January 14, 2017

ARRIVAL Gets 9 British Academy Award Nominations

Columbia Pictures' provocative science-fiction thriller Arrival continues its illustrious awards season run as the Denis Villeneuve film has just scored nine British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.

It also landed Best Adapted Screenplay nod for screenwriter Eric Heisserer and Best Actress for lead star Amy Adams.

Rounding out the categories Arrival got nominated for are Music, Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Special Visual Effects. The winners will be known on February 12, 2017.

In Arrival, a mysterious spacecraft touches down across the globe, and an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Adams) - are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Also starring Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Arrival is based upon the acclaimed short story by Ted Chiang titled Story of Your Life.

Opening across the Philippines on February 15, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Look: MONSTER TRUCKS Movie Poster

Paramount Pictures has revealed the teaser poster for its new comedy adventure Monster Trucks from Ice Age director Chris Wedge and starring Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Apocalypse), and Jane Levy (Don't Breathe).

Take a look at the teaser one-sheet below and watch the film when it opens in Philippine cinemas on February 01, 2017.

Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.

Melding cutting edge visual effects and state-of-the-art CGI, Monster Trucks is an action filled adventure for the whole family that will keep you on the edge of your seat and ultimately touch your heart.

The film also stars Barry Pepper, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Thomas Lennon and Holt McCallany. Written by Matthew Robinson and Glenn Berger & Jonathan Aibel and Derek Connolly

Monster Trucks is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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Ariana Grande Collaborate with John Legend for BEAUTY AND THE BEST Theme Song

Grammy nominated and multi-platinum selling artist Ariana Grande and 10-time GRAMMY, Oscar®-winning and multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/ musician John Legend are set to perform the Oscar and GRAMMY-winning duet "Beauty and the Beast" as the title track for Disney's upcoming soundtrack to the live-action film adaptation "Beauty and the Beast." The song will also be featured in the film.

The enchanting ballad, originally performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson featuring eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken's beautiful melody and two-time Oscar-winner Howard Ashman's unforgettable lyrics, received an Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and GRAMMY Award, among other accolades, upon its release in 1991. 

The new rendition of the classic song is produced by GRAMMY-winning veteran Ron Fair, whose music career spans 37 years as a major-label record company leader and accomplished producer, arranger, recording engineer and musical director. Fair was brought in to produce by Disney's president of Music & Soundtracks, Mitchell Leib, who also brought Grande and Legend to the project. The history of collaboration between Leib and Fair in film music goes back to the highly-successful "Pretty Woman" soundtrack. "Ron was the first and only choice to make this particular record," says Leib. "No one is a better vocal producer and he also has a great understanding of the filmmaking dynamic."

Fair's recordings have won six GRAMMY Awards and have been nominated 18 times. Fair discovered and shepherded Christina Aguilera, selling over 50 million albums and winning numerous GRAMMY Awards. He A&R'd Aguilera's first five albums and championed the Black Eyed Peas to 27 million albums, 4 number-ones and multiple GRAMMY wins, as well as co-producing and arranging the strings on their global breakthrough # 1 hit "Where is The Love?" 

Says Fair, "Stepping into the shoes of an Oscar and GRAMMY Award-winning classic is not small potatoes. But with today's two greatest plutonium singers – John Legend and Ariana Grande – we are bringing the song back with a new school-old school fresh treatment that shows the soulfulness and power of what a great melody and lyric can inspire."

The music video will be directed by Dave Meyers, the innovative visionary whose long-time collaborations with major artists like P!nk, Janet Jackson, Ice Cube and Britney Spears have resulted in dozens of award nominations and many wins, including a GRAMMY in 2005 for Best Music Video and 11 MTV Video Music Awards, including one for Katy Perry's smash hit "Firework." He recently directed the music video for P!nk's hit single "Just Like Fire" from the Walt Disney Records soundtrack for "Alice Through The Looking Glass."

