Monthly Archives: July 2014

JASON SEGEL TRIES TO GET PASSION BACK WITH WIFE IN “SEX TAPE”

sex tape

He previously starred with Cameron Diaz in director Jake Kasdan’s hit comedy “Bad Teacher,” which made over $200 million worldwide. Now, Jason Segel (“The Muppets,” TV’s “How I Met Your Mother”) reunite with Diaz and director Kasdan to bring bigger laughs in Columbia Pictures’ scandalous comedy “Sex Tape.”

In the film, Jay (Segel) and Annie (Diaz) are a married couple still very much in love, but ten years and two kids have cooled the passion. To get it back, they decide – why not? – to make a video of themselves trying out every position in The Joy of Sex in one marathon three-hour session. It seems like a great idea, until they discover that their most private video has gone public. In a panic, they begin a wild night of adventure – tracking down leads, roping in friends, duping Annie’s boss – all to reclaim their video, their reputation, their sanity, and, most importantly, their marriage.

sex tape

Kasdan notes that the roles of Annie and Jay were written expressly for Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. “Working with Cameron and Jason on `Bad Teacher’ was one of the great experiences I’ve ever had,” says Kasdan. “And I really wanted to find something else for them – I knew that they were hilarious together and I knew that, in these very different roles, we could pick up where we had left off on the first movie and do something completely new. I had a strong hunch that there would be something kind of spectacular between them, in these characters, and they surpassed all of my hopes and expectations. As actors, they are both hugely supportive teammates that really commit, and as comedians, they’re generous with each other and eager to set each other up to get a laugh. They pitch jokes for each other… And then of course, they’re both just hugely appealing, on their own and together”

Kasdan says that the parts play to each actor’s strength. “Jay is well-meaning, an optimist who loves his wife and kids and has a powerful desire to make things right, but doesn’t always know exactly how to go about that,” he says.

Diaz says she was never intimidated by the material, because she knew that she would be working with Segel. “Considering that this is a film where we had to be naked with each other, here was a partnership where I could feel so safe and at the same time, completely playful,” she says. “We could laugh and find humor in what we were doing and at the same time tell the story of these two people who really love each other in a real way. We’re not trying to be shocking just for the sake of shocking. Annie and Jay are doing some crazy stuff that they never thought they would ever do, and they’re doing it with somebody they each feel safe with. And that’s how I feel about Jason – he’s just the guy you can do that with.”

“Cameron is really game,” says Segel, “and she’s a student of comedy. One of my pet peeves is people who settle for pleasant instead of funny, and Cameron goes for it every time.”

“Jason is a double threat that we haven’t seen in a long time,” says producer Jason Blumenthal. “He’s a great actor and a phenomenal writer. A lot of writers lead with the ‘funny’ and that’s it; Jason leads with the character. And he’s an inherently relatable actor — you root for that guy.”

Opening across the Philippines on August 13, 2014, “Sex Tape” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

“THE BOOK OF LIFE” POSTER REVEAL

the book of life

Producer Guillermo Del Torro and director Jorge Gutierrez push the boundaries of animation in the upcoming “The Book of Life” where three childhood friends Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Maria (Zoe Saldana) take on their most important journey within an enthralling landscape and larger-than-life visuals.

As the story unfolds, all the world is made of stories but the greatest story begins in “The Book of Life,” the day when spirits pass between worlds and anything can happen.  “The Book of Life” sees the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, the movie encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.

Check out this cool poster of “The Book of Life” as it opens us up to a stunning world created with rich details in a powerful story that celebrates life and the after-life.

“The Book of Life” (3D) opens October 16 in theatres nationwide (Philippines) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON FREES HER MIND IN “LUCY”

lucy, scarlett johansson

Portraying strong, unique female characters on the big screen is always a welcome challenge for Scarlett Johansson. So when casting his latest action-thriller “Lucy,” and writer-director Luc Besson needed to find an actress who could be believable as extremely vulnerable, as well as superpowered, when her exposure to an illicit substance inadvertently makes her acquire incredible skills, Johansson quickly came to mind.

Producer Virginie Besson-Silla describes the unlikely heroine of this story: “Lucy is an average girl who’s having fun with her friends in Asia, and there’s a lot of partying going on. She’s discovering life, but she’s going to discover it the hard way…and go much further than she would ever expect.”

lucy, scarlett johansson

For the role, Besson and his producer reached out to Scarlett Johansson, who has starred in intimate films such as “Lost in Translation” and “Her,” as well as action blockbusters including “Iron Man 2,” “The Avengers” and, most recently, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Besson was impressed by the actress’ discipline. He explains that she was precise and professional from the get-go: “When we first met, Scarlett had read the script and I enjoyed the way she talked about it. She was excited for the right reason, which was the story. At that moment, it was a done deal for me. She was definitely the one.”

Johansson explains that one of her interests in portraying Lucy is based on the fact that the character “is in a transient phase in her life when we find her. She’s figuring out who she is, and she’s feeling like she should probably get her life on track.” The actress was not only attracted to the material, but to Besson’s vision. She notes: “The film poses some complex existential questions. It would have been hard to imagine how the script has evolved because so much of that is Luc’s vision. Anything I could imagine the film to look like, just from reading the descriptions in the script, pales in comparison to the actual life that Luc breathed into this project.”

