World’s best chef, Michelin awardees star in Bradley Cooper’s ‘Burnt’

Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had it all – and lost it in “Burnt.” The former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene had earned two Michelin stars and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. Michelin awards 0 to 3 stars to restaurants on the basis of the anonymous reviews. The reviewers concentrate on the quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of the food, in making the awards.

To land his own kitchen and that third elusive star though, Jones will need to leave his bad habits behind and get the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). Directed by John Wells (known for his high-profile hit projects such as “ER” and “West Wing”) “Burnt,” is a remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.

Food has become a lifestyle obsession, rather than the fuel it was considered twenty years ago. Television schedules have every variation of cookery shows, the kitchen is the center of the home, farmers markets abound, cook books are the new coffee table tomes, and social media entices people to new pop up venues. Chefs are regarded as rock stars, and behave accordingly,

Director John Wells was attracted to Steven Knight’s screenplay for “Burnt” partly because of this ever growing foodie culture, and partly because it was a special look into the unique world restaurateurs. Wells acknowledges that, currently, London is the world capital of fine dining. “London is where young chefs go to succeed, so it made sense that Adam goes to the place he can make the biggest impact to stage his comeback.” he says.

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The involvement of renowned celebrity chefs and Michelin awardees was essential for the director and writer to place an audience in the middle of the action. “I couldn’t have done it without chefs of that calibre, because I don’t know what they do,” says Wells. “I came into this project thinking I can cook, but quickly realized I don’t.”

World famous chef and restaurateur Mario Batali came on board with scribe Steven Knight in the very early stages of “Burnt’s” development. A winner of multiple James Beard awards, Batali owns restaurants in cities all over the globe, has penned numerous cookbooks and is a ubiquitous presence on the Food Network. His early days were spent training in London and Northern Italy, a background that would prove crucial to informing Knight’s script for the film.

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British chef, restaurateur and TV star Gordon Ramsay also helped the filmmakers craft “Burnt” into an authentic depiction of the industry he knows so well. Ramsay, whose restaurants boast a collective 14 Michelin stars, trained Cooper alongside Claire Smythe, Executive Chef at his signature London location Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Smythe is the first and only female chef in the UK to earn three Michelin stars.

Marcus Wareing, Michelin star chef and presenter of the top rated BBC TV Master Chef, was also approached by writer Knight. “I was intrigued to know that someone was writing a film about my world so I met Steven and we spent a lot of time talking. I told him lots of backstage stories from my own kitchen experience, and from others. It’s a small world we work in, so we all know what happens in each other’s kitchens.” Wareing’s interest in food began when he worked for his father in his fresh fruit and vegetable business. “The respect that my father showed for basic ingredients set me on the path I’ve followed since the age of 15. Working 16 hours a day, it’s been my whole life.”

UNTITLED JOHN WELLS PROJECT

Michelin stars are hugely important to a chef, awarded by a team of anonymous inspectors who scrutinise many aspects of the restaurants – the food, the presentation, the ambience of the restaurant and the originality of the dishes. “They are the Oscars of our world.” says Marcus Wareing. “But, unlike Oscars, they can be taken away from us, so on a day to day basis we have everything to lose. It keeps us constantly striving, challenging yourself. At the same time, if you don’t achieve stars, you must recognize what you have achieved. The kitchen is the engine room but the dish has to be incredible – Mother Nature at its best, delivered by man – perfection.”

Burnt opens November 4, 2015 in cinemas nationwide as released by Pioneer Films.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM PIONEER FILMS

‘Mockingjay Part 2’ concludes ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise

The blockbuster “Hunger Games” franchise has taken audiences by storm around the world, grossing more than $2.3 billion at the global box office. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 now brings the franchise to its powerful final chapter in which Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future.

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong and features an acclaimed cast including Academy Award®-winner Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Academy Award®-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone with Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland reprising their original roles from The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The impressive lineup is joined by “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” co-stars Academy Award®-winner Julianne Moore, Mahershala Ali, Natalie Dormer, Wes Chatham, Elden Henson and Evan Ross.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” picks up with Katniss back in the bunkers of District 13, still unable to emotionally reach a brainwashed Peeta as she watches the nation of Panem sliding into full-scale apocalyptic war. Though Katniss has warily accepted her role as the Mockingjay symbol of the rebellion, she can see that it is going take more than symbolism to turn the tide against the Capitol. Truly on fire now, she resolves to take action. Joining with Gale, an unpredictable Peeta, Finnick and the so-called “Squad 451,” she sets out for the once-glittering Capitol – transformed into a city of mayhem under attack by both rebels and peacekeepers – with a covert mission to assassinate President Snow. Snow still believes he’s playing an obsessive game to outwit and destroy Katniss, but Katniss is no longer anyone’s pawn, and to her, this is no contest. It is a battle for everything she has come to believe in and the people she loves. It is a battle for the final hope of a life of peace.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” builds on the momentum of each previous chapter in the blockbuster series to reach a fever pitch of both emotion and action, bringing Katniss full circle from the dismayed girl caught in a dystopian nightmare to leading the charge to remake her nation.

Now, in the final chapter of The Hunger Games, with all the Districts united against the Capitol for the first time, tomorrow itself is on the line. For Katniss to truly be herself, she realizes she must now fully take on the indomitable Mockingjay spirit in a last stand to set things right. Says director Francis Lawrence: “In this film, Katniss takes the action back into her own hands and goes after Snow personally. The movie really opens up as we go deep into the streets of the Capitol, coming full circle from Katniss’s journey there in the first film. There’s more action, more scope, more emotion and most of all, this film brings the story to its moving conclusion.”

