‘Jason Bourne’ returns out of revenge

Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) reunite for “Jason Bourne,” the next chapter of Universal Pictures’ Bourne franchise, which finds the CIA’s most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows.

Almost two decades ago, a brilliant young soldier volunteered for an experimental special-ops program after he was told that terrorists killed his father. He was promised he could honor his family and country by evolving an already impressive intellect, deft agility and adaptable skillset into the unimaginable.

It was all a lie.

Subjected to brutal training he doesn’t remember and by people he couldn’t then identify, the elite-trained assassin who came to be called Jason Bourne was molded into a $100 million human weapon who, according to his designers, malfunctioned.

When Bourne tracked his makers to learn their end game, they tried to erase him and took away the only woman he ever loved. Once he found revenge, learned his real identity and what he believed was the goal of his creators’ campaign, Bourne felt a semblance of peace and vanished…for what he hoped was forever.

Once a new program is activated—one developed by a global power structure more intricate and duplicitous than in the period of superpowers from which Bourne was created—he is flushed out of hiding by an instantly malleable network that is more dangerous than any individual government. The singular goal of this power nexus is to manipulate terror, technology and insurgency to fit its end game.

While his pursuers believe Bourne will come in for reconditioning if they deliver him what he most desires, the most elite weapon ever designed knows what his trackers cannot grasp: even broken soldiers defend the innocent from those with unchecked power.

For “Jason Bourne,” Damon is joined by an international cast led by Academy Award winners Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander, as well as Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh and Scott Shepherd. Julia Stiles reprises her pivotal role in the series.

Based on characters created by Robert Ludlum, the film is written by Greengrass and his longtime collaborator, Academy Award® winner Christopher Rouse (“Captain Phillips,” the Bourne trilogy), who also serves as the thriller’s editor.

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

Director-writer of ‘The Purge’ franchise makes history with ‘Election Year’

With the release of Universal Pictures’ new, blood-soaked thriller “The Purge: Election Year,” James DeMonaco becomes the only writer and director in history to helm all three features of any given franchise.

The first two films, 2013’s “The Purge” and 2014’s “The Purge: Anarchy” earned a combined gross of over $200 million worldwide on a collective budget of $12 million and have been praised for their social commentary and for blending political ideology with horror storytelling.

In the first two “Purge” films, moviegoers were shocked by the deceptively simple premise brought to life by DeMonaco, who drew his inspiration from classic works such as Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.”

The films of “The Purge” series explore how society crumbles when a corrupt government encourages people to take the law into their own hands and prey upon the poorest of our society, and what happens to citizens encouraged to share in that vigilante mentality.

Following the first two films’ success, he returned to this explosive universe to create the third chapter in the hit franchise “The Purge: Election Year” – this time, on a much grander scale. DeMonaco created this series as an allegory, asking questions such as: “What if people in our government were trying to force us to tear each other apart and destroy those within the most vulnerable strata of society? Would I fall victim to this, or would I fight the machine itself?”

“The idea with The Purge series was always to combine various genres; in fact, you go into the films with a potpourri of them,” explains DeMonaco of his passion for the series. “You have action. You have horror. You have some sci-fi, dystopian and utopian future elements in them. There’s also an underlying political message here.”

Still, for the writer/director the timing of this chapter of the thriller was not intentional. “It turned out to be in our favor, but I wrote the script in 2014 so it was sheer luck,” he shares. “The film doesn’t draw on any particular candidate, but with the wildness of this election cycle, it’s understandable to draw that conclusion.”

Expanding the universe introduced in the hit franchise that electrified the culture and earned $200 million at the worldwide box office, “The Purge: Election Year” reveals the next terrifying chapter that occurs over 12 hours of annual lawlessness sanctioned by the New Founders of America to keep this country great.

It’s been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.

Now playing across the Philippines, “The Purge: Election Year” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Roald Dahl’s beloved book ‘The BFG’ comes to life

Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, present the fantasy adventure film “The BFG,” the first-ever motion picture adaptation of Roald Dahl’s resonant tale of childhood, the magic of dreams and the extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a big friendly giant.

Roald Dahl’s seminal tale of the friendship between a young girl and a mysterious giant seemed perfectly aligned with director Steven Spielberg’s own body of work, and while it may have seemed destined that Sophie and the BFG would one day find their way into Spielberg’s care, it would be decades following the book’s publication before the journey would actually begin.

Dahl’s “The BFG” was first published in 1982, the same year Spielberg’s own story about an unusual and transformative friendship, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” captured the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike. The British author is one of the world’s most creative, mischievous and successful storytellers, someone who understands the inner lives of children and has a knack for creating characters that kids could relate to and storylines which kept them involved.

His ability to combine the fantastical with the frightening and place children as the heroes of his innovative stories, and adults as the villains, is unrivaled in the literary world. While Dahl’s stories recognize that life can be difficult and sometimes scary, that there is good with the bad, he never patronizes his readers.

Producer Frank Marshall (“Jurassic World”) says, “Dahl’s stories are not just happy-go-lucky fantasies. There’s a lot of humor to them, but there’s also a little bit of a dark side. He walks on the edge. They’re a little scary, and I think that’s what appeals to people.”
Spielberg agrees, saying, “It was very brave of him to introduce that combination of darkness and light, which was so much Walt Disney’s original signature in a lot of his earlier works like ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Fantasia,’ ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella.’ Being able to be scary and redemptive at the same time, and teach a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone—it was a wonderful thing for Dahl to have done, and it was one of the things that attracted me to want to direct this Dahl book.”

“The BFG” is the story of the two lonely souls who, in finding one another, create their own home in the world, which is a consistent thread in Spielberg’s rich body of work. “Steven has always gravitated towards stories about families, which is one of the reasons his films have resonated with so many people,” says executive producer Kathleen Kennedy (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the “Indiana Jones” films).

Spielberg has been a fan of Dahl’s for years, and in fact had read the book to his own children when they were younger. “It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems,” he says.

Dahl created stories to tell his children and grandchildren, but was always hesitant to write any of them down, something with which the director could relate. “When I told my kids stories that they were especially fond of, they would beg me to make a movie about it,” Spielberg says. “Fortunately Dahl did eventually agree to share his stories with the world, and we’re all the better because of it.”

“The BFG” is enormously popular around the world, and to date has been published in 41 languages. It was also Dahl’s own favorite of all his stories. While the author passed away in 1990 at the age of 74, the producers forged a relationship with his widow and had many conversations about how important the book was to Dahl and whether or not a movie was even realistic. “We talked a lot about whether it would be better as animation or live action, because at the time, none of the technology that we were talking about using even existed,” explains Kennedy.

The filmmakers began to focus on translating the scope of the book onto the big screen, which was a technological challenge that sparked the director’s imagination. On its surface, the logistical puzzle presented by the story is barely evident. But “The BFG” required something much more than new worlds synthesized in the computer. This special story about the friendship between two very different characters, one small, the other very big, one real, one fantastical, would inspire the creation of an entirely new way of fusing the elements of fantasy and reality.

Opening across the Philippines on August 10, 2016, “The BFG” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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