Saturday, September 30, 2017

Mark Felt Movie Review: Liam Neeson In A Non-Action Film About One Of The Greatest Whistleblowers In History

‘MARK FELT, THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE’, is based on the true story of Deep Throat, the mole considered as one of the greatest whistleblowers in history who leaked information to the press that led to the infamous Watergate Scandal, where the Democratic headquarters was bugged, and eventually caused the resignation of Richard Nixon as U.S. president. He was subsequently immortalized in the acclaimed 1976 film, “All the President’s Men”, but his real identity was never revealed, until 2005, when his full story was told exclusively in Vanity Fair. He died 3 years later at the age of 95.

Serious film aficionados would probably enjoy this film more than those who just go for escapist entertainment who’d probably prefer its lead star, Liam Neeson, more for his action roles in the “Taken” franchise than for portraying the role of “Mark Felt’. Someone behind us was complaining to his seatmate: “Akala ko ba, action ito? Daldalan pala!”


Felt is a grizzled 30-year old veteran in the FBI in the last year of Nixon’s first term in the white house. He’s a good friend of then FBI head, J. Edgar Hoover (who had his own filmbio starring Leonardo DiCaprio), and some Nixon cohorts want him to betray Hoover so they can fire him. But Felt explains Hoover’s much ballyhooed “private files”, saying that when an official who is “seen with a woman not his wife, or a man not his wife”, this is reported in writing and all these memos go to Felt on their way to the files of Hoover. He tells his interrogators: “All your secrets are safe with us.”


Felt is obviously a man of integrity who believes that the FBI is the most respected institution in the world and the best way to lose its credibility and independence is for the government to try to control it. This happened when Hoover died in 1972 and instead of promoting the more deserving Felt as its new director, Nixon chooses L. Patrick Gray (Martin Csokas), an outsider who has no experience in law enforcement but someone the government can control and manipulate.

It will take more than a year before the press and the rest of the country get to put things together to figure out what the Watergate break-in means and how high it goes up in their corrupt government. When the Watergate break-in occurs, Gray orders Felt to iron things out in 48 hours, making Felt disgusted so he keeps investigating until he ferrets out the truth.

Felt was able to connect the dots quickly when he learned that the burglars are all former CIA and FBI operatives, some of whom are connected to the committee that aims to re-elect Nixon to the presidency. He then detects that it’s actually just the tip of the iceberg concerning the dirty tricks that the Nixon administration has been conducting for several years.

In “All the President’s Men”, the highlight is his communication with Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, played in the movie by Robert Redford. But since that has already been shown in that past film, here, the more attention-getting interview is the one he had in a diner with Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood), a Time Magazine reporter who’s also covering the Watergate affair. The talks with Woodward are mostly done on a phone booth beside a laundromat.

To show that the film is not mere adulatory hagiography, writer-director Peter Landesman (“Concussion”) shows Felt’s efforts to crack down the militant group of activists called the Weather Underground which unnerves the White House. After he retired, Felt was sued for violating the Constitution because of his pursuits of the activists, but the late Ronald Reagan later pardoned him.
The film also shows Felt’s miserable personal life. Diane Lane plays his wife, an alcoholic who’s apparently unhappy because Felt devoted more time to his career. He has a daughter, Joan (Maika Monroe), who runs away and joins a hippie commune.

Liam Neeson dominates the film and gives a commanding title role portrayal of Felt. Among the men working for him, it is Josh Lucas who stands out as Charlie Bates, who obviously knew that it was Felt who is the source of the leaks to the press. But the film itself fails to equal the very high standard sets by “All the President’s Men”, which remains to be one of the best American films made but, ironically, didn’t win best picture then but was eclipsed by the underdog story of “Rocky”.

The film is interesting to watch, but after 40 years, it feels more like just footnote in history now. In contrast, “All the President’s Men” offers more authenticity in showing us how reporters think and operate. The film “Spotlight” also did this, but in a lesser way and, again ironically, it won Oscar best picture but “All the President’s Men”, definitely the better film, did not. But the film can now be seen in the context of the Trumph administration and its own share of scandals. So who will dare to be the Mark Felt of the new millennium?

Theatre Review: Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag At KIA Theatre - Definitely The Theatre Event Of The Season

WE SAW THE press preview of the musical version of the late Lino Brockas’s “Maynila: sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag”, based on the award-winning novel of Edgardo M. Reyes, and it’s definitely the theatre event of the season. We haven’t seen a locally written Pinoy musical for a long time and this one is definitely worth seeing, with big production song-and-dance numbers, mostly good catchy songs and splendid performances.

