Tuesday, May 23, 2017


It was a long weekend well-spent for Bicolanos who partied with Kapamilya star Marlo Mortel, a host of Umagang Kay Ganda on ABS-CBN HD, during the first leg of ‘Maki-JAM with SKYdirect’ in Legazpi City, Albay last April 29 to 30.

To further bring SKY's affordable direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV service closer to the region, the two-day event kicked off with a motorcade of Marlo. Together with the SKYdirect team, he made the rounds in the streets of Daraga and Legazpi City.

The Umagang Kay Ganda mainstay together with SKYdirect Product Head Abigail Ng Sy also took time to get to know the city’s media practitioners and local dealers in an intimate meet-and-greet and thanksgiving event. “Bicol is only one region we plan to invade through the enriching content found on SKYdirect channels. In the coming months, we will visit more cities and provinces and hopefully empower more Filipinos with access to SKYdirect offerings,” said Ng Sy during an interview with Legazpi City media.

Marlo's series of performances that left fans in awe was the event's highlight as he sang three songs while lucky fans got the chance to jam with him on stage.  While waiting for Marlo’s much-awaited number, attendees sang their hearts out to their favorite songs in special karaoke activities courtesy of channel partner MYX and had fun with interactive games featuring hit TV shows and characters from channels available on SKYdirect.  You can catch more of Marlo on UKG on ABS-CBN HD on Channel 2 on SKYdirect.

SKYdirect offers a diverse channel lineup with exclusive channels catering to every family member that include ABS-CBN HD, the sports channel S+A, ANC, Cinema One, MYX, Lifestyle, Jeepney TV, DZMM TeleRadyo, ABS-CBN Regional Channel, Yey, Cinemo and TAG. Top-rating cable channels Cartoon Network HD, HBO HD, Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner TV HD, RTL-CBS Entertainment, TLC, AXN HD, and History HD are also available on SKYdirect.

Subscribing to SKYdirect is even more affordable since kits are now priced at P2,699 from the original price of P2,990. SKYdirect prepaid plans are available nationwide at Plan 99, Plan 250, and Plan 450. Postpaid plans are available in Plan 250 and Plan 450 variants. 

RMK Electronics, Garcia Store, Doran Store, Cosmo Flow, Allycom, Adajo Electronics, Daz Store, Rody Store, Aso Store and ZON Electronics are among the stores in Albay province where customers can apply for a SKYdirect subscription.For more information, visit mysky.com.ph/skydirector text 23668 to order.

SKY Cable Corporation is the first to introduce cable television to Filipinos in 1990. Since then, it has been a frontrunner in technology and cable TV content by being the first to design a highly customized viewing experience among subscribers, and offering the most number of HD channels. Aside from pay TV brand SKYdirect, SKY’s other offerings include SKYcable, One SKY Premium (unlimited internet all-in bundles), One SKY Lite (consumable internet all-in bundles), SKYmobi (mobile internet), and SKY On Demand (video-on-demand).

King Arthur Movie Review: A New Take On Retelling The Arthurian Legend With Stunning Special Effects

 THERE HAVE been many movies about the Arthurian legend, like “Knights of the Round Table” (1953) with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner, “Excalibur” (1981) with Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren, “First Knight” (1995) with Sean Connery and Julia Ormond, “Prince Valiant” (1954) with Robert Wagner and (1997) with Stephen Moyer, and “King Arthur” (2004) with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley. There was also an animated film, “The Sword in the Stone” (1963) based on the classic “The Once and Future King” by T.H. White, a Broadway musical turned into film “Camelot” (1967), and a comedy, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975.)

We now have another retelling of the Arthurian legend in “King Arthur, the Legend of the Sword”, and the difference is that it is directed by Guy Ritchie (also co-writer of the screenplay), who had successful modernized versions of Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr., both big hits. His version is not based on any of the previous works on King Arthur but his own take on how the legendary king of Camelot started.