Menken also provides the film score, with new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Ashman. Also featured are three new songs written by Menken and veteran lyricist and three time Oscar winner Tim Rice. The original motion picture soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10, 2017. The pre-order is available now at http://disneymusic.co/BeautySndtrkP.

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January 13, 2017

Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo Bitten by the "Flippy Bottle" Bug

There’s a new mobile game craze in town and Teen King and Queen Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo are definitely not left out. The popular loveteam will join other Kapamilya stars in taking on the real-life version of “Flippy Bottle Extreme,” a Filipino-made digital game, this Sunday (January 15) on “Matanglawin” on ABS-CBN. 

“Flippy Bottle Extreme” has been getting lots of subscribers lately and Daniel, Kathryn, Elmo Magalona, Joshua Garcia, and Julia Barretto will see if they can win the game if set in real life. 

Meanwhile, award-winning host Kuya Kim Atienza gets a special kind of adrenaline rush as he pilots drones through obstacles, a hobby that is slowly gaining popularity here in the country. The animal-loving host also pays a visit to the guardians of rescued stray dogs and cats by Proud Guardians of Aspin and Puspins, who give poor furry friends a second chance in life. 

Find out if the Teen King and Queen get to beat “Flippy Bottle Extreme” on “Matanglawin” with Kim Atienza this Sunday (January 15), 10am on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD.

HERO TV Kicks Off 2017 with New and Returning Shows

Hero TV opens the New Year with a fascinating line-up of new and returning shows for all anime lovers that are sure to fire up their viewing experience!


Shio Ogura, a Japanese high school student, suddenly discovers the E-gene, which originated from the reincarnations of various historical figures and the soul of Oda Nobunaga, one of the greatest warriors of all time.

Find out how these discoveries bring Shio to greater adventures starting January 20 at 5:30 pm.

Beautiful Bones

Join Sakurako as she solves mysterious cases and unravels great mysteries involving decomposing bodies! Beautiful Bones premieres on January 27 at 5:00 pm.

Love Live: The School Idol Movie

Relive the music and adventures of μ’s as they fly to New York to reach out to their fans. But with their fame comes a difficult choice between stardom and their original plan of finishing their third year in high school.

Catch the girls’ venture into fame in Hero Theatrixx, Sundays starting January 22 at 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Anime fans will also rejoice as Hero TV brings back their favourite series including Arakawa Under the Bridge, Cuticle Detective, Devil Survivor, Ixion Saga, Leviathan, Majestic Prince, Date a Live, Say I Love You, and Yuyushiki.

HERO TV is a Filipino cable television network owned and operated by Creative Programs, Inc., a subsidiary of the media and entertainment company ABS-CBN Corporation. It is the only 24-hour Filipino-dubbed anime cable channel that is home to international anime hits like Naruto, Yu Gi Oh, and Samurai X. The channel also provides the best localized anime experience of adventure and self-discovery through local productions such as My Hero Nation, I-Animate, Comics On Cam, Hero We Go and Hero In Tunes.

Hero TV is available on SKYcable Channel 44. For updates, visit and like Hero TV on Facebook facebook.com/myheronation, Hero TV Official on Youtube, and follow us on Instagram @herotvofficial and Twitter @myHEROnation.

The Best and Newest Cinema One Originals Films to be Screened at UP Cine Adarna

Relive the Cinema One Originals film festival experience and get to watch some of its critically-acclaimed and award-winning films at the Cine Adarna of the University of the Philippines Film Institute in Diliman from January 13 to January 24.

To be featured in the special screening are some of the best films from the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Ralston G. Jover’s “HAMOG” (2015), a Cinema One Originals youth noir that won the Best Actress Award at the Main Competition of the 38th Moscow International Film Festival, opens the special screening tomorrow (Jan 13) at 2:30 PM.

