Laugh, cry and swoon with your loved ones as you watch Three Words to Forever at SM Cinema!
Having fallen out of love, Rick (Richard Gomez) and Cristy (Sharon Cuneta) decide to end their marriage. However, they are forced to delay their separation and keep up pretenses to preserve the joyful celebrations of their family, with the upcoming wedding of their daughter, Tin (Kathryn Bernardo) and her boyfriend Kyle (Tommy Esguerra) as well as the renewal of vows of Cristy’s parents, Cito and Tinay (Freddie Webb and Liza Lorena). As the wedding preparations progress, the family’s relationships with each other are tested as they try to find their way to a happy forever.
Starring some of the most loved actors and actresses in the country, Three Words to Forever will show us the struggles and hardships that all kinds relationships go through in order to find forever. Three Words to Forever is directed by Ms. Cathy Garcia Molina.
Three Words to Forever is now showing at any SM Cinema branch near you. Book your tickets through the website, http://www.smcinema.com or download the SM Cinema mobile app. You may also follow /SMCinema on Facebook and @SM_Cinema on Instagram for updates!
As part of their whirlwind, four-continent tour, stars Jason Momoa and Amber Heard and Director James Wan will visit Manila to attend Asian premiere and Fan Event in support of the upcoming film “Aquaman.”
MANILA, November 30, 2018 – Director James Wan and stars Jason Momoa and Amber Heard of Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming action-packed adventure “Aquaman” will be in town to meet Filipino fans in a spectacular red carpet-style Fan Event on Tuesday, December 11. The festivities will take place at the Music Hall located in the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, which aims to bring the film closer to moviegoers across Asia.
The Fan Event will be open to the public and free to those who would like to attend. For more information on event details, fans are encouraged to check Warner Bros. Philippines’ official social media pages (facebook.com/warnerbrosphils), SM Cinemas and SM Mall of Asia.
As with any public event, limited space is available. All attendees will be subject to security checks.
“Aquaman” will open in Philippine cinemas on December 12 nationwide.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.
The film’s star-studded cast also includes Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, and more. Wan directs from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, story by Geoff Johns & James Wan and Will Beall, based on characters created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger for DC. The film is produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, with Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada serving as executive producers.
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Peter Safran Production, a James Wan Film, Aquaman. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. www.aquamanmovie.net
From Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures and Chartoff Winkler Productions comes Creed II, with Michael B. Jordan, three-time Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson reprising their leading roles in the next chapter of the Adonis Creed story, which follows the young boxer’s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with newfound fame, family, his father’s legacy, and his continuing quest to become a champion.
Since arriving in Philadelphia from California three years ago to train with retired former heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone), Adonis (Jordan) has found love and success. Under his mentor, coach, and “uncle” Rocky’s tutelage, Adonis has risen quickly in the professional boxing world as a heavyweight title contender. He and his longtime love, Bianca (Thompson), the beautiful and talented singer-songwriter who is a rising music star in her own right, are now ready to make a commitment and start a family. His adoptive mother, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), who had hoped Adonis would not follow in the footsteps of his father, has accepted his choice, recognizing in her son the talent and passion that made her late husband one of boxing’s greatest champions.
Adonis should be on top of the world — but instead, he’s struggling to reconcile the doubt he feels on the inside with the acceptance and adulation he’s receiving from the world. As the illegitimate son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed — who died in the ring before he was born — Adonis is grappling with his legacy and life in the celebrity spotlight. Despite his success, Adonis is afraid of not living up to expectations, especially his own. He questions his abilities, and wonders if he’s fought the best and is worthy of being a champion.
It’s not long before an opponent steps forward who forces Adonis to confront his doubts and answer those questions: a young, undefeated heavyweight contender, Viktor Drago (Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu) — son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed Apollo in the ring three decades earlier — publicly challenges Adonis for what the boxing world labels a historic next-generation “Creed vs. Drago” showdown.
