“DIE FIGHTING” INTROS NEW BREED OF MARTIAL ARTS STARS MINUS CAMERA TRICKS

The latest breed of action talents following years of training in various martial arts star in the highly-kinetic film “Die Fighting.”  

 

The movie starts with four friends known as the Z-Team, Shaolin-forged martial artists who have just won the top award at a Film Festival. Fabien, Lohan, Didier and Jess immediately set their sights for Hollywood, but from within the shadows emerges a new challenge: the four find themselves in front of the seemingly inescapable eye of a mysterious director who forces them to “act” in his own brutal reality film, with the lives of their loved ones at stake. Their every move watched through hidden cameras like mice in a maze, the Z-Team are forced to run a gamut through the seedy underbelly of LA – from robbing an armored truck, encountering a rug Lord, breaking an entire dojo of BLACKBELTS, evading a SWAT team, surviving a blazing gunfight…and it’s all a part of the Director’s script. A dark filmmaker’s game culminating into a shocking ending which reveals just how high the price of success is.

 

As producer and lead actor Laurent Buson noted, “A lot of the punches and kicks have to be real in order to be believable” to the audience. And no doubles were used; the actors are the fighters.  With “Die Fighting,” as with Z Team’s many short films, the battles play out with hardly any  obtrusive camera tricks. The Z Team ethic mandates that the full range of martial art techniques be filmed without the choppy editing utilized in so many other action movies.

 

Director Fabien Garcia shot the movie like a Hong Kong action flick “because it is easy to understand what is happening” on-screen, whereas “American films are the opposite” of this visual aesthetic. Using three high-end digital cameras, including a Red One (Mysterium-X), the cast and crew filmed the meticulously-crafted action scenes with some notable influences in mind. The script even makes a few direct references to the movie heroes from the Z Team’s youthful years who themselves have undergone martial arts training since they were young. Without sacrificing originality, an homage was made each to Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon,” Jackie Chan’s “Drunken Master 2,” and Chow-Yun Fat’s “Hard Boiled.”

 

During the epic showdown between best friends turned savage by the manipulations of the  Director, Laurent insisted that Fabien kick him particularly hard for a realistic effect. The result was Laurent having to fight with a broken rib for 9 of the 10 days in the warehouse finale. Yet and still, director Fabien was meticulous about getting enough footage to pull the best takes from his actors/fighters. Similarly in post-production, Fabien was a painstaking editor who took a year and a half to cut together the rough assembly. That’s the true meaning of “kung fu”—working skillfully toward a particular endeavor.

 

“Die Fighting” opens July 15 in cinemas nationwide from Crystalsky Multimedia.

JAMIE BELL ROCKS AS THE THING IN THE NEW “FANTASTIC FOUR”

Multi-faceted actor Jamie Bell who came to prominence with his award-winning performance in the British dance drama “Billy Elliot” now transforms into a hero with epic strength as Benjamin Grimm aka The Thing in this year’s highly anticipated superhero film “Fantastic Four.”

 

Directed by Josh Trank, “Fantastic Four” brings Bell to co-star with equally talented young actors such as Miles Teller in the role of Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as Sue Storm aka the Invisible Woman and Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch in the stand alone and contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s first (original) superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961.

 

 Written by blockbuster maker Simon Kinberg (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”), the latest “Fantastic Four” resets everything as it introduces an origins story of a young group of friends who are dynamic, intelligent and courageous before being transformed into powerful heroes the world has ever known.   In this cutting-edge version of director Trank,  “Fantastic Four” brings the brilliant and brave young friends in what could be mankind’s first journey to an alternative universe. But during the mission, each of their physical form is altered, granting them unmatched strength and abilities.

 

More than playing The Thing who possesses unimaginable strength, Bell’s Ben Grimm is best friends with the brainy Reed Richards. As Ben, he is someone who is conflicted, who is inside himself, who’s kind of stuck.  He thinks that maybe baseball is his way out.  Ironically he then gets stuck and can’t find a way out but along with Reed and their newfound friends and his altered appearance, he has finally found a way to channel his inner strength to greater heights.

                

On filming scenes where he appears as The Thing, Bell shares that director Trank was unmovable that his character still retains his human soul through his eyes. “On every setup where I would play The Thing, there was always six to 10 reference cameras shooting my face, sometimes even just the back of my head, just to get everything, to capture reactions.  The performance aspect always remains the same, in that you 100 percent come to life as a different being.  It’s so immersive, and it kind of has to be.  For the technology to really work, you have to focus on every tiny little physicality.  I would say, “When I come to a stop, can we just make sure that dust comes off me?”  I just wanted to make sure that we never lost his organic matter. Fortunately, Kevin Mack (Visual Effects Supervisor)’s kind of a genius with that stuff,” enthused Bell on filming his scenes.

