Dwayne Johnson takes on Jason Statham in ‘Fast & Furious 8’

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their iconic rival characters Hobbs and Shaw in Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious 8, the newest chapter in one of the most popular and enduring motion-picture serials of all time.

(Watch the Fate of the Franchise featurette below.)

In the film, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are married and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.

Screenwriter Chris Morgan again worked closely with Dwayne Johnson to flesh out additional backstory for elite DSS agent Hobbs, the ultimate lawman whose own strict moral code has grown more flexible…thanks to the détente that he and Dom established years ago. Very few are able to pierce business-only Hobbs’ veneer, but as the team earned his respect and trust, a burgeoning camaraderie grew.

For Hobbs, this is what makes Dom’s actions in this chapter so unforgivable. Blindsided by Dom’s betrayal during a covert mission in Berlin, Hobbs becomes collateral damage and is left to fend for himself. The U.S. government has now turned its back on one of its own, and Hobbs ends up serving his sentence in the same super-max prison where he previously deposited his former nemesis Deckard Shaw. No longer on the right side of the law himself, Hobbs begins to shed those layers that used to define him as the best of the best.

Johnson appreciated the opportunity for character growth that the new chapter gave him, especially the opportunity to spar—verbally and physically—with longtime pal Jason Statham. He explains: “With Hobbs, there are no handcuffs, and I love how he’s been able to pierce the franchise. Since Fast Five, we’ve set up a foundation where he can say anything. Now, the story of this film gave Jason and me great liberty with where to go. We wanted to fully create this Butch-and-Sundance relationship that audiences are going to love. We have two wisecracking, badass guys talking shit to each other, but a bond is forming.”

For his part, Shaw, the laser-focused covert operative who relentlessly pursued Dom and the crew in Fast & Furious 7, has been biding his time in the a hidden facility where only the baddest of the bad are tossed. But with the arrival of Hobbs at supermax, the sentence has become a bit more tolerable.

Statham agrees with his fellow star: “Deckard’s always got something up his sleeve, so it’s great to have this continuing conflict with Hobbs. Dwayne and I get the opportunity to play around with this tension, which is a great vehicle for these two who really have this have that oil-and-water thing going on.”

The layers of Shaw’s back-story will also be peeled back to reveal more about the British operative who has his own staunch familial moral code, which eventually builds a begrudging, respect for his prey. Deckard’s younger brother, Owen, played by Welsh actor Luke Evans, was introduced in Fast & Furious 6 as the first villain in the series who had the cunning and ability to be considered by Dom and the team as a true adversary. When Deckard last left his little brother, Owen was clinging to life in a hospital…thanks to the revenge of Dom.

For Hobbs and Shaw, director F. Gary Gray wanted to see the pair engage in verbal sparring…as a precursor to the rematch of their explosive fight sequence from Fast & Furious 7. The ensuing Hobbs/Shaw no-holds-barred prison-wide brawl in Fast & Furious 8 is the result of Mr. Nobody’s (Kurt Russell) ploy to break Hobbs out of supermax. What ensues is another dynamic action sequences that pits former adversaries against each other.

Opening across the Philippines on Black Saturday, April 15, 2017, Fast & Furious 8 is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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WATCH: Marvel releases first teaser trailer for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Watch Thor go up against an old friend in the first official teaser trailer for Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok below.

Directed by Taika Waititi from a script by Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom and Eric Pearson, Thor: Ragnarok picks up after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

If that isn’t enough, feast your eyes on the Asgardian god in his gladiatorial garb in a brand new poster below!

The film also stars Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

Thor: Ragnarok hits Philippine theaters like a hammer on November 3, 2017 and is distributed by the Walt Disney Company (Philippines).

True-to-life Christian drama ‘The Case for Christ’ in time for Lent

Lee Strobel’s award-winning bestselling book The Case for Christ is based on a true story about a hard-driving investigative journalist and avowed aethieist (Strobel, played by Mike Vogel) who applies his well-honed journalistic ­and legal skills to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife… with unexpected, life-altering results.

Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.

Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.

An ideal Easter-season movie for anyone who has pondered the existence of God and what role He could play in their lives from Pure Flix Entertainment, the people behind the 2014 box-office hit God’s Not Dead.

Starring Mike Vogel (Cloverfield, The Help), Ericka Christensen (Flightplan Parenthood TV Series), Faye Dunaway (Chinatown), and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, Olympus Has Fallen) and directed by Jon Gunn.

Now showing across the Philippines, “The Case for Christ” is released and distributed by Rafaella Films International.

Alec Baldwin voices titular role in animated family comedy ‘The Boss Baby’

The baby is boss in the hilarious family comedy “The Boss Baby” where award-winning Alec Baldwin voices the titular role – a baby who wears a suit, carries a briefcase and barks orders at everyone. “The Boss Baby” features an impressive voice cast of talented comedic actors led by Alec Baldwin along with Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Buscemi and Tobey Maguire as the film’s narrator.

“The Boss Baby” sees Baldwin’s character who works for Baby Corp. and is sent to spy on people to find out what babies and parents want. Part of his job is to belong to a family where seven-year old Tim (voiced by Miles Bakshi) is having all the attention and time to himself, but as soon as Boss Baby arrives, his life suddenly changed and becomes determined to reveal the real Boss Baby. As Tim and his new brother, Boss Baby come to terms that they must work together to save both the company and Tim’s parents against an evil plot, they come to realize that they make a great team.

Baldwin points out that although the central idea of the film is outrageous and silly, it’s executed with lots of finesse, wit and imagination. “Our director Tom McGrath and producer Ramsey Naito are so clever, in terms of how exactly they pull it all off and drive the film. On top of it all, the movie has a wonderful heart inside it, too, as Boss Baby is eventually won over by the idea of being part of the family. Plus, there are a lot of crazy scenes and wild action, because in animation, you can do anything.”

The actor says his own family went through similar moments of sibling rival when his son was born. “My wife and I have a daughter who is three, and before my son was born, she was the princess and was just adored and catered to by everybody. Then my son came along —and he was first son, so I just flipped out. At this time, she was two years old. She would stare at him thinking ‘Something’s got to change around here. You know we have to fix this!’ So for my daughter, there was a process to be able to accept her little brother. When she finally gave him a kiss, we all cried. We thought this day would never come.”

Baldwin says in the movie, Tim goes through a very similar experience. “He has all this time with his parents. And then in comes Boss Baby who’s not only a baby, he’s like your worst nightmare of a baby. He’s, uh, he’s a clever baby. He’s a conniving baby. He’s a Machiavellian baby, but it wouldn’t work if Tim wasn’t smart too. So we have to make the Tim character pretty clever too—but, he’s a little devil with a heart of gold.”

The actor also believes that “The Boss Baby,” like two of his previous collaborations with DreamWorks—Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Rise of the Guardians—offers the perfect mix of family entertainment, kid-friendly jokes and things for grown-ups to enjoy and laugh at as well. “You know, it’s like that Bugs Bunny cartoon where he would whip out the candelabra and imitate Liberace with all the nuttiness he had. The kids didn’t understand what he was doing, but the parents did. And it was all very funny and worked on different levels. That’s why I think The Boss Baby will appeal to everyone as well.”

“The Boss Baby” opens April 15, 2017 (Black Saturday) in Philippine cinemas from 20th Century Fox as distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.