Young adult novel ‘The 5th Wave’ takes battle to big screen

A powerhouse cast led by Chloë Grace Moretz (“If I Stay”), Nick Robinson (Jurassic World”), Ron Livingston (“The Conjuring”), Alex Roe (upcoming “Rings”), and Liev Schreiber (“Salt”) stars in Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of Rick Yancey’s bestselling novel “The 5th Wave,” the first book in his planned trilogy.

In the film, four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie (Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him.

Yancey’s book was published in 2013 to critical and popular acclaim, with over 20 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers list. The second book in the trilogy, The Infinite Sea, met with similar acclaim and success, with the third book, The Last Star, set for release next year.

“It’s hard to put this book down once you start reading,” says Tobey Maguire, who produces the film with Graham King, Matthew Plouffe, and Lynn Harris. “Rick’s writing is wonderfully cinematic and he has managed to write a version of an alien invasion that feels like it hits all of the classic science-fiction tropes while remaining grounded in a way we haven’t seen on screen before. The idea that the invasion happens in waves in order to pick apart civilization felt both unique and universally relatable. The loss of electricity, disease, earthquakes, tsunamis — these are fears that are really part of modern life right now. That immediately sets it apart from a lot of science fiction fantasy.”

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Producer Graham King says that though the exciting elements of the film will attract audiences, it is the heart of the film that will immerse them. “There’s an element to it of an alien invasion, there’s a threatening element as they’re taking over the planet, but the core of the film is really the breakup of one family and how they put it back together,” he says.

“The story has all these incredible elements, but the thing that put it over the top for me was that it was set in a very understandable reality with a lead character that we all know,” says Plouffe. “At the start of the story, our hero, Cassie Sullivan, is the girl that sits next to you in high school and lives in Anytown, America.”

One reason for the book’s popularity is the way that it crosses over from young adult fiction to adult fiction, and from sci-fi to general fiction. Author Rick Yancey says that the book focuses on the universal themes that we all face. “All my books, not just `The 5th Wave,’ have to do with what makes us human,” comments Yancey. “The thing that really appealed to me about this story was, when everything else has been stripped away, what are we left with? What are the important things? In the 21st century, we now have so many trappings, with so much technology, that take us one-step back from the human connection. In `The 5th Wave,’ all those things are taken away, and each character confronts in their own way, how do I deal with this new world? What are the things that really matter? What am I willing to sacrifice to have those things? Plus, it’s a thriller, it’s a survival story, it’s a story of people trying to prevail under nearly impossible odds, and it’s a love story too, about love in all its permutations.”

Plouffe says that he knew that The 5th Wave was not going to be your usual alien invasion story from the very first page. “Rick opens the book with a quote from Stephen Hawking about how if aliens come to Earth, it’ll be much like Christopher Columbus discovering America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans,” Plouffe recalls. “With that, I knew from the beginning that there was something a little different about this. It felt sophisticated and knowing from the get-go.”

Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 20, 2016, “The 5th Wave” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

FULL LIST: Best Picture winners, Metro Manila Film Festival (1975 – 2015)

metro manila film festival logo

The Metro Manila Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Metro Manila, Philippines since 1975. It runs from December 25 through New Year’s Day and into the first weekend of January in the following year.

The selection of Best Picture used to have a commercial viability criterion (box-office performance of the entries). It was in 2010 when this criterion was removed. As of the same year, the criteria for the selection of Best Picture(s) are as follows: artistry, creativity and technical excellence, innovation, and thematic value. Entries are also judged for global appeal (70%) and Filipino cultural and/or historical value (30 %).

The 41st Metro Manila Film Festival is currently receiving online flak for disqualifing last December 26 the John Lloyd Cruz-starrer Honor Thy Father which is a major frontrunner in the festival. According to the letter sent by MMFF to the producer of Honor Thy Father, the disqualified is actioned upon due to non-disclosure of the film’s participation in another festival.

The Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc (DGPI) has also demanded fair play and transparency from MMFF as it condemns the move of the executive committee.

Realistically, the Best Picture is deemed as a valuable recognition as it translates to the opening of more cinemas while it gains more attention for bagging the award.

