Tuesday, January 31, 2012

“THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO” Rated R-18 Without Cuts By MTRCB

FYI moviegoers, don't bring kids to see this movie! :p

Press Release:

Columbia Pictures' critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has been approved without cuts by the Movies & Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) with an R-18 rating. This means, only audiences 18-years-old and above may be admitted when it opens in selected theaters on Feb. 1.


“Dragon Tattoo” caused a stir when it was released in the US last December, owing to its dark themes and graphic scenes of sexual assault, violence and nudity.

Last Tuesday, the film earned five Academy Award nominations, notably for Best Actress (Rooney Mara), Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.


Director David Fincher (“The Social Network”) uncoils the world of author Stieg Larsson’s global blockbuster thriller on the screen in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Within the story’s labyrinth lie murder, corruption, family secrets and the inner demons of the two unexpected partners chasing the truth of a 40-year-old mystery. Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a financial reporter determined to restore his honor after being convicted of libel. Engaged by one of Sweden’s wealthiest industrialists, Henrik Vanger (Academy Award® nominee Christopher Plummer), to get to the bottom of the long-ago disappearance of his beloved niece, Harriet – murdered, Vanger believes, by a member of his large family – the journalist heads to a remote island on the frozen Swedish coast, unaware of what awaits him.


At the same time, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), an unusual but ingenious investigator with Milton Security, is hired to do a background check on Blomkvist, a job that ultimately leads to her joining Mikael in his investigation of who killed Harriet Vanger. Though Lisbeth shields herself from a world that has repeatedly betrayed her, her hacking skills and single-minded focus become invaluable. While Mikael goes face-to-face with the tight-lipped Vangers, Lisbeth plies the wired shadows. They begin to trace a chain of homicides from the past into the present, forging a fragile strand of trust even as they are pulled into the most savage currents of modern crime.

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 1, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like them at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join their fan contests.


Fincher Gets Best Director Nod for “THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO”

From what I heard, this movie is bound to be a blockbuster so it's not surprising that its director would be nominated at different award-giving bodies. Good luck Mr. Fincher! :) 

Press Release:

The holiday movie season last 2010 seemed to belong to filmmaker David Fincher. His "The Social Network" struck the zeitgeist among movie goers, critics and awards groups. Twenty-five days after Fincher completed "Network," the director found himself in Sweden, shooting Columbia Pictures' new thriller "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

It's the English language adaptation of Swedish author Steig Larsson's first installment of his popular Millennium thriller series, with tales of avenging sexual violence against women. Fincher's version stars Rooney Mara as a young computer hacker helping a journalist (Daniel Craig) crack a case of a missing woman.


And like in 2010, Fincher is once again collecting accolades – the latest is a Best Director nomination for “Dragon Tattoo” from the prestigious Directors Guild of America.

In the following interview, Fincher talks about the film, the Swedish franchise and his sentiments on Hollywood's awards season this year.

Q: How is your version different from the Swedish film?
David Fincher: "I wholly respect what's been done in advance of our beginning. But I also think that we brought it a different sensibility to it, a different telling. We're doing parts of the story that were cut for length or budget in the past. There is a lot of back story and some of that stuff is channeled elsewhere in the Swedish version."

Q: Do you feel pressure to live up to fans' expectations?
Fincher: "I live to sidestep feeling pressure. Because if you're spending $250,000 per day of shooting, you learn to deal with pressure. I feel responsibility to an author who is not going to be able to see the movie. I feel responsibility to a Swedish crew who gave everything, 12 hours a day for 100 days to help put this thing on the screen. I feel responsibility to the actors. We don't want to stink the place up. Hopefully this version will live alongside the other version."

Q: There were many actresses vying for the explosive character of Lisbeth Salander. How did you pick Rooney Mara?
Fincher: "I didn't see Lisbeth like that. I don't see her as a kick-ass avenger. I see her as damaged goods and very real. I was never looking for her to be Joan Jett. I was looking for, 'How does a girl who's been through all the things that this girl has been through -- how does she survive, where does she find a moment of happiness, at what point in the movie does she smile'?"


Q: And Rooney answered those questions for you?
Fincher: "These are the things that you turn to somebody, not just because they're a great actor or because they can pretend well, but because they're sort of an emotional hanger and you're putting this character, like a suit of clothes, on it. The wonderful thing about Rooney was it kept exposing itself layer after layer."

Q: You have a 17-year-old daughter. Did this story speak to a protective fatherly instinct in you?
Fincher: "I'm not gonna deny that there are things about Rooney that are similar to different women that I have in my life. I would like to say that I felt compelled for reasons of feeling injustice. It's shocking to me the kind of depravity that the story was talking about. But it was first and foremost these two characters and the story -- this bizarre team, these bizarre lovers, these bizarre avengers. This story has a lot of the trappings of pulpy thriller fiction but it also has deeper roots and deeper resonance."

Q: Last year "The Social Network" cleaned up during awards season. Do you have any hopes for "Dragon Tattoo" doing the same this year?
Fincher: "No. I honestly don't think that's in the cards. There's probably too much sodomy in this movie for it to be (a contender). But who knows? Maybe sodomy is big this year. (Laughs)"


Q: How about box office. Do you think the subject matter will affect the film's ticket sales?
Fincher: "When the book was first given to me in 2006 or something, in galley form, the answer (to the question was), 'I don't know.' It was up my alley, but I didn't know if anyone was was going to read the book. That 'I don't know' thing is important to me to keep. It's the secret handshake. The fact that 60 million people have bought the books says to me that there is an audience out there who is okay with adult themes and adult material if it's done well and it has some human characters at the center of it."

Q: Would you like to continue working on the rest of the books and direct the second installment?
Fincher: "At this point, no. But ask me again in two months. I'm so tired right now I can't think straight. You don't ask a woman in labor, 'Do you want another child?'" (laughs)

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 1 in its uncut R-18 version, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like them at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join their fan contests.


Rooney Mara, a Best Actress Contender for “THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO”

Rooney Mara's role in Dragon Tattoo seems very interesting. I'd have to catch this movie soon!

Press Release:

She wowed audiences with her brief but memorable performance as the ex-girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg, in the opening scene of 2010’s “The Social Network.” Now, fast-rising star Rooney Mara breaks away from the pack with her riveting portrayal of the titular role in Columbia Pictures' harrowing thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” She's nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes, and considered a shoo-in for the same honor at the Academy Awards.

