Happy world with overly optimistic creatures awaits in ‘Trolls’

From DreamWorks, creators of highly successful animation such as “Kung Fu Panda,” “How To Train Your Dragon” and “Madagascar” comes “Trolls,” the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year.

“Trolls” takes the audience to a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic creatures (Trolls), with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. “Trolls” features the voice of Anna Kendrick as Poppy, the optimistic leader of the Trolls, and her polar opposite, Branch, played by Justin Timberlake. Together, this unlikely pair of Trolls must embark on an adventure that takes them far beyond the only world they’ve ever known.

Leading the happy bunch of Trolls is Poppy (Kendrick), a relentlessly upbeat — if slightly naive — Troll whose father King Peppy saved his subjects from the Troll-hungry Bergens. As she and her group of nine friends, the Snack Pack, face their biggest challenge ever, Poppy is faced for the first time in her life with a problem that apparently can’t be solved with a song, a dance and a hug. But after some hilarious attempts at saving the day, Poppy discovers that being true to yourself is always the best answer.

Justin Timberlake takes on the role of Branch, the over-cautious paranoid survivalist in Troll Village, who lives in fear of invasion from the Bergens. The only Troll in the village who doesn’t sing, dance or hug, Branch lives a disgruntled existence, constantly trying to prepare for the worst. He’s constantly flummoxed by the over-the-top positivity of the other Trolls — is he the only sane one in this crowd of exuberantly happy Trolls? Over the course of the film, Branch will be challenged to embrace his inner Troll, even if it includes a dreaded burst of singing and dancing. Will he learn to find inner happiness with Poppy at his side?

“Trolls” also features the voices Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop and Gwen Stefani.

DreamWorks’ and 20th Century Fox’s “Trolls” is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures that will open in cinemas nationwide on October 26, 2016.

‘Ghostbusters’ taps comedy chops of Chris Hemsworth

One of the most sought after actors in Hollywood today, Chris Hemsworth (“Thor” and “The Avengers” series) takes on the role of receptionist Kevin, a clueless man with a sweet simple attitude that both charms and confounds his female bosses to no end, in Columbia Pictures’ new action-adventure “Ghostbusters.”

“Ghostbusters” makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.

Once the Ghostbusters go into business for themselves, they need a little help out front. And what better help could they ask for than an attractive, dim-witted receptionist. Kevin might be a few apples shy of a barrel but he’s good-natured and sweet, and when the chips are down, he’s another Ghostbuster at heart – another misfit who finds a home.

For the role, director Paul Feig tapped the unexpected comedy chops of Chris Hemsworth. And even though his co-stars are comedy pros, they were impressed by his skill. “He’s one of the best improvisers I’ve ever worked with,” says Melissa McCarthy. “That completely threw me, because we were doing 18-minute takes during the interview scene and he was never thrown. He was saying some of the strangest stuff, completely in character – we had to hold for four minutes while Kristen and I tried to stop crying with laughter. He even started singing once, and I had to stop him… I guess he’s just bionic.”

“Kevin is a big, dumb puppy dog,” says Hemsworth of his character. “He’s full of enthusiasm and ambition, but he’s completely naïve and looks at the world from a very, very different angle than everybody else. It’s fun to play someone who is completely unaware.”

“We made Kevin into a loveable kind of lunkhead who has gotten by on his looks, but he earnestly wants to be part of the group,” says Feig. “It takes him a while to figure things out – Kevin’s a little slow on the uptake – but once he gets it, he gets it. Chris turned him into a three-dimensional, hilarious character.”

Just how clueless is Kevin? Check out his glasses. “From the start, I wanted to wear glasses, and Paul was cool with that. But the problem was, the lenses were reflecting the lights, so we took out the lenses – as if no one would notice. And then, midway through, I started scratching my eye, and Melissa started to laugh and said, ‘You’ve got to do that again – and I’ll try not to laugh.’ And the more we thought about it, the more we thought it was perfect – the lenses kept getting dirty, so he took them out. That’s a great, practical response, but only if you look at the world from a different angle from everyone else. He’s quite unique.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas on Friday, July 15, 2016, “Ghostbusters” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Shark lurks in ‘The Shallows’ main poster

The international main poster art of Columbia Pictures’ new, edge-of-your-seat thriller “The Shallows” starring Blake Lively has been released by the studio, ominously showing the dangers that await star Blake Lively.

In the taut thriller “The Shallows,” Nancy Adams (Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach when she finds herself in the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only two hundred yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.

The film is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Non-Stop”) from a screenplay by Anthony Jaswinski (“Vanishing on 7th Street”), and produced by Lynn Harris (“Blade: Trinity”) and Matti Leshem. Executive Producers are Doug Merrifield (“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”) and Jaume Collet-Serra.

Opening across the Philippines on August 10, 2016, “The Shallows” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #FearTheShallows