MOVIE REVIEW: Finding Dory (2016)

“Finding Dory” Review
Written and Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane

One of the most anticipated sequels of the 2016, Finding Dory takes us back to the lives of beloved characters Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), Marlin (Albert Brooks), and Nemo (Hayden Rolence), a year after they crossed the ocean to rescue Nemo from a horrid and mundane fate: living it out in a dental office’s aquarium. Dory now lives right next door to Marlin and Nemo’s anemone home, and has established herself as that kind of family friend (the kind that just shows up unexpectedly). She has become so familiar, Nemo has to warn Dory that anemones sting other fish, but Dory seems to revel in her ignorance.

Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane’s writing team stuck to the formula that made its predecessor a classic: focused on a kind of loss that emboldens you to cross the ocean (quite literally) to regain whatever it is you lost. If it was Nemo before, it’s Dory’s family and memories of her family now.

The film is essentially an origin story for the forgetful Pacific Blue Tang, and how she ended up meeting Marlin in the first place. She has a tendency to lose her memories immediately anyway; but her being able to recollect memories long forgotten drives her to do something about it, lest she forget again.

A smattering of new supporting characters are also introduced to liven up the story even more than it already is: sea lion mates Fluke (a deep and gravelly Idris Elba) and Rudder (Dominic West), tank neighbours Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) and Bailey (Ty Burrell), and breakout character Hank (Ed O’Neill), a selfish, grumpy, self-loathing octopus scared of the open ocean and bitter about losing an arm (Dory’s relentless persuasion of him being a septopus instead of an octopus didn’t help, either). Flexible enough to slither (and scale hanging structures) along the ground and capable to change his colour and texture to blend anywhere, Hank is not only entertaining, he also ends up becoming an unexpected bestfriend to our favourite Blue Tang (and I’ll never get tired of seeing him in stroller).

As it is, one of the most thought-provoking aspects of the film is the relationship Dory had with her parents Charlie (Eugene Levy) and Jenny (Dian Keaton). Growing up as a fry with short-term memory and a speech impediment, the film once again shows the challenges of taking care of a child with special needs or disability (Nemo, in fact, is a comparable to a child with one shriveled arm). It’s not something everyone can relate to, but it’s still quite evident, and pulls at the heartstrings a bit too strong.

Finding Dory is not as fresh as the first, but understandable due to the fact that as a sequel, it simply follows a tried-and-tested formula (compared to the risk of the first movie, which could’ve bombed for all we know). Its saving grace though is the wonderfully talented wring pool Pixar has in its studios, making the story happy and poignant, calming and thought-provoking, all at the same time. It’s like Beef Rendang. It almost has everything, but doesn’t feel spoilt. The harmony of so many things combined together, without the chaos. In the end, it’s worth a watch. And it’s worth every peso.

World Premieres Film Festival 2016 presents six Filipino New Cinema finalists

The Film Development Council Philippines in cooperation with the Cinematheque Centre Manila proudly present the third World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF) slated from June 29 to July 10, 2016.

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

The FILIPINO NEW CINEMA section of the Festival is focused on celebrating Filipino filmmaking talent in the country. The Filipino New Cinema section will bring contemporary Filipino films to cinema screens in Manila and the rest of the country, including the Cinematheque Centre Manila, Uptown Cinema, SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, Greenbelt 3, and Shang Cineplex.

The six featured contemporary Filipino films will all compete for the festival awards, including Best Director, Best Picture (1st and 2nd place), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Musical Score, Best Sound Engineering, Best Production Design, Best Performances, and Best Supporting Roles.

These distinctly Filipino stories, as well as receiving financial grants from the festival organizers, will soon be presented for the jury’s and audience’s appreciation.

“Curiosity, Adventure, Love”, co-directed by Sunshine Lichauco De Leon and Suzanne Richardone, is a heartwarming documentary that weaves together the life of 104-year-old American Jessie Lichauco, who first arrived in the Philippines alone in 1933 and was granted an honorary Philippine citizenship in 2012, with the history of the country. Bridging together past, present, and future, the film takes us on a journey of a century of humanity, love, home, war, faith, and rebuilding a nation.

In Alvin Yapan’s “EDSA”, a popular highway in Manila becomes symbolic of the country’s cultural and national condition – with traffic being an apt metaphor for stagnant progress. Three stories collide as they navigate the city from different perspectives, pondering the same question: what matters most, the individual or the whole?

“Ringgo the Dogshooter”, by first-time director Rahyan Carlos, is an unconventional tale that follows the journey of 16-year-old Ringgo (Sandino Martin), a boy who falls into working as a dog-shooter – one who assists in mating dogs for breeding purposes. Ringgo works for Bong (Janice de Belen), a dog breeder that owns a troubled Doberman named Inca. Things get complicated when their personal relationships go awry.

