Award-winning troupe assembled in ‘The Monuments Men’

The unlikely group of war heroes in "The Monuments Men," in Philippine cinemas Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

The unlikely group of war heroes in “The Monuments Men,” in Philippine cinemas Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

“The story of the Monuments Men is one that really very few people know,” says George Clooney, who returns to the director’s chair for the story of a small group of artists, art historians, architects, and museum curators who would lead the rescue of 1,000 years of civilization during World War II in his new film, The Monuments Men. “Artists, art dealers, architects–these were men that were far beyond the age that they were going to be drafted into a war or volunteer. But they took on this adventure, because they had this belief that culture can be destroyed. If they’d failed, it could have meant the loss of six million pieces of art. They weren’t going to let that happen–and the truth of the matter is, they pulled it off.”

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‘Crash director Paul Haggis back with ‘Third Person’

The "Third Person" cast (L-R): Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, Moran Atias, Adrien Brody, Loan Chabanol, Olivia Wilde. "Third Person" opens exclusively in Ayala Malls cinemas on Feb. 19. (Photo courtesy of Ayala Malls cinemas)

The “Third Person” cast (L-R): Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, Moran Atias, Adrien Brody, Loan Chabanol, Olivia Wilde. “Third Person” opens exclusively in Ayala Malls cinemas on Feb. 19. (Photo courtesy of Ayala Malls cinemas)

From Academy Award-winner Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) comes the romantic thriller Third Person, which jumps from Paris to Rome to New York as it traces the hidden connections between three very different men. The acclaimed film will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Feb. 19.

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Our Top 4 picks at the 8th Spring Film Fest

BY Jojo Eijansantos

The 8th Spring Film Festival, which screens Chinese Films for free, is ongoing until Feb. 2.

The 8th Spring Film Festival, which screens Chinese Films for free, is ongoing until Feb. 2.

Before I started watching the annual Spring Film Festival, I always thought that any movie that came out of mainland China would be sensitized beyond my own libertarian sensibilities to appreciate, let alone like. But the beauty of film is that it arouses a curiosity that expands a mind beyond its original dimensions, and it shares universal truths, beyond the cultural fineries that enliven these truths and the language in which they are spoken. Here are my top 4 picks for the 2014 Spring Film Festivalongoing FOR FREE at the Shangri-La Plaza until Feb. 2–and how they made me expand my universe just a little more over the weekend.

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‘Saving Mr. Banks’: Untold story of ‘Mary Poppins’ Journey from book to screen

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks" (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in “Saving Mr. Banks” (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

In 1961, Walt Disney invited Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers to his studio in Los Angeles to discuss, in person, his continued interest in obtaining the movie rights to her beloved book and character–a pitch he first made to her in the 1940s. Still hesitant and disinterested after all those years, Travers wanted to tell the Hollywood impresario to go fly a kite but with dwindling sales of her books and a bleak economic future looming, P.L. Travers said yes and embarked on a two-week sojourn in Los Angeles that would ultimately set the wheels of the beloved film in motion.

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2014 #Oscars viewing list

BY Joanna Mendoza

“Gravity” scored 10 Oscar nominations. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

To be quite honest, I’m not as on top of this year’s Oscar prospects as I want to be. But since a huge part of the fun of the Oscars is predicting who will win (and discussing with your peers why you think certain long shots should win), I’m planning to watch as many of the nominated feature films as I can until about a week before the awards are handed out.

Are you an Oscar procrastinator, too? Here’s an easy guide for all the films you have to see before March 2!

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POLL: 2014 Oscar noms announced. What are YOUR picks?

"American Hustle" got 10 Oscar nominations. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

“American Hustle” got 10 Oscar nominations. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

And the Oscar noms went to…

Last night, while most of us were already trying to sleep, the Oscar nominations were announced in the U.S. As expected, American Hustle dominated with 10 nods, a feat also achieved by Gravity. Another frontrunner, 12 Years a Slave, earned nine. It’s also interesting to note that the very competitive (although practically decided) Best Actress category features four past winners, and a fifth one who hasn’t won but had been nominated four times prior.

Below is the complete list of nominees. But as part of the fun of following the awards season is predicting the results, we invite you to make your own picks!

 

























The 86th Academy Awards is scheduled for March 2, 2014. It is usually shown in the Philippines live via satellite on the Velvet Channel. 

‘RoboCop’: Meet the characters!

RoboCop-2014

“RoboCop” opens in Philippine cinemas on Feb. 5, 2014.

Columbia Pictures’ new, futuristic thriller RoboCop boasts of a powerhouse cast led by Joel Kinnaman (The Darkest Hour, TV’s The Killing), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Michael Keaton (Tim Burton’s Batman series, Night Shift), and Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Pulp Fiction), as well as Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch, Somersault), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, Little Children), and Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up).

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‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’: A Modern Day Spy Thriller

BY Jen T. Tuazon

"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" starring Chris Pine. (Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” starring Chris Pine. (Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

It used to be that action movies were mostly made up of endless physical combat, elaborate explosions, and dizzying car chases. But as virtual reality has gradually lessened physical contact among us in the “real world,”  movies—even action ones!—are now mirroring this change, as in the new spy movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Brannagh (who also directed the film).

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‘Grudge Match’: Of Butterscotch and Jellybeans

BY Jo Ann Madarang

Grudge Match 1

Grudge Match,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro, opens in Philippine cinemas Jan. 15. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

In Grudge Match, retired boxing rivals Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) meet again after 30 years to settle the score once and for all. Lending support to these two heavyweight actors are Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart, Kim Basinger, Jon Bernthal, and LL Cool J.

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47 Ronin: Bordering silly but has moments of good fun

BY Joanna Mendoza

Keanu Reeves in "47 Ronin" (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Keanu Reeves is the “half-breed” Kai in “47 Ronin.” (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Some might say that the ancient but real-life story of the 47 ronin (lordless samurai) who sacrificed their lives to avenge their master’s death is the stuff of Hollywood dreams. But it’s only been given the Hollywood treatment now, with the recently released 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves as a half-British, half-Japanese samurai.

While I didn’t exactly hate the movie, I’m not so fond of it either. There were good and bad things about it, but to end on a good note, let’s start with the bad, shall we?

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