Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin desert-bound in new ‘Dune’ image

Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides is mesmerised by the desert in a newly released image from Warner Bros.’ epic adventure “Dune,” in Philippine cinemas January 2021.

The new photo shows Paul (Chalamet) and his weapons teacher Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) in an ornithopter as it goes airborne.

Director Denis Villeneuve provided some insights on the new image, sharing, “It’s Paul’s first contact with the deep desert, where he’s mesmerised by it. He has a strange feeling of being home. There’s a lot of action at this specific moment, and [it’s] one of the scenes in the movie that I’m starting to get pretty proud of.”

About “Dune”

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

The film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling, with Jason Momoa, and Oscar winner Javier Bardem.  

Villeneuve directed “Dune” from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert.  Villeneuve also produced the film with Mary Parent, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr.  The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert.

“Dune” was filmed on location in Hungary and Jordan.  The film is slated for a January 2021 release in the Philippines from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary.

Join the conversation online and use the hashtag #Dune

‘Avengers: Endgame’ (spoiler-free) review: Marvel’s gratifying finale

‘Avengers: Endgame’ brings pride and joy to the fans who have invested in the MCU franchise, 11 years and 21 movies ago.

After the “snappening” in Infinity War, audiences, myself included, are left with our jaws on the floor as the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) wipes half of the living creatures in the universe. It’s a superhero film where the supervillain wins at the end – it’s far from the crowd-pleasing ending expected, yet it’s something fresh that we can definitely dig. Serving as the culmination to Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3, Avengers: Endgame assembles the surviving heroes one last time to avenge the fallen. The trailers, however, drop very minimal hints. What’s exactly going on in this solid 3-hour film? Are the ‘vanished’ really dead or are they just inside the soul stone? Will time travel through quantum realm be the means to undo their demise? I can neither confirm nor deny these fan speculations in this discussion. One thing I can guarantee for sure, this groundbreaking film exceeds the hype. It even retroactively deepens our love for the previous films. If this isn’t perfection, then I can’t even imagine how to make a more gratifying version than this.

The gang is back. (Half of them anyway). Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson in ‘Avengers: Endgame.’

Whereas the main attraction of Infinity War is its earned fan service spectacle, Endgame surprises as the most emotional and most contemplative MCU film to date. There’s plenty of fuel here – loss, grief and guilt are the prime ones to motivate our core six Avengers. Y’all should know them by now but since this will be their swan songs, I’d mention them anyway. There’s genius inventor Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), super-soldier Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), rage monster Bruce Banner/Hulk, god of thunder Thor (Chris Hemsworth), deadly assassin Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and a vengeful marksman Clint Barton/Hawkeye returning from his absence in Infinity War. Rounding up the troop are Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Rhodey/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and newly-minted Avenger, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely once again deserve high merits for successfully juggling an overwhelming amount of characters, with the OG crew getting the lion’s share of show-stopping moments.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) drifts into space.

The character and ensemble work is better than expected, with every A-lister bringing their A-games to the table. Downey’s subdued grief and reliable cocky screen presence supplies much melancholy and joy. Evans finally gets to play with Cap’s lifetime of regrets from being frozen in ice several years ago. Ruffalo sells both the neurotic scientist and the rampaging Hulk. Hemsworth feels loose and natural as a self-deprecating comic god. Johansson lends an unexpected emotional weight to the film and Renner has so much soulfulness in his eyes. What most trailers don’t show is how much time is devoted to make these characters appeal as more than a team, but rather as each other’s adopted family. By this point, most of us see them as friends. We worry for their safety. We heavily root for them. Genuine emotional connection is the magic that MCU has built all these years.

“Even if there’s a small chance we can undo this, we owe it to everyone that’s not in this room to try.” – Black Widow

Endgame also serves as a testament to the majestic directorial skills of the Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony, in tying up a decade’s worth of storytelling into a poignant and hair-raising climax. The film bears plenty of callbacks from its franchise’s earliest entries, along with a top-notch cinematography and even the frenetic quality of the comic books. It’s emotionally-overwhelming and that’s because Endgame is a layered film at its best. It’s an epic superhero spectacle, an inventive heist, a dramatic tale of courage and loss, and most of all, an exploration of what it means to be a family and a hero. The hearty takeaway is this: heroism is not defined by superhero abilities, but by what one is willing to sacrifice for the greater good.

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) joins the Avengers in ‘Endgame.’

It’s true that Endgame will have a much deeper impact for the diehard fans. With its sense of finality pervading throughout, the film takes its viewers to a roller-coaster of emotions: I was gasping, laughing, crying and cheering (sometimes all at the same time). Its tragic yet uplifting. To say that Marvel has outdone themselves with their carefully crafted emotional beats, thrilling action sequences and heartbreaking farewells, is an understatement. No other movie franchise has done this feat in Hollywood history.

