Shakira sings theme song, voices Gazelle in ‘Zootopia’

International superstar Shakira lends her Grammy®-winning voice to Gazelle, the biggest pop star in the animal city of Disney’s “Zootopia.”

She also sings the all-new original song, “Try Everything,” written for the film by GRAMMY®-winning singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate. Watch a featurette about Shakira and the song below.

Performed by Shakira, “Try Everything” exemplifies the lead character, Judy’s journey from small-town bunny to big-city cop. “I think that they really captured the spirit of the movie,” says Shakira, “not only in terms of the music, but the lyrics, too. It’s a song about being unafraid of your dreams and being willing to fight for them.”

Revered worldwide by herds of fans, Gazelle is a socially conscious celebrity with equal parts talent and heart. “Gazelle really embodies the spirit of the city, where anyone can be anything,” says director Rich Moore. “Hers is a message of hopefulness, inclusion, fellowship and camaraderie.”

“Shakira is really warm and genuine,” says producer Clark Spencer. “After meeting her, we revisited the character. She really gave us a great sense of who Gazelle is.”

“I am deeply grateful to have been a part of this amazing project,” says Shakira. “This film is beautiful, funny, smart, engaging and leaves the viewer with a great message and a joyful heart! It’s one of the most powerful animation movies I’ve ever seen and I dare say I think audiences will agree.”

Artists had to infuse a pop-star personality in a fast-moving hoofed animal. Says Renato Dos Anjos, head of animation, “Gazelles are very tiny animals who often go up on two legs when they’re eating so they can reach the lower branches. They’re cute and dainty with fragile-looking legs. But they’re incredibly agile and powerful. We blended what we observed with a nod to some of Shakira’s mannerisms—the way she squints her lids, for example—to fully capture the character’s powerful persona.”

The character’s performances showcase her celebrity status with active eyelashes and expressive head tilts. And she sports a stylish ‘do. “We gave Gazelle these long curly bangs,” says Michelle Robinson, supervisor of character look development. “There were a lot of discussions about that. There are only a couple characters in the whole film that have anything approaching a human hairstyle and Gazelle is one of them.”

Opening across the Philippines on February 17, 2016, “Zootopia” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #ZootopiaPH.

New ‘Ghostbusters’ images show cast up-close

Columbia Pictures has just released new cast images from its highly anticipated “Ghostbusters” reboot, giving fans their first look of Chris Hemsworth in-character as the Ghostbusters’ secretary. This was quickly followed by the rollout of new photos of the main cast – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

Thirty years after the original film took the world by storm, “Ghostbusters” is back and fully rebooted for a new generation. Director Paul Feig combines all the paranormal fighting elements that made the original franchise so beloved with a cast of new characters, played by the funniest actors working today. Get ready to watch them save the world this summer!

Kristen Wiig plays Erin Gilbert, a particle physicist, academic firebrand, spectral warrior; Kate McKinnon is Jillian Holtzmann, a nuclear engineer, munitions expert, and proton wrangler; Melissa McCarthy is Abby Yates, a paranormal researcher, supernatural scientist, and entity trapper; and Leslie Jones is Patty Tolan, a ghost tracker, municipal historian, and metaphysical commando.

“Ghostbusters” also stars Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams and Chris Hemsworth.

The film is written by Paul Feig & Katie Dippold, based on the film “Ghostbusters” written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and Directed by Ivan Reitman.

Opening across the Philippines on July 2016, “Ghostbusters” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.


‘Gods of Egypt’ rouses action, stunning visual effects

The power of ancient myths and the imagination of today’s most gifted storytellers have come together for the action fantasy adventure movie “Gods of Egypt,” a grandly entertaining spectacle that transports audiences into a vivid universe of larger-than-life figures locked in epic battle.

In this “Gods of Egypt,” the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites) undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in an unlikely alliance against Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the spectacular final confrontation.

Horus in mythology is known as the Lord of the Air. While his ego is initially inflated by his status as a god, through his association with Bek, Horus slowly learns to respect mortals, and even develops a liking of them. It’s a change of heart he’ll need if he’s going to avenge the death of his father Osiris and retake the throne from the usurper Set. Horus’ deity is a winged and armored form with a falcon-shaped head. His power resides in his eyes.

