Daniel Radcliffe whips magic anew in daring caper thriller ‘Now You See Me 2’

Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role in the phenomenal worldwide hit franchise “Harry Potter” enters the magic realm once again in the astounding caper thriller “Now You See Me 2.”

Directed by John M. Chu, “Now You See Me 2” sees the master magicians known as the Four Horsemen return and elevate the limits of stage illusion to new heights to clear their names and ultimately expose the ruthlessness of a dangerous tech magnate. One year after their astonishing Robin Hood-style magic shows win the public’s adulation and confound the FBI, the quartet resurfaces for a dazzling comeback performance that will make their previous escapades seem like child’s play. With the help of FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), the Horsemen — J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) and new addition Lula (Lizzy Caplan) — mount a meticulously planned surprise appearance, in hopes of exposing corrupt tech tycoon Owen Case (Ben Lamb).

But their scheme backfires, exposing Dylan’s involvement with the Horsemen and sending all five of them back on the run. To regain their freedom and their reputations they are forced by wealthy recluse Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) to recover an unimaginably powerful computer chip stolen by his treacherous former business partner — none other than Owen Case. The Horsemen soon find themselves once again squaring off against unscrupulous businessman Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and professional skeptic Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) as they attempt to accomplish the most difficult heist of their careers — but even they cannot anticipate the ultimate surprise awaiting them.

New addition Daniel Radcliffe joins the cast as Walter Mabry, a wealthy boy-wonder entrepreneur in hiding in a fabulous high-rise apartment in Macau. “Daniel has displayed a lot of different sides throughout his career, but this playful, weird, demented side is something we’ve never seen,” explains Chu.

What stood out for Radcliffe about the first film were the wide-ranging experiences of the accomplished cast. “It’s such an amazing group of actors, all bringing such different things from interesting and varied careers,” the actor says. “They seemed to be having such a great time together and that’s really compelling for an audience to watch.”
A mystery man with a complicated proposal for the Horseman, Mabry will not take no for an answer. His background may be high tech, but his passion is magic.

“Jon has done a fantastic job,” Radcliffe says. “To take on something of this magnitude requires real vision. He breaks down immense sequences into streamlined storytelling in a way that is wonderful to watch. There’s a crucial sequence in which the Horsemen have to steal something right under people’s noses. Jon created an incredibly cool, complicated scene that uses stage magic to pull off the heist in a way that hasn’t been seen before on screen.”

There is something about magic that reduces us all to children, believes Radcliffe. “Sleight-of-hand is very hard, but some of the best tricks in the world are so incredibly simple and effective.”

“Now You See Me 2” opened last June 8, 2016 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

Director James Wan terrified audiences again with ‘The Conjuring 2’

In 1970, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren battled a malevolent presence that permeated a remote farmhouse in the US—a case brought to the screen in 2013 in Wan’s hugely successful “The Conjuring.” Then came the most highly publicized case of their careers, Amityville, which would nearly destroy them.

This June, writer/director/producer James Wan seeks to terrify moviegoers once again with his depiction of another highly publicized case involving the real-life horrors experienced by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren with “The Conjuring 2.”

It’s late 1977 when, with the effects of Amityville still haunting them, the Warrens come out of a self-imposed sabbatical and travel to northern London to take on a vile demonic entity that has taken root in the home of the Hodgson family, in the populous borough of Enfield. What is thought by many to be a hoax will become the most documented case in paranormal history.

“Everything Ed and Lorraine have been through since we met them in the first film has been leading up to Enfield,” Wan states. “Out of the repertoire of cases they investigated over their lifetime, Enfield is one of the most compelling…and frightening. It’s also one of the most interesting in that in many ways it is a reflection of the Amityville haunting, so in the film we touch on that as well.”

Returning in their roles as Lorraine and Ed are Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.

