MIA WASIKOWSKA: INNOCENCE ENDS IN “STOKER”

Stoker

The highly-anticipated thriller “Stoker” starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode tells of the bizarre coming-of-age of India (Wasikowska) as she enters womanhood written by Wentworth Miller and filmed by Park Chan-Wook.

Stoker

Helmed by Korean director Park which is also his debut movie in English, the movie introduces India Stoker as she loses her beloved father and best friend Richard (played by Dermot Mulroney) in an unexplained car mishap on her 18th birthday.  Upon her father’s demise, India’s life is suddenly shattered in their very secluded estate.   Left with her unstable mother Evie (Kidman) and Uncle Charlie (Goode), her father’s brother who mysteriously showed up during her father’s funeral, India experiences an unraveling of herself that surprises and frees her at the same time.

mia wasikowska nicolekidman matthewgoode STOKER

Exquisitely sensitive, India has since exhibited an impassive demeanor which masks the deep feelings and heightened senses that only her father understood.   While she initially finds herself mistrusting her uncle, he fascinates her as well and she begins to realize how much they have in common.  As Charlie reveals himself to her little by little, India becomes increasingly infatuated with her charismatic relative and comes to realize that his arrival is no coincidence. With her uncle to guide her, she is about to fulfill her unusual destiny. “She is an introverted girl confined in a suffocating house, unable to mix with anyone outside,” says director Park. “She is very rebellious as she bears the pains of adolescence. Her father’s death, her uncle’s arrival, as well as the conflict with her mother and her peers, bring her to a realization about her true identity.” Finding an actress who could embody the contradictions of the character while making India’s transition to womanhood graceful and natural was critical to the film’s success. Park selected Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, whose delicate beauty and solemn serenity had already won the 22-year-old leading roles in films including Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” and Cary Fukanaga’s “Jane Eyre.”

mia wasikowska nicolekidman matthewgoode STOKER

“Mia has the natural liveliness of a young woman,” he notes. “But she is also composed and has internal maturity. To portray a girl who is neither a woman nor a child, but at an awkward in-between stage, Mia was the most suitable actor. She has a level of restraint surprising for someone her age. She is almost completely still when she is acting. But when you watch her on film, you realize that all the necessary emotion is there. She is very subtle and skillful in a way that I expect only from older actors.” For her part, the actress says she found much to like about the project. “It is such a strong piece of writing. Director Park and the creative team are brilliant. The story is something I have never seen before. The dynamic between the characters is quite mysterious. India is a really complex young woman. Without her father, she is completely disconnected from the world. She’s an outsider by nature, closed off from the rest of the world. She is still a young girl, but she’s becoming a woman with dreams and fantasies, although they’re of a different nature than other girls’ dreams.”

Stoker

“It’s completely confusing and really intriguing,” Wasikowska further says. “She’s trying to figure out what role he has in her life and it’s far bigger than she ever imagined. She’s not sure what he wants from her at first, and as she slowly finds out how much alike they are, it’s both terrifying and appealing. There’s a definite sexual tension between Charlie and Evie, as well as Charlie and India, so it’s up in the air as to who and what he’s really there for. You are never really sure—until you are.”

Working with Park was a constantly evolving, and always stimulating experience for the actress. “Even on weekends, we would meet for lunch and continue discussing the character and the story,” Wasikowska says. “Ideas would snowball, becoming more and more complex and interesting. During shooting, he let us sit for long moments in silence where seemingly not much was happening, but there was always strong underlying tension. That approach was perfect for this material.”

“Stoker” opens in cinemas March 1 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

“A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD” TOPS PHILS. BOX-OFFICE AT P45.5 MILLION

Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney in A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

Bruce Willis’ highly-explosive actioner “A Good Day To Die Hard” spiraled at the top of the local (Phils.) box-office with a total of P45.5 million on its opening weekend (Feb. 13-17).

The fifth installment of the blockbuster “Die Hard” series has shattered (local) records making it the Biggest Opening Weekend of all Die Hard movies and has now climbed up as this year’s Biggest Opening Weekend for a Fox film so far surpassing the highly-acclaimed “Life of Pi” by Ang Lee (released in January).

As evidenced by its opening weekend box-office, the fifth installment of the Die Hard series packed in a hefty volume of the movie going public who flocked into theaters to enjoy the wild and unbelievable action scenes with cars and choppers explosively flying all over the film’s new setting in Moscow.

With its high-octane action series, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is best viewed on the big screen – Ayala Cinemas’ Trinoma theater recorded highest at P2.24 million that drove in 11,354 admissions over the movie’s opening weekend, followed by SM Mall of Asia at P1.98 million in receipts. Still within the top theaters that tapped into attracting the most of the movie’s audience are Glorietta4 (P1.66million); SM North Edsa (P1.63million); Greenbelt3 (P1.55million); Powerplant (1.42 million); Newport (P1.41million); SM Megamall (P1.32million); Alabang Town Center (P1.29million) and SM Cebu (P1.07million).

