Scratastrophic chillogy continues in ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’

In the latest epic family movie adventure Ice Age: Collision Course from the highly successful Ice Age franchise, audiences worldwide will be propelled to new environments like the cosmos and a crystallized world known as Geotopia, with many of the characters beginning their own new journeys.

Scrat is, of course, one character that never changes. In Ice Age: Collision Course he continues his pursuit of the cursed acorn. But this time Scrat’s quest is taking him where no Ice Age character has gone before—the cosmos—where the consequences of his antics are nothing short of “Scrat-tastrophic.” Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age world. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, as they travel to exotic new lands and encounter a host of colorful new characters.

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In this film, Scrat drives the story, instead of merely providing comic relief to the main story of the herd. And it’s about time. Scrat is literally at every major moment in the history of the natural world. He ushered in the Ice Age, started the Meltdown, unleashed the Lost World of the Dinosaurs into the Ice Age, started the separation of the continents—and now, he’s triggered a series of cosmic disasters that threaten the Ice Age world. “In this film, Scrat is pretty much responsible for the expansion of the universe as we know it,” notes Forte. “It’s his version of the Big Bang.”

Director Michael Thurmeier embraced the opportunity to find a unique environment—and catastrophes—for the cherished acorn-chaser. “I see so much potential with what you can do with Scrat,” he notes. “He’s become a true classic animated character. Scrat never stops persevering, no matter what happens to him.”

The filmmakers’ new path for Scrat also presents fresh obstacles to overcome. This time, he must deal with gravitational forces, otherworldly technology, and the infinite mysteries of the cosmos. ICE AGE 5

The new film’s story is deeply rooted in the mythology of the original Ice Age. Producer Lori Forte, who has been with the franchise since its inception, and whose ideas have sparked several of the films’ stories, explains: “In the first film, there was a scene where the herd passes through a kind of ice ‘museum,’ where we see a prehistoric fish, a dinosaur, the evolution of Sid, and then a spacecraft or flying saucer. “We always recognized that the spaceship was intriguing and knew there was some kind of mythology attached to it that we’d someday explore, but at that time we didn’t know exactly what it was,” she continues. “So we decided the time was right to come back around to that piece of Ice Age, and sowed the seeds for Collision Course.”

Another connection to the original film—and to its subsequent chapters—is the herd’s relatable family dynamics, which provide heart and emotion, and complement the comedy and adventure. But like most families, the herd must adapt to a world that’s always in flux. “We take our family of characters further than we’ve seen them before,” says Forte.

Ice Age: Collision Course brings an all-star voice cast with returning and new herd members led by Ray Romano as the voice of Manny the Mammoth, John Leguizamo as Sid, Dennis Leary as Diego, Queen Latifah as Ellie, Jennifer Lopez as Shira, Adam Devine as Julian, Jessie J as Brooke, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Shangri-llama, Josh Peck as Eddie, Simon Pegg as Buck, Sean William Scott as Crash and Wanda Sykes as Granny.

Presented by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Ice Age: Collision Course opens in Philippine cinemas on July 6, 2016.

MOVIE REVIEW: The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

The Legend of Tarzan (2016) Review
Directed by David Yates

The Legend of Tarzan is yet again one of those movies that try to recreate an age-old tale about a character who’s been around in children’s literature since forever. The most recent remarkable rendition in living millennial memory is none other than the 1999 Walt Disney animated feature Tarzan, which I have to say I grew up loving (cue: Phil Collins’ You’ll be in my heart! You’ll be in my heart! Okay, enough). But apparently, there’s also this fairly obscure animated rendition of Tarzan from 2014 subtitled “The Legend lives.” And perhaps the reason why nobody knows about it is because it’s horrible (at least, that’s what the critics say, because I haven’t seen it, and I don’t plan to).

Perhaps there are a dozen other unknown (and unknowable) recreations of the archetypal tale about a young child raised by a pack of apes, whether that be on TV, on film, or in writing, and we don’t have to know them all. But the question is, given that the story has been there since since the original author Edgar Rice Burroughs published his novel Tarzan of the Apes in 1914, does this 2016 Warner Bros. rendition—created a century after—have anything significant to offer to its audience? Allow me to break it down for you.

Visually, I would say the film is good. The cinematography is ace, what with the picturesque plains of Africa, the mighty rivers of the ancient continent, and the subtropical jungles of the Congo (and the chase scenes therein). Production design is also well-done; wardrobe, props, and set design are of the quality expected of a major Hollywood production company. I would say, however, that they could have done better with animating the apes who look quite artificial and wouldn’t fool a child into thinking they’re real. I mean, Aslan from the Walt Disney movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe looks more stunning and convincing, and we’re talking about a film that came out in 2005.

legend of tarzan movie

Thematically, I guess the film has some depth. It touches upon issues such as racism and slavery, and I’m a fan of its modern use of Tarzan as a symbol for the struggle between what society would perceive as cultured and what it would negatively label as wild. If I’m allowed to do a bit of interpretation, I guess one of the things the film wants to express is how what may appear civilized on the outside might actually be inhuman in the inside, and vice versa. In this sense, I could say the film has some good points because of its attempt to comment on socially relevant themes. But with regards to the overall writing and how exactly these themes are expressed, eeerrr I can’t say I’m satisfied.