It is obviously an origin story preparing for a franchise, with the ending showing Arthur building the round table where he and his knights would congregate. But the possibility of a sequel is a big IF and depends on whether this first movie will be a box office hit. And judging from the results in the U.S., it's not very encouraging. It was made with the huge budget of $175 million but has earned only $22 million so far, quickly eclipsed by "Alien Covenant" that raked in $36 million just on its opening week.

Some of the elements in past Arthurian stories are here, notably the sword Excalibur, The Lady of the Lake, Mordred, Uther Pendragon. But Guinevere, Merlin and the other knights like Lancelot and Galahad have yet to show up. To show Arthur’s beginnings, we see him as a little boy who witnesses the death of his dad (Eric Bana) in the hands of his own brother, Vortigern (Jude Law), an echo of what happened to Simba in “The Lion King”.

Vortigern uses black magic for his evil schemes and connives with a three-faced witch with the body of a slimy octopus with countless tentacles. He also doesn’t hesitate to kill his own loved ones just to perpetuate himself in power as the King. The boy Arthur gets to escape from him by floating like Baby Moses on a small boat along the river Thames. He is later found and taken care of by ladies of the night in a brothel.

Many years later, the waters in a river recede and reveal the big rock where the sword Excalibur got stuck after Arthur’s father died. All males are brought to the site and whoever can pull out the sword from the stone will be revealed to be Vortigern’s missing nephew who then has to be killed for Vortigern to remain in power.

Of course, it is so easy for Arthur to pull out the sword as he is the true heir of the murdered king, so he is immediately held captive for a beheading. But there are secret forces aiming to help him, including the female magician who can control animals (Astrid Berges Frisbey), Sir Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou), Chinese George (Tom Wu) and Goosefat Bill (Aidan Gillen of “Game of Thrones”). They help Arthur escape and they then lead the resistance to bring down Vortigern.
In telling the story, Ritchie uses brief and frequent flash forwards to keep things moving briskly.

Sometimes, the style of taking narrative jumps gets too flashy and some viewers who are more used to linear storytelling might be turned off by it. For action fans, Ritchie makes sure the film is throbbing with frenetic energy with plenty of fight scenes and battle scenes. Arthur is seen fighting all sorts of giant animals in one sequence.

Visually, the film’s look is a stunningly well realized Medieval setting and the special effects are spectacular and entertaining, like the gigantic elephants used in the opening battle sequence. The pacing is very fast, like the quick montage showing the boy Arthur growing up as a street kid raised by prostitutes in Londinium.

Visually, the film’s look is a stunningly well realized Medieval setting and the special effects are spectacular and entertaining, like the gigantic elephants used in the opening battle sequence. The pacing is very fast, like the quick montage showing the boy Arthur growing up as a street kid raised by prostitutes in Londinium.

Charlie Hunnam (“Pacific Rim”, “Crimson Peak”) is serviceable as King Arthur, but it’s as if there’s a missing element in him and we can’t help thinking that an actor with greater charisma would have done more wonders for the role.

Jude Law does better as the villain. He has worked well with Guy Ritchie before as Dr. Watson in the “Sherlock Holmes” films. In the 2003 movie, “Cold Mountain”, Jude was the lead actor and Hunnam was playing a small supporting role. Now, the tables have been turned and it’s Jude who's supporting Hunnam.

Barbie Forteza Undoubtedly The Hottest Kapuso Teen Star Now After About 30,000 People Trooped To Her Mall Show In Angeles City

BARBIE FORTEZA is no doubt the hottest teen star at the Kapuso Network nowadays because of the huge popularity of her primetime show, “Meant to Be”. When she and her co-stars had a mall show at Robinsons Angeles recently, a crowd of about 30,000 fans showed up after they learned that she’s making a personal appearance in “mekeni, cabalen” country.

This is her second most successful show after “The Half Sisters” that aired for almost two years as it had several extensions, so we won’t be surprised if “Meant to Be”, which has just been extended up to June, will get more extensions considering its highly consistent performance in the ratings game.

