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This is not an open letter to the Cinema Evaluation Board...

TO THE Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB);

BALANGIGA: Howling Wilderness: GRADED ZERO

THE DIRECTORIAL CREDIT reads “Not a film by Khavn.” This could very well be a statement of what to expect in Khavn’s “films,” like Balangiga: Howling Wilderness. It is not a film, in the sense that it uses the digital format and not what used to be the standard, 35 mm film. It is not a film, because it doesn’t follow the conventions of filmmaking. Thus, viewers can expect something different in Khavn’s films, something unorthodox, something experimental.

Victory for Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon

A DRAMA about the simple and settled life of an elderly couple that is altered when the old woman’s ex-husband seeks her help, Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon (Waiting for Sunset) bagged five awards including Best Film and the NETPAC Award for full-length feature at the 14th Cinemalaya Film Festival on Sunday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Film on T’boli tops CCP’s Gawad Alternatibo

A FILM about a T’boli dancer who experiences a sudden turn of events in her pursuit of a good life for her family, bagged first prize in the Short Feature category and Best Regional Entry at the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video awards night held on Aug. 6 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The Meg chomps up competition at US box office

LOS ANGELES — The North American box office was under attack from sci-fi horror film The Meg this weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday, as it more than doubled the earnings of its closest competitor to claim the top spot.

Music and love are the focus of Laxamana’s two film fest...

WHEN FOUR brothers who make up a family band are forced to relocate to a remote town in Pampanga after a super typhoon destroys their home, a rich city girl passionate about music decides to help them record their songs. This is the premise of Jason Paul Laxamana’s Bakwit Boys, one of the entries in this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) which starts Aug. 15 in cinemas nationwide.

Crazy Rich Asians looks beyond Asia to break Hollywood mold

LOS ANGELES — Crazy Rich Asians may be the first Hollywood movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast but the filmmakers hope it will be enjoyed by moviegoers of all backgrounds.

Kidman, Theron to star in film on harassment at Fox News

NEW YORK — Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron are to lead an all-star cast in a new movie about former Fox News hosts Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, who spoke up about sexual harassment at the network before the #MeToo movement kicked off.

Disney invests in bear market with Christopher Robin

LOS ANGELES -- “Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart,” a wise little bear once remarked -- and Jim Cummings has put his heart and soul into playing Winnie the Pooh for three decades.

Next Star Wars to use old footage of late Carrie Fisher

LOS ANGELES — Carrie Fisher will be featured in the next Star Wars movie, using previously unseen footage she recorded before her death, Walt Disney Co. studio said on Friday.

Instituto Cervantes’ new branch to screen Latin American films in August

INSTITUTO CERVANTES will feature “Four Gems of Latin American Cinema,” a series of critically acclaimed and award-winning films directed by Latin American filmmakers, every Saturday of August at the new Intramuros branch of the Spanish cultural center.

Marvel, Netflix, Disney will show sneak peeks at AsiaPOP Comicon

FOR IT’S third year, AsiaPOP Comicon Manila (APCC) 2018 is bringing three content showcases from Marvel, Netflix, and Disney, promising exclusive sneak peeks of future projects alongside the presence of some of the shows’ biggest stars at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City from July 27 to 29.

Second time lucky for Denzel whose new film tops US box...

HOLLYWOOD — SUPERSTAR Denzel Washington had never made a sequel in a career reaching back nearly four decades, but when he did, with the Sony/Columbia production of The Equalizer 2, it managed to open at the top of the North American box office.

Staying true to the manga

CHIHAYAFURU PART 3 is a sports film about a competitive Japanese card game called karuta where players have to memorize 1,000 classic Japanese poems — it’s a game completely unfamiliar to Filipinos but their enthusiastic reactions to the film surprised even the film’s director, Norihiro Koizumi.

China’s most expensive movie becomes epic flop

SHANGHAI/BEIJING — A Chinese blockbuster hopeful backed by Alibaba Pictures Group and with a reported budget of over $100 million, was abruptly pulled from cinemas after a lackluster opening weekend at the box office.

Grease at 40: still the one that we want

LOS ANGELES — Four decades have passed since the Rydell High gang twisted, hand jived, and crooned their way into the hearts of teenagers the world over — but we’re all still hopelessly devoted to Grease.

Black Panther’s sister Shuri gets own spin-off comic book

NEW YORK — In Marvel’s massively successful Black Panther film released this year, one of the major surprises was how the superhero’s sister, tech genius Shuri, stole the show. Now, she is getting her own comic book series.

After movie, Cher to release album of ABBA covers

NEW YORK -- Pop legend Cher has announced an album of ABBA covers as she stars in a film sequel to Mamma Mia!, the musical inspired by the iconic Swedish group.

Hotel Transylvania books spot at top of US box office

LOS ANGELES — Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation booked a stay at the top of the North American box office, taking $44.1 million in ticket sales, according to industry estimates Sunday.

TV’s Downton Abbey coming to the big screen

NEW YORK — It was the soapy period drama about the upstairs-downstairs lives and loves at an English country estate that enjoyed astonishing success on both sides of the Atlantic — and now it’s back. Downton Abbey the movie is in the works.

PPP fest to show 8 films this year

EIGHT FILMS, ranging from romantic comedies to action thrillers, make up the slate of the this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) which runs from Aug. 15-21 in all cinemas nationwide.

