Classic fairytale lives on in ‘The New Adventures of Aladdin’

In the magical action-packed movie “The New Adventures of Aladdin,” best friends Sam (Kev Adams) and Khalid (William Lebghil) dress up as up as Santa Claus to steal everything they can from Galeries Lafayette. But Sam is quickly caught by children and their needs tell the story of Aladdin. In the skin of Aladdin , Sam begins then a trip to the heart of Baghdad, a city with Arabian wealth. While telling the tale, the people suffered from the terrible tyranny known Vizier for his ferocity and his questionable breath and the young thief taking on his alter-ego Aladin tries to save the day and win the heart of a princess.

The movie’s hero, Kev Adams who plays Sam and Aladdin in “The New Adventures of Aladdin,” is the actor’s debut starring role after playing support roles in movies. “I really wanted to be back on a carpet driving alongside a Genius but also to participate this story full of humor while confronting the real world. The original script was 250 pages, it was a monumental epic and I loved it!” shares Adams on his casting.

kev adams in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN

“I was indeed very happy to play a hero even if it’s not from my roots, especially since the cast is made actors who mostly have no link to this part of the world. I would add that we shot in Morocco, the only country Maghreb where I have no family roots! But when you are in the cinema, as part a story or a fairy tale, the religious affairs or ethnicity have no place to be. It remains essential the characters, the sets. That being said, the story of Aladdin reminded me of the ones who instilled values in me like my Tunisian my grandfather. And in Morocco, every day we saw and worked with people who do not have much but who are all willing to give. It’s very touching, very motivating,” continues Adams.

“The New Adventures of Aladdin” is also director Arthur Benzaquen’s first feature film. Written by Daive Cohen, the movie had found its way to production ten years after the script was conceived. “He had never actually found the opportunity to do so. Daniel Tordjman, the producer offered him this occasion. When they asked me to realize I have admit that a big doubt came over me, given the ambition project … But Daniel and Daive insisted. This adventure like us. We all three worked on “Zak”. Four years together, writing mounting through filming or post-production it is a full time job. We knew knew each other perfectly and operate as a trio since then,” says Benzaquen on landing the director’s seat.

Les Nouvelles aventures d'Aladin

Moreover, Benzaquen notes that what is great about the story is that it was written there are hundreds of years but it remains extremely modern. “We considered a lot of countries for filming, especially India, but Morocco prevailed. First because by our roots, Daive, Daniel and I are from Morocco. Seriously, there there was the scenery we needed and especially for me the most important: a hand extremely skilled and very flexible. The Morocco now receives a very large number foreign film, especially Americans. For example, we used the sets of “Kingdom of Heaven” by Ridley Scott. Our Moroccan experience has been a real pleasure, in Marrakech, in the studios of Ouarzazate, as in the desert. I also filmed Galeries Lafayette sequences for the part present the film and some technical additions background-green in Belgium.

“The New Adventures of Aladdin” opens January 27, 2016 as released by Pioneer Films. 

The New Adventures of Aladdin(EDT-5)

‘The Forest’ reveals new poster art

Columbia Pictures has launched the new poster art for its upcoming suspense thriller “The Forest” starring “Game of Thrones” actress Natalie Dormer.

Rising with terrifying grandeur at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the suspense-filled setting of the supernatural thriller “The Forest.” The one-sheet art’s tagline bears the eerie reputation the said forest has come to be known for: “Everyone comes here looking for a way out.”

In the film, a young American woman, Sara (Natalie Dormer), journeys to the Aokigahara Forest in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. In the company of expatriate Aiden (Taylor Kinney of “Chicago Fire”), Sara enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness from which she must fight to save herself.

Opening across the Philippines on February 17, 2016, “The Forest” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Jason Lee gets furry-ous with ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip’

In 2007, “Alvin and The Chipmunks,” a global phenomenon to generations of fans, became a live action/CGI motion picture event with a contemporary comic sensibility. In the holiday season blockbuster, which grossed over $350 million worldwide, songwriter Dave Seville transformed singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore into pop sensations — while the out-of-control trio laid waste to Dave’s home, wreaked havoc on his career, and turned Dave’s once-orderly life upside-down.

Right after the hit debut of the franchise’s first film, it became inevitable that a “Squeakquel,” and “Chipwrecked” followed through from one exciting adventure to another. This January 2016, the lovable trio of Chipmunks that includes Alvin, Theodore and Simon, along with their guardian and father figure Dave Seville (played by Jason Lee), are back for a whole new adventure for today’s highly-adventurous generation in “Alvin and The Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip.”

