Hitmaker Jason Blum produces new suspense thriller ‘Split’

Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series) reunites with filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan for the critically acclaimed suspense thriller Split from Universal Pictures.

Starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Split is an original film that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind.

In Split, though Kevin (McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities—each with unique physical attributes—to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Blum, known for his industry innovation in helping to shepherd small-budget films into worldwide blockbusters, discusses the partnership with Shyamalan: “Night can tell these extraordinarily character-driven stories against a backdrop of a larger subject matter. Split isn’t a typical small-budget film; it’s a large vision on a limited budget. It is not CGI or hundreds of millions of dollars that makes Split feel so epic—it’s Night’s incredibly provocative story.”

Jason Blum is an Academy Award®-nominated and two-time Primetime Emmy Award- and Peabody Award-winning producer. His multi-media company, Blumhouse Productions, pioneered a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality, micro-budget films.

Blumhouse, which is in the midst of a 10-year first-look deal with Universal Pictures, has produced the highly profitable The Purge, Insidious, Ouija and Paranormal Activity franchises, which have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. Blumhouse’s model began with the original Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 and was released by Paramount Pictures, grossing approximately $200 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film in the history of Hollywood.

Blum, who was nominated for an Academy Award® for producing Whiplash, was added to Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment List 2015” and received the Producer of the Year Award at 2016’s CinemaCon.

Now playing across the Philippines, Split is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Vin Diesel is back to break every rule in ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’

In 2002, then emerging actor Vin Diesel starred in the action-thriller xXx which became a blockbuster, grossing over $350M worldwide. Diesel played Xander Cage, the first recruit to the ultra-secret xXx spy program, alongside Samuel L. Jackson as Gibbons, the program’s leader. Now, Diesel breathes new life into the franchise with xXx: Return of Xander Cage — a project fans have been demanding for nearly a decade.

For the action superstar, it was a nothing short of a homecoming. “There’s a need to re-visit this type of hero archetype,” says Diesel. “Xander is, in some ways, the reluctant hero, the anti-hero. It’s something that I’ve always felt like I owned. I always felt like, sooner or later, I’ll have to return to this character and right the wrongs of the past,” he says.

The xXx concept has always been and still is, about one bad-ass hero, able to handle everything in his way with a charm and humor no other secret agent has ever possessed. “We were very conscious of the status quo of spy films at the time of the first xXx. We had all the log lines that said, ‘It’s not your daddy’s secret agent’ or ‘a new breed of secret agent,’” Diesel says. “The shaping of xXx at its time, was that the heroes were white males who have a military background and they weren’t necessarily representative of the global audience. All of a sudden along came Xander Cage, who was anti-establishment and looked nothing like James Bond or Jason Bourne. He really was something wholly new and fresh,” says Diesel.

While the world has changed dramatically since the first film, undertones present in the original xXx, from the post 9/11 era, are still relevant today. “Production talks began for the first film pre-9/11,” says Diesel. “After 9/11 we realized that there could be a time or circumstance that would force a seemingly uncaring person to be patriotic. Our film was a call to action was born out of that.” Xander Cage was your rebel with a cause and that theme is echoed in his return.

“Xander is a person that society could write off as unimportant or of no value because of the type of music he listens to and we were saying that any of us could be heroic and patriotic if something feels as unjust as the plot proposed in the first xXx,” says Diesel. The xXx franchise is proving to be even more relevant to today’s market because of what’s going on globally. It’s taken a serious issue – government conspiracy and global destruction – and made it into a fun, save-the-world type of film.

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller, xXx: Return of Xander Cage finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) 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.

Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is packed with the series’ signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, raising the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.

Now playing across the Philippines, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Watch ‘Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa’ for just 150 pesos in this cozy micro-cinema

Due to insistent public demand, audience-favorite Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa is back at Cinema ’76 this January! Tickets are priced at 150 PHP apiece.

For almost a year now, this ‘micro-cinema’ on Luna Mencias St., Addition Hills, San Juan (near Shaw Boulevard) has been a hub for local indie film lovers. In line with its forthcoming first anniversary, the romantic drama film written and directed by Nestor Abrogena makes a grand comeback along with other favorites starting January 20 up to January 26.

Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa will be screened on the following schedules:

  • Jan 20 (Fri) • 8:15 PM
  • Jan 21 (Sat) • 7:00 PM
  • Jan 22 (Sun) • 7:15 PM
  • Jan 24 (Tue) • 10:00 PM
  • Jan 25 (Wed) • 4:00 PM
  • Jan 26 (Thu) • 4:00 PM

Starring Nicco Manalo and Emmanuelle Vera, Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa is under Dogtown Manila and Monoxide Works and produced by Jedd Dumaguina, Jess Yap, and Ramon Bautista.


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Here is the film’s plot outline: “As clouds begin to roll, we see the afternoon life of a busy city. Cars jam the streets, as people make squares of the side streets they walk on. People queue in line as they try to board the city train. This is SAM’s picture of his daily route to the university. He is a young filmmaker, who in his daily commute, picks up his girlfriend ISA from the train station before heading to school together.

The gloomy weather seems to be painting the day for the young couple. Problems between them hover as they both try to delay the inevitable — ISA is about to leave for the States after graduation, while SAM has a fellowship offer from one of the leading film schools in the world. The air between them is rife with doubts, fear and their unspoken dilemma looms on the horizon.

Should SAM and ISA stay, or should they just let go?”


For reference, here is the complete screening schedule at Cinema ’76 this week:

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