BLUE SKY STUDIOS BREAKS NEW GROUNDS IN THE ANIMATED SPECTACLE “EPIC” (3D)

EPIC in 3D opens May 24

Prepare to be hurtled along in a journey to the fantastical, spectacular world of “Epic” from Blue Sky Studios, the studio that brought to life the most beloved and successful motion pictures “Ice Age” and “Rio.”

Filmmaker Chris Wedge helms the upcoming larger-than-life “Epic” based on the beloved children’s book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” by William Joyce which introduced Samurai-like warriors, the Leafmen– and a war being waged in our own backyards between the forces of life and the forces of decay.

colin farrell voices ronin in EPIC

In the thick of adventure in “Epic” is a smart, spirited and headstrong 17-year-old named Mary Katherine but prefers to be called MK (voiced by Amanda Seyfried).  She returns to her childhood home to reconnect with her estranged father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), M.K. loses patience with his endless stories of unseen people who live in the woods.   But when she is magically transported into the Leafmen’s world, she gains a new perspective.  To find her way home, M.K. must do more than believe in this world; she’ll have to help save it.

The film’s visual wonders breaks new ground in animated spectacle, realism, action and adventure, but it is Epic’s characters and the actors who portray them that take center stage.  Along with Seyfried’s and Sudeikis’ voices in “Epic” are Beyonce Knowles, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Pitbull, Blake Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd and Christoph Waltz.

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The ongoing battle between good and evil in “Epic” transports MK in a secret universe where she teams up with an elite band of warriors headed by Ronin (Farrell), Nod (Hutcherson), a crew of comical creatures including a snail named Grub (O’Dowd), a slug named Mub (Ansari)  and the Leafmen’s queen, Queen Tara (Knowles).  Together they fight to save the forest from the Boggans headed by Mandrake (Waltz) and his son Dagda (Anderson).  In the midst of it all is a caterpillar named Nim Galuu (Tyler), a consummate party animal whose practical know-how make him a key player to save the forest.  Between the forces of light and darkness is Bufo (Pitbull), a tough-guy toad who is a wheeler and a dealer who likes to play all the angles no matter which side wins or loses.

“Epic’s” world is lush and alive through Michael Knapp’s supervision, the movie’s art director in charge of designing characters, colors, environments, textures, story and lighting.  Working with Chris Wedge and artists to transform the familiar environs of a woods into a kind of alien universe, where the colors are more vivid, the light more expressive, and vegetation sways as if it were consciously alive.

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With these departments achieving unprecedented levels of realism and spectacle, Wedge singles out “pushing the animation further than ever before” as another formidable creative challenge.  “Our characters in EPIC are the most sophisticated-looking and human-looking of all our Blue Sky Studios projects,” he says.

Colin Farrell who voices Ronin enthuses on making the film, “The film is epic by name, epic by nature and epic by experience.”   The Blue Sky Studios team has no bigger fan than Beyoncé Knowles, who says, “The animators based much of their work on footage of the actors recording our lines, so my facial expressions and body language have become part of Queen Tara.

“I was blown away by the detail in the animation,” she continues. “It’s very hard to even tell it’sanimation; it looks so lifelike. I’ve always imagined being in an animated film, so to see that happen was really exciting for me.”

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Action is also king – or, in this case, Queen – in EPIC, which features two spectacular battles, including the climactic confrontation in which the Leafmen, M.K. and Bomba face off against Mandrake and the Boggans that will decide the fate of Queen Tara’s Moonhaven.  It’s grand storytelling, giant action, and bigger than life heroes and villains in the ultimate war between good and evil.

It’s EPIC.  And it’s all happening in a world you’ve never seen before – but is as close as your own backyard.

Opening across the nation on May 24, “Epic” in 3D and 2D is from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

ROSARIO DAWSON RECOVERS STOLEN MEMORIES IN “TRANCE”

Trance Rosario Dawson

In the psychological caper “Trance” directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, Rosario Dawson delves deep into her role as Elizabeth Lamb, a hypnotherapist that she says has broken every mold of a character she’s ever played.

Stolen memories will resurface in “Trance.” Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars.  After suffering a blow to the head during the heist, he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting.  When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang’s leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to reach into the darkest recesses of Simon’s psyche.  As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon’s broken subconscious, the line between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.

