Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)

By Reymundo Salao

The setting is 1970s Japan, where a girl named Saya is secretly hunting down vampires who live among human society. She herself is a vampire and in order to find her own peace, she is determined to seek out and kill the leader of the vampires; the demon Onigen. In her aide is the mysterious council which covers up the existence of her vampire killings. When she was assigned to go undercover in an American airbase community in Japan, she rescues an American girl named Alice, and it is in this time when Onigen grows near, and soon Saya must face her destiny.

Generally, this film is the kind of movie which belongs in the same library as that of the Blade series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Basically it is a schoolgirl that fights vampires. The storyline of the anime film from which this was adapted from, was very simplistic, and even stereotypical to the point of being forgettable. But in a very surprising fashion, which is rarely common in movie adaptations of anime, Blood makes the extra mile effort of making the storyline more layered adding subplot details. We get to see a storyline that freely takes its liberties.

You will know for sure that this will eventually lead us to a climactic duel ending, but what is refreshingly interesting are the twists, turns and subplots it goes through within the movie before the main event. It's almost difficult to consciously predict the directions the story goes to before it leads to the big boss fight at the end. It manages to throw in minor subplots such as racial discrimination in Japan during those times, and even manages to throw in an interesting symbolism about how the character of Onigen identifies herself with spiders, and how many aspects of her character are associated with spiders such as her appearance of her dress at the end and the comparison that some spiders kill their males (I think. Hmmm… I think I have to review my Biology 101).

The cinematography was awesome. The visual art of the anime version itself was already very realistic, so it seems easy to correlate the appearance of the anime with how the visual tone of the movie looked. The visual tones blended well with the set design which impressively captured the essence of the 70’s setting. Most of the visual effects were great. The only minor flaw is the animation regarding one of the monsters. The special effects on that thing was bad, and looked pretty much like one of those Cinemax B-movies. BUT, that does not (for a single second) change the fact that this is overall a very impressive thumbs-up movie. And besides, if you subtract the creature animation, the rest of the film provides you with more than enough eye candy to give your eyes diabetes. There is a ninja fight at the middle of the movie that is just mindblowing. As one of the characters fights off these evil ninjas, there were many times when I felt like applauding with sheer delight.

It's actually a surprise that my senses didn't stop to take much notice on how damn pretty Gianna Jun is, because I was clearly engrossed by the progress of the story and her overwhelming onscreen character. She does look like a frail little girl, but when she acts in this movie, she does come off as this centuries-old demon hunter. It is also remarkable that even though she is portrayed as somebody who is as dangerous as Blade, the film makes efforts to set limits to her fighting style. She's a mean machine, but she does have her mortal moments. Sure, she can fight an army of vampires, but at least we do see her having a hard time doing it. The design of the “Men-in-Black”-like characters very much reflected that of the characters in the anime version. I loved how cool they looked, giving off that kind of 70’s version of The Matrix feel to it. I was also geeking out at the other actors involved in this film, specifically Yasuaki Kurata, who played Saya’s stepfather . This Japanese actor also appeared in other great action movies, including So Close, and he also fought Jet Li in Fist of Legend. There’s also Michael Byrne who appeared in The Saint and played one of the big bad guys in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

Overall, this movie is just kickass for me. I am not sure if high-brows will love this one. But me, as a fan of good action movies, specifically that which involves swordfights , demonic monsters, and ultra-pretty Japanese girls (well, Gianna Jun is actually Korean. But so what?), this movie is on my superior list. BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE is one very enjoyable vampire slasher kick-ass action flick.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It's Tim Burton's film adaptation of ALICE IN WONDERLAND which stars Mia Wasikowska, playing the role of Alice, alongside Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as The White Queen. The film is due for release on March 5, 2010.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oldman Accidentally Announces 'Batman 3'

Whenever there is a Big Comic Convention, just like the current San Diego Comic Convention, you can expect just an overwhelming flood of news about what films are being developed and what is coming up. I just updated this site last night, & now I have to update it again with this great news from Cyrus of

The "Batman 3" Announcement Slips Out at Comic Con
Posted by Cyrus on July 24, 2009 at 2:21pm
Hey guys, I'm sitting here in the Warner Brothers panel showing all their upcoming films, something of which I'll report more about later, but I had to dive in to give you a bit of news you ALL have been waiting for.

There was a bit about the new film from the Hughes Brothers, "The Book of Eli" with the cast in attendance including Gary Oldman in his first ever Comic Con appearance. The shocker was, in response to a question, Oldman, in a moment that felt like somebody somewhere is going "AW CRAP, OLDMAN SPILLED THE BEANS", said that the new Batman film starts filming next year. So there it is. As far as I know, that's the first formal acknowledgment that the third movie is underway. You may now proceed to freak out and go back to contemplating who's going to play whatever villain you think is going to be in it. Because we all know you're gonna do it anyway.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hot Movies for 2010 & Other Upcoming Movies

The line-up of 2009's movies is about to end, and oh yes, we've seen a few great ones, and a whole lot of AWFUL ones (yes, that includes Transformers 2 & the upcoming GI Joe movie which seems inevitably dumb in my opinion). But enough of that for now. Because now, we are taking a peek at some of the highly anticipated movies of 2010, and in here, we can find their newly released posters.