Join the revolution this November 18, 2015 when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 invades cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

Roberts, Kidman, Ejoifor star in crime-thriller ‘Secret in Their Eyes’

Hollywood’s heavyweights and A-list actors Academy Award winners Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman along with Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejoifor star for the first time in the event thriller of the year Secret in Their Eyes.

“Secret In Their Eyes” a remake of the 2009 Oscar-winning Argentinian  film of the same name, is written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”), and produced by Academy Award® winner Mark Johnson (“Rain Man,” “Breaking Bad”), “Secret In Their Eyes” is an intense, powerful and haunting story of a tight-knit team of rising FBI investigators.  Ray (Ejiofor) and Jess ( Roberts), along with their District Attorney supervisor Claire (Kidman) – is suddenly torn apart when they discover that Jess’s teenage daughter has been brutally and inexplicably murdered.

Now, thirteen years later, after obsessively searching every day for the elusive killer, Ray finally uncovers a new lead that he’s certain can permanently resolve the case, nail the vicious murderer, and bring long-desired closure to his team. No one is prepared, however, for the shocking, unspeakable secret that will reveal the enduring, destructive effects of personal vengeance on the human soul.

Interweaving past and present, this deeply layered mystery explores the murky boundaries between justice and revenge, and asks the question: how far would you go to right an unfathomable wrong?

This year’s most anticipated exciting film ensemble, Secret In Their Eyes opens this December 2, 2015 in Philippine theatres as released by Axinite Digicinema.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM AXINITE DIGICINEMA

WATCH: Final trailer of ‘In the Heart of the Sea’

The engaging final trailer of In the Heart of the Sea has just been released by Warner Bros. Pictures and may be viewed below.

In the winter of 1820, the Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance.  The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. 

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“In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive.  Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

“In the Heart of the Sea” stars Chris Hemsworth as the vessel’s veteran first mate Owen Chase; Benjamin Walker  as its inexperienced Captain, George Pollard; Cillian Murphy as second mate Matthew Joy; and Ben Whishaw as novelist Herman Melville, whose inquiries into the event 30 years later helped bring the story to light.

Tom Holland also stars as young seaman Tom Nickerson, and Brendan Gleeson as the same man, 30 years later. 

Opening across the Philippines on December 3, 2015 in theaters and IMAX®, In the Heart of the Sea is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Model-turned-actor Ryan Guzman stars in ‘Jem and the Holograms’

Ryan Guzman, lead star of the hit thriller “The Boy Next Door” and TV’s new toprater “Heroes Reborn,” lends a masculine presence to Universal Pictures’ female-oriented musical-adventure Jem and the Holograms.

In the film, as Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples), a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar as her alter ego Jem, she and her band of sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.

In Jerrica’s musical journey, there is one person in her new Hollywood home that she’s slowly growing to trust. His name is Rio, and he is portrayed by Ryan Guzman. The music-intern son of Erica Raymond, founder and CEO of Starlight Music, Rio is tasked with helping Jem and the Holograms navigate through their newfound stardom. His job would be easier, however, if he wasn’t falling for one of its members…

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Guzman discusses his role: “While Erica is all about making money, Rio is more about discovering artists who can entertain. He is not impressed by Jem and the Holograms when he first meets them, but that’s because he thinks they are just another pop group that is popular for all the wrong reasons. Later on, he finds out there is more to them than meets the eye. He connects with them and realizes they aren’t in it for the fame; they are just doing what they love.”

Not only does Rio help the band traverse the perils of newfound stardom, he aids Jerrica and Kimber on their quest to find out just who their father was, as well as what he has in store for them. Explains co-star Stephanie Scott who plays Kimber: “Rio taps into the storyline of our hunt for Synergy, and the process of figuring out what message our dad left for us. He helps us bring it all together.”

Ryan Guzman is a former MMA fighter who caught the notice of Hollywood.

Born in Texas and raised in Sacramento, California, Guzman never thought of becoming an actor, much less a professional dancer. At age seven, he developed an interest in martial arts and earned his first black belt in tae kwon do by the age of 10. This led him into the octagon as an MMA fighter in Sacramento until his fighting license expired in 2010. A gifted athlete, Guzman was also a sought-after left-handed pitcher with a fastball clocked between 87 and 90 miles per hour. A shoulder injury ended this dream and transitioned into a career in print modeling, followed by acting.

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Guzman worked successfully in San Francisco, starting with LOOK Model Agency at the age of 18, before moving to Los Angeles, where he joined the esteemed Wilhelmina agency at 22. Guzman has since starred in television commercials for Old Navy, Gillette, Candie’s and the Oprah Winfrey Network. He has modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch, Affliction and Reebok, among other brands.

After his success in modeling, Guzman signed on with a talent manager and went into the audition process for acting roles. Just a few short months later, he booked the male lead role for Lionsgate’s “Step Up Revolution.”
After the international success of “Step Up Revolution,” he reprised his role in the Trish Sie directed “Step Up All In” alongside Briana Evigan.

In January 2015, Guzman was seen as the male lead role opposite Jennifer Lopez in the Universal Pictures thriller “The Boy Next Door.”

Opening exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide on November 4, 2015, Jem and the Holograms is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES