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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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Jul 25, 2017

DUNKIRK is a port city in France where British and other Allied troops were stranded as the Germans marched into France at the start of World War II. They’re trapped on the beach as sitting ducks while German planes hover over them. From May 26 to June 4, 1940, more than 300,000 soldiers had to be evacuated to England. A hastily assembled fleet of 800 boats, mostly privately owned, rescued the troops and what happened is now considered a miracle.

There have been many films about this historical event, like “Weekend at Dunkirk” in 1964 starring French actor Jean Paul Belmondo as a soldier trapped in Dunkirk. The Oscar-winning “Mrs. Miniver” and “This Above All”, both made in 1942, also touched on this, along with the more recent “Atonement” in 2008. But the one we remember the most is “Dunkirk” in 1958, with John Mills as a corporal leading infantrymen across France to Dunkirk and Richard Attenborough as a boatman who participates in the rescue.

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AI AI DE LAS ALAS just renewed her exclusive contract with GMA Network last Monday. Present during the contract signing were GMA Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon; GMA Entertainment TV Senior Vice President Lilybeth G. Rasonable; GMA Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Acuña-Magno; GMA Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Communications Angela Javier Cruz; and GMA Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara.

“God is so great and good,” says the Comedy Concert Queen. “Kapuso pa rin po ako. Binigyan ako ng chance ni Lord na maging Kapuso ulit. So nandito po ulit ako. Thank you sa lahat ng bosses namin sa GMA sa magandang pagtanggap nila sa akin. I’m thankful to GMA for their continuous trust and support all these years. Kasi di ba dito naman talaga ako nag start? Parang coming home ulit. Siyempre mahal nila ako at binibigyan nila ako ng magagandang projects.”

Aside from “Sunday Pinasaya”, Ai-Ai says she will have a new show together with Bossing Vic Sotto and an upcoming soap. Meanwhile, Atty. Gozon says he is delighted that Ai-Ai continues to stay with GMA 7. “Si Ai-Ai ay tinatawag nating balikbayan. Alam naman niya kung nasaan ang puso niya ngayon. Para sa atin, she is always welcome. I for one, talagang pinapanood ko ang mga shows ni Ai-Ai."

Rasonable, on the other hand, said that she is very happy and proud that Ai-Ai is still a Kapuso, “Mahal namin si Ai-Ai. We welcomed her back a few years ago. At hanggang ngayon ay napakaganda ng relationship ng GMA at ni Ai-Ai. We love her and we love having her here in GMA for a long long time.”
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Jul 24, 2017

 LUC BESSON is a French filmmaker noted for such hard hitting action flicks as “Leon: The Professional”, “Le Femme Nikita”, “Lucy”, “Colombiana”, “Taken” and “The Transporter”, for which he is credited either as writer, producer or director. He now helms the futuristic space saga, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”, based on the popular sci-fi French comics series, “Valerian and Laureline”, here played by Dane DeHaan (whose speaking voice resembles that of Keanu Reeves) and Cara Delevingne.

This is not Besson’s first foray into a futuristic sci-fi material as he has done that before in “The Fifth Element” starring Bruce Willis and which introduced Milla Jovovich, who’d later be Besson’s wife and star of the “Resident Evil” franchise. No doubt he has made “Valerian” a gorgeous visual feast. The production design is dazzling and spectacular, starting from the opening montage sequence showing different space ships docking in together with people from various countries meeting each other and doing a handshake. This spans many many years, extending to centuries, with the participants involving humans and aliens from different planets, set to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.

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DIRECTOR THEODORE ‘TED’’ BOBOROL started his career at ABS-CBN in 2000 as contributing writer for “Pangako Sa’Yo”, then became script supervisor for such films as “Nine Mornings” and “Dekada 70” in 2002. He also worked as story editor for “Pinoy Big Brother” and wrote the screenplays of films like “My Big Love” and “The Lucky Ones”. He started directing in 2010 for “Kristine”, followed by “Mana Po”, “Good Vibes”, “Hiyas”, “Pintada”, “Angelito, Batang Ama”. He directed his debut film, “Just the Way You Are”, starring the LizQuen love team in 2015, followed by “Vince, Kath and James” that was a surprise hit in the last Metro Manila Filmfest. Now, he gets to direct John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo no less in “Finally Found Someone”.

