Wolverine’s goes more berserk like never before in ‘Logan’

Hugh Jackman and highly-acclaimed director James Mangold take the iconic Wolverine character to new heights in this year’s highly-anticipated “Logan”. From their previous collaboration on the phenomenally successful “The Wolverine” in 2003 that won praise for its careful parsing of Logan’s inner tumult rather than the over-the-top action, Jackman and Mangold once again team up to give the audience the most unforgettable journey with Wolverine in “Logan”.

Even before embarking on the project, Jackman and Mangold understood that the story needed to exist apart from the dense and heady mythology of the larger X-Men franchise. Specifically, Mangold, who wrote the “Logan” script with co-scripter Scott Frank and Michael Green, set out to create a character-driven piece that would focus on Logan (Jackman), Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Laura (newcomer Dafne Keen) as they made their way across a barren landscape. “I had this kind of strange vision in my head that I wanted to make a road movie with these characters, in a way almost trapping myself as a filmmaker,” Mangold says.

“The idea with this film was to find him in a state where his ability to heal is extremely diminished,” Mangold says. “His strength is diminished. His own health and his mental state are dark.”

Logan serves as a surrogate father to Laura as he’s the prodigal son to Charles Xavier, who is battling a debilitating illness that threatens to harm others as well in the movie. “He’s old, he’s ill, but most importantly, he’s dangerous. And the person who looks after him, mothers him, nurses him, supervises him, argues with him, picks him up off the floor when he’s fallen down is Logan,” says Stewart.

Like Jackman, the acclaimed British thespian’s performance in “Logan” represents a culmination of years of work on screen. “He reveled in this character, and it shows,” Jackman says of Stewart. “It’s a heartbreaking, beautiful, layered, textured, complex performance—at times unbelievably lucid and clear. You see the relationship with him and Logan as very sort of father-son in all its colors: pride, disappointment, anger, frustration. It all plays out.”

“Logan” sees the wizened hero find a surprising human connection, but the film also offers its most authentic, unfiltered depiction of Wolverine yet. It earns its R-rating, a first for any film in the X-Men series. “Wolverine may be one of the darkest, most complex characters in the comic book universe—all Jim and I were worried about was taking off the seat belt,” Jackman says.

But there’s no question that the movie absolutely will speak to those longtime fans of Wolverine, those who have followed Jackman’s portrayal over the last 17 years. In fact, it was critical for Jackman, as he said farewell to his extensive X-Man past, to put everything on the screen for this, his last mutant adventure. “There was a moment that I came to terms with the fact that this was my last one,” Jackman says. “I love this character, and he’s been amazing to me. I’d be lying if I said that I would have been okay if I didn’t feel everything was left on the table. And I mean everything. Every day, every scene was a kind of battle to get the best out of that character, to get the best out of me.” Concludes Jackman: “There was an element of life and death about it—I know that sounds dramatic, but that’s how it felt.”

“Logan” is now showing in Philippine cinemas from 20th Century Fox as distributed by Warner Bros. Also available in IMAX (2D) screens. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB without cuts.

Novel-turned-film ‘Before I Fall’ tackles realities of peer pressure

A story of self-discovery for the young ones, especially high school students going through peer pressure and acceptance, “Before I Fall” is a film based on the popular young adult novel of the same title by Lauren Oliver.

Directed by Russo-Young, “Before I Fall” brings us back to high school, a period we all quickly go through but seems to have lasting impact in our lives. The film sees a young popular girl, Sam (Zoey Deutch) who needs to relive a day in her high school life seven times before getting it right.

Sam seemed to have everything a teenage girl could want: popularity, a hot boyfriend, cool status, fun friends, loving family and seeming happiness. But beyond the superficial, Sam’s life wasn’t so charmed. She was one of a clique of high school mean girls who made life hellish for those different from them. When she’s killed in a car accident, Sam is forced to relive her last day on Earth seven times in order to get things right. She attempts to make sense of what befell her and gain a better understanding of herself and others. In the process Sam evolves, learns to be a good person and comes to accept her fate.

“When I read the book I was struck by how powerful Sam’s story was and what interesting questions were raised by the recurring day construct,” said Russo-Young. The emotional honesty of Sam’s posthumous journey made a strong impression on her. Lauren Oliver’s ability to balance the emotional and philosophical resonated with me on a personal level, as it reminded me of my friendships at that time in my life, how deep and all-encompassing they were, and the dramatic choices that I felt I was facing at the time,” said Russo-Young.

Russo-Young was mindful of the intense feelings experienced during teen years. “I think it’s a time in one’s life where we ask ourselves who we want to be in the most vivid manner,” she said. “And I believe that these are questions that are important to carry with us through all stages of life as well.”