Venice International Film Festival’s Golden Lion winner “ANG BABAENG HUMAYO” also has a one-time only screening this Saturday (Jan 14) at 2:30 PM. The Cinema One Originals-produced film directed by Lav Diaz and topbilled by Charo Santos, made history as the first Filipino film to win the prestigious award at the world’s oldest film festival. The film was also recently nominated for three awards (Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress) at the 11th Asian Film Awards.

Film enthusiasts who missed this year’s Cinema One Originals Film Festival will also get the chance to watch all entries, led by Petersen Vargas’ dark high school comedy “2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN” (2016), which bagged three awards including Best Picture. It will be shown on Monday (January 16) back-to-back with Samantha Lee’s millennial LGBT love story and Audience Choice awardee, “BAKA BUKAS” (2016).

Other Cinema One Originals films to be screened are Kanakan Balintagos’ “Esprit de Corps” (2014), Carl Joseph Papa’s “Manang Biring” (2015), Ara Chawdhury’s “Miss Bulalacao” (2015), Sherad Anthony Sanchez’s “Salvage” (2015), Bor Ocampo’s “Dayang Asu” (2015), Keith Deligero’s “Lily” (2016), Teng Mangansakan’s “Forbidden Memory” (2016), Gym Lumbera & Paolo Picones’ “Piding” (2016), Borgy Torres’ “Tisay” (2016), Jose Abdel Langit’s “Malinak Ya Labi” (2016), Malay Javier’s “Every Room is a Planet” (2016), Jules Katanyag’s “Magdalola at ang mga Gago” (2016), and John Torres’ “People Power Bombshell” (2016).

This special film exhibition is open to the public. Tickets are available for only P150, and screening times are 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:30 PM

Don’t miss this Cinema One Originals screenings in UP’s Cine Adarna from January 13 until January 24.

For the special screening’s complete schedule, information and updates, visit the Cinema One Official Facebook site (facebook.com/Cinema1channel) and follow the official Cinema One Instagram account (@cinemaonechannel).

Disney 2017 Movie Offerings: Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Cars 3, etc.

After a record-breaking $7-billion haul the global box-office for 2016, Disney proudly announce its formidable slate for 2017: seven titles that have the potential to make it another landmark year for the studio. A live-action fairytale, two Pixar adventures, two Marvel superhero films, a highly awaited Pirates sequel and the eighth episode of the Star Wars saga. Everyone's invited to be Disney's guest, indeed.

Beauty and the Beast. The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast, a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. (Opens March 15).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand. (Opens April 26).


Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge. Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. (Opens May 24).

Cars 3. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! (Opens August 23).


Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)! (Opens November 03).


Coco. Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history. (Opens November 22).


Star Wars: Episode VIII. (Opens December 15).

Smart, PLDT, TV5 and Solar Converge to Bring the Ultimate Miss Universe 2016 Experience to More Filipinos

Shown in photo during the contract signing event held recently at PLDT RCB Building in Makati City are (L-R): Miss Universe Organization Business Development and Marketing VP Shawn McClain, Solar Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Wilson Tieng, PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer Eric Alberto, and TV5 President and CEO Chot Reyes

Leading Philippine telco and digital services provider PLDT and mobile leader Smart Communications together with broadcast station TV5 bring the much anticipated Miss Universe 2016 closer to Filipinos everywhere through the country’s most extensive and robust fixed line and wireless networks.

In partnership with the Miss Universe Organization and official Philippine broadcast partner of Miss Universe 2016 Solar Entertainment, the PLDT Group will enable the best viewing experience of the pageant in the Philippines through its various terrestrial and digital channels, across multiple screens at home and on-the-go.

With the Miss Universe crown currently in our homeland, the enthusiasm for and connection of Filipinos to the global pageant is now stronger than ever,” PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan said. “With the combined reach of PLDT, Smart and TV5, we are providing our countrymen more ways to enjoy the pageant. We are giving them exclusive access to behind-the-scenes and key events such as the very popular swimsuit and long gown competitions, and of course, real-time viewing of the much-awaited coronation night. With our robust network capabilities and the largest consumer base of over 75 million Filipinos, millions of fans can watch the pageant events via multiple platforms, whether on TV, laptop or mobile—whenever they want, wherever they want. For years, we have been revolutionizing the way entertainment is consumed in the nation, offering our subscribers an extensive entertainment portfolio featuring top digital entertainment partners. Miss Universe is one platform we would not miss out on.

