WATCH: Announcement trailer for ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

The “announcement” trailer and one-sheet art for Warner Bros. Pictures’ new animated comedy “The LEGO Batman Movie” have been released by the studio. The trailer may be viewed below.

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO® Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Will Arnett returns to voice the Gotham vigilante in the satirical spin on the classic comic book character for director Chris McKay. The screenplay is written by Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer”).

The film also stars Michael Cera as Batman’s sidekick Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth and Mariah Carey as the Mayor of Gotham.

Opening across the Philippines on February 9, 2017, “The Lego Batman Movie” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Father and son on the run in supernatural thriller ‘Midnight Special’

A father and his son who may have otherworldly powers are on the run from the government in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Midnight Special,” at once a supernatural thriller and an enigmatic and thought-provoking journey into the unknown…and the unknowable.

In “Midnight Special,” a father (Michael Shannon), goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers. What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever, in this genre–defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human.

“I wanted to make a chase movie, a movie about guys moving on back roads through the American South in a fast car, driving at night with their lights off,” says writer/director Jeff Nichols, setting the stage for characters embarking on a collision course with something bigger than they imagine. “They’re on the run, they’re being hunted and, at the same time, they’re racing towards something important, though we don’t immediately know what it is.”

But what appears on its face as an urgent but straightforward pursuit soon reveals layers of depth and a mystifying, otherworldly tenor. As the relationships between the fugitives and their pursuers come into sharper focus, the audience is taken along on an adventure the nature and magnitude of which they can only guess. Says Nichols, “I often compare this film to the reverse of one of those Russian nesting dolls, which start out large and open up multiple times to produce smaller and smaller versions until you get down to the core. This starts with a kind of indie feel, where you’re on the road with these guys, and then it gets progressively bigger and bigger until it falls off the edges of the frame.”

Traveling with Alton are his father, Roy, played by Michael Shannon, and Roy’s childhood friend Lucas, played by Joel Edgerton. Along the way they enlist the support of Alton’s mother, Sarah, played by Kirsten Dunst. Committed to help Alton fulfill his destiny, they will leave behind the lives they knew and do things they never thought possible in a race towards a destination and an appointment that calls only to him. Barely a step behind are the police and the FBI, as well as the NSA, in the form of agent Sevier, played by Adam Driver, and the single-minded devotees of the Third Heaven Ranch, led by Sam Shepard as the charismatic and cagey Calvin.

Nichols, who cites the mood and style of such 1980s sci-fi classics as “Starman” among his artistic influences and inspirations, says, “There’s the suggestion that Alton is meant for something or somewhere else, that his powers are symptoms of what he’s meant to do. As he starts to understand what his abilities are and take control of them, he starts to get healthier and better, whereas when his father tries to control them, for Alton’s own sake, it actually makes him sicker. Roy and Lucas don’t understand his capabilities. And we as the audience aren’t supposed to understand them, either. In one way that’s a metaphor for the fact that our kids are going to be who they are and we just have to have faith in that and let them go.”

In a larger sense, “This is about belief in something you don’t understand,” Nichols continues, insofar as the story explores the nature of faith in its many forms, and the lengths to which people will go for what that means to them. “What would you do if you knew your child was bound for somewhere you couldn’t go?”

“Midnight Special” will be shown exclusively at Century City Cinemas, Commercenter Cinemas, Eastwood Cinemas, Festival Mall and Shang Cineplex starting April 20, 2016. The film is distributed in the Philipines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Scarlett Johansson tempts as Python, Kaa in ‘The Jungle Book’

With only her voice, Scarlett Johansson made people madly fall in love with their computer’s operating system in the futuristic drama “Her.” Now, Johansson once again uses her voice to capture hearts in Disney’s new family adventure “The Jungle Book,” based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film.

Johansson provides the voice of Kaa sets her sights on Mowgli when she discovers him all alone in the jungle. The massive python uses her seductive voice and hypnotic gaze to entrance the man-cub, and Mowgli finds himself unable to resist her captivating embrace.

Says director Jon Favreau, “Mowgli is exploring different regions of the jungle—mistier, darker, more mysterious parts of the jungle. That’s where Kaa lives. That’s where she gets ahold of him—till Baloo rescues him and brings him back to his cave.”

The director says one of his most prominent memories of the 1967 animated movie was the snake. “I always remembered Kaa’s hypnotic eyes with the spinning pinwheels,” he says.

Though Favreau wanted to maintain the spirit of the character, he decided to change its gender. “All the roles were male in the 1967 version, so I thought that there was an opportunity with Kaa to mix things up a little bit,” says Favreau, who called on Johansson to help bring the seductive snake to life.

“The Jungle Book” marks Johansson’s third collaboration with Favreau. She originated the role of Black Widow in “Iron Man 2,” and co-starred in Favreau’s indie hit “Chef.” “I remember seeing the movie ‘Her,’ and what an impact Scarlett made by just using her voice,” says the director. “She has such a presence to her voice.”

Says Johansson, “Ever since I was really young, I’ve loved doing voice work. Actors have different tools—our physical selves, our voices. When you take one of those away you become hyperaware of all kinds of tendencies. It’s an interesting process and sometimes you get these happy accidents and ornaments that decorate the performance. It’s an exciting way to work and dig deeper.

“For me,” continues Johansson, “the opportunity to play Kaa as envisioned by Jon [Favreau] was so exciting. The snake from the animated film is a boy. He’s a friendlier, goofier version of the character. In this film, Kaa seduces and entraps Mowgli with her storytelling—her voice. She’s the mirror into Mowgli’s past. It was thrilling to reinvent this character in this rendering of the story.”

The character is designed to be intimidating, yet believable. “I saw a bit of Kaa early on during the production,” says Johansson. “It was important for me to see how she looks in proportion to Mowgli to help inform the presence and intensity of my voice. I had one tool—my voice—so it would’ve been very difficult without some sort of pre-visual reference.

“Kaa is magnificent,” continues Johansson. “The way that she moves is very alluring, almost coquettish. The audience will see this creature through the innocent eyes of this small boy Mowgli—they’ll become part of his world.”

Johansson has vivid memories of the 1967 version of “The Jungle Book.” “I remember that soundtrack well—it was so popular when I was a kid. ‘Bare Necessities’ was on constant repeat for every kid my age. And the idea of this jungle kid being raised by animals was just fantastic.

“I think little kids can relate to the theme of finding your family—of discovering what it means to be a family,” continues the actress. “The definition of family is such a personal one and families come in all shapes and sizes. But ultimately, family is made up of the people around you who love you unconditionally.”

“The Jungle Book” is an all-new, live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The wild adventure swings into Philippine theaters in 3D on Thursday, April 7, 2016. “The Jungle Book” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 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 #JungleBookPH.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ reveals international poster

Paramount Pictures has just revealed the stunning, international payoff poster of producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. The official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken. Describing the film to Empire Magazine, Trachtenberg says, “It’s a mystery/suspense thriller. If we were in the time of Alfred Hitchcock, he would be calling this ‘a suspense picture’. It very much harkens back to that kind of movie. For me it’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s visceral and exciting and thrilling. It’s all of those things.”

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

New poster up for George Clooney-Julia Robert-starrer ‘Money Monster’

Columbia Pictures has just cashed-in the new one-sheet art of “Money Monster,” the new suspense thriller from the producers of the Oscar Best Picture winner “Argo.”

Directed by Jodie Foster, the film stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell (“300: Rise of an Empire,” “Unbroken”).

In the taut and tense thriller “Money Monster,” Lee Gates (Clooney) is a bombastic TV personality whose popular financial network show has made him the money wiz of Wall Street. But after he hawks a high tech stock that mysteriously crashes, an irate investor (O’Connell) takes Gates, his crew, and his ace producer Patty Fenn (Roberts) hostage live on air. Unfolding in real time, Gates and Fenn must find a way to keep themselves alive while simultaneously uncovering the truth behind a tangle of big money lies.

The film also stars Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito and Caitriona Balfe, while the producers are Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine, George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

Opening across the Philippines in May 2016, “Money Monster” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

WATCH: Everyone is afraid of the dark in first trailer for ‘Lights Out’

From producer James Wan (“The Conjuring”) comes the new horror film “Lights Out,” a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. Watch the thriller’s first trailer below.

When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has re-emerged.

But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

The film stars Teresa Palmer (“Triple 9”) as Rebecca; Gabriel Bateman (“Annabelle”) as Martin; Billy Burke (the “Twilight” franchise) as Martin’s father, Paul; Alexander DiPersia (“Forever”) as Rebecca’s boyfriend, Bret; and Maria Bello (“Prisoners”) as Sophie.

“Lights Out” marks the feature film directorial debut of David F. Sandberg, who directed the film from a screenplay by Eric Heisserer (“Final Destination 5”), based on Sandberg’s own short film. James Wan, Lawrence Grey and Heisserer produced the film, with Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter and Richard Brener serving as executive producers.

