Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Finding huge box-office success with such blockbusters as “Underworld” and “Underworld: Evolution” where he originated the central character of the hybrid Vampire/Lycan Michael Corvinus, Scott Speedman now explores his romantic side in Columbia Pictures' endearing love story, “The Vow.” He joins an impressive ensemble led by Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Jessica Lange and Sam Neill.
“The Vow” is the real-life story of a young couple who were struck by tragedy shortly after their wedding. A car crash puts the wife (McAdams) in a coma, where she is cared for by her devoted husband (Tatum). When she comes to, without any memory of her husband or their marriage, the husband must woo her and ultimately win her heart once again.
Paige has reverted mentally to the young law student she was five years earlier, before she met Leo and became an artist. In seemingly an instant, she is no longer the wife Leo knew, and on top of that, she no longer recognizes her current life. Making matters worse, Paige thinks she's still engaged to charming businessman Jeremy (Speedman), who still wants her, and remains reluctant to embrace Leo, with his less conventional lifestyle making music, as anyone she might have ever loved.
Though the directors’ focus for Warner Bros.' “Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance” was to capture as much of the action in camera as possible, it was clear from the beginning that the film would have to employ CG effects as well. After all, the title character has a flaming skull.
In the film, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) -- still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy from the devil. At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy – and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Believe the impossible, discover the incredible as New Line Cinema's “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” embarks on an adventure of a lifetime in IMAX 3D! The film will be shown in local IMAX 3D cinemas, as well as digital 3D and regular theatres starting Thursday, Feb. 2.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine, “Journey 2” takes moviegoers on a fun and fantastic new adventure to parts unknown, a place so remote it has lain hidden for centuries … and, when found, is almost impossible to escape.
Upon seeing the script for “Journey 2,” director Brad Peyton says, “I never imagined doing it small. Right away, I knew it had to involve land, sea and air, with creatures, caves, storms, underwater battles and aerial chases, and all of it set against the most incredible, breathtaking terrain. That meant utilizing the latest and best technology, to deliver something special in the 3D realm that the prequel ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ helped to establish.”
Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks stars as Thomas Schell, a devoted husband and father who was at the wrong place, at the wrong time during the fateful day of 9/11, in Warner Bros.' life-affirming drama, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”
The film is a story that unfolds from inside the young mind of Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), an inventive eleven year-old New Yorker whose discovery of a key in his deceased father’s belongings sets him off on an urgent search across the city for the lock it will open. A year after his father died in the World Trade Center on what Oskar calls “The Worst Day,” he is determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears.
One of the most popular and enduring romantic adventures the world has ever known became one of the most ambitious and entertaining animated motion pictures ever brought to the screen with Walt Disney Pictures' 30th full-length animated feature, ''Beauty and the Beast” which is coming to Philippine theaters for the first time in 3D.
This classic fairy tale about a beautiful young girl and her encounter with an enchanted beast has long fascinated and intrigued storytellers, filmmakers and their audiences. Through the artistry and imagination of the Disney creative team, an inspired song score by two Academy Award®–winning songwriters and the contributions of an enormously talented vocal ensemble, this age-old fantasy took on exciting new dimensions that are only possible through the magic of animation.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Columbia Pictures' critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has been approved without cuts by the Movies & Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) with an R-18 rating. This means, only audiences 18-years-old and above may be admitted when it opens in selected theaters on Feb. 1.
“Dragon Tattoo” caused a stir when it was released in the US last December, owing to its dark themes and graphic scenes of sexual assault, violence and nudity.
Last Tuesday, the film earned five Academy Award nominations, notably for Best Actress (Rooney Mara), Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.
He fought the curse. Now, a new evil will make Johnny Blaze embrace his power. This February, the world’s darkest hero rides again in Warner Bros.’ supernatural action-thriller “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.”
Starring Nicolas Cage, the film is directed by Neveldine/Taylor – also known as Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor – who have earned a cult following with their stylish and edgy films, including “Crank” and “Gamer.”
Neveldine explains that the directors were excited to approach their new film for two major reasons. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to direct a franchise film with Nicolas Cage, and, second, to work with this really cool, edgy, comic book series – I mean, this dude has a flaming skull and kicks major ass,” says Neveldine. “I think the studio wanted to do something edgier with this franchise, so our attitude and style of filmmaking fit perfectly with the tone they were hoping to see. We were all on the same page.”