Director David Fincher's “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” kicks off the screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster Millennium Trilogy, the epic series of thrillers that have sold 65 million copies in 46 countries. First published in 2005, shortly after Larsson’s own death, the first novel in the series, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo introduced readers to financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and avenging hacker Lisbeth Salander (played in the film by Daniel Craig and Mara, respectively).

As soon as production was in motion for “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” the search was on for the title character of Lisbeth Salander. The danger was that everyone who had read the book had already formed a personal picture of her in their minds. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times described Lisbeth thus in her review:

"Lisbeth Salander, Stieg Larsson’s fierce pixie of a heroine, is one of the most original characters to come along in a while: a gamin, Audrey Hepburn look-alike with tattoos and piercings, the take-no-prisoners attitude of Lara Croft and the cool, unsentimental intellect of Mr. Spock. She is the vulnerable victim turned vigilante; a willfully antisocial girl, once labeled mentally incompetent by the state’s social services, who has proved herself as incandescently proficient as any video game warrior.”

In adapting the character, Steven Zaillian aimed to capture all those contrasting shades of Salander’s persona, one that is heavily armored, yet vulnerable if any one dares to get that close. “She’s the kind of character who is the most fun to write,” Zaillian says. “There’s a kind of wish fulfillment to her in the way that she takes care of things, the way she will only put up with so much, but there are other sides to her as well. A big part of the power of the movie is Lisbeth Salander.”

Fincher now wanted to find all that in an actress, but more than anything he wanted someone who would be willing to walk to the edge of an already risky character and take a leap. That’s what he found in Rooney Mara, but it wasn’t straightforward.

The filmmakers conducted an exhaustive search for the role of Lisbeth. Fincher put her through a seemingly unending series of intensive auditions – in which he asked her to do everything from recite Swedish poetry to pose with motorcycles – to prove what she could do in the role.

“What endeared me to her during the audition process was exactly what I wanted from Lisbeth: she doesn’t quit. I wanted that person who was indomitable,” he says. “By the end of our casting process, I knew this was someone worth falling on the grenade for.”


He continues: “She started with so much of what we were looking for, what we needed. She’s a bit of a fringe-dweller in her real life. But more than that she was willing to do the work to understand this character. I said, ‘I don’t know if she can do it, but I know she will try like hell if we can just inspire her and support her and then cut her loose.’ And that’s what happened. She chopped her hair off, she learned to ride a motorcycle, she went to Sweden on her own and disappeared off the grid. And if you have someone willing to do all that, that’s everything. Piercings are piercings, but anyone could pull that part off.”

For Mara, the chain of auditions kept her on edge, helping to fuel the character even more. “I was ready and willing to do and show them anything to get the part,” she states. “But as it got closer, I was like, ‘What else do I have to show you guys? I’ve shown you everything. I need to either move on with my life, or let’s do this. I’m ready to just throw down, but make up your minds.’”

The months of performing and waiting culminated in an ultimatum. “David brought me into his office and started rambling about the part, going on and on about all the reasons someone shouldn’t want it – how it might change my life, and not necessarily for the better. Then he hands me his iPad and it has a press release on it saying I’ve been cast in the part. He told me that they planned to send it out that day and I had a half an hour to decide if I wanted them to or not.”

Mara didn’t hesitate. The character was already under her skin. “There’s never been a female character like Lisbeth, this sort of tiny, androgynous person who has so many different facets to her,” she says. “You’re so with her – and yet, at the same time, you question her because she’s not someone who always does things you agree with. To me, that was really interesting.”

She adds: “I think a lot of people relate to her, even if she is also strange to them, because most people at some point have felt like an outsider or like they are being held back by the powers that be.”

As soon as she accepted the role, Mara was in the gauntlet. “An hour after I told David yes, I was disassembling a computer, getting on a motorcycle and starting skateboard lessons. And literally five days later, I was in Stockholm,” she recalls. “There wasn’t really time to think about what it meant that I got the part, or how I felt about it. I just literally went into laser-focus mode.”


But she definitely wasn’t scared away by Fincher’s warnings. “He told me, ‘You’re going to have to go to Sweden and be alone and experience this girl’s life.’ He told me, ‘The movie is going to consume you. You’ll have to say goodbye for a time to your family and friends.’ But he didn’t really know me yet, then,” she explains. “He didn’t know that I’m actually a loner and that what he wanted didn’t scare me. It might have scared someone else, but not me.”

Eventually, she also radically transformed her entire appearance, cutting her long hair, undertaking numerous body piercings, and bleaching her eyebrows, which she says was the most shocking. Not only was it a hauntingly transgressive look, but also it opened up Lisbeth’s face, allowing the character’s mix of unsentimental intelligence and buried rage room to play out.

“Right before we did the bleaching, I was really together, I was ready for it, I was excited,” Mara recalls. “Then I looked in the mirror and I really freaked out. But I think the bleaching was one of the best things we did for the look of the character. It really put our own stamp on it.”

Another part of Mara’s stamp on Lisbeth was finding just the right way to reveal all her self-imposed emotional blockades. “David and I talked about the idea that there is no open wound with Lisbeth. She’s all scar tissue. She doesn’t cry, she rarely allows herself to really feel, but beneath the scars, the audience has to know the wounds are there,” she describes.

In the end, Mara says the experience of playing Lisbeth was everything she fought for in those months of trying to nab the role. “It’s the kind of part that comes around once in a lifetime,” she concludes. “But apart from that, the thing I’m most excited to take from the experience is that I feel more capable. I’ve learned so much and done so many things I never thought I could do.”

She concludes: “That’s my favorite thing about David, that he challenges everyone. That’s why his movies are so great. Because they challenge you and make you think about things you wouldn’t have – and I think people like to be challenged.”

Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 1, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like them at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join their fan contests.


Daniel Craig Chases the Truth in “THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO”

My hubby watched the press screening of this movie last night and he said it's really good :)

Press Release:

His unique balance of depth and charm won him the role of James Bond in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” Now, Daniel Craig plays crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist who's tasked to find the truth behind the long-unsolved disappearance of an heiress, in Columbia Pictures' searing thriller, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Much like author Stieg Larsson was before his death, the character of Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist dedicated to rooting out corruption in finance and government. As co-owner of the upscale magazine, Millennium, he is hardly an activist, but he has been known to go too far -- getting into legal, and even mortal, peril due to his merciless investigations of the powerful and wealthy.