In “Alvin and The Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip,” Dave’s career as a musical artist manager has taken off, thanks to the Chipmunks. He also has an exciting new client – a rising young pop star, named Ashley, played by actress/singer/author/model Bella Thorne (“My Own Worst Enemy,” “Shake It Up”). Despite her popularity, Ashley has remained “sweet and down to earth,” says Thorne. For example, she notes, “When we meet Ashley, she’s being stormed by paparazzi, but she makes sure that the ‘Munks aren’t trampled.” Ashley also provides emotional and musical support to the ‘Munks when they reunite with Dave in Florida.

jason lee in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS 4 - THE ROAD CHIP

Dave’s life takes an additional turn, thanks to Samantha (she prefers “Sam”), an ER doctor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) with whom he’s enjoying a blossoming romantic relationship. In fact, Dave and Sam are growing so close that the ‘Munks are beginning to wonder if he’s about to pop the question.

While Dave is busier than ever, he has opted to temporarily sideline the boys, so they can live as “normal” a life as possible. “Dave is bit more comfortable with the idea of everything being as normal as possible,” says Lee. Dave is also becoming more of a parent to the boys, a big step forward from serving as their beleaguered guardian. “The parenting moments are important to the evolution of this franchise,” notes Becker.

Director Walt Becker did ensure that a key presence in all the Alvin films — Jason Lee, as Dave Seville – was back for The Road Chip. “It was important to bring back Jason because not only is he terrific in the “Alvin and The Chipmunks” movies, his presence helps gives this film a strong emotional connection.”

Lee calls this connection to the story’s characters and its myriad fans, the “Dave Factor.” He says, “It’s amazing when I’m with my kids, and their friends will come up to me and ask, ‘Are you Dave?’ And they’re super-smiley. That’s worth so much to me.”

But in the Seville/Chipmunks household, striving for normalcy, and actually achieving it are, well, a continuing challenge. The boys miss their status as pop star icons and aren’t shy about letting Dave know about it. Moreover, Dave’s frustration with his young charges continues to bedevil him, and fans will rejoice that his signature manifestation of said frustration – a full-throttle bellowing of “Alviiiiin!!!” – will again tax Dave, as well as the Dolby-ized sound system of your local theater. “That yell is just kind of second nature, now,” says Jason Lee, “for me and for Dave.”

“Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip” opens January 20, 2016 in cinemas nationwide as released by 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Winning ‘Brooklyn’ movie tackles life abroad

Ayala Malls Cinemas brings “Brooklyn” this January 27 – a very poignant story of a young woman who dreams of a better life abroad, leaves her mother and sister to a foreign land very different from the culture she grew up in and eventually finds herself torn between two men from her hometown and new town.

Saoirse Ronan has been reaping awards left and right for her role in “Brooklyn.” Born in New York to Irish parents and raised outside Dublin, Ronan first found acclaim in Joe Wright’s “Atonement,” garnering a Best Supporting Actress Oscar® nomination for her performance as Briony. She went on to starring roles in “The Lovely Bones,” “Hanna” and most recently Wes Anderson’s Oscar winning “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” all by age 20. Now entering her prime, she was ready to take on a complicated, emotionally demanding lead.

“Brooklyn” has opened in Ireland to become the highest-opening Irish film since “Michael Collins” in 1996 that starred Liam Neeson tells of a beautiful and resilient Irish young woman Eilis and her journey between two countries, two men and two destinies.

Saoirse Ronan as "Eilis" in BROOKLYN. Photo by Kerry Brown. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
Saoirse Ronan as “Eilis” in BROOKLYN. Photo by Kerry Brown. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

In “Brooklyn Eilis has lived her whole life in tiny Enniscorthy, Ireland – where everyone knows everyone else’s business and then some — when she is swept away to America, thanks to her sister, who wants to see her flourish. She arrives into the diverse tumult of Brooklyn already homesick, feeling like an exile. But as Eilis dexterously learns to adapt to life as a New Yorker, becomes a sales lady at a posh department store, she meets a funny, sweet, charismatic suitor determined to win her devotion. Just as she seems on the verge of beginning a new life, a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland where she is pulled back into the life she left behind … and a decision that could affect her future forever.