For Adonis, who wants to avenge his father’s death, taking on Drago’s son in a hyped-up title bout is more than just a fight. But for Rocky, who fears that history will repeat itself if these vengeance-seeking sons square-off, there’s much more to lose than just a title.
“I think Adonis has felt like an underdog ever since he became champion,” says Jordan of his character. “I don’t think he ever felt like a champ. He never felt like he was the sure-win, which is an interesting thing to play. He’s always felt like he has something to prove. He wonders: why do I feel empty? Why do I not feel complete?” Before Adonis can answer those questions and move forward, he must first look back. His connection to his late father always seemed to be like a fighter shadow-boxing; unable to wrap his arms around the ways he’s the same or different from Apollo, Adonis can only measure himself by legend and lore, stories and symbolism. Even Rocky and Mary Anne can only do so much to help the young man whose past contained multiple paths know where he came from.
“Out of nowhere, this blast from the past arrives which forces Adonis to go down a dark road, to really reflect on and figure out why he fights, and if he really has what it takes to be a great fighter,” concludes Jordan. “This film shows that sometimes you have to go through darkness and the fire to realize what’s important. You have to face your fears and go through pain.”
Now showing in Philippine cinemas, “Creed II” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind 21 Jump Street and the BAFTA and Annie-Award winning feature, The LEGO Movie, bring their unique sensibilities to a fresh version of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where anyone can wear the mask.
Check out the new Spot of Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse and watch the film in Philippine cinemas December 12.
Based on the comic book characters created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli in 2011, the movie centers on the adventures of African-American/Puerto Rican Brooklyn teen Miles Morales as he tries to fit in at a new private school in Manhattan.
Miles’ father is a by-the-books police officer and his mother is a devoted nurse. They are both loving parents who are proud of their son’s achievements, and want to see him succeed in the new school for gifted students. However, adjusting to the new school proves to be tough on Miles who would rather spend time with his friends from the neighborhood or visit his uncle Aaron, who encourages his talents as a graffiti artist. Although Miles idolizes Aaron, his charming uncle is quite a complex character who has had troubles with the law in the past.
Miles’ life becomes even more complicated when he is bitten by a radioactive spider, and he finds himself developing super powers, which includes venom strike, camouflage, sticking to objects, incredible hearing, Spidey sense, and much more. Meanwhile, the city’s nefarious criminal mastermind Kingpin has developed an ultra-secret nuclear super collider which opens up a portal to other universes, pulling different versions of Spider-Man (including an older Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham and anime Peni Parker) into Miles’ world.
Aided by familiar characters such as Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen and a kick-ass version of Aunt May, and new characters such as Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and anime Peni Parker, Miles learns to accept the challenges and responsibilities of being a real superhero. He ultimately realizes that anyone can wear the hero’s mask and take action to fight for what’s right.
Lord, who also co-wrote the movie with director Rodney Rothman, says it was the Miles Morales character that initially attracted him to the project. “We really thought it was an amazing, fresh way to tell the Spider-Man stories,” he notes. “When Sony came to us and said, ‘We want to do an animated Spider-Man movie, we initially said, (as we do with all of our projects), ‘No. Because the Spider-Man story has been told so many times. We then started talking about how we would approach it in a fresh way if we were to do it, and thought, it has to be Miles!’ At that time, Miles was easily the most exciting character in the Marvel universe. So, we leaned into this idea of a different superhero for our era, set in this environment that has multiple Spider-people from all of the comics. This idea of exploring different universes and playing with all the various versions of this beloved character opened up a world of possibilities to us.”