“It’s really Blomkvist’s movie, because he’s the way in,” says director David Fincher. “He’s the more conventional character and Lisbeth Salander is the satellite who orbits him. We needed someone like Daniel, someone who not only has tremendous movie appeal but God-given acting chops. He is so good, you can mine his nuances.”

Like many people, Craig had read the novel The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo shortly after its publication, in the midst of the initial craze. “Someone gave me a copy of it on holiday and I read it in two days,” he recalls. “It’s one of those books you just don’t put down. There’s just this immediate feeling that bad things are going to happen and I think that’s part of why they’ve been so readable for people.”

Even then, he found himself inexorably drawn to Lisbeth Salander. “I think what is interesting about her is that even though she is a victim of sexual violence, she never psychologically becomes a victim,” Craig observes. “Her strength and the way she can take a knock, get up and carry on is something I think people really hook into.”


The book simmered in his consciousness, but it was the creative team who came together to bring it to the screen that made the role of Blomkvist a done deal for Craig. “It was already a good story, but the combination of David as director and Steven Zaillian’s script made it incredibly exciting for me,” he says. “I had confidence in the material, and confidence in their visual ideas.”

From the start, he also had an affinity for Blomkvist. “I like his attitude, I like his politics, I like the way he’s all mixed up but in interesting ways,” Craig comments. “He’s fighting the good fight, trying to uncover corruption and to be an influential journalist, if that’s still possible.”

Steven Zaillian was impressed with the way Craig slipped into the role. “Blomkvist is a guy who’s not quite as tough as he’d like to be, but who is a really good, decent guy. Daniel was great playing that,” he observes. “His role is every bit as complicated as Salander’s.”

Craig made the decision early on not to adopt any extreme accent for the role, but to keep Blomkvist’s manner of speaking more natural, as befits the cosmopolitan culture of Stockholm. “I went for something very plain,” he explains. “David and I talked about it and we both didn’t want an accent to get in the way of the character. Really, many Swedes speak incredibly good English, both with and without accents. I just felt that was the way to go. Blomkvist is well traveled, he’s been all over the world, he’s been listening to the BBC since he was six and I think this is the person he is.”


After having wanted to do so for a long time, working with Fincher was exhilarating for Craig – despite the challenges. “David is known for doing a lot of takes and we did our fair share, but that never bothered me,” Craig says. “We can do takes all day long as far as I’m concerned if something good is coming out if it, as long as we are still creating every time we do. David is also very specific and – what’s the nicest way to say it? – particular. But once you see the way he builds a scene brick by brick, it’s an easy process to relax into. You give yourself over to it, knowing he’s got his eye on all the important details.”

Craig notes he was in the best shape of his life when he was cast, which was not quite right for a journalist who spends much of his time hovering over a desk or interviewing sources. “David told me to get fatter, and it was a struggle, but I managed,” he laughs.

Physical challenges did come, especially in the climactic scenes of the film, but Craig notes that even in those scenes, his focus was more inward. “Those final scenes are at a high level of emotion for Blomkvist,” he summarizes.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like them at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join their fan contests.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Power Mac Center’s Main Service Center Moves To A New Address

FYI, Apple product users ...

Press Release:

Power Mac Center’s main service center has now moved to a new location to further improve customer satisfaction on repair and maintenance services for Apple products.

The Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) can now be found at the 2nd level of Northeast Square, 47 Connecticut St., Northeast Greenhills, San Juan, just a few minutes from its former address at P. Guevarra St., San Juan, Greenhills.

Said Power Mac Center Marketing Manager Joey Alvarez, “The transfer to a new and bigger space makes the service center more accessible and also allowed us to create a facility that can readily meet the constantly evolving Apple standards for AASPs worldwide.”

Aside from this main AASP in San Juan, Power Mac Center also operates service centers in TriNoma, Greenbelt 3 and at its newly opened branch in Abreeza Mall in Davao City to support its retail operations.


As an Apple Authorized Service Provider, Power Mac Center delivers fast and efficient repairs for an outstanding customer experience, with its Apple certified technicians, exclusive access to genuine Apple parts and knowledge base.

The Apple Premium Reseller also further strengthens its AASP arm with its state-of-the art tracking system, the PMC Online Repair Tracking Service (PORTS), which allows customers to check repairs online by logging on at PMC website www.powermaccenter.com.

Equipped with several useful features, PORTS provides PMC retail customers secure access to repair information concerning their Apple product via (URL) within or even outside the PMC Network. The online Status Report details all the transactions, diagnosis, Current Unit Status, repair/replacement, and quality tests made to the customer’s unit or device being repaired.

Said Alvarez, “This new online system reinforces Power Mac Center’s commitment to fast and efficient service as an Apple certified service provider in the country.”

Customers can visit the service center from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. PMC’s friendly customer service officers will be more than willing to give the best advice and repair options on Apple products. Customers may also call (632) 725-4PMC (4762).


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Up And Coming Australian Actor Alex Russell In “CHRONICLE”

Watch the trailer of Chronicle here.

Press Release:

A young man flies between the buildings, lifting cars into the air with the power of his mind - based on an original story by director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis, “Chronicle” is the tale of three teens who find a power beyond their imagination, and the struggle they face in learning to control it.

Like so many of us, they’re obsessed with chronicling their lives, however mundane – or in their case, however extraordinary. For Andrew, Matt and Steve have stumbled upon something beyond their – or anyone’s – understanding. They’re now capable of, well, almost anything. They can move objects just by thinking about them, crush cars through force of will. They learn to fly…the ultimate wish fulfillment, until things get dark.


As the story opens, Matt is a cynical, know-it-all, too-cool-to-care teen. But like his two new cohorts, Matt undergoes radical changes after an encounter with a mysterious force leaves him with incredible powers. The two other members of the newly empowered high school trio are Matt’s cousin, Andrew (portrayed by Dane DeHaan), and campus king Steve (Michael B. Jordan). Australian actor Alex Russell reflects on playing the all-American high schooler in the following Q&A:

Q: It's not like a traditional Marvel or DC superhero movie. Was that part of the attraction?
A: You get to do all these incredible action sequences. You get to do superhero stuff, but the characters are so layered. Not to say that isn't always the case, but if there's a superhero movie the prime thing is to sell that aspect of it—the superpowers and the function of a superhero. This is more about characters learning about themselves and developing as people. It's interesting to think about what Matt, Andrew and Steve would have been like if they hadn't had superpowers.