PLDT and Smart will provide fixed broadband and mobile connectivity to power the Miss Universe pageant throughout their stay in the Philippines. With the country’s widest Fibr broadband network which delivers symmetrical speeds of up to 1Gbps and Smart’s superior mobile LTE network, consumers can be assured of the best real-time Miss Universe experience.

The Internet and social media will undoubtedly play a substantial role in Miss Universe in the Philippines,” PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer Eric Alberto said. “We are ready to contribute our top notch products and services to make it a more engaging experience for everyone. Miss Universe 2016 will be using PLDT and Smart’s services throughout their entire journey, while fans will be able to immerse themselves in not only the coronation night, but also on all the exciting events leading up to it. True to our promise of bringing the ultimate Miss Universe experience, our subscribers will get a chance to witness the coronation night live via free ticket promos.”

On top of the complete broadcast coverage of the coronation night, TV5 will give viewers access to the preliminary show, specifically the swimsuit and long gown rounds. “Filipinos can look forward to watching their favorite contestants compete even before the grand finale, which is something only TV5 can offer,” TV5 President and CEO Chot Reyes said. “We aim to bring the pageant to life by bringing it closer to the hearts and enthusiasm of every Filipino.

TV5 signed with Solar for the partnership which encompasses on-air, on-ground, and PR values—the blocktime airing of the Coronation Night on January 30, the exclusive airing of the long gown and swimsuit preliminary competitions on January 28 and 29 which will also be available online on the same day, powered by PLDT and Smart.

 Solar Entertainment takes pride in collaborating with TV5, PLDT and Smart in the hope of delivering the optimum broadcast quality coverage of this momentous event, showcasing the wonders and beauty of the Philippines, and giving our fellow Filipinos the ultimate Miss Universe experience. “Bringing Miss Universe to the Philippines is one of the top events that we have ever invested in. It is an opportunity that we did not want to miss,” said Mr. Wilson Tieng, President and CEO of Solar Entertainment Corporation. “For Miss Universe, we have jam-packed activities that will be happening at the same time and we’re excited to share it with the viewers.”
For more information, visit:


January 12, 2017

WATSONS #BigWhiteBlowout: Biggest Savings on Whitening Products + a Chance to Win an iPhone 7

Everyone wants to look their best all the time. But it's hard to when your skin just won't work with you. You're left feeling unhappy and unconfident about yourself. That is why people keep looking for the right products to help them battle with their skin frustrations. 
Fight off uneven skin tone and dull looking skin by finding the right white for you.  
To help you become your fairest, most confident self, WATSONS is throwing a Big White Blowout so that you can get so many choices and the most amazing deals and discounts on your whitening needs.

So, run right over to a WATSONS store - the hot spot for Filipinas who want to get the best and most complete skin whitening experience all in one stop.
Take your pick from shelves upon shelves of whitening soaps, facial creams, body lotions, and deodorants. And if you want to experience the next level of whitening, WATSONS even house a great selection of whitening beauty supplements you can drink. 

But that's not all. When you use your SM Advantage or BDO Rewards card for every Php500 purchase on whitening products, you can even get a chance to win a brand-new iPhone 7.
Go to the nearest Watsons store or The SM Store Beauty Section now for an amazing Big White Blowout.

#WatsonsPH #BigWhiteBlowout

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January 11, 2017

Earn Bonus Points, Travel More and Win a Honda Mobilio in GetGo "Points to Fly, Points to Drive" Promo

GetGo members can travel faster to their dream destinations with the "Points to Fly, Points to Drive" promo.