is an upcoming Western film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Hex is an anti-hero, with the right side of his face is horribly scarred, he kinda looks like Two-Face. Although this is heavily a western action genre, the series has had times when the character faced some supernatural villains as well (which I personally dont think will be included in the movie). Under Warner Bros., the film is directed by Jimmy Hayward and stars Josh Brolin as the title character, Jonah Hex. The film is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2010.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
is a film written by Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard, directed by Mike Newell, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film is based on the 2003 video game of the same name, developed and released by Ubisoft Montreal. The game actually originated from the 1989 Prince of Persia developed for early systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System, better known in our neck of the woods as Family Computer. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, Gemma Arterton as Tamina, Gísli Örn Garðarsson as The Vizier, Sir Ben Kingsley as Nizam, and Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will be theatrically released on May 28, 2010.

A Nightmare on Elm Street
is an upcoming 2010 American horror film written by Eric Heisserer and Wesley Strick, directed by Samuel Bayer, and produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller. The film is a remake of the 1984 slasher film of the same name, which was written and directed by Wes Craven, and designed to reboot the franchise. The film stars Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger, a role made famous by Robert Englund, while Rooney Mara takes over the role of Nancy Thompson, who was originally portrayed by Heather Langenkamp. The remake will see its theatrical release on April 30, 2010.

is a movie based on the video game series created and developed by Konami. Its main story revolves around vampire hunters from the Belmont clan waging an endless conflict against the immortal vampire Dracula. announced that James Wan, the co-mastermind behind the Saw franchise, and director of Dead Silence and Death Sentence, will be co-writing and directing Castlevania.

"I'm very fresh on this project, so its early stages and I'm still trying to work things out, but the producers love my vision for it," James Wan tells Bloody-Disgusting in an exclusive chat. "I'll be working on the script with a writer to give it a new spin, different to the previous versions. This will have my stamp on it which Konami is very excited about.

"The thing I love about what Konami did with Castlevania, was taking the iconic Dracula mythology and Eastern-European setting, and retelling it with a Japanese pop-cultural sensibility," he continues. "That’s the East-meets-West tone I want to visually expand on for the film. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to make a highly stylized, fantasy, action film that focuses on the gothic storyline and the cool, anime-like characters. For once, the human hero is as sexy and dangerous as the vampire villain, and his weapon of choice was what attracted me to the project in the first place – The Vampire Killer Whip.”

There is still no announcement as to when this movie is going to be officially released. As far as what has been publicized, this film is still being developed. But then there is already a poster being released.
(And now for something which is just a few months away...)

Ninja Assassin
is an upcoming martial arts film directed by James McTeigue and starring Rain. The film is produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers.

McTeigue cited various influences in filming Ninja Assassin such as the films Panic in the Streets (1950), The Getaway (1972), Badlands (1973), Ninja Scroll (1993), and the television series Samurai Champloo (2004-2005). The project was also inspired by the ninja scenes featured in the Wachowskis' 2008 film Speed Racer, in which the actor Rain had impressed the Wachowskis with his portrayal as a fighter.
The film is scheduled to be released on November 25, 2009.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sam Raimi to create The World of Warcraft

All you World of Warcraft fanatics, rejoice! Not only is The World of Warcraft going to be made into a movie, good news is also that Sam Raimi is going to supervise & possibly direct the development of The World of Warcraft.

Michael Fleming of Variety reports that Legendary Pictures and videogame publisher Blizzard Entertainment are mounting the film, and Warner Bros. will co-finance and distribute. The team boasts an impressive pedigree: In addition to the director of "Spider-Man," the partners have added "The Dark Knight" producer Charles Roven to the creative mix.

The plan is for Raimi to supervise development of "Warcraft" and shoot the picture after he completes work on "Spider-Man 4," which gets under way early next year for Columbia Pictures. The movie will be financed under the Legendary Pictures' co-production and co-financing deal with WB, in a manner similar to the Todd Phillips-directed "The Hangover" plus the Roven-produced "Batman Begins" and "Dark Knight."

To all you Noobs who are not familiar with this thing, The "Warcraft" universe features an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game has developed a global following since its launch in 1994 and shows no signs of slowing. Its most recent expansion, "Wrath of the Lich King," sold more than 2.8 million copies in the first day of release and more than 4 million its first month.

"Warcraft" is "emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known," said Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov. The deal revives a long-dormant pact made by Legendary and Blizzard for a film adaptation of the game.

Literally, this is "WoW"! Raimi, in my opinion, is a great choice for the project. Not only is he an ideal director when it comes to genre films and fantastic action adventure films like the Spider-man movies, the Evil Dead trilogy, and even serious horror flicks such as A Simple Plan, but he has also shown interest in medieval adventures when his Evil Dead series crossed over to the dark ages with Evil Dead 3, better known as "The Army of Darkness". Sure, it had an intentionally comedic element, but that was understandable, and that the effects were cheap, it's all because when he made this thing, he was still a struggling director creating his own geek saga. And speaking of geek, Raimi is a true-blooded geek. Now, Raimis has proven his worth. He is ready to direct an epic saga which is the Warcraft Universe. With a project like Warcraft, its fanatics are better off with a director that understands the source material. You dont want a non-geek directing this thing! (Look at what happened to Transformers 2)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DC Comics Unleashes more adaptations

DC Comics storms the film world
'Flash,' 'Green Lantern' among adaptations in works
By Borys Kit

source: The Hollywood Reporter

In the comics universe, where characters are endlessly reborn and re-outfitted, a motto from the 1980s -- "DC Comics is on the move" -- could just as well apply to the current, hyperactive state of the publisher as it relates to Hollywood.