Q: Can you introduce us to Matt, your character?
A: Matt Garetty is in his senior year. He's spent much of his high school life with a “screw you” attitude toward everyone and everything around him. He's had this nihilistic approach, up until recently, all through his high school years. He's intelligent, but he doesn't do well in school because at some stage he turned against the system. Now he's in his senior year and while that's a huge part of him, he does have that desire to want to connect with people again. The arc of Matt's character throughout the film is huge.

Q: Will the handheld element bring something different for audiences?
A: That's what is so exciting about it. The illusion is that characters are holding these cameras and you're seeing stuff that's surreal and amazing. I think bringing those two elements together - that raw style of shooting and these incredible effects - is going to be really unique; especially because it's not the shaky handheld approach. You may have whole scenes where the camera is just sitting there and there's no room for cuts. It's very tricky but also very exciting because people get a feel that they're looking in to a world with that kind of shot.


Q: What do you like about your character?
A: I like that he has a thirst for knowledge. I really like that who he is in the beginning is who he is in the end. Even though a lot of his thirst for knowledge is part of his image, he does have a real desire to expand his thinking. I really like that about him.

Alex Russell graduated from the prestigious NIDA acting program in his native Australia in 2009 and became one of the first of his graduating class to book a leading role in a feature film. “Wasted On The Young” was one of the breakout international hits of the 2010 Toronto Film Festival and led to offers in the shape of independent feature ALMOST KINGS and the upcoming Australian action thriller “Bait 3D.”

“Chronicle” opens February 2 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.


Dane DeHaan: Teen Superpower Gone Amok in “CHRONICLE”

You can read more about the movie (Chronicle Conceived in the Era of YouTube) here.

Press Release:

Three ordinary teenagers suddenly become powerful after a night in the woods upon close encounter with an unidentified underground phenomenon in “Chronicle.”

“Chronicle” is as real as it gets introducing the audience to Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) – recognizable teens, each with a distinctive personality and each facing relatable challenges that come with being in high school, forming new friendships, and exploring new facets of their ever-changing lives. They’re imperfect, awkward, and a little reckless.


Their discovery leads them to acquire powerful telekinetic abilities; in graphic novel parlance, they have superpowers. They’re now capable of, well, almost anything. They can move objects just by thinking about them, crush cars through force of will. They learn to fly…the ultimate wish fulfillment. Then things get dark.

One of these teens could be you or could be amongst those close to us or our acquaintances. Dane DeHaan unleashes a powerful creeping performance as one of the lead stars in “Chronicle” and explains further his character, Andrew.

Q: Can you tell us about your character?
A: Andrew is a poor kid who comes from a rough family background. His mom is really sick and his dad is on disability from being a firefighter so for him, things are really tough. But his circumstances extend to other areas of his life as well. He is, by all means, a loser in school and not just a kid who goes under the radar, but the kind of kid that people really go out of their way to make fun of and bully. In that way he's a victim.


Q: Do you think he struggles with the responsibility of the power?
A: Yes, but it’s not a case of “How responsible am I going to be with this power?” I think he just really enjoys having power, messing around and finally having friends. It does, in the end, overtake him.

Q: Is it more fun to play a character that is conflicted?
A: It's always fun to play a complicated character, definitely. It's not always fun to go to dark places, but it's always fun to play a character who has such an extreme arc, who goes through so much. I don't think I've ever played a character like him.

Q: How was the dynamic with the other actors?
A: It's good. I always try to form some sort of relationship with the people I work with that mimics the relationship I have with them in the movie. I think we did a pretty good job of that. Michael, Alex and I have all become pretty close and friendly; we all have our inside jokes and we can poke fun at each other. We can hang out and have a good time. Doing that in our personal lives away from work has definitely had a positive influence on the movie.


Q: It's a strange mix of a big action movie with the sensibilities of a character piece.
A: Yes, I think the movie does an incredibly good job of taking the concept, somebody getting superpowers, and dealing with that in a very realistic way. If a group of teens in real life actually got superpowers they would mess around with it, see how much fun they could have with it and eventually it would probably all spin out of control because they've been given way too much power. I think the reality of it is what truly drew me in.

Q: What's it been like working with your director, Josh Trank, in his first film?
A: It was my first time working with a first time director. There is definitely an excitement and energy that goes along with that. I think that one of the cool things about the project is that we're all around the same age in real life. All of us are still beginning our careers in many ways. Even though all of the actors have done other movies and TV shows we still have a youthful, “go get 'em,” attitude. Josh matches that. In many ways he's much more of a peer than any other director. He's going through it for the first time, like us. There's definitely an excitement to that.

Q: There’s a really interesting shooting style to the film, with the characters filming all of the scenes – how has that been to work with?
A: It's great. It's another reason why the film is so inventive. It's found a way to do this kind of handheld stuff but used the reality of the circumstances to make it less dizzying and less gritty. It's really interesting how every camera movement in the movie is really motivated and grounded in reality, as much as the plot and the characters and all the other elements.

Intense till the end, “Chronicle” opens February 2 in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.


“CHRONICLE” Conceived In the Era of YouTube

After seeing the trailer of Chronicle, this thought came to mind: "With great power comes great responsibilities" :)

Press Release:

There’s a new kind of high in the movie “Chronicle” among three best friends Andrew, Matt and Steve set in a very familiar American landscape – high school students in a campus where each fraction of a teen either make themselves seen or invisible. Directed by first time feature film director Josh Trank, Dane Dehaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan play the lead roles in this edgy teen movie where they pit on each other’s newly acquired superpowers.


Andrew (Dehaan) coming from a poor family with a rough background has always been the subject of bullying, Matt (Russell) is Andrew’s cousin in his senior year and has applied a nihilistic approach through his high school years and Steve (Jordan) is the most popular guy in their school whose congenial personality made him friends with even the most introvert kid in the campus. Together, they bonded in one wild night of partying when they discovered something unnatural in the woods. Naturally brash, they head deep down into the strange phenomenon to get up close – Andrew, who recently decided to document each day of his life brings his camera underground to record.