Thailand cave rescue to be turned into Hollywood movie

LOS ANGELES — The mission to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thai cave is to get the Hollywood treatment in a movie announced by faith-based production house Pure Flix.

Matti’s BuyBust leads PHL contingent at NYAFF

ERIK MATTI’s BuyBust (2018) and On the Job (2013) are to be screened this week at the ongoing New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF). They and four others make up the largest lineup of Filipino films in the festival since 2013, according to the festival’s website.

Indiana Jones 5 delayed again, until 2021

LOS ANGELES — Harrison Ford’s big screen return as adventurer Indiana Jones has been pushed back until 2021, Walt Disney Co. announced on Tuesday, two years after the fifth movie in the action franchise was first scheduled to be released.

Celebrating Philippine Cinema’s 100th year with an exhibit

FILMS TELL the story and present the identity of a nation and its people. So to mark 100 years of Philippine cinema, filmmaker and UP Film Institute associate professor Nicolas A. Deocampo has curated an exhibit titled Hidden Cinema: The Virtual Experience of Philippine Cinema’s Centenary, showcasing the evolution of motion pictures in the country.

Confusion in court over affairs of Marvel legend Stan Lee

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles judge on Friday dissolved a temporary restraining order on a business manager accused of elder abuse against Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, saying she was unsure who was authorized to represent Lee.

Ant-Man and Wasp fly to top of US box office

HOLLYWOOD — The Disney/Marvel film Ant-Man and the Wasp swatted away competition over the weekend, logging $76 million in ticket sales in North America, according to industry estimates on Sunday.

Stephen Ditko, Spider-Man co-creator, 90

NEW YORK — US comics artist Stephen Ditko, co-creator of Marvel superheroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, has died. He was 90.

Marvel’s newest star on female villainy, karaoke with Spielberg

LOS ANGELES — When Hannah John-Kamen learned she was to be Marvel’s next supervillain, she let out a yelp, hung up the phone and cranked up “Do My Thang,” Miley Cyrus’s empowering paean to self-determination.

Festival vets make up 1st 4 entries in this year’s MMFF

THE Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2018 selection committee has announced the first four official entries for this year’s film festival and the list includes festival veterans including Jose Marie “Vice Ganda” Viceral, Marvic “Vic” Sotto and Rodel “Coco Martin” Nacianceno.

Jurassic dinos boost N. American box office

LOS ANGELES — Big-grossing films Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2 again dominated the North American box office this weekend, but two new entrants beat expectations to place third and fourth, according to industry estimates on Sunday.

Sailing away

IT MUST be a kick for the makeup and nifty effects people to sit in the back of a theater and soak in the reaction from the audience when a character has to stitch up that nasty cut on her forehead with a makeshift needle and thread. Or how about that moment when someone rips open a jeans leg, and we see the “bone” jutting out from a gaping wound? GROSS!

You’re it

DEEP into the astonishingly dopey, odiously off-putting and thoroughly unfunny Tag, one of the main characters says, in all sincerity:

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Marvel’s first superheroine movie

PASADENA — They made history and $1 billion with the first titular superhero of color in Black Panther — now Marvel’s creatives and stars are repeating the trick for gender equality.

Big, mean and making the green: Jurassic tops N. America box...

HOLLYWOOD — Huge, green and scary stomped on cute, young and funny in North American theaters this weekend as new release Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took in a healthy $150 million to leap past last weekend’s leader, Incredibles 2.

FDCP’s Cine Lokal features LGBT films

THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) celebrates Pride Month by screening four award-winning films that empower and recognize the plight of the LGBT community, in all Cine Lokal cinemas as part of PelikuLAYA: An LGBT Film Festival from June 22 to 28.

With a billion users, Instagram takes on YouTube

SAN FRANCISCO — Instagram said Wednesday it now has more than one billion active users, as it unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract “creators” like those on YouTube.

Home is where the harm is

THE TRUE HORROR in Ari Aster’s Hereditary doesn’t come so much from demoniac forces as they do from human frailty and the cruel chaotic confusion of life.

At the bloody Hotel Artemis, amazing actors do the obvious

And she said, ‘We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.” -- The Eagles, “Hotel California”

Manga films highlighted in the Eigasai film fest’s 21st year

FOR ITS 21st year, the EIGASAI Japanese Film Festival announces a lineup of 15 films including the third installment of the film adaptation of Yuki Suegetsu’s manga, Chihayafuru.

Incredibles 2 shatters records with heroic $180-M US opening

LOS ANGELES — The opening weekend of Incredibles 2 was, well, incredible.

The Hobbit’s five armies clash in Czech forest

DOKSY, The Czech Republic — Spears crossed, swords touched and arrows flew in a Czech forest over the weekend as hundreds of fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit reenacted a major battle.

Sylvester Stallone under scrutiny in sexual assault case

LOS ANGELES — US prosecutors have launched a probe to determine whether film star Sylvester Stallone should be charged in connection with a sexual assault reported last year, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Record Australia payout to actress Rebel Wilson slashed on appeal

MELBOURNE — Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson’s Australian record defamation payout was slashed on appeal Thursday to just Aus$600,000 (US$454,000) in a major win for publisher Bauer Media.