MOVIE REVIEW: Deadma Walking (2017)

Led by the powerhouse performances of Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman, Deadma Walking (Julius Alfonso, 2017) is a campy feast of a well-arched gag-laughter/tear-jerker that embraces its B-movie elements, producing a very original comedy classic.

Based on the 2016 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature winning screenplay, and hemmed by the directorial debut of Julius Alfonso, Deadma Walking follows the story of John (Joross Gamboa) who, upon learning his stage 4 diagnosis of cancer and with only 1-2 years to live, decides to fake his own death to bear witness to what his friends and family have to say about and give to him, leading to an overwhelming journey of love, appreciation and acceptance. With the help of his BFF for life, Mark (EA Guzman), the film follows the meticulously planned staging of John’s death, wake and funeral — all the drama, mischief, laughter and unexpected twists in between.

When a film is a witty reminder of Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking (1995) starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, you know you’re in for a cognizant laughing stock that would never feel cheap. And it didn’t. The greatest thing about Julius Alfonso’s Deadma Walking is, despite its spoof-elated, paradoxical impression, it never felt cheap. The depth of the film, down to its last, tiniest detail is so well thought out, that there wasn’t a missed opportunity for the film to deliver its intentions of an imitation-of-life approach. The film embraces its exaggerations and over-the-top antics led by its two protagonists who are as colorful as the rainbow amidst a grief-centric premise as heavy as the rain.

Deadma Walking is a gay film that didn’t use the “gay” element as a mere accessory; rather, it used it as its vehicle for the film to propel its narrative. Unlike other LGBT films whose queer element only reflects on its aesthetics (as if changing the sexuality of the movie’s characters would not make a single difference to the story), Deadma Walking embraces its queerness as it utilizes its gay elements to a more effective, sparkling story. It’s funny but never laughable; it’s touching but never cheesy. It’s a social commentary on how a friendship between two queer (and good-looking) men can blossom as a life-long, romance-free partnership without the malice of societal standardization, while tackling the human flaws it entails, including the hues of platonic love, trust and betrayal.

One of the highlights of the film is its visceral direction by Julius Alfonso. Every scene is a reflection of the director’s assertion and the screenplay’s intellect. The sharp wits and unabashed campiness of Cabahug’s script was delivered intellectually by Alfonso on screen. Let’s face it: this type of film could easily go trashy, but the production of gag laughs and heavy drama that the movie juggles is very much well-studied, and eventually well-delivered — thanks, in huge part, to the cinematic cleverness of its director.

EA Guzman is a firecracker. He is a complete breakthrough, almost as if the film was intentionally made to show off his brilliant comedic versatility and dramatic chops. A scene stealer, he manages to give a luminous performance in a film about death and grief, and it never felt condescending or strange to the theme. Joross Gamboa gave a generous performance of a meek, quieter role opposite to Guzman’s loudness, creating a very well-balanced dynamic between the two. Playing a subtler, more laid-back role without being underwhelming is a difficult one to do, and Gamboa nailed it to the tee. Their characters are distinguishable, layered, human and real, despite the material’s theatrical, over-the-top shebang. Dimples Romana’s gift for drama was smartly utilized for the film’s beautiful arch on its more serious, more somber undertone. Her character created a perfect foil to the film’s dual tone of comedy and drama, and she single-handedly created that shift that never felt awkward or forced.

As one of the only two MMFF 2017 entries to be Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, Deadma Walking is indeed a pleasant surprise, and it goes way deeper than the impression it makes at the onset. A powerhouse combination of talented actors, sharp screenplay and intelligent direction, the film is everything you could ask for: a good entertainment, and an even better filmmaking.


4.75 out of 5 stars


Chris Hemsworth stars in war film based on true events in ’12 Strong’

Taking on the role of real life heroes, Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers” films) along with Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals”) stars in “12 Strong” – a powerful action-packed new war drama based on the best-selling book “Horse Soldiers,” from true events that unfolded a world away in the aftermath of 9/11.