 

“Jamie’s someone I’ve always been a fan of, since Billy Elliot. I’ve followed his career and always wanted to work with him. Knowing him in real life I knew there was a shade of his personality that could organically embody who I feel this character needs to be in this movie. I suggested it to the studio, they loved it, they knew he was a great actor. So I called him up. I think he was a bit surprised to get the call but we had a great conversation about the character and the next day he read the script and said, “If you want me, I’m in!” said Trank on casting Bell.

 

Prepare for a rocking new experience in theatres when the new “Fantastic Four” opens on August 5 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Hear the angelic voices in “BOYCHOIR”

From acclaimed director François Girard (THE RED VIOLIN) comes the inspirational story of a rebellious kid with a remarkable gift who is challenged by a demanding teacher to make the most unlikely of dreams come true. A stellar ensemble — including two-time Oscar® winner Dustin Hoffman, Oscar® Winner Kathy Bates, two-time Emmy winner Eddie Izzard, three-time Oscar® nominee Debra Winger, Josh Lucas (A BEAUTIFUL MIND) and Kevin McHale (“Glee”) — headline a cast that also introduces an exciting group of newcomers as the young singers who battle each other as they take their boychoir to the competitive heights.

The rousing, music-filled tale begins with Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), who is struggling just to get by in a tough Texas neighborhood with an overwhelmed single mom. His school principal (Winger) is convinced his angelic singing voice is worth championing, but Stet has no idea how it might help him face the dark realities of his life. That all shifts when a sudden accident lands Stet on the East Coast at one of the most elite private boychoir schools in the country, the National Boychoir Academy. It might be his only hope, but he knows he doesn’t fit in. He’s never studied music, there’s not a single soul to support him and he’s filled with a seething rage he can’t begin to express. Even worse, he immediately runs up against the most demanding, uncompromising and compelling person he’s ever met: the school’s lauded, if increasingly jaded, Headmaster Carvelle (Hoffman).

Yet, Stet’s inner grit brings forth an astonishing sound. And the more he sings, the more Carvelle begins to see his passion growing – a passion that will impact not only Stet’s own life but those around him. From Carvelle himself to his snobbish associate Drake (Izzard) to the school’s down-to-earth headmistress (Bates) to the young teacher who fights for Stet (McHale) to the estranged father who is trying to hide his very existence (Lucas) to Devon, the star singer who is Stet’s fiercest rival (newcomer Joe West), Stet’s campaign to redeem himself begins to catch everyone’s attention. At the same time, everyone knows no boy singer’s voice can last – or survive adolescence. Change is coming, but with it, a lesson that endures: to make the absolute most of what you’ve got in the moment.

BOYCHOIR” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

SHOWING ON JULY 1.

NATIONWIDE!

Much Awaited Mr. Holmes is coming this July.

MR. HOLMES_POSTER-3

Director Bill Condon puts a spin on Arthur Donan Coyle’s most celebrated character with Mr. Holmes, which stars Ian McKellen as the famous detective. The set-up is that a now-retired Holmes, his steel-trap mind starting to fade with old age, lives out his golden years in the late 1940s. He returns from a trip to Japan searching for a plant that could slow the aging process and help him regain the faculties he knows he’s lost. While there, he witnessed first-hand the result of America’s bombing of Hiroshima, which has put him in a contemplative state. He lives with his devoted housekeeper Mrs. Murno (Laura Linney), and her son Roger (Milo Parker), who turns out to be of great help when the detective reopens his investigation into the case that led to his retirement.

Mr. Holmes is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

OH HIGH SCHOOL LOVE! “PAPER TOWNS” CAST AND CREW PHOTOS MADRID TOUR

Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff, and John Green were altogether promoting “Paper Towns” in Madrid, Spain last June 15 at Madrid’s Villa Magna.

The talented young actor Nat Wolff stars opposite model-actress Cara Delevingne in “Paper Towns,” adapted from the best selling novel by John Green. An exciting and entertaining coming of age story, “Paper Towns” tells the story of Quentin (Wolff), a romantic and studious teenager, who is in love with Margo (Delevingne), his beautiful and enigmatic next-door neighbor.

Good friends as children, they have since grown apart. But one night, towards the end of high school, Margo persuades Quentin to join her on a wild, night long adventure, which involves a series of outrageous pranks.   But the next day, Margo disappears, leaving behind a trail of clues. Q and his friends set off on a road trip to track her down.