Cebu Pacific's exciting lifestyle rewards program, GetGo, gives away 25% bonus GetGo points and raffles off three Honda Mobilio cars.

Simply earn from GetGo partners now until January 31 to automatically get 25% more points and e-raffle entries. Each GetGo point, including the bonus points, is equivalent to one (1) e-raffle entry. With GetGo's Gold and Platinum Credit Cards and GetGo Debit Card, shopping has never been more rewarding.

Earned a lot of points with your credit card this holiday? Make the most out of those points when you convert them to GetGo. Convert your AUB, BDO, BPI, Citibank, RCBC Bankard, Security Bank, Metrobank Robinsons MasterCard, and Unionbank Reward points today.

On top of using your credit card, shopping at Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Selections, and Robinsons Easymart earns you both points and e-raffle entries. You may also gas up at Petron; stay at Go Hotels and Summit Hotels and Resorts; book at Kaligo and Travelbook.ph; shop using your DragonPay credits; avail of Travelling Connect, Ring Rob Concierge services; or earn Zap points from partner merchants. Visit www.GetGo.com.ph for the standard earn and conversion mechanics for GetGo partners.

So hurry, shop, gas up, and convert your loyalty points to earn more GetGo points and e-raffle entries. Fly faster and be the lucky winner of a brand-new Honda Mobilio!

New Jollibee Chickenjoy TVC Invites Pinoy to #GiveMoreJoy

These days, Filipinos are exposed to different kinds of negativity whether you go online or offline. Friends unfollow or unfriend each other on social media because of differences in opinion, time is lost with families and friends due to heavy workload and heaps of school work. It seems like now, more than ever, everyone needs more joy in their lives.

Jollibee, the Philippines' largest family fast food chain launched a new campaign inviting Filipinos to spread more joy. Jollibee challenges everyone to start to #GiveMoreJoy even in the simplest of actions—something as simple as sharing a bucket of your favorite crispylicious, juicylicious Chickenjoy.


Jollibee's classic and iconic product is one that Pinoys have definitely grown to know and love. Becoming the go-to comfort food of Pinoys no matter where they are around the globe, Filipinos would know that from the aroma to the flavor, Chickenjoy is a reliable source of joy and comfort. Thus, in their latest 90-seconder made-for-digital video that shows different everyday situations that make people sad, see how the joy that Chickenjoy brings is infectious and makes us want to spread more joy to others as well. 

Watch this video below: 

"It is easy to uplift people's spirits and make everyday joyful through thoughtful acts like treating them to a bucket of the family's favorite crispylicious, juicylicious Chickenjoy. It is a sure way to turn a sad day around; bringing smiles to their faces will positively affect your outlook as well," said Jollibee Assistant Vice President Kent Mariano. 

In your own ways, how are you able to #GiveMoreJoyToday to your families and friends?

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Famed Asian Director Zhang Yimou Takes Viewers to THE GREAT WALL

One of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) directs the Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures' action-fantasy The Great Wall, marking his first English-language production and the largest film ever shot entirely in China.
In the film, when a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within The Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of our world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts, intent on devouring the world, besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront this unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.