“Let’s go get this son of a b—–.” – Steve Rogers

MCU caps off an era by being more than just 11 years of entertainment. This is the cinematic superhero journey of a generation. Part of that journey is the end but with each ending comes a new beginning. The past is golden and the future looks bright. I give my heartfelt gratitude to all the characters and to all the true and unsung heroes of Marvel.

5 out of 5 stars
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow and Josh Brolin. Based on ‘The Avengers’ by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. 181 minutes.

MOVIE REVIEW: Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2 revs up more on meta-references, violence and attitude. It simply won’t back down up until the post-credits.

Deadpool 2

If the first Deadpool movie made history by breaking down the fourth-wall in the superhero film genre, this sequel outdoes its predecessor by revving up on everything that fans expect of it: meta-references and gratuitous violence. So much of these, that this time, you can almost feel its portrayer, Ryan Reynolds eating popcorn beside you, giving you rib nudges all throughout. And with the amount of bloodshed and mockery thrown in this film, expect some lasting bruises on your way out.

By design, Deadpool should make fun of other films and its first victim is no other than Wolverine (it’s no secret when the trailer explicitly markets this film with a line, “from the studio that killed Wolverine”). Then, we are served with a stylish, James Bond-inspired opening sequence featuring Celine Dion’s original song, “Ashes.” This is played along Deadpool’s signature fake credits (“directed by one of the guys who killed the dog in John Wick”) to remind us that this sequel can be self-deprecating too. It is Marvel’s slowly-diminishing competitor, DC Comics who takes the biggest shade of all and past the comic-book genre, even B-films like Human Centipede can’t escape the travesty. Deadpool 2 simply won’t back down, up until the post-credit scene that everyone’s been raving about.

READ MORE: Final trailer for ‘Deadpool 2’ pokes fun at superhero movies

But the meta-ness of its humor is only one aspect it. It’s the raunchy side that induces you to laugh your guts out. It is indeed excessive—and reprising screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (and now joined by Reynolds himself) could be trying hard for all we care—but it doesn’t matter. Wade Wilson/Deadpool is not a protagonist who acts like a comedian desperately wanting his audience to laugh. He is a hilarious madman who draws comedy out of tragedy after being tortured in the first film. Hence, he can’t help himself. It all works.

The most important thing is Deadpool’s humor, no matter how vulgar and edgy it is, it does not rely on racism, sexism, homophobia and other real-life offensive themes. In fact, the film goes in the opposite direction and mocks those who tolerate them. Deadpool calls his motley crew as “forward-thinking and gender-neutral,” a character comments on the discrimination of plus-sized heroes in Hollywood, and so on.

Deadpool 2 X-Force
The X-Force (L to R): Domino (Zazie Beetz), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) and Bedlam (Terry Crews).

Along with old-timers Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Weasel (TJ Miller), Dopinder (Karan Soni) and Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), DP2 returns with more wonderfully diverse cast members. After conducting hilarious quick-cut interviews, Deadpool assembles his not-so-derivative team called the X-Force crew: Bedlam (Terry Crews), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Peter the human (Rob Delaney), and Domino (Zazie Beetz) who cinematically shines with her luck-manipulation skills.

We learn from the get-go that Deadpool and his long-time girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) plan to have a baby of their own and with a troubled fireball-hurling kid Russell/FireFist (Julian Dennison) stepping on the picture, he test-runs his capacity to be a father. The X-Force must protect the kid from a time-hopping terminator-esque Cable. The latter being played by Josh Brolin fresh from his Thanos role so we can expect more jokes in this department. As a whole, DP2 actually works as an antidote from the harrowing end of the recently released Avengers: Infinity War.

Josh Brolin as cyberkinetic soldier Cable

Defying morals is part of Deadpool’s charm and as we can see here, Deadpool convinces Russell that killing will set him to the wrong path. Yet, he and his team does this by slicing and dicing a lot of bodies along the way. It’s ultra-violent as ever than before but it works hand-in-hand with the humor and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos. These are all punchlines in this bloody raucous good-time.

Director David Leitch (who I also recently learned is a former stuntman) knows his angles well and employs neat camera tricks here. But what makes DP2 stand out even more is the use of its soundtrack. When is the last time that you heard songs like Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’, Air Supply’s ‘All Out of Love’ or Annie’s ‘Tomorrow’ used in a fight scene? Only Deadpool has the craziness to do so.