A year after "The Dark Knight" became a worldwide phenomenon, there are more DC Comics adaptations in the works than at any other point since the company was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1969.

Among the projects on front burners:

-- "The Losers," an action-adventure drama starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, begins principal photography this week in Puerto Rico.

-- "Jonah Hex," a supernatural Western starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich, recently wrapped production in Louisiana.

-- "The Green Lantern," Warners' next big superhero tentpole, is set to star Ryan Reynolds after a long search.

-- Fox has picked up the TV series "Human Target," starring Mark Valley, for the fall.

-- And, in a rare example of a film project that has ventured off the Warners reservation, DC has set up "Red," a spy thriller to star Bruce Willis, at Summit.

"One of the things that has differentiated us for most of the last 20 years is the depth of our library and the depth of the creative material that we've put out and the opportunities that creates for other media," DC Comics president Paul Levitz said. Still, when "Dark Knight" invaded theaters last summer, critics of DC and Warners complained there didn't appear to be a grand strategy in place to exploit DC properties.

In contrast, DC arch-rival Marvel moved quickly in the wake of its successful "Iron Man" to stake out a series of release dates for a slew of movies, branding them as part of one big Marvel universe leading to "The Avengers," which arrives in 2012.

But DC and Warners have taken a different approach, arguing that DC has a wider breadth of books than other comics companies. They insist their situation isn't comparable to Marvel, which already has licensed out to other studios a number of its biggest titles: Spider-Man is housed at Sony, and X-Men and Fantastic Four are at Fox.

With fewer marquee superheroes, Marvel works like an animation studio: It only develops select projects and makes most of what it develops, while DC is managing a much larger portfolio.

Still, in the wake of "Dark Knight," DC and Warners have made strategic moves in the superhero realm, including centralizing the way DC's titles and characters are developed. In the past, Warners optioned a property, paying DC a fee comparable to what a property could command on the open market. But while the projects ostensibly were being developed under one roof, many were spread out over a host of producers, each with different visions for how to approach each adaptation.

To bring competing approaches into sync, Levitz and DC's Los Angeles-based film exec Gregory Noveck have overseen a reorganization of the development slate. While Warners execs still drive the creative side, DC now has more input, making it an actual participant in the shaping of material.

"The creative process is by and large a true partnership," Noveck said. "They'll ask us a ton of questions, and we'll give a ton of answers. We will talk back and forth. We'll discuss writers and talent, but ultimately it's their decision."

This past fall, Warners quietly hired three of DC's biggest writers -- Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman -- to act as consultants and writers for its superhero line of movies. The move involved taking back the reins on projects being handled by such producers as Charles Roven ("The Flash") and Akiva Goldsman ("Teen Titans").

Some agents and scribes grumbled about being forced to work with the consultants, never mind that Johns started his career as a assistant to "Superman" director Richard Donner or that Wolfman has worked in animation since the 1980s.

The moves have begun to pay off. Johns worked up a new treatment for a "Flash" script, being written by Dan Mazeau; Johns will act in a producer capacity on the project, which has not attached a director.

The projects Morrison and Wolfman are working on are in the early stages at Warners, whose execs declined to comment.

The process involves one writer taking point, though the trio do collaborate on projects, reading one another's materials while hashing out a story that will be at once accessible to non-fans yet still adhere to each character's long history. The writers also work in tandem with producers, writers and the Warners execs overseeing the projects, showing them treatments and providing notes on scripts.

Meanwhile, other superhero projects are moving forward at Warners.

The studio is taking pitches on sci-fi hero Adam Strange and the underwater-breathing hero "Aquaman," to be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way shingle.

Also in the pipeline: "Bizarro Superman" being written by "Galaxy Quest" scribes David Howard and Robert Gordon; a sequel to "Constantine," with Goldsman and Erwin Stoff producing; two concurrent Green Arrow projects, an origin story and a prison-set one titled "Super Max"; and "Shazam," which was set up at New Line but has moved to Warners, with Pete Segal attached to direct.

Unsung in the lineup is Warners' line of straight-to-DVD animated movies released via Warner Premiere. "Green Lantern: First Flight," the latest entry, will premiere at this week's Comic-Con and has a July 28 street date.

These movies, produced on budgets in the $3.5 million range, apparently overperformed their targets. "First Flight" is the fifth straight-to-DVD title, with "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" in production for a Sept. 29 release.

In the home entertainment arena, DC has overshadowed Marvel, with 2007's "Superman-Doomsday" generating $9.4 million in revenue and last year's "Batman: Gotham Knight," taking advantage of the tidal wave of support for the Christopher Nolan movie, generating $8 million, according to tracking site "Wonder Woman," released in March, already has chalked up $4.4 million. Marvel's top seller, "Ultimate Avengers 2," has pulled in $7.7 million.

Not that all the stars in the DC firmament are aligned yet.