Zhang Yimou is one of the planet's most celebrated filmmakers. Among his two dozen feature credits, he directed the first Chinese production to earn a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award® nomination, Ju Dou (1990), with two more nominations for Raise the Red Lantern (1991) and Hero (2002). 
Among many career triumphs, he won global accolades for his magnificent staging of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympiad, a feat that fan and fellow filmmaker Steven Spielberg called "the grandest spectacle of the New Millennium from this creative genius." That accomplishment landed Zhang as runner-up for Time magazine's 2008 Person of the Year.
Producer Charles Roven raves, "The Great Wall has all the visual splendor and spectacle of an extravagant film, and it is shot amazingly by one of the most iconic filmmakers working today. His visuals are stunning, the colors that he uses are incredible, and the shots that he designs—whether they're regular 24 frames or slow-motion—are art." 
Roven also appreciated that Zhang Yimou embraced the throughline of cultural collaboration that permeated the story. "Watching Yimou, with his cinematic vision, translate the script into a unique way of creating spectacle is an unforgettable memory. He was quite interested in blending the cinema styles of Western tent-poles with Chinese filmmaking," notes Roven. "Here was material that was completely conducive to it, and we were thrilled that he wanted to join the production." 
"The Great Wall is in the lyrics of our National Anthem, so it symbolizes the same thing in the heart of all Chinese, which is our people, our country and our history," reflects Zhang Yimou. "We use it to express many things spiritual. To all of us in China, The Great Wall is a symbol of China's national spirit. It resonates in every Chinese person, as a symbol of our traditions and our flesh-and-blood."
The filmmaker believes that applies to this story as well. "In the movie, The Great Wall symbolizes the safeguard of peace and national spirit," he continues. "I thought the screenplay was a special story, especially when you look at The Wall from a different angle. The Wall was built to protect our homeland from invaders. From this perspective, it makes little difference whether the enemy is people or monsters."
For Zhang Yimou, to mount this undertaking would be to celebrate enormous pride. "This is a movie about Chinese history and culture shot entirely on location in China," he reflects. "What attracted me most was the Chinese cultural elements. Yes, it is a monster movie, but I believed I could still express myself through it. It is a fascinating story with interesting themes and emotions."
Opening across the Philippines on January 25, The Great Wall is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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Join the First CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest

CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest aims to discover, fund Filipino filmmakers in the U.S.

The year 2016 was a banner year for Filipino filmmakers.  Among those who made a big splash in the international scene last year was 2009 Cannes Best Director Awardee Brillante Mendozawhose gritty slice-of-life film, "Ma' Rosa", won the 2016 Cannes Best Actress Award for lead actress Jaclyn Jose. Meanwhile, Lav Diazscored huge triumphs with the coveted Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival for his epic eight-hour obra, "Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis" (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery). Diaz also scored with "Ang Babaeng Humayo" (The Woman Who Left) starring the esteemed Charo Santos-Concio in a vengeful tale of a woman wrongly imprisoned.  It won the Golden Lion Prize for Best Picture at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.

Others who made entertainment headlines included Ralston G. Jover's "Hamog" (Haze), a Cinema One Originals youth noir which won the Russian Film Critics' Jury for Best Film Award at the Main Competition of the 38th Moscow International Film Festival.  "Toto", a dark comedy drama about a nurse longing to chase the American dream, won for director John Paul Su the Best Foreign Film at the 19th LA Comedy Festival in Los Angeles and Best Actor for film lead Sid Lucero.  It also won the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the 39th Asian American International Film Festival in New York City.  Today, Su is now among NBC Universal's Emerging Director's Program finalists.

The list is long, but the point is made: the works of Filipino filmmakers are shining around the world.  This is the context in which CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest was born.  This new competition, which launches today, aims to foster and nurture new filmmaking talent from the Filipino diaspora.  It is a platform to tell new stories and hear new voices of this generation.

CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest is a new annual competition that provides seed grants for full-length features, either documentary or narrative.  It is open to all U.S. citizens and/or U.S. permanent residents of Filipino descent, 18 years or older.

And for budding filmmakers struggling to get funding for their projects, CINEMATOGRAFO awards more than $100,000 worth of production, marketing and distribution funds.  This is a path to have stories realized on the big screen.

The contest criteria are 40% Story and Premise, 20% Presentation, 20% Plot and Pacing and 10% Theme.

"CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest winners will actually highlight the CINEMATOGRAFO International Film Festival to be held this October in San Francisco.  What we want to do is to provide a platform for a new generation of U.S.-based Filipino or Filipino American filmmakers to bring their films to the world stage.  CINEMATOGRAFO International Film Festival will be the premier event for that purpose," said Film Festival Director John-D Lazatin, also the Global Head of Theatricals of ABS-CBN International.

