New ‘Ghostbusters’ team answers call of the haunted

More than 30 years after the first film debuted… more than 25 years after ghosts were last busted on screen… the long wait is finally over. “Ghostbusters” is returning to theaters, with a new team and new characters in a new adventure.

The new film began with director Paul Feig, who, as the creator of “Freaks and Geeks” and the director of “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” and “Spy,” has built an impressive comedy resume of some of recent years’ most successful, groundbreaking, and memorable comedies. Given the opportunity to reboot the franchise, it was Feig who saw a way to bring one of his personal comedy influences into the 21st century.

“I was an enormous fan when `Ghostbusters’ first came out,” he says. “I saw it the opening weekend in the theater and had honestly never seen a comedy do what that movie did to that audience. People, including myself, just lost our minds, not only because it was funny. It was the funniest people – we all loved Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, so seeing them together – this supergroup of funny guys – made it even better. But the thing that put it over the top was the context of an enormous world of fighting ghosts with technology…that’s the greatest idea in the world. It’s one of these things that make you say, ‘I wish I had thought of that idea.’”

Naturally, the idea for another “Ghostbusters” – as a sequel – was one that had been explored for quite a while. “I’ve always wanted to do another sequel,” says Ivan Reitman, who directed and produced the first two iconic films in the franchise, and now produces the new film with Amy Pascal. “It’s one of those movies that you should revisit and I was really hoping that I could do it. But unless we all agreed on something, it wasn’t going to get done. Getting four people – especially these four people – to agree was kind of impossible. And then, unfortunately, we lost Harold.”

With the passing of Harold Ramis in 2014, the studio and Reitman began to look for a new comedic talent to take the helm of a future film. That’s when Feig entered the picture. “I knew they’d been trying to put together a sequel for a long time,” says Feig. “I started wracking my brain. Funny people fighting the paranormal is still the greatest idea ever, and it felt like there was still so much to explore outside the worlds of the first two films. I thought, ‘How would I do it?’ Well, I’d make it with the four funniest women I know. That excites me, because it makes it something new.”

Reitman was excited about the opportunities for comedy in Feig’s idea. “What’s really exciting about Paul’s take is that it’s not about the gender,” he says. “It’s the friendship of four particular characters as they do something extraordinary.”

“At first, we spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted the script to be,” says screenwriter Kate Dippold. “There were so many different creative debates – what elements of the original do you want to see again? What should feel new? Then we talked about the story and the characters. Nobody wanted to do remakes of the original characters – Venkman will always be Venkman. So we came up with four new characters of our own.”

“Paul was intent on making a movie that lived up to the spirit of the original but had a new reason for being,” says Amy Pascal. “It always comes down to the characters, and that is what Paul has always been brilliant at creating.”

It was in this way that Feig approached the film as an entirely new story as a new team answers the call. “I wanted the movie to start with our world today – a world that has never seen ghosts that we can prove,” says Feig. “Our Ghostbusters have dedicated their lives to scientifically proving ghosts exist, but they’re considered loonies, because there’s no physical proof. But when they actually get to see the ghosts they’ve been trying to see for their whole lives, they’re going to prove that their whole lives’ mission was correct. They all have this common goal, and they complement each other.”

So, Dippold and Feig created new characters who would mesh well as a team. He explains: “Abby is the paranormal expert; she’s dedicated her life to studying ghosts. Erin is the physicist, who tries to bring a scientific grounding into it. Holtzmann, the engineer, can take the concepts that Abby and Erin come up with and actually build the physical equipment to fight them. And finally, Patty joins the group as the newcomer who knows the ins and outs of New York City, which will be one of the keys to solving where the ghosts are and what’s happening to Manhattan.”
“You’ve seen men as comedic eggheads but it’s been a long time since have women been portrayed as funny scientists,” says Pascal. “It was a fresh and unique take on the material that needed to be told.”

Opening across the Philippines on July 15, 2016, “Ghostbusters” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Marvel reveals ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,’ ‘Doctor Strange’ synopses

Now that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doctor Strange have just wrapped, fresh plot descriptions have been released in anticipation for the San Diego Comic-Con in just a few weeks.

Here is the new Doctor Strange synopsis:

“Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.”

doctor strange DS-CA_01

Directed by Scott Derrickson, Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme along with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One and Benedict Wong as Doctor Strange’s humble servant, Wong, and, in undisclosed roles, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Scott Adkins, Amy Landecker, and Mads Mikkelsen. This will be released in the Philippines on Friday, November 4, 2016.

Here is the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 synopsis:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

Directed by James Gunn, The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Sean Gunn as Kraglin. New cast members include Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Kurt Russell. This sequel is set to hit theaters May 5, 2017.

‘Finding Dory’ finds glory at No. 1, grosses P101.7-M in 4 days in PH

MANILA, June 20, 2016 – Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory” brought its big-hearted optimism to the Philippine box-office and swam away with P101.7-M in only four days, shattering the biggest opening weekend record for a Disney-Pixar film. This was announced today by a spokesman of Walt Disney Studios Philippines which distributed the film.

“Dory’s” four-day opening weekend figure smashed the previous record of 2015’s “Inside Out” (at P97.2-M) for highest opening weekend for a title released by either Walt Disney or Pixar.

The opening day gross (P10.3-M) of “Finding Dory” last June 16th now also holds the crown for the biggest first-day take for any Walt Disney and Pixar movie.

The sequel to 2003’s “Finding Nemo,” “Dory” arrived in local cinemas with fervent audience anticipation, unanimous critical approval and a unique marketing push with the Manila visit of Filipino animator Paul Abadilla who worked on the film as Set Artist.

In the U.S., family audiences turned out in droves, propelling “Finding Dory” to a massive $136.2 million debut and establishing a new record for an animated film opening.

Its opening weekend results sailed past the previous high-water mark for an animated film — “Shrek the Third’s” $121.6 million launch in 2007 — and ranks as the second-best June debut, behind “Jurassic World’s” $208.8 million bow. Overseas, “Finding Dory” added another $50 million to its haul from 29 international markets, including Australia, Argentina, Russia and China, where its $17.5 million debut ranks as the biggest ever for a Pixar release.

Back in the Philippines, SM Megamall (P2.60-M), SM Mall of Asia (P2.44-M) and Trinoma (P2.26-M) racked up the largest share of box-office receipts, followed by SM North EDSA (P1.86-M), Eastwood (P1.38-M), Power Plant (P1.31-M), Alabang Town Center (P1.29-M), Shang Cineplex (P1.16-M), SM Marikina (P1.15-M) and SM Marikina (P1.12-M).

Also performing above expectations were Glorietta 4 (P1.10-M), Greenhills (P992,700), SM Cebu (P945,900), SM Southmall (P903,700), Greenbelt III (P878,100), Robinsons Magnolia (P834,000), Robinsons Galleria (P804,700), SM Fairview (P770,500), Bonifacio High Street (P762,000) and SM Seaside (P726,500).

Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), who’s living happily in the reef with Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence). When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, the trio takes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium. In an effort to find her mom (voice of Diane Keaton) and dad (voice of Eugene Levy), Dory enlists the help of three of the MLI’s most intriguing residents: Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey (voice of Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz; and Destiny (voice of Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark. Deftly navigating the complex innerworkings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family.

“Finding Dory” is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

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