The show is near to Director Joel Lamangan’s heart because he started as a movie actor in Lino’s movie in 1975. Before that, he was a theatre actor with PETA. In the film, he played the character who killed lead actor Bembol Roco as Julio Madiaga in the story’s climax. “The musical is my tribute to Lino and to Edgar Reyes,” he says.

The first act focuses on the exploitation and oppression of construction workers and other poor people in Manila, with several upbeat songs but ending with a grand funeral cortege that goes down the stage and exits through the theatre’s front doors. The touching second act concentrates on the ill-fated love story of Julio and Ligaya.

Playing Julio Madiaga in the musical is new stage actor Arman Ferrer and he’s a revelation. His good singing voice is perfect for musical theatre and shines in several numbers, whether solo or ensemble. The lead female, Ligaya Paraiso, was played by Hilda Koronel in the film. Shiela Valderrama and Lara Maigue now alternate as Ligaya, a provinciana who gets lost in the big city. Julio is her boyfriend who comes to Manila to search for her.

It was Shiela who played Ligaya when we saw it and she got a big applause for her solo song number in the hotel after she is reunited with Julio. But Aicelle Santos as Perla, the sister of Julio’s friend, has more stage exposure and gets to sing more song than the Ligaya character, and Aicelle once again acquits herself well on stage like she did in “Katy” and “Rak of Aegis”.

Giving good support are Dulce as the pimp Mrs. Cruz, Rafa Siguion Reyna as the Julio’s colleague who does well in his new career, Floyd Tena and Noel Rayos as Julio’s friends Pol and Atong and Jim Pebanco as the construction boss Mr. Balajadia. The cast consists of some 50 singers-dancers and they all performed well.

This is the first Brocka movie turned into a musical. Before, his films “Insiang” and “Bona” were staged as straight dramas. The songs in “Maynila” were composed by Von de Guzman (also the musical director), the libretto by Jose Victor Torres and Em Mendez, the production design by Jun Flavier Pablo, the lighting by Joey Nombres, and the choreography by Douglas Nierras. The musical is a brainchild of Joel and Gantimpala Theater Foundation, staged by Grand Leisure Corporation with Full House Asia Productions as line producer.

It started showing at the KIA Theatre in Cubao yesterday. Screenings today, October 1, will be 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; Oct. 5, 8 p.m.; and Oct. 6, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. For tickets, call Bards Lapid at 0917-8466704; or landlines 897-7142, 890-0853, 890-6067 or Ticketnet 911-5555.





Lovi Poe Stars In 'Triple Ex' And Says It's Okay For A Girl To Collect Boyfriends Then Select The Right One

LOVI POE feels so blessed because right after she did the telefantasya, “Mulawin vs. Ravena”, where she played Magindara, the goddess of water, she’s now quickly assigned a new follow up project, the sexy comedy about relationships, “Triple Ex”, where she co-stars with Rhian Ramos and Max Collins. They play the ex-girlfriends of the same man.

Someone quips that Lovi should easily be able to relate to it as she seems to be a playgirl who’s had so many exes.

“That’s not true naman,” she demurs. “Ang daling sabihing ang dami mo nang ex, but can you name them? And also, what’s wrong kung marami kang naging past relationships. Ganun talaga, e. You keep on trying until you find the right one, the best one.”

She says you’re lucky if the very first person you get into a relationship will be the right partner for you. “But first of all, you will meet a lot of people in your life and some people will treat you like a princess and you will fall in love, and then break your heart eventually. It's a whole process of meeting 'the one.' You just cannot stick to one partner or just end up with the fourth, 'Pang-apat ko na ito, kaya ayoko na.' Hindi pwedeng ganun, e.”

Lovi says you should be responsible for your own happines. "You don’t have to be so conscious about what other people will say. You should always think na, if things didn't work out, this is your own life and you should make your own decisions following your heart, not what other people dictate. Your attitude should be I'm moving on and I'm gonna find the right one for me and I don't care kung ma-judge ako ng ibang tao. They’re not my concern dahil wala naman silang kinalaman sa kung sino ang mas makakapagpaligaya sa’kin sa buhay ko. Your happiness is in your own hands not in those of other judgmental people.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

A LEADER’S DEFINING MOMENT SHINES IN NEW “DARKEST HOUR” TRAILER


The new trailer for director Joe Wright’s historical drama Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman as legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has been unveiled by Focus Features and may be seen here.

A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice), Darkest Hour is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill’s courage to lead changed the course of world history.

Darkest Hour is written by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) and also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, and Ben Mendelsohn.

In Philippine cinemas 2018, Darkest Hour is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

LIFESTYLE TELECASTS THE STAR MAGIC BALL 2017 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET

Who will make it to this year’s best dressed list?
Enter a whirlwind of graceful gowns, dashing suits, and bright stars as Lifestyle TV (SKYcable ch. 52) airs the Star Magic Ball 2017’s Red Carpet live this Saturday (September 30) at 6:30 in the evening.


