Disney reveals characters, voice talents for animated film ‘Moana’

July 26, 2016 – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” which opens in theaters across the Philippines on Nov. 30, 2016, features a dynamic roster of characters brought to life by a talented group of actors. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who were behind “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” “Moana” showcases the life-changing journey of a tenacious 16-year-old who teams up with the mighty demigod Maui to fulfill an ancient quest.

The newly revealed characters and voice talent join the already announced duo that includes newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, who lends her voice to the title character, Moana, a teenager who dreams of becoming a master wayfinder, and Dwayne Johnson (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”), who voices Maui—half god, half mortal, all awesome.

“Our assembled voice cast for this film is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Musker. “We are so fortunate to have this group of talented actors, many from Oceania, breathing life into their characters.”

Added Clements, “We are so thankful to have found such extraordinary people who not only capture the voices of these characters, they elevate them in every way.”

Joining Cravalho and Johnson are the following performers.

JEMAINE CLEMENT (“The BFG,” “Despicable Me,” “Rio,” “Rio 2,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” Flight of the Conchords) provides the voice of TAMATOA, a self-absorbed, 50-foot crab who lives in Lalotai, the realm of monsters. The conceited crustacean wants to be more than a “bottom feeder” and overcompensates for this perceived shortcoming by covering himself in all things shiny.

RACHEL HOUSE (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) lends her voice to GRAMMA TALA, Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. Although her son Tui, the chief of Motunui, is a no-nonsense leader, Gramma Tala most definitely dances to the beat of her own drum.

TEMUERA MORRISON (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Six Days, Seven Nights”) voices Moana’s father, CHIEF TUI, the gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island. Chief Tui wants Moana to follow in his footsteps as leader of their people, but fears his daughter’s draw to the ocean and the world that lies beyond their reef.

NICOLE SCHERZINGER (Grammy®-nominated singer, West End’s “Cats”) voices Moana’s mother, SINA, who always has her daughter’s back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef.

ALAN TUDYK, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ lucky charm (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6”), is behind the voice of HEIHEI. Heihei is one dumb rooster—the village idiot, in fact. When the clueless chicken accidently stows away on Moana’s canoe, he lands a front-row seat for her epic journey.

The roster of characters also includes the KAKAMORA, an intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want, and PUA, Moana’s loyal pet pig with puppy energy and an innocent puppy brain.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Moana” sails into Philippine theaters on November 30, 2016.

Worst heroes ever in ‘Suicide Squad’

Is it ever a good thing to be the bad guy? In Warner Bros. Pictures’s “Suicide Squad,” the most improbable crew of crazy criminals ever thrown together will find out when they are united on a mission to save the world that turns into the wildest, weirdest, wickedest ride of their already insanity-filled lives.

“The Suicide Squad is essentially a team—though a wholly reluctant one—of DC’s Super-Villains,” explains writer/director David Ayer. “Because who better to defeat one Super-Villain than another or, in this case, a whole gang of Super-Villains? It was pretty exciting for me because it let me explore a different version of the superhero movie; they’re the absolute flipside of heroes.”

Though they may not consider their exploits to be heroic yet (or ever), the Squad’s adventure will encompass all the heightened thrills, shrewd antics and full-blown combat that go along with the actions of their more traditional counterparts. They’ll just have to try to behave, to be on the better side of bad… for now.

Producer Charles Roven, a veteran of the genre, offers, “I felt it was really interesting to make a film with the DC bad guys, to see which of them are truly evil and which might have some redeeming factors. The Suicide Squad is comprised of all these deadly incarcerated villains. What would they do, given the chance to reduce their sentences or even gain their freedom, even if it’s likely they won’t survive the mission? And they take that shot—not that they’re given much choice.”

Though seemingly given a “choice,” the prisoners who will become the Suicide Squad will have to learn to work as a team—literally. This is no voluntary gig. Plucked from the notorious Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary, which is designed to hold the “worst of the worst,” Deadshot and fellow inmates Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Diablo, among others, aren’t exactly given an appealing alternative to playing along. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller, a ruthless, manipulative operative who prides herself on her ability to get people to act against their own self-interest, sees to that.

“It starts with the screenplay, and David’s are incredibly rich, the characters jump off the page, because he creates this incredible sense of reality,” producer Richard Suckle says. “What I love, too, is that he has this edginess to his writing; there’s a swagger in the characters and films that he’s made. He’s the perfect guy to take these Super-Villains and make them as palatable and exciting as anyone else in the world of a DC film.”

Roven readily agrees, adding, “One of the wonderful things about David’s writing is that he can certainly hit the dramatics, but he also gives these characters great personality, and that results in many of them having fabulous wit, great lines of dialogue that fit into the situation, that come from the character so they feel real. Even in such intensified circumstances as these anti-heroes find themselves in, you just can’t help but laugh and enjoy them, they are just so unusually funny. It’s an action adventure film that has a lot of dark humor to it.”

“For me, the power of the DC brand is its universal qualities; there is a truth to these characters,” Ayer says. “They’re a vehicle for our modern values, but the characters themselves are also echoes of past mythologies.

That’s their timeless nature and why I think they’ll always be attractive. And that’s why I was eager to tell a story with this particular set of characters, and to see them come to life on film.”

Few teams could be considered more visually appealing than the wildly colorful members of the Suicide Squad, who, along with the pure spectacle of the actioner’s larger-than-life battles and tenaciously hedonistic soundtrack, present an all-out psychedelic confection for summer moviegoers.

Opening across the Philippines in 3D, and in 2D, and in IMAX 3D theaters on Thursday, August 4, 2016, “Suicide Squad” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: Comic-con trailer for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ explores new era of magic

Warner Bros. Pictures has released the official Comic-Con trailer of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” which may be viewed below.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne stars in the central role of wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident … were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston as Tina; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler as Jacob; Alison Sudol as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Ezra Miller as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton as Mary Lou; Oscar winner Jon Voight as Henry Shaw, Sr.; Ron Perlman as Gnarlack; Carmen Ejogo as Seraphina; Jenn Murray as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell as Percival Graves.

The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved “Harry Potter” books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” written by her character Newt Scamander.

Warner Bros. Pictures has slated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for a Philippine release in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX on November 17, 2016.

Killer shark film ‘The Shallow’ holds sneak previews Aug 1, 2

IndieWire calls it “the best shark movie since ‘Jaws,’” while the New York Daily News hails it as a “much-needed escapist summer fun.”

They’re talking about Columbia Pictures’ “The Shallows” – the critically acclaimed thriller that took America like a tidal wave, and now, Philippine audiences can catch it in sneak previews on Monday and Tuesday, August 1st and 2nd in selected cinemas everywhere. Admission prices will be at regular rates.

Garnering a fresh 77 percent rating at RottenTomatoes.com, “The Shallows” tells the story of Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) who’s 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.

“If you’re looking for a quick and satisfying summer thrill, then `The Shallows’ should serve you nicely,” endorses respected critic Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times. Another influential reviewer, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, applauds “Blake Lively, director Jaume Collet-Serra and a digital shark show no mercy in hooking us with the B-movie tension. And we bite.”

The critics are also raving about the lead actress’ performance, with Variety’s Peter Debruge writing, “Lively may have been cast primarily for her physique, but she proves a compelling heroine.”

“Lively acquits herself well here,” agrees Glenn Kenny of the New York Times, “especially in the vulnerable-to-shark-attack department.”

“The Shallows” is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Non-Stop”) from a screenplay by Anthony Jaswinski (“Vanishing on 7th Street”).

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