Raynier Brizuela’s “Memory Channel” stars Gerald Santos as Leo La Torre, a local singer who suffers from retrograde amnesia, which results in depression and anxiety. When retired psychiatrist Martin (Epy Quizon) helps him recover his past through a method named the “memory chanel”, Leo goes through a turbulent journey that ends in a true understanding the concepts of trust and patience.

Ronaldo Bertubin’s “KU’TE” captures the story of Emong (Johan Santos), who raised his sister, LenLen (Marielle Therese), with Down Syndrome, by himself. As the film maps LenLen’s own physical and emotional struggles in a society that sees more the incapacity and less the capability of disabled people, Emong’s own harrowing moral journey, made more confusing by on-off romance with Roldan (Nico Gomez), is kickstarted when a shock discovery is made about his sister.

Mel Chionglo’s “Iadya Mo Kami” follows Father Greg (Allen Dizon), a wayward diocesan priest who is reassigned to a parish up in the mountains. His relationship with a young woman, Carla (Diana Zubiri), results in pregnancy. One night, the priest discovers the dead body of the town’s richest man in the church. He embarks on a mission to solve the crime, leading to his own personal salvation.

From June 30 to July 2, the FNC Gala Premieres (by invitation only) will take place at SM Megamall and SM North Edsa, followed by a Q&A with the Director and Cast.

The Festival’s 12-day duration kicks off on June 29 – 3pm at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, with the Opening Film premiere of the newly restored classic, “Pagdating sa Dulo” by Ishmael Bernal. The Opening Night will take place later that evening at 7pm, with a variety of local and international performances. This intimate opening show is set to give audiences a sneak peek into the films lined up for the WPFF’s newest edition.

The WPFF celebrates the power and magic of film by showcasing the works of film directors from across the globe. Featuring a dazzling array of human narratives and cultural diversities, the festival provides a unique opportunity for talented filmmakers to reach new audiences in the Philippines, and across Asia’s rapidly growing film climate.
Sections in the festival include the Main Competition and Filipino New Cinema, as well as the Intercontinental, Vietnam – Country of Honor, ASEAN Skies, and many more.

From June 29 to July 10, the WPFF 2016 will be showing over 60 international films at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, as well as partner venues: SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas.

Films will be shown at a festival price of P100 at all venues, unless indicated otherwise.

Film tech expo IFX all set at the World Premieres Film Festival 2016

In need of new, smarter ways to make your films?

A celebration of the future of cinema comes your way via the Mini International Film Expo (IFX), a cool and compact fair of the film industry’s newest technology, at the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival 2016 starting July 1 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila!

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

Spinning off of the previous Festival’s IFX and accompanying the International Film Conference (IFC), a forum of today’s film leaders and their perspectives on the industry, the Mini IFX will present everything from drones to 8k for dedicated filmmakers (and even casual audiences and hardcore tech geeks) to marvel at and crave for their next film. The select handful of exhibitors, RSVP Film Studios, CMB Film Services, Arrays Technology, and Black Magic, are ready to dazzle us with their shows of digital gadgetry and innovations.

With the Mini IFX, we’ll have more ways to #EnjoyTheScene this #WPFF2016.

The Mini International Film Expo will be open to the public from July 1, 11 am to 6pm, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, as one of the many events of the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival 2016.

The World Premieres Film Festival is a showcase of the works of film directors from across the globe, happening from June 29 to July 10 , 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila as well as at partner venues SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas.

WPFF 2016 to inaugurate Film ASEAN Knowledge Management Centre

In keeping with the events of the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival 2016, the Film ASEAN Knowledge Management Centre will be inaugurated on June 30 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila.

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

The Film ASEAN Knowledge Management Centre is a library on the moving image culture of the Philippines, its neighboring nations, and beyond. It will be a resource hub for those interested in learning about ASEAN cinema cultures, creating access to books, magazines, and a rich variety of resource materials graciously contributed by the ten member states of the FILM ASEAN—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The diverse ASEAN films gain a special home in the centre, giving scholars and researchers a window into the different societies, traditions, and stories offered. Workshops and symposia will also be held to further develop the cultural exchange of information and skills of the ASEAN nations, helping build proficient filmmakers across the region.

The inauguration of the Film ASEAN Knowledge Management Centre will welcome prestigious leaders of the ASEAN member states into the complex. The FILM ASEAN Library will officially open on June 30, at 10am. This is an invite-only event.

These events are all to bolster FILM ASEAN’s drive to create one international community of forward-thinking filmmakers and enthusiasts from the ASEAN region, with the goal of “One Vision, One Identity, and One Community.”

The Film ASEAN Knowledge Management Centre inauguration is by invitation-only and a parallel event of the 3rd World Premieres Film Festival, a showcase of the works of film directors from across the globe, happening from June 29 to July 10 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila as well as at partner venues SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas.


World Premieres Film Festival 2016 hold Int’l Film Conference

Ready for a behind the scenes glimpse into the film industry?