Go behind the scenes with Lifestyle and get exclusive access to celebrity arrivals, and fashion and style updates with Gretchen Ho, insider interviews and red carpet glam info with Raymond Gutierrez; and straight forward fashion commentaries with Lifestyle’s equally fashionable panelists: Tim Yap, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, and Metro’s beauty editor and Metro Weddings editor-in-chief Kate Paras.

Guest panelists include fashion designers Patty Ang, Michael Leyva and Mark Bumgarner to divulge secrets to your favorite stars’ glow up and red carpet trends while Beauty Queen maker, Jonas Gaffud shares his expert advice on how to rule the runway. And to take us through the concept behind the evening’s enchanting set-up is top event stylist Robert Blancaflor.  


Now on its 11th year, the annual event has become an avenue for both artists and fashion designers to showcase style and elegance, and at the same time foster camaraderie among Star Magic talents.

With the theme “Magic on the Runway,” this year’s ball is for the benefit the Bantay Bata Scholars.

Don’t miss the Star Magic Ball live from the red carpet on Lifestyle TV this Saturday (Sept. 30) at 6:30pmwith a primetime telecast at 10pm. You may also catch it on Sunday (Oct. 1), 9am and 8pm; and on Wednesday (Oct. 4), 7:30pm. Lifestyle is available on SkyCable channel 52, Destiny Cable ch52 and Sky Direct Ch31.

Viewers may also watch it simultaneously on ANC on Saturday (Sept. 30), 6:30pm and 11:30 pmon Sunday (Oct. 1), 1pm and 11pm, and on Tuesday (Oct. 3), 11:30pm.

The 11th Star Magic Ball red carpet coverage will also be available on SKY Freeview Channel on One SKY, SKYcable, Destiny (Digital), SKYdirect, SKYbroadband on October 1Sunday at these times: 9am, 1pm,5pm, and 9pm.  Content is also available on SKY On Demand until December 31, 2017.

TNT eliminates Rain or Shine, 118-114 (REPLAY VIDEO) September 29 / Quarterfinals

PBA Governors' Cup 2017 Updates & Results (September 29, 2017) TNT KaTropa defeated Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 118-114 to advance to the semis of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.


The scores:

TNT 118 -

RAIN OR SHINE 114 -

Quarters: 118-114. [COMPLETE GAME STATS]


RoS vs. TNT (September 29, 2017) Full Replay Video

TNT vs. Rain or Shine (1st Quarter)

TNT vs. Rain or Shine (2nd Quarter)

TNT vs. Rain or Shine (3rd Quarter)

TNT vs. Rain or Shine (4th Quarter)

TNT vs. Rain or Shine (Highlights)

Photo credit: Youtube/Sports5 / PBA





Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas def. Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai, 92-57 (REPLAY VIDEO) FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017

FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017 Free Live Stream, Updates & Results (September 29, 2017 / Classification Round 5th-8th Place) Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas defeated Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai, 92-57 and advances to battle for 5th in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Friday at the Chenzhou Sports Complex in Chenzhou-Hunan, China.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas will face Thailand's Mono Vampire BC in the 'battle for 5th' on Saturday (12:15pm).


The scores:

CHOOKS-TO-GO PILIPINAS 92 - Ravena 20, Vosotros 14, Revilla 12, Jeric Teng 11, Austin 10, Tamsi 8, Cruz 7, Jose 6, Manuel 2, Torres 2, Jeron Teng 0.

SHABAB AL AHLI-DUBAI 57 -

Quarters: 19-13, 42-26, 64-45, 92-57. [COMPLETE GAME STATS]


Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (September 29, 2017) Full Replay Video

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (FULL GAME) - Worldwide viewers

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (1st Quarter) - PHL viewers only

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (2nd Quarter) - PHL viewers only

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (3rd Quarter) - PHL viewers only

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (4th Quarter) - PHL viewers only

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas vs. habab Al Ahli-Dubai (UAE) (Highlights)

Screenshot via: FIBA / Sports5




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Gabby Concepcion & Sharon Cuneta Both Mentioned By Pres. Rodrigo Duterte In The Same Speech, He Curses One And Praises The Other

GABBY CONCEPCION’s career got a big boost when no less than Pres. Duterte dropped his name while delivering a speech at the recent Dept of Justice anniversary affair at PICC. He was lambasting ABS-CBN top honcho Gabby Lopez for accepting payment for his election campaign TV commercials but not airing it.

Instead of Lopez, though, he mentioned Concepcion instead, with matching expletives. To quote: “Ikaw! Gabby Concepcion, mukha kang pera, p— ina ka. Eh totoo naman, sus."