There are three deadlines for submission to allow ample time for filmmakers, including students, to submit the best versions of their entries: January 31, 2017, Early Bird; February 15, 2017, Regular; and February 28, 2017, Late Deadline.  For more information, please visitwww.cinematografofilmfestival.com.

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January 10, 2017

Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz Reunite in the Movie DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND

From the mega blockbuster movies "A Very Special Love," "You Changed My Life" and "It Takes a Man and a Woman" which became a box-office hit that earned P179.5 million, P225.2 million and P405 million during its entire run, the box-office tandem of John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo is making a big comeback on the big screen this 2017 via Star Cinema's surefire hit romantic - comedy movie "Dear Future Husband".

Watch the teaser here:

Warner Bros. Pictures 2017 Releases: Wonder Woman, Justice League, LEGO Batman, Annabelle 2, etc.

Diana, princess of the Amazons, discovers what she’s meant for. Metahumans team up to form the Justice League. Two legendary Kings – Arthur and Kong – will shock and inspire in spectacular origin stories. And Christopher Nolan makes a bold statement on heroism as takes audiences to Dunkirk.

These and more are what’s in store for movie audiences this year from Warner Bros. Pictures. Take a peek at the studio’s line-up of potential megahits for 2017.

Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot returns as the title character in this epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins. When an American pilot crashes on their sheltered island paradise and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, warrior princess Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny. (Opens June 01).

Justice League. Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. (Opens November 16)

Live By Night. Ben Affleck directed, produced and stars in this dramatic crime thriller based on the award-winning bestseller by Dennis Lehane. It marks the second collaboration for the Boston natives, following the acclaimed drama Gone Baby Gone. (Opens January 18)

The LEGO Batman Movie. In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO® Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. (Opens February 9)

Kong: Skull Island. The producers of Godzilla reimagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in this compelling, original adventure starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson. (Opens March 09)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure which is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s (Charlie Hunnam) journey from the streets to the throne. (Opens May 11)

Dunkirk. This epic action thriller opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy as well as newcomer Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles. (Opens July 20)

Annabelle 2. Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle. Directed by Lights Out’s David F. Sandberg and produced by James Wan. (Opens August 10)

Geostorm. When catastrophic climate change endangers Earth’s very survival, world governments unite and create a net of satellites surrounding the planet, that are armed with geoengineering technologies designed to stave off the natural disasters. After successfully protecting the planet for two years, something is starting to go wrong. Gerard Butler headlines the cast. (Opens October 19)

It. When children begin to disappear in a small town, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. Based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel. (Opens September 7)

The LEGO Ninjago Movie. The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret warriors and LEGO Master Builders. A new animated adventure in the LEGO® franchise starring the voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Olivia Munn, Michael Peña, and the legendary Jackie Chan. (Opens September 21)

Fist Fight. Ice Cube and Charlie Day star as high school teachers prepared to solve their differences the hard way in this hilarious comedy. (Opens February 22)

ChiPs. Dax Shepard and Michael Peña star in this action comedy based on the characters from the popular ‘70s television series. (Opens March 23)

Going in Style. Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin team up as lifelong buddies who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty. (Opens April 6)

Unforgettable. Katherine Heigl stars as Tessa who is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband becomes happily engaged to Julia (Rosario Dawson). Tessa’s jealousy soon takes a pathological turn. (Opens May 3)

Everything, Everything. Based on the Young Adult bestseller, this romantic drama tells the unlikely love story of a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old girl who due to an illness cannot leave the protection of the hermetically sealed environment within her house, and the boy next door who won’t let that stop them. (Opens May 18)

The House. After Scott and Kate (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) lose their daughter’s college fund, they decide to earn it back by starting an illegal casino in the basement of a friend’s house. (Opens August 23)

The Masterpiece. James Franco directs and stars in this comedy based on Greg Sestero’s non-fiction book The Disaster Artist, depicting the early friendship of Sestero and Tommy Wiseau, the filmmaker behind the 2003 cult film The Room. (Opens December 6)

January 9, 2017

SMART Temporarily Shuts Down Services in Manila for the Feast of Black Nazarene

SMART, on its official Facebook account, announced that they will temporarily shut down its mobile services in Manila for the procession of the Black Nazarene on Monday, January 9 after Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa requested telecommunication companies a total shutdown of mobile phone signals for security purposes.

