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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.
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Jun 23, 2017

‘TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT’ is the fifth installment in the successful Michael Bay franchise after the very first “Transformers”, inspired by Hasbro toys in 2007, which was followed by “Revenge of the Fallen” in 2009, “Dark of the Moon” in 2011, and “Age of Extinction” in 2014. It’s overblown, overlong and chaotic at 2 and ½ boring hours and though the special effects are truly spectacular and so good in assaulting one’s senses, the hyperactive on screen goings on are often incoherent, incomprehensible and frankly, we just don’t care.

The 5th movie starts with a prologue during the Dark Ages and attempts to make a revisionist history of King Arthur, who just had another bad reincarnation on screen in the recent big flop that was “King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword”. It seems the Transformers first manifested themselves in the time of Camelot. Anthony Hopkins is the newest recruit in the cast and we really wonder what made him accept this movie. He utters a line in the movie that certainly applies to him aptly, he being a knight himself in real life: "Deep down inside, you begin to wonder: Has my life been wasted?”

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ANOTHER COUPLE whose coming nuptials are being anticipated is Anne Curtis and Erwan Heussaff, who are now currently in France. It’s not exactly clear why they are there. Some quarters say they are just having pre-nuptial photos but other writers quickly jump into the conclusion that they must be having a secret marriage in Europe, just like what Erwan’s sister, Solenn Heussaff, did when she married Argentinian beau Nico Bolzico.

Anne herself posted copies of her photos with Erwan, flashing the huge engagement ring he gave her and addressing him as “Mon Amour”. Could it be that they’ll have a smaller wedding there before having a bigger one here in Manila? As of now, we don’t know how Anne can attend to this since she is still busy finishing the shooting of her action movie, “Buy Bust”, with Director Erik Matti.
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AI AI DE LAS ALAS once said she’s not in a hurry to tie the knot with her current inamorato, Gerald Sibayan. But she seems she changed her mind as the latest buzz is that she has rushed everything and they will face the altar before the year is over. The date we heard is December 12, which is about six months from now. It’s said her good friend Marian Rivera is giving her a wedding gown as a wedding gift, worth half a million pesos no less. Wow! That really costs quite a fortune.

We wish Ai Ai the best since, after all, this is her third wedding. After the past two ones, we want to think that she must have learned all the lessons anyone should need to know about getting married. Her first marriage was with singer Miguel Vera who turned out to have been married to someone else already, so their union was eventually annulled. Her second marriage was to Jed Salang who she accused of beating her up. They were married in Las Vegas so it’s easier to get a divorce there.

This time, her groom is just about the same age as her eldest son, Sancho Vito. So more than an extravagant wedding gown, I think the best gift they can receive is a truly good and comprehensive pre-marital preparation program, for them to be able to anticipate all the pitfalls and problems that they might be facing ahead as a couple because of the great disparity in their ages.

They owe it to themselves to get this kind of preparation as it's like being forearmed. It might all be sunny and bright now that they’re just starting, but as we all know, as days pass by, the stark reality of living together as husband and wife, day in-day out, will take its toll on them and so it is better to be fully prepared in handling the humps and bumps of what maybe a quaky roller coaster ride.
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Jun 22, 2017


HELEN GAMBOA was last seen on the big screen in “Etiquette for Mistresses” two years ago in a special role as the mistress of a very powerful man, and on TV in “Walang Hanggan” in 2012 with Coco Martin. Now, she’s back hosting a cooking show, “From Helen’s Kitchen” on Colours, exclusively on Cignal TV, starting July 1, Saturday at 8 PM.

Helen was the busiest singer-actress in the late 60s and veritably the movie queen during the transition period from Susan-Amalia to Nora-Vilma in the early 70s. She had many hit singles then like “Together Again”, “I’m a Tiger” and “Two Can Have a Party”. The latter she did with Tilt Down Men, the band of her would be husband, Tito Sotto, and that’s how they met. She also had albums released internationally under the name Bunny Chanel.

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‘MEANT TO BE’ will have its last telecast tonight and its loyal followers are still in the dark as to who will be the lucky guy Barbie Forteza as Billie will choose among her four leading men: Ken Chan, Ivan Dorschner, Jak Roberto and Addy Raj. Barbie says she herself cannot and will not make her own decision. “Alam ko kasing kung ako ang mismong pipili, kahit sinong pipiliin ko, maba-bash pa rin ako,” she says.

And Ronaldo Valdez as Lolo Rick has this to say to her as a word of advice: “Ang mga hindi mapipili sa apat na boys, tiyak na magtatampo rin kapag hindi sila ang napili kaya the best thing for you to do is wala ka na lang piliin.”