The booboo was quickly circulated on social media and reached Gabby C. in no time at all. Gabby C. took it good naturedly and posted in his social media account: “We all make mistakes. Thank you for watching Ika 6 na Utos, Sir President. #DU30 #ika6nautos #forgive #goodvibes #goodvibesonly #gmadrama.” Another post said: “Sorry na lang, Gabby Concepcion. Collateral damage.”


In the same speech, the president also mentioned Gabby's ex, Sharon Cuneta. He said Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, who's with the opposition, is his friend. "May utang na loob ako sa kanya. Si Inday (his daughter, now mayor of Davao), when she was in grade 5 or 6, sabi ko, anak, anong gusto mong birthday gift? She said, gusto niyang makasama si Sharon Cuneta. So I called Sen. Pangilinan and I said I owe you for doing this for my daughter."

Sharon also posted her comment on social media: "Thank you, Mr. Pres. Duterte, Sir, for what you said on the news about me and my friend Mayor Inday Sara last night. May God bless you, Sir! So kilig!"

Noven Belleza Releases Debut Album From Star Music After His Baptism Of Fire From Being Accused Of A Crime He Didn't Commit

NOVEN BELLEZA, a farmer from Victorias, Negros Occidental, won as the first grand champion of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” revived in “Showtime” on March 11 this year, winning P2 million cash, a house and lot and a recording contract with Star Music. His life story was even featured in “Maalaala Mo Kaya”.

But the 22-year old singer soon got his baptism of fire when a 19-year old girl accused him of rape and he was arrested after appearing in Vice Ganda’s concert in Cebu on July 16.

Noven insisted he did not commit any crime and would prove that he is innocent. The case was subsequently dropped by his accuser and it was dismissed by the court on September 11. Last Thursday, Noven launched his very first album with Star Music.

“I want to inspire people with my songs, anuman ang pinagdaraanan nila,” he says. “Maraming makaka-relate sa mga kanta ko na nagbibigay ng pag-asa, ng inspirasyon, ng lakas para mabuhay.”

The carrier single of his album in “Tumahan Ka Na”, an original song by hitmaker Vehnee Saturno, and its music video shows the sacrifices of OFW’s, soldiers and their families. It’s now getting great airplay on radio and is peaking at number one as listeners can identify with its message of hope. His second single, “Nais Kong Ibalik”, penned by Star Music top exec Jonathan Manalo, has also been released just last Thursday. The other original song in the album is “Ako’y Sa’yo” by Jungee Marcelo.

“We chose songs na babagay sa style niya at puedeng maging anthems sa mga videoke sa buong Pilipinas,” says Jonathan. “We call him the new Kundiman King kasi walang kumakanta ngayon na gaya ng boses niya. He’s the April Boy Regino of today’s generation. The other tracks in his album are remakes ng songs ng kinanta niya sa ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ at tumatak sa viewers, like ‘Lupa’, ‘Kung Kailangan Mo Ako’, the spiritual song ‘Sino Ako’ by Fr. Joe Castaneda, and ‘Problemang Puso’.”

Was there a time that Noven felt ashamed because of the case he got involved in? “No, wala po akong dapat ikahiya kasi wala naman akong kasalanan. Malinis talaga ang konsensiya ko. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos na na-dismiss na yung kaso. Ginamit ko ang naging karanasan ko para mabigyan ko ng mas matinding emosyon ang mga kanta ko. So tuloy lang ang buhay. Wala na akong puedeng idagdag para palakihin pa kasi na-dismiss na nga yung kaso. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa ABS-CBN sa pagsuporta nila sa akin. At sa fans ko, ang Novenatics. Heto nga ngayon, may album na ako at dini-dedicate ko ito sa lahat ng mga sumuporta sa akin at naniwalang wala talaga akong kasalanan.”

Was his longtime girlfriend in Negros by the case? “Naapektuhan po, pero nagtiwala siya sa akin at naayos din namin.” Do they plan to tie the knot soon? “Hindi po, kasi 22 pa lang ako at kauumpisa pa lang ng career ko.”

Aiko Melendez Feels So Blessed Because She Has No Lovelife, Loves Her Role As An OFW Mom Whose Only Son Goes Astray In Neal Tan's 'Balatkayo'

AIKO MELENDEZ feels so blessed. She’s currently part of a hit TV show,”Wildflower”, where she plays the scheming governor, Emilia, and she has two new movies that are about to be shown. One of these is “Balatkayo”, produced by BG Productions, written by Jason Laxamana and directed by Neil Buboy Tan.