Thursday, January 26, 2012
One of the most definitive novels about 9/11 becomes one of the year’s most cathartic cinematic experiences as Warner Bros. brings to the screen “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Directed by Stephen Daldry (“The Reader,” “The Hours”), the film has been nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards.
In 2005 the novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, already renowned for his blend of incisive comedy and tragedy in his debut novel “Everything Is Illuminated,” published his follow-up “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” His second novel was, on the one hand, the playful story of an unusually precocious and sensitive boy who invents fantastical devices, dreams about astrophysics, collects a vast assortment of random facts – and is compelled into a quixotic odyssey through the fabric of New York. At the same time, the novel was the first major literary exploration into the grief of 9/11 families, and a study of how a child’s imagination helps him navigate overwhelming fear and unfathomable loss in the wake of events that no logic could possibly reconcile.
Katie Holmes stars opposite Adam Sandler in Columbia Pictures’ uproarious comedy “Jack and Jill.”
In the film, Jack (Sandler) was living an almost perfect life, with the exception of one, annoying constant – his twin sister Jill (also Sandler). Every year he has to tolerate a Thanksgiving visit from his smothering sister, who doesn’t take long to turn his life upside down. As the weekend intrusion starts stretching into a month, the siblings fight, tease, and bicker in the way only twins can. When it becomes clear Jill is never leaving, Jack sets into motion several schemes that he hopes will return Jill to where he loves her most – the other side of the country.
Holmes joins the cast as Erin, Jack’s wife and mother to their two children. “She’s a very busy wife and mother,” Holmes explains. “When Jill comes to town and creates a lot of mayhem within the family, she’s the one who’s trying to keep it all together.
Burbank, CA January 23, 2012 – New Line Cinema’s 3D family adventure, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” is off to a strong start at the global box office. Launching ahead of the US in seven territories— Australia , Korea , Hong Kong , Taiwan , Singapore , Malaysia and New Zealand —the film grossed an excellent $7.9 million, which is 44% ahead of its predecessor in the same countries. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
One of Hollywood’s most sought after young actors who have established themselves among the next generation of leading men, Channing Tatum (“G.I. Joe,” “Dear John”) now stars opposite Rachel McAdams in Columbia Pictures' inspiring romantic drama “The Vow.”
In the film, newlyweds Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) were struck by tragedy shortly after their marriage. A car crash puts Paige in a coma, where she is cared for by her devoted husband. When she comes to, without any memory of her husband or their marriage, the husband must woo her and ultimately win her heart once again.
Rabid fans welcomed the return of Kate Beckinsale to the “Underworld” franchise, catapulting the 3D 4th installment “Underworld Awakening” to the No. 1 spot at the Philippine box-office for the Jan. 20 to 23 frame.
The sequel slew the competition with a nationwide gross of a stunning P49.72-million opening weekend, this according to Victor R. Cabrera, managing director of Columbia Pictures which distributed the film locally.
That phenomenal bow marks the biggest opening ever for the “Underworld” franchise, as well as the most successful debut so far this year for any title, local or foreign.
From three-time Academy Award® nominated director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Reader,” “The Hours”) comes the poignant drama “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”
The Warner Bros. film stars Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”) and Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) along with newcomer Thomas Horn in the role of Oskar, and was produced by Scott Rudin (“No Country for Old Men,” “The Social Network,” “True Grit”).
The screenplay is by Academy Award® winner Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump,” “The Insider”), based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed bestseller.
'Set Fire to the Rain' becomes the third single from '21' to lead the Hot 100 while '21' has sat atop the Billboard 200.
Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" takes over atop the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, dethroning Rihanna's "We Found Love," featuring Calvin Harris, after 10 weeks and making history in the process.
As Adele's set "21" leads the Billboard 200 album chart for a 17th week, "Fire" is the third single to top the Hot 100 while "21" has sat atop the album tally. First single "Rolling in the Deep" began a seven-week Hot 100 reign the week of May 21, 2011, when "21" was in its sixth week in charge of the Billboard 200.
Follow-up "Someone Like You" crowned the Hot 100 the week of Sept. 17, 2011. In the song's fifth and final week at No. 1 (Nov. 5), "21" returned to the Billboard 200 apex for a 13th frame.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Adam Sandler's twin sister is coming for the holidays...and it aint pretty. Columbia Pictures presents the outrageous comedy “Jack and Jill” from director Dennis Dugan and starring Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino.
