‘The Good Dinosaur’ opens Nov 25 in PH

Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

“From the moment Arlo is born, he’s afraid of the world,” says director Peter Sohn. “He’s fun-loving and determined; he’s got a lot of fire when it comes to his desire to help his family. But he’s scared. His fear holds him back.

“From the beginning, Spot is the opposite of Arlo,” continues Sohn. “He’s tenacious, brave and an animal in every sense of the word. It’s the story of a boy and his dog—only in our story, the boy is a dinosaur and the dog is a boy.”

The film catapults Arlo into a vast wilderness that forces him to confront his fears. According to producer Denise Ream, the stunning and often overwhelming landscape that artists created ultimately played an important role in the story. “Nature can overcome anything,” she says, “including a massive dinosaur.”

Inspired by the American Northwest, filmmakers found that even towering dinosaurs could feel small in the right surroundings, which worked to intensify Arlo’s fears. “He has a lot to overcome,” says Sohn. “His father always knew he was capable of much more, but it’ll take this emotional journey for Arlo to realize it.”

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Along the way, Arlo encounters a host of unique personalities who all contribute to his evolution—whether they mean to or not. But the friendship he builds with Spot has the biggest impact. Says Sohn, “The bond that grows between Arlo and Spot allows Arlo to push through his fear and take on the ultimate nemesis: nature.”

“The Good Dinosaur” features an extraordinary roster of voice talent. “We were lucky to work with a number of incredible pros along the way and our story ultimately led us to this amazing and talented group,” says Sohn. “We’re all taking this journey with Arlo, and it’s been a privilege to see these performers bring our characters to life.”

The voice cast includes Jeffrey Wright (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” – parts I & II) as Arlo’s wise Poppa, Frances McDormand (HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge”) as Arlo’s strong Momma, Marcus Scribner (ABC’s “black•ish”) as Arlo’s brother Buck, Raymond Ochoa (“Disney’s A Christmas Carol”) as Arlo, Jack Bright (“Monsters University”) as Spot, Steve Zahn (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”) as a fearless pterodactyl named Thunderclap, AJ Buckley (FX’s “Justified”) as teen T-Rex Nash, Anna Paquin (HBO’s “True Blood”) as Nash’s tenacious sister Ramsey, and Sam Elliott (“Ghost Rider”) as T-Rex patriarch Butch.

Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” is executive produced by John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich an Andrew Stanton. The film features music by Academy Award®-winning film composer Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”) and Emmy®-nominated composer Jeff Danna (“Tyrant”).

Opening across the Philippines on November 25, 2015, The Good Dinosaur is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #GoodDinoPH.

MOVIE REVIEW: Black Mass (2015)

Black Mass is triumphant in presenting yet another Johnny Depp persona–this time sans the misfires that could just continue to stereotype him for being unaware of what is beyond the fluorishes and costumes and funny accents. It has been a while since he is last seen play an actual human being. And so comes the opportunity for him to embody a character that suits him well even with the aid of prosthetics and wigs.

Fabled for his actions, Bulger is quite an interesting figure of his time that he has been the subject of a handful of movies including the Oscar-winning The Departed (2006) by Martin Scorsese. Adapted from the book of the same name by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neil, Black Mass is angled in a more human perspective while maintaining Bulger’s grim behavior that is as the movie tells “strictly criminal.”

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Black Mass looks into the life of Bulger from being a small-time hood to plying Boston streets as a notorious crime lord thanks to his unholy alliance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Through the help of FBI agent John Connolly (played by Joel Edgerton), Bulger becomes an informant against the Italian mob, their mutual enemy.

Boasting a great number of good actors, Black Mass is able to gather a strong and riveting ensemble. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Billy Bulger, Whitey’s influential politician bother who works as a state senator. Rory Cochrane dons the role of Bulger’s partner in crime with a drive of testosterone and fragility. Although with minimal exposure, Kevin Bacon exudes as the FBI agent in charge of their operation. Not to mention, Peter Sarsgaard, Corey Stoll and others are all up to throwing their share of vigor. Also notable are the female characters in Dakota Johnson and Julianne Nicholson who play wives in a few heartfelt scenes.

For a biopic to work with top-notch wonders, its production design has to stay true to its period in so that the picture in its entirety can be looked at by the believing eyes. The authenticity of the sets and the costumes in Black Mass makes it possible for the eyes not just to believe but also to realize that these things can function on their own, with walls that speak even in the midst of the quiet of the sets as well as costume designs that are meticulously chosen for the portrayals. What comes to mind are Goodfellas and the Godfather movies well-received for their atmospheric brilliance.

Altogether, these visual elements make it easier for the cinematography to follow almost seamlessly, with ominous orchestral scoring that adds up to the 1970’s feel which yet again speaks words that the minds of the attentive would better understand. Gritty and full of pangs, Black Mass assures a compelling and sturdy flow where one should take the affecting story for all its worth.

Johnny Depp’s best performance for years is something that cannot be taken for granted for his sheer sincerity to the craft and Cooper’s determination to bring it back to business. Black Mass seems to be meticulously handpicked and developed for Depp. Granted this, the audiences around the world rightfully deserve to see this move since he is more than just your silly pirate.

BLACK MASS (2015, US)
Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson

Directed by Scott Cooper
Written by Jez Butterworth and Mark Mallouk
Based on the 2001 book “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob” by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill

Black Mass movie poster