action adaptation of the original Japanese manga.

In 2016, she voiced the python Kaa in Disney’s live action/CGI animation adaptation of The Jungle Book from Jon Favreau, and lent her voice to the computer-animated musical comedy film Sing, in which she played punk-rocking porcupine Ash. She also reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War, and is currently filming the two upcoming Avengers movies, including Avengers: Infinity War.

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Her other recent roles include Luc Besson’s action-thriller Lucy, Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi art film Under the Skin, and Spike Jonze’s critically acclaimed sci-fi romance Her, in which she played the role of operating system Samantha, which earned her a Best Actress award at the Rome Film Festival.

She is currently the highest-grossing actress of all time and highest grossing actor of 2016, with her films making over $1.2 billion that year and $9.3 billion overall worldwide.

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

“The Dark Tower” Epic Novels Make Long-Awaited Big-Screen Debut

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” With these words, Stephen King sparked an entire universe that makes its long-awaited screen debut with Columbia Pictures’ The Dark Tower, in Philippine cinemas August 30, 2017.

Idris Elba stars as the gunslinger Roland Deschain, sworn to protect the universe, and his perpetual nemesis, Walter O’Dim, the man in black, played by Matthew McConaughey.

In a career spanning 50 years and over 80 books, King has amassed a towering reputation as one of our greatest storytellers. The author of innumerable bestsellers, he has been honored by the President of the United States with the National Medal for the Arts, by the National Book Foundation with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and countless awards and prizes. His name is recognized everywhere as a master of blending our everyday world with the supernatural.

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And there is one work that is at the center of his entire canon: The Dark Tower, the eight-novel epic telling of an eternal battle between good and evil, with the fate of multiple worlds at stake. “I started The Dark Tower when I was 22 years old, when I had just graduated from college, so it’s spanned my entire career,” says King. Over time, he says, as the books and stories piled up, “I started to realize that I had all these characters that were referring back to this other world, Mid-World, the world of The Dark Tower. It had become the centerpiece of my fictional universe –characters who showed up in other books would show up in The Dark Tower and vice versa.” Even King himself would become a character in later novels. The Dark Tower series of books would become the nexus for most of the King universe and crosses over into many of King’s other books.

It’s an epic that has inspired millions of readers – not least of which was a young boy in Denmark whose imagination was sparked by the events in Mid-World. Now grown, director Nikolaj Arcel was determined to be the one to bring The Dark Tower to the screen. Growing up with the Dark Tower books, Arcel became so immersed in the stories that the Danish native taught himself English. He recounts, “When I was about 13, there were almost no Stephen King stories translated into Danish. I became infatuated with the few books that I’d read in Danish, even at that age. And so I had to start picking up his English-version novels and I had to teach myself to read adult novel-style English at a very early age. Stephen King taught me English.”

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For Arcel, the way King weaves together the personal and the larger-than-life elements of the story is why it’s connected to so many readers. “It’s as small as a 14 year-old boy, who has visions, who thinks he’s crazy, and it’s as big as a hero fighting a great villain and trying to save the entire universe. It expands from the very intimate to the very epic.”

And at the center of the story is the Dark Tower. “The Tower is a thing of beauty, it’s a thing of awe, with a powerful presence – it holds the whole world together. I think it’s beyond our comprehension,” says Arcel, “I think every single fan of the books will have their own idea of what the Dark Tower is.”

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So who better to ask what it is than the man who created it? “You have to imagine an axle or a spindle, with all of these worlds connected to it,” says King. “You know what happens to a car if you cut the axle – it doesn’t run anymore. The Tower is the stabilizing force, and the Gunslingers are this ancient group of knights dedicated to the idea of protecting the Tower. But they have been wiped out – there’s only one left, Roland. And standing opposite him is an agent of chaos who wants to bring the Tower down,” King concludes.

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The Dark Tower is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

“Annabelle: Creation” Spooks with “Ghost” Clip

There’s something creepy behind the closet door. Watch the new clip titled “Ghost” from Annabelle: Creation that’s just been released today by New Line Cinema.

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In Philippine cinemas starting August 23, Annabelle: Creation has David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) helming the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful Annabelle, which scared up nearly $257 million at the worldwide box office during its run in theaters. The new film is once again being produced by Peter Safran and James Wan, who also partnered so effectively on The Conjuring movies.

In Annabelle: Creation, several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

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Sandberg directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle. The film stars Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Philippa Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s Homeland, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

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.

