‘Big Hero 6’ opens at No. 1; Grosses P70M in 4 days

"Big Hero 6"

Disney’s “Big Hero 6” directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams. (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International)

A child prodigy and his lovable robot charmed their way into the hearts of families, fanboys and girls, enabling Disney’s Big Hero 6 to gross a stunning P69.99-million nationwide in just four days (Nov. 6 to 9) and open at No.1.

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‘Godzilla’ casts giant shadow at local box office, grosses P90.4M in four days!

"Godzilla" in 2014 (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

“Godzilla” in 2014 (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

MANILA, May 21, 2014 – Warner Bros.’ re-invention of Godzilla trampled its competition at the Philippine box office, hauling off a four-day opening weekend gross of P 90.4-million for the May 15-18 frame. This was announced today by Francis Soliven, General Manager of Warner Bros. Philippines.

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Godzilla: Return of the iconic monster in 3D

BY Jen T. Tuazon

The new Godzilla movie is here and it’s a hodgepodge of scenes from Aliens, Jaws, Jurassic Park and  even Titanic!

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“Godzilla,” directed by Gareth Edwards and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.

Godzilla, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliet Binoche, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, and Elizabeth Olsen, resurrects the iconic monster in the 21st century. Nuclear physicist Joe Brody (Cranston), haunted by a tragic powerplant accident, becomes convinced there exists a grand cover-up operation on the real reason behind the fatal explosion. With the reluctant help of son and US Navy explosives-expert Ford Brody (Johnson), they uncover the massive truth, unearthing such freaks of nature as “mutos” (fugly, supersized cockroaches) and of course, the monster of the hour, Godzilla himself.

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Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as father and son Joe and Ford Brody in “Godzilla.”

I’m not a fan of reptiles—they’re my least favorite in all of the animal kingdom. So it’s probably not the best idea for me to watch a movie starring a ginormous lizard. But this reboot by director Gareth Edwards was supposed to be a really good one and there was enough hype to make me curious. Plus it’s in 3D!

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The movie opened with a scene supposedly located in the Philippines, which won my patriotic heart instantly. But the excitement died down quickly as the movie, while an action disaster film, took time to build its momentum. The movie will require patience from the viewer as it first teases with mere traces, anecdotes, and glimpses of Godzilla and in fact waits well way til past the halftime mark to reveal the monstrous lizard in its full scary glory. And it’s a noticeably fuller Godzilla, too. (As one Japanese fan commented: “He’s so fat, I laughed.”)

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Disaster seems to follow Ford Brody, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, in “Godzilla.”

What the viewer will be treated to right away are the so-called “mutos” which stands for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism”–creatures so hideous they will make you want to take your eyes off the screen. As you can probably tell they’re not the good guys in this movie, and for the most part they are the main source of havoc in Japan and in the US (or wherever the extremely unlucky Ford Brody happens to be).

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Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins as scientists Drs. Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham in “Godzilla.”

A story about a giant lizard fighting off super-sized cockroaches might seem silly and difficult to appreciate, but thankfully director Gareth Edwards lays the foundation for the story almost brick by brick by brick, enough to make the narrative believable (or just plain not silly).

Overall, if you’re a big fan of the Godzilla franchise, you will love this movie. Otherwise, you may not appreciate the story as much but the film does provide enough visual spectacle (especially in 3D) and excitement (reminiscent of scenes from classic disaster movies) to make your time in the theater worth the while.

GODZILLA, showing in Philippine cinemas on May 15, is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.

“300: Rise of an Empire”: Re-experience the gore and violence in 3D

BY Jen T. Tuazon

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300: Rise of an Empire, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Ever wondered what it’s like to watch the iconic movie 300 in 3D? Wonder no more, thanks to the seven-years-in-the-making sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire.

It was in 2007 when 300 first shocked and awed with its intense, bloody, no-holds-barred battle scenes. More movies have boldly followed since, and, thanks to technology, moviegoers for the last seven years have had more than their fair share of films (and even TV shows) with similarly over-the-top special effects.

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Rodrigo Santoro in all his splendor as Xerxes in 300: Rise of an Empire

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An award-winning actor in Brazil when he gained fame around the globe, Rodrigo Santoro now reprises his role of the magnificently adorned Persian God-King Xerxes from Zack Snyder‘s 2007 worldwide hit 300 in the companion film 300: Rise of an Empire.

Based on Frank Miller‘s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield–on the sea–as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

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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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‘Catching Fire’: Ten Thumbs Up!

By Joanna Mendoza and Jen T. Tuazon

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


The
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
had a tough act to follow in last year’s very well-reviewed Hunger Games. But this sequel — with its genius story, superb returning actors, perfectly cast newbies, chilling and suspenseful scenes, and elevated humor (hey, even sullen Peeta is smiling now!) — is even much better than its predecessor.

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