Upon close encounter, the three became frantic and suddenly the only light coming from Andrew’s camera went kaput. After surviving a deafening silence in darkness, days after the unexplained, the three became almost inseparable testing their newfound powers. It presented Andrew a plethora of opportunities to get even to those who’ve hurt and insulted him. Unbeknownst to Matt and Steve, Andrew is becoming stronger than them focusing on harnessing his power each day.


As Andrew’s motives becomes apparent, Matt and Steve try to help him cope with power and anger. Reinventing a whole new approach between (teen) hero and antagonist, Josh Trank presents “Chronicle” throwing out any preconceptions on superhero movie by starting afresh with a core group of well-realized characters. “I didn’t want to be too obsessed with making an homage or in making the movie a certain way,” Trank explains. “The whole mantra of “Chronicle” is just to go the opposite and make it as relatable as possible. Max and I, in characterizing these kids, wanted to make sure they were as normal and close to us as possible, but set them in middle class suburbia.”

The style of shooting helps make the tale all the more relatable. “The bar is that it has to feel real,” argues executive producer Dodson. “It has to feel like we were on YouTube, we were surfing around and we found a video – that this real thing happened and some cameraman caught it.” But Trank was keen not to deliver another nausea-inducing shaky-cam experience to his audience.

In the era of YouTube, the idea of teens documenting every aspect of their lives on videotape is no longer unprecedented. As good quality cameras get ever cheaper and the ability to upload and share footage with friends gets ever easier, young people are increasingly sharing their experiences with one another through a visual medium.


Says DeHaan: “I think a lot of scenes in this movie could become viral hits if they were just two minutes on YouTube. But they've taken all these moments and made a very thorough narrative out of them. It really does blend the modern question of what’s become of video with the old-school superhero film.”

“This generation in high school is the most self-photographed generation ever because every single person has a camera on them now,” says Trank. “It’s exciting because we can create this new style of shooting things – fictional stories about people – without having to do it in the way everybody’s been doing it for the last hundred years.”

Uncontrolled teen powers unleash when “Chronicle” opens in cinemas on February 2 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Leonardo DiCaprio Vies for Best Actor with “J. EDGAR”

I've seen J. Edgar early this week and Leo DiCaprio is really good! My movie review coming up soon :) 

Press Release:

Coming off Christopher Nolan's explosive blockbuster “Inception,” Leonardo DiCaprio now makes his first-ever Clint Eastwood-directed film with Warner Bros.' controversial drama “J. Edgar.” For his riveting portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover, DiCaprio has been nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a favorite to earn the same honor at the Oscars.

A towering figure in American history, J. Edgar Hoover devoted himself to public service, essentially putting aside any personal relationships he might have wanted to have for what he considered to be the greater good. As one who served to gain authority as well as the public’s adoration, he saw his opportunity to achieve both by positioning himself as a supreme crime-fighting figure, a hero of the populace.

“Hoover was incredibly ambitious as a young man,” says DiCaprio, who took on the character that would take him from a man in his twenties to one at 77. “He was highly motivated to succeed in Washington, primarily due to his mother’s expectations of him. His father had failed to become a major political figure, and Annie Hoover wanted her son to carry the family name to great fame and fortune, with little or no regard for what else Edgar might have needed for himself. He became this stoic, bulldog enforcer who had to keep his personal life very personal. He became all about secrets.”


With so little known about the man’s inner life, DiCaprio did vast amounts of research in order to create a fully realized Hoover on screen. “It was a terrific challenge to breathe life into this person, because he was such a mystery,” he says. “I did find that he was very manipulative and very charming; he could charm anyone in the room but at the same time intimidate them. He liked the spotlight, but he concentrated so much on work that it defined much of who he was, his morals, the decisions that he made on really every level. I hesitate to use the word priest because J. Edgar Hoover was no priest, but he certainly looked at the FBI as his church.”

“Leo is a total professional, he comes completely prepared,” Eastwood says. “From the start, I could see he’d done all of his homework, thought a lot about what he had to do, and was interested in my take on things. I was really impressed by his focus, and I think it translated into the character.”


The actor was thrilled to be working with the legendary director. “Clint’s process is impeccable because he trusts his own instincts, he trusts his gut. There’s a beautiful simplicity to the way he works; he has one vision, which made it easier to do my job. He’s really like a corner man. It was like going into the ring and having your coach there, backing you up. And I think that confidence and support are evident on the screen.”

DiCaprio concludes, “I think what allowed me to really get a real sense of Hoover I was portraying was that, at its heart, ours is a story about the person inside. Lots of stories have been told about the man, but I feel that his relationships with [close friend] Clyde Tolson, [secretary] Helen Gandy and his mother really forged who he was for the entirety of his life and career. That was what compelled me to go to work every day, and it’s what I hope will intrigue people as they watch the movie.”

Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 25, “J. Edgar” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Armie Hammer Plays “J. EDGAR'S” Rumored Lover

Armie Hammer did a great job playing Clyde in J. Edgar. He deserves the Best Actor nomination at the SAG!

Press Release:

He received universal acclaim for portraying the Winklevoss twins in 2010's “The Social Network.” Now, Armie Hammer follows-up that success with a dramatic turn in Warner Bros.' new, controversial biopic, “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Clint Eastwood. Hammer plays Clyde Tolson, J. Edgar Hoover's closest colleague and constant companion – a performance for which he recently got nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Screen Actors Guild.

Trust was vital to the legendary Hoover – director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years -- though he bestowed his trust on only a few individuals over the course of his lifetime, those few he felt were truly loyal to him. In order to paint a complete portrait of the man, it was critical to the filmmakers to capture those key relationships that helped reflect and reveal who he was, beginning with his friend, Clyde Tolson.

From producer Brian Grazer’s perspective, “The relationship these two men had was one of companionship and joy, but also loneliness and isolation. They were both a product of their time.”

DiCaprio says, “They ate lunch and dinner together every day, went on vacations together. Whether they were together in any other respect…well, no one living knows the truth. In the film, it’s seen as almost an unrequited love, but a lasting one, nonetheless.”


Hammer says that, whatever their personal relationship, “Clyde was always dutifully by the Director’s side, literally his right-hand man. That was just the way they operated.”

"Armie was terrific as Tolson," Grazer states. "He was so polished in the part and brought a very subtle but tangible energy to the role, and he had a very natural rapport with Leo."