“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

Award-winning director Nicolai Fuglsig directed the film, which is produced by legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Black Hawk Down”), together with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill (“La La Land,” “Sicario”) under their Black Label Media banner. Oscar winner Ted Tally (“The Silence of the Lambs”) and Peter Craig (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Parts 1 & 2”) wrote the screenplay, based on the acclaimed book by best-selling author Doug Stanton.

“12 Strong” opens January 17, 2018 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

Liam Neeson stars in latest jampacked action film ‘The Commuter’

Following the worldwide success of “Unknown,” “Non-Stop” and “Run All Night,” Liam Neeson known as the man with a particular set of skills stars in the explosive thriller “The Commuter.” The movie is Neeson’s fourth collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra about one man‘s frantic quest to prevent disaster on a packed commuter train.

The screenplay proved irresistible to both the director and star, not just for the bravura of the action and the thrill of the suspense but for the moral conundrum the protagonist is faced with and the consequences it has on him, the passengers on the train and his family at home.

“The Commuter asks the audience, if someone asked you to do something that seems insignificant but you’re not sure of the outcome in exchange for a considerable financial reward, would you do it?” says Jaume Collet-Serra. “That‘s the philosophical choice that our central character – a man of 60 who’s just been fired, has no savings and is mortgaged to the hilt – is faced with. Is he thinking just about himself or is he going to take into consideration the possible moral consequences of what he’s asked to do? That’s the question we want the audience to ask themselves.”

For Neeson, it was also the story’s real-time narrative that gives it a thrilling momentum. “The story almost plays in real time,” says the actor. “The main character realises what he’s set in motion and sets out to identify the person that holds the key to the conspiracy. So the tension cranks up at every stop at a station as new passengers get on, and another clue is left for him. The danger gradually gets greater and greater and the film becomes this really fast-paced psychological thriller along the lines of a Hitchcock‘s Strangers on a Train or North by Northwest.”

The story centres on Michael MacCauley (Neeson), a middle manager at a faceless insurance company, who lives with his wife and son in Westchester in New York State. Like so many hard-working family men, he is facing financial breaking point, trying to make ends meet on a pay-cheque that is stretched to the rafters. His son is about to go to college and his wife doesn’t know how the family is living beyond its means.

Then one day, his situation suddenly gets so much worse: he goes to work and gets fired. That, however, is not the only thing that‘s going to spoil his evening. On the commute home at the end of the day, the passenger sitting opposite him introduces herself as Joanna and puts a proposition before him: find a passenger on board the train who doesn’t belong, in return for a handsome reward. An easy deal, you’d think. But not if you’re an ex-cop who has a strong moral sense of right and wrong. Michael eventually agrees to find the “suspect” amongst the sea of passengers, using his wit and skill to uncover their identity, but soon comes to realise that he is at the centre of a deadly conspiracy that will end in the murder of everyone on the train and he is the only person who can stop it.

“The Commuter” opens January 10, 2018 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

Gladers have last fight for survival in ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’

The highly kinetic and global hit YA book-to-movie series “Maze Runner” comes in full circle in the final chapter “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” where the Gladers have finally caught up in the reality of their nightmare. Reprising their roles in the concluding saga are Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen and Patricia Clarkson.

Based on the book by James Dashner and directed by Wes Ball, from the first global box-office hit film, the Gladers found themselves in the midst of a giant maze with no memory of who they were before. In the second film “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” they had achieved their goal, only to discover that the outside world contained just as many horrors. And now, in “Maze Runner: The Death Cure”, as Thomas (O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers adjust to life in the Scorch, they realise that the key to putting an end to this war they find themselves at the heart of lies in the Last City, a walled-off utopia where WCKD has its base, and where the last survivors of the deadly Flare virus keep safe.

Time has passed since the events of The Scorch Trials, during which Teresa betrayed her friends and Minho (Ki-Hong Lee) was captured by the shadowy organisation WCKD. As the “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” opens, the Gladers are orchestrating an elaborate train heist to try and rescue their friend, finally ready to fight rather than flee.