Upping the ante of “A Good Day To Die Hard” is the introduction of McClane’s estranged son Jack played by Jai Courtney.  Opening a much wider audience base is Courtney’s inclusion in the movie which also explains further influx of women apart from its core male audience in the following theaters that also made it to “A Good Day To Die Hard’s” top 20 cinemas on its opening weekend: Eastwood (P954, 123); Gateway Cineplex (P 846, 956); SM Clark (P 797, 838); Ayala Cebu (P762, 960); Robinson’s Ermita (P 757, 660); Theatremall (P 755, 162); Market!Market! (P 753, 536); Shang Cineplex (P 640, 699); SM Fairview (P632, 196) and Filinvest (P 615, 726).

Now showing across the Philippines, Bruce Willis reprises his iconic role as police detective John McClane in “A Good Day to Die Hard,” set against the backdrop of deadly corruption and political vendetta in Russia.  McClane arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack, (Jai Courtney), and is stunned to discover he’s working undercover to protect a government whistleblower, Komarov.  With their own necks on the line, the McClanes are forced to overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime

KOREAN FILMMAKER PARK CHAN-WOOK DIRECTS HIS FIRST ENGLISH MOVIE – “STOKER”

Stoker

Chan-Wook – who goes by the name Director Park on set – is one of the most celebrated and popular filmmakers in Korea, his work known for its very precise framing and violent subject matter. His earliest films were not a huge success, and he initially supplemented his income as a film critic. It was 2000’s Joint Security Area that would help him break through, and by 2004 he’d won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival for Oldboy. Director – and fan – Quentin Tarantino, as head judge, personally pushed for him to also be awarded the Palme d’Or.

Filmmaker Park Chan-Wook has created a singular body of work during his more than 20 years as a writer, director and producer of some of Korean cinema’s most innovative and original movies, crafting feverish scenarios that combine lyrical beauty with shattering acts of violence and operatic emotion.  “Stoker” is a dark and disturbing thriller about a mysterious and isolated American family.  Even the film’s title makes metaphorical allusion to evil, invoking the name of Dracula author Bram Stoker, whose groundbreaking novel is as much about an opportunist who preys on the innocent as it is the supernatural world of the vampire.

Stoker

Best known for his “The Vengeance Trilogy” in his native South Korea – including 2003’s critically lauded Oldboy – director, screenwriter and producer Park Chan-Wook tackles his first American movie with “Stoker.”  He continued to have great success – three of his movies are in the thirty highest grossing films of all time in South Korea – and continued to push boundaries: his 2011 film Paranmanjang was shot entirely on an iPhone.

Now he brings his incredible talents for the first time to the States, directing a script by former “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller. Stoker follows the story of India Stoker (Wasikowska), whose father dies in an auto accident. Soon after, her Uncle Charlie (Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evie (Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Stoker

Over the past two decades, Park Chan-Wook has established a rotating troupe of actors with whom he works regularly in Korea. He has developed an intensely collaborative method of working hand-in-hand with his favorite performers to flesh out and fully define the unusual and original characters that people his films. For his first American movie, he had to put together a new creative family of actors with the same kind of sensitivity, intelligence and talent.

“I am especially excited for audiences to see this film for the performances by these wonderful actors,” says the director. “They are each at different stages of their lives and careers, and are rather different kinds of actors from each other. Seeing how they come together so successfully is worth experiencing.”

Park’s extensive preparation makes it easier for him to shoot quickly and precisely. “My style of filmmaking involves very specific camera movements,” he explains. “I edit the film in my head well in advance, so working in the conventional manner, with long masters and lots of coverage, does not work for me.”

Stoker

The film’s shooting schedule was abbreviated compared to the customary pace in Korea, which also affected the way the camera was used. “Having to capture the scenes so quickly made it difficult to use the long elaborate camera movements I am known for,” Park says. “But this may have a better effect on the film. When such shots are used only in the most memorable way, it increases the tension.”

“Stoker” is a fitting addition to Park’s acclaimed canon of work, according to producer Costigan. “Like all of Director Park’s films, it is primal, but also poetic and human. It’s about overwhelming emotion and its intersection with violence. He was able to craft Wentworth Miller’s riveting script into something even scarier, surprising, beautiful and lush, even funny at times. Everyone involved with the film feels very proud to have been able to help director Park make a true ‘Park Chan-Wook film’ in America.”

Stoker

Startling family secrets are about to be revealed when “Stoker” opens March 1 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

 

Flight : An Emotional Tailspin, a powerful, dark, character study

flight denzel washington

“I have often thought that Denzel Washington is one of the finest actors to ever grace the silver screen, and he proves that assertion with a film that is assured to receive him a sixth Academy Award nomination. Here is a man broken beyond measure, stumbling through his lost life until unprecedented new stress is placed upon him. Not even the intervention of those he holds close can stop his self-destructive nature – or can it?”
– coming from a movie reviewer in the US.

In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award® winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane?

Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) wakes before it’s time to take off on a new flight, after an evening of drinking and sex with one of his plane’s stewardesses, Katerina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez). Still trying to rouse himself from his hangover, his phone rings, and he answers a call from his ex-wife Deana (Garcelle Beauvais). Deana wants to discuss putting their son through a private school, but Whip doesn’t want to discuss it at the moment, claiming he’ll talk to her about it when he gets back to Atlanta.