Ever wondered what were the previous films that were awarded Best Picture? Here is the complete list of Best Picture winners of MMFF from recent to oldest:

  • 2015 – “#WalangForever”
  • 2014 – “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo”
  • 2013 – “10,000 Hours”
  • 2012 – “One More Try”
  • 2011 – “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”
  • 2010 – “Ang Tanging Ina Mo, Last Na ‘To!”
  • 2009 – “Ang Panday”
  • 2008 – “Baler”
  • 2007 – “Resiklo”
  • 2006 – “Enteng Kabisote 3: The Legend Goes On and On and On”
  • 2005 – “Blue Moon”
  • 2004 – “Mano Po 3: My Love”
  • 2003 – “Crying Ladies”
  • 2002 – “Mano Po”
  • 2001 – “Yamashita: The Tiger’s Treasure”
  • 2000 – “Tanging Yaman”
  • 1999 – “Muro Ami”
  • 1998 – “Jose Rizal”
  • 1997 – “Nasaan ang Puso”
  • 1996 – “Magic Temple”
  • 1995 – “Muling Umawit Ang Puso”
  • 1994 – [Not awarded]
  • 1993 – “Kung Mawawala Ka Pa”
  • 1992 – “Andres Manambit: Angkan ng Matatapang”
  • 1991 – “Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M.”
  • 1990 – “Andrea, Paano ba ang Maging Isang Ina”
  • 1989 – “Imortal”
  • 1988 – “Patrolman”
  • 1987 – “Olongapo, The Great American Dream”
  • 1986 – “Halimaw sa Banga” [only the 3rd Best Picture was announced]
  • 1985 – “Paradise Inn”
  • 1984 – “Bulaklak ng City Jail”
  • 1983 – “Karnal”
  • 1982 – “Himala”
  • 1981 – “Kisapmata”
  • 1980 – “Taga sa Panahon”
  • 1979 – “Kasal-kasalan, Bahay-bahayan” tied with “Ina Ka ng Anak Mo”
  • 1978 – “Atsay”
  • 1977 – “Burlesk Queen”
  • 1976 – “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?”
  • 1975 – “Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa”

On December 27, the Best Picture award was given to Walang Forever starring Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales. Honor Thy Father’s Erik Matti won the Best Director award but was a no-show at the event.

Josh Green stars as mischievous brother-to-be in ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip’

The Chipmunks we know and love, Alvin, Theodore and Simon embark on a journey across the U.S. and for the first time, they’re on a mission to keep their family together in the fourth instalment of the hugely successful family adventure franchise in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.”

In their latest adventure, through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother, Miles, played by Josh Green.

The idea of Dave tying the knot doesn’t thrill the boys; in fact, they fear it’ll uproot their lives – and maybe uproot them from Dave’s home! Further complicating matters is Sam’s (Dave’s special friend played by Kimberly Willams-Paisley) teenage son, Miles (Green), who has an instant dislike of the Chipmunks.

“Miles is definitely introduced as the classic teenage ‘bad boy,’” says Josh Green. “I also like comparing him to Alvin. Both cause trouble and are loud and harsh. “Everyone has a little Alvin in them,” he continues. “You know, that voice inside that says, let’s go out there and cause a ruckus.”

In the midst of their hostilities, if not all-out war, The Chipmunks and Miles learn they do have one common goal: stop Dave’s wedding to Sam. The ‘Munks are afraid their family will change forever if Dave gets married and, worse, Miles becomes their stepbrother. Miles, says Green “is also not okay with Dave and Sam’s plan of, ‘Let’s get this family together, and we’ll all be happy now.’”

It’s a journey filled with adventure, laughs, music and lots of local color. But director Walt Becker also notes that it’s also about Alvin, Simon, Theodore and Miles finding their way into a kind of blended family. He further points to the film’s new blended family elements as an entryway to this new chapter in the Chipmunks’ lives. It’s no longer just the three boys and Dave Seville. Two new characters – a love interest for Dave, and her teenage son – enter the scene, and turn the ‘Munks’ life and family topsy-turvy.

“I think the idea of a blended family is one that many people can relate to,” says Becker. “The Chipmunks are always trying to do the right thing, but end up doing it in the wrong way. You can mine a lot of comedy from those family experiences.”

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS THE ROAD CHIP

Josh Green is a Bowie Maryland native and began his acting career performing in regional productions of plays, including “The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?” “Rabbit Hole” and “Columbinus.” After high school, Green moved to New York to study the craft at New York University and pursue acting full time. He quickly branched out into television and film. Green was the guest lead in the pilot episode of ABC’s “Black Box,” and appeared on the critically acclaimed CBS series “The Good Wife” and CBS’ “Unforgettable.” He shared the screen with Emily Van Camp in the feature film “The Girl in the Book,” and will be seen in the independent film “Fair Haven,” where Green stars opposite Tom Wopat. Green recently made his New York stage debut in MCC’s “Lost Girls,” directed by Jo Bonney.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” opens January 20 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.