One of today’s fast-rising actors, Brenton Thwaites, stars as Bek, a mortal who is affably mischievous. Bek comes from modest beginnings and has little to offer the woman he loves, Zaya (Eaton), aside from his heart. Having lost faith in the gods, Bek relies on his own zeal and ingenuity to make his way in life.

Imagine a world carved from stone and gilt in gold. Visually futuristic, this realm conjures an alternate world where ancient gods live among mortals. This coexistence between beings existed so long as there was peace, but the trust between man and god has been shattered by hubris, jealousy and betrayal as the destruction of all creation dawns nears. Visionary director Alex Proyas has created an otherworldly Egypt, beyond time and history, in which moviegoers voyage through dazzling cityscapes, mythological characters, and epic heroism in this pulse-pounding, fantasy action-adventure. Proyas envisions a completely unique, one-of-a-kind world by combining the timeless art of storytelling and the latest in digital cinema technology.

“Gods of Egypt” also brings an impressive cast of immensely talented and engaging actors such as Geoffrey Rush, Elodie Yung, Chadwick Boseman Abbey Lee, Yaya Deng, Courtney Eaton and Rufus Sewell.

Bringing to life a complex array of fictional characters, “Gods of Egypt” is an original story unlike anything viewers have seen that will open this February 24, 2016 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

MOVIE REVIEW: Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight (2015, US)
A film by Tom McCarthy

Spotlight reserves its horrors in the dark realms of its subject matter: a controversy that has long since been known to the people involved—the culprits and the bodies that protect them, the victims and their silenced families and friends—that even if everybody in the almost-strictly Catholic city of Boston knows that something wrong was going one, no one puts a foot forward to do anything until the spotlight is rightfully showered to break the truth and break the silence.

Featuring a memorable ensemble that makes up the Spotlight investigative team at Coolidge Corner in Boston, the movie boasts itself with a loud statement that does not need any grand scenes to highlight its characters one after another. It just lets itself flow as how it did in 2001, with the real story being unearthed piece by piece and ultimately put together in one concrete report that sum up allegations of abuse in what seems to be a highly-trusted institution: the Roman Catholic Church. Thrilling as it should be, it remains on a plateau of emotion, jumping on its place whenever needed to give tension that is restrained and believable.


There could have been confrontations here and there, thrown in with some dramatizations of the pedophilia scandals, but the movie solely obliges into giving the bird’s eye of the journalists that are more than eager to unravel the mysteries. The movie, as helmed by director Tom McCarthy, simply chooses to go into a different path which makes it all the more engrossing as how rooting for justice should be existent. One way or another, in the process of gathering all information and converting suspicions into breadcrumbs left by the abusers and their backups, the revelations are satisfying enough to justify the slow buildups and the minimalist voice embedded into the dialogues penned by McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer.

The investigation starts with one curious action with further focuses on the larger picture it actually is. When a new editor by the name Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) is hired in the The Boston Globe, he meets Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) who leads a small group of journalists who spend months of investigative research before publishing controversial, eye-opening articles.

The idea of pushing the investigation forward comes about after Baron reads an article revealing that the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, had prior knowledge but took no action on the child sexual abuse committed by the priest John Geoghan. Right then, Journalist Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) gets in touch with the source of this essential information: a lawyer named Mitchell Garabedian who is at first hesitant to accept an interview until he is told—in spite of the team’s protocol not to do so—that Rezendes is on the Spotlight team.

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From what appears to be an investigation centered on a single priest who was mysteriously transferred a lot of times with the designation of being on sick leave, a pattern is revealed indicating that there are several Catholic priests in Massachusetts who sexually abused children during their terms. In fact, the Boston Archdiocese has its own scrupulous ways to cover things up. From one, the figure is raised to thirteen priests and ridiculously totals to eighty-seven.

In order to prove their claim, the Spotlight team contacts the victims one by one, painstakingly bearing the stories that are equally heavy as merely hearing them straight from the horse’s mouth. The movie puts a finger on human sensibilities and its power to feel, look back and anticipate repercussion. Moreover, it touches the scandals with meticulous fingers that are meant to uncover and not to be biased on any party concerned. In one arresting scene, journalist Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) walks into the doorstep of a retired priest who happens to be accommodating enough to answer her spot-on question if he has ever molested a child. As these particulars are weaved together, there is no denying how torturing it is to dig deep into the dirt of the Church just so to face the truth overpowered by no less than power itself.