While there is romance and humor, this is a tale that delves deeper than most teen dramas. “Part of what was exciting to me about making a movie that takes place at this particular age is that it’s a time of intensity and drama,” said Russo-Young. “It’s a moment when your peer relationships can feel like life or death. And because of this, I think teens are often more connected to what it means to be alive than we are at other times in life.”

The emotional touchstones also spoke to the young stars. The first person narrative keeps the focus trained on Samantha “Sam” Kingston, played by young star-in-the-making Zoey Deutch. “’Before I Fall’ is thoughtful, painful and beautiful,” said Deutch. “It sort of makes you feel a multitude of things. It also has some beautiful ideas that stick with you for a long time.”

A uniquely told story, much of it transpires post-mortem, though temporal issues are intentionally mysterious. “In preparation for the movie I explored the idea of time and what I discovered was that time is a highly debated topic, which I found inspiring, “ said Russo-Young. “There have been two major perspectives on time—cyclical and linear- and in Before I Fall, Sam is trapped in cyclical time, with a day recurring for eternity. “

“Before I Fall” opens March 8, 2017 in Philippine cinemas as distributed by Pioneer Films.

WATCH: Get ready for new trailer for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

In anticipation of the earthbound release of Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” on April 26 in the Philippines, Marvel Studios has unveiled the action-adventure’s new trailer!

Take a look at your favorite intergalactic misfits saving the galaxy a second time. Along with the new trailer, Marvel has also launched a new Guardians poster which may be seen below.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn. The film marks the return of the original Guardians, including Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord; Zoe Saldana as Gamora; Dave Bautista as Drax; Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket; Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot; Michael Rooker as Yondu; Karen Gillan as Nebula; and Sean Gunn as Kraglin. New cast members include Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Kurt Russell.

Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.

Opening across the Philippine on April 26, 2017, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

Kevin Costner breaks chains of discrimination in highly-inspiring ‘Hidden Figures’

The legendary Oscar winning actor Kevin Costner stars in the highly-inspiring movie based on the lives of real women who dared the odds in “Hidden Figures” along with Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominated Taraji P. Henson, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, Grammy nominated Janelle Monáe , Golden Globe nominee Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons with a powerful score from multiple Grammy winning musician/composer Pharrell Williams.

In “Hidden Figures” Costner plays the head of NASA’s Space Task Group, (the fictional) Al Harrison, who needs the best possible mathematicians regardless of gender or race. Harrison wants Katherine Johnson (Henson) to work on John Glenn’s mission, because she has the skills needed to calculate the astronaut’s trajectory, which entails writing new formulas, making sure Glenn returns to Earth safely. As the movie unfolds, we discover that although Johnson is working on the mission, she is given little credit and is hamstrung in her endeavors because of endemic prejudice.

During the turbulent 60s, battling discrimination at home and in the workplace, Katherine Johnson, (Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominated Taraji P. Henson) Dorothy Vaughan (Oscar winner Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Grammy nominated Janelle Monáe), all stellar mathematicians, were undeterred in their pursuit of academic excellence. Instrumental in helping America to eventually win the space race, they broke down barriers, laying the groundwork for future generations.

Costner reveals that his role helped break barriers at a time when discrimination was thickly embedded in the nation’s culture. “He doesn’t care about color. What’s most important to him is the math and the science. He just knows that America is behind in the space race and he understands that they need to get ahead and he does not care where the great ideas come from: whatever the person’s sex or color. He is a pragmatist and sometimes pragmatists like him are so focused, they are not even aware of the racism that’s going on around them. Harrison would look up from his desk and see this woman saying: ‘don’t you see that I can’t drink coffee here? Don’t you see that I have to go to another bathroom a long way away from here [because of segregation]?’ Harrison is oblivious and is not even looking or thinking of any of that. And that’s when somebody says to him: ‘well take a look now!’ So he does. And yet Harrison is also the kind of person who has a high level of empathy and fairness, so that when the injustice is put right in front of his eyes, he says: ‘Of course, that’s wrong, that should be fixed.’”

“People like Al Harrison succeed because they have a strong desire to compete, along with a national vision and a level of personal pride. This is somebody who does not want America to lose [the space race]. Competition is a really healthy thing and make no mistake, this was a competition and we (America) were losing. Only a person who’s losing is really looking at things carefully, deciding that they’ve got to do something different. He thinks the best thing is to get to the top. But he realizes that NASA wasn’t even allowing the best people (like Katherine Johnson) to have their voice,” concludes Costner.

“Hidden Figures” is still showing in Philippine cinemas from 20th Century Fox as distributed by Warner Bros.