When you get together with your family for the holidays, everybody has that one family member who drives you crazy. They mean well, and you love them, but still…
She broke countless hearts in such memorable romantic dramas as “The Notebook” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” Now, Rachel McAdams stars in another touching love story – Columbia Pictures’ “The Vow” opposite Channing Tatum.
"The Vow” is the real-life story of Paige and Leo, a newlywed New Mexico couple, who were struck by tragedy shortly after their marriage. A car crash puts Paige in a coma, where she is cared for by her devoted husband. When she comes to, without any memory of her husband or their marriage, the husband must woo her and ultimately win her heart once again.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ magical tale “Beauty and the Beast” returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™, introducing a whole new generation to the Disney classic with stunning 3D.
The film captures the fantastic journey of Belle (voice of Paige O’Hara), a bright and beautiful young woman who’s taken prisoner by a hideous beast (voice of Robby Benson) in his castle. Despite her precarious situation, Belle befriends the castle’s enchanted staff—a teapot, a candelabra and a mantel clock, among others—and ultimately learns to see beneath the Beast’s exterior to discover the heart and soul of a prince.
Featuring unforgettable music by Academy Award® winners Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, and an enormously talented vocal ensemble, “Beauty and the Beast” was the first animated feature to receive a Best Picture nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nominees for the 84th Academy Awards. Here are the nominees in the 10 major categories. The Oscars will be televised on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 26.
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
- The Help
- Midnight in Paris
- The Tree of Life
- War Horse
The holiday movie season last 2010 seemed to belong to filmmaker David Fincher. His "The Social Network" struck the zeitgeist among movie goers, critics and awards groups. Twenty-five days after Fincher completed "Network," the director found himself in Sweden, shooting Columbia Pictures' new thriller "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
It's the English language adaptation of Swedish author Steig Larsson's first installment of his popular Millennium thriller series, with tales of avenging sexual violence against women. Fincher's version stars Rooney Mara as a young computer hacker helping a journalist (Daniel Craig) crack a case of a missing woman.
And like in 2010, Fincher is once again collecting accolades – the latest is a Best Director nomination for “Dragon Tattoo” from the prestigious Directors Guild of America.
In the following interview, Fincher talks about the film, the Swedish franchise and his sentiments on Hollywood's awards season this year.
Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Warner Bros.' 3D supernatural action-thriller "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." In the film, Johnny - still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter - is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy from the devil. At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy - and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
During a press conference at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, Cage assured fans that “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” will be scarier than his first outing as the comic book-inspired character. “This one, with directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, will go into the wonderful bliss of the nightmare imagination. I think it will be very entertaining.”
Check out the rest of Cage's thoughts about the film in the following interview.
The young star of the “High School Musical” films, Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t sing while on camera in New Line Cinema's action-adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” but makes up for it behind the scenes. “She’s always dancing,” co-star Josh Hutcherson points out.
“And singing,” Hudgens pipes in. The young actress describes her character, Kailani, as “very fun. She’s an island girl. She kind of gets sucked into this adventure against her will, but through Sean (Hutcherson) she opens up her heart because she’s really ruled by her head.”
The follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” takes moviegoers on a fun and fantastic new adventure to parts unknown, a place so remote it has lain hidden for centuries … and, when found, is almost impossible to escape. The film also stars Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine.
Joining Kate Beckinsale in Columbia Pictures' supernatural action-thriller “Underworld Awakening” are new cast members India Eisley and Theo James who both play pivotal characters that could propel the popular franchise to greater heights.
“Underworld Awakening” brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D. Beckinsale returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
Actor-on-the-rise Josh Hutcherson (upcoming “The Hunger Games”) returns as young explorer Sean in New Line Cinema's “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” the follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
When the story opens, young Sean is definitely not where he wants to be. It’s been years since his father’s death, and his mother, Liz (Kristin Davis), has recently married Hank (Dwayne Johnson) and relocated the family to suburban Ohio. With no friends around, and a stepfather with whom he’s convinced he has nothing in common, Sean spends many solitary hours poring over his maps and Jules Verne novels and dreaming about undiscovered corners of the world that await him.
“He feels trapped,” says Hutcherson, who reprises a role that has matured in sync with his own life in the four years since “Journey to the Center of the Earth” first screened. “He’s ready to move on to bigger things, and he’s filled with curiosity about the world, which I completely understand. I think a lot of people do, even if they’re not necessarily interested in discovering lost islands. There’s just a driving need to be out there on your own, figuring things out and finding your own way.”