Though there was not nearly as much information to be found about Tolson as there was Hoover, Hammer dug deep to learn about his character. “I hired a professional researcher, and she helped me find everything that’s out there on Tolson, even his junior high school year book,” he says. “According to some of the old FBI guys he was very observant, often the smartest man in the room. He was nicknamed ‘the human computer’ because he had a photographic memory. So even apart from any attraction there might have been, it’s easy to see why Hoover would rely on him so heavily.”


Hammer is emerging as one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors. His performance as the Winklevoss twins in the award-winning film “The Social Network” garnered him critical praise and positioned him as one of Hollywood’s breakouts of the year. Hammer was nominated Most Promising Performer by the Chicago Film Critics Association, and awarded Best Supporting Actor by the Toronto Film Critics Association. The film received a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Best Ensemble as well as Best Picture at the Golden Globes, and eight Academy Award® nominations, of which it won three.

In 2012, Hammer will begin production on “The Lone Ranger,” in the title role, alongside Johnny Depp and under the direction of Gore Verbinski.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “J. Edgar” was produced under the banners of Imagine Entertainment and Malpaso. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Naomi Watts, Judi Dench – The Women of “J. EDGAR”

Oscar honorees Naomi Watts and Judi Dench play the most important and influential women in the life of towering American historical figure J. Edgar Hoover, in Warner Bros.' controversial drama, “J. Edgar.” They portray Hoover's trusted secretary, Helen Gandy; and his stern mother, Annie Hoover.

A lifelong ally whom Hoover knew would never betray him was his secretary at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Helen Gandy. “Helen kind of ran the agency,” director Clint Eastwood contends. “If you ask the old-timers, whenever you wanted to know something, you went to see her. She had much more information than anyone else.”


“Helen’s commitment to Edgar never faltered,” says Watts. “I think she was initially impressed by him and found him clever and charismatic, but she was only interested in a career. She worked closely with him longer than anyone, through incredible changes in the world, and she remained steady and poised till the end.”

For the Australian actress, playing a deeply patriotic American in a film about one of the country’s most controversial figures was enlightening. “I knew nothing about my character, and very little more about Hoover, when I took the role. Not being a part of America’s history, and then not having lived through those times, made this a great learning experience for me.”


“Naomi did such a fantastic job,” producer Robert Lorenz states. “The role was an understated but important one in the film, and she really made the most out of every scene and elevated the character, which was fitting for the role that Helen Gandy played in Hoover’s life.”

One woman who was not content to stay in the background of her son’s life was Annie Hoover. A domineering force, she wielded great influence over him and served as his measure of a moral high ground. Hoover lived with her and turned to her for guidance at every stage of his life, until her death when he was 43.

The venerable Judi Dench brought her to life in such a way that “you were able to love her and fear her at the same time, and she never even raised her voice,” says producer Brian Grazer.


“She was really the kind of mother you don’t want around,” Dench comments. “She was very opinionated, and unbelievably possessive of Edgar, though she had three other children. I think she wanted not only the best for him, but beyond that, as if his accomplishments were a reflection on her. She reminded me a bit of Lady MacBeth. I think she wanted to be associated with the greatest man in the land. Edgar didn’t stand a chance, really.”

Despite both their long careers, this was the first opportunity Eastwood and Dench had to work together. The actress was thrilled to get the call. “He’s a legend,” she smiles, “so when he rang me up, my voice went up several octaves. I thought, ‘I’ve waited 75 years for this.’”


That sentiment went both ways. “Judi’s a terrific lady, I’ve always been such a great admirer of hers,” Eastwood affirms. “She was my only choice for this role, so I’m certainly glad she didn’t turn me down.”

Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 25, “J. Edgar” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Friday, January 27, 2012

A1 Releases New Album, Performs in Manila this February

Hey a1, Blue, and Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) fans! This is your chance to catch them when they are in Manila next month!

Press Release:

Couples, lovebirds, and hopeless romantics are assured of the latest, world-class love songs and a major live performance from a hit-making act come the month of February.


Make way for boyband a1 as they release a new album entitled “Waiting For Daylight,” just a couple of weeks before they perform at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with the members of Blue and the frontman of 98 Degrees, Jeff Timmons.

MCA Music announced February 6 as release date of the group’s new album which contains 15 tracks, including unreleased acoustic versions of their biggest hits: “Like A Rose,” “Caught In the Middle,” and “Everytime.” Carrie single is the title track which boasts elements constituting the relieving feeling of seeing daylight after a stormy night.

On February 25, the triple treat concert dubbed "The Greatest Hits Tour: Blue, Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and a1 - Live in Manila 2012" and made possible by Wilbros Live, takes place at the Big Dome, 8 pm, on what is the 26th anniversary of EDSA Revolution. The same night 26 years ago, love was in the air as dictatorship finally left the Philippines and democracy was restored. This time, the modern classics of the three boyband acts are expected to fill up the venue in a night of good music, well-orchestrated showmanship and glamour looks.


a1 stated in a recent interview with a Manila reporter, “We will do our best to do every big hit! We are doing this for the fans and want to give them what they want to see! If there are any suggestions from the fans ahead of the concert then they can always give them to us on our official website (www.a1official.com) or our facebook (www.facebook.com/a1official) and twitter pages (www.twitter.com/a1official). We can't wait!”

Jeff Timmons, his band behind the hits “”I Do,” “My Everything,” “Invisible Man,” among others, likewise revealed his plan to release new recordings soon. “I am working on new music," he said. "I'd love to work with contemporaries like Bruno Mars and Ne-Yo, but also legends like Teddy Riley, R Kelly, Babyface, Brian McKnight, Mariah Carey, and Christina.”

Asked about his recollection of his 98 Degrees mates, he shared, “I like all the guys, but Justin is the one I'm closest to. We share a mutual deep love for music. I got to know a lot about Justin and what he stands for, superb human being.”

The English pop vocal group Blue is set to deliver their hits like “All Rise”, “Too Close”, “If You Come Back”, “Fly By”, “One Love”, and I’m Yours”.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

“UNDERWORLD” Sequel Awakens to No. 1 Spot, Grosses P49.72-M in 4 Days

Congratulations Columbia Pictures! :)

Press Release:

Rabid fans welcomed the return of Kate Beckinsale to the “Underworld” franchise, catapulting the 3D 4th installment “Underworld Awakening” to the No. 1 spot at the Philippine box-office for the Jan. 20 to 23 frame.

