Daily Archives: 2016-04-14

Whiskey and Vodka ; My Quick Summer Siren Festival Fling

#SummerSiren2016

Summer Siren 2016 officially opens the summer party season. It was held at Crystal Beach, san Narciso Zambales last April 8-10, 2016. With more than 30 bands and DJs, the beach was full of fun activities, parties, music, dancing, and flirting.

At kahit andun ako for work, hindi ako nagpahuli.

Day Bar Duty. photo by Karen

Day Bar Duty. photo by Karen

I was tasked to man the bars. Day Bar during 2pm-6pm and the Second Bar during 10pm-2am. I know, walang oras pumarty. Pagtapos ng shift, halos patapos na rin ang tugtugan. Kung hindi ka pagod, pagod na yung mga kaparty mo. Continue reading

Game Of Thrones Actor is an Anti-Terrorist

                Richard Madden who has gained mainstream attention with his notable role in the global hit TV series “Game of Thrones” takes action on the big screen in “Bastille Day” starring alongside award-winning Idris Elba. Michael Mason (Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy.

 GAME OF THRONES’ RICHARD MADDEN FIGHTS TERRORISM IN “BASTILLE DAY”

                “Bastille Day” finds two everyday man and unlikely heroes in present-day scenario when all the world is doing everything at all cost to fight terrorism.  They’re thrown into a drama and they are forced to team up and navigate their way through a heinous plot aimed to kill thousands of people.

                 For his part, Madden saw the character of Michael as “a street rat, with not much of a moral compass or sense of responsibility for his actions. He’s an American pickpocket in Paris, and he’s a bit adrift, but he’s got this incredible skill set, he’s really wonderful at what he does.  But I think he’s not sure who he is and who he wants to be and he’s slightly lost in the world and has a certain sense of perhaps self-loathing and but he’s really ready to embark on a journey and try to find a different side of himself.”

Richard Madden in BASTILLE DAY

Richard Madden in BASTILLE DAY

Richard Madden in BASTILLE DAY

Richard Madden in BASTILLE DAY

Richard Madden in BASTILLE DAY

Richard Madden in BASTILLE DAY

Bastille Day movie.

Bastille Day directed by james Watkins with Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon, Kelly Riley, Jose Garcia…

Idris Elba and Richard Madden

Idris Elba and Richard Madden

                The actors did most of the stunt work, including the fight scenes. Not having to cut between the actors and stuntmen was a way of keeping the film grounded in reality. Stunt coordinator Jimmy O’Dee worked for several weeks with the actors, preparing them for the scene. He would cut the action into manageable parts and then design the choreography of the fight and the actors would train together until they were completely in sync.

                Madden was just as thrilled to be involved in the action scenes. He started training with the stunt team about six weeks before filming. “They built these 15-foot high obstacle courses which I’d have to run up and over, jumping over things, throwing myself through windows, tumbling down stairs. It was really tough but it prepared me for the chase sequences where I had to scramble over roofs and hang off the edge of buildings. It was important that it didn’t look too professional because Michael isn’t a base jumper or anything; he’s just an ordinary guy, so the rooftop chase is quite scrappy. I wanted him to slip and fall and really scrambling for his life trying to get away.”

                A more interesting aspect of the training for Madden was learning how to pickpocket. Working with a consultant named, appropriately, Keith the Thief, Madden learned sleight of hands tricks and distraction techniques. “We wanted some of the manoeuvres he pulls to be a bit flamboyant so that it reflects Michael’s cockiness at his own ability. Director James was very keen to make sure that that the stealing didn’t appear to be like magic, but that it seemed realistic. So if anyone watching the film on DVD pauses and watches it in slow-motion to check it’s really me doing it, I did actually do it!”

                Another of the main set pieces which required a tremendous amount of preparation was the bomb blast. Production designer Paul Kirby, and his team, built a replica Metro stop into the back of a building located right outside of Paris.  David Kanter adds “Richard worked really hard. He was pulled on a wire, repeatedly, to dramatize the force of the explosion.  Everything had to be timed out right; there’s the explosion part which we did in different sizes and is comprised of many different components that convey a truly awful moment.”

                “Bastille Day” opens April 20 in theatres nationwide from Axinite Digicinema.

Date Idea: Take Her To The Dance

                In a city where only the best succeed, two radically talented people from opposite sides of the tracks need to find harmony to achieve their dreams in the highly-motivating fish-out-of-water film “High Strung” starring award-winner ballerina Keenan Kampa and multi-talented artist Nicholas Galitzine.

 DANCE MOVIE “HIGH STRUNG” STARS WORLD’S MOST TALENTED DANCERS

                At the heels of phenomenal dance movies such as “Step Up” and “Street Dance,”  “High Strung” brings two different worlds together when Ruby Adams (Kampa), a dancer from the Midwest on scholarshipin New York City eventually crosses paths with Johnnie Blackwell (Galitzine), a British musician, playing for money in the subway tunnels. Ruby’s world is classical and disciplined; Johnnie’s is improvisational and street smart. When a hip-hop battle gone wrong throws these two artists together, they immediately clash but can’t deny it when sparks begin to fly. Their lives quickly get entangled in the pitfalls that come with competing in New York City. With the help of a dynamic dance crew called The SwitchSteps, Ruby and Johnnie must find a way to save Ruby’s scholarship and keep Johnnie from being deported. In an action-packed extravaganza combining cutting edge hip-hop with contemporary and classical dance, the two must navigate their opposing worlds and prepare for a competition where winning or losing will change their lives forever.

