Maximum Conviction

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When former black ops operative Tom Steele (Steven Seagal) and his partner Manning (Steve Austin) are assigned to decommission an old prison, they must oversee the arrival of two mysterious female prisoners. Before long, an elite force of mercenaries assault the prison in search of the new arrivals. As the true identities of the women are revealed, Steele realizes he’s caught in the middle of something far bigger than he had imagined. Fists will fly and bones will shatter as the situation escalates with every passing minute.

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Also starring Michael Paré (The Virgin Suicides, The Philadelphia Experiment), Aliya O’Brien (Kill Switch, Bringing Ashley Home) and Bren Foster (“Days of Our Lives,” Drowning), Maximum Conviction is a relentless thrill ride that lets the shell casings fall as they may.

 

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“Maximum Conviction” is released and distributed by CrystalSky Multimedia.

Showing on August 14. Nationwide.

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Ethan Hawke Talks about THE PURGE

 

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From Universal Pictures , the horror thriller The Purge illustrates the government’s response to an America overrun by escalating crime and overcrowded prisons.  For a 12-hour period, once a year, any and all criminal activity, including murder, becomes legal.  And on this one particular night, James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary Sandin (Lena Headey), and their two children, will learn just how vicious the outside world can be.

Actor Ethan Hawke talked about why the subject of families in peril make for good suspense and horror films, what he enjoys about making genre movies, getting to film somewhat chronologically, how much fun the fight scenes were, what he thinks this film says about society, and whether he believes humans are inherently violent.

 

Why do you think families in peril make for good suspense and horror films?

 

ETHAN HAWKE:  Well, the family in peril trip is kind of obvious, in that it’s everybody’s biggest fear.  There’s a moment in the movie where you see the husband and wife loading guns, and he teaches her to take the safety off.  It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.  Nightmares are a strange thing.  Your worst fear is sometimes something you enjoy thinking about, for some strange reason.  I don’t know why that is, but it’s some kind of fantasy that people play out.  “What would I do to protect my children?  I’d do anything.”  And then, you watch it play out.  I’m petrified of such a thing.  I don’t really enjoy thinking about it.

Did you guys rehearse, at all, to cement the family dynamic?

My favorite element of the script is Lena Headey’s character.  She and I did a movie together when I was 18, and she was 14, or something, in England, and I always thought she was a magical actress.  We didn’t even have any scenes together.  It was a movie calledWaterland.  But, I remember thinking that there was something really special about her.  I’ve watched her from afar, her whole career, and she’s just a terrific actress.  And she plays this part so interestingly.  It’s my favorite aspect of the movie.  I think, partly because I’ve known her for so long, it made the whole family dynamic really easy. 

 

Sinister was your first voyage into this type of genre.  What was it that you liked about doingSinister and being in that type of movie, and what was it in the script for The Purge that made you want to return to this genre?

Well, I got this script when we had just finished Sinister.  Jason Blum gave me this script.  Over the years, we have both loved James DeMonaco, the guy who wrote and directed this movie, so Jason said, “Hey, you’re not going to believe it, but I just read this crazy script by James DeMonaco,” and I was like, “Let me read it.”  And I had so much fun on Sinister.  I loved genre movies, when I was younger.  One of my first directors was Joe Dante, who had directed The Howling and Piranhaand Gremlins, and he had taught me a real love of what was possible with a genre movie.  He taught me that a good genre movie is a really scary, really fun thing to go see on Friday

 

night, but also that it can have some subterranean political message.  And The Purge is perfect for that.  In a way, Sinister was, too.

I’ve always wanted to flirt with genres.  I also did Daybreakers and, in a lot of ways, Training Day is a genre movie, too, because it’s the cop genre.  Good genre movies are a little bit like trying to write a haiku.  There are certain things that you have to do to fulfill the audience’s expectations, but inside that, you have complete freedom to talk about whatever you want.  In a way, it’s wonderful because you get to make a movie that deals with all these socio-political issues.  Who wants to see a movie about gun violence in America and class?  But, if you set it in this terrifying, fun, roller coaster ride of a movie, you can talk about whatever you want.  That’s been the game that genre movies play, when they do it well.