There is no flashback to support the parts that the team discovered, most especially in light of the historical notes. Indeed, it is such a strong point of the movie inasmuch as veering away from the conventions of drama and straightforwardly resorting to the beauty of being keen to the details of the very probe. There is this fright inside Matt Carroll (Brian D’Arcy James) knowing that an allegedly abusive priest included on the long list in fact his neighbor. Distressed, he puts on a note to remind his kids to stay away from the house of the priest.

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Harmony is marred as psychological dysfunction hysterically spreads albeit quietly among the community. There is also this notion that the decade-old controversy, which could actually date back up to century-old tales of hearsay and unproven arguments, will in due course gear for a domino effect. There are small moments in which the team just stares blankly at kids playing on the streets and young singers of a choir, reminding them that the future is at stake including the holistic being of their children—our children—as well what could have been the effect, knowing that the abuse can happen to basically anyone.

After the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, the team regains their drive especially after discovering the evidence pushing on Cardinal Law’s knowledge on the matter and ignoring it. With more legal documents opened, they start to write the report for publishing in early 2002. When they are ready for printing, Robinson admits that he is the recipient of the list of 20 pedophile priest back in 1993 on which he did not follow up. Even so, Baron reaffirms the team that they are doing a good job, let alone essential to the world. Later on, this report is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the bravery of the coverage.

The haunting music plays on and reverberates to the senses. The story closes with the onset of survivors calling in to tip their stories to the Spotlight team. Through confessions and testimonies, the Boston Globes is able to publish almost 600 stories about the scandal. This leads to the public accusation on hundreds of priests and brothers for having allegedly abused children within the Boston Archdiocese. In Boston alone, there are more than 1,000 survivors. On its last few endnotes, the movie runs a list of places in which major abuse scandals have been discovered. Not much to our surprise, the list includes familiar places: Bontoc, Cebu City, Manila, Naval and Tubay, all of which are from the Philippines.

WINNERS: BAFTA Awards 2016

The winners at the 69th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) have been announced Sunday (GMT) at the Royal Opera House in London. Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the award-giving body honors the best British and international contributions to film in 2015.

BAFTAs is known as the biggest film awards outside the U.S.

Here is the complete list of winners at BAFTA 2016:

Best film

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
WINNER: The Revenant

Best director

Adam McKay – The Big Short
Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
Todd Haynes – Carol
Ridley Scott – The Martian
WINNER: Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant

Best actress

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
WINNER: Brie Larson – Room
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Best actor

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
WINNER: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Matt Damon – The Martian
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Best supporting actor

Benicio del Toro – Sicario
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
WINNER: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Best supporting actress

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Julie Walters – Brooklyn
WINNER: Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Rooney Mara – Carol

Outstanding British film

45 Years
WINNER: Brooklyn
The Danish Girl
Ex Machina
The Lobster

Best original screenplay

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
The Hateful Eight
Inside Out
WINNER: Spotlight

Best adapted screenplay

WINNER: The Big Short
Steve Jobs

Best makeup and hair

The Danish Girl
WINNER: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Best cinematography

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
WINNER: The Revenant

Best documentary

Cartel Land
He Named Me Malala
Listen to Me Marlon

Best original music

Bridge of Spies
WINNER: The Hateful Eight
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best British short film

Mining Poems or Odes
WINNER: Operator

Best British short animation

WINNER: Edmond

Best editing

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
WINNER: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Best sound

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
WINNER: The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best special visual effects

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
WINNER: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

EE Rising Star (voted for by the public)

Bel Powley
Brie Larson
Dakota Johnson
WINNER: John Boyega
Taron Egerton

Best animated film

WINNER: Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep the Movie

Best costume design

The Danish Girl
WINNER: Mad Max: Fury Road

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer

Alex Garland (director, Ex Machina)
Debbie Tucker Green (writer/director, Second Coming)
WINNER: Naji Abu Nowar (writer/director, Theeb), Rupert Lloyd (producer, Theeb)
Sean McAllister (director/producer, A Syrian Love Story), Elhum Shakerifar (producer, A Syrian Love Story)
Stephen Fingleton (writer/director, The Survivalist)

Best production design

Bridge of Spies
WINNER: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best film not in the English language

The Assassin
Force Majeure
WINNER: Wild Tales

Outstanding British contribution to cinema

Angels Costumes

Fellowship recipient

Sidney Poitier