He has solidified himself as a global box office success with gross film revenues in excess of 2.1 billion dollars worldwide with such blockbusters as “Fast Five,” “The Rundown,” “The Scorpion King” and “The Mummy Returns.” Now, Dwayne Johnson stars in another potential megahit, New Line Cinema's 3D family adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”
The film begins when seventeen-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. Unable to stop him from tracking the signal to its source, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank (Johnson), joins the quest that will take them first to the South Pacific, and then to a place few people have ever seen. Or lived to tell about. It’s a place of stunning beauty, strange and threatening life forms, volcanoes, mountains of gold and more than one astonishing secret, in this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
Oscar honorees Naomi Watts and Judi Dench play the most important and influential women in the life of towering American historical figure J. Edgar Hoover, in Warner Bros.' controversial drama, “J. Edgar.” They portray Hoover's trusted secretary, Helen Gandy; and his stern mother, Annie Hoover.
A lifelong ally whom Hoover knew would never betray him was his secretary at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Helen Gandy. “Helen kind of ran the agency,” director Clint Eastwood contends. “If you ask the old-timers, whenever you wanted to know something, you went to see her. She had much more information than anyone else.”
“Helen’s commitment to Edgar never faltered,” says Watts. “I think she was initially impressed by him and found him clever and charismatic, but she was only interested in a career. She worked closely with him longer than anyone, through incredible changes in the world, and she remained steady and poised till then end.”
For the Australian actress, playing a deeply patriotic American in a film about one of the country’s most controversial figures was enlightening. “I knew nothing about my character, and very little more about Hoover, when I took the role. Not being a part of America’s history, and then not having lived through those times, made this a great learning experience for me.”
In Columbia Pictures' new, poignant romantic drama “The Vow,” Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are a young married couple, madly in love and living fulfilling lives as artists in Chicago. One snowy night, the two fall victim to a car accident. Leo survives intact, but a head trauma erases Paige’s entire memory of her relationship with her husband. When she comes out of her coma, Leo is a stranger to her.
Suddenly Leo finds himself in the painful position of rebooting the relationship he’s waited his whole life for, and win his wife's love all over again. Paige has reverted mentally to the young law student she was five years earlier, before she met Leo and became an artist. In seemingly an instant, she is no longer the wife Leo knew, and on top of that, she no longer recognizes her current life. She can’t fathom why she is estranged from her parents (Jessica Lange and Sam Neill), misses her more conservative wardrobe, and doesn’t understand why she would have dropped out of university and a promising career in law. Making matters worse, Paige thinks she's still engaged to charming businessman Jeremy (Scott Speedman), who still wants her, and remains reluctant to embrace Leo, with his less conventional lifestyle making music, as anyone she might have ever loved.
She wowed audiences with her brief but memorable performance as the ex-girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg, in the opening scene of 2010’s “The Social Network.” Now, fast-rising star Rooney Mara breaks away from the pack with her riveting portrayal of the titular role in Columbia Pictures' harrowing thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” She's nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes, and considered a shoo-in for the same honor at the Academy Awards.
Director David Fincher's “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” kicks off the screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster Millennium Trilogy, the epic series of thrillers that have sold 65 million copies in 46 countries. First published in 2005, shortly after Larsson’s own death, the first novel in the series,The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo introduced readers to financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and avenging hacker Lisbeth Salander (played in the film by Daniel Craig and Mara, respectively).
As soon as production was in motion for “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” the search was on for the title character of Lisbeth Salander. The danger was that everyone who had read the book had already formed a personal picture of her in their minds. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Timesdescribed Lisbeth thus in her review:
The directing team Neveldine/Taylor (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor) – known for its edgy, gritty and kinetic action movies “Crank,” “Crank: High Voltage,” and “Gamer” – take on the supernatural action thriller “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 2007 blockbuster “Ghost Rider” starring Nicolas Cage.
In the sequel, Johnny Blaze (Cage) -- still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy – and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
In the following interview, Brian Taylor -- one half of the directing team -- talks about the film during a visit with journalists on location in Eastern Europe.
Fans of the first two Underworld films are sure to be thrilled by the return of actress Kate Beckinsale in the role of the fearsome Vampire huntress Selene, in Columbia Pictures' 3D action-thriller “Underworld Awakening.” “We really wanted to work with Kate again,” says producer Gary Lucchesi. “Sometimes the stars just align themselves perfectly and this is one of those times.”
Beckinsale admits she thought twice about slipping back into the familiar skintight black latex suit before accepting the part again. “But it was a life-changing role for me, so I feel very affectionate towards it. It’s exciting to be able to follow a character over such a long period of time. It’s rare to get that chance.”