Trance Rosario Dawson

Boyle brings a fresh take on the iconic femme fatale in the character of Dawson as Elizabeth Lamb, the beautiful hypnotherapist who proves to be every bit the equal of the men playing power games around her.   The most alluring leg of the movie’s triangle belongs to Lamb which Dawson molded to become a very modern re-model of the classic femme fatale.  At first she seems like she might be just an eye-catching, over-confident pawn in an all-male game, but Elizabeth’s true power begins to emerge as the story unravels.

Trance Rosario Dawson

Known for her previous notable works in “Sin City,” “Rent,” “Seven Pounds” and “He Got Game,” Dawson has worked with many of the world’s leading directors, from Spike Lee to Quentin Tarantino, Chris Columbus and the late Tony Scott – but this role is totally different from her previous ones.  “I’ve never played anyone even remotely like her,” says Dawson of Elizabeth Lamb.  “Elizabeth is totally different because she’s hiding everything.  You only get hints of her emotion through her doing things with her hair to show her restraint but when she lets her hair down, she really lets her hair down.  Then, you get to see a different side of her.  It’s subtle; it’s completely unspoken. And she’s a wonderful presence to have between these two guys,” Dawson explains.

Trance Rosario Dawson

One of the most intriguing aspects of “Trance” for Boyle was the chance to present a woman as an equal player in a crime thriller.  “You make all these films and you have great women in them, but they’re basically about guys – Ewan McGregor, Cillian Murphy, Dev Patel, James Franco or Leonardo DiCaprio. So what I love about “Trance” is there’s a woman most definitely right in the thick of it, holding her own.”

He knew he needed an actress capable of evoking Elizabeth’s underlying strength.  “I’d always had Rosario in mind for the role,” he says.  “I’d always wanted to work with her. She won’t thank me for saying this, but everything I’ve seen her in, I don’t think people have used her fully; I don’t think her talent as an actor has been fully exploited.  We wanted someone who had a real commanding presence: an ability with words and an independence – a stand-alone quality.”

Trance

Dawson researched her character’s profession by attending hypnosis classes and poring through books on hypnotherapy and psychology. “I met with a couple of hypnotherapists.  I even got hypnotized,” she explains.  “I noticed that every single person in the profession that I met exuded this confidence.  They give off this feeling of ‘I know the secrets to your brain, and you don’t understand how you think or why you behave that way but I do and I can help you.’  So that was really interesting and it wasn’t an accident I played her that way.”

“Trance” opens May 1 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Watch the Trailer here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Werf2ZXvuWY&list=UU-JrjBL_iZAn5wjEsw9nRYA&index=6

TEEN DEMIGODS IN A NEW WAVE OF ADVENTURE IN THE LATEST TRAILER OF “PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS”

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Logan Lerman is back as the teen demigod Percy, son of sea god Poseidon who embarks on a journey to save Camp Half-Blood,  home and training ground of demigods like him sired by the mythical Greek gods with humans.

Check out the latest adventures of Percy along with Annabeth, Grover and Tyson in the movie’s recently released international trailer here:  http://youtu.be/FvheKl1cUqI

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Upon returning to the camp, Percy along with the other teen demigods find the camp’s protective barriers poisoned leaving them all vulnerable against enemies’ attacks.  The only way to save the camp is to retrieve the Golden Fleece from a  dangerous cyclops named Polyphemus. Together with Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Tyson (Douglas Smith), a cyclops and Percy’s half-brother, Percy sets sail on his most dangerous journey yet to retrieve the Golden Fleece in order to save the camp.

“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” docks in Philippine cinemas August 15 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

The movie will also be available in 3D and 2D format.   Visit 20thCenturyFoxPh YouTube channel and 20thCenturyFox Philippines Facebook page for the latest Percy Jackson news, photos and videos.

“THE WOLVERINE” FULL-LENGTH INTERNATIONAL TRAILER

 

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From the recently released teaser trailer of “The Wolverine,” now comes the latest version of the movie’s full international trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afllKoVFEao&list=UU-JrjBL_iZAn5wjEsw9nRYA&index=1

”The Wolverine” latest trailer reveals Logan aka Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) at his most vulnerable struggling with his immortality. Caught in a web of conflict, as Wolverine develops alliances he also faces a host of dangerous new enemies revealing a stronger, multi-dimensional character. Set in Japan where an integral part of Wolverine’s history lies, “The Wolverine” is a stand-alone epic-action adventure where he will emerge more powerful than ever before, leaving him forever changed.