The sequel slew the competition with a nationwide gross of a stunning P49.72-million opening weekend  according to Victor R. Cabrera, managing director of Columbia Pictures which distributed the film locally.


That phenomenal bow marks the biggest opening ever for the “Underworld” franchise, as well as the most successful debut so far this year for any title, local or foreign.

Rolling out in 155 screens across the country, “Awakening” posted its biggest receipts in SM Mall of Asia (P 3.03-M), Trinoma (P2.85-M), SM North EDSA (P2.35-M), SM Megamall (P2.24-M), SM Cebu (P1.90-M), Glorietta 4 (P1.61-M), Greenbelt 3 (P1.54-M), Newport (P1.52-M), Alabang Town Center (P1.276-M) and Power Plant Mall (P1.274-M).

Completing the Top 20 cinemas are Ayala Cebu (P1.18-M), Eastwood (P1.15-M), Gateway (P1.11-M), Robinsons Ermita (P 988,965), Gaisano (P 940,048), Market Market (P 838,236), SM Clark (P 739,563), SM San Lazaro (P 705,278), Greenhills (P 693,888) and Sta. Lucia East (P 636,938).

In the US, "Underworld Awakening" also opened in first place with $25.4 million, good for a $8,252 per theater average.


The millennia-old battle between Vampires and Lycans rages on in stunning 3D in “Underworld Awakening,” the most spectacular installment in the hugely popular franchise. Taking the celebrated saga’s signature action and mayhem to a new level, the film pits the legendary Vampire warrioress Selene (Beckinsale) against her most powerful adversary yet, just as she discovers a shocking secret that will change everything she has ever fought for.

Fifteen years have passed since Selene and her human-Lycan hybrid lover Michael vanquished the Vampire Elder Marcus in “Underworld Evolution.” In the intervening years, mankind has discovered the existence of both the Vampire and Lycan clans, and launched an all-out war to eradicate both species. Selene, captured during the genocide, awakens after more than a decade to find herself captive in a sealed laboratory at Antigen, a powerful biotech corporation dedicated to developing a vaccine against the viruses that have created the Vampires and Lycans.

Now showing across the Philippines in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and regular theaters, “Underworld Awakening” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games. Like them on Facebook at Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Goldilock's Ube-Licious New Year Treat

Aside from sweet and sticky tikoy, here's another treat to have this Chinese New Year ...

Press Release:

Let us welcome the Year of the Dragon with positivity in our lives. The Chinese New Year – also known as the Spring Festival – is a time of thanksgiving for Filipinos and Chinese alike. It is believed eating certain foods will bring prosperity, luck, happiness, health and fertility to your household. The traditional Chinese New Year meal consists of tikoy, pancit, a whole fish, oranges, dumplings, peanuts and hopia.


A hopia is a wonderful flaky snack that is delicious down to the last bite. Both children and adults can’t have enough of this delightful treat. It is extra special during this season because many believe that it symbolizes happiness and good fortune.

Goldilocks, the country’s number one bakeshop, presents an ube-licious twist to the traditional hopia. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind indulgence on the Dragon Year and open yourself up to happiness and good fortune. Be sure to visit the Goldilocks store nearest you or call 888-1-999 Go-delivery today!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mark Wahlberg produces and plays “Chris Farraday” in Baltasar Kormakur’s CONTRABAND

Time and again, Mark Wahlberg has proven himself a good actor. I loved his role in The Italian Job and I'm looking forward to watching Contraband soon :)

Press Release:

For Contraband, Director Baltasar Kormákur employed the same casting technique he used during the years he made movies in his home country. Rather than choosing an actor by his or her looks, the director casts according to the performer’s personality. “I like to find the core of people,” he says. “The outer appearance is less important. What is the person? You try to figure that out and make that right for the character.” 

The first actor cast was the same man to whom the director brought his ideas for a film inspired by the one in which he last performed. Kormákur commends: “Mark Wahlberg has a mixture of boyish charm and toughness, and you believe him as a blue-collar guy. Chris has actually walked out of the criminal world, but then he’s forced back in. That’s the great thing about heist-thrillers. It’s great to see people step outside the norm and do something that the rest of us wouldn’t do.”


Describing his character, Wahlberg explains: “Chris is definitely a thinker, but he is not afraid to raise his voice or get his hands dirty.” For Wahlberg, when his character finds himself back in the game, and possibly over his head, that’s when the fun begins. He offers: “Chris is continuing to try to figure out a way to survive, to still solve the problem and then get his ass home to his wife and kids.”

What drew you to this project?
I saw the original movie and really liked it a lot. These are the kind of movies I like to watch, with the kind of characters I like to play. Now our new thing is to try to find cool European films, obtain the rights and remake them.

Can you describe your character, Chris Farraday?
He is just a good, hard-working guy trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, his brother-in-law is not the sharpest guy around so Chris has to go back and clean up his mess. This forces him back into the world of smuggling.

What do you like about Chris?
I like the fact that he is more of a thinker, even though he gets pretty violent in certain situations. The way he has to think and react in all those different situations really appeals to me.


He is in a world of criminals.
Yes, but he is nicer than the other guys in the movie and you want to root for him. Chris is definitely respected in that criminal world. He knows how to stick up for himself.

He would do anything to protect his family. Do you identify with him in that respect?
Absolutely. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to try to protect my family and provide for them. It doesn’t take a lot for me to get into that head space.

As a producer, how much input did you give the director on set?
You should always try to give the director the freedom and space he needs to do his thing. There are times when I find myself looking at the big picture, but considering that this is Baltasar’s (director) second go with the story, he knew this movie better than anybody else. I wanted to give him as much freedom as possible. It’s a fine line to walk.

What can you say of Baltasar Kormákur as a director?
He is great with actors. I thought that all of his choices were very smart and instinctive. He is really talented. Being an actor himself, he has a unique understanding of what’s going on in front of and behind the camera. He knows how to communicate with everyone and give encouragement. He’s also very easy to get along with. Baltasar really cares about his work. So, if anybody is not trying he is going to say something.


Would you like to work with him again?
All I can say is that if I could make the rest of the movies in my career with him, I would. I’m actually hoping to do another film with him in spring.

