RYAN REYNOLDS’ BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL IN “THE VOICES”

gemma arterton, anna kendrick and ryan reynolds THE VOICES

Ayala Malls Cinemas brings Ryan Reynolds’ latest offbeat role and best performance to-date in “The Voices,” a horror comedy where Reynolds play a lovable but psychologically-challenged factory worker in a bathtub company.  Jerry (Reynolds) yearns for the company hottie’s attention, played by Gemma Arterton.  With the advice of Jerry’s court-appointed psychiatrist, he pursues his crush and asks her for a date. However, their relationship suddenly took a sudden, murderous path after she stood him up for a date.   Jerry’s talking pets, a benevolent dog and an evil cat, lead him on a fantastical path beyond his imagination but must decide whether to keep striving for normalcy or indulge on a much more  sinister path.

Directed by Marjane Satrapi, known for her bestselling autobiographical graphic novel “Persepolis” that was adapted into an animated film, “The Voices” has also bested other films in the 20th annual L’Etrange Festival where it won two awards -the Canal+ Nouveau Genre Award (the festival’s Grand Prize) and the equally prestigious Audience Award.

“The Voices” opens this June 3 exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide.  Check out www.sureseats.com for schedules.

Gemma Artenton and Saoirse Roan the blood-sucking mother and daughter duo in ‘Byzantium’

byzantium

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan star in Interview With the Vampire director Neil Jordan‘s lavish yet decadent tale of a blood-sucking mother/daughter duo whose dark 200-year history threatens to catch up with them at a run-down hotel on the English coast.

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Their story begins during the Napoleonic Wars, when young Eleanor (Ronan) is abandoned as Clara (Arterton) falls into a passionate love affair. Two centuries later, demure Eleanor and extroverted Clara are on the run when they seek sanctuary in a dilapidated coastal resort.

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There, Clara sets her sights on a lonely soul named Noel (Daniel Mays), who has just inherited the Byzantium hotel, a once-thriving inn that has fallen into a sad state of disrepair. Before long, the elder vampire has transformed the Byzantium into a makeshift brothel where she and her young companion can quench their thirst for human blood while maintaining a low profile.

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Meanwhile, Eleanor falls for Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), a charming young waiter who unwittingly draws out the natural storyteller in her. Amidst a string of mysterious disappearances in the sleepy coastal town, Frank realizes that Eleanor’s extraordinary tales are much more than simple fantasy. As Clara and Eleanor’s sanguinary past slowly comes into focus, it’s only a matter of time before the pair will be forced to either flee once again or face their fates with a sense of dark courage.

 

“Byzantium” is released and distributed by Captive Cinema.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FACES BIGGEST GAMBLE IN “RUNNER RUNNER”

affleck timberlake in RUNNER RUNNER

Justin Timberlake, star in the high-roller thriller “Runner Runner” as key players trying to get ahead in the multi-billion dollar industry of internet gambling.

Timberlake’s character Richie is a Princeton grad student who’s been swindled by an online gambling group led by Ivan Block (played by Affleck).   Traveling to Costa Rica to confront the gambling legend behind the site, Richie is eventually seduced into Ivan’s haven – easy, instant and limitless wealth.  Ivan, impressed by Richie’s technological savvy takes the younger man under his wing to teach him the ropes.  It is only when he meets and falls for Ivan’s associate, Rebecca Shafran (Arterton) did he realize that he’s facing his greatest gamble yet when he also learns that Ivan is being chased by the FBI for racketeering, extortion and bribery.

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“Technology has led us to a world where everything comes very quickly, which has expedited this concept of the American dream.  Young people today want everything faster – especially money,” says director Brad Furman.  Justin Timberlake concurs with Furman’s assessment of the American dream on steroids:  “The American dream used to be about being rich and famous, but now it’s to become rich and famous – as quickly as possible.  The more access we have to things, the faster we want them.  Just touch a button and you can have almost anything shipped to you.”

“Today, people don’t want to own a Cadillac; they want to invent their own car,” Timberlake continues.  “A generation of young people wants to start their own galaxy of entrepreneurial activities. People are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, and things are moving at warp speed. It’s cutthroat.  It’s very cerebral and less about integrity, pride or honor, or any moral values.”

RUNNER, RUNNER

Timberlake’s Richie Furst is among those getting caught up in this irresistible but dangerous mindset.  His guide and “benefactor” is Ivan Block.  Timberlake describes his character’s descent: “Richie is a good guy in the wrong place, trying to do the right thing.  He’s constantly trying to hold on to his morals.  Richie is a dreamer and an idealist who makes an honest mistake and must figure out how he’s going to get out of it.”

“Runner Runner.”  It’s an expression unknown to all but perhaps the most ardent gamblers.  For the uninitiated, here’s a quick explanation: In the game of poker Texas hold ‘em, each player is dealt two “hole cards,” which they keep to themselves. Then three cards are dealt face up – also known as The Flop. The fourth card dealt up is The Turn and the fifth card is The River. Sometimes a player will get the two cards he needs on The Turn and The River – a very lucky break that is also known as “runner runner.”  For “Runner Runner’s” Richie to avoid jail, he’ll need an ingenious plan – and some very lucky breaks.