As a writer yourself, did you have any input into the script, or did you want to stay hands-off, in that regard?

I have a lot of respect for James DeMonaco.  It’s very difficult to make a movie like this with this budget, and he had his work cut out for him.  I couldn’t begin to write a movie like this.  I could try to help him, or help myself create a full three-dimensional character.  This character was very hard to play, in a lot of ways, because he’s not overtly a bad guy.  He thinks he’s a good guy.  It’s easy to play a villain, and it’s easy to play a hero.  This guy is in this weird gray zone of a person, who is culpable for a lot of negative things in his life, but isn’t aware of them, and he slowly wakes up.  But, I certainly didn’t assist in the writing.  I just worked on my own character.

 

There’s such a transformation in your character, throughout the film. Did you film chronologically?

Yeah, we pretty much did.  That was one of the more fun aspects of the movie because the movie was all shot in one location.  It was not exactly in sequence, but more than usual.  It was really nice to be able to do that because, once we got things up and running, we could do it like a play.  It was all in one set.

 

You have a lot of crazy, really great fight scenes in the film.  Was there a lot of training to prepare for that?

The fun of it was doing the fight scenes in such a domestic environment, and imagining those situations, being hunted in your own home.  I think all of us can imagine that.  I secretly would love to do one of those crazy fight movies, where you have to have all this training.  I’ve done just enough, my whole life, that I’ve always had some training in it, but I wish I was Jackie Chan.  Then, we could have gotten really crazy, running through the house.

 

We have seen, in real life, what happens when there is no law enforcement, and what kind of anarchy that creates.  How realistic do you think this premise is, and what do you think it says about society?

 

I think it plays into an age-old human fear.  Whenever any of us see glimpses of revolution or riots on television, or absolute anarchy, or when you’re younger and kids in the schoolyard act like a pack of wolves, it can be really terrifying.  It’s extremely violent film with an anti-violent message.  It’s almost an oxymoron.  Our country is obsessed with violence and our right to protect our violence, and people call you unpatriotic, if you’re not violent.  This film heightens it.  It just exaggerates it.  That’s what the best Philip K. Dick stuff does, and that’s what this is trying to do.

 

Considering the ending of the movie, would you want to have a gun or weapon to defend your family, if you were attacked?

I’d really rather that nobody had a gun, and then nobody would have to worry about it.  That would be more my theory.  In America, there’s this knee-jerk response that more walls and more guns make people safer, and I’m entirely suspect of that way of thinking.

Do you think humans are inherently violent?

It’s moments like this that I wish I was an anthropologist, so that I could answer that.  If you study the history of mankind, it seems to be a history of violence.  It’s kind of terrifying.  Certainly the history of art, whether you look at paintings or movies or plays or whatever, is just a litany of murder and death.  But somehow, I’m always optimistic.  We’re fascinated by things that scare us, and one of the things that scares us is violence.  But, if you think about it, the great mass of us never performs any act of violence.  For every crazed kid in Boston who wants to blow something up, there are a hundred people running to stop it, and thousands of people crying tears over the fact that it did happen.  It’s a conundrum.  Violence exists.  It’s a real part of our lives.  We are obsessed with what we’re scared of, but it certainly doesn’t define us.

 

Does it blow your mind that both Before Midnight and The Purge are rated R?

 

It’s amazing.  It’s almost like something out of The Purge that Before Midnight would be rated R.  It’s fascinating to me, because of a breast.  I see PG-13 movies with my son, that have a death count in the thousands, it seems like sometimes.  I never know how they come up with it.  Our country’s relationship to sex and violence is a fascinating conundrum to me.  It’s both puritanical, on one level, and libertarian, on the next.  It’s funny.  As we did interviews and stuff, it was only the American press that was so concerned with Julie’s breasts.  We did interviews with people all over the world, and they didn’t ask her about her tits.  But here, everybody was like, “By the way, can we talk about your breasts?”  It’s fascinating.  We’re like little, abused children who never saw a titty.  But yet, The Purge is absolutely terrifying.

