’13 Hours’ star John Krasinski named Grand Marshal for NASCAR Sprint Cup

Film and television actor John Krasinski, who stars as a former Navy SEAL in the upcoming, real-life motion picture thriller “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” served as the  race held recently at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Krasinski, an actor, writer and director, gave the command for the Sprint Cup Series drivers of the 43-car field to start their engines in front of a crowd that annually comprises one of the largest-attended, single-day sporting events in Texas.

“It’s a huge honor to be asked to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal,” said Krasinski. “I am really excited to be at NASCAR and see Jeff Gordon race for one of his last outings.”

Krasinski will be joined on the Grand Marshal stage by three of the heroes from the CIA annex security team that fought off Islamic militants on Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. Mark “Oz” Geist, Kris “Tanto” Paronto and John “Tig” Tiegen are elite ex-military operatives that were part of the small security team that helped ward off the terrorists that attacked U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi and were responsible for saving many American lives.

Paramount Pictures’ “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay by Chuck Hogan, based on the book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff and members of the Annex Security Team. The film stars John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini, Pablo Schreiber, and Toby Stephens.

Watch the trailer of “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” below.

Based on the non-fiction book by Michtell Zuckoff, the film tells the story of the six members of the security team that fought to defend the Americans stationed at the embassy in Benghazi when it came under attack.
Krasinski is perhaps best known for his role as the charming boy-next-door Jim Halpert on NBC’s Emmy®-winning smash hit The Office for nine seasons. He won Screen Actor Guild Awards in 2007 and ’08 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

His recent film credits include the Gus Van Sant-directed Promised Land, also in which he stars and co-wrote with Matt Damon; Disney Pixar’s Monster’s University in which he lent his voice; legendary Japanese filmmaker Hiyao Miyazaki’s latest animated film The Wind Rises; and Cameron Crowe’s Aloha.

His additional film roles include performances in the uplifting family film Big Miracle; Something Borrowed; Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated; Sam Mendes’ Away We Go; the animated smash hits Monsters vs. Aliens and Shrek the Third; George Clooney’s Leatherheads; Ken Kwapis’ License to Wed; Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration and Bill Condon’s Kinsey.

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” opens across the Philippines on January 13, 2016 and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. (PR)

Fassbender wins Best Actor Prize from L.A. film critics for ‘Steve Jobs’

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has named Michael Fassbender as the year’s best actor for his bravura portrayal of the real-life, titular character in Universal Pictures’ “Steve Jobs.”

The recognition bodes well for the actor, who’s seems to be en route for a second Academy Award nomination, following his nod for “12 Years a Slave” three years ago.

Watch the trailer of “Steve Jobs” below.

Among the critics who championed Fassbender was Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times, who writes in his review, “Though the film he stars in is very much a group effort, it is hard to imagine `Steve Jobs’ without the magnetic Fassbender, who eats parts like this for breakfast, in the starring role. His Jobs is a man of enormous self-confidence, driven like nobody’s business, whose powers of persuasion are so overpowering his employees talk about the `reality distortion field’ he is able to create around himself and his ideas.”

Variety’s Justin Chang also has praises for Fassbender, writing, “In this unabashedly fictionalized context, Fassbender overcomes the obvious casting hurdle and delivers a performance as enthralling and fully sustained as any on his estimable resume. That the actor is onscreen at every minute makes it all the better that it’s impossible to take your eyes off him, or your ears: This is an actor who knows exactly how to toss off Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue, emphasizing rhythm and inflection over volume, while embodying confidence and authority in his every atom.”

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, “Steve Jobs” takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.
“Steve Jobs” is directed by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin, working from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the Apple founder. The producers are Mark Gordon, Guymon Casady of Film 360, Scott Rudin, Boyle and Academy Award® winner Christian Colson.

Michael Fassbender plays Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple, with Academy Award®-winning actress Kate Winslet starring as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, is played by Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels stars as former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film also stars Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Apple Macintosh development team.

