WATCH: Epic action blasts off in new trailer for ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’

Paramount Pictures has just unleashed the new trailer for Vin Diesel’s upcoming extreme action-thriller “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” which may be viewed below.

The film opens across the Philippines on January 18, 2017.

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

Packed with the series’ signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” will raise the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.

Directed by D.J. Caruso (“Disturbia”), and written by Chad St. John (“London Has Fallen”) and F. Scott Frazier, adapted from characters originated by Rich Wilkes. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Deepika Padukone, and Rory McCann.

“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Young British actor Joe Alwyn marks film debut via ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

British actor Joe Alwyn stars in one of the most anticipated movies of the year as he takes on the lead role in Oscar®-winning director Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Joe was picked from obscurity to take on the title role of ‘Billy Lynn,’ his feature film acting debut.

Based on the acclaimed bestselling novel by Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions.

“This is obviously a huge transition for Joe and, I think, a huge discovery by Ang Lee,” says producer Stephen Cornwell. “Billy is the heart and soul of the film and I think the detail of Joe’s performance, the way that he lets you into his soul and the way you share his feelings, is extraordinary and profound. Joe’s freshness (he’s someone that an audience hasn’t seen before so he brings no baggage) and the subtlety and range of his performance encourage you to want to know Billy and, I think, ultimately feel for him.”

Lee, who has a knack for recognizing and nurturing new talent, had a very specific idea of the actor he needed for the title role and until he saw Alwyn, no other actor had fulfilled his requirements.

“I mean, it’s called ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,’ we needed him to carry the movie. It’s a coming of age story really, more than anything, a boy recognizes what his life is about, what he’s going to be. I really needed a compelling, soulful actor, one who, most importantly could blend innocence and sophistication because he starts as a naïve teenager and during the course of the film he becomes a man. We went through the regular casting process and my casting director Avy Kaufman is particularly good at finding new talents. Joe was still in school in London when we saw the tape he’d made. I was on my way from New York to Atlanta to make the movie, we’re already in pre-production so I wasn’t really going to see him but Avy said, ‘You have to, you have to.’ She’s done that to me quite a few times in the past and she’s always right. So I stayed a little longer in New York to meet with him. I remember it was a very cold morning, a Sunday. I saw this handsome young man standing outside of the building, freezing, definitely under dressed. I felt cold for him! And I met him, he read and that was that. It was immediate. Perhaps the best reading I have ever witnessed,” Lee says.

Joe Alwyn confides how “throughout the whole audition process it was hard to compute the scale of it—this being Ang Lee and such a huge project. So when I was flown to New York to meet and audition for Ang I didn’t feel particularly nervous because in my head it was something completely other and so big that it didn’t kind of compute. So yeah, it’s a big one, I guess, to take on for the first-ever job. Coming from drama school and not having done any film work before, it’s taken some adjustment to be acting in a way that does not incorporate the entire arc of a journey over a few hours, as you would in a play. Film work being so fragmented and broken down (which is so common and obvious to people who do it all the time) has definitely taken some getting used to, especially patching together the emotional continuity of the character, getting that all to make sense and really having where it all fits into place in your mind, especially since so much is recorded his point of view.”

Alwyn believes that “what is attractive about Billy is that he is this image of the all-American normal kid, which is why people try to turn him into what they want to project onto him, to mold him into what they can use him for. I also think of Billy as a rebel, but not too much the rebel, who is a bit on the outside, on the fringes and quite a solitary character who likes to get on with things by himself. I think he has leadership qualities, but I think he likes his solitude.”

Opening across the Philippines on November 9, 2016, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ unveils first official images

Feast your eyes on the newly released official images from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Take your first look on Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the titular characters, Luke Evans as Gaston and the castle’s enchanted staff!

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame De Garderobe, the wardrobe; Hattie Morahan as Agathe, the enchantress; Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast” is written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and Stephen Chbosky and Bill Condon and produced by Mandeville Films’ Academy Award® nominees David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, with Emmy® winner Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Oscar nominee Don Hahn serving as executive producers. Eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice.

Opening across the Philippines on March 15, 2017, “Beauty and the Beast” will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. #BeOurGuestPH

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ explores magical world before Harry Potter

In the summer of 1997, a book entitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by a then-unknown writer named J.K. Rowling, was first published. With the words, “You’re a wizard, Harry,” it ushered us into a magical realm that soon became known as the wizarding world. And our world would never be the same.

Through seven best-selling books and eight blockbuster films, millions of people around the globe have been captivated by the stories of Harry Potter and his friends as they came of age and took us all on thrilling, magical adventures. Favorite characters like Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore, and even He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named became instant contemporary icons, and words like Muggle, Quidditch, and Hogwarts were embedded in our cultural lexicon.

Now, almost two decades after the arrival of J.K. Rowling’s first history-making book, audiences will be transported back to the wizarding world in a new era of magic in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Although “Fantastic Beasts” unfolds in an entirely different time and place, it has an organic connection to Harry Potter, as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was one of Harry’s textbooks at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. J.K. Rowling, who made her screenwriting debut on the film and also served as a producer, recalls that she initially brought the primer into being as a project for charity. “During the writing of that book,” she says, “I became interested in its ostensible author, Newt Scamander, and he took on quite a bit of life for me. So I was very enthusiastic when the studio came to me and said they wanted to make it into a movie because I already had the back story in my mind and it just so happened that they’d optioned the very thing I was most interested in. And I knew if it were to happen, I would have to write it because I know too much about Newt to let someone else do it.”

Set in 1926, the film’s story brings the self-proclaimed Magizoologist to life before he had written the textbook that would someday be required reading at his alma mater, Hogwarts. Coming to the end of a journey that took him to far-flung lands in search of magical creatures, Newt arrives in New York, where the escape of his precious beasts sweeps him into a chain of events that threatens to reveal the wizarding community, which hides in plain sight amongst the No-Majs.

Found within the tale are other, albeit more subtle, links to J.K. Rowling’s previous works. Producer David Heyman, who also produced all eight of the “Harry Potter” films, confirms that amidst the magic and fun, are concepts that have become hallmarks of her writing. “Many of the underlying themes of the Potter books are in evidence here: the virtue of tolerance in contrast to the dangers of intolerance and repression; being true to who you are; outsiders coming together and connecting… There is an emotional universality and relevance to those ideas that are utterly relatable to people across the globe. The beasts may be in the title, but it’s the humans who are the heart of the story.”

Regarding J.K. Rowling’s writings, director David Yates observes, “There is a grace and humanity in Jo’s characters…a celebration of being who you are without apology, and not overly trying to conform or hide your potential to be everything you can be. She cherishes individuality.”

“My heroes are always people who have the courage to say, ‘I see how it is, but it doesn’t have to be that way,’” Rowling asserts. “They are the ones willing to ask, ‘Why is it this way?’”

Rowling also appreciated that Steve Kloves, who had scripted the “Potter” films, came on board for “Fantastic Beasts” as a producer. “I wanted Steve involved because—having never written a screenplay before—I knew I would need some guidance,” she says. “Just having him there for advice was huge.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens nationwide November 17 in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX, and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: New ‘Sing’ trailer urges you to ‘Dream On’

Accompanied by Aerosmith’s inspiring Dream On, the new trailer of Universal Pictures and Illumination’s Sing has just arrived, urging everyone to “not let fear stop you from doing the thing you love.”

Check out the trailer below and see the film when it opens in Philippine cinemas on January 8, 2017.

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly star in Sing, a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us.

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.

Featuring more than 85 hit songs, Sing is written and directed by Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.

“Sing” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #SingMovie