Ayala Malls Cinemas exclusively screens touching film ‘A Family Man’

Ayala Malls Cinemas exclusively brings Gerard Butler’s latest movie “A Family Man” starting August 23 in Greenbelt 1 and Trinoma.

“A Family Man” is Gerard Butler’s latest passion piece directed by Mark Williams who is also an accomplished producer behind acclaimed features such as Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant” and Netflix’s “Ozark.”

Known for his blockbuster iconic action roles in “300”, “London Has Fallen”, “Olympus Has Fallen” and voice in “How to Train Your Dragon”, Butler plays Dane Jensen in “A Family Man,” a driven Chicago-based headhunter, working at a cut-throat job placement firm. When Dane’s boss (Willem Dafoe) announces his retirement, he pits Dane against Lynn Wilson (Alison Brie), Dane’s equally driven but polar-opposite rival at the firm, in a battle for control over the company. As Dane gears up for the professional battle of his life, he learns his 10-year-old son Ryan (Max Jenkins) is diagnosed with an illness. Suddenly, Dane is pulled between achieving his professional dream and his family, who need him now more than ever.

Assembling the strong supporting cast for the movie included frequent award-winners Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina who were respectively cast as Dane’s ruthless but retiring manager at the recruitment firm and as an aging out-of-work engineer, each of whom challenge headhunter Dane Jensen in unpredictable ways. Alison Brie was a perfect match to Gerald as Dane’s rival, being herself “smart, beautiful, confident and charming all in one,” producer Craig Flores described. Gretchen Mol rounded out the deep bench of talent as Dane’s wife, Elise.

But the most difficult role to cast was the character of Dane Jensen’s son, Ryan. Dane’s journey is predominantly framed through his relationship with Ryan, which is constantly transforming over the course of the film. Craig described the wide search that went into Ryan’s casting: “We reviewed hundreds of self-tapes and auditions from all around the world to find the right kid. Very tough decisions were made, but we ultimately discovered that Max Jenkins was born to play the role.”

An Ayala Malls Cinemas exclusive, “A Family Man” is now showing in Greenbelt 1 and Trinoma.

Two orphan girls at the forefront of ‘Annabelle: Creation’

Two young ladies, Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson, play orphaned girls at the heart of the story of New Line Cinema’s horror-thriller Annabelle: Creation (in Philippine cinemas August 23).

In the film, several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

Talitha Bateman, who plays Janice, says of her character, “She has a deep sadness to her because the others get to go and play, and they tease her about her polio, even though they do love her. It’s like an older sister teasing, but at the same time Janice is sensitive and it hurts her feelings. Seeing them exploring outside makes her feel slightly envious and depressed. Then she comes in the house and sees the chairlift on the stairs. She’s undecided about it at first, but then the other girls urge her to get on. Once she starts up the stairs, all of the girls clap and cheer for her, and that’s when she feels at home.”

But it’s when Janice takes that ride up the stairs that the seeds of trouble are planted. “She looks toward the dead daughter’s room,” Bateman offers, “and you know how you can feel a good presence? You can also feel a bad presence. And I think Janice feels something eerie because of Annabelle. It’s crazy, because she’s just a doll, but she’s the catalyst for all this evil and there’s so much power in her. People love superheroes and they have power, but they use it for good. It’s the opposite with Annabelle. The demonic spirit that lives inside her uses its power to do horrible things. That’s what scares me about her.”

Lulu Wilson plays the angel-faced Linda, Janice’s best friend among the orphans. Despite being the younger of the two, Linda worries for her friend. “I think she first senses something’s wrong when Janice breaks the rules by going into Bee’s bedroom.” Of course, Linda follows. “She sees the Annabelle doll staring right at her and that really freaks her out.”

Wilson even steered clear of the prop off-camera. “She’s ginormous and her eyes literally follow you like the Mona Lisa’s. If you’re looking at the Annabelle doll, you’re like, ‘Oh, she’s staring at me, I gotta move.’ Then when you’re in another position and you look back at her, she’s still looking at you. And the eyebrows are slanted in a way that it looks like she’s always planning to get you, and it’s really creepy.”

Annabelle: Creation is Wilson’s third horror film, and she credits director David F. Sandberg with one of her best experiences in the genre. “He is a really awesome director,” she says. “Usually when you shoot a scene, you don’t feel like it’s scary until you watch it, with the music and everything. But when I did scenes with David, he made it feel really scary. It was really fun.”

Sofia Vergara, Christina Aguilera have cameo roles in ‘The Emoji Movie’

Sony Pictures Animation’s new comedy The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user.

The world inside the phone of the story’s lead character, Alex, is loaded with cameos. TV’s Modern Family star Sofia Vergara plays one of the most popular emojis – Flamenca. The Flamenca Emoji is the saucy Latina dancer in a fire-engine red dress. She’s spicy and exuberant and always finishes her sentences with a rapid-fire flamenco flourish.

“Sofia Vergara as Flamenca felt like a really fun thing to do,” says producer Michelle Raimo Kouyate. “She told us that everybody always tells her she looks like the Flamenca emoji, and she even came in to her recording session in a fabulous red dress. She really embraced it and had fun with the role.”

The Piracy app is like a rowdy pirate bar where all the baddies party and hang out: Internet Trolls, Trojan Horses, Viruses and all sorts of nasty creatures. There you’ll find Jeff Ross – Comedy Central’s Roastmaster General – playing an obnoxious and hilarious internet troll. “Who but Jeff Ross would you go to if you wanted someone to roast you?” says Kouyate.

You’ll also find Spam – voiced by Rachael Ray – who is constantly trying to distract Gene and Hi-5 with offers and discounts on tons of useless stuff they don’t need. Spam is like your best friend who just won’t leave you alone, except, she isn’t your friend and she’ll never go away! Director Tony Leondis explains, “Rachael is so much fun, she always makes every one of her shows a joy and that’s the kind of voice I really wanted for Spam. She had to be friendly and accessible because that’s what Spam is… or pretends to be!”

Christina Aguilera takes on the role of Akiko Glitter, the coolest and most outrageous dance hostess ever to grace the Just Dance app! She’s always serving up the hottest mix of music and she’s got the step on the best dance moves around. Her life goal? She just wants to dance! And if you want to hang with her you gotta follow her moves!

“I’m pretty obsessed with emojis,” says Aguilera. “I’m very visual when it comes to expression so I use them often for any and every mood. With emojis, you don’t need words at all to convey a feeling. My kids are also at an age where they understand the meaning of emojis so this is a project that my kids can be proud of. Plus, who wouldn’t want to voice the dynamic Akiko Glitter.”

Now showing across the Philippines, The Emoji Movie is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.