She plays an OFW in Singapore who has an affair with another Filipino, Rico Barrera, while her husband, Polo Ravales, works in Dubai and is also having an affair with another woman, Nathalie Hart. As a result, their son who is left behind in the Philippines, played by newcomer James Robert, went astray and gets involved in a sex scandal.

“I’m really thankful to the Lord for His continued blessings,” she says. “Alam naman Niyang single mother ako working to provide for my two kids, Andrei, who’s first year college and Marthena, who’s in grade 6 in Poveda, and my goal is really to give them a good future.”

So she doesn’t have a lovelife now after she broke up with her foreigner boyfriend? “Halos two years nang wala. Hindi ko naman hinahanap. Kaya nga siguro ako sobrang blessed ngayon. Kasi wala akong lovelife.”

She’s happy to be part of a movie like “Balatkayo” as it is an eye-opener for all those who leave their families to work abroad. “Buong sipag kang nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa para mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang mga anak mo, not knowing na dahil sa wala ka, naliligaw sila ng landas. At ang ibang pang OFW’s, natutukso pang makipag-affair sa iba dahil sa loneliness nila kaya lalong nadadagdagan ang problema nila. So makikita ritong hindi lang pera ang sagot sa mga problema ng isang pamilya. More than material needs, importante yung time, guidance and attention na personal mong maibibigay sa mga anak mo. I’m really happy to be part of this relevant movie.”

How is it working with Director Neal Buboy Tan? “Nakakatuwa siya. Kasi kapag nagba-block siya, basta ka na lang niya hihilahin. Dito ka, dito ka. Noong una, ang tawag pa niya sa’kin, Ara. Sabi ko, Direk, hindi ho ako si Ara, si Aiko ho ako. Sabi naman niya, sorry, sorry. Four days kaming nag-shoot sa Singapore at ang saya-saya namin kahit palihim lang ang pagsu-shoot namin doon.”

We heard she and Ara have kissed and made up after they had a tiff because of their relationships with Jomari Yllana and Mayor Patrick of Bulacan? “Yes, by chance, nagkita kami sa wake ng dad ng writer na si Rommel Placente. Noon, andaming nagta-try na pagbatiin kami but I guess hindi pa time kasi bago pa lang. E now, many years have passed, so it’s the right time na, kaya ako na ang lumapit sa kanya and hugged her, sabi ko move on na tayo. Ngayon, we even text each other.”

Everywhere she goes now, people call her Gov. Emilia because of her role in “Wildflower”. Doesn’t she have any plans of running again for public office because of the popularity of Gov. Emilia? “Sabi ko nga, if elections would be held soon, mananalo ako. Right now, I have offers to run again but I’m still discerning if I’d go back to politics.”

“Balatkayo” will open in theaters nationwide on October 11. Producers Mrs. Baby Go and Dennis Evangelista are very thankful to Regal Entertainment as it’s Roselle Monteverde who is helping them release their movie. Roselle will also help distribute Dennis’ other movie, “The Bes and the Beshies” starring Ai Ai de las Alas.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

JARED LETO DEVASTATES YOU BLIND IN “BLADE RUNNER 2049”



Coming off a provocative performance as The Joker in last year’s blockbuster Suicide Squad, Oscar-winner Jared Leto now portrays the enigmatic Niander Wallace, whose soft-spoken manner thinly veils his ruthless ambition, in Columbia Pictures' futuristic action-thriller Blade Runner 2049.

The highly awaited sequel to Ridley Scott's 1980s original classic, Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Academy Award-nominee Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival).


Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Niander Wallace’s obsessive quest to create the perfect replicant—totally compliant and unquestioning of human authority—resulted in the creation of the latest model, the Nexus 9.  Wallace see replicants as necessary for the survival of humanity…but he can only make so many.  Years before, his breakthroughs in genetically modified foods had brought the planet back from the brink of irrevocable global famine.  Trading on that debt, he was able to barter for the end of the replicant prohibition and, in the process, gain incalculable wealth…and untold power.

Cast in the role of Wallace, Jared Leto remarks, “I maybe have a different perspective on Niander Wallace than others would.  He is the guy who saved the world from starvation, so I don’t think his ego is too far out of control for someone who literally saved the planet.  He is someone who willed himself to power through really hard work and rigorous study.  Wallace is a genius and he’s also a bit of a madman, which he’d have to be.  He’s so fascinating and complex.  It was a really seductive role.”

Leto reveals that his connection to the “Blade Runner” universe goes back to “when I was very young and saw it on VHS.  There are films that come along and, for one reason or another, strike a chord.  They affect you in some way and change how you see the world.  ‘Blade Runner’ was a film that had a big impact on me and has always stuck with me.  There was something about it that spoke to me as a kid that I couldn’t let go of.  So it’s always had a special place in my heart and it’s something I’ve looked to for inspiration over the years.”

