Goku, Vegeta face off against legendary Super Saiyan in ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’

The most anticipated and latest in the anime action Dragon Ball franchise starts January 30  as “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” opens exclusively in SM Cinemas.

“Dragon Ball Super: Broly” is a new legend penned by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, the first film in the new Super series, and the 20th anniversary film. Because of this bounty of importance, the production style of this film can best be summed up in Director Nagamine’s words: “If Goku has undergone an upgrade, then the visuals must be upgraded as well.” If Goku will always love to fight and become stronger, we need to think outside the box and create a contemporary, highquality Dragon Ball worthy of him. In other words, the stronger Goku gets, the harder we must work to express that evolution. The evolution displayed in Dragon Ball Super: Broly is not just a memorial to over 30 years of legendary titles, but also a challenge to depart from the films that came before it.

As this is the first Super film, we’ve also refreshed the character designs from the TV series. Mr. Iyoku at Shueisha’s “Dragon Ball Unit” proposed a challenge to us to renew the animation and character design because the drawing style of the creator of Dragon Ball, Toriyama himself, has also changed. Toriyama believes the new designs represent “the Dragon Ball of today,” and their shade is similar to the original manga’s. Aiming for that kind of animation, we held elaborate auditions for animators at Toei Animation.

Naohiro Shintani was handpicked by Toriyama himself to create these new designs based on the flavor of the original manga. Upon inking the model sheets, he received the nod from Toriyama on the first draft without having to do any retakes. What characterizes Shintani’s renewed designs is that they have a slim silhouette when compared with the previous designs. You could call them contemporary, but they also achieve the feeling of a fine balance that is closer to the original manga than previous anime designs. Upon observing the animation for the previous series, Shintani said, “I like the designs that director of key animation Minoru Maeda did for the original Dragon Ball TV anime, so I thought it would be nice if I could bring out Maeda’s nuances like his soft touch and expressions when I drew them.” This comes out in the character model sheets, but please look for this sensitive expression in the film as well.

A 20th Century Fox presentation, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” opens in the following cinemas on January 30:  SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Manila, SM Fairview, SM Sta. Mesa, SM Marikina, SM East Ortigas, SM San Lazaro, SM Southmall, SM Bacoor, SM Cebu, SM Seaside Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Cauayan, SM Clark, SM Pampanga, SM Cabanatuan, SM BF, SM Dasmarinas, SM Davao, SM Lanang, SM Cagayan De Oro Downtown, SM Telasbastagan and SM Legazpi.

Check 20th Century Fox (Philippines) and SM Cinemas Facebook pages for the latest cinema list. 

‘Glass’ review: Bold antithesis to superhero genre

Glass subverts your expectations enough to make it a bold antithesis to the superhero genre.

Nobody foresaw the “Eastrail 177 trilogy” coming into life until the closing credits of the psychological horror thriller Split, which revealed itself to be a standalone sequel to the 2000 superhero-thriller Unbreakable. It’s a brilliant move for M. Night Shyamalan’s filmmaking career —now fans of either film will flock to see how it all ends up in Glass, easily making this as one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year.

That being said, Glass works best as a sequel to Unbreakable. To be fair, Split feels like the disconnected tissue of the franchise (which aptly fits considering it tackles Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID]). If Unbreakable is a character study of an everyday man coming to terms with his amazing gift of super-strength and precognition abilities, Glass puts the said hero into action. Dubbed as ‘The Overseer,’ David Dunn (Bruce Willis) of the first film now runs a home security store but secretly pursues a vigilante life with the aid of his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark). The father-son relationship remains to be the strongest emotional core here and one could have wished for a more fleshed out dynamic, or perhaps just a larger arc for David. Nevertheless, Willis delivers a wise and grounded performance to successfully revitalize a character from 19 years ago.

Bruce Willis reprises his role, David Dunn in ‘Glass.’