Sandberg’s behind-the-scenes team included director of photography Marc Spicer (“Furious 7”), production designer Jennifer Spence (the “Insidious” films), editor Kirk Morri (“The Conjuring”) and costume designer Kristin M. Burke (“The Conjuring”). The music is composed by Benjamin Wallfisch.

New Line Cinema presents a Grey Matter/Atomic Monster production, “Lights Out.”

Slated for release across the Philippines on July 21, 2016, “Lights Out” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ eyes first Oscar nom for John Goodman

First, Hollywood bible Variety proclaimed that John Goodman’s turn in Paramount Pictures’ mystery thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” is “The First Truly Oscar-Worthy Performance of 2016.”

(Watch the latest trailer of “10 Cloverfield Lane” below.)

The article praises, “[H]is performance is impressive for its complexity. Working from a script that ebbs and flows with ease and tension, the actor’s work is like a waltz, gliding on the narrative’s rhythms, commanding acute attention every moment he’s on screen. It’s a clinic, really, a performance as compelling in its quieter moments as it is in its explosive ones. I wouldn’t flinch if someone called it Goodman’s best work.”

Then, two days later, popular movie site Collider ranked John Goodman at No.1 in its list of “25 Great Actors Who Still Don’t Have an Oscar Nomination.” The site explained, “It’s not just the fact John Goodman has starred in so many classics (“Raising Arizona,” “Barton Fink,” “The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Argo”), it’s the fact he was a key component of so many of them. He is the living definition of an ideal supporting actor and might be in line for an honorary Oscar sooner rather than later.”

So, to repeat the title of this article, will “10 Cloverfield Lane” give John Goodman his first Academy Award nomination? Is the universe conspiring to realize this eventuality? We have to wait and see when the nominations are announced on January 2017.

In the meantime, let’s read the actor’s thoughts on the film that could bring him Oscar glory.

Question: Your character in “10 Cloverfield Lane” could be considered an evil villain. Do you find it more satisfying as an actor to play someone of dubious morality?

John Goodman: You get more lines. The flip side of that is that you have more lines to memorize. And at my advanced age, you know. But John [Gallagher Jr.] and Mary Elizabeth [Winstead] were very patient with me, and I had an excellent director.

Q: A lot of movie trailers give away the plot of the entire movie, but that obviously wasn’t the case with “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Since most of the movies produced by J.J. Abrams have a lot of secrecy about them, at what point in the production process was it decided that it would be so secretive? And what kinds of things did you have to do to keep things secret? Did you have to sign confidentiality agreements or have watermarked scripts?

Goodman: [He says jokingly] We only get the rewrites on toilet paper, and it would slowly come to light in a microwave. The unfortunate thing was when we had to eat the script.

Q: What was going through your mind when you first read the script for “10 Cloverfield Lane”?

Goodman: [He says jokingly] Just another day at home. [He says seriously] It was different. That’s the first thing that hit me. It was different from anything I’d read before. It was interesting. It was a page-turner, which is always a good sign. It’s like reading a good book. You want to see what’s going to happen next.

Q: Did you ever see the 2008 “Cloverfield” movie?

Goodman: I’m going to go see it.

Q: What can you say about the production design of the bunker?

Goodman: I just want to thank them for all the books they put in the library, because when I had down time, I’d read the books and put them back. I got through “The Catcher in the Rye” and I think “Farewell to Arms.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. So far, the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Lupita Nyong’o lends voice to Wolf, Raksha in ‘The Jungle Book’

Raksha, a loving and fiercely protective mother wolf, cares deeply for all of her pups—including man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi), whom she adopts as one of her own when he’s abandoned in the jungle as an infant.

Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) was called on to help bring Raksha to life, in Disney’s new family adventure “The Jungle Book,” based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film.

“We relied a little more on Kipling when it came to Raksha,” says director Jon Favreau. “The wolves have a much greater significance in his stories, which was important to me.”

“I just love my character,” says Nyong’o. “She is the protector, the eternal mother. The word Raksha actually means protection in Hindi. I felt really connected to that, wanting to protect a son that isn’t originally hers but one she’s taken for her own.

“I really enjoyed preparing for this and learning about wolves and how social they are, how they stick together,” continues Nyong’o. “There’s such an order—a hierarchy—to a wolf pack. Mowgli tries to fit in with the other wolf pups. He has his challenges, but he is very much a part of the pack as far as Raksha is concerned.”