                The movie is supported by standout performances from veteran actors Jane Seymour, Paul Freeman and Maia Morgenstern and features an original soundtrack of boundary-breaking commercial tracks blending styles of music in a way that already has the dance industry and social media talking. It’s brought to viewers by Broadway stars Michael and Janeen Damian and top choreographer Dave Scott (“Step up 2: The Streets;” “Stomp the Yard;” resident choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance;” guest choreographer on “Dancing with the Stars”) and introduces the breathtakingly talented Keenan Kampa (Russia’s Mariinsky Ballet’s first American dancer) and Nicholas Galitzine (The Beat Beneath My Feet) alongside 62 of some of the World’s most exciting and original dancers from London, Paris, L.A. and New York.

                “High Strung is inspired by Janeen’s experience when she was awarded a scholarship to Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York,” director Michael confides. “So it’s basically her story, her adventures, and what it was like for her moving to NY from a small town; like we have Ruby, our lead character in the film, coming from the Midwest.” Michael and Janeen started music and dance at a very young age under the tutelage of their respective mothers. Michael’s mother is a classical pianist, and Janeen’s was the artistic director of a ballet company.

                With music playing such an intense role in the film, the soundtrack also had to be something very special. Fortunately Michael, who has enjoyed success as a singer/songwriter with hits like his 80s anthem “Rock On,” knew what he was looking for. “We were blown away by a piece of music we heard on So You Think You Can Dance by composer Nathan Lanier,” he explains. On top of that, Lanier is a virtuosic violinist, so it was a marriage made in heaven.” “We wanted something epic: a mash-up of classical orchestration, hip-hop and electric violin,” Michael offers. “What Nathan created for us went beyond our expectations. The score is a major character in the film, and brings an emotional element. We’ve had a lot of people leaving screenings with goose bumps.”

nicholas galitzine in HIGH STRUNG

nicholas galitzine in HIGH STRUNG

keenan kampa HIGH STRUNG

keenan kampa HIGH STRUNG

keenan kampa and nicholas galitzine in HIGH STRUNG

keenan kampa and nicholas galitzine in HIGH STRUNG

                In addition to the original score, “High Strung” also has 13 original songs ranging from hip-hop to pop to EDM. “It’s quite an odyssey of music; I have quite a few connections, thank goodness – so I pulled every favor,” Michael confesses. “We’ve compiled some awesome songs by an incredible group of talented international artists.” The result is an original soundtrack of fresh commercial tracks along with a boundary-breaking original score blending styles of music in a way that is already leaving tongues wagging.

                “High Strung” opens April 20 nationwide from Pioneer Films.

CIA's Top Secrets Revealed

                Hollywood’s brightest young and veteran stars Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman star in “Criminal” –  the story of the right man in the wrong body.

 UNLOCKING CIA’S TOP SECRETS FROM THE MIND OF A “CRIMINAL”

                “Criminal” finds an ex-convict’s brain being implanted the memories of a top CIA agent in a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot. At first, it appears the operation has failed. But Jerico (Costner), unsure of what has happened to him and in fear for his life, escapes and finds himself on the run. At large in London, Jerico begins to experience memories that are clearly not his own – memories that take him into an overwhelming world of family, love and responsibility that he’s never known.  As Jerico enters a secretive world of international spies, ingenious hackers and powerful tyrants, he roams a London he’s never known but mysteriously can navigate.

                Says director Ariel Vromen: “Our main character, Jerico, is a person who starts with no feelings and no real emotions and then he goes on an incredible journey. He acquires all these memories from CIA agent Bill Pope’s mind and he has to react to an entirely new view of life. Because of the massively high stakes, that core emotional story is surrounded by a plot that has great suspense and lots of action. That really appealed to me.”

                Leading the film’s star-studded cast is award winning Kevin Costner in one of his most challenging and unusual roles. As Jerico, Costner had to inhabit two minds at once – that of a hard-bitten, unfeeling criminal capable of anything and that of a patriotic spy and family man driven to be a good man – and find the ways they fuse in one man’s reeling mind.

                Costner says of his reaction to the script: “I’m always attracted to projects when they are multi-layered and this story is very much that. “Criminal” is definitely an action movie but I responded most strongly to the complexity of my character, to all the confusion and turmoil that is scrambled up inside Jerico as he comes to terms with what he is experiencing.”

 

Ryan Reynolds in Criminal

Ryan Reynolds in Criminal

 

He goes on: “When we meet Jerico, he is in prison and has spent most of his life there. An injury he suffered as a child rendered him a sociopath, so he has no understanding that the things he does are wrong. He just reacts, sometimes violently, sometimes humorously. He is so unpredictable that he is not even allowed near anyone in jail. But after his operation, Jerico starts going back and forth between who he was and who Bill Pope is. He’s very mixed-up and suddenly he’s comprehending things and having sensations that he’s never experienced before on every level. And that’s what I had to figure out how to portray.”

 

Gal Gadot in Criminal

Gal Gadot in Criminal

Gal Gadot Criminal

Gal Gadot Criminal

                Gadot was drawn to Jill’s own transformation in the course of the story. “With Bill, Jill had settled for a convenient life, staying with a husband who she had trouble communicating with because it was comfortable. When her husband dies, Jill has no choice other than to fight for the truth,” Gadot observes.         Her character has to span both fear and inexplicable attraction in her relationship with Jerico, a process Gadot says Costner helped tremendously. “Kevin brings his own charm to the hardcore character of Jerico. He is an incredible actor and by the end of the film, he goes through an amazing transformation.”

                Gadot notes that part of the fun of her character is that she is in the dark about who Jerico is and what he wants, though the audience knows. “My character is suddenly confronted by a total stranger who knows every detail about her. She is mystified and the audience will be on the edge of their seats because there is so much going on at every level.”

                “Criminal” opens in cinemas this April 13 from OctoArts Films International.