It’s just the truth of what we prioritize.  I don’t even know what to say about it.  Sex is a lot scarier to us than violence.  For some, intimacy is scary.  We could write essays about it.  I don’t really understand what it is, but it’s an interesting observation.  On Sinister, Scott Derrickson worked so hard not to get an R.  Any time I did an improv that had the F word in it, we would have to go again.  He wanted no cursing.  There’s no blood in the movie.  But, it was just so damn scary that they gave it an R.  I never know the rhyme or reason for what we decide children should and shouldn’t see.  My mother would let me see anything.

You’re a movie star, but you also work on smaller projects. 

 What is it about small projects that make them attractive to you, as opposed to getting involved with a superhero franchise?  Is it the freedom?

I’ve always done small projects, my whole career.  There’s nothing recent about that.  I’ve always been interested in creative freedom, and the truth is that the more you get paid, the less freedom you have.  They never pay you for nothing.  That’s just always the way it is.  I’ve managed to do this for more than 20 years, and keep dodging and weaving and not being one thing.  I’ve always resisted that.  I wanted the freedom to do something else.  I didn’t want to try to do Long Day’s Journey into Night and have the audience go, “Oh, there’s Batman.”  You know what I mean?  But in many ways, as I get older, I wish I had made other decisions, but I’ve just tried to do things that interested me, sincerely.  They don’t all turn out good.  I haven’t made all perfect decisions.  But, I’ve tried to stay interested in my job, and I’ve succeeded at that.  Doing little projects helps me because I feel like I don’t work for anybody.

Is there a movie of yours that you would want your kids to see?

No.  They don’t want to see me in a movie.  I’m their dad, and they want me to be their dad.  They don’t care.  I would much rather them see To Kill a Mockingbird.

 

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“The Purge” is released and distributed by United International Pictures

through Solar Entertainment Corp.

 

Showing JULY 31. Nationwide!

 

 

“THE WOLVERINE’S” ADAMANTIUM-STRENGTH OPENING @ P95 MILLION

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“The Wolverine” ripped through new box-office highs earning P95 million on its four-day opening weekend in the Philippines and has now seized the Biggest Opening Weekend title for a Fox film all-time and is now the Highest Opening Weekend in the X-Men franchise.

            Hugh Jackman’s 6th donning of the adamantium-clawed hero evidently drew a stronghold of supporters and fans when “The Wolverine” yielded a solid P19 million earn on its opening day (July 25) with a tallied admission of 105, 045 in more than 300 screens in the country.  The first opening day figure of “The Wolverine” ebbed down “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’s” hold as the Biggest Opening Day for a Fox film All-Time.  Likewise, “The Wolverine’s” opening day box-office also surpassed “Captain America,” “Iron Man,” “Thor,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “X-Men First Class” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
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            The movie’s setting in Japan and Wolverine being vulnerable for the first time amplified the movie’s unique tone encouraging repeat views and positive reviews across the nation.  Indestructible as adamantium, “The Wolverine’s” impressive performance on its first 4-day weekend opening clawed in the larger percentage of the market share at 72% over all other films that played on the same week.
            “The Wolverine’s” highest opening weekend box-office receipts came from SM Mall of Asia with a gross of P4.9 million.  Next top grosser listed is SM Megamall with P4.5 million followed by SM North Edsa/The Block with P4.03 million while Newport (P3.8 M) and Ayala Cinema’s Trinoma (P3.71 M) completed the top five grossing cinemas.
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            Still included within “The Wolverine’s” top 20 grossing cinemas are Glorietta4 (P3.4 M); Powerplant (P2.7 M); Greenbelt3 (P2.43 M); Gateway Cineplex/Ali Mall (P2.19 M); Theatremall (P2.18 M); Alabang Town Center (P2.08 M); Eastwood (P2.02 M); SM Cebu (P1.9 M); Shang Cineplex (P1.88 M); Robinson’s Galleria (P1.83 M); Robinson’s Magnolia (P1.73 M); Ayala Cebu (P1.62 M); Robinson’s Ermita (P1.61 M); SM Fairview (P1.34 M) and Market!Market! (P1.32 M).
            Rediscovering the hero inside and on a perilous journey set in Japan amidst the maze of deceit, betrayal and honor, Logan aka Wolverine will truly come to know the price of a life without end.
            “The Wolverine” is a 20th Century Fox offering still showing in cinemas nationwide in 2D and 3D format.

