Animal characters are the stars in ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

In Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ “The Secret Life of Pets,” the real day for one bustling Manhattan apartment building starts after the humans leave for work and school. That’s when the pets of every stripe, fur and feather begin their own nine-to-five routine.

Meet the pets who populate this delightful, animated tale from the studio that brought audiences “Despicable Me” and “Minions.”

Max (Louis C.K.): A pampered Terrier mix, Max will need to find his courage before he can find his way home. He has an ideal relationship with his adopted owner, Katie…Until she brings home another rescue dog.

Duke (Eric Stonestreet): A giant, fluffy, unruly rescue who Katie saves from the pound, Duke is going to be part of Max and Katie’s family, whether Max likes it or not. Duke—who’s really a sweet dog that’s been through rough times—doesn’t understand Max’s rebuff and feels anxious that Max is trying to get rid of him.

Snowball (Kevin Hart): An adorable and deranged Bunny who’s building an army of “Flushed Pets” who have been abandoned by their owners, Snowball is insanely cute…and also, insane.

Buddy (Hannibal Buress): A sarcastic Dachshund, Buddy is the first to arrive, last to leave.

Pops (Dana Carvey): An old Basset Hound, Pops knows the city like the back of his wrinkled paw.

Mel (Bobby Moynihan): An optimistic, excitable Pug, Mel is a lady-killer on the inside, dopey pug on the outside.

Chloe (Lake Bell): A fat Cat, Chloe can’t be bothered unless you’ve got food. Although condescending, elegant fat cat Chloe has a heart of gold buried beneath all that fur and bravado.

Gidget (Jenny Slate): A naïve, but gutsy Pomeranian who is 50% fluff, 110% tough, Gidget is Max’s secret admirer. She looks like the quintessential dog from a pocketbook in Beverly Hills, but she turns out to be hard-driving, unyielding and quite heroic.

Sweetpea: A fearless Budgie, Sweetpea has two wings and no prayer.

Opening across the Philippines on August 24, 2016, “The Secret Life of Pets” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Miles Teller steps into dangerous world in ‘War Dogs’

Miles Teller (“Whiplash,” the “Divergent” trilogy) stars as a twentysomething who became a multi-millionaire as an international arms dealer in Warner Bros. Pictures’ new comedic drama based on true events “War Dogs.”

Directed by “The Hangover” trilogy’s Todd Phillips, “War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan military—a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.

“It’s a cool story,” says Teller who plays the real-life character, David Packouz. “You have to respect what they were able to do; at one point, they had a $300 million deal going. That’s an insane amount of money for a couple of guys in their early 20s who were just fakin’ it till they made it. It’s fascinating how things can kind of snowball and you can get in way over your head.”

The allure of financial freedom isn’t lost on David, but for somewhat less hedonistic reasons than his partner-in-crime Efraim, played by Jonah Hill. Miles Teller explains, “He is struggling to make ends meet when Efraim shows up. Efraim was his buddy when they were kids and they would get into trouble together. When he comes back into his life, David gets reenergized and excited by the opportunity to make some real money because he has a pregnant girlfriend and is wondering how he is going to provide for his family.”

The real David Packouz admits, “I won’t lie, it was pretty awesome for a while. We would go to parties and people would introduce themselves: ‘I’m a stockbroker or I’m in real estate… So what do you do?’ ‘We’re international arms dealers.’ The initial reaction went from ‘You’re kidding, right?’ to ‘You’re full of s**t,’ but once they realized we were not joking, they were blown away. One reason the story is so crazy is that very few people make it big in the arms business, especially at our age. The fact that we won a contract to supply the entire Afghan army was totally bizarre.”

Phillips reveals that they decided early on to tell the story from Packouz’s perspective, noting, “We realized the best way into this story was through David’s eyes. David represents the everyman stepping into this world he knew nothing about, much like the audience.”

The director, who had first met Teller when he produced the comedy “Project X,” says, “I think Miles is a world-class actor. It’s almost as if he doesn’t have to try. I don’t mean that in a negative way; he’s just naturally gifted. It’s amazing to watch. We were lucky to have both him and Jonah in the movie.”

Opening on August 24, 2016 across the Philippines, “War Dogs” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.