However, it is Split’s Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) a.k.a. The Horde with 24 different personalities, who actually takes the center stage for the most part. Kevin is back at it again with kidnapping and murdering teenage girls while McAvoy once again astounds in a role that is designed to showcase his tenacious commitment and powerhouse act. Glass features other personalities that weren’t featured in Split but I must say that he still delivers best as the sinister Patricia. The film wastes no time in pitting Kevin against David and the plot leads you to believe that this will be a classic hero vs. villain story. But director/writer M. Night Shyamalan pulls the rug out of you by the third act (more of that later).

James McAvoy (Kevin) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey) in ‘Glass.’

It is only halfway through where the film’s namesake, Elijah Price a.k.a. Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), is reintroduced. Last time we heard of him, he’s locked away in a mental institution, harmless and heavily sedated, as it appears to be. A new character, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) steps up and puts David and Kevin in the same facility. At the moment, it may seem like a counterintuitive decision. It’s only a matter of time before Mr. Glass’ insanely intelligent mind can formulate an escape plan or who-knows-whatever-nefarious scheme he has been concocting for years now.

Samuel L. Jackson plays the titular character in ‘Glass.’

By the second half, a mood swing occurs and this is where the plot starts to get meandering—but never boring, mind you. Dr. Ellie aims to convince them that their abilities are not supernatural but rather delusions of grandeur. It weakly pokes the viewer’s stance, especially after we’ve seen Kevin crawling on the ceiling earlier—clearly there’s something up her sleeve. And so what follows are intellectual banters, heavy-handed expositions and comic book meta-references. Shyamalan keeps us hooked with seamlessly incorporated deleted scenes from Unbreakable to reinforce the idea that their superhuman identities are forged in traumas. His excellent shot composition also assigns color motif fit for each character’s psyche and mood.

Sarah Paulson as psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Kemper in ‘Glass.’

Glass operates in a smaller budget and those looking for bombastic tentpole action sequences will be disappointed. The staging of the climactic battle looks and feels nothing like Marvel and DC and I for one am glad that it does not go to that route. Shyamalan has proven to be an ambitious filmmaker and while the risks he takes don’t always pay off —like when Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) suddenly warms up towards her former captor Kevin (a faulty case of stockholm syndrome)—the director can be commended for having the audacity to do something different in the comic-book mythology. Obviously, there’s no clear road map of this trilogy 19 years ago. Hence, he opted for a more on-the-nose execution here to make sure that audiences are picking up with the singular vision he has in store.

A mass murderer (Samuel L. Jackson), a cannibal monster (James McAvoy) and an unlikely superhero (Bruce Willis) are locked up in an asylum in ‘Glass.’

Much of your ultimate liking for Glass boils down on its third act filled with shocking twists, one after another. Personally, I think it ends in a phenomenal fashion: what starts out to be a grounded superhero thriller film mostly shot in a claustrophobic hospital winds up on a shocking scope that might just outsmart any other superhero origin film. It’s not a desirable conclusion that will please most viewers but it’s the ending that fits well with Shyamalan’s vision. For that, I am deeply satisfied.

4 out of 5 stars
Directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan, ‘Glass‘ stars James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard. Run time: 129 minutes.

WATCH: Liza Soberano, Enrique Gil give all the feels in ‘Alone/Together’ teaser

Black Sheep, ABS-CBN Films’s newest indie film production arm, has just released the first teaser trailer for the much-awaited romantic film, ‘Alone/Together,’ starring the blockbuster #LizQuen love team.

Check out the official poster and teaser trailer of #AloneTogether below.

Written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, ‘Alone/Together’ tells the love story of Raf (Enrique Gil), a B.S. Biology student at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), and Christine (Liza Soberano), a B.A. Art Studies student at the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UP). He lives passively just to graduate and appears to have no ambition in life, while she dreams of changing the world—even if it takes tagging him along.

This new romantic film also stars Sylvia Sanchez, Nonie Buencamino, Adrian Alandy, Mary Joy Apostol, Xia Vigor, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

Produced by Black Sheep and Project 8 corner San Joaquin Projects, ‘Alone/Together’ opens February 13 in Philippine cinemas.