De Niro-Travolta Film, a First in the Motion Picture History

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Appearing in the big screen together for the first time is Academy Award winning actor, Robert De Niro and two-time Oscar nominee, John Travolta, as they star in the action-packed Hollywood movie, Killing Season.

 

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Back-dropped against the dangerous landscape of the remote Appalachian mountain, Killing Season follows the story of two Bosnian War veterans- former American military Benjamin Ford (Robert De Niro) and former Serbian soldier (John Travolta)- as they settle an old score and engage themselves in the tense, fierce and purest form of battle: one-on-one.

 

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Killing Season director Mark Steven Johnson, who also directed Daredevil and Ghost Rider, explains how thrilling it was to work with two of the most iconic actors who have never been in the same film together, “You grow up your whole life wanting to work with Robert De Niro and John Travolta … it’s a bit like you’re pinching yourself under the table. But that goes away very quickly when you realize that both of them are just sincerely the two most incredible gentlemen: professional, funny, outgoing and generous.”

 

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“Killing Season” is released  and distributed by Captive Cinema Distribution, Inc.

Showing on August 07, 2013 in theatres nationwide.

 

Kick-Ass 2

 

 

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Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and Red Mist return for the follow-up to 2010’s irreverent global hit: Kick-Ass 2. After Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)—reborn as The Mother F%&*^r—only the blade-wielding Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) can prevent their annihilation. When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl and young vigilante Kick-Ass, they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy.

 

 

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Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire—leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain, The Mother F%&*^r, assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad. But there’s only one problem with his scheme: If you mess with one member of Justice Forever, you mess with them all.

 

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“Kick-Ass 2” is released and distributed by United International Pictures

through Solar Entertainment Corporation.

DIRECTOR SHAWN LEVY REVEALS GOOGLE FOUNDER CAMEO IN “THE INTERNSHIP”

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From his blockbuster works such as “Real Steel,” “Cheaper By The Dozen,” “Night at the Museum 1 & 2,” and “Date Night,” filmmaker Shawn Levy brings in the outcasts, the obsolete and the nerds in the upcoming comedy movie “The Internship” starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

“The Internship” finds Nick (Wilson) and his partner Billy (Vaughn), as two newly unemployed watch salesman trying to find employment with a limited skill-set in a world that appears to have passed them by.

“As salesmen they are incredibly good at what they do,” says Levy, “but the whole profession of selling in person, in an age where most people areincreasingly buying their goods on the Internet, is on the wane. So they are downsized, suddenly unemployed, and Vince’s character comes up with this idea of applying for an internship at Google, a company that represents the vanguard of the new economy. It’s a long shot, but this possibility of self-reinvention is exciting to Billy and Nick and they take their shot.”

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“If you’re going to team Owen and Vince, a duo that is arguably one of the most special in comedy, you need to build characters that exploit their natural personalities. So you haveOwen’s character Nick, who is a bit more laconic, very positive, very much – to quote his character – ‘a blue sky artist’. He’s an optimist, but we meet him in a moment when he’s been thrown back on his heels. Although he is working for a rather unlikable character, he is still soulful and has an original perspective on life. Vince, meanwhile, plays Billy who is a fast talker, a big dreamer, makes lots of plans, has alot of big ideas, but can’t always put it all together. They’ve been friends since they were kids, and we get a real sense of that history, and they have a very easy rapport that mirrors the chemistry and rapport between Vince and Owen in real life,” narrates Levy of the duo’s characters.