Warners and DC still haven't figured out how to translate "Wonder Woman" to the big screen. In part, that failure reflects the difficulties DC has had turning out a popular Wonder Women comic. Morrison, during a recent Q&A with Clive Barker at Los Angeles' Meltdown Comics, admitted he didn't have a complete handle on the character when he was writing the comic "Final Crisis."

Also, ever since Bryan Singer's 2006's "Superman Returns," a new Superman has been in limbo.

"Our hope is to develop a Superman property and to try again," Warner Bros. Entertainment president Alan Horn said in April. "What hurt us is that the reviews and so on for the Superman movie did not get the kind of critical acclaim that Batman got, and we have other issues with Superman that concern us."

On the Batman front, a sequel to "Dark Knight" also is quite a way off. Nolan is open to doing a third installment, but his next movie is "Inception," an original script he penned and is shooting for Warners.

All that has put a damper on any movie about the Justice League, whose roster includes the above-mentioned heroes as well as myriad others including Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter. DC would like to present some of the main heroes in their own movies before they are brought together for one big outing, so "League" currently is inactive.

On top of that, there could be another change in how Warners approaches the DC characters, with studio chiefs debating whether to put the operation under one super-exec.

To bring the next generation of superheroes to the screen, DC and Warners might yet have to unleash their own super powers.

source: The Hollywood Reporter

Astroboy trailer

ASTROBOY is based on the highly successful Japanese franchise of the same name by Osamu Tezuka, which is perhaps one of the most popular classic anime creations ever made. Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fullfill the grieving man's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father (voiced by Nicolas Cage) who had rejected him.

ASTROBOY is scheduled for international release on OCTOBER 23, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009


By Reymundo Salao

Originally, I am not a Harry Potter fanatic; I really was not impressed by the Harry Potter movies initially, and have at many times dismissed the Potter movies as unoriginal and mere recycle of old ideas. It was not until the third movie Prisoner of Azkhaban where I thought the series was not so bad, but it is actually in the fourth movie, Goblet of Fire, when I really became a follower of this film series. No, I have not read the books, I guess I’m just too lazy to go get them, and go “Oh I’ll just wait for the movie, they’re making one anyway” Hahaha Well, I bet that statement would have diehard Potter fans (or as I would call them “Potterheads”) frown. In that same issue, I have noticed that it is really not easy to please these Potterheads. As a result, I have concluded that it really is, in my opinion, good that I have not read the books, otherwise, I could possibly find myself not enjoying these movie adaptations and go on to demand a 10-hour page-by-page movie adaptation of the books.

In this new movie, HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, the world of the wizards have gradually been falling into dark times, what with the Death Eaters gathering strength by numbers and the fearful return of the Dark Lord Voldemort. These dark forces are gaining momentum and we see how recklessly strong they’ve become when they even cross the line as they destroy a bridge in the world of the normal people (the world of muggles? Am I getting the term right?). Harry Potter digs deep into the memories of one of the teachers and must find out the secrets of the past, in order to stop the Dark Lord’s return.

I really enjoyed the movie because it has become more about the characters rather than the effects and the magic. Our main characters at this point are already at their teens and the storyline is heavily filled with a well-made, comedic teen drama. In this movie we see the main characters deal with the awkwardness, the romance, and the friendships experienced in teen life. The subplot of the romance aspect was very interesting because it was more focused on how clumsy these kids are when dealing with love, rather than focus on the corny and cheesy aspects of romance (like the corny Twilight movie). Unlike the teen dramas Hollywood makes, like those filled with blatant sex, drugs, and product endorsements, the teen flick aspect of H.Potter 6 is refreshingly more innocent and naïve by comparison. It deals with real teen angst, not just some random meaningless garbage that they put in MTV.

On the other hand, while the lighter, comedy part of the story is going on; the darker tones of the movie are in motion as well. The movie interplays with both the lighter aspects and the darker tones of the story in an excellently-executed balance. The sequences where we see the darker events mixes well with the lighter parts of the movie, primarily with the aid of a praiseworthy editing team

The movie really is a bit of everything. You have this fantasy in the magical world aspect which has always been the main theme of all Potter movies, you also have this charming “teen movie” aspect of the movie, there’s also this part of the movie where Potter is on a mission in trying to get one of the professors to reveal a secret, and then there is also this eerie story of darkness, where the forces of evil are gathering, preparing for a revolution, while the character of Draco Malfoy is wandering deeper into his own darkness as he seems to prove to himself that he is no longer a kid.

Speaking of Malfoy, Tom Felton shines in this movie as he shows us the moral and emotional conflict deep inside of him, the main cast, as always, have been brilliant. Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe, it is undeniable that over the years of playing these characters, their acting has been unquestionably excellent. Emma Watson was quite effective in creating the emotional impact of how she exhibits her love for Ron, inasmuch as I usually hate corny teen love stories, her acting suckered me into giving a damn what happens to the romantic subplot of the movie.