Johansson acknowledges that even though she was initially disoriented by the screenplay’s nonlinear structure, she knew that she could trust the director. Quite familiar with Besson’s work, she cast aside caution and signed on to the film. “This is actually what drew me to this project,” she insists. “I had to trust Luc’s vision. I remember meeting him and he said, ‘You have to trust that I know what this is about because it can be vague at times. But if you see what I’m seeing, you’ll believe in it.’ So, I took a leap of faith. He’s a formidable guy who knows what he sees in his mind and wants that vision to be executed perfectly.”

Everyone involved in the production acknowledges that Lucy was a highly demanding role. Still, Johansson went beyond everyone’s expectations. Commends Besson-Silla: “It was all the more difficult, as Lucy starts off as a plain girl and turns into, as it were, a superhero. She goes through so much. Scarlett was able to take that journey easily.”

With such a clear vision of his protagonist, Besson was able to devise a method to help his leading lady get in character. He explains: “We created something very funny, which Scarlett had on her wall, to allow her to understand what reactions I wanted from her when I asked her to play, say, 25 percent, or 50 percent, or 70 percent of her brainpower.

“For every 10 percent, we charted out what you could do with that percentage— your level of knowledge and possibilities,” Besson continues. “It was a very good guide. Every morning she’d look at the chart to see which girl she had to play. If you look at the Lucy at the beginning and the Lucy at the end, they have little in common. When we arrived on set, Scarlett was exceptional. You can ask for whatever you want and she says, ‘Okay.’ She’s always willing to try.”

The actress admits that the most challenging part was to portray Lucy as a truly relatable character, despite the psychological and physical changes that she’s experiencing: “As the drug kicks in, Lucy gradually loses the ability to empathize and to feel pain. Even though she can delve deeply into someone’s memory and eventually control him physically, she doesn’t have any opinion. She loses her preconceived ideas or judgment about the other person. It was difficult to avoid making my performance flat and monotonous. You have to see the humanity behind her circumstances.”

Opening across the Philippines on August 06, “Lucy” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

PINOY PRIDE DAVE BAUTISTA IS DRAX IN “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY”

Guardians_Of_The_Galaxy_DBautista_02Filipino wrestling champion-turned-actor Dave Bautista takes on the role of Drax—a quiet yet physical brute, obsessed with avenging the death of his wife and child, in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” (opening in the Philippines, July 31).

The casting of Drax was a tough one for the filmmakers, as executive producer Jeremy Latcham explains: “Drax is a complex character. He is a man who seeks vengeance on the people that murdered his wife, his daughter, ruined his life and took everything from him. He is a big, bulky guy covered in tattoos, and he looks like a menace but over the course of the film as the layers are peeled back, it is revealed that he is a deeply sorrowful, regretful man who wants to make amends, a multifaceted guy with much more going on than his physicality implies. Finding a big, hulking actor who could pull off that nuanced performance was really hard.”

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But from the very first read, David Bautista, a former professional wrestler, who won the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice and is the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, nailed it. “Dave did an amazing job over the course of the auditions that really showcased who we wanted this character to be,” informs Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, “which is on the surface very strong and almost frightening, but when you dig deeper, when you spend some time with him, you find a sensitive side.”

Following his departure from WWE, Bautista’s career as an actor has gone from strength to strength, with leading roles in David Twohy’s “Riddick,” opposite Vin Diesel, and opposite Russell Crowe in RZA’s “The Man with the Iron Fists,” yet Bautista admits he had a hard time believing he had landed an audition, let alone actually gotten the part. “I knew what a big deal the project was and the talent that was involved. My insecurity kicked in. I didn’t want to be the big muscle-head on the set messing up all the time. But the script was so good; I loved the character and was very excited about the opportunity to play the range of emotions. Drax is a very passionate character. He’s a warrior but he’s dealing with a lot of pain. He’s heartbroken. He’s living solely for revenge and as a result has lost his connection with everything else.”

During the screen-testing process, the filmmakers put Chris Pratt (who plays Peter Quill) and Bautista together. Their chemistry was instant. Says Latcham, “The room lit up. It all came into place in this one moment when they stepped on to the stage together; the chemistry was just there.”

Director James Gunn adds, “I just can’t imagine anyone else doing the role but Dave Bautista; he is exactly what I imagined as Drax. He is able to do the emotional aspects of that character, the humorous aspects of that character, the physical aspects of that character and talk like a Shakespearean oddball. Dave is able to do all of that and it comes so naturally, plus he’s this physically big, huge bald guy.”

Drax’s life story is told by his full body tattoos—a prosthetics makeup process that saw Bautista endure a four-to-six hour daily session in the chair, or rather on foot. “I can’t sit while we’re doing it, and I have to keep my arms up, so it’s quite an ordeal,” says Bautista. “But you can’t argue with the finished product because it looks so good. It’s been totally worth it.”

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team–the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Directed by James Gunn, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” releases in Philippine theaters on July 31, 2014.

In addition to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015; “Ant-Man” on July 17, 2015; and the untitled “Captain America 3” on May 6, 2016.

“PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR” CLIP & POSTER REVEAL

penguins of madagascars

DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox reels out the latest “Penguins of Madagascar” clip in an all-new adventure to save the world,  video clip is now live here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZbpT-OvXLk

Following the scene-stealing penguins of “Madagascar” franchise, the quad-core team headed by Skipper (Tom McGrath) and his fellow penguins encounter a team of animal secret agents called North Wind, led by a wolf named Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). The penguins and North Wind don’t really get along, but they’ll have to team up to stop an evil octopus known as Dr. Brine (John Malkovich) on his plan to destroy the world with his toxic formula Medusa Serum.

Opening nationwide in Philippine theatres on November 26, “Penguins of Madagascar” is a DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox film to be locally distributed by Warner Bros.