Reel FX Animation and 20th Century Fox open the pages of “The Book of Life” and present a grand mythology set in visually spectacular worlds never seen before. The film brings together director Jorge R. Gutierrez’s unique visual style and a crowd-pleasing mix of adventure, action, comedy, romance and music with a voice cast as lively as their animated characters – Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Christina Applegate, Diego Luna, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman and Hector Elizondo.
“The Book of Life,” a vibrant animated fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo (Luna), a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to reunite with his one true love Maria (Saldana) and defend his village. But Manolo and his equally courageous best friend Joaquin (Tatum)are not your typical Prince Charmings; the object of their affections is far from being your average princess; and “The Book of Life” is a fairy tale that doesn’t go by the book.
Its journey to the big screen began with, appropriately enough, a friendship. Producer Brad Booker, a Reel FX development executive, had known Gutierrez (known for the multiple Emmy and Annie winning series “El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera” for Nickelodeon which he created with his wife) for over a decade, and after hearing of the project, Booker believed Reel FX would be a great home for it. The independent animation studio knew that the film needed the perfect creative partner to help guide its path and development. Gutierrez’s first choice: legendary director, producer and author Guillermo del Toro, who like Gutierrez hails from Mexico. Gutierrez felt del Toro’s authentic perspective and unique aesthetic sensibility were a perfect match for the film.
Del Toro was equally impressed by Gutierrez’s passion for what would become “The Book of Life.” “Jorge is his movie,” he says, “and the movie is an imprint of his personality. Jorge’s ideas for “The Book of Life” started with his connection to his homeland of Mexico, and presenting an exciting, never-before-experienced depiction of that country, its people and its traditions – all in a way that would be accessible to audiences around the world.”
Adds producer Brad Booker: “Guillermo brings an authenticity and passion for this world and story. He’s a visionary filmmaker and has been tremendously supportive of Jorge’s ideas.” “The Book of Life” brings together Gutierrez’s perspective of his native country with a story to which everyone can relate. He explains: “This is a very personal movie. The inspiration comes from my family history and childhood experiences.”
Still, Gutierrez admits he embellished some elements. “My grandfather Luis used to tell me, ‘Jorgito, don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a good story!’ And that was the moment I fell in love with storytelling.” Gutierrez’s passion for the story, characters and their world points to the film’s broad appeal. “If you’re telling a story and want it be universal, then you have to be specific,” del Toro explains. “If the filmmaker loves the story and characters, then audiences will love it. And if a filmmaker feels it’s powerful, more people will love the story he or she is telling because it’s powerful. And that’s exactly what Jorge has done with “The Book of Life.”
The highly inventive animation “Foosball: The Unbeatables” from Argentine director Juan José Campanella (Academy Award winner for his crime thriller “The Secret In Their Eyes”) brings to life a poignant story about love, pride, friendship and passion as it follows the adventures of Amadeo (voiced by Rupert Grint), a shy but talented young man and his Table Football team, who magically come to life as they try to reunite after being dismantled and torn from their home. Supervised by animation sage Sergio Pablos who also brought to life the unforgettable characters and worlds of “Rio” and “Despicable Me.”
SM Cinemas gives its EPlus members and would-be members to join the fun in their “Foosball Play Promo” at the cinema lobby of SM Megamall starting September 17 – October 5.
Joining is as easy as one, two, kick! And get a chance to win Foosball Toy Tables!
1. Present your Foosball ticket paid using ePLUS Tap to Pay load and get 10 minutes play at the Foosball table
2. An ePLUS member together with 3 friends can play during the 10-minute playing time
3. Additional 10 minutes play per ticket will be granted if there are additional tickets bought using ePLUS Tap to Pay load
4. The Top 3 ePLUS members with the most number of playtime will be eligible to win Foosball toy tables
5. Playing will be on a first-come, first-served basis
Prior the advent of motion pictures are stage plays based on writings of famous playwrights and poets. This year, Ayala Malls Cinemas includes in their screening programs world-class stage plays filmed in high-definition (HD) format from London’s National Theater Live and operatic performances from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, offering a whole new way to experience a more intimate form of art onscreen.
This September, the British Embassy launched its seven month-long campaign “This is GREAT Britain” that aims to show the very best of Britain’s culture. The celebration commenced with the presentation of the National Theater Live’s stage play “Coriolanus” starring Tom Hiddleston. Filmed in HD, the play was screened last September 3 at Ayala Malls’ Greenbelt 3 Cinemas with a program at Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk preceding the screening. “Coriolanus” also ran for two days (September 5 and 6) at Greenbelt 3 cinemas that was made available for the moviegoing public.