How do you see Baltasar’s future in the industry as a filmmaker?
Hopefully Hollywood, and bigger budgets, won’t spoil him. He is used to making small independent movies without all the bells and whistles.

Do you think his background of making small independent movies helped him on this film?
Baltasar managed to shoot this movie in 37-days. He did it with all the action and for the budget he had to work with. After CONTRABAND, I went and shot a comedy that took almost twice as long, with no action.

How would you describe CONTRABAND?
At the end of the day, it’s an action movie. But I also think it has many strong characters that separate it from similar action films.


How was it working with Ben Foster, who plays your best friend Sebastian, in the movie?
I’ve wanted to work with Ben for some time. He was my first choice for that part. The first time we met, we really hit it off. Just like Giovanni Ribisi, who plays Tim Briggs in the movie, he responded to the material. Ben Foster is an extraordinary actor and an intense guy.

What did you think Kate Beckinsale brought to the role of as your wife, Kate Farraday?
I thought she was great. I was thrilled when she came on board.

What do you think appealed to her about CONTRABAND that made her want to be a part of it?
When you get successful in a certain genre, it’s sometimes difficult to say “no” to those same types of movies. Kate wanted to get back to something real and gritty. She showed up and did a great job.

How did she surprise you?
I didn’t really know her. She comes off as this really sophisticated and elegant woman but she doesn’t mind getting in the mud, which she literally did on her first day of the shoot.

Mexican actor Diego Luna (Gonzalo) has a small but quite relevant part in the film.
Diego is awesome. I was a big fan of his and I was so excited that he was going to come and play this part for us. He is such a sweet and really talented guy.


You have some frantic moments with Diego in CONTRABAND. Do you enjoy shooting action?
I enjoy shooting the action and fight scenes. Especially if I’m hitting and not getting hit back, like in the scenes with Giovanni Ribisi. I have always been a huge fan of Giovanni’s work, too. He has a very strong presence in this movie.

The truth is that you have assembled quite an impressive cast for CONTRABAND.
We have a really great cast. It was one of those things that just came together. As a producer, I’m always fighting for the people I want. When you get an idea of someone for a role, it’s hard to veer off from that.

Most of the film was shot in New Orleans.
I love New Orleans. The restaurants are fantastic and they have great crews. People really work hard there. They are enthusiastic about it and care about the movies they are making. It’s a great town. I’m actually shooting another movie there right now.

You also shot some scenes in Panama. What was that experience like?
It was great because we didn’t have any restrictions. We got into a van and that was it. We ran around the city and shot some great stuff. That energy was awesome for the movie.

“CONTRABAND” is released and distributed by United International Pictures though Solar Entertainment Corp. It starts showing on January 25, 2012 nationwide!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Emile Hirsch in 3D Movie “THE DARKEST HOUR”

More about the lady actors who play various characters in The Darkest Hour here

Press Release:

Emile Hirsch plays Sean, an upstart young software developer dispatched to Moscow, where he’s caught in the middle of an alien invasion in Chris Gorak’s “The Darkest Hour.”

Filmed on location in and around Moscow, the movie picks up the action in immersive 3D, after an alien attack. It follows Hirsch’s Sean and a ragtag group of survivors made up of actors Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman and Max Minghella as they move around the city trying to hide from the invaders, who are cloaked in darkness.

A lifelong fan of science fiction, Hirsch cites “The Matrix” as his favorite sci-fi film, and worked with directors Larry and Andy Wachowski on “Speed Racer.” It was this love of the genre that drew him to “The Darkest Hour.”

Q: Who do you play in THE DARKEST HOUR?
A: I play a guy called Sean, who’s with his buddy Ben, played by Max Minghella. They’re software designers and they both come to Moscow to pitch a website that they’ve come up with. The deal goes badly and this shady Swedish businessman, played by Joel Kinnaman, dupes them. They’re at a bar nursing their wounds over a couple of beers and then suddenly, there’s this crazy invasion of aliens.

Q: What grabbed you about the script?
A: It seemed like a mixed genre movie, in the sense that it’s sci-fiction but there are also elements of horror and suspense. There are bits and pieces of “Jaws” and “28 Days Later.” Also, after AVATAR, which was one of the greatest movie going experiences I’ve ever had, I remember walking out of the theater and saying, “The next movie I make, I want to make it in 3D.” I wanted to be a part of the wave of the future, in a sense.

Q: Does it change the language of the performance you give, to deliver it in 3D?
A: Not for me. I know it does for the camera guys but we had a really sophisticated camera crew; They’re the same guys who made “Avatar.” It was fun because they had familiar American voices while we were far away in Moscow and that was comforting sometimes.


Q: How have you been enjoying shooting on location in Moscow?
A: Where I’m from in Los Angeles, people don’t really talk about Moscow and it isn’t a city that is visited by the people I know but I think that was also something that, when I read the script, offered a different angle. It was such an unfamiliar environment, so to set a story like this in a place that was alien to me made it a lot more interesting. It makes for a really exotic backdrop.

Q: You worked with Chris Gorak on “Lords of Dogtown” when he was a production designer. How have his talents transferred into directing?
A: I think that, in the case of Chris, he’s worked with so many amazing filmmakers in the capacity of being an art director and a production designer: Spielberg, Fincher, all these incredible directors, getting to work alongside them. He’s a very thoughtful and articulate guy. He takes his time. He’s not an egotist; he’s a sensitive artist. It’s really nice working on a movie like this with a director like him because if he were different I think it would make for a different kind of challenge.

Hirsch’s career on the big screen began in 2002, when he starred as Francis Doyle in Peter Care’s “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.” It was a performance that put him immediately on the map and led to a string of challenging roles in independent cinema. In 2004, he was introduced to Hollywood audiences starring as Matthew Kidman, the high school student who discovers he has a porn star neighbour, in “The Girl Next Door.” Alongside Elisha Cuthbert, Hirsch drew impressive reviews for the role and became one of America’s most exciting young performers in the process.


A steadfast refusal to be typecast ensured a remarkable list of credits to follow; the young actor has worked with high-profile directors including Sean Penn, Gus van Sant and Ang Lee.

It is with Penn that he has collaborated most, both as a co-star in “Milk” and as the lead in Penn’s Oscar-nominated directorial effort “Into The Wild” where Hirsh took the lead role and was nominated for a Screen Actors’ Guild award for Best Actor.

“The Darkest Hour” (3D) opens January 25 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.


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