“Cars 3” Speeds Away with P40.8-M, Week’s No.1 Foreign Movie

MANILA, August 2, 2017 – Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3,” the latest installment in the beloved Cars series, raced to a smash P40.8-million opening weekend nationwide, ranking as the No.1 foreign movie for the July 26 – July 30 frame.

This was announced today by The Walt Disney Company (Philippines).

“Cars 3” is on track to surpass to the lifetime box-office gross of its two predecessors, 2011’s “Cars 2” and 2006’s “Cars” whose entire run at P40.5-million has already been exceeded in only five days.

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SM North EDSA, Trinoma and Power Plant led the topgrossing cinemas, with P1.25-M, P1.17-M and P1.12-M receipts, respectively.

In the top ten are SM Mall of Asia (P1.03-M), SM Megamall (P907,791), Alabang Town Center (P843,272), UP Town Center, (P691,624), Shang Cineplex (P647,189), Glorietta IV (P639,683) and Robinsons Magnolia (P630,553).

Also posting impressive sales are Greenhills (P603,556), Eastwood (P555,291), Greenbelt III (P537,421), Solenad (P534,508), Newport City (P533,635), FisherMall (P529,126), FairviewTerraces (P524,282), Bonifacio High Street (P518,086), SM Marikina (P512,445), and Robinsons Antipolo (P496,754).

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The animated adventure’s worldwide gross now stands at $268.74-million, with US sales contributing $146-million.

It has been more than ten years since the first “Cars” film was released, but Lightning McQueen remains an iconic character today. While Lightning is still the same self-assured, determined and fun-loving race car audiences fell in love with, his confidence is being tested by the new cars on the track.

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary champion finds himself suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. Suddenly, he finds his dominance in the sport, as well as the confidence that got him there–threatened by younger, faster cars. Determined to get back into pole position, #95 must decide if his love for racing is enough to fuel the comeback of his life.

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“Cars 3” features Owen Wilson (“Shanghai Noon”) as the voice of Lightning McQueen. Cristela Alonzo (“The Angry Birds Movie”) voices tech-savvy trainer Cruz Ramirez, who tries to help Lightning return to greatness, and Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) lends his voice to next-gen racer Jackson Storm, whose high-tech speed leaves Lightning McQueen behind.

Directed by Brian Fee, produced by Kevin Reher and co-produced by Andrea Warren, “Cars 3” is executive produced by John Lasseter, who directed the first two films in the franchise.

Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3” is now cruising into Philippine cinemas. #Cars3 #JointheRacePH

 

Lily James, a Burst of Sunshine in “Baby Driver” (Opens Aug. 02)

In 2015, she played the title role in Disney’s live-action feature Cinderella to wide acclaim. Now, Lily James stars as the title character’s love interest in Columbia Pictures’ U.S. No.1 box-office hit Baby Driver (in Philippine cinemas August 02).

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In the film, a talented, young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets Debora (James), the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Who could bring to life Debora, the kind-eyed, friendly waitress who gives Baby hope that his life could mean something more? Writer-director Edgar Wright found her in British actress Lily James.

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I was incredibly charmed by her,” says Wright. “She basically did in the audition what she does in the movie. She inhabits this character, this new ray of light in Baby’s reasonably introverted life. I sent the video of her audition to Bill Pope, my cinematographer, whose opinion I really trust, especially on actors and actresses. I didn’t tell him why I was sending it or what I thought of it. Maybe half an hour later he replied with a two-word email saying, ‘Hire her.’”

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Says James about her character, “Debora works a dead-end job and it becomes clear that she has no ties to where she is at this point in her life. She has no family and is a bit of a wanderer who wants to escape. She’s a dreamer and she loves music, which is why she and Baby really connect.”

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For Lily James, Elgort makes it easy to sympathize with Baby. “You root for Baby because he’s got such a good heart and you see him at home with Joe, his foster dad, and there’s this beautiful relationship. He’s doing this to get a better life for Joe and himself, and so you want him to succeed, and you don’t want him to get totally corrupted in this horrible world. I think he’s got such a big heart and that shines through in Ansel’s performance, which I think is so beautiful and kind of vulnerable but cool.”

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Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

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

New Horror Thriller “mother!” Offers 30-Second Tease

Ahead of the official launch of the first full trailer next week, Paramount Pictures has just released a 30-second tease its upcoming horror thriller, mother!

A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.

Check out the short tease below and check back for the full trailer next week.

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Opening across the Philippines on September 20, mother! is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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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