Tom Rosenberg, Lakeshore Entertainment chairman and CEO, says he’s thrilled to have Beckinsale in the film. “She is Selene, and Selene is the heart and soul of Underworld. Right from that first scene in the first film, she embodied the perfect tone.”
Coming off Christopher Nolan's explosive blockbuster “Inception,” Leonardo DiCaprio now makes his first-ever Clint Eastwood-directed film with Warner Bros.' controversial drama “J. Edgar.” For his riveting portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover, DiCaprio has been nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a favorite to earn the same honor at the Oscars.
A towering figure in American history, J. Edgar Hoover devoted himself to public service, essentially putting aside any personal relationships he might have wanted to have for what he considered to be the greater good. As one who served to gain authority as well as the public’s adoration, he saw his opportunity to achieve both by positioning himself as a supreme crime-fighting figure, a hero of the populace.
“Hoover was incredibly ambitious as a young man,” says DiCaprio, who took on the character that would take him from a man in his twenties to one at 77. “He was highly motivated to succeed in Washington, primarily due to his mother’s expectations of him. His father had failed to become a major political figure, and Annie Hoover wanted her son to carry the family name to great fame and fortune, with little or no regard for what else Edgar might have needed for himself. He became this stoic, bulldog enforcer who had to keep his personal life very personal. He became all about secrets.”
Friday, January 20, 2012
"The Vow” is the real-life story of a newlywed New Mexico couple who were struck by tragedy shortly after their marriage. A car crash puts the wife (McAdams) in a coma, where she is cared for by her devoted husband (Tatum). When she comes to, without any memory of her husband or their marriage, the husband must woo her and ultimately win her heart once again.
Directed by Michael Sucsy, “The Vow” is written by Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein and Jason Katims, with story by Stuart Sender. The film also stars Sam Neill, Scott Speedman and Jessica Lange.
Opening across the Philippines in February 2012, “The Vow” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.
The video The Women of Spartacus for the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand entitled Spartacus: Vengeance is about the female heroines and villains in the upcoming season. They include: “Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Viva Bianca (Ilithyia), Katrina Law (Mira), and Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Seppia). The Women of Spartacus goes into how ”the women of Spartacus: Vengeance shape this season”.
Watching Lucretia and Ilithyia fight, Ilithyia about to kill Lucretia, is a confrontation that has been brewing since the middle of the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I am looking forward to what Seppia brings to the table as well.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
His unique balance of depth and charm won him the role of James Bond in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” Now, Daniel Craig plays crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist who's tasked to find the truth behind the long-unsolved disappearance of an heiress, in Columbia Pictures searing thriller, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
Much like author Stieg Larsson was before his death, the character of Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist dedicated to rooting out corruption in finance and government. As co-owner of the upscale magazine, Millennium, he is hardly an activist, but he has been known to go too far -- getting into legal, and even mortal, peril due to his merciless investigations of the powerful and wealthy.
Comic actor Jason Segel (“I Love You, Man” TV's “How I Met Your Mother”) is the moving force behind the return of Kermit the Frog and the rest of the gang in Walt Disney Pictures' new comedy “The Muppets.” Says producer Todd Lieberman, “Jason was super passionate about the Muppets and a massive fan. He was the spark.”
Segel was so passionate about the project, he not only helped write the script, he wrote a part for himself—a part that required him to sing, dance and act opposite some of the most iconic characters in the world. “In the finale of the movie there are 200 extras, 100 dancers and 50 Muppets,” says Segel. “It was very surreal and it happened to take place on my birthday. I walked out from my trailer thinking I was coming to film, and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ including the Muppets. I kept thinking, ‘I’ve tricked everyone. Somehow I’ve made this weird childhood dream come true.’ It was the craziest thing ever.”
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
He received universal acclaim for portraying the Winklevoss twins in 2010's “The Social Network.” Now, Armie Hammer follows-up that success with a dramatic turn in Warner Bros.' new, controversial biopic, “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Clint Eastwood. Hammer plays Clyde Tolson, J. Edgar Hoover's closest colleague and constant companion – a performance for which he recently got nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Screen Actors Guild.
Trust was vital to the legendary Hoover – director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years -- though he bestowed his trust on only a few individuals over the course of his lifetime, those few he felt were truly loyal to him. In order to paint a complete portrait of the man, it was critical to the filmmakers to capture those key relationships that helped reflect and reveal who he was, beginning with his friend, Clyde Tolson.