“Niander Wallace is a tough part to play because you have to deal with a lot of difficult dialogue.  It required an actor who could embrace those speeches and bring them to life with a strength and poetry.  And what can I say?  I chose a rock star and he just blew us away,” states Villeneuve, who adds that he appreciated Leto’s total immersion in every facet of the role.  “I had heard how Jared embodies his character and I wondered what he would do about Wallace, with regard to him being blind.  He came in and he was blind…he acted blind.”

In researching that aspect of his role, Leto spent time with people who were visually impaired, observing things like how they navigate a specific space or interact in conversation.  “I could feel that Jared was someone who was deeply passionate and very serious about what he was doing,” says Villeneuve.  “He was 100 percent committed.”

Correspondingly, Leto had nothing but praise for Villeneuve, commenting, “Denis is a rare artist.  What I love about him is that he’s eternally fascinated and enthusiastic and curious by nature.  He’s completely in the moment with the actors and there’s a sense of discovery and excitement around him that’s very compelling.  I found him to be just an incredible director and I’m truly thankful that I had the chance to do this film with him.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas and IMAX on Friday, October 6, Blade Runner 2049 is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

BRITISH ACTOR JAMES NORTON MAKES HIS MARK WITH “FLATLINERS”


He is a bright star in the British acting landscape which was confirmed when he was selected by Screen International to be one of their highly prestigious Stars of Tomorrow

Now, James Norton (BBC’s War and PeaceBlack Mirror, An Education) bids for Hollywood stardom with Columbia Pictures' new suspense-thriller Flatliners (in Philippine cinemas Friday, September 29).



Flatliners tells of five medical students who 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.

Norton plays the fun-loving and charismatic Jamie.  “Jamie is a loveable rogue,” says Norton of his character.  “He’s not the most serious of students, he likes to party, he likes the girls, he’s full of bravado and confidence and makes no bones about the fact that what he’s really after is recognition – he wants to be a celebrity doctor.”


“There’s a recklessness to his character,” says director Niels Arden Oplev.  “He’s a trust fund kid, more interested in girls and parties than in medical school.  There’s a reason why Courtney (Ellen Page) chooses him: yeah, I think he’d be the one that would press the button and start the whole thing up.”

From the very beginning the chemistry and camaraderie between Norton and his co-stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev was strong both on and off screen.


Elaborates Norton, “In any movie, any performance, the trust involved between a group of actors is immense.  You have to open yourself up and within a few days show your soul and become incredibly vulnerable with strangers.  And that takes an enormous amount of trust.  So it’s no surprise that actors generally become very close very quickly.  And that was what happened on this movie, which was great because this movie is all about trust. These characters are literally putting their lives in each other’s hands and saying, ‘Get me back, take me back from death.’  So the fact that we all got on so well, that we all trusted each other off camera meant that the relationships and the stories of our friendships on camera was much easier.”

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

ZANJOE GETS INTERNATIONAL EMMY NOMINATION FOR “MMK”


Kapamilya actor and Star Magic artist Zanjoe Marudo is the only Asian artist nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor category in the 45th International Emmy Awards.

The model turned actor is competing against actors Julio Andrade (Brazil), Kenneth Branagh (United Kingdom), and Kad Merad (France) in the category.

“This recognition from the iEmmys is a personal milestone for me as an actor and as a Filipino. This is a dream come true. I thank the jurors, the show “MMK,” ABS-CBN and Star Magic,” said Zanjoe.


Zanjoe is nominated for his exceptional portrayal of a father with paranoid schizophrenia in the “Anino” episode of ABS-CBN’s weekend drama anthology “MMK” (“Remembering”). This real life story, brought to life by Zanjoe, is among the many unique stories that have given Filipino viewers inspiration, hope, and life lessons in the 25 years that “MMK” has been on air.

Dubbed as the longest drama anthology in Asia, “MMK” is hosted by actress and ABS-CBN’s chief content officer Charo Santos-Concio, who was also a former gala chair for the International Emmy Awards back in 2015.

Zanjoe is among the 44 nominees across 11 categories and 18 countries in this year’s awards.
Last year, fellow Star Magic artist Jodi Sta. Maria also got an international Emmy nomination in the Best Performance by an Actress category for her portrayal as Amor Powers in the hit drama “Pangako Sa’Yo.” Primetime series “Bridges of Love,” meanwhile, was nominated in the Best Telenovela category.

ABS-CBN previously scored International Emmy® Awards nominations for “Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Impostor” (Best Telenovela) in 2011, “Dahil May Isang Ikaw” (Best Telenovela) and Sid Lucero in “Dahil May Isang Ikaw” (Best Actor) in 2010, and “Kahit Isang Saglit” (Best Telenovela) and Angel Locsin in “Lobo” (Best Actress) in 2009.