Columbia Pictures presents, in association with Marvel, a Sony Pictures Animation film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Featuring the voices of Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, Jake Johnson as Peter Parker, Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen, Mahershala Ali as Miles’ uncle Aaron, Brian Tyree Henry as Miles’ father Jefferson, Lily Tomlin as Aunt May, Luna Lauren Velez as Miles’ mother Rio, John Mulaney as Spider-Ham, Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker, with Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir, and Liev Schreiber as Kingpin. The movie is directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman and produced by Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Christina Steinberg, from on a screenplay by Lord and Rothman and a story by Lord, based on the Marvel Comics. The executive producers are the late Stan Lee, Brian Michael Bendis and Will Allegra. Music by Daniel Pemberton.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
Based on the popular U.K. television series of the same name, created by Lynda La Plante, “Widows” is directed, co-written and produced by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, whose 12 Years a Slave won the 2013 Academy Award® for Best Picture.
When McQueen approached renowned screenwriter Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) to co-write the script, she says she jumped at the opportunity. “Steve McQueen called me, which was a great phone call to get out of the blue,” she recalls. “He knew I lived in Chicago, and he wanted to do a heist film starring four women, so I’m already in. Then it’s going to be shot in the town I live in and love, Chicago, which is such an underused town and such a cool town. And he wanted to use all the neighborhoods and really employ the city as its own character. And you just don’t see Chicago enough, the real Chicago in film. So, I was immediately, like, ‘Where do I sign up?’”
According to Flynn, the story offers a twist on the typical heist film in that each character that intersects comes from different ethnic, financial and social background. “My favorite part about heist films are when the team comes together. I love that,” she notes. “That’s one thing I wanted to keep about that heist feel, was that these women were coming together, not because one was a jewel thief, and one was a safe cracker, that type of thing, but because they just happen to all be connected by their husbands.”
The filmmakers assembled an impressive cast of actors for the film. McQueen says it was very important to make his cast feel comfortable and at-home, so to speak. “It’s very simple: they’re all great actors and you need to create an environment in which they feel safe to experiment and explore. That’s what I hope I provide actors, a safe space to fall on their faces, brush themselves off and try again in search of some kind of truth.”
Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis says it’s a role that she never imagined she’d be asked to portray. “It’s a huge departure for me,” she exclaims. “I wouldn’t imagine myself being in this. First there’s a nice love scene in there. It’s kind of action-packed. I don’t know, I just didn’t see it. So, Steve McQueen literally coming to me and saying, “I do see you in this role,” was sort of exhilarating to me.”
In the film, Veronica is married to career criminal Harry Rawlins, played by Liam Neeson. When you first meet them, the couple have already been damaged by a tragic death. “They very much are bonded by grief,” she notes. “And then Harry dies in a heist accident… and she’s left with nothing, literally nothing. Nothing in terms of finances and nothing in terms of even emotional reserve. But she decides to live.”
She decides to live by finishing the heist Harry was supposed to commit. Step one: employ her crew, the widows of Harry’s cohorts in crime. “It just starts off with all of us being strangers,” Davis explains. “But the one familiar element is that all of our men died in this fire, and they were all thieves. That’s the only thing that binds us together. And, also the fact that we’re all broke and we need to survive now. We’re in survival mode. But other than that, we couldn’t be any more diametrically opposed.”
Rated R-16, “Widows” opens December 5 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox.
Creed II maintains the same energy of the first film while pulling the best aspects of the original franchise.
Creed II picks up a few years after the first film, as Adonis “Donnie” Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is on the verge of both becoming the new world heavyweight boxing champion and taking the next step with his longtime singer-songwriter girlfriend, Bianca Porter (Tessa Thompson). However, just as everything seems to be going Adonis’ way, he is challenged to a fight by Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu)—the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian beast who killed his father in the ring during a boxing exhibition match leading up to Ivan’s marquee showdown with Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family.
The film particularly talks about how Adonis Creed balances his life: his personal obligations and his challenges in training for his next big fight. He goes back to basics to rediscover what made him a champion in the first place and remember what matters most in life as a boxer. It digs deeper into the character’s insecurities—who he truly is and where he’s going. It is an effective boxing drama that brings about a meaningful sequel as it pushes to greater depth the Rocky film series.