Nicolas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze in Warner Bros.' new action-thriller “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” In this gritty new vision for the character, directed by Neveldine/Taylor (“Crank”), Johnny is still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – but he may risk everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks (Idris Elba) to save a young boy from the devil… and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” is written by Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman and David S. Goyer, with a story by Goyer based on the Marvel Comic.
The producers are Steven Paul, Ashok Amritraj, Michael De Luca, Avi Arad, Ari Arad; while the executive producers are E. Bennett Walsh, David S. Goyer, Stan Lee and Mark Steven Johnson.
With “Underworld” series stalwart Len Wiseman unavailable to direct the fourth installment “Underworld Awakening,” the filmmakers launched an extensive search for someone to take the helm of the new production. “We considered a number of young filmmakers who had demonstrated an interest in the Underworld franchise,” says producer Gary Lucchesi. “That group included a team of Swedish directors, Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. They had co-directed a really interesting film called `Storm,' which seemed to us to have been heavily influenced by `Underworld.'”
“We could see from watching their earlier movie that they understood how the heroine was set up, the way that the film was shot, the camera movements, the color palette, everything,” says co-producer Richard Wright. “Then they gave us a very detailed presentation book that showed us what they thought the movie should look like. It was obvious these guys were going to bring a lot to the party.”
Monday, January 9, 2012
An award-winning, acclaimed actor with a wealth of widely varied film roles to his credit, Jude Law once again stars opposite Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. James Watson in Warner Bros.' new action-adventure “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.”
In the film, Sherlock Holmes (Downey) has always been the smartest man in the room…until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective.
Downey reveals, “We see the aftereffects of Holmes having been consumed with Moriarty, to the point that he’s clearly kind of ‘nutting up.’ He’s focused on him to the exclusion of everything else, including, quite possibly, his own sanity,” the actor smiles.
That is the state in which Dr. Watson discovers his old friend when he returns to Baker Street on the eve of his wedding to Mary. Jude Law notes, “Watson arrives looking forward to the stag party that his best man, Holmes, was supposed to arrange. Instead, he finds he has reason to be concerned with Holmes’ obsessive behavior regarding Professor Moriarty. I don’t think he doubts that Holmes is right, and there’s still a bit of the old soldier in Watson who feels a responsibility to see justice done. But he does suspect it will result in the dilemma he always faces: a secure life with his wife or the thrill of the chase. He undoubtedly has great times when he’s on a case with Holmes and wants to help his friend out of the scrapes he gets himself into, so it’s a constant struggle for the poor chap.”
Director Guy Ritchie says, “We’d all love to have the genius of Sherlock Holmes, although we’re much more likely to empathize with Watson. Being a doctor, he is an intellectual in his own right, but to a degree, Watson is your every man who is enticed by a life of action and Holmes is his window of opportunity to that life. It makes for a perfect partnership, and that’s the engine that drives these stories.”
The connection between Holmes and Watson was reflected in the off-screen friendship between the two actors playing them. Downey attests, “I feel about Jude the way Sherlock feels about John: I love the guy like a brother. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
“Developing the interaction between Holmes and Watson was one of the most rewarding parts of the first film, and from the get-go, Robert and I slipped right back into it,” Law recalls. “We benefited this time from the fact that we really knew the characters, having laid the bedrock of their relationship in the first film, so we could trust our instincts and even push it a little further.”
Producer Joel Silver states, “There was a kind of magic that came out of the dynamic between Robert and Jude as Holmes and Watson, and the sequel gave us a chance to take that up a notch. In the first movie, we had to give audiences the time to get to know the foibles of the characters. Coming into this movie, we had already laid the foundation, so we could launch right into the action, which is bigger, funnier and more explosive in every sense of the word.”
Opening across the Philippines on Sunday, Jan. 08, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
J. Edgar Hoover, the subject of Warner Bros.' new drama “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was a complex and compelling figure who captivated America and whose legacy is still felt in the halls of the FBI building named for him. He was the catalyst for modern forensics and created a system of federal laws that transformed the U.S. in a multitude of ways that remain relevant today. Both feared and revered, the man was a dichotomy whose public and private lives would spark rumor and innuendo, but, thanks to his eternal secrecy, the question of who he really was remains largely speculative to this day.