On the other hand, Reynolds’ attitude and charisma permeates through his mask that he almost immortalizes himself with this character (much like Robert Downey Jr. does in his Iron Man). He has a crazy level of  hyper-awareness that he can point out obligatory tropes that even DP2 is also guilty of doing. He throws in comments like, “big CGI fight coming up!” “that’s just lazy writing,” or “if we finish this mission, we can skip the third act and eat chimichangas after.” It indicts pop culture and questions mainstream taste, showing gruesome stuff while asking its viewers, “Are you enjoying this? Of course, you are!” Nothing is sacred here, except the comedy itself.

Deadpool with Colossus (Stefan Kapicic)

On an entirely different note, I still have my reservations whether or not to officially include Deadpool in the X-Men franchise. How do you put a character in a universe that does not use fourth-wall breaking comments? Will he start calling Professor X as Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy? That being said, I think it is best for his character to stay out of it. But even if the executives decide to go in that direction, it can still be interesting how they do it. Marvel, please don’t screw this up in the future.

And now to answer the question of diminishing returns. Does DP2 wear me down after using more of the same technique? At this point, not yet. The strain occasionally shows but for the most part it pays off with big laughs with an emotional core strong enough to keep it together. Deadpool 2 can be as subversive as it can be but deep inside it’s just a comic book movie that wants to be loved. The bottomline is, if you enjoyed the first Deadpool film, you will most certainly enjoy this sequel too.

4.5 out of 5 stars

About Deadpool 2

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

Distributed by 20th Century Fox, Deadpool 2 is now showing worldwide on May 18, 2018 starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic and Eddie Marsan.

Directed by David Leitch from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds (R-16). Runtime: 119 minutes.


Josh Brolin, from Thanos in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’

After breaking box office records, Ryan Reynolds returns as Deadpool and this time the Merc with the Mouth’s movie is bigger and more badass than ever.

“Deadpool” debuted in February 2016 with the biggest R-rated opening of all time and went on to be the highest-grossing R-rated film in history with more than $750-million globally. “Deadpool” was also honored as the first live-action superhero movie to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture in the Comedy or Musical category, and Ryan Reynolds was also nominated as Best Actor.

Academy Award-nominated actor Josh Brolin has starred in a slate of films, ranging from “No Country For Old Men” and “Sicario,” all the way back to the now-classic “Goonies.” In “Deadpool 2,” Brolin stars as one of the most highly-anticipated screen personas in recent history. He plays the role of time-traveling Cable, a warrior infected with the techno-organic virus that renders him cybernetic.

READ MORE: It’s Ryan Reynolds vs. Josh Brolin in movie sequel

“One of the things that made “Deadpool” popular was that, while it was silly and irreverent, it also had a heart and real angst and grounded emotions,” says writer/executive producer Rhett Reese. “Wade Wilson is someone who leads a pretty tormented life and lives on the edge of society. We wanted to carry that into “Deadpool 2,” and we worked in some pretty serious, dark plots. Deadpool is still on the fringe, he hasn’t really made much of his life and he is still scrounging to get by – which is always endearing.

The Cable character has also lost a great deal. He has lost his wife and daughter at the hands of a mad man, and he’s doing anything in his power, including traveling back in time, to solve that issue and bring them back. In this, there is an undercurrent of real emotion and depth that counterbalances the humor. It’s not just farce or a romp. It has real emotional underpinnings and I think the combination is where we like to live.”

“Cable is a stalwart of X-Force,” says writer/executive producer Paul Wernick. “Deadpool is the gateway into the X-Force world, and an essential part. Cable is the straight man to Deadpool’s madness. He provides an almost parallel emotional core. Despite them being very different, they’re very similar in that they’re both broken. They’ve both lost something and are in search of something. Ultimately, they find each other.”

“Josh is a treasure and one of the great actors of our generation. We’re just privileged to have him,” says Wernick. “Josh is incredible,” adds Sood. “He personifies this character that’s been a fan favorite for years. I think it’s going to be really exciting for everybody to see it on the screen. It was great for us, because we got to look at all those wonderful Cable – Deadpool stories and try to get the essence of what that relationship was and translate it to the screen. They are incredibly strong-willed personalities. Sparks fly between them. The movie is not a buddy movie in any way, but you can see the beginnings of a partnership that may yield even bigger results in the future.”

“Deadpool” creator Rob Liefeld, also created Cable. He says, “Josh Brolin could not be more perfect for the role. He’s one of the most talented actors of all space and time!” Liefeld recalls meeting Brolin on set and thinking, “I’m meeting Cable! How awesome is this!?! I dare anyone to meet one of your own creations and not get umpteen butterflies in your stomach.” To morph into the fighting machine Cable, Brolin worked out diligently for months and was also extremely disciplined in his dietary habits. He was very proud of getting into what he calls, “the best shape of my life.”