How about the four guys, who do they think is the best boyfriend for Billie? ‘Siempre, kung kami mismo ang tatanungin, lahat kami, we’ll say na we are the best guy for Billie,” says Ken as Yuan. “Sa akin lang, you’re all witnesses kung gaano ako kasungit nung magsimula ang show. Tinatarayan ko lagi si Billie. Pero si Billie, she didn’t give up on me at siya ang nakapagpabago sa ugali ko. Kahit nung malaman niyang single dad na pala ako, tinanggap pa rin niya ako.”

“Sa amin, ako ang kilala bilang pinakatorpe, mahiyain,” says Jak as Andoy. “Pero dahil kay Billie, nagkaroon ako ng mas malakas na confidence sa sarili. Si Billie kasi ang first love ko at never akong nag-give up sa panliligaw ko sa kanya. Kapag ako ang napili, mabibigyan ng pag-asa ang lahat ng mga lalaking torpe’t mahiyain. Si Andoy ang magiging role model at inspirasyon nila.”

How about Ivan as Ethan? “Madrama ang life ni Ethan. Marami siyang pinagdaanan sa buhay at sa love life niya, hanggang sa ma-meet niya si Billie. She accepted me for what I am at si Ethan ang first love ni Billie sa show. Walang perfect sa mundong ito but si Billie, siya ang perfect for Ethan.”

And how about Addy as Jai? “Jai is a foreigner, magkaiba sila ng culture ni Billie. Mag-isa lang siya rito sa Manila, but with Billie, he found a good friend. He needs Billie in his life kasi si Billie lang talaga ang the one who understands Jai fully. Sila ang mas bagay sa isa’t isa.”

After hearing all of them, we must admit that they all have pretty good arguments. But the final verdict is in the hands of the voting texters. And we will find out tonight who most of the texters voted for. So don’t miss this concluding episode which we feel will be talked about.
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 SKYCABLE hosted a media appreciation lunch as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Games about movies shown on SkyCable were played and the group headed by Isah Red won P50,000 no less. Sky’s franchise area covers 700,000 subscribers, controlling 45% of the cable TV market.

Since it started its operation in the Philippines on January 26, 1992, SkyCable provides cable Internet and digital cable TV service with an alternative pricing model for its subscribers. It allows its subscribers to select their own packages or channels, comparable to a pay per channel service most generally used in the United States. SkyCable also introduces the package-pricing model typically used by other cable television providers in which channels are classified into packages. This coming July, fans of great TV entertainment have more reasons to celebrate as SKYcable and Destiny Cable digital subscribers will enjoy SKY’s over 190 digital channels, automatically activated on their TVs from the 4th to the 11th of July at no additional cost. After recent launches of SKY exclusives like AXN HD, and international favorites like AFC HD, Disney HD, and Mezzo HD, this big TV freebie is part of SKY’s way of thanking subscribers for welcoming them into their homes and making them part of their lives.

Over the years, SKY has strived to give its subscribers more entertainment choices. Now on its 25th year anniversary, its entire channel lineup is here for everyone to watch as a way of giving all viewers more TV enjoyment this July. SKY wishes to share this special milestone year with every family that helped shape the standard of cable TV entertainment in the country today.

Subscribers who miss their favorite films will now have the best channels to revisit the stories they love. Everyone will have access to the entire HBO lineup, including HBO Family, HBO Hits, and HBO Signature. An entire movie roster is open to TV viewers with Fox’s channel suite covering Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies, and Fox Movies Premium.

Viewers craving the latest sporting action will certainly enjoy the All Sports Network, Balls, BTV, Fox Sports, NBA Premium, and the Outdoor Channel. With these channels and more, everyone can catch up on their favorite sporting events and be up-to-date with the latest developments and stats.

Interesting facts and the best tips for everyday life can be found in the cream-of-the-crop of lifestyle channels. Learn more about the world we live in through Discovery World, National Geographic, and the Travel Channel. Hunting for the best recipe or the latest home styles? HGTV, Lifetime, the Food Network, and FYI have fun and quirky shows about making our daily lives extra special. The young and young at heart will definitely be excited about this SKY TV treat. The funniest wholesome cartoons and kiddie shows are showcased in Discovery Kids, Disney, and Disney Junior. Those looking for edgier entertainment and anime will definitely love Animax and the Cartoon Network.

Only SKYcable provides quality home entertainment with the widest-range of standard and high definition digital channels; with over 190 channels, and other top-of-the-line services such as flexible subscription options via SELECT; iRECORD that records, pauses, and rewinds live TV; as well as real-time coverage of live concerts and sporting events via FREE VIEW and PAY-PER-VIEW.
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The return of HEART EVANGELISTA as Alwina in “Mulawin Vs. Ravena” has touched the hearts of many viewers in her role as a mom who will do her very best to protect her son, Derrick Monasterio as Almiro, from the evil intentions of Dennis Trillo as Gabriel who wants to kill him. Her scene with Nova Villa, the grandma who raised Almiro who’s been missing so long, where she reveals that Almiro has wings inside his hunched back and this will help him at the right time to recover all his buried memories as a Mulawin, tugs at the viewer’s heartstrings.