Director Clint Eastwood, who grew up during his reign, was intrigued by the chance to explore Hoover on film. “Hoover was a top cop, or a top ‘G-Man,’ as they called them in those days, but I didn’t really know much about him. He kept a high profile—he was seen with movie actors and famous writers at social gatherings and what have you—but he was an enigma in many ways.”
Therefore, when the screenplay for “J. Edgar” crossed his desk, the filmmaker says, “I was already curious, especially about how the screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, had approached it. It was really a character study. I liked the story a lot.”
“This is a story about relationships,” Eastwood says, “intimate interactions between Hoover and everyone around him, from those closest to him—Clyde Tolson, Helen Gandy, his mother—all the way to Robert Kennedy and other well known political figures, even presidents. If it had just been a biopic, I don’t think I would have wanted to do it. I like relationship pictures, I like exploring why people do or did certain things in their lives.”
“Coming off of ‘Milk,’ Hoover was someone I really wanted to investigate,” writer Black states. “To me, he seemed the very opposite of Milk: a man with tremendous political power, but intensely closeted when it came to his personal life.”
The project came to Black through veteran producer Brian Grazer, who had worked with Eastwood once before and was eager to do so again. “I wanted to do a movie about J. Edgar Hoover—not a documentary, but an actual feature film,” he relates. “I was interested in the power and corruption that existed in his world, much of it of his own making, in spite of his being such a dedicated patriot.”
Black and Grazer settled on a few key points on which to center the film, including the Lindbergh kidnapping and the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“I really wondered how this man, who started out with the best of intentions and went on to create the FBI and bring down some of the country’s most iconic gangsters, became so paranoid and, by some accounts, diabolical,” Grazer says.
Black notes, “My initial research labeled him either a hero to the nation, to whom we owe everything in terms of our protection and safety, or a villain who did things in an underhanded manner and was a terror to the country. It all seemed so extreme; I thought the truth had to lie somewhere in between.”
Grazer agreed with that conclusion, and with the writer’s idea to “present it from an internal point of view, from Hoover’s own psyche, letting him tell the story as he remembers it,” the producer says.
“J. Edgar” begins in the mid-1970s, when Hoover is nearing the end of his life and his time as Director of the FBI. Wanting to preserve everything he’s built, he begins dictating his memoirs, reflecting back on his early days as a man in his early twenties, when he first began working with what was then simply the Bureau of Investigation.
“I think he was interested in his place in history,” Eastwood surmises, “but probably prone to some exaggeration. There are proven moments where he fudged his stories a bit to make himself look a little better.”
“Early on in his career, solving the Lindbergh case and capturing outlaws like John Dillinger helped Hoover to fashion the G-Man image in the eyes of the general public,” Leonardo DiCaprio adds. “There were comic books about them, they were on cereal boxes, engaging America’s youth. It was all part of his publicity campaign to turn government into a force that was helping your family and keeping your children safe.”
Whether or not Hoover was ever able to feel the country was safe or that positive changes were on the horizon, is still a question.
“I think even as an old man, J. Edgar Hoover was still so obsessed with communism that he didn’t recognize things were changing for the better during the Civil Rights Movement,” the actor goes on. “He saw it as an uprising that had the potential to become something more destructive. That’s when he lost his footing. That’s when he failed to see the real future of our country.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “J. Edgar” was produced under the banners of Imagine Entertainment and Malpaso. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
For the fourth installment of their mega-hit Underworld franchise, “Underworld Awakening,” the filmmakers have taken the extraordinary risk of reinventing and reinvigorating an already hugely successful, internationally acclaimed property. They have transported their Vampire and Lycan characters into a contemporary, human-dominated world in which they are hunted to near extinction, adding the excitement of cutting edge 3D technology into the mix.
With other commitments pending, including helming the upcoming remake of “Total Recall,” franchise creator Len Wiseman chose not to direct the film, but was on hand as a producer and provided the inspiration for the extraordinary storyline. “Len imagined a scenario where Selene and Michael have created a child,” says Gary Lucchesi, president of Lakeshore Entertainment. “That was the starting point for this movie. It would have been impossible to make such a good movie without Len’s contribution. He was involved in everything from production design to writing the script and casting the film.”
Kate Beckinsale, who starred in the first two installments of the Underworld saga, once again returns as the Vampire Death Dealer Selene, who escapes a lengthy imprisonment to discover that humans have almost successfully eradicated both the Vampire and Lycan clans.
