SM Cinema’s Family Movie Day features latest adaptation of ‘Pinocchio’

SM Cinema is treating families to a day of fun activities, freebies, and an exclusive family movie where kids will get to watch for free on July 2 and 3.

The SM Cinema Family Movie Day invites all families to spend an unforgettable, fun-filled weekend with a complimentary movie for the kids. By purchasing two (2) tickets to the family movie of the month, two (2) kids will get to watch for free. The family movie day kit includes one (1) free bowling game, one hour skating pass, one-month subscription to Blink, and other perks from Pancake House, Nivea Men, and other brand affiliates Patrons will also have access to a kids’ corner, full of different games and activities that children will surely enjoy.

From CrystalSky Multimedia, the latest adaptation of the classic “Pinocchio” finds poor old toymaker Geppetto who carves a a piece of pinewood into a puppet, which he names Pinocchio. Geppetto is delighted when his puppet suddenly comes to life, but Pinocchio is full of reckless whims and wild ideas. Before long, his crazy escapades cause considerable damage in the village, causing big problems for Geppetto – who loses his temper with his “son”. Pinocchio runs away from home and winds up in a series of madcap adventures: He meets the puppeteer Mangiafuoco, who almost throws him into the fi re; he is tricked by two petty gangsters, the Fox and the Cat; he is abducted and transformed into a donkey by an evil coachman – and then sold to a circus-owner, who wants to turn him into salami. Meanwhile, Geppetto is searching desperately for Pinocchio, and ends up being swallowed by a whale. But at the end of a long, adventurous journey, Pinocchio – having learned how to be considerate and courageous – manages to rescue his “father” from the whale and become a real boy.

SM Cinema aims to encourage families to dedicate a time for bonding with each other by bringing back the Filipino’s classic habit of weekend-movie-watching with the family at the cinema.

The SM Cinema Family Movie Day will begin with its debut feature film “Pinocchio” on July 2 and 3 and will occur monthly in SM branches nationwide.

Tim Burton produces, James Bobin directs ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’

James Bobin (“The Muppets”) directs Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” bringing his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen with 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” which became a global blockbuster (to the tune of over $1-billion gross) and cultural sensation.

For years the producers of “Alice in Wonderland” talked of a second film. Explains producer Suzanne Todd, “We had discussions about what would be interesting thematically and what we wanted the story to convey, but we just weren’t there yet.”

Screenwriter Linda Woolverton (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King”) had been working on a follow-up to her “Alice in Wonderland” screenplay, and soon delivered a clever script which continued the adventures of Lewis Carroll’s vibrant characters and infused them with imagination and heart. Todd shares, “Linda had written a new story told through the prism of the book about the characters and what had happened since we last saw them, as well as what happened to them in the past, and everyone loved it.”

A long-time fan of Carroll’s work, Johnny Depp was pleased to see how respectful Woolverton was of the material. “Editing Lewis Carroll is close to impossible,” says Depp. “You have to come at it with another angle but still keep it focused on the source, which Linda did brilliantly.”

Tim Burton also returns to “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” this time as a producer. He explains, “As a producer you’re there to support the director in whatever way you can, but you are still just as passionate about the project.”

“I really liked James Bobin from the moment we met,” continues Burton. “He’s smart, enthusiastic and full of energy and he had a clear vision as to where he wanted to go with the story and characters, which was nice, as we needed a director who could keep the film similar in look and tone, but who could also approach the story from a different perspective, and that’s a tough balance to get right.”

Bobin has always been intrigued by the concept of time and changing the past, as well as all the questions it posed, which happened to fit perfectly within the framework of Woolverton’s story. The screenwriter soon turned in a new draft with Time as an actual character. “The passage of time is something Alice has always regarded as a bad thing, because time took her father from her at a very early age,” says Bobin. “What she learns in this story is that time isn’t her enemy but is something that can be appreciated.”

Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories which stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. In the film, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.

Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens across the Philippines on July 6, 2016.

“Alice Through the Looking Glass” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, and use the hashtag #ThroughTheLookingGlassPH.

Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander wield guns in new poster for ‘Jason Bourne’

Universal Pictures has just unveiled a new international poster for the highly anticipated sequel, “Jason Bourne.”

Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in “Jason Bourne.” Paul Greengrass, the director of “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” once again joins Damon for the next chapter of Universal Pictures’ Bourne franchise, which finds the CIA’s most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows.

For “Jason Bourne,” Damon is joined by Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel and Tommy Lee Jones, while Julia Stiles reprises her role in the series. Frank Marshall again produces alongside Jeffrey Weiner for Captivate Entertainment, and Greengrass, Damon, Gregory Goodman and Ben Smith also produce. Based on characters created by Robert Ludlum, the film is written by Greengrass and Christopher Rouse.

Opening across the Philippines on July 27, 2016, “Jason Bourne” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

MOVIE REVIEW: Blue Bustamante (2013)

Miko Livelo’s comedy film Blue Bustamante tells the story of OFW George Bustamante’s (Joem Bascon) travails in Japan where he is accompanied by his sleazy friend Roger (Jun Sabayton) in his quest to find the perfect job. Because of a lack of opportunity, eventually George settles for a stuntman job for a children’s TV show Force Five where he plays the hero Blue Force. Or rather, the masked Blue Force, which is the selling point of the film.

What I found impressive about the movie is its lighthearted and yet effective delivery of a socially relevant theme—the plight of the OFWs. It makes use of the ridiculous in order to tell a story of importance in an engaging and humorous fashion. But Blue isn’t only for laughs, it possesses a depth that is at home with the Filipino experience: it is a story about heroism.