Outlining the contrast from the first film, Wan says, “‘The Conjuring’ geography was intimate, a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and this one takes place in council housing in a big city, so the neighbors are close by, there’s traffic. Just by the nature of the setting the people around it are more exposed to what’s happening in this house.”

But perhaps the most frightening peculiarity seen in “The Conjuring 2” is that this time, the family aren’t the only ones the possessing entity focuses on…whatever it is, it attacks the Warrens directly, too, causing both Ed and Lorraine to fear for each other as well as for the Hodgsons.

To adapt the numerous real-life events for the big screen, Wan worked alongside writers Chad and Carey Hayes, who wrote “The Conjuring” and were keen to revisit the Warrens’ world once again, and screenwriter David Leslie Johnson.

“This was the first time I’ve ever worked on a script that was based on a true story,” offers Johnson, who had been eager to work with Wan for some time. “I’ve always been a horror fan, but what was really interesting to me was that this was not only true, but there was so much publicity surrounding this case at the time, and so many witnesses. Even the police had filed reports; this wasn’t just one or two people or an isolated family saying what had happened.”

Chad Hayes states, “This was such a powerful story about a real family falling apart. The father’s gone, the mother’s doing everything to make ends meet, and then this happens. Even after all of our research, it’s just…unimaginable…but it’s true.”

the conjuring 2 movie

“We could see that even with all that Ed and Lorraine went through after Amityville, like being accused of being charlatans,” Carey Hayes observes, “seeing young Janet accused of that as well gave Lorraine something to identify with and Ed something to defend, beyond their usual compassion for families having these kinds of troubles.”

All these years later, Lorraine Warren still vividly recalls the fear she felt immediately upon arrival at the Hodgsons’ home and on first glimpsing the peril the family was experiencing. “I could see the girls were in two beds. Then they levitated, they crisscrossed in the air, and the girls screamed. I knew I needed to help them.”

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

Thomas Jane, Laurence Fishburne star in edge-of-your-seat thriller ‘Standoff’

Thomas Jane, known for his role in “The Punisher” and Laurence Fishburne, known for his works in the blockbuster action trilogy “The Matrix” star in the latest thrilling action film “Standoff.”

“Standoff” pits Carter (Jane), a troubled veteran against a deadly assassin named Sade (Fishburne) trying to kill a 12 year-old girl after she witnesses a murder. Bird, played by Ella Ballentine, is the 12-year-old girl coming to grips with the loss of her own parents. One day while in the cemetery, she witnesses a brutal murder and captures photos of the event on her camera, and attempts to flee with her guardian. But the ruthless Sade kills her guardian and then turns his attention to Bird.

Bird runs toward Carter’s house for help. Concerned, Carter runs to her rescue, but is shot by Sade from a distance. The two victims dash inside and up to the second floor. Armed with a single-barrel shotgun, Carter shoots Sade from the top of the stairs as he enters the living room. Both men assess their wounds and their firepower, and Carter realizes that he has only one shell left. A narrow staircase and a thick wardrobe prevent the men from taking a clear shot, so a game of psychological manipulation ensues.

In recent interviews, Jane enthused on working with Fishburne, “It was a two-hander and I liked that it would just be me and Laurence in a house. That’s always really fun for an actor. When Laurence was interested, it became an easy, “Yes.” So, I went up to Canada and made the movie. It was an interesting little script, and it was like working with jazz musicians, where it’s people you admire and you like their groove and you want to play with them for a little bit. That’s what this kind of thing is about. It’s very fun. It was fun for me. Laurence and I were there playing off of each other the whole time. Some days, I would come in and just be off camera all day because they’d be downstairs shooting Laurence. And then, on other days, Laurence would be off camera, all day, just playing to me while they were shooting upstairs. It was interesting, in that respect. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, where you’d show up to work and not have to get into make-up or wardrobe because you were there to support the other actor. That was your job that day, but that was fun.”

“Standoff” opens June 15, 2016 in cinemas to be released by OctoArts Films International.

thomas jane and ella ballentine in STANDOFF