Personally I found its pacing to be a bit too draggy especially during the first quarter of the film when it takes too long to establish its characters and set up the first few blocks of the main conflict. We’re frequently bombarded with memories of John Clayton III as the boy Tarzan, and frankly I find the writer’s use of flashbacks a bit lazy. There are some exceptions, however, but the majority of them don’t contribute much to the build-up of the narrative. What I mean to say is, we already know that Tarzan was once a kid who grew up in the jungles of Africa, so why do we have to be constantly reminded of that? And is there really no other way to establish character background besides the use of flashbacks? Rather than being helpful in heightening the anticipation of the audience, the story is bogged down and made dull.

Having said all this, there was not one scene that made any significant impact in my mind. There were no moments that made me want to hold my breath because everything’s too overwhelming to take, and consequently there were no moments of relief that allowed me to relax and exhale until the cycle repeats. I’m not saying it should try to be a thriller, all I’m saying is if not for the gorillas screaming, I probably would have fallen asleep.

There were also no remarkable lines in the dialogue, no tearjerker moments (I mean, it doesn’t have to, but you know, good drama goes a long way), and no surprising turns in the plot. Quite frankly, it’s a very straightforward, hero-saves-damsel-in-distress, type of narrative. Nothing’s really new, and it doesn’t appear to try to do anything new. We’ve seen this type of story countless of times before, and do we have to see it again?

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I would say that The Legend of Tarzan is your average Hollywood action and adventure movie complete with explosions and desensitizing fight scenes. So to answer my question in the beginning, I can’t say that I found anything remarkable with this newest rendition of the tale. It’s not something you would remember for a long time, and I guess it’s not trying to be that kind of film. To be fair, it’s okay, but it’s not anything great.

Personally, I would not recommend this movie if you’re looking for something that would stun or wow you, or would leave a memory of it that you would carry till you’re aged. But I would recommend it if you’re just looking for some way to get your mind off of things, like if you need to get away from work, or if your kids need their dose of tolerable, cinematic violence. If that’s you, then go ahead, watch The Legend of Tarzan and see if you’ll like it. Everything I said might just be my opinion, and I can be wrong.

Catch Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Legend of Tarzan starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, and Samuel L. Jackson opening in Philippine cinemas June 30, 2016 (Thursday). 

 

World Premieres Film Festival 2016 to debut Vietnam’s ‘Yen’s Life’ at Uptown Cinemas

Uptown Cinemas kicks off the 3rd annual World Premieres Film Festival at Uptown Mall with an exclusive Gala Premiere of the Main Competition entry, Yen’s Life at Uptown Cinema 1, on June 30, 7:30 PM.

READ MORE: GUIDE: World Premieres Film Festival 2016

The event will be attended by acclaimed foreign directors including the international jury which will be judging for the WPFF’s prestigious awards such as the Grand Festival Prize and Grand Jury Prize. The exclusive gala will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s award-winning Vietnamese director Dinh Tuan Vu.

The World Premieres Film Festival is an international celebration of film in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Cinematheque Centre Manila and the Embassies of participating countries where over 60 international films will be showcased at the country’s top cinema venues including Uptown Mall from June 30 to July 10. The festival will be open to the public for a ticket price of P100 at Uptown Cinema 4.

Only 5 films including Yen’s Life are selected to compete in the festival’s Main Competition section. Yen’s Life is a Vietnamese entry, and tells the story of a young Vietnamese woman who, because of a family arrangement, was married off at the tender age of 10.

wpff 2016 at uptown cinemas

The World Premieres Film Festival is a grand international affair that celebrates the wonder of film and the human experience as seen by diverse cultures of the world. The event is also a platform for international and local filmmaking talent to elevate their craft and to reach a wider global audience.

Participating countries will each premiere a new film that has yet to be screened elsewhere highlighted in the festival’s many categories. Audiences will be treated to film entries from all around the world in the Main Competition.

Featured films from ASEAN member states will be screened at the ASEAN Skies section, and narratives of non-ASEAN member states in the Intercontinental section. The WPFF will also present works that take a look in into contemporary cinemas of featured countries, Vietnam, Russia and China.

Experience the World Premieres Film Festival at Uptown Cinemas, one of the country newest and premiere theatres featuring groundbreaking technology and top quality facilities such as the 84-seater VIP Cinema with luxurious reclining seats and free popcorn with drinks.

Uptown Cinemas also goes above and beyond in giving cinema goers their movies on demand with 24-hour screenings every Fridays and Saturdays. Uptown Cinemas also has a dedicated online ticketing service, at http://www.blockbusterseats.com where audiences can see live updates on the WPFF schedule as well as regular screening times.

Enjoy a world class cinematic experience at the country’s premiere cinemas located at Uptown Mall, 36th St. cor. 9th Ave. Uptown Bonifacio in Fort Bonifacio. For more information, please call the Uptown Cinemas hotline at 869-9029. For other inquiries on Uptown Mall please contact the Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Concierge at 709-9888, 709-0888, 0917-8380111 or visit http://www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com.