“It’s the world of WCKD,” Ball says. “The last city left standing. WCKD has built, essentially, the same maze walls around it, surrounding the city to protect this core group of people that are just trying to survive the Flare virus. They’re looking for safety, a cure, whatever.”

“When we pick up with the characters in this, it’s the first time we’re seeing any time pass in these movies,” says Dylan O’Brien. “This is really the first time you’re seeing Thomas experienced and a little more mature. He’s dead set on this goal of redemption, and taking down WCKD once and for all. He’s driven. And they’re all dialled-in.”

It’s about redemption for Teresa too, says Kaya Scodelario, during a pause in shooting. “This is her trying to redeem herself and make sense of her decisions,” she explains. “Not only to Thomas, but to herself.”

“The first movie was about leaving the house for the first time as a kid,” says Ball. “The second is like going off to college. You’re on your own but you don’t know who you are yet. And in the third movie, it’s really about coming to a more mature look at good and evil. I think, in this movie, you’re going to see, ‘Wow, maybe we don’t agree with what Teresa did, but you can see why she did it.’”

Join the Gladers in their last fight as “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” opens January 24, 2018 in Philippines cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

 

WINNERS: Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017

Here is the complete list of winners of the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival as announced December 27, Wednesday night at Kia Theater in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Joanna Ampil, ANG LARAWAN
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Derek Ramsay, ALL OF YOU
1st Best Picture: ANG LARAWAN
2nd Best Picture: SIARGAO
3rd Best Picture: ALL OF YOU
Special Jury Prize: Coco Martin
Posthumous Special Jury Prize: National Artist Nick Joaquin, ANG LARAWAN
People’s Choice Award (Full-Length Film): THE REVENGER SQUAD

Best Supporting Actress: Jasmine Curtis-Smith, SIARGAO
Best Supporting Actor: Edgar Allan Guzman, DEADMA WALKING

Best Child Performer: Baste, MEANT TO BEH

Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award: ANG LARAWAN
Best Director: Paul Soriano, SIARGAO
Best Screenplay: ALL OF YOU
Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence: ANG PANDAY
Special Award of Recognition: National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera

Male Celebrity of the Night: Derek Ramsay
Female Celebrity of the Night:  Erich Gonzales

Best Cinematography: Odyssey Flores, SIARGAO
Best Editing: Mark Victor, SIARGAO
Best Production Design: ANG LARAWAN
Best in Visual Effects: ANG PANDAY

Best Original Theme Song: ‘Alon’ by Hale, SIARGAO
Best Musical Score: Ryan Cayabyab, ANG LARAWAN
Best Sound: SIARGAO

Children’s Choice Award: ANG PANDAY
Best Float: DEADMA WALKING

Best Picture (Short Film): ANONG NANGYARI KAY NICANOR DANTE?
People’s Choice Award (Short Film): NOEL

MOVIE REVIEW: Ang Larawan (2017)

Athanasius of Alexandria was a bishop in early Christianity. Among others, he is known for his efforts to combat the teachings of Arianism, a popular school of Christian thought which was gaining ground as its teachings appealed to the son of the late Emperor Constantine.

Despite this endorsement by the Emperor’s son, Athanasius held his ground and continued to attack what he believed was a dangerous ideology that compromised sacred doctrine. He was relentlessly pursued by his enemies and survived five exiles and six attempts against his life.

For his firm resolve against popular sentiment, he was given a moniker which also served as his epitaph:

Athanasius against the world
ATHANASIUS CONTRA MUNDUM.

Directed by Loy Arcenas, Ang Larawan is the story of two sisters left alone in their old home to take care of their aging father and the painting he made for them. It is a family drama wrapped in the mediums of musical film and period film, and also serves as a political statement on the relationship of art and the world it lives in. Larawan boasts of an impressive list of cast members that, despite the film’s limitations, gives strong, memorable performances that will be remembered long after the current edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival has gone.