Director Levy further reveals that Sergey Brin, founder of Google made cameo appearances, “I’ve got him in there twice. The cameo that everyone recognizes is at the end when he says, ‘Congratulations boys,’ to Owen and Vince. But if you look closely, when Vince and Owen arrive at Google and they’re looking around at this fantastical strange workplace, there’s a point of view shot showing a man in yoga clothes on an elliptical bicycle wearing big neon green fluffy slipper shoes and a pair of futuristic glasses with a computer screen above the eyebrow. That too is Sergey Brin.”

“Here’s more, we had a sign-up sheet for real Googlers – which is what they call themselves – to be extras in the movie and we had hundreds of people who wanted to play background performers. So most of the extras you see in the exteriors at Google are real Googlers, and they were the most directable and intelligent extras I’ve ever had in my life. Probably because they were wildly over qualified and over educated,” enthuses Levy.

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“The Internship” will open in cinemas starting August 14 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

AYALA MALLS CINEMAS HOSTS CINEMALAYA 2013 ENTRIES: Holds Opening Ceremony @ Alabang Town Center

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Promoting and championing Filipino talents, Ayala Malls Cinemas hosts for the 3rd time entries that will compete in Cinemalaya Festival on its 9th year themed “Cinemalaya Cinesthesia.”

 

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Ayala Malls Cinemas’ first collaboration with Cinemalaya back in July 2011 opened its Greenbelt3 screens to the entries, paving easy access for the festival’s followers within the metro. Ayala Malls Cinemas solidified its support to the festival by adding Trinoma screens as an additional venue on its 2nd year of partnership with Cinemalaya in 2012.

 

Now on its 3rd year of collaboration with Cinemalaya, Ayala Malls Cinemas opens its Alabang Town Center screens for this year’s exciting and multihued film entries.  With this latest development, Ayala Malls Cinemas is set to pay tribute to the competing films on its opening ceremony at Alabang Town Center on July 27 featuring “Jazz In Love” by Babyruth Villarama-Gutierrez.  The movie is about a young man from Davao whose dream wedding is within reach: his boyfriend of 11 months has proposed. Because no law allows him to get married in the Philippines, he must fly to Germany, his boyfriend’s home country, and tie the knot there. One of the things that stand in his way is his inability to speak Deutsch, and to address that he must temporarily relocate to Manila for language lessons. Meanwhile, his parents remain completely unaware of the radical changes that his life is about to undergo.

 

Included in this year’s full length New Breed category lineup are: “Babagwa (Spider)” by Jason Paul Laxamana, “Debosyon” by Alvin Yapan, “Instant Mommy” by Leo Abaya, “Nuwebe” by Joseph Israel Laban, “Purok 7” by Carlo Obispo, “Quick Change” by Eduardo Roy Jr., “Rekorder” by Mikhail Red, “The Diplomat Hotel” by Christopher Ad Castillo, “Transit” by Hannah Espia and “David F.” by Manny Palo.

 

For the Directors’ Showcase, features include “Amor y Muerte” by Ces Evangelista, “Ekstra (The Bit Player) by Jeffrey Jeturian, “Porno” by Adolfo B. Alix, Jr., “Sana Dati” by Jerrold Tarog and “Liars” by Gil M. Portes.

 

A full-kaleidoscope of Shorts A and Shorts B entries amps this year’s Cinemalaya which runs from 8 minutes to 20 minutes.  Shorts A features include “Bakaw (Little Thief) by Ron Segismundo, “Missing” by Zig Dulay, “Para Kay Ama (For Grandmother)” by Relyn Angkuan Tan, “Taya (Let’s Play)” by Adi Bontuyan and “Tutob” by Kisza Marin Campano.

 

Shorts B films to look forward too are “The Houseband’s Wife”by Paolo P. O’Hara, “Katapusang Labok (Last Strike) by Aiess Athina Alonso, “Pukpok (A Rite of Passage)” by Joaquin Adrian Pantaleon, Immanuel Canicosa & Stephan Domingo, “Onang” by JE Tiglao and “Sa Wakas (The End of the Beginning) by Nica Santiago.

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Cinemalaya entries will open in three Ayala Malls Cinemas – Greenbelt3, Trinoma and Alabang Town Center starting July 27 until August 4.  Check out www.sureseats.com for schedule.