I should warn some people about this movie. This is actually a movie that feels like it is a fragment of a bigger longer movie, specifically, it is a set-up for a bigger sequel. It may not liked by regular audiences because it does not have enough visual fantasy generally expected from a Harry Potter movie. Although there are moments of awe and magic, it is not as plenty as it is in previous movies. Even the ending of the movie was a quiet one. Despite of the dramatic twists, the ending does not come out with a bang. This is a character-driven movie, if you like that sort of thing, then this movie is something you will adore, but if you’re just there to see some magic without much regard for the characters or the general storyline of the whole series, I think you may walk out of this movie disappointed. As far as I am concerned though, I loved this movie, and I cannot believe that this movie thrilled me as much as I was thrilled with Star Trek. I am really glad this movie washed off the stench in my mouth left by Transformers 2. This really is a movie that deserves the full price of admission. Thumbs up all the way.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Karate Kid Remake Update [retitled Kung-Fu Kid]

To all you Karate Kid fans out there may have already heard that there is going to be a remake of the said film, I know many of you are awaiting what this remake is going to look like.

Well here is what we know so far: The Master is going to be played by Jackie Chan, and the kid is going to be played by Jaden Smith (the son of Will Smith & Jada Pinkett-Smith) and the "master" be played by Martial Arts legend Jackie Chan. Directed by Harald Zwart (The Pink Panther 2) and written by Chris Murphy and Steven Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness). And this Karate Kid remake has been appropriately retitled as KUNG-FU KID. And filming has now begun.

Its synopsis: Jaden Smith plays Dre, a skateboarding video game buff who is forced to move to China after his single mother (Taraji P. Henson) is forced to transfer to the China for work. Of course, unable to speak Chinese, Dre finds it hard to settle in, and gets beat up by the local bully. Jackie Chan plays Mr. Han, a maintenance man who spots Dre’s black-eye and offers to teach him both martial arts and Chinese, so he can defend against the students of Li Quan Ha’s Fighting dragon school of Kung-Fu.

I'm not really having much hopes or even interest for this movie. This looks more like a Disney movie than a Karate Kid remake. wehn the Karate Kid movie hit it big back in the 80's, it was actually more of a teen movie. The part II even had this very cheesy ballad themesong by Peter Cetera that emphasizes the movie's more love story aspect. As much as I hate Twilight, but if this movie wants it to be successful, in my opinion, they should have gotten people from Twilight for this movie. I'm still not gonna be interested in it, but at least it would reflect the charm of the original. But I may be wrong, you know. Teens these days are not as interested in Martial Arts anymore as in the 80's. Re-focusing on the "family entertainment" crowd may also be a wise position, especially with the success of Forbidden Kingdom and Kung-fu Panda still warm on the table.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Handumanan joins Cinemalaya-Netpac competition

Handumanan (Remembrance) will compete for the prestigious Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award. The first full-length film of Seymour Barros Sanchez will compete against eight other films that have been previously announced by the screening committee.

The sidebar competition, the first in the Philippines, will be part of the fifth Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival (Cinemalaya Cinco) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Handumanan will have its world premiere at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theatre) on July 22, Wednesday, 9 p.m.

Handumanan tells the story of three people who seem to have lost hope of their worlds until their fateful encounter in a resort in Negros Oriental.

It stars Asian Television Awards Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress winner Chin Chin Gutierrez, Gawad Urian Best Actor awardee Jason Abalos, and introducing Japanese-Brazilian model Akihiro Sato. Aside from Negros Oriental, the film has had locations in Zambales, Cavite, and Metro Manila.

Chin-Chin stars as Solita or Sol Biglete, a romance novelist who hides under the pseudonym Soledad Miranda. She quits her job and goes back home to Dumaguete after repeatedly shunning the demands of her publisher, played by Dido dela Paz, to write erotic pocketbooks.

Jason, on the other hand, is Alejandro or Lean Tan, a government auditor who wants to be an accomplished writer someday. He finished a course in accountancy upon the wish of his mother, played by Gina Lumauig, but, deep inside him, he has other far more important things in mind.

Akihiro, who acts in his first film after gracing the catwalk of countless fashion shows and appearing in several commercials, is Carlos Silva, a model who is searching for his roots.

After Sol leaves her job for Dumaguete through the help of her colleague and friend (Lexter Tarriela), she finds out about blogging from her niece (Nadie May Orillana) and makes use of this new tool to continue writing. Carlos, who finds his face on the cover of one of Sol's pocketbooks, searches for her on the Internet and gets hooked with her writing, expressing his wish to meet her personally in the process. Meanwhile, Lean is assigned to audit in Dumaguete but his reclusive attitude leads him to Sol, whose romance novels play an unusual role in his life.

The script, which was selected as one of the six finalists to the third Produire au Sud (Producing from the South) workshop during the sixth World Film Festival of Bangkok last year, was co-written by Sanchez and Richard Legaspi. The two were batchmates at Ricky Lee's 14th scriptwriting workshop. The latter is set to direct his own indie film titled Cyclone Loop for Cinema One Originals.

Handumanan is produced by Red Room Productions from a 500,000-peso grant provided by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). The film will then be shown at the Robinsons Galleria Indie Sine from July 29 to August 4 before touring schools nationwide and other film festivals abroad.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ryan Reynolds is the Green Lantern

After months of speculation fans now know who will play 'Green Lantern' on the big screen. Ryan Reynolds has willed himself the lead role in Warner Bros. adaptation of the DC Comics title according to a breaking story on Variety.