That Larawan came from a pedigree of well-known cultural figures cannot be denied. It is an adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s first play, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. Portrait was first staged by Lamberto Avellana (starring his wife Daisy Hontiveros-Avellana as Candida), who also directed its first film adaptation in 1965 (also starring Daisy). It has also been translated into Filipino by other writers including Bienvenido Lumbrera. Rolando Tinio wrote another Filipino adaptation for the musical Ang Larawan (with music by Ryan Cayabyab), which he also directed, as part of the conditions Nick Joaquin imposed on the producers when they approached him for the project). All of them were appointed to the Order of National Artists of the Philippines except for Cayabyab (who is often touted as a potential candidate to the Order).

As in Portrait, Larawan revolves around the story of Candida Marasigan (Joanna Ampil, in her first film), her sister Paula Marasigan (Rachel Alejandro) and the painting that their father Don Lorenzo made for them. Most of the story happens within the stately, if decaying, Marasigan household during the months leading up to the Second World War, with the eponymous painting looming over them as a dark specter. The painting has become a cause celebre as it attracted the attention of neighbors, passersby and poseurs who often visited the house more for the painting than its residents. Among their visitors, one October, is an old family friend, Bitoy Camacho (Sandino Martin), a newspaper reporter who was also meaning to write a story about the painting.

Bitoy discovers that the sisters struggle to make ends meet: their only means of subsistence are the handouts begrudgingly given to them by their elder siblings Manolo (Noni Buencamino) and Pepang (Menchu Lauchengco), and the rent income from their sole tenant Tony Javier (Paulo Avelino), a lecherous pianist working at a bodabil. The Marasigan sisters were often pressured by would-be buyers to part with their painting, with tempting prices that could secure their future. Yet, for ideological and personal reasons, they refused to sell their painting (or the house), and not even their father’s close friend Senator Perico (Robert Arevalo) could convince them.

Rachel Alejandro (Paula) and Joanna Ampil (Candida) in ANG LARAWAN.

Part of the sisters’ reluctance to part with the painting and the house is their inability to reconcile themselves and their idealism with the world. They hang on to their cherished belief, to their Ideal, that no amount of money can compensate for the lasting pleasure that Art can give them, and that no other people in the world can understand them but fellow artists. And as members of this exclusive club, they see themselves as the vanguards, the standard-bearers, of the old traditions that they want to live on. We against the world. Contra mundum. It is this stubborn belief that moves them to hang on to their father’s last legacy, the Retrato del artista como Filipino, as an icon of this credo. Don Perico, a former poet who they thought has sold out, tempers this with one of the most memorable lines in the film: Hindi simple ang buhay katulad ng sining (Life is not as simple as art). The pursuit of the arts is edifying, but in order for the arts to survive it must also (learn how to) thrive in—and despite—the world. And with patience, both can coexist: one need not look beyond Larawan’s original librettist Rolando Tinio (who has worked on both film and theater) and composer Ryan Cayabyab (who was able to write and publish both pop songs and personal artistic compositions).

And yet, throughout Larawan, we never see the controversial portrait in its entirety, only a few hints here and there. (In contrast, the picture is never seen even in the play; it is placed in the figurative Fourth Wall, which lets the audience look into each character’s expressions closely.) The painting is stark and bleak: a double self-portrait of Don Lorenzo as Aeneas and his father Anchises, and behind them is the destruction of Troy. That image alone, deliberately selected by Joaquin in Portrait, captures the central issues that dominate Candida and Paula’s thoughts: the downfall of a gilded age; a man’s pride that became his fall from grace, and the burden that was his legacy to his children. It is these same issues that Candida and Paula struggle with, a great conflict that they have learned to accept in time.

The film is without its flaws, often gravitating towards long monologues and discourses that hold the story back from moving forward, yet feel incomplete at times. This is not the filmmakers’ fault, as this can be attributed to the nature of their source material, which reads more like a closet drama, if not a novel or essay. When Joaquin completed his draft, his sister, who was a theater actress, thought Portrait was “undramatizable”; the opening monologue alone by Bitoy runs nearly two and a half pages single-spaced. Lamberto Avellana sought Joaquin’s permission to compress Portrait for its theatrical run, as did Rolando Tinio when he adapted it into Ang Larawan the stage musical. (Joaquin permitted both revisions.) The current film is itself a shortened version of the stage musical, which runs for over three hours.