This year’s International Film Conference (IFC) is to focus on the topic “Behind the Scenes: a 360 degree view of the film industry.” The roster of IFC speakers includes top-tier film industry leaders from around the globe.

A central event of the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines, this year’s IFC is to be held at the Casino Español de Manila on Friday, July 1, starting at 11 a.m.

GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

After nearly a decade of working in the media and broadcasting industry for international events like the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, Katharina Böttinger currently works as a manager in the Sales and Technical Department of the European Film Market (EFM), one of the most prestigious film markets in the world and the business center of the Berlin International Film Festival. She will discuss the role and importance of the EFM, and why it is essential for film industry players to attend the EFM in Berlin every year.

President of SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc., Edgar Tejerero led the way for SM Cinemas to become the brand that is today, making it a major market shareholder of cinema exhibition in the country. He pioneered the conversion of all SM Cinemas to have full digital facilities, putting SM Cinemas at the forefront of the digital cinema revolution. He will discuss the current state of film exhibition and venue theater development in the Philippines.

A partner lawyer of Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP, based in Los Angeles, Ted Roper focuses on contract, corporate, and commercial law and serves as a counsel to a number of Japanese corporations. His writings have been featured in various publications including Bridge USA, Japanese Business News, International Legal Strategy, and UJP News for Japanese Executives. He will discuss copyright laws and the legal dynamics of film within the industry.

A veteran producer, Jonathan Hyong-Joon Kim has had a prolific career in the Korean film industry for nearly three decades. He has served two terms as the Chairperson of the Korean Film Producer’s Association, produced over twenty full length feature films, and performed as an executive consultant for the South Korean entertainment conglomerate CJ E&M. Now owner of his own multinational production company called Hanmac Culture Group, he will discuss international film co-productions with Korea.

Free and open to the public, the IFC aims to impart global film industry perspectives to everyone from those in the Filipino film industry, to students alike.

With the IFC, we’ll have more ways to #EnjoyTheScene this #WPFF2016.

The World Premieres Film Festival is a showcase of the works of film directors from across the globe, happening from June 29 to July 10 , 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila as well as at partner venues SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas.


Samuel L. Jackson plays real-life unsung hero in ‘The Legend of Tarzan’

Iconic actor Samuel L. Jackson stars in Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Legend of Tarzan as George Washington Williams, a real-life but relatively unsung hero from 19th-century American history who becomes Tarzan’s unexpected ally in the film.

“George Washington Williams was a man of so many talents and such bravery – to be this 14-year-old kid and go off to fight in the war between the States,” Jackson details. “And he went on to run for office, became a preacher, and did so many other things. So it was an opportunity to let people know that there was this man, historically, who actually went to the Congo and wrote a letter to King Leopold II about what he was doing to its population. Hopefully, people will see this movie and dig out their phones – or, as we used to say, ‘go to the library’ – and Google George Washington Williams and find out what actually transpired in the Congo.”

Of course, the real Williams didn’t race through the Congolese jungle with Tarzan, but Jackson says it “makes for a fun relationship” between the mismatched pair, and is part of the story’s subtle nod to the dark period in Africa’s history in which it’s set. “We’re obviously telling a fictional story,” Jackson observes, “but I love the reality of what’s going on inside of it, and [director] David Yates deals with those elements in a very real and positive way.”

Relaxed and easy to laugh, Jackson is clearly having a blast on the project, and admits that his childhood affinity for the Tarzan legend might have something to do with it. “I’d swing on ropes in my neighborhood and everywhere else, pretending and playing Tarzan.”

On his working relationship with Alexander Skarsgård and creating the camaraderie that develops between their characters, Jackson shares, “It’s a fun relationship. Tarzan doesn’t want to like George, but once he realizes his tenacity and his commitment and loyalty, he begins to understand him a bit better. George is considerably older than everybody in the film, and Tarzan, Kwete [played by Osy Ikhile] and the other tribesmen, they run everywhere. So I decided that George would always be trying to keep up, saying, ‘Don’t worry about me. I’m right behind you.’ But by the time I show up, they’ve already made a plan and are getting ready to go somewhere else. I’d be like: [Mimes panting]. And they’d just look at me and take off running again [laughs]. But George keeps his determination up, and every time they think they’ve lost him, he shows up, so that kind of makes them look at him in another way.

“But I met Alex as a little kid when I was doing `Deep Blue Sea’ with his dad [Stellan Skarsgård],” continues Jackson. “Alex would always be in Stellan’s dressing room playing on the computer. So when we saw each other again on this film, I was like, ‘Man, you grew up!’ It was kind of fun to see him become what he’s become.”

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes the action adventure “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård as the legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.

It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

David Yates (the final four “Harry Potter” films, upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) directed “The Legend of Tarzan” from a screenplay by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, story by Brewer and Cozad based on the Tarzan stories created by Burroughs.

Slated for release across the Philippines on Thursday, June 30, 2016, The Legend of Tarzan is distributed in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.