Music fills cross-country odyssey in ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip’

Strutting and dancing their way into their latest movie instalment, Alvin, Theodore and Simon star in the latest addition to the hit franchise “Alvin and the Chipmunks” in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” with the returning voice cast of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney.

In “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” the Chipmunks hit the road and embark on a journey to stop their guardian Dave (Jason Lee) from what they believe to be a wedding proposal in Miami. Alvin, who’s charming and musical with boundless enthusiasm and animal magnetism; Simon, whose I.Q. is just north of Einstein’s; and Theodore, who’s shy, good-natured, loving and sensitive along with new equally mischievous pal, Miles (Josh Green) son of Dave’s special friend, Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) are not thrilled on the idea of Dave and Sam tying the knot. ‘

bella thorne in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS 4 THE ROAD CHIP

In a pact that recalls the expression, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ the Chipmunks and Miles reluctantly join forces to travel cross-country, to Florida, and try and break up what they believe will be Dave’s marriage proposal to Sam.

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.”

There’s also a lot of humor mined from the guys’ cross-country odyssey. It begins when Miles smuggles the ‘Munks aboard a flight, where everything goes wrong. In flight, they meet a new foe – a TSA Agent named Suggs, played by recent Emmy® winner Tony Hale (“Veep”).

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“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” shakes things up, musically. Each stop on the ‘Munks’ and Miles’ quest has its own special character and different musical influence – from modern, hip-hop/country vibe of an Austin, Texas bar to the great jazz, blues and funk of New Orleans, and finally to the Latin flair of Miami.

Continuing a soundtrack tradition for the series, Alvin and the Chipmunks put their own delightful new spin on smashes including “Uptown Funk,” “Turn Down For What,” and more. In addition, Redfoo and the boys trade verses on “Juicy Wiggle (Munk Remix).” The soundtrack also features Sheppard’s platinum-certified international hit “Geronimo” and The Score’s “Oh My Love.” Mark Mothersbaugh is the composer and the executive music producer is Alana Da Fonseca.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip” opens January 20 in cinemas as released by 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard stars in ‘Macbeth’

Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard stars as Lady Macbeth opposite Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender in this year’s thrilling interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” The movie wherein Fassbender plays the title role is the story of a fearless warrior and inspiring leader brought low by ambition and desire.

Set in war torn Scottish landscape, following a fierce battle in which Macbeth (Fassbender), Thane of Glamis and loyal general of King Duncan’s (David Thewlis) forces, has finally killed Macdonwald, a traitor and leader of rebel forces, he and fellow soldier Banquo (Paddy Considine) encounter three women scavenging among the fallen soldiers, who foretell that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland, while Banquo will be the father of future kings. Both men are unnerved by the prophecies but for the moment appear not to believe them.

marion cotillard and michael fassbender _ MACBETH

At Inverness, a letter from Macbeth arrives, informing Lady Macbeth of the prophecy. Lady Macbeth (Cotillard), who has not seen her husband over the long years of war and is grieving the loss of their only child, feels the seed of an idea grow in her mind. She plans for her husband to kill King Duncan so that they can assume the throne. Macbeth is at first reluctant to do harm to Duncan, but Lady Macbeth’s persuasion and Duncan’s announcement that his callow son Malcolm will succeed him spur him to act. After feasting and drinking liberally, Duncan retires to bed, unaware that Lady Macbeth has drugged his guards.

Macbeth, taking advantage of the confusion and grief caused by Duncan’s death, and marshalling his popularity amongst the people, is crowned King of Scotland. Banquo, however, has suspicions of his own based on their encounter with the prophetic women. Unable to trust anyone, and increasingly drawn down the path of tyranny, Macbeth begins to kill any who he fears might oppose him.

Lady Macbeth, meanwhile, has been slowly driven mad by her guilt in the wake of killing Duncan and the realisation that she has lost her husband forever to darkness, just like she once lost a child. Unable to escape her grief, and unable to make any connection with the husband she loves so much, she returns to Inverness and dies consumed by visions of her dead child.