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George is a breadwinner: socially conditioned to fend for himself in a foreign land and send money from abroad just so his wife June (Dimples Romana) and son Kiko (Jhiz Deocareza) could live comfortably back home. As his day-to-day episodes with Roger pass, we realize how much of a hero George becomes to his own family, putting their needs first before his own. Notwithstanding the struggle of losing a dignified job as an engineer and being forced to settle for work, which, in his opinion, is so embarrassing that he can’t possibly admit it to his wife, George presses on anyway in the streets of Japan, writing letters to his family whenever he could.

What is more is that the film does not only stop at the familial level, but for me it also comments on the issue of overseas work and the concept of bagong bayani which is essentially tied to the rise of OFWs. In this sense, George becomes a caricature of the modern Filipino family man who must make ends meet far from home. He is therefore a hero on three levels: a hero to his family, a hero to his homeland, and a hero defending the planet Earth from aliens invading the four corners of the television screen. Thematically then, Blue Bustamante does not lack depth.

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The writing is also generally good and there is usually a reason to laugh (either that, or the people at the back row of the Cinema ’76 Theater couldn’t stop laughing and so I decided to laugh with them too. But, who cares, it was funny). Having said this, the film’s brand of humor does not insult intellect, and it does not merely resort to sarcasm or cliche slapstick. Character development is also well-done, and one could easily connect with the film’s main characters. One could feel as much as make fun of June’s housewife woes, or Kiko’s little adventures with his friends, or Roger’s peculiar way of making friends with George. It takes some skill to develop characters naturally and make them come alive, and succeeding in that area is a requirement for every good piece of literature.

I would also note how often the film would engage in unrealistic audio and visual effects to make scenes more ridiculous than they would be otherwise—that is of course, in a good way. Like when a scene lapsed into slow-motion in order to emphasize George’s abdomen prowess, or when they choreographed hardcoded subtitles to give the Japanese girl Ayumi’s dialogue a bit more humor, and who could forget that weird guy Saitoooooooohhh…. (Don’t worry, you’ll get it when you watch it).

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Also commendable is the production design of the film which is spectacular: the vibrant color palette rich in blues; the hilariously unrealistic props and wardrobe of the fictitious show Force Five; the wisely picked locations in the film; and the iconic and unforgettable way George dresses in all denim. There are many more to cite, but if there’s anything I have an issue with, I’m not sure if the girl Ayumi’s fashion fits the 90s, and the film is supposedly set during that decade. However, this is a superfluous detail, and I mention it here just in case some expert on 90s fashion comes up to me and complains why I didn’t bother to write it in this review. Well here, now I’m safe.

All in all, I liked the film. It’s not a grand movie that you must absolutely watch before you die, but it’s also not a terrible one. It’s funny and entertaining, and would most likely appeal to everyone, not just that one weaboo friend we all have. Okay, it might appeal more to weaboos like, like… me. Joking.

So if ever you do get a chance to see Blue Bustamante, bring your barkada and give it a try. It’s definitely worth a watch, and it might inspire you to learn a bit of Nihonggo. I don’t know why, don’t ask me, but it might.

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‘The Legend of Tarzan’ partners with NGO to save forest elephants

Leading up to the June 30 release of “The Legend of Tarzan,” Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and the filmmakers and stars of the film are teaming up with international non-government organization (NGO) Stop Ivory to tackle one of our world’s greatest conservation challenges – the fight to protect Africa’s rare forest elephant and, by extension, save the world’s elephants from extinction.

The sweeping African landscapes that feature prominently in the film were captured on location in the extraordinary country of Gabon, where English conservationist and documentary filmmaker Josh Ponte has spent the last 15 years working to preserve the country’s wildlife. Ponte, who served as the African technical advisor on the film, has focused his efforts on stopping the illegal killing of the rare forest elephants that call Gabon home. In the last 30 years, ivory poaching has reduced the global forest elephant population by two thirds – and half of those that are left live in the Gabonese forest. Without action, even these could be gone in a decade.

Now, the cast, filmmakers and Studios behind “The Legend of Tarzan” are joining forces with Stop Ivory in support of the Elephant Protection Initiative to help save this endangered animal. The partnership was forged in the spirit of creating entertaining, informative and meaningful ways to engage the global community of moviegoers to join the effort to end the poaching of Gabon’s surviving forest elephants while reinforcing the film’s central themes of humanity’s deep connections with wildlife and nature.

The campaign began in earnest with a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the Elephant Protection Initiative, featuring the film’s star Alexander Skarsgård and appearing on Regal Cinemas screens across the United States as part of their “Stars of Hope” program. More information is available at Skarsgård and Margot Robbie will also be featured in an international Stop Ivory PSA, which will be seen in theaters, as well as broadcast and a variety of digital and social platforms.

On Twitter, Warner Bros. and Stop Ivory are participating in a “ReTweet for Good” campaign, with the studio making a donation to the organization for retweets of select Stop Ivory PSAs at designated times. Details will be available on Twitter and on the organization’s website.

Additionally, the Studio has created a featurette, entitled “From Gabon to the Big Screen,” which chronicles director David Yates’ journey with Ponte to capture the landscapes of Gabon for the film. It will bring viewers face-to-face with the beautiful animals they’ve joined forces to save. This video piece will open up the lush rainforests of Gabon and highlight the integral role forest elephants play in the ecological backbone of the region.

Finally, a limited number of movie-goers who see the film in international markets will receive a special plush elephant, signifying an additional donation has been made by Warner Bros. to the Stop Ivory campaign. Please visit for more information.

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

The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (the “Captain America” films), Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” upcoming “Suicide Squad”), Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Gladiator”), with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (“Iris”), and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”).

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.

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