Directed by Jake Schreier, the film explores on relationships and the power of friendship.  “Paper Towns” opens July 23 in (Phils.) cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

“KUNG FU PANDA 3” FIRST LOOK PHOTOS

In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, “Kung Fu Panda 3.” When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.  But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!

Produced by Melissa Cobb and directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni, “Kung Fu Panda 3’s” returning and new voice cast includes Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, Bryan Cranston and Rebel Wilson.

                A DreamWorks Animation presentation, “Kung Fu Panda 3” kicks in cinemas March 17, 2016 in the Philippines!

“THE MARTIAN” FIRST TRAILER REVEAL

Following the release of 20th Century Fox’s first look photos of “The Martian,” the studio now brings the first trailer of Ridley Scott’s heart-stopping action thriller where a NASA astronaut, Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon is stranded on Mars while his crew plan a daring mission to bring him back to Earth.

The trailer reveals NASA sending a group of astronauts to Mars when they encountered a fierce storm forcing the crew to abort the mission and head back to Earth immediately.  Mark Watney along with his crew members are on a mission to planet Mars where they are on board a ship called Hermes – the ship’s crew along with Damon includes Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Michael Peῆa, Sebastian Chan and Aksel Hennie.

Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, “The Martian” is directed by Ridley Scott from a script by Drew Goddard (“World War Z,” “Cloverfield”), the film is produced by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men trilogy,” “Elysium”), Michael Schaefer (“Exodus: Gods and Kings”) and Mark Huffam (“Exodus”).  Veterans of numerous Scott films are also back for “The Martian,” including director of photography Darius Walszki (“Exodus,” “Prometheus,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” films), production designer Arthur Max (Oscar® nominee for “American Gangster” and “Gladiator”) and costume designer Janty Yates (Oscar® winner for “Gladiator”).

See the trailer below:

Get ready for an out-of-this-world thrilling ride when “The Martian” opens November 26 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. in (Phils.) cinemas

SERVING HER OWN KIND OF JUSTICE IN “RETURN TO SENDER”

A woman writes letters to her rapist that keep on returning to her from prison, until one day she gets a reply and finally decides to face him once again.  In the thrilling drama “Return To Sender,” Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (for “Gone Girl”) brings her icy zeal as she plays Miranda in the movie, a surgical nurse who was violated in her own home who eventually pursues a horrifying revenge in the end.

“Return To Sender” is set in an idyllic small town where Miranda (Pike) works as a surgical nurse, lives in her well-kept home and is content living life on her own.  Things begin to change drastically when one day, she welcomed a man in her home mistaking him for the man she was set to go out on a date with.  Introducing himself as William (Shiloh Fernandez) , once inside, he brutally attacked and raped Miranda leaving her almost dead.  William was eventually arrested and sent to prison while Miranda tries to move on with her life. But it seems, for Miranda to move on, she has to face William once again and she begins sending him letters while in prison.  They soon become friends when Miranda started visiting him in prison.  Soon, William was released and continued seeing Miranda despite the chagrin of her father (Nick Nolte).  Miranda in no time begins her revenge scheme with clockwork precision once William starts falling for her.

Check out the film’s trailer here:

                “Return To Sender” will hit theatres this June 17 nationwide from Pioneer Films.

GIRLFRIEND FROM THE GRAVE IS BACK IN “BURYING THE EX”

Two gorgeous girls Ashley Greene (“Twilight”) and Alexandra Daddario (“Percy Jackson,” “San Andreas”) fight over Anton Yelchin in the uproarious horror comedy “Burying The Ex.”

Directed Directed by Joe Dante who helmed the iconic blockbuster “Gremlins” movie, “Burying the Ex”  follows Max (Yelchin), an all-around nice guy, and his overbearing but incredibly beautiful girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene). Their relationship takes a nosedive after they decide to move in together and Evelyn turns out to be a controlling, manipulative nightmare. Max realizes it’s time to call it quits, but there’s just one problem: He’s too afraid to break up with her.   When Evelyn dies in a sudden accident, Max soon meets the girl of his dreams, Olivia (Daddario) and decides to move on with his life.  But Evelyn just won’t give up easily, she miraculously dug herself out of the grave and gets back with Max as if living their own usual normal life.

See the trailer link below:

Catch “Burying the Dead” when it comes out in theatres this June 24 from Pioneer Films.

MATT DAMON IN “THE MARTIAN”

The recent release of the first look photos of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film “The Martian” starring Matt Damon reveals the actor as a stranded astronaut left behind by his crew after being presumed dead during a fierce storm.

“The Martian” features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir wherein Damon’s character Mark Watney, an astronaut left behind on Mars, must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to survive on the hostile planet while waiting for the most daring and impossible rescue mission to bring him back.

“The Martian” opens very soon this November 26 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.