Variety reports that the studio is still working on the budget for the move. As reported earlier today the current estimated budget is over $150 million for the super hero space opera. Reportedly Reynolds was the choice for Warner Bros and director Martin Campbell. Production is expected to begin in January.

Hell NO! Well THAT sucks!
Ryan Reynolds is perfectly fit for Deadpool because his wits and comedic charm match the character's. Unfortunately, his appearance in the role at the Wolverine movie outrageously downplayed the actor & his role. But there still are hopes for a Deadpool movie. Then there's Flash. Just like Deadpool, Reynolds is PERFECT for FLASH. In my opinion He's more fit for the Flash role than the Deadpool one. Fans and people who are familiar with the goings on in the comic-to-movie world know for a fact that Reynolds should be given either of those roles & expect him to shine in them.

But NO, he is not really fit to be The GREEN LANTERN. Not the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Putting him on this role feels like he is being wasted away on another role that is keeping him AWAY FROM roles perfect for him.
Oh Well, Hollywood Sucks that way

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

Powered by Denzel & Travolta
by Reymundo Salao

New York City subway dispatcher Walter Garber's ordinary day is turned into a day of tense, chaotic panic when armed men have seized control of a subway train, and have threatened to kill its passengers if the city does not pay them 10 million dollars within one hour. The leader of the armed men who calls himself Ryder and Garber go into a intensified psychological interplay as Garber hopes to stop Ryder or at least buy time for the hostages to be free.

This movie, directed by Tony Scott and stars Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro, and James Gandolfini, is based on the thriller novel by Morton Freedgood (writing under the pseudonym John Godey), and is a remake of the original 1974 film adaptation, which was also remade in 1998 as a TV movie. Before I move on with my review, I would like to let it known that I have not seen the 1974 movie, so my opinion may not take into consideration the ’74 version as a comparison.

What is so great about this movie is the exchange between Travolta and Denzel, the way they play each other, how good these actors are and how well the script makes them go into this conflict of wits and suspenseful drama. The strongest point in this movie is the acting between these two. This is Travolta in his familiar villain mode, the kind of characterization he had in movies like Broken Arrow and Face/Off, probably a more impulsive version of those villains. Denzel, on the other hand, plays the “every man” kind of guy who is quite a vulnerable character, and has his own human flaws, he appears even a bit overweight than usual, probably to make his character come as close to a regular “every man” as can be. James Gandolfini is funny as the mayor, and it was just so refreshing to see John Turturro play a serious role once again (after he embarrassed himself in that Transformers movie). Turturro plays a hostage negotiator who struggles to make the negotiations run smoothly and without some casualty, and also to guide Garber on how to deal with the hostage takers.

The film has the familiar Tony Scott style of stylish cuts and wild cinematography, which annoys many critics, but it is something that I adore. But on this film, there admittedly have been sequences that are completely unnecessary. I hated the needless addition of crash scenes, primarily because it just lessens the dramatic impact of a major car crash after it. By the time you get to that scene, the car crash does not shock you anymore because it comes off as a mere repetition of gratuitously violent scene.

Another thing that bothered me is the direction of the storyline as it nears the end. Things that really bothered me specifically were the decisions of the police in regards to how they engage the hostage-takers, a bit too over-restrained that they appear silly. Especially when you take into consideration how the hostage takers treat their hostages at the near end of the movie. It is in the third-half of the movie that the movie shows its weaker side. But it does not change the fact that this movie has some great acting in it. Overall, “Taking of Pelham 123” is thrilling and tense, not exactly a great movie, but there is a moderately good pay-off of satisfaction.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

George Clooney on the Jack Ryan movie reboot?

Various sources including Slashfilm indicated that George Clooney might be interested in taking up the mantle of Jack Ryan, the hero of Tom Clancy novels and films like The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games. Now there’s confirmation, via Anne Thompson, that Clooney’s name is indeed in the mix. But more important, the Hossein Aimini script that was commissioned last year to reboot the franchise, currently just the Untitled Tom Clancy Project, should arrive shortly, and then Paramount will be able to make a decision about really moving forward.

In December of last year, word came down that Killshot and Jude screenwriter Hossein Amini had been tasked by Paramount with scripting the revival of Jack Ryan’s onscreen persona. As I mentioned the other day, this would be a full reboot, and the idea is to use an original plot rather than an adaptation of one of Clancy’s novels. (Are all the novels optioned/spoken for, and if so how would they be held by anyone but Paramount? Doesn’t really matter, just a curiosity.) Going all-new is both a way to reintroduce the character and avoid the endgame of Clancy’s original plotting for Ryan, who in the novels becomes President of the United States.

I hadn’t thought much about Amini when I wrote on this the other day, but he’s an interesting choice. While his resume has many period pieces (Jude, Shanghai, The Four Feathers) those movies also feature doses of military influence, espionage and heightened tension between characters. I don’t think there’s one of his written films I really like (and in some ways I really dislike Jude) but he’s got a lot of the right ingredients to do something interesting.