Among the affected subscribers are Smart, Sun, and TNT users within Quiapo, Manila and along the route of the Traslacion.

Smart said its mobile services will restore "as soon as authorities give the go signal."

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Filipinos to Enjoy Cheaper Voice Call Rates this 2017, Says NTC

Expect more voice calls from your loved ones this year as PLDT and Globe Telecom are anticipated to aggressively offer cheaper voice rates through their “all-net” promo offerings, according to a news article from Malaya.

“All-Net” services is one way of reducing  voice call rates which would drive traffic to voice services which in recent years had  been declining as subscribers opt to use the cheaper over-the-top services such as Viber, Facebook Messenger  among other offerings using data, Edgardo Cabarios, National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) deputy commissioner was quoted in the article.

Telcos have committed to lower voice calls by as much as 40 percent following the lowering of  interconnection charges by P1.50: (from P4 to P2.50 per minute) for mobile-to-mobile calls across operators and landline-to-mobile voice calls  and from P3 to P1.50 for mobile-to-landline voice calls  effective Jan. 1, 2017.

According to the NTC, the lower interconnection charge between the different networks is expected to cut down the current retail rate of P6.50 per minute for mobile-to-mobile calls and P7 per minute for mobile-to-landline calls.

Under a memorandum of agreement signed last November , the two telcos committed to take steps to lower retail rates for voice, taking into consideration the reduction in interconnection rates. Both parties also committed to maintain GOS (grade of service) in interconnection.

Eric Alberto, PLDT chief revenue officer, said the company will be aggressive in offering all network calls promos this year as way of passing on the lower interconnection fees charged to subscribers.

Alberto notes that voice calls are already part of the (service) buckets last two and that they will be a little more aggressive in all net-bundles.

Bucket or bundles offerings are comprised of call, text and mobile data services at the lower rates with short period of validity.

Before the lowering of the tariff on voice calls, bucket and unlimited offerings were only limited within each network. PLDT has three mobile brands in the market: Smart, Talk and Text and Sun Cellular while its rival has two, Globe and TM.

Globe Telecom, for example, is planning to offer P1 per minute call to other networks under a bucket price offer.

Prior to the reduction of interconnection charges,  Globe  has started offering all-net calls  for prepaid subscribers at P200, P300 and P500 bucket offerings inclusive of 6 hours and 50 minutes of calls to all networks; 9 hours and 40 minutes of calls to all networks and 11 hours and  50 minutes of calls to all networks, respectively.

SMART, meanwhile has yet to announce any bucket offerings and its all-net service is still  limited to its three mobile brands.

The country has over 127 million mobile subscribers as of September last year of which 80 percent are making voice calls at much lower rates through the unlimited and bucket prices offering and around 20 percent are still making calls at regular rates.

Consistent with global trends, voice revenues remain challenged given the migration of voice traffic to alternative channels that make use of internet-based applications, such as Viber, Facebook, Skype, and Whatsapp, among others. Against the previous quarter, mobile voice revenues increased by 3 percent.

SOURCE: Telcos drop voice call rates via aggressive all-net offers; By Myla Iglesias

January 8, 2017

(Video) Camille Prats and VJ Yambao Garden Wedding January 7, 2017

Camille Prats tied the knot with non-showbiz boyfriend John "VJ" Yambao on Saturday, January 7 at their family-owned Nayomi Sanctuary Resort in Balete, Batangas. 

This is Camille's second marriage. She first exchanged wedding vows with Anthony Linsangan but the latter passed away in 2011 because of nasopharyngeal cancer.

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