Dennis seems so dead serious in his goal to kill Derrick as Almiro knowing the boy is the new Sugo that is a big threat to his own life. But Heart as Alwina will also do everything in her power to protect her son. The irony of it is that Derrick becomes too trusting to Dennis as his Senyorito Gabriel and even tries to help Dennis in searching for his target without knowing that he himself is the missing Almiro. The scene where Dennis finally realizes that Derrick is indeed Almiro and treacherously stabs him on the chest is one of the most exciting moments in the show.

But Heart will have to bid the show farewell soon since she is about to start taping her own new show about a multi-racial romance between a Pinay and a Korean guy, “My Korean Jagiya” (jagiya means boyfriend.) The identity of Heart’s leading man, said to be a popular Korean actor, is yet to be revealed, but supporting them are Janice de Belen, Iya Villania, Valeen Montenegro, Francis Makil, Jinri Park, Myke Salomon, Edgar Allan Guzman and Ricky Davao who returns to acting after directing the successful afternoon drama, “Legally Blind”, which is on its last few weeks. Taping will start soon.

Meantime, the Kapuso Network is very happy that “Mulawin vs. Ravena” and “My Love From The Star”, made it to the list of top ten most buzzed-about shows worldwide according to a New York-based international media business website.WorldScreen.com released their Social Wit List for May 2017 where “Mulawin Vs. Ravena” ranked third and the network’s local adaptation of the Koreanovela “My Love From The Star” ranked fifth in the list of top ten new shows with the most number of Facebook and Twitter comments during their premiere across the globe.

According to the site, “Mulawin Vs. Ravena’s” premiere “drew around 104,000 comments, and there was much buzz about the #GreatCast and #Cinematography that had many viewers honoring the #Nostalgia and #GoodMemories it brought about: #KudosForTheFlashbacks.”

On the other hand, “My Love From the Star” garnered around 50,000 comments and was speckled with the hashtags #KudosToJennylynMercado, #FunPlot, and #GoodDirection. The two GMA-produced series are the only dramas from the Philippines that made it to the list, topping over popular global productions which included ones from the U.S. and France.

The other programs included in the list are U.S.A.'s Dirty Dancing, Twin Peaks, Beat Shazam, Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, World of Dance; France's Emmanuel Macron, Baisers caches; and U.K.'s Three Girls.
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Jun 20, 2017

THE FIRST “Despicable Me” was shown in 2010 made by Illumination Entertainment at a budget of only $69 million but grossed $543 million worldwide, so it’s not surprising to have a sequel in 2013 and now, another one this year. It also made the Minions very popular and they even had their own self-titled movie in 2015.

The directorial debut of Pierre Coffin (who also voices the minions) and Chris Renaud, “Despicable Me” introduced us the Loony Tunes kind of humor of the character of Gru (voice by Steven Carell), a super villain who adopts three adorable orphan girls (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher) and takes care of them with the help of Lucy (Kristen Wiig), who becomes Gru’s love interest. The villain then was Vector, who stole the Great Pyramid of Giza. In “Despicable Me 2”, the villain is El Macho (Benjamin Bratt), who stole a deadly serum.

Now, in DM 3 (which is released way ahead here in Manila as it opens in the U.S. on June 30 yet), we have a new villain, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker of “South Park”), a former child star in the 80s who has since turned into a life of crime and steals the world’s biggest pink diamond gem. He can disarm people through expanding giant bubble gums and loves break-dancing to the music of Michael Jackson and Van Halen.

Another new character is introduced, Dru (also played by Carell), the blonde long lost twin brother of Gru who he never even knew existed.
Their mom (Julie Andrews) reveals that they were separated at birth by their dad. The original premise of a bad guy who can’t help being a villain has since been forgotten as Gru is now a good guy who works with the Anti-Villain League.

As usual, the film is paced at breakneck speed at one hour and a half, with lots of action scenes, some comic scenes and also some drama to make sure there is never a dull moment, replete with 80s pop cultural references and songs by Pharrell Williams. And yes, we should not forget, the yellow minions are still here, even if they seem to just
get pushed into the margins when they’re one of the primary reasons why this franchise makes millions. They go on strike after Gru decides to be a good guy and not a villain anymore. But not to worry as they do get to display their singing talent in an entertaining musical number that reminds you of “Sing” and do some mischief during a prison break.