Caught between two different calls to her heart, Eilis confronts one of the most breathtakingly difficult dilemmas of our fluid modern world: figuring out how to merge where you have come from with where you dream of going. Ronan says she felt an immediate, almost uncanny, affinity for Eilis as soon as she read the script. “Nick Hornby isn’t from Ireland, yet he managed to completely capture the spirit of the country. The writing was so beautiful, and so beautifully subtle,” she comments. “It felt close to my heart because it was about my people. It was the journey that my parents went on back in the ‘80s; they moved to New York and went through all these same things, even though it was a different era. The biggest hurdle anyone goes through in life is leaving the security of your family and your friends behind for something new.”

BROOKLYN movie

The mix of emotions that Eilis confronts – from confusion and grief to joy and devotion – was also an exciting challenge as Ronan calibrated the balance between them. “We would go from beautiful, heartbreaking, completely sad scenes to gorgeous, fun scenes to do,” Ronan notes. “Eilis is going through all these very natural things that human beings go through: grief, relationships, jobs, your relationship with your parents, independence. But I loved the subtleties of it. The challenge is that you can read so much into Eilis’s experiences and she could be played in a number of different ways. And it was also about balancing the drama of real life circumstances with the humor that people use to handle that drama, which is something that I know Irish people use an awful lot. We use humor as a way to deal with life and death. So it was about balancing all of that.”

The heart of “Brooklyn” for Ronan lies in the re-defining of home. “I love the piece of advice Eilis passes onto the young girl near the end of the film — that when you move away, you’ll feel so homesick you’ll want to die and there’s nothing you can do about it, apart from endure it, but it won’t kill you and one day the sun will come out and you’ll realize that this is where your life is. That gorgeous piece of writing means so much to any person who has ever left their home and family. Eilis needs to go through this incredibly happy, heartbreaking, exciting, scary journey in order to make this choice about where she feels she wants to be. And for me that’s what “Brooklyn” is about. Your relationship with home is something you carry with you as move to different places in your life and endure different things. The trick is carrying it without letting it weigh you down.”

“Brooklyn” opens January 27, 2016 exclusively at select Ayala Malls Cinemas – Glorietta 4, Trinoma, Market! Market! and Fairview Terraces as released by 20th Century Fox thru Warner Bros.

Ryan Gosling plays honest opportunist in ‘The Big Short’

Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling plays slick Deutsche Bank dealmaker Jared Vennett, in the critically acclaimed real-life cautionary tale, “The Big Short” from Paramount Pictures.

Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (“The Blind Side,” “Moneyball”), “The Big Short” also stars Academy Award-honorees Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Brad Pitt. Adam McKay directs from a screenplay by Charles Randolph and McKay.

The Big Short Ryan Gosling_02

In the film, when four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

Gosling’s Jared Vennet plays a key role in bringing Wall Street crusader and hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) into the fold of those shorting mortgage-backed bonds.

The Big Short Ryan Gosling Brad Pitt Steve Carell

Taunted as “Chicken Little” and “Bubble Boy” by his colleagues, Vennett convinces Baum and company of the unavoidable failure of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) backed by “tranches” – layers – of subprime home loans to people with bad credit histories and low FICO scores. “Jared uses the Jenga block-stacking game to show Baum and his gang how a CDO is built on this very vulnerable foundation and will inevitably fall. When Jared pulls away a few pieces, the whole thing collapses.”

Vennett sparks a pivotal sequence when he challenges Baum to attend the American Securities Forum in Las Vegas. “Jared essentially tells Mark, ‘Your bet is against dumb money and I want to show you just how dumb that money really is,'” says Gosling. “When he takes the FrontPoint gang to Vegas, they finally see how oblivious and arrogant these money managers are.”

Gosling had the opportunity to meet the real-life Wall Street banker his character is based on. “He was very helpful in terms of helping me to wrap my head around the language and what really happened,” says the actor.

The Big Short Ryan Gosling

Unlike the film’s other protagonists, Jared Vennett comes across as a smooth-talking Wall Street insider, outfitted in a hairpiece from hairstylist Adruitha Lee and wigmaker Alex Perrone and immaculately dressed in form-fitting suits crafted by costume designer Susan Matheson. Serving double duty as the film’s narrator, Jared at times addresses the audience directly. Gosling sparked to the challenges of using his character’s surface charm to bring clarity to a widely misunderstood story.

“The inspiration that made me want to be part of this film came from the way it treats the audience as smart people,” he says. “So much Wall Street terminology is designed to take advantage of consumers. The way Adam McKay tells this story helps you understand what really happened.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 20, 2016, “The Big Short” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.