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“The Wolverine” also stars Tao Okamoto, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Will Yun Lee and Brian Tee, directed by James Mangold and scripted by Mark Bomback and Christopher McQuarrie.

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The most iconic in the X-Men universe will soon be seen on the big screen when “The Wolverine” opens on July 25 in (Phils.) theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Tom Hanks, Ridley Scott on team behind National Geographic’s “Killing Lincoln”

TOm Hanks narrates Killing Lincoln on NGC

National Geographic Channel wows audiences in April with an exciting new film titled “Killing Lincoln”, which premieres in the Philippines on April 14, 2013. The film is an adaptation of the best-selling book Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever co-written by controversial media personality Bill O’Reilly and author Martin Dugard, and was produced by Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Productions. Chronicling the last days of US President Abraham Lincoln at the close of the American Civil War and his brutal assassination by the actor John Wilkes Booth, it also depicts the unprecedented manhunt launched by the US government to bring Booth and his co-conspirators to justice. “Killing Lincoln” is National Geographic’s first original scripted drama, and is directed by Adrian Moat, the Emmy-nominated director of “Gettysburg”. The film garnered a whopping 3.4 million viewers when it premiered on February 17 in the US, scoring the highest viewership in National Geographic Channel history.

Narrated on camera by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, the film was written by Erik Jendresen, who also wrote and produced for the critically acclaimed TV series “Band of Brothers”. Hanks plays the role of storyteller in this docudrama, and “his job is very specific to facts and figures and dates and times. He’s giving the viewer all the background information needed to appreciate and understand the context of the next moment of the story,” said Jendresen.

“Killing Lincoln” is backed by a powerful cast of both veteran and new faces. Playing the venerable role of Abraham Lincoln is Billy Campbell, one of the most experienced character actors in the business. He recently garnered acclaim for his performance as troubled mayoral candidate Darren Richmond on the highly praised TV series “The Killing,” where he was described as “scary and suspenseful, but in a subdued, meditative way that is somehow all the more chilling” by Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times. In 1999, he was nominated for the Best Actor – Drama Series category of the Golden Globe Awards and received a People’s Choice Award in the Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series category for his role as single father Rick Sammler on the ABC drama “Once and Again”. Campbell has also starred in movies such as “The Rocketeer,” “Gettysburg,” “The Night We Never Met,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “Enough,” opposite Jennifer Lopez, besides numerous turns on the stage such as in “Fortinbras,” for which he received a 1996 Ovation Award, as well as “Backbone of America,” “Hamlet,” “Guys & Dolls” and “The Best Man.”

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John Wilkes Booth is the other important character in “Killing Lincoln” who, before this film, had never been portrayed in-depth and has always been shrouded in mystery. In a breakthrough performance that shows the complexity of this Shakespearean-actor-turned-assassin, Jesse Johnson breathes life into the character and resurrects John Wilkes Booth back from the graveyard of history book footnotes. Although a newcomer to the bigger scene, Johnson has a wealth of experience under his belt from working on off-Hollywood projects such as Internet series, Spanish television shows and indie films, and he has appeared on US TV shows such as “Nash Bridges,”“Law & Order” and a role in the 2003 TNT Award Winning original drama “Word of Honor.”

The cast of “Killing Lincoln” is further strengthened by its supporting actors. Playing Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the president, is Geraldine Hughes, a veteran stage actress who has also appeared on such shows as “Nurse Jackie,” “Mercy,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order,” “Murder, She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle,” and “ER.” She also starred in the movies “Gran Torino” and “Rocky Balboa”. Meanwhile, Graham Beckel plays President Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin Stanton. Beckel has had countless appearances on TV playing tough roles on shows such as “CSI: New York;” “Castle;” “The Cleaner;” “CSI: Miami;” “Heroes;” “Raines;” “Grey’s Anatomy;” and “Wanted.”  He also played the roles of L.D. Newsome in director Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” and Detective Sgt. Dick Stensland opposite Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Guy Pearce in Curtis Hanson’s award-winning “L.A. Confidential.”

Catch the two-hour Philippine premiere of “Killing Lincoln” on National Geographic Channel on April 14, 2013 at 9 PM.