About Deadpool 2

Rated R-16 by the MTRCB, “Deadpool 2” opens in Philippine cinemas on May 16 from 20th Century Fox. With early previews on May 15 starting 5:00pm at selected theaters nationwide (check cinemas near you!).

WATCH: It’s Ryan Reynolds vs Josh Brolin in full trailer for ‘Deadpool 2’

Red-dy yourselves as 20th Century Fox unravels more in the latest full trailer of what’s in store in the hugely anticipated “Deadpool 2” that will open on May 16 in Philippine cinemas.

Starring Ryan Reynolds as the returning titular character, “Deadpool 2” trailer explodes with familiar and new characters, friends and fiends of Wade Wilson aka Deadpool in a series of non-stop, high-octane action.

An action adventure unlike any other in the hero universe, Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth as seen in the trailer, assembles his own motley bunch to help him fight enemies and save it against the wrath of the dreadful Cable, played by Josh Brolin.

Directed by David Leitch, a filmmaker, stuntman and stunt coordinator, “Deadpool 2” also stars Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Stefan Kapicic, Karan Soni, Zazie Beetz and Julian Denison.

Mark your calendars red on May 16, the day that “Deadpool 2” opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

‘Sicario’ battles today’s swath of darkest crimes

From acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners,” “Incendies”) comes Sicario, a searing emotional-thriller that descends into the intrigue, corruption and moral mayhem of the borderland drug wars starring acclaimed and award-winning actors including Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt, Academy Award® winner Benicio Del Toro and Academy Award® nominee Josh Brolin.

“Sicario” ratchets into a series of boiling encounters when when Arizona FBI agent and kidnap-response-team leader Kate Macer (Blunt) uncovers a Mexican cartel’s house of death, her shocking find leads to profound consequences on both a personal and global level. Kate is recruited to join a covert black-ops mission headed by a mysterious Colombian operative known only as Alejandro (Del Toro) along with special agent Matt Graver (Brolin) Even as Kate tries to convince herself she’s on a hunt for justice, she is thrust into the dark heart of a secret battleground that has swept up ruthless cartels, kill-crazy assassins, clandestine American spies and thousands of innocents.

“It’s a movie about choices,” adds Benicio Del Toro, who dives into one of his most conflicted roles as the equal parts vengeful and tender hit man Alejandro. “It’s tough to say whether any character in Sicario is truly good or bad. Do the means justify the ends? What happens when go into a situation where you want to kill one guy and you kill 20 innocent people? You got the bad guy, but at what cost?”

“Kate is tempted by this world,” says Emily Blunt, who breaks the mold with her portrait of a fierce female character whose life is in jeopardy throughout every second of the film. “She realizes she was barely scratching the surface doing things by the book and now she wants to believe she can do something that will make a real difference. Yet the very idea of no longer following the rules turns Kate’s whole world upside down. Nothing makes sense anymore.”

Josh Brolin, who is known for characters who ply the edges, was intrigued by the movie’s subtext of big questions about values versus security and whether fighting criminals with outlaw behavior darkens hearts beyond repair. “This movie is a human mystery that you get to grab at and put together for yourself,” Brolin says. “It’s a suspenseful and emotional puzzle.”

For screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, slowly, a story began to emerge about a side of the war on drugs few ever have seen in the U.S. — the story of a war on drugs that often, in practical terms, becomes a war for drugs, as the powers that be jockey for control of the trade. It was, by necessity, a story full of human ambiguity. “Crime stories are usually told either from the point of view of the hero or the villain,” Sheridan notes. “This story couldn’t be like that. This is a story in which, even when you think the villain has been caught, you realize the problem hasn’t really been resolved. There will be another villain tomorrow.”

Sheridan’s script immediately garnered praise for its blend of a breathless thriller pace with the poignant characters of a sophisticated drama. But at first, he encountered resistance to the obvious risks of making the film. Then he met Thunder Road founder Basil Iwanyk and senior vice president of features Erica Lee.

Iwanyk says the screenplay was just too powerful to ignore; it was tense and timely, it was mesmerizing in its emotional sweep. “We thought it was one of the most beautifully, intensely, emotionally written thrillers that we’ve read in a really long time,” he comments.

Villeneuve felt an instant affinity for the material, but his aim was to leave judgment out of it, allowing the audience to decide whether the methods used by the blacks-op team are worth it in the end. “I have always thought that the world is gray, not black-and-white, and that the notion of good and evil is oriented by one’s cultural and geopolitical background,” the director comments. “Is there a solution to the continuing growth of the drug trade? Sicario raises a lot of questions, but it leaves the answers open.”

High-intensity action explodes in Sicario – now in cinemas nationwide as released by Pioneer Films.