This year’s winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony to be held November 20 at the Hilton New York Hotel. The International Emmy® Awards are given by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

NOVEN RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM “AKO’Y SAYO”


“Tawag ng Tanghalan” grand champion Noven Belleza marks his official debut as a recording artist and is all set to conquer the OPM scene as he launches his first album under Star Music, “Ako’y Sayo.”

Noven shared his elation on the latest break that came his way. He said, “I’m overwhelmed that from the many people who dreamed, I was given this opportunity to have my own album. I am very thankful for all the blessings.”


With the passions of Pinoys in mind, Noven offers a debut album that features a timeless and distinct Pinoy sound and brings together the compositions of some of the industry’s best songwriters such as Vehnee Saturno, Jungee Marcelo, Jonathan Manalo, and Rey Valera.

“There are inspirational songs, there is a prayer, there are songs for the brokenhearted, for those who are in love, and for those who had to leave their family to give them a better future. All the songs are dedicated to them,” he shared.

His carrier single, "Tumahan Ka Na" composed by Vehnee, has dominated the MOR 101.9 charts for ten weeks now, peaking at number one.

Fresh from the success of “Tumahan Ka Na,” the former farmer from Negros Occidental also released today (Sept 28) his second single entitled “Nais Kong Ibalik” composed by Jonathan on September 28.

Other tracks to expect in the album are “Problemang Puso” composed by Vehnee Saturno, “Lupa” by Charo Unite and Ernie Dela Peña, “Sino Ako” by Fr. Joe Casteneda, “Kung Kailangan Mo Ako” (jukebox version) from Rey Valera, and “Ako's Sayo” by Jungee Marcelo.

A cinematic version of the OPM classic “Kung Kailangan Mo Ako” is also included as a bonus track.

Aside from his recording project, the talented soloist was also recently inducted as a member of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) together with other “Tawag ng Tanghalan” singers in a joint effort of TNT Versions (TNTV) and OPM.

Priced at P199, the physical album will be released during his album launch at Starmall Alabang on September 30. Noven’s “Ako’y Sayo” is now available in all music stores nationwide and all digital stores worldwide. For more information, visit Starmusic.ph or follow Star Music’s official social media accounts at Facebook.com/starrecordsphil, Twitter.com/starrecordsph and Instagram.com/Starmusicph.

FIL-AM DEAN DEVLIN MARKS DIRECTING DEBUT WITH EPIC THRILLER “GEOSTORM”


Filipino-American filmmaker Dean Devlin (writer/producer, Independence Day) makes his feature film directorial debut with Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming epic thriller Geostorm (in Philippine cinemas Thursday, October 12).


In the film, after an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything...and everyone along with it.

Geostorm stars Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen, 300), Jim Sturgess (21), Abbie Cornish (Limitless), Alexandra Maria Lara (Rush), Daniel Wu (Warcraft: The Beginning), Eugenio Derbez (Miracles from Heaven), with Oscar nominees Ed Harris (mother!) and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Thirteen).

An edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding ride for movie audiences who enjoy a ticking-clock mystery rife with conspiracy and wrapped in pure escapist fare of epic proportions, Geostorm has it all: from blistering underground infernos to desert-freezing ice storms and everything in between.

Devlin reveals that the idea for the story originated when his daughter, then six, asked him to explain climate change. “In the simplest way, she asked me, ‘Why can’t we just build a machine that fixes it?’ That sparked all these ideas in my mind about what would happen if we did build just such a machine. And what if something went horribly wrong? That became the ‘what if’ story—what if we wait too long to deal with extreme climate change? What if we don’t? What if we could create this amazing machine to control the weather around the entire planet? And what would we do if it went rogue?”

As the story unfolds in the film, two years have passed since the complex web of interconnected satellites—dubbed Dutch Boy—went online. The years have been tranquil ones, until now. Unexplained malfunctions in the highly sophisticated system are now causing, rather than preventing, deadly weather patterns never before seen by mankind: ice and snow in the deserts of Afghanistan, smoldering under the streets of Hong Kong, and cyclones in India, to name a few.
Dutch Boy is out of control, wreaking havoc across the globe.

“Dean has a mindset that comes from working on big epics like ‘Independence Day,’ so when he put his mind to the subject of global warming, he came up with a timely twist on the genre classic by setting it against the backdrop of a political thriller and filling it with unnatural natural disasters,” notes producer David Ellison. “In other words, within our story, the science is sound—it’s the people controlling it who are the problem.”