Co-pilot Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty) Ken seems a little apprehensive of Whip (who is wearing sunglasses), but goes along with his story that he’s alright to fly. The plane takes off through rain, and Whip pushes it higher and faster, attempting to find a break in the clouds, causing the ride to seem downright turbulent. However, once Whip finds a break in the storm, the plane stabilizes, and the passengers applaud.

Shortly after this, Whip addresses the passengers personally, while secretly pouring some mini-vodka bottles into a bottle of orange juice. After disposing of the bottles, Whip returns to the cockpit, and naps while Ken takes over.

A sudden jolt stirs Whip, before the plane suddenly pitches into an uncontrolled dive. Steering mechanisms don’t respond, and numerous houses can be seen out the window. Staying relatively calm, Whip has the plane’s fuel ditched, before proposing a crazy maneuver: roll the airplane! With Ken and Margaret’s help, Whip inverts the plane upside down, leveling it out, before rolling it to crash-land on its belly in a field near a small church. The impact slams Whip’s head against the steering mechanism, knocking him out.

Whip awakens in an Atlanta hospital with minor injuries. He is greeted by his old friend Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood), who now represents the airline’s pilots union. He tells Whip his heroism saved 96 of 102 people on board. An NTSB official informs him Katerina was among those killed, and that Evans has been put into a coma.

When he meets Charlie and attorney Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle), they explain that the NTSB performed a toxicology screen while he was unconscious in the hospital that revealed he was intoxicated, which could result in Whip going to prison on both drug and manslaughter charges. Lang promises to get the toxicology report ruled inadmissible on technical grounds, but Whip leaves in a fury and takes refuge in his father’s farm.

Watch how this action-drama unfolds and climaxes on a down-to-earth airline pilot hailed nationwide in America as a hero for saving the lives of almost everyone on his flight under the able  ‘navigation’ of Director Robert Zemeckis of Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and other great film credits’ fame.

Flight is a 2012 American drama film directed and co-produced by Robert Zemeckis starring Denzel Washington, with Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly, and John Goodman. The film is distributed by United International Pictures thru Solar Entertainment Corporation.  Now showing at your favorite theaters and cinemas..

“The Walking Dead” resumes explosive third season on Fox this Feb 16

Walkers - The Walking Dead - Season 3, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Leaving loads of nail-biting cliffhangers for loyal viewers as it went on its mid-season hiatus, “The Walking Dead” Season 3 returns to Fox Philippines on Feb 16 at 8:55 PM. Fans of the hit TV series about a hardy group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse are expecting an all-out war to explode on their screens at the premiere and will tune in to see what happens when different aspects of human nature clash in a world with little hope left in it.

The walking dead part 2

“The Walking Dead” chronicles the lives of a motley band of stragglers who somehow survived the onslaught of a zombie apocalypse and were brought together by desperation and the will to live in a new, terrible world. The group is led by Officer Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, who fully embraces his role as chief after the events of the previous seasons, having been forced time and again to question the motives of his people and discern what decisions to make in order for them to survive. At the onset of Season 3, the group, composed of his wife Lori, his son Carl, Herschel and his daughters Maggie and Beth, and original members Daryl, Glenn, Carol and T-Dog, desperately looks to Rick to determine their next move, and he lays down the law by declaring that their priority is to find a semi-permanent shelter where they can recover safely. Meanwhile, Andrea is found and cared for by the rogue self-styled warrior Michonne when she is separated from the group as they flee the walker-infested farm.

The walking dead part 2

The first half of Season 3 was relentless in revealing one shocking development after another. In their quest to find a safe haven, Rick and his group encounter numerous dangers as they fight to claim an abandoned prison full of walkers. The story also followed Michonne and Andrea’s adventure in parallel, who stumble upon a thriving community of survivors led by someone who calls himself “The Governor”, played by David Morrissey. Andrea and Michonne find themselves seduced by the order that The Governor has imposed on the community, which offers a life similar to the days before the zombie apocalypse. But soon after their arrival, they encounter the sinister truth behind the community’s success.

The walking dead part 2

Recently, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented An Evening with The Walking Dead, where a panel of cast members, including Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), DanaiGurira (Michonne) and David Morrissey (The Governor), along with Creator and Executive Producer Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd, and Co-Executive Producer and Special EFX Makeup Supervisor, Greg Nicotero, discussed the first half of Season 3 of The Walking Dead at length in front of an audience. They explored the character’s motivations that led them to certain decisions and actions that helped set up the inevitable battle that will occur in the latter half of Season 3.

The walking dead part 2

“One of the enduring strengths of the show is that it keeps reinventing itself,” said Andrew Lincoln. Lauren Cohan added, “The ways we’re pushing boundaries is so interesting and surprising to see on TV.” The actors’ portrayals of their characters have also been integral to the show’s appeal to audiences. Gale Ann Hurd said, “The reason people watch the show is the cast…the audience is invested in the characters.”

Catch the much anticipated premiere of the The Walking Dead 3 part 2 on FOX Philippines, February 16 at 8:55 PM!