Inevitably, adaptations lose the details that made Portrait an engaging read, and to their credit the filmmakers have tried, sincerely, to preserve Joaquin’s vision as much as they can. The attention to detail is stunning, from the intricate furniture in the Marasigan ancestral home down to the personal accessories of the La Naval devotees. (Even the image of the La Naval was borrowed from the Sto. Domingo Church.) The music captures the spirit of the Roaring Forties in the throes of the Second World War, as well as mines the emotions of Candida and Paula (whose singing were, as envisioned by Tinio, intended to be the most beautiful among all singing parts).

More importantly, the actors and actresses of Larawan deliver solid acting that by itself is worth the price of the admission ticket. Joanna Ampil, in her first film, has delivered the strongest performance in Larawan. Her performance at the end of Act 1 (the blackout scene) alone is heart-rending, a cry that stays with you for the rest of the movie. Rachel Alejandro, reprising the same role she played during Larawan’s theatrical run in the 90s, is sweet but vulnerable. The rest of the cast delivers just as well that even the cameo appearances during Act 3 are memorable, too. Whether the MMFF Jury will feel the same and honor these performances remains to be seen (as of this writing) but, awards or no awards, Larawan’s ensemble need no further validation than the merits of their own art.

For all its shortcomings, Larawan is a film made with a loving dedication to its writer’s vision: to remember and to sing, that is my vocation. Weeks before the 2017 MMFF started, Larawan is the only film in my must-see list; I hope you will give it space for yours, too.

Postscript: At the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival Gabi ng Parangal (December 27, 2017), “Ang Larawan” garnered 6 awards:

  • Best in Production Design
  • Best Musical Score (for Ryan Cayabyab)
  • Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award
  • Posthumous Special Jury Prize for Nick Joaquin
  • Best Actress (for Joanna Ampil)
  • and Best Picture

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Nick Jonas’ original song in ‘Ferdinand’ scores Golden Globes nod

Set in Spain, the delightful movie “Ferdinand” tells the remarkable story of a gentle bull, voiced by John Cena, a gentle giant who prefers flowers to fighting and has no desire to face off against matadors in the bullring. It follows Ferdinand as he embarks on a thrilling, dangerous and fun-filled journey to find love, acceptance and a real home. ‘Home’ is also the title of the new song from Jonas, about the place where people (and bulls) can relax and be themselves.

From the award-winning Blue Sky Studios, “Ferdinand” was directed by Carlos Saldanha. Based on the classic 1936 children’s book of the same name, by author Munro Leaf and illustrator Robert Lawson, the film also stars Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon as the voice of Lupe the goat.

We join Ferdinand as he sets off on an adventure looking for somewhere he can call home. He comes across an idyllic farm, befriends the kind farmer and his little girl, Nina, and finds happiness and peace in the flower-filled countryside. But Ferdinand is torn apart from his adoptive family after he’s mistaken for a vicious beast and he ends up in a bull training camp, the last place he wants to be! Developing a friendship with a quirky and hilarious ‘calming’ goat called Lupe (Kate McKinnon) Ferdinand has one goal—to get back home to Nina’s farm.

It is a theme that resonates strongly with Nick Jonas who wrote and performed the song ‘Home’ for the film. He collaborated with acclaimed musician Justin Tranter and songwriter/producer, Nick Monson. According to Carlos Saldanha, ‘Home’ captures the spirit of Ferdinand. “I wanted a song to reflect the lightness and the power of the film, and I wanted it to feel emotional and fun, just like the movie. Nick wrote brand new lyrics and a brand new melody for us and it was perfect. ‘Home’ plays in the film at a very empowering moment for Ferdinand, when he finds a place where he’s accepted. The song is wonderful and reflects the idea that home is a place where your heart is and where you can be your true self.”