On the Clooney note, the fact that Paramount is proceeding with a full reboot suggests that Clooney woulnd’t be the guy. Seems like a reboot would call for a younger lead. Clooney would also require a lot of control over script and director, though perhaps not the legendary Harrison Ford level of control. And, as Thompson points out, Clooney and Clancy aren’t exactly aligned politically.

source: Slashfilm

Monday, July 06, 2009

Animahenasyon 2009 Open for Entries

Animahenasyon 2009 now accepting entries until September 15

The Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI) is calling all budding and professional animators from across the country to participate and submit their animated works to Animahenasyon 2009: 3rd Pinoy Animation Festival, as it formally opens and accepts entries to this year's festival.

Entry forms may be downloaded from the ACPI web site at The deadline for submission of entries is on September 15, 2009. Animahenasyon 2009 will be held from November 25-28, 2009 at the Gateway Mall Araneta Center.

In an effort to build an audience, awareness and development of original contents, ACPI puts together its flagship project through an annual animation festival called Animahenasyon that showcases original animated works of both aspiring and professional animators in the country through a competition.

The festival is composed of the professional and the student/amateur divisions that will have different running time categories: 1 to 5 minutes; 6 to 20 minutes, 21 to 60 minutes, and the full-animated feature (more than 60 minutes). There are also categories for music video, title sequence, public information, demo reel, and TV series. There will also be animated works in exhibition (full-length, special citation, and past Animahenasyon winners).

Last year's grand prize winner of Animahenasyon is Love and Marriage, a jab at the folly of racial prejudice in marriage, as seen through the eyes of its Chinese-Filipino filmmaker Kenny Lynn Tai. Love and Marriage is a narrative musical cartoon that relates the story of Chinese-Filipino interracial marriage, and a comic take on this long-standing issue in the Chinese society captured in 7.5 minutes. Tai graduated from De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde with a degree in Multimedia Arts, and is now a freelance animator.

This year's Animahenasyon will feature a global animation forum where delegates from the continents of North America, Latin America, Canada, Australia and the Asia-Pacific will come to the country and showcase the latest trends and best practices from their respective countries in the field of animation, game development and the digital creative industry in general.

These foreign representatives will present the current state/condition of their industry and feature sample contents from their country. These delegates will also bring with them a group of people for possible business matching in the Philippines. The global animation forum shall provide a venue for exchange among animators, producers, industry supporters, and possible business opportunities.

Animahenasyon 2009 will also include an investors' forum where business seminars would be held in conjunction with business meetings. The forum will cover content sales and distribution, outsourcing, co-production, financing and even for education partnerships. This assumes a full day, divided into six sessions of 60 minutes each for presentation with an open forum. This component of Animahenasyon shall help set direction for the development of the animation industry.

Also part of Animahenasyon 2009 is the animation master classes/ workshops, and exhibit of works of this year's lifetime achievement awardee Jose Zabala Santos, nephew of renowned artist Nonoy Marcelo.

Animahenasyon serves as a venue for Filipino animators to present their world-class ideas, and opens doors of opportunities for them to meet with and be inspired by the finest names in the industry. It also aims to create greater awareness of the Philippine animation industry and its contributions to the global entertainment business, while tapping locally produced content for promotion in animation markets here and abroad.

ACPI's vision is to make Philippines as the prime provider of animation and content creation services to the global marketplace. On the other hand, ACPI's mission is to be the center of excellence for animation and content creation services through building more efficient and effective collaborative business practices that will elevate the country's economy and culture.

As an organized body, ACPI aims to promote the Filipino talent both locally and internationally. With the cooperation of its members as well as the Philippine government, it is envisioned that the member studios and schools will be considered competitive both creatively and technologically.

ACPI is a non-stock and non-profit organization whose member companies specialize mainly in, but not limited to, 2D, Flash or 3D animation. It aims to promote the animation industry globally with the intention of creating an identity for the Philippines to be considered amongst the preferred countries that service the animation industry.

For more information about Animahenasyon 2009, please call 483-9501, 8172727 local 108 or email the secretariat at, or visit

MMFF 09 Movies Announced (Another Round of Awful Movies)

They may deny all they want, but whether you like it or not, there is a great number of us who agree that the Metro Manila Film Festival is either 2 things: 1. A Laughing Stock when it comes to the craft of Cinema; or 2. A Sad Indication that the Mainstream Cinema of this country is still down on the filthiest of toilets.

Controversy, Cheating, Crass Capitalism and just an Awful Line-up of Awful Movies.
Those are things associated with the Metro Manila Film Festival.
This Festival of Movies that make Filipino Cinema awful is still in December, but they have already released a list of the entries:

MANO PO 6: MY MOTHER (Regal Films) with Sharon Cuneta, direction by Joel Lamangan - Why am I not surprised? The 6th movie of a franchise that has utterly no connection with the previous movies aside from the point of just cashing in on the title. This is a franchise that clearly highlights the IGNORANCE & SHEER LACK OF CREATIVITY of Regal Films.

SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL XI (Regal Films) headed by Ruffa Gutierrez - Otro pa gd ini! This series franchise gradually died after around its part 6, and from that time, it has began to have a reputation of just COPYing other horror movies. Sheer LACK OF ORIGINALITY has been the best description of the Shake Rattle & Roll movies. I can only be sorry it had to be associated by its first 4 or 5 movies.