Marion Cotillard signed up to play the crucial role of Lady Macbeth, despite English being a second language. “I knew that one day I would play Lady Macbeth,” says Cotillard, noting the special connection she’s always felt to Scotland and this particular play. Acclaimed director Justin Kurzel says Cotillard worked hard to learn the Shakespearian language despite the language barrier. “It was huge for her in terms of how foreign the verse was,” he notes.

michael fassbender and marion cotillard MACBETH

“I couldn’t miss this opportunity to play this character in English,” she concurs. “We all worked with Neil Swain on the language, who is much more than a dialogue coach, he’s a Shakespeare expert. Our work with him was about going deep into Shakespeare’s world, and it was about more than just finding the right accent, rhythm and energy.”

“I think in the end you’ll have great empathy for both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth,” notes producer Laura Hastings-Smith. “Obviously they do terrible things, which can happen even to good people, but I think you come to understand the tragedy of that in a very human sense with this film.”

“Macbeth” opens in cinemas this January 13, 2016 from Pioneer Films.

Award-winning horror film ‘Jeruzalem’ to open in local cinemas Jan 20

From emerging Israeli directors, brothers Yoav and Doron Paz comes an acclaimed award-winning film “Jeruzalem,” winner of the Audience Award and Best Editing at the recent 32nd Jerusalem International Film Festival.

“Jeruzalem” follows two American girls on vacation who meet an attractive student studying anthropology during their trip to Jerusalem. A trip planned to be their best vacation ever, the girls, Sarah (Danielle Jadelyn) and Rachel (Yael Grobglas, Israel’s budding scream queen) do the rounds of the tour with newfound friend Kevin in tow and partying hard in Jerusalem’s ancient sites. The trio unexpectedly find themselves in the midst of a religious conflict followed by a series of horrifying biblical apocalypse.

Inspired by a line from the Talmud that states “There are three gates to hell: one in the desert, one in the ocean and one in Jerusalem,” the movie unleashes a chain of demonic events that brought about terror as the three try to escape between ancient walls of the holy city.

yael grobglas in JERUZALEM

“We wanted to give the audience a chance to feel and experience this dark, mystical and religious city through the eyes of our characters. To see up close what the resurrection may actually look like, in the most reasonable place on earth to start the apocalypse,” says Yoav and Doron on introducing the film.

The Paz Bros. are the sons of Israeli filmmaker Jonathan Paz (“Waiting for Surkin”) and grew up in Netanya. Their filmmaking careers began when they were around 10 or 11 years old. Filmed in found footage style through a smart digital glass, “Jeruzalem” gives the audience a rich detail of the city’s culture and history as read from the Bible.

“We see it more of a POV (point of view) instead of found footage, we wanted it so all the other actors are talking to the camera, and when she crawls in the dark people the audience see how it feels to crawl in the dark. Like a sort of virtual reality. But we didn’t know what to do about it. Then a few years ago everyone started talking about Google glass with verbal technologly and this gave us our window. This also gave us another layer, a technological layer, where we could present more information. You don’t see it in the trailer, but the entire film is through a smart glass – not Google. So there’s verbal technology and augmented reality. This means we could use social media in it too as another form of storytelling. It’s the oldest story with new technology. We don’t like to call it found footage because, while it’s obviously a found footage technique, we think this takes it to the next level,” shares Yoav and Doron of their filmmaking style.

Yoav and Doron Paz first gained acclaim with their arthouse film “Phobidilia,” an official selection at TIFF and the Berlin International Film Festival. Their latest film, “Jeruzalem” marks a radical new turn as they submerge themselves full-on into hyper-visceral horror storytelling.

“For years we thought to ourselves ‘how come nobody did an apocalypse movie about Jerusalem’ , when it’s the perfect set up for it. You’ve seen movies about the apocalypse in cities all around the world: Bostin, then you have REC – everywhere, but nobody’s been dealing with Jerusalem itself. Though the bible, and its scriptures are set there, so that’s where we took it,” further shares Yoav on the concept of the movie.

“Jeruzalem” opens in theatres nationwide on January 20, 2016 from Pioneer Films.

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