The biggest surprise in Creed II is how it brings back an original character Ivan Drago, who is a cartoonish Russian villain in Rocky IV. The film transforms him into a genuinely tragic figure whose shattered ego and broken spirit have poisoned his relationship with his son, Viktor. Viktor, on the other hand, certainly benefits from the physicality that real-life fighter Munteanu brings to the role, yet he’s also far more emotionally wounded than his intimidating stature. Their storyline is more engaging and stirring, which makes this film more interesting. Creed II really puts on the theme about generational trauma and the long shadows that fathers cast on their sons’ lives.
Creed II is a solid and enjoyable movie with fun fights and emotional moments. The boxing scenes are surprisingly entertaining, although there’s a lot difference in the visual order as shot in the first film. Even so, the film has much to offer for fans to feast on. There are unexpected cameos by actors from former Rocky films and there are moments that are worth cheering for—something fans can more than ask for in a sequel. All of the characters arcs are handled well despite the predictability of the story. The trainings of Adonis are amazingly shot with a heart. His relationship with his wife Bianca shows the motivations in his life as a boxer and as a husband. Even Ivan and Viktor Drago’s characters show that they are not just plain, bad guys, but they actually have a decent amount of dispositions in life.
Creed II is all about triumphs and setbacks, growth and redemption. It might as well be a nod to “Rocky IV” but this iteration is better as it takes on what matters most and what you are really fighting for—for Adonis, it is his family. With a great story that has emotionally-charged scenes, it’s surely a must-watch for Rocky fans.
Creed II opens November 28 in PH cinemas as distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
5 out of 5 stars
Directed by Steven Caple Jr. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Sylvester Stallone, Dilph Lundgren, and Florian Munteanu. Runtime: 130 minutes
Three total strangers are forced to face a past… a past that will change their future forever.
Bona Fajardo, the writer and director of romantic drama movies such as “Iliw” and “I Found My Heart in Santa Fe,” is back with another heart-warming movie in KAHIT AYAW MO NA.
KAHIT AYAW MO NA tells story of three girls, Joey, Mikee and Ally, who were all drawn to the beautiful province of Samar.
Joey (Empress Schuck), a designer looking for a local start up business goes to Samar with her boyfriend Reggie (Daniel Matsunaga) where they meet Edlyn (Desiree del Valle) and Dong (Alan Paule), a couple who runs a banig-weaving business. Living with them is their daughter and aspiring composer Ally (Andrea Brillantes).
Meanwhile, food and travel vlogger Mikee (Kristel Fulgar) and her friend Jiro (Kuya Sawa) visit the province to feature Samar’s Secret Kitchens — a well-guarded family recipe of Dong’s mother.
While they enjoy the beautiful places and people of Samar, Joey and Mikee struggle with their respective personal issue, as both of them hold a grudge to the father’s they never knew. Ally on the other hand, is dealing with an unrequited love problem.
Joey and Mikee were invited to Edlyn and Dong’s wedding. But an unexpected revelation will ruin everyone’s celebration.
Watch as Empress Schuck, Kristel Fulgar and Andrea Brillantes have the most fun, memorable, and life-changing summer in Samar in KAHIT AYAW MO NA. The movie will open in cinemas near you on December 5. Get hooked with the movie’s official soundtrack titled, “Kahit Ayaw Mo Na,” performed by This Band.
KAHIT AYAW MO NA is produced by VIVA Films and BluArt Productions, Spark Samar and Saga Prefecture Film Commission.
What do you get when three bumbling “holdaper”-wannabes aspire to get a piece of the biggest heist of their lives? It’s an hour and a half of laughing out loud and more — with “Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap”!
Set in the imaginary Barangay Husay, right at the heart of Tondo Manila, we convene among best of the worst criminals in the land. Eman, played by Pepe Herrera, and his two friends: Toto, played by Jerald Napoles, and Carlo, played by Jelson Bay, their group starts out as the underdogs, failing at every opportunity to succeed in any of their small time scams.
