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Spinal Tap creators, Vivendi to mediate $400-million lawsuit

THE CREATORS of This Is Spinal Tap have agreed to put their fraud lawsuit against Vivendi SA on hold while a mediator tries to resolve their $400-million case over the 1984 cult film.

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace concert film finally debuts

NEW YORK — Three months after her death and 46 years after she first recorded it, Aretha Franklin’s live gospel concert is coming to the big screen.

It’s complicated

FROM THE trailer and the stars, one expects just another romcom. The screenwriter-director Joel Ruiz admirably tries to go deeper. He even manages to insert his advocacy for fostering abandoned or abused pets through PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society). The film’s most endearing characters are Whisky and Hammer, both rescue puppers. Kudos to JM de Guzman and Rhian Ramos for subtly yet sweetly serving as poster folks for such a worthy cause. Their characters are enhanced by the added dimension of their being animal lovers. In the film’s ambiguous ending, it is only the love between human and animal which is constant and unconditional. The protagonists also represent two industries dominated by millennials: food service and BPOs.

Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and other Marvel superheroes, 95

LOS ANGELES — Stan Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Panther, and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes that became mythic figures in pop culture with soaring success at the movie box office, died at the age of 95, his daughter said on Monday.

Italian film fest presents the classic and the new

FOR ITS second year, the Italian Film Festival — which brings a selection of films from the Venice International Film Festival to be shown in Metro Manila — is showcasing nine films from Nov. 14 to 18 in select cinemas.

Grinch sees green with $66M at N. American box office, Overlord...

LOS ANGELES — The Grinch proved it’s never too early for some holiday cheer as the animated family flick stole the weekend box office with $66 million from 4,141 locations.

Joan unornamented

THE first film to come to mind watching this stony ground of a picture is Carl Th. Dreyer’s silent film, a wondrous series of gigantic closeups shuffled through at speed, arguably one of the most revered and the best-known version of the story.

A history lesson

TWO MONTHS after Kip Oebanda’s indie feature Liway was shown nationwide, another Cinemalaya 2018 alum — director Benedict Mique’s ML — is currently on wide release.

Falling in love with someone you can’t recognize — literally

A ROMANTIC drama about a man who has trouble remembering faces and a woman who has secrets of her own is at the crux of Joel Ruiz’s second full-length feature, Kung Paano Siya Nawala, which hits theaters nationwide starting Nov. 14.

Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic is champion over Disney’s Nutcracker

A BIOPIC about rock ’n’ roll front man Freddie Mercury and the band Queen led the North American box office this weekend, scoring a rare win over a new Walt Disney Co. fairy tale that would normally be expected to dominate the competition.

Danish Film Fest screens 9 films for its 4th year

THE EMBASSY of Denmark has announce the 4th installment of the annual Danish Film Festival. The festival will run from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11, at Cinema 7 of the Robinsons Movieworld, Robinsons Galleria. This year’s lineup is composed of nine contemporary and award-winning entries.

Dugo-Dugo Gang

IF THERE had been an award for Best Soundtrack at the recently concluded QCinema Film Festival, Timmy Harn’s Dog Days should have won it, hands down. Bold and daring, shamelessly derivative, with wailing trombones, brash percussion, melancholy lounge piano, the excellent soundtrack variously enhanced and complemented the stark black and white cinematography, just as the right hymn might during a religious service. Because Dog Days has the transcendent quality of religious homage to film itself. A particular favorite is the insistent electric thrumming bass, while the girlfriend Maureen (Barbara Ruaro) leans out of a car window, and thoughtfully puffs on a post-coital cigarette as she gazes at the trees speeding by overhead. Her pixie haircut and the elegiac road trip setting evoke the French Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) of Jeanne Moreau by Goddard, and even Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

Winners of the 6th QCinema International Film Festival

• Circle Competition Audience Choice Award: Hintayan ng Langit by Dan Villegas • Circle Competition NETPAC Jury Prize: Dog Days by Timmy Harn • Circle Competition...

Movie reviews of QCinema films

THIS IS the realism of dreams, not of mundane reality. In the humble life of Sonya (Marietta Subong a.k.a. Pokwang) these fears, desires, longing, and rage which make up the human condition are oddly manifest: she is bereft of her parents’ love, without friends, unworthy of anyone’s lust.

Rainbow bright

HOW refreshing it is to encounter a coming of age film without the usual adolescent angst and anger! More so when the teen protagonists, both high school seniors, are one committed butch lesbian (Isabelle C. Santos, aka Billie, played by Zar Donato) and the bi-curious, and very accomplished flirt Emma (Gabby Padilla) who cope with their respective personal crisis with humor and grace.

Halloween scares away box office competition

LOS ANGELES — Halloween easily stayed No. 1 at the domestic box office in its second weekend as the spooky holiday nears.

Freddie Mercury’s spontaneity challenged Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek

LONDON — When television actor Rami Malek took on the role of colorful rock star Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody, he found the biggest challenge was capturing the Queen lead singer’s commanding presence on stage.

Mommy direst

PART of what makes Halloween (2018) remarkable: the return of John Carpenter (helped with music); the return of Nick Castle (he provided the heavy breathing and at one point plays masked killer Michael Myers); the return of Jamie Lee Curtis (reprising the role that made her famous, Laurie Strode) but what for me really sets this sequel apart from the 10 other sequels reboots remakes and so on is a new name: David Gordon Green.

Paglisan, Never Tear Us Apart take top prizes at CinemaOne Originals

THE 14th edition of CinemaOne Originals concluded with two films from its Circle Competition taking home the awards night’s biggest prizes, with Paglisan by Carl Papa winning Best Picture while Never Tear Us Apart by Whammy Alcazaren winning the Best Director and Jury Prize.