“Runner Runner” opens September 26 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.                Visit YouTube 20thCenturyFoxPh and Facebook /20th Century Fox Philippines for more of the latest  photos and trailers of “Runner Runner.”

 

Rollicking Action-Horror Adventure: Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel Poster

The story picks up 15 years after siblings Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) hatched their escape from a child-snatching witch, who changed their lives forever . . . and gave them a taste for blood. Now they have come of age as fierce, formidably skilled bounty hunters 100% dedicated to tracking and terminating witches in every dark forest — hell-bent on retribution. But as the notorious Blood Moon approaches and a familiar wooded town faces a nightmare for its innocent children, Hansel & Gretel encounter an evil beyond any witch they’ve ever hunted – an evil that could hold the secret to their frightening past.

Rollicking Action-Horror Adventure: Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters

The Mayor of Augsburg, Germany recruits them to rid the town and nearby forests of an evil sorceress Muriel (Famke Janssen) who is planning to sacrifice many local children at the witches’ gathering during the upcoming ‘Blood Moon’ night in two days time. To make things worse, the duo also has to deal with the brutal Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) who has taken power in Augsburg and conducts a very indiscriminate witch-hunt of his own.

Children around the world have long had their bones chilled by the classic fairy tale of Hansel & Gretel, the brother and sister lost in the woods, then ensnared by an icy-hearted witch who cooks and eats children. At the story’s end, the duo foil the witch’s cannibalistic clutches . . . but what happened to them next? That’s what writer/director Tommy Wirkola’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters dares to imagine, tackling the question in all its scary, funny and suspenseful potential. Joining their story as the adult siblings emerge as the most lethal witch hunters ever to stalk the woods, the film turns an ancient fable into a no-holds-barred epic of modern action and adventure.

Immediately, Wirkola saw the makings of a visually ferocious, humor-laced and action-packed experience for 21st Century audiences raised on the tale. As he began writing, he determined he would stay true to the spirit of the original German folk legend — first published back in 1812 by the famed unearthly tale-collectors, The Brothers Grimm — but put no limits on his imagination from there. “I wanted the vibe of the original fairy tale but I also wanted to spice it with all the things I love most in movies – comedy, horror and graphic action.” he summarizes. “A gruesome aura was always there in the original tale, but I brought it to the forefront, while injecting humor. And the story is still about this really strong bond between brother and sister – the way Hansel & Gretel are driven to stick together, no matter what it takes, as they confront evil.”

To take Hansel & Gretel out of the annals of legend and into visceral, contemporary action, Tommy Wirkola knew he would need to find two strong personalities who could morph these characters from legend to real life. The search for a contemporary ideal of how Hansel & Gretel might have turned out – after being raised on dreams of vengeance against the foul wickedness of witches – led to the pairing of Jeremy Renner, Oscar®-nominated for his searing action role as an Iraq War bomb expert in The Hurt Locker and rising British actress Gemma Arterton, whose allure came to the fore when she joined the iconic circle of Bond Girls in Quantum of Solace.

He also found himself wrapped up in what becomes Hansel’s guiding philosophy. “He and Gretel have gone through an amazing tragedy,” Renner observes. “They don’t have parents, witches have tried to eat them and what Hansel has taken away is that you’ve got to take your personal anger and pain and do something good with it.” That philosophy has left Hansel with a dry wit and a devastating way with the weapons needed to go after hard-to-kill witches. For Renner, that meant preparing for some of the most intensive action he’s done yet, and he especially enjoyed Wirkola’s take on how hard-fought and harrowing each of Hansel & Gretel’s battle is against such magically empowered enemies.

“There’s a lot of really arduous action in the film,” Renner notes. “One of the big difference in this movie is that while usually heroes win all their battles, Hansel & Gretel get their butts kicked numerous times. So in a way we had to face getting beat up every day! But we also had a great time. Tommy brought an incredible tone to the whole thing, a mix of serious and funny that I think gives the film the quality of a real adventure.” Arterton, too, was drawn to the twists of the story. “I love the original fairy tale and this starts there, then makes a real departure,” she says. “The film joins up with Hansel & Gretel in the midst of their fame as witch hunters. But it’s also a time when they’re starting to wonder who they are and why these terrible things happened to them – which leads them into a very tense situation.”

Amid all the snowballing tension, Arterton loved the brother-sister dynamic that always stays at the heart of the action, no matter how extreme things get. “The sibling relationship is such a great one to explore,” ayes Arterton. “Hansel & Gretel have this unstoppable bond but they’re also so different from each other. She’s the brains of the operation. He’s the brawn. He’s the joker and the show-off. She’s more the watcher, the researcher, the one who tries to really understand witchcraft. They have to each play to their strengths.”

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, is a Paramount Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer presentation by Gary Sanchez production starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen and Peter Stormare, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. The film is distributed by United International Pictures thru Solar Entertainment Corporation. Showing on January 23 at your favorite theaters and cinemas.