“This is a continuation of the story that ended in `Underworld Evolution,'” says David Coatsworth, executive producer of the film. “Putting Selene into the context of a modern world and having her interact with humans is one of the two big new elements. The second is the discovery that she’s the mother of a teenage daughter. It brings a whole new twist to the evolution of Selene and sets up the possibility of continuing on into the future.”
Set 15 years after the conclusion of “Evolution,” “Underworld Awakening” adds new characters and new rules to the story. “I think the hardcore fans are going to find a more action-packed and, to a certain degree, more violent Underworld than they’ve seen before,” says Lucchesi. “Selene’s rougher in this movie than she’s ever been. She’s capable of greater violence. It’s a very strong dramatic story and extremely well-acted. We’ve set a high bar with the earlier films and I think the audience will find this really intriguing.”
The updates take the story out of its mythological past and place it squarely in the world of the science-fiction action thriller. “It doesn’t take place in our past or present or future,” says Richard Wright of Lakeshore. “It takes place in its own version of all three of those temporal periods.”
With “Underworld Awakening,” the filmmakers set out to create an all new story that would appeal to both long-time franchise fans and attract the attention of those who have not yet experienced the Underworld saga. “I think that when people who have enjoyed the earlier films come to a new one, there are certain things they expect to see, certain conventions to be adhered to,” says Coatsworth. “But I think they also want something new. That presents a two-fold challenge. We had to be loyal to the rules of the game and also provide a new dimension to the story.”
Coatsworth believes the film succeeds on both levels and will be able to stand on its own as an exciting and entertaining film. “You don’t have to have seen any of the other Underworlds to appreciate it. I think a new group of people who enjoy action films and 3D will be a big part of our audience.”
By giving Selene and Michael a daughter, the filmmakers hope to extend the life of the franchise well into the future. “Since both Selene and Eve are immortal, who knows what will happen.” says Wright. “They may be together for a thousand years.”
Opening across the Philippines in January 2012, “Underworld Awakening” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
The follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” New Line Cinema's “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” takes moviegoers on a fun and fantastic new adventure to parts unknown, a place so remote it has lain hidden for centuries … and, when found, is almost impossible to escape. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine.
A fan of the first film which introduced intrepid young explorer Sean Anderson (Hutcherson) to audiences worldwide, director Brad Peyton says, “I wanted to embrace Sean’s story and advance it, with amazing new landscapes and a fresh set of challenges that will take him further than he’s ever been because he’s not a kid anymore. He’s seventeen now and ready to blaze his own trail in the world. This is his chance to prove he’s not just along for the ride; he’s an explorer in his own right.”
Peyton is no stranger to combining action and comedy with a sweep of scale and a dash of the unexpected. Upon seeing the script for “Journey 2,” he says, “I never imagined doing it small. Right away, I knew it had to involve land, sea and air, with creatures, caves, storms, underwater battles and aerial chases, and all of it set against the most incredible, breathtaking terrain. That meant utilizing the latest and best technology, to deliver something special in the 3D realm that ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ helped to establish.”
In 2008 that film broke ground as the first narrative feature to employ the Fusion System, a sophisticated digital 3D camera rig developed by James Cameron and cinematographer Vince Pace, and subsequently used on “Avatar.” Not surprisingly, the “Journey 2” filmmakers returned to the Cameron Pace Group for state-of-the-art strategies and equipment to capture the depth and scope Peyton wanted to achieve in a range of real-world environments.
Dedicated to a full location shoot from the start, the director states, “I felt the actors should have dirt under their feet. I wanted a real jungle, not a green-screen jungle. As the setting for so many spectacular images, it needed that literal grounding.”
The filmmakers also liked the fact that the characters thrown into this tropical paradise-turned-deathtrap must use their wits as well as their reflexes to survive, especially when they discover that plant and animal life there grows by its own rules.
It’s the Island Rule, in fact, also known as Foster’s Rule. Producer Charlotte Huggins explains, “It’s a genuine biogeographic theory, that, over the course of evolution in an isolated environment, large things can become small and small things become large. So a herd of elephants there might look and act exactly like elephants except that they’re miniatures, while butterflies could look and act exactly as butterflies would, except that they’re enormous.”
The downside of such visual wonders would be great carnivorous birds and lizards, some the length of a football field, who see the explorers as their next meal.
Michael Caine, starring as Anderson patriarch Alexander, who made wanderlust the family business and is the catalyst for this latest excursion, acknowledges, “This is no children’s fairy tale. It’s very fast, and the kids are going to have to be smart to keep up.”
Opening in theatres beginning February 2012, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is a New Line Cinema presentation, will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.