In a recent statement from British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, he mentioned that “We are very fortunate to have Ayala Malls Cinemas as our partner for the screening of National Theater Live’s Coriolanus, which will give Filipinos a glimpse of the world-class theater performances from London’s West End.”
Hiddleston, best known globally for his role as Loki in “Thor” series, plays the titular role in “Coriolanus” that was written by William Shakespeare. The story centers on a conflicted man named Coriolanus - hero and defender of Rome. When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city called on to Coriolanus to defend their country. Famine threats the city, the citizens’ hunger swells into an appetite for change and on returning from the war, Coriolanus must confront the march of real politics and the voice of an angry mob threatening to throw him out of his hometown.
Succeeding the well-received and much raved about debut of “Coriolanus” in HD from London’s West End staged plays, Ayala Malls Cinemas will soon release stage plays that are also filmed in HD from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The lineup of plays filmed in HD will play every second Tuesday of the month starting this October 14 at 6:30pm featuring “Rigoletto” that will be followed by “Rusalka” on November 18 and “Otello” on December 16 for the year 2014 and will continue until the year 2015 with “La Bohème” on January 13, “Werther” on February 10 and “The Enchanted Island” on March 3.
For more information and online ticket purchase of Ayala Malls Cinemas’ upcoming MET Opera plays in HD, visit www.sureseats.com and like Ayala Malls Cinemas on Facebook. Follow them too on Twitter @mysureseats.
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Can W.C.K.D. be good? Find out in the thrilling and out-of-your-breath action adventure film “The Maze Runner” starring a group of amaze-ing young boys and a girl – headed by Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Blake Cooper and Kaya Scodelario.
Directed by Wes Ball, the movie opened in Philippine cinemas (last September 17) with fever-pitch anticipation from movie enthusiasts especially from the young adult crowd from whom the book has enjoyed immense success catapulting it to one of YA bestselling series of all time.
In the movie, Thomas (O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, they call it the Glade, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Within the glade stands a massive series of walls that forms a dangerous maze where their only hope to escape lies at the end of each cluster, but the walls change every single day, as such they assign runners, the fastest of the bunch to track and take mental notes of the maze’s secrets.
“The Maze Runner” also brims with a cast full of talent within its action-packed and visually stunning production, director Ball and producer Wyck Godfrey assembled an impressive cast to form a highly functional society as they perform their daily jobs, look out for each other and engage in power struggles as they try to solve the mystery of the Maze. Godfrey says, “The casting was one of the most exciting things about the project. The actors really believed in this world, and we went far afield to find them.”
Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien is the boy who takes that step forward when everybody else takes a step back. He’s curious and comes to learn that he is just one of many who have come up on that elevator once a month over a three year period.
The leader of these Gladers is Alby, who’s the closest thing to a father figure. “Alby is the main dude,” says Ball. “He was the first Glader, the first boy sent up the elevator, and he had to survive an entire month by himself not knowing where he was and without any help. Then the next guy showed up. Alby figured out that order and discipline were necessary to survive in this world. He’s very protective of it.”
Thomas’s nemesis in the Glade is Gally. Smart and intimidating, Gally wants to maintain the status quo and clashes with the new arrival. “But Gally and Thomas are really two sides of the same coin,” notes Ball. “Thomas fully embraces and charges into the unknown and Gally is all about self-preservation and keeping things safe and normal.”
Alby’s lieutenant, Newt, is played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (voice of Ferb in “Phineas and Ferb”), who appears in the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones” and first gained attention for his performance in “Love, Actually.” Newt walks with a limp that’s not fully explained because it’s something he’d prefer not to talk about. Nevertheless, Brodie-Sangster says the character is “the fun one of the group, the one that everyone gets along with. The Gladers come to Newt with their problems because they like and trust him.”
British actress Kaya Scodelario plays the only young woman among the Gladers, Teresa, who has a mysterious connection with Thomas. Having made her name with the UK TV series Skins, Scodelario impressed the filmmakers by being “one of the guys,” as Godfrey puts it. “She’s badass, which is what you need to be if you’re going to be thrust into the world of the Glade with all these young men.”
The elite among the Gladers are called Runners, whose athleticism propels them through the Maze each day, which helps them compile a map of the foreboding structure and, maybe, figure out a way to escape. Their captain is Minho, played by Ki Hong Lee. The young actor grew to understand his position of leadership among the Gladers in a very individual way. “I looked at the Marines and the Army and, and I consider Minho like a general of the Gladers,” Lee explains, “It’s his job to rally the troops.”