Then a newbie is introduced to their group by Eman’s father played by veteran actor Pen Medina. He decrees Nicoy, played by Paolo Contis, to become part of Eman’s group breaking the tradition of having only 3 members per gang. Nicoy is met with adverse reactions but was eventually accepted by Eman and his friends breathing new vigor and hope for their dream of succeeding in an ultimate scam.
But the story is more than just this small band of goons, we are taken on a journey of evil plots intertwined by characters separated by less than 6 degrees all boiling into a pot that is probably the biggest, if not the most absurd heist ever to come across this side of Tondo.
Written and Directed by commercial director Marius Talampas, who might be new to filmmaking as this will be his first full-length film, but he sure has done his rounds in the commercial industry.
His career kicked off by a viral video titled “Yung Pula o Yung Puti”, a fun video he made with his best buddy Pepe Herrera whom he has known since their High School days in JASMS. His style and technical prowess are evident in each crisp shot and sequence, making the milieu of Tondo as savory as that twice-cooked adobo from your favorite carinderia.
“Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap” is heavily reminiscent of Guy Ritchie’s style of quick wit and dry humor evident in the shots and story’s pacing, a director whom Talampas admits has heavily influenced his style.
If you’re a fan of those kinds of movies then “Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap’” will seem like a manly breath of fresh air for you especially with all the rom-coms competing for moviegoers attention nowadays.
You will not be disappointed with what this one has to offer.
Catch the riot and have an ROTFL time with friends on starting on November 28 (Wednesday) when “Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap” (from Mavx Productions) is released in theaters nationwide.
About “ANG PANGARAP KONG HOLDAP”
Eman, Carlo, and Toto are the dumbest thieves in Barangay Husay, a town that houses the best hold-uppers, snatchers, and criminals in Manila. They are an embarrassment to the town, and are always mocked by the other group of criminals because they have never succeeded in any of their hold-up attempts.
Ka Paeng, the leader of the organization of criminals in Barangay Husay and father of Eman, decides to add newcomer Nicoy to his son’s group so they can improve their chances. The idea didn’t sit well with the group but they didn’t have any choice.
Nicoy, desperate to be accepted by the group, presents an opportunity. He shares an information about an item that will be bought for a large amount of money in an abandoned warehouse. Nicoy suggests that if they rob the trade, it will change their lives forever.
The heist, he says, will launch them as the top criminals in Barangay Husay. Unknown to them, a lof of other dangerous parties are also interested in the trade, including Ka Paeng himself.
Will the heist fulfill Eman, Carlo, and Toto’s dreams to become the top criminals in Barangay Husay? Or will this be another one of their embarrassing failed robberies? #AngPangarapKongHoldap
When the trailer showing Vanellope Von Schweetz meeting the Disney Princesses in Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 was released in June, it became such a viral sensation it was a miracle that it didn’t, well, break the internet.
It was a scene that the filmmakers always felt was a keeper. Says co-director Phil Johnston, “Putting Vanellope in a room with all of the Disney princesses was funny from the get-go, considering her unapologetic personality and laid-back outlook. And as it turned out, Vanellope is on a coming-of-age journey, so her encounter with the princesses was integral to the completion of her arc in the film.”
Filmmakers invited the original voice talents to return to the studio to help bring their characters to life. The royal reunion included Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Kristen Bell (Anna in Frozen), Jodi Benson (Ariel in The Little Mermaid), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in Aladdin), Kelly Macdonald (Merida in Brave), Idina Menzel (Elsa in Frozen), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in Tangled), Paige O’Hara (Belle in Beauty and the Beast), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in The Princess and the Frog), and Ming-Na Wen (Mulan). “We were able to get just about everyone who’s still with us to reprise their roles,” says Johnston. “As each actress came in to record her lines, we invited her to sit with the animators and talk about her character.”