PANDAY (Imus Productions-GMA Films) with Bong Revilla, direction by Mac Alejandre - Again, our fat Senator THINKS HE LOOKS LIKE BRAD PITT or JASON STATHAM that he NEVER CEASES TO PUSH HIMSELF as an action hero. A Track record of unbearable Corniness of previous Bong Revilla movies made for MMFF is indication enough that this PANDAY movie will be sure as hell STUPID. It's FAT PANDAY who thinks hes a hunk!

As for these other movies, I have low expectations for them, but I honestly cannot really make baseless comments on these movies for now.

NIEVES (Regal Films) with Marian Rivera, direction by Mike Tuviera

JUAN with Dolphy and Willie Revillame, script and direction by Eric Quizon

IKAW NA NGA? (Star Cinema) with Kris Aquino and Eugene Domingo, direction by Wenn Deramas

ANG DARLING KONG ASWANG (M-Zet Productions) with Vic Sotto, direction by Tony Y. Reyes

WAPACMAN (Solar Films) with Manny Paquiao, direction by Topel Lee

Will these other movies prove me wrong on my opinion towards MMFF? It's possible, but NOT LIKELY. The people behind these movies are the same people who made similarly awful movies last year, so my hopes are not really up.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Villa Estrella

By Reymundo Salao

Ana and the boyfriend she doesn’t love spend the night at a resthouse property known as Villa Estrella. And while they were there, she discovers many things about the place. The appearance of ghastly little girl and the strange disappearance of some other visitors who were there that evening. Not only is she faced with these eerie occurrences, but her own repressed memory is starting to unravel itself as well.

VILLA ESTRELLA had a good plot to work on, yet it falters in the execution. (And that ugly fucking poster this movie has, the generic horror movie type of poster) Oftentimes, at the earlier parts of the movie, the musical score just needlessly goes up trying to scare its audiences with cheesy horror-music but fails to do so because there is no build-up, no reason enough to back up the scare yet. One minute into the film, and you start scaring your audiences with shock-sound effects? What do you think your audiences are? Paranoid retards? I hate it when movies like this heavily underestimate its own audiences.

Its premature scare tactics are a liability to the film. The lack of build-up made one of the main monsters of the movie, which is the zombie-like ghost of a little girl, comes off as silly, ridiculous, and funny. Because there was no subtlety in her first appearance, as a consequence, her first appearance looks like a parody, this character becomes a walking joke, extinguishing her scary image.

The film swindles its audiences in a lousy kind of way that it only comes off as bad storytelling. It builds-up this creepy ghost child as its main villain, and then all of the sudden changes its course and completely forgets about that character, not giving her proper explanation or closure. Even if we were to assume that she was being prepped for a sequel, it was still a sloppy confusing exit for her. Then we immediately turn our attention to another villain. It feels like it attempts to look smart by trying to confuse its audiences, but we can clearly see that the story was just badly told, and comes of as stupid instead.

It was also silly to see the main villain at the end come off as something that looks like a villain from Darna or X-men. The storyline did not really need for the main villain to be thickly immersed in prosthetics. A good horror movie, especially with the kind of storyline this movie has, would be great enough if it were executed with simplicity and a little constraint. This is a fine example of a good horror story ruined by additives.

The cast did well. Shaina Magdayao was great as the main protagonist. Maja Salvador, who I found to be alluringly pretty, is excellent as a mysterious girl who also lives in Villa Estrella, Jake Cuenca did also quite well. The rest of the cast from Liza Lorena to the guy who played the comic relief of the movie were really good. The weakest link was Geoff Eigenmann, his acting was not really that bad, but there were scenes where his acting feels so B-movie. There was a scene where I feel like I would like to ask him: Are you dying? …or are you just constipated?

Truly the saving grace of the film is that it has a great storyline. The story is not very original, but at least it does not come off as a copycat (as far as I know of anyway, that's because I have not watched any of the other horror movies lately). In fact, the main storyline is a good one. Sure, it's a recycled storyline but it still holds up. The love triangle sub-plot is quite interesting, and for a mainstream tagalog movie, it is refreshing to find a love triangle that does not easily define which side the audiences root for. Shaina’s character does not come off as a typical protagonist because she was basically cheating on her boyfriend (arguably, of course), that is why Jake’s character is also the one other audiences sympathize with.

It is indeed frustrating to think that this movie could be so much better if only it had more constraint, and a bit more polished direction. If I was to give it a food analogy, this movie is not delicious, but quite edible. And in comparison, Transformers 2 was just all sugar, fatteners, MSG , and chemicals bad for your body. I’d rather spend my money on Villa Estrella.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


British actor Bill Nighy who is best known for his roles such as Viktor in the Underworld movies, the voice of Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, and also memorable roles in Love Actually & Shaun of the Dead, is set to join the cast of HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, where he will probably play the new Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, who succeeds previous Minister Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In an interview with the British website, The Independent, Nighy confirmed his recent casting in the "Deathly Hallows" duology. "I don't think I'm allowed to say it but I'm going to be in the next Harry Potter film," he tells us. "I won't say which character, but he's a goodie. I just got the gig." If you don't mind us saying, it's about time, Bill. The rangy actor has been dropping hints for aeons, once complaining that he was "the only British actor who hasn't been in Harry Potter". While he can't announce that he's playing new Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour in the final film, Potter websites like The Leaky Cauldron are reporting that's the role he will be taking.

Production is underway on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2 under the direction of David Yates, based on a screenplay by Steven Kloves.