The first two films have touching moments of Gru bonding with his adopted daughters. Here, they are given small subplots of their own with the most endearing one concerning the obsession of the youngest one, Agnes, in finding a real unicorn. She goes into the woods and patiently waits for the unicorn. Instead, what she gets is a one-horned goat who quickly and fondly sidles up to her. Gru has to explain to her it’s not really a unicorn but a goat, saying “Life can be like that. You expect a unicorn, but you get a one-horned goat.” Agnes says: “But I love it.” And so it goes with this movie, does it matter if it’s just a goat and not a unicorn, as long as you enjoyed watching it? For sure, there will be DM4.
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GMA-7 FOUND a real winner in their local remake of the Koreanovela, “My Love from the Star”, which had been a consistent top rater since it started airing last month. Jennylyn Mercado’s star is shining brighter than ever, proving she can now carry a show on her own since her leading man in this adaptation is a total newcomer, Gil Cuerva. Some folks say that Jennylyn as Steffi is even better and wackier than the Korean actress who played the same role in the original Korean version.

“Hindi lang naman ako ang dahilan kung bakit nag-click sa viewers ang show,” says Jen. “Utang din namin ito sa kapareha ko, si Gil, at sa lahat ng co-stars namin, and all the staff, including our writers and si Direk Joyce Bernal. This is a collaborative effort at lahat nagtutulong-tulong para mapaganda talaga ang bawat episode ng show.”

Next month, Jen will be doubly busy as she will start shooting her new movie for Quantum Filmsmeant to be an entry in Metro Filmfes this coming December. This is her reunion flick with Jericho Rosales after they did “Walang Forever”, which is a critical and commercial success in the annual Metro Filmfest two years ago. Their new movie project will be directed once again by ace filmmaker Dan Villegas.

Gil Cuerva is also very grateful for the huge success of his very first TV series. “Sobrang laki ng naging pagbabago sa buhay ko dahil sa 'My Love from the Star',” he says. “As a model, tahimik lang ang buhay ko, people don’t really recognize me in public. But after my appearance as Matteo in ‘My Love from the Star’, everything changed. Paglabas ko, mas nakikilala ako ng tao. They might not know my real name but they know me as Matteo and I’m so happy because that means they’re really watching our show. To think one month pa lang halos ang itinatakbo ng show. So I want to thank everyone involved in the show, including the stylists and make up artists who look after me on the set, nagbunga lahat ng efforts and hard work namin.”

What can he say that he is the new “pantasya of girls and gays”? “Okay lang, I like that. I’m really thankful for all the support of the fans. It’s quite overwhelming, actually, kasi nung modeling days ko, hindi naman ganito karami at hindi ganito kalakas ang positive feedback sa akin.”

The footage showing him taking a shower is shown repeatedly on the net and some quarters are urging the makers of “My Love from the Star” that he be given another even more daring shower scene. Does he mind being considered a sex object?

“Fans today seem to be more wild, so okay lang kahit sex object ang tingin nila sa akin,” he says. “Maingay sila because of social media and I want to thank them for their interest in me and ‘My Love from the Star’. Kaya lang, let’s face it, what we have is a TV show, so limitado ang puedeng ipakita. So chill lang po kayo. Kung sa akin, okay lang naman kahit mag-Speedo trunks. Let’s just see kung pakikinggan ng writers at ni Direk Joyce Bernal ang request ninyo.”

So how is his relationship now with Jen after they’ve been taping together for several weeks? “I feel so much more comfortable with her now, especially in our scenes together. She’s really a big help to me. She’s very patient, very understanding, tinutulungan talaga ako para magawa ko ng tama ang trabaho ko.”

Some folks say Jen is being envied for being so lucky as his first leading lady and doing kissing scenes with him. “No, I’m the one who is lucky as Jen is the perfect partner any new guy can get. And I’m so happy na tinanggap agad ang tandem namin at malakas raw ang chemistry naming dalawa. So, to all the loyal viewers of ‘My Love from the Star’, sige lang po kayo sa gabi-gabing panonood no dahil mas paganda pa nang paganda ang bawat episode ng show namin.”
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Jun 19, 2017

CHARICE PEMPENGCO has been reborn. She’s now known as Jake Zyrus. She just went live on her instagram account, that has more than 120,000 followers, after being absent from it for more than two months when it was reported that she broke up with her live in partner named Alyssa Quijano. And she now introduces herself as Jake Zyrus, which is also her new name in her Twitter account.

Looks like she has moved on from her break up and is ready to start life on a new clean slate. Someone asked her about Alyssa and she said she doesn’t know because they don’t communicate anymore and have completely lost touch. There are talks that they broke because of money matters but she won’t confirm or deny it.

Charice (or Jake Zyrus) looks more masculine than ever with her very short haircut and simple boy’s t-shirt. As one of her fans commented: “Binatang-binata ang dating, a. Barako boy.”

She said what they see now is the real Charice as the old one before was just the image her handlers wanted her to project then. Now, what you see is what you get.

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