Says co-director Rich Moore, “It was intriguing how much the characters are a reflection of those actresses. These women have a deep connection to their characters, and to witness their very personal presentations was really moving.”
Besides turning to the princesses’ original voice talents, the Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 team studied the original films, adopting many of the princesses’ iconic poses. They also headed to Disneyland, where they learned about the princesses’ individual gestures and quirks from the ladies who play the Disney princesses almost on a daily basis.
Also a big help was animator Mark Henn, who was the original supervising animator for six of the princesses—Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Tiana. Henn also contributed to the animation of Frozen’s Anna and Elsa.
Henn, the hand-drawn animation supervisor for this sequel, says, “The princesses are still the characters we love, we’re just seeing a different side of them. The key is finding the balance. They’re backstage where they can behave like regular girls—just hanging out—but we still had to maintain their personalities.”
“I love seeing the princesses ‘off-duty,’ relaxed and cozy in a way we’ve never pictured them before,” says Mandy Moore, who reprised her role of Rapunzel for the film. “It gives us a deeper glimpse into their lives and a peek behind the curtain.”
Judging from netizens’ reaction to the trailer, Vanellope partnering with the Disney princesses is a surefire hit. Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa in Frozen, says it best: “When have all of the Disney princesses been together in one room? I don’t know if it gets better than that.”
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is now playing in Philippine cinemas. Join the conversation online and use the hashtag #RalphBreaksTheInternet
About Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
In Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank (voice of Gal Gadot), a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had. Directed by Rich Moore (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph) and Phil Johnston (co-writer Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, writer Cedar Rapids), and produced by Clark Spencer (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph, Bolt, Lilo & Stitch), Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 hits Philippine theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.
No one, it’s fair to say, was better equipped to adapt The Grinch into a 3D animated film than Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri. Not only had he successfully adapted two other Seuss books into feature films – 2008’s Horton Hears a Who! and 2012’s The Lorax – but his company, Illumination, has dominated the world of animation for more than a decade with sweet and subversive characters and unexpected stories, including The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, and most notably Gru and his Minions in the Despicable Me franchise, which has grossed more than $3.7 billion worldwide.
Meledandri can trace his attraction to delightfully flawed characters back to the Grinch. “From a very early age I found myself attracted to characters that had a wicked side to them, especially characters that you enjoyed watching be wicked, but I also like seeing their redemption,” Meledandri says. “In a lot of Illumination films, there’s definitely a recurring theme of characters who have a real edge or a bite to them. So How The Grinch Stole Christmas! was formative for me. I grew up in a household where Dr. Seuss books were plentiful.”
The decision to make The Grinch into a feature film seemed an organic one for Meledandri. At the emotional center of that intention was a question they decided to explore: How did the Grinch become the way he his? “That became very organic, to our minds,” Meledandri says. “At the core of this story is a character who was emotionally wounded as a child. He has placed himself on a quest to eliminate the joy of others because he himself has been left out of feeling that joy. The manifestation of that emotional pain is a character who has gone into seclusion, who has given up on the society around him. And it takes the most innocent and optimistic character imaginable – in this case, Cindy-Lou Who – to reengage him to life, to an openness to connecting with other characters, to believing in good.”
The result, Meledandri says, is a film with a message that touches the heart and resonates long after people leave the theater. “As I’ve watched the film as we’ve been making it, I really love this hopeful feeling that the movie leaves you with. And getting to this place means that the character has transcended many of the things that have held him back: this desire to protect himself from feeling hurt, from being rejected. He actually wrecks this wall of meanness that he’s erected.”
In Philippine cinemas November 28, The Grinch is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
About The Grinch
For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic.
The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism.
Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Who-ville when he runs out of food.
Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas. To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh.
Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who – a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer – plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother. As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheming threatens to collide with the Grinch’s more nefarious one. Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus? Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all?