Barbie was asked by the fans if it’s true that she has already made a choice as to who among the four boys in the senior cast is nearest to her heart and the lucky guy is said to be Jak Roberto. “Huwag po tayong assuming kasi, as of now, lahat sila, friends ko pa rin lang. Nanood lang kami ni Jak ng sine dahil hindi puede yung tatlo, kami na? Agad-agad? Chill lang po kayo at abangan na lang ang mga susunod pang kaganapan sa ‘Meant to Be’ na patindi nang patindi every night.”

Jennylyn Mercado Makes Sure She Has Her Own Interpretation Of Lead Character Steffi Chavez In Kapuso Adaptation Of 'My Love From The Star'


JENNYLYN MERCADO says that after she and Dennis Trillo have admitted their relationship as “nagkabalikan”, the next question always being asked of them now is: “Kailan na kayo pakakasal?”
“I guess ganun talaga sa showbiz,” she sighs. “Kapag hindi pa kayo umaamin, pilit kayong paaaminin. Kapag namin umamin na kayo, kasal na ang next question. May mga nagsabi pang secretly engaged na raw kami, na nag-propose na raw at may ring na raw ako, namanhikan na raw si Dennis, but the truth is, wala pong mga ganoon. Ni wala po kaming balak. Ni hindi namin napag-uusapan, so malayo, matagal pa yun. Pareho kaming sobrang busy ngayon sa aming respective new shows. Ako sa ‘My Love from the Star’, siya naman sa ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, kaya tigilan na po natin ang mga ispekulasyon sa wedding-wedding na yan dahil malabo pa pong mangyari yan sa ngayon.”

She’s glad that after so many delays, “My Love from the Star” is finally being shown starting this Monday. Did she get to watch the original Koreanovela? “Ilang episodes lang, hindi buo. Gusto ko lang makita yung Steffi Chavez sa Korean series. Pinag-aralan ko, kasi kakaiba yung role niya as a swell headed actress na na-in love sa isang alien. Ayoko naman masabing ginaya ko lang siya. Very challenging ang role at iniba ko ang atake ko, kaya sana, matuwa naman ang viewers with my own interpretation, and with the help of Direk Joyce Bernal.”

So how is her new leading man, Gil Cuerva? “Okay naman siya. Pero nahirapan siya sa kissing scene namin. Sabi ni Direk, wala siyang napi-feel dahil ovious na nagkakahiyaan pa kami, kaya naka-ilang takes din kami bago na-perfect. May chemistry raw kami, kahit nine years older ako sa kanya. Wala pa kaming masyadong bonding moments, sa set lang kami nagkikita’t nagkakausap, but he really wants to learn kaya mabilis siyang matuto.”

How’s her dad, Noli Pineda, who she fetched in Korea to live with her here in Manila? “Madali siyang pakisamahan and it’s a nice feeling na may kasama kami sa bahay kaya hindi na ko masyadong nag-aalala kahit magdamagan ako sa taping. Mula kasi nang mawala si Mommy Lydia ko, sa yaya lang naiiwan ang anak kong si Alex Jazz. At least ngayon, may ibang member of the family na puedeng pagtiwalaan.”

Monday, May 22, 2017


Universal Pictures announced May 23 that its series of films reviving the studio’s classic monster characters for a new generation will be known as “Dark Universe.”

The motion logo for the new initiative features a musical theme composed by Danny Elfman and will debut in theaters preceding The Mummy, which will be released in Philippine cinemas June 7.

The announcement includes details of the enterprise relaunching Universal’s iconic characters into modern cinema, as well as confirmations of superstar cast and that Academy Award® winner Bill Condon will direct Bride of Frankenstein.

Dark Universe was begun by core creatives Alex Kurtzman, who also serves as director and producer of The Mummy, the inaugural film in the new classic monster series, and The Mummy producer Chris Morgan, who recently saw The Fate of the Furious, the sixth film he wrote for the Fast & Furious franchise, claim the biggest opening in history at the global box office when it opened April. Also joining the enterprise to inspire and entertain a new generation are such visionary talents as Oscar winner® Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible series, The Usual Suspects) and David Koepp (War of the Worlds,Jurassic Park).