Producer Brigham Taylor credits the actress with channeling her inner wolf. “Lupita just nailed the emotion of this character, which wasn’t really fleshed out in the animated version,” he says. “She intuitively captured that bond between an adoptive mother and her son.”

Adds Favreau, “She’s elegant and refined, but it’s more than that. She has an accessibility about her that was what we really wanted for Raksha. She feels like a mom, but she clearly comes from somewhere different than where Mowgli does.”

Nyong’o says she was familiar with the story when filmmakers approached her. “I grew up watching the Disney version and loved it so much,” she says. “As a little girl, my favorite character was Baloo. The magic of Mowgli’s story is that every child can identify with that feeling that you are the only one of your kind. I really identified with that idea. And going on an adventure with no adults is the ultimate childhood fantasy. I loved that this kid got to realize himself through this amazing adventure. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story.”

“The Jungle Book” is an all-new, live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The wild adventure swings into Philippine theaters in 3D on Thursday, April 7, 2016. “The Jungle Book” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 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 #JungleBookPH.

WATCH: New ‘Conjuring 2’ trailer confronts possession in London

The new trailer for New Line Cinema’s “The Conjuring 2” has just been unleashed, and is far scarier than the first. Watch the trailer below.

With director James Wan (“Fast & Furious 7”) once again at the helm, the supernatural thriller brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up In the Air,” TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (the “Insidious” films), star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

The film follows the phenomenal worldwide reception of Wan’s “The Conjuring,” which marked the largest opening ever for an original horror movie. The film went on to make more than $319 million worldwide and still remains the second highest grossing original horror movie of all time, second only to “The Exorcist.”

In addition to directing the film, Wan wrote the screenplay with Carey Hayes & Chad Hayes, and David Leslie Johnson.

Opening across the Philippines on June 9, 2016 “The Conjuring 2” is a New Line Cinema presentation and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

PH’s first MX4D Motion EFX theater opens in Vista City, Daang Hari

People from the Metro South, rejoice! You can now experience the best cinema experience available in the world as Vista Cinemas opened its second location at Lifestyle Center in Vista City after opening the first branch in Taguig.

Evia Lifestyle Center is located in Vista City, Daang Hari (Las Piñas-Muntinlupa-Cavite Road / LAMUCAR). The four new movie theaters equipped with unique top-of-the-line features are now ready to redefine the movie-watching experience in the Southern Metro.

Three of the four newly opened cinemas are fitted with the latest and the best in audio technology, Dolby Atmos, which allows movie-goers to feel like they’re part of every scene. Sound produced by the Atmos System is projected from every direction in the cinema and moves with the action on-screen – creating a one-of-a-kind movie experience.

Apart from this world-class sound system, all four theaters of the Vista Cinemas are equipped with luxury seating from the Figueras and Luxos brands available only in select locations around the world.

Figueras is a Spanish brand that specializes in crafting high-end seating for public spaces. Their seats can be found in places such as The White House and the Philharmonie de Paris. Luxos is a specialized line developed by the Japanese furniture brand Okamura. Luxos is a new and original concept of a lounge chair with a lower, reclining seating posture that provides added comfort through its active back structure and smart operation.

Couples living and working in the area can now also get to experience world-class movie dates. Vista Cinema 2 at Evia Lifestyle Center has thirty-one customized love seats that take the romantic movie experience to a whole new level of comfort and coziness.

Best of all, Vista Cinema now brings the first and only MX4D Motion EFX Theater in the country to Southern Metro Manila. This latest evolution in 4D cinema technology features MX4D theater seats that move in-sync with the action on-screen, while special EFX generators inside the cinema make viewers feel every jolt, poke, tilt, plus timed wind and mist atomizers. Vista Cinema’s MX4D theater lets residents in the south enjoy the latest cinema innovations without them needing to go too far from home, avoiding the stress and traffic of the busy Central Metro.

“The flagship MX4D® Philippines installation features MMI’s patent-pending EFX armrest. The unique special EFX delivery system, available as an option from MMI, allows scents, wind, air blasts and water blasts to emanate from each theatre patron’s individual seat armrest.”

The two recently opened top-of-the-line movie theaters are only the first phase of growth for Vista Cinemas. With more Vista Cinema locations all over the country set to open within the year, more Filipinos can look forward to a new era of premier movie viewing, right by their doorstep.

vista cinema

Here are the ticket prices:

  • 2D Atmos Ticket Price – P270
  • 2D VIP Theater Ticket Price – P395
  • 2D MX4D Ticket Price – P450

For more information, you may visit the official website of Vista Malls.