Jonas shares that, “I’ve used the word ‘home’ in songs before but this was the first time that I really sat and thought about what it meant to me, what I was saying with that word and the significance of that message. For me, it’s all about my family. Any time I think about the moments of my life that are really hectic and insane, I think about home. If I look back at the 12 or 13 years of my career so far, it is family that has been the constant in my life. So I wrote this song about my family and the importance of that grounding factor in life. That is what home is all about.”

“I think the beauty of Ferdinand as a whole, is that it is highly relatable, no matter what your journey in life is all about, or what your circumstances are. It is about acceptance and it definitely relates to me. I went to regular school in my early life, when I was seven, eight and nine years old. At the same time, I was also doing Broadway shows in New York City. So during my school hours, I was spending time with other kids who didn’t share the same interests as me. But when I was working, I’d be around adults who loved musical theatre and telling stories and singing and dancing. That was where I felt more accepted than when I was around kids my own age,” concludes Jonas.

“Ferdinand” opens January 8 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Disney reveals ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ character banners

Four character banners have just been unveiled by Walt Disney Pictures for its upcoming fantasy adventure A Wrinkle In Time (in Philippine cinemas Mach 2018).

Check out the character one-sheets below featuring Oprah Winfrey (as Mrs. Which), Reese Witherspoon (as Mrs. Whatsit), Mindy Kaling (as Mrs. Who) and Storm Reid (as Meg Murry).

From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

Directed by Emmy-winner and Oscar and Golden Globe-nominee Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Oscar winner Jennifer Lee based upon the beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time stars: two-time Academy Award-nominee Oprah Winfrey, Oscar and Emmy-winner Reese Witherspoon, Emmy-nominee Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peňa and introducing Storm Reid, with two-time Emmy winner Zach Galifianakis and Emmy nominee Chris Pine.

Produced by Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer, the film also boasts an impressive creative team featuring some of the most talented artisans working today, including: Tobias Schliessler, ASC as director of photography, Naomi Shohan as production designer, Oscar-nominee Spencer Averick as film editor, two-time Academy Award-nominee Paco Delgado as costume designer and four time Emmy-nominee Ramin Djawadi as composer.

A Wrinkle in Time is distributed by The Walt Disney Company (Philippines).

WATCH: ‘Mortal Engines’ teaser trailer reveals a new epic saga

Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for producer Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines, the upcoming fantasy epic based on the book of the same name by Philip Reeve.

Check out the trailer below and watch Mortal Engines in Philippine cinemas December 2018.

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar®-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong). Joining Rivers are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay. The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic.

On board as producers are Zane Weiner (The Hobbit trilogy), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit trilogy) and Deborah Forte (Goosebumps), as well as Walsh and Jackson. Ken Kamins (The Hobbit trilogy) joins Boyens as executive producer.

Mortal Engines is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. 

WATCH: New ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ trailer goes into the further

Scream before it silences you. Watch the new trailer of Columbia Pictures’ upcoming horror-thriller Insidious: The Last Key below.

The creative minds behind the hit Insidious trilogy return for Insidious: The Last Key. In the supernatural thriller, which welcomes back franchise standout Lin Shaye as Dr. Elise Rainier, the brilliant parapsychologist faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet: in her own family home.

The film is written by co-creator Leigh Whannell (Saw), who wrote the trilogy and directed Chapter 3; produced by Insidious regulars Jason Blum (The Purge series, Get Out, Split), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) and co-creator James Wan (The Conjuring, Fast & Furious 7); and directed by series newcomer Adam Robitel.

Shaye is joined by the returning Angus Sampson as Tucker and Leigh Whannell as Specs. They welcome to the cast Josh Stewart as Gerald Rainier, Caitlin Gerard as Imogen, Kirk Acevedo as Ted, , Bruce Davison as Christian, Spencer Locke as Melissa, Tessa Ferrer as Audrey, Ava Kolker as Young Elise, Hana Hayes as Elise as a teen, and Marcus Henderson as Detective Whitfield.

Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Bailey Conway Anglewicz and Couper Samuelson serve as the film’s executive producers.

In Philippine cinemas January 17, 2018, Insidious: The Last Key is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.