“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically,” said Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures. “The enterprise masterfully developed by Chris and Alex will allow each subsequent chapter the right time to find the perfect cast, filmmakers and vision to fulfill it. As we launch Dark Universe with Danny’s provocative theme beforeThe Mummy and collaborate with a brilliant filmmaker like Bill to weave the story of a very modern woman in a very classic tale, we feel confident we’re off to a tremendous start.”

“When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures,” said Kurtzman and Morgan. “The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we’ve begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”

From his first score on Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and his iconic theme for The Simpsons—not to mention his collaborations with filmmakers including Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Sam Raimi, Rob Marshall, Guillermo del Toro, Joss Whedon and Peter Jackson—four-time Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman’s inimitable compositions have vaulted him into one of the most versatile and accomplished composers in history.

“I grew up on monsters,” said Elfman. “Monsters were my life, and these iconic Universal monsters were almost like my family. I simply wouldn’t be the same without them. When I got the opportunity to compose a theme for the Dark Universe logo, of course I jumped at it. What could be more fun than connecting to this world that has always been so deeply imbedded in my psyche? I tried to find something that was new but still had some connections with the past—the origins—at least in a subtle way. Something that was looking forward to a creative, fertile, imaginative future that Dark Universe will enter, and at the same time saluting the heritage of the tragic heroes (or anti-heroes) of my childhood. To the Monsters!!!!”

In another exciting development, Oscar® winner Bill Condon will follow his worldwide smash Beauty and the Beast, one of this year’s biggest hits—which crossed $1 billion at the global box office and became the most successful musical of all time—by directing Bride of Frankenstein, from a screenplay by Koepp. The next film from Dark Universe, Bride of Frankenstein will be released on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

In a related move, Universal announced that it will not release a Dark Universe film as previously planned for April 13, 2018, and that Bride will instead be the next chapter in the unspooling series of movies following this year’s The Mummy. The actress chosen to play the lead role in Condon’s version of this timeless story will be announced soon.

“I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent,” stated Condon. “The Bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece—which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.”

Dark Universe films will be distinguished by performances from some of the most talented and popular global superstars stepping into iconic roles, as well as electric new talents whose careers are starting to break through. While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the attached photo: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, blockbuster icon Johnny Depp and Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem, who appear together later this summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who lead the all-star cast of The Mummy, along with Sofia Boutella, the actress who embodies the title role in that film.

At its organizing principle, Dark Universe films are connected by a mysterious multi-national organization known as Prodigium. Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll, Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world. Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society…and will go to any length to contain it. To learn more about Dark Universe and Prodigium, visitwww.DarkUniverse.com and www.WelcometoProdigium.com.

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters. Welcome to Dark Universe.


There’s more to songwriting and singing for “The Voice Philippines” Season 1 alumnus Paolo Onesa. The pride of “Kamp Kawayan” reveals he is every inch a fighter as he shares his passion for mixed martial arts (MMA) this Thursday (May 25) on “Sports U” on ABS-CBN. 

Paolo believes physical fitness brings out the best in him as a performer, through instilling in him discipline and confidence. He gets to showcase this side of him while learning other MMA styles with 2009 SEA Games Muay Thai gold medalist Crew Zaidi Laruan. 

Like Paolo, budding tackle ball player Vincent Presas will also share how sports has changed his life in the program, while host Dyan Castillejo and son Matthew spend a sports-filled Mother’s Day bonding experience worth checking out for. Don’t miss these and more on “Sports U,” this Thursday (May 25) after “Bandila” on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD (SkyCable Ch. 167) and on Saturday (May 27), 6:30am on S+A. 

You can also watch on www.iwantv.com.ph atwww.skyondemand.com.ph. For updates, like the show’s page on http://facebook.com/SportsUtv or follow @SportsUTV on Twitter.