“For me, entertainment should be just that—entertaining—and not necessarily hit you over the head with a message,” Devlin observes. “But I also feel that science fiction works better, has more of an impact, when you have something to say. Hopefully, we’ll take audiences on a roller coaster ride across the planet and off into space, and leave them having had a fantastic time, and maybe just a bit more curious about the world around them.”

Geostorm is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

TFC sets the world stage for the biggest Filipino experience in Dubai, “One Music X” this November

TFC comes together with Star Music, MOR, MYX, and One Music PH to bring the unique Philippine culture and music icons on November 3 in Dubai;
“One Music X” marks TFC’s continuing celebration of its 20th anniversary In  the Middle East

The “Rakrakan” concert series from 2006 to 2009.  The groundbreaking “FilExpo” in 2008. The first “It’s Showtime” outside the Philippines in 2011. The thrilling “JadIne In Love” in Dubai in 2016.  The milestone “ASAP in Dubai” in 2014.  The record-breaking “Birit Queens in Abu Dhabi this year.

From concert series, trade fairs to franchised events, ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC) has been delivering the most epic Filipino events to the Middle East that bring together Filipinos to celebrate as one community and which have come to be the most anticipated in the region.

This year, as ABS-CBN  Middle East celebrates its 20th anniversary, the network that delivers content beyond information and entertainment, brings it a notch higher as it paves the way for the biggest Filipino music experience to date --- “One Music X” on November 3 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater.

On November 3, TFC will come together with ABS-CBN’s hit-making recording company Star Music; the leading FM radio station My Only Radio (MOR) For Life; the first all-Filipino music channel Myx; and the Philippines’ foremost music portal One Music PH; to deliver the highpoints of Philippine culture and celebrate everything Filipino for a full day of “One Music X”. 

ONE MUSIC
Known for the Filipino’s penchant for music, “One Music X” is gathering the biggest Original Pilipino Music (OPM) acts from the Philippines, representing a wide range of music genres that appeal across audiences and artists who have become icons in their own right.

From winning ABS-CBN’s reality singing competition “Pinoy Dream Academy” in 2006, Pop Rock Royalty Yeng Constantino has certainly come a long way.  From her successful initial foray “Hawak Kamay” to a musical about her life story --- “Josephine” --- Constantino has truly become one of the young superstars to reckon with in the music industry.

Also a product of a reality singing competition and band performances, Soul Supreme KZ Tandingan has gone beyond the winning to prove that she deserves both a place to win and a niche in the music industry with her show-stopping performances.

Once behind the shadow of his very famous father, Teen Singing Sensation Iñigo Pascual is setting out to become a pop superstar in his own right.  Today’s biggest hit “Para Sa Iyo” is his and he can very well claim it as his own success.

Meantime four-piece Pinoy Pop Rock band Silent Sanctuary, arguably best known for their hit “Pasensiya Ka Na” became known for their own brand of baroque pop. For their first show with TFC the band is expected to bring in the sighs as well as the cheers.

From being a significant part of a popular band in the 90s, OPM Rock Icon Rico Blanco went on to become a world of his own, earning critics and fans approval for his soulful songs such as “Your Universe”.

Together, Constantino, Tandingan, Pascual, Silent Sanctuary and Blanco will elevate the musical experience of “One Music X” where OPM truly belongs –-- the world stage.

Joining the Philippines’ biggest acts is multi-awarded young host Robi Domingo and award-winning MOR DJ Chacha and surprise acts from the local Dubai music scene for a day that also promises cultural fusion and musical collaboration.

ONE EXPERIENCE
Promising to be the biggest Filipino experience, “One Music” X will deliver beyond music --- uniquely Filipino booths and day-long activities to the Dubai Media City Amphitheater, a highly popular event place that have been host to the biggest local and international acts.  

From the Global Tawag ng Tanghalan sa “It’s Showtime” region finals to outdoor family activities; food trucks; acoustic lounges featuring local talents and premium lounges for VIP ticket holders; food trucks; and more, “One Music X” promises to be the complete experience for every member of the family.

ONE COMMUNITY
Be part of history as “One Music X” happens on November 3 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater. Gates open at 1 p.m. The festivities start at 2 p.m. For the full “One Music X” experience, download the TFC Live app available on Google playstore and Apple store.

For tickets, visit Virgin Megastore and selected zoom outlets, Wall street Exchange branches or visit ktx.abs-cbn.com.  Save as much as 40 AED on your general admission tickets through the Early Bird discount until September 30. Tickets are at AED 135 for General Patronage and AED 245 for VIP tickets.  For more information visit emea.kapamilya.com or facebook.com/TFCMiddle East.

Watch out for the next “One Music X” and always visit facebook.com/KapamilyaTFC and follow KapamilyaGlobalPR andKapamilyaTFC on Twitter and IG.