Opening across the Philippines on January 13, 2016, “Steve Jobs” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. (PR)

French film ‘Ice and Sky’ to have free screenings at SM MOA

With high hopes for the conclusion of an ambitious, universal and legally binding framework for climate action at the end of the UN Climate Change Summit (COP21) in Paris on December 11, the Embassy of France to the Philippines invites the public to the special screening of the French film La glace et le ciel (Ice and Sky) on December 11 and 12, 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia.

Directed by Luc Jacquet, Ice and Sky narrates, through stunning visuals and original footage, the story of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, from the beginning of his career and investigating the Antartic to eventually winning the Blue Planet Prize, which is the equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize in environmental sciences.

Ice and Sky will also be screened in different countries in time for the end of COP21.

Over 40,000 delegates, comprised of delegates, NGO representatives, journalists, and artists from all over the world, are currently gathered in Paris to conclude a climate agreement to limit global warming and to settle issues such as climate financing and adaptation and mitigation measures.

Last November 30, over 150 Heads of State and Government, including French President François Hollande and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, expressed their support for the success of this conference and to urge all stakeholders to work towards the conclusion of this agreement in Paris.

Ice and Sky will be screened free of charge to the public on Friday, December 11, 8:00pm and Saturday, December 12, 11:00am at the SM Mall of Asia Cinema 5. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, send an email to ClimateWeekPH@gmail.com.

Offbeat action thrills in ‘Blunt Force Trauma’

“Blunt Force Trauma,” is a physical trauma to a body part by impact, injury or physical attack. Multi-talented actors Ryan Kwanten, Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto star in a gripping action movie of the same title (“Blunt Force Trauma”) that will open this December 9, 2015 exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas.

One of TV’s breakout actors, Ryan Kwanten who starred in the hit series “True Blood” takes on the role of John, a professional gunslinger in “Blunt Force Trauma” who is looking for his greatest challenge yet in a dangerous underground duel (of guns and last man standing) known only as the Game.  Its legendary and elusive champion, Zorringer (Rourke) is the one that John pursues but the legend keeps putting off the match.  Along John’s journey to meet his final match, he meets a female duelist, Colt (Pinto), embarking on her own quest for revenge of her brother’s death.

Set in Bogota, Colombia, “Blunt Force Trauma” co-star Freida Pinto plays a sexy shooter whose past drives her into the dangerous world of gunfights. Pinto debuted in Danny Boyle’s hit and critically acclaimed movie “Slumdog Millionaire”  and succeeding movie projects included notable roles in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Immortals.”

Generating a niche market for off-beat action concepts, in a review by Simon Kennedy from www.film-news.co.uk , he stated that “I loved this films utter insane belief in itself. The idea of underground dueling circuits that do not see people killed is just absurdity in a box. It is like having a Roman gladiator film that has no swords only foam mallets. It is like knowing that the cowboys were using blanks or the Deer Hunters famous final scene actually was a fake out…. One second, one second. Now however it is not all silly, unrealistic idea to drive film along. Far from it, we have a great central idea of the search. The seeker, looking for himself and his identity. This is enhanced by the shoot outs. Adding texture to an idea I ended up buying into.It is all down to the low level intensity and the drawn back film making. Indie cinema at a distance….Then outside of these very tense and explosive moments of action, there is another story. One that benefits from the beautiful Frieda Pinto ( a woman that is stunning.) I have a thing for Indian woman so I was fixed when she was on the screen. It helped she acts with a level of emotion that makes her performance heartfelt. She also has great lines and is even more sexy when playful and cutting. She has a chemistry all of her own and I defy you not to love her. The camera is soft on her and that draws the eye all around…Ok, She is hot we get it….Overall the film works to a beat that many will at first think silly. Its rhythm is off a little but it pulls it off. Pulls it off in a way that satisfies and deserves acknowledgment. Good work and great luck.”

From OctoArts Films, “Blunt Force Trauma” is an Ayala Malls Cinemas exclusive opening this December 9, 2015 nationwide. (PR)