SM gets creepy

WHAT better way to spend All Hallows’ Eve than watching horror films? SM Cinema is bringing the time-honored tradition of watching scary movies in October with its first-ever horror film festival, aptly called “Sine-Sindak,” screening in all its cinemas nationwide from Oct. 24 to 30.

2018 grantees take center stage in QCinema festival

FOR ITS 6th edition, QCinema International Film Festival (QCinema) continues its thrust to advance the local film industry by providing substantial grants for film production to a select set of new independent features and documentaries in the Circle Competition and DocQC section.

Halloween slashes franchise record with $77.5 million launch

LOS ANGELES — Halloween made a killing in North America, earning $77.5 million when the slasher film launched in 3,928 locations.

Houston, we have a problem

YOU NEED TO KEEP reminding yourself: Damien Chazelle’s adaptation of James Hansen’s biographical book First Man is not The Right Stuff and astronaut Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) is no test pilot in the mold of Chuck Yeager, nor was it -- or he -- meant to be. Question: does it manage to stand on its own four radically redesigned fins?

Venom wins US box office again, boosting Sony’s superhero strategy

VENOM, a character from the comic-book world of Spider-Man, topped the box office for a second weekend, breathing life into Sony Pictures’ superhero movie plans.

Disney to release live-action Aladdin remake next May

LONDON — The street rat is back — and this time in the flesh.

Nicole Kidman radically transforms for new drama Destroyer

LONDON — Hollywood star Nicole Kidman undergoes a dramatic makeover for new drama Destroyer, playing a tired-looking and worn out police detective with a painful history.

Cobonpue goes to the stars with Star Wars

KENNETH COBONPUE, Filipino industrial designer par excellence, has reached for the stars in a new collection inspired by the popular movie franchise Star Wars. And the Universe of Marvel may not be far behind.

2 romances, a horror flick, and a family drama make up...

AFTER MONTHS of waiting, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) selection committee finally announced the final for of eight film entries which will be featured in the festival’s run from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7 in cinemas nationwide.

Star wars

By Noel Vera Movie Review A Star is Born Directed by Bradley Cooper THERE ARE as of this writing five, count em, five, different versions of the story,...

Slew of foreign and local films to be shown at QCinema...

NOW ON its sixth year, the QCinema International Film Festival offers a slew of award-winning foreign films and five original Filipino films as it runs from Oct. 21-30 in select cinemas in Metro Manila.

‘Something different’ in Cinema One film fest

THE 14th run of the Cinema One Originals Festival, titled “I am Original,” will showcase nine original feature films, six international films, 12 original short films, and two restored classics.

Sony superhero outdraws Lady Gaga’s starring role

A POORLY reviewed Marvel movie from Sony Corp. outdrew Lady Gaga’s widely acclaimed remake of A Star Is Born at the North American box office, proving a superhero and lots of special effects still rule the day with film fans.

New cut of Liway to go on general release

A NEW cut of the Martial Law film Liway will be shown for the movie’s nationwide run which starts on Oct. 10.

19 Pinoy films in Busan film fest

NINETEEN Filipino films have made their way to South Korea’s 23rd Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) as Philippines is the festival’s Country of Focus, marking 100 years of Philippine Cinema.

Chinese movie star Fan Bingbing hit with huge tax evasion fines

BEIJING — China has ordered A-list movie star Fan Bingbing to pay about 884 million yuan ($129 million) in overdue taxes and fines, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday, as a crackdown on tax evasion in the entertainment industry gathers momentum.

Half of The Last Jedi haters were bots, trolls, activists, study...

LOS ANGELES — How much did movie fans hate Star Wars: The Last Jedi?

Tom Hardy brings out Marvel’s darker side in new movie Venom

LOS ANGELES — In the new movie Venom, British actor Tom Hardy plays an investigative journalist whose body is invaded by an alien with violent instincts who feeds on a diet of human flesh.

Fox is said to plan PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 for...

DEADPOOL, the famously foul-mouthed superhero, may be losing his edge.

HBO doesn’t need boxing to tussle with Netflix

HBO is walking out of the ring, and it’s the right move.

Dancing queen: Abba-period Cher has a new army of devotees

LOS ANGELES — Cher has a stately air as she receives a steady line of journalists in a West Hollywood hotel room with the studied equanimity of Catherine the Great addressing her subjects at the Winter Palace.

Larawan, Changing Partners, 7 Sundays are the top nominees in Saturday’s...

THE musical dramas Ang Larawan by Loy Arcenas and Changing Partners by Dan Villegas, along with Cathy Garcia-Molina’s Seven Sundays lead this year’s Luna Awards nominees with 10 nods each including the top prizes — Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, as well as a slew of technical prizes.

The Rocker and the Prince

KOREAN POP fans know Jung Joon Young as the wacky yet competitive member of the reality-variety show, 2 Days 1 Night (2D1N). Every Sunday evening, he — along with five other regular cast members — entertains audiences worldwide with various challenges as the show also showcases suburban Korea.

52 years later, a classic gets a sequel

CAEN, FRANCE — French director Claude Lelouch has started shooting a sequel to his classic romance A Man and a Woman with the same actors, 52 years after the original was a box office smash.

Is Robert Redford retiring from acting? Maybe not, he says

NEW YORK — The Sundance Kid may have a few acting adventures left in him.

Star Wars fans applaud movie release slowdown

NEW YORK — Plans by Disney to slow-down the release of future Star Wars projects are getting a thumbs up from fans, who also hope that new movies in the multi-billion dollar sci-fi franchise will be more creative.