“I can’t believe it when I was told last December that I’d direct them,” he says. “Kasi all their past three movies with Cathy Molina are big blockbusters. Sabi ko pa, are you serious? Talagang ako ba choice nyo? I didn’t accept it agad kasi I’m kinda scared. It took another meeting before I agreed kasi, naisip ko, if they trust me, then I should also trust myself na makakaya ko dahil not all directors are given the chance to direct Lloydie and Sarah in a movie.”

He’s thankful that the two stars respected management’s decision to give them a new director. “Pareho silang mabait. They didn’t make me feel na baguhan lang ako at superstars na sila. It’s intimidating for me, kasi hindi lang bago akong director nila kundi bago pati material ng movie. They no longer play the same characters they played in their past three films. The challenge for me is kung paano sila tatanggapin ng loyal followers nila in their new characters. I’m thankful that both JLC and Sarah gave their own inputs so nagkatulong-tulong kami in coming up with something that we know will be a crowd pleaser and will appeal to all kinds of viewers.”

In the story, JLC plays Raffy, a PR man who is very good in cooking up lies to sell something or someone. Sarah is April, a bride who is abandoned by her groom on the very day of their wedding. Raffy sees April crying at the altar then tries his best to console her and help her move on. Will “Finally Found Someone” succeed to surpass the earnings of their tandem’s past screen outings? We will see when the movie opens in theaters this coming Wednesday, July 26.
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GLAIZA DE CASTRO has not completely shaken off the fiery Pirena character she played in “Encantadia”, so she’s happy to revive Pirena again and wear her costume for a special episode in “Mulawin Vs. Ravena” where she will have a guest appearance as Pirena. Appearing with her from “Encantadia” is Mikee Quinto as the jolly Lira.

“When they asked me kung puede akong mag-guest sa ‘Mulawin Vs. Ravena’ as Pirena, aba siempre, yes agad ako,” says Glaiza, who’s also busy with her second album and as the Ambassadress of Goodwill of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association who helps out in their humanitarian missions. “I got excited to do Pirena again kasi yung loyal Encantadiks fans namin, laging sinasabi sa’king they miss me as Pirena. Ngayon, nagre-request naman silang mas tagalan ang exposure namin sa ‘Mulawin’ at idagdag na raw ang iba pang sang’gres ng ‘Encantadia’.”

The question is how will the sang’gres and diwatas of “Encantadia” have a connection with the world of the bird people in “Mulawin Vs. Ravena”? “Abangan nyo as it will be a very exciting episode,” adds Glaiza. “And we’d like to thank the mainstays of ‘Mulawin’ na sina Dennis Trillo, Derrick Monasterio, Bea Binene and the rest of the cast dahil they made us feel so welcome sa pagko-cross over namin ni Mikee Quintos sa kanilang show.”
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JC SANTOS was surprised when he learned he’s part of Yes Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful Stars in the Wow Factor Category. JC, whose full name is Juan Carlo, was born in Angeles City on November 19, 1988. He started acting on stage while taking up theater arts in UP ten years ago.

“Tapos, naging OFW ako,” says JC, who’s now managed by Director Andoy Ranay. “I first worked with Hong Kong Disneyland as a singer-dancer for two years and then sa Universal Studios in Singapore also for two years. Then I went to New York to study acting at the Circle in the Square.

Pagbalik ako sa Pilipinas, I started auditioning for local projects at nakuha ako to play a major role in Aureus Solito’s ‘Esprit de Corp’, an entry sa Cinema One Filmfest. Before that I did bit roles in the indie films ‘Jay’, ‘The Janitor’, ‘Sakaling Hindi Makarating’ and ‘Imbisibol’. I’ve finished two other indie films, one for Cinemalaya, ‘Nabubulok’, with Gina Alajar directed by Sonny Calvento and one for Pistang Pilipino, ‘Isandaang Tula Para Kay Stella’, with Bela Padilla, produced by Viva. And now, I’m doing my first mainstream film with Star Cinema, ‘The Ghost Bride’, with Kim Chiu, directed by Chito Rono.”

He gained popularity when he played the closeted gay role of Ali in “Till I Met You” with the JaDine Love team in June of last year. He was talked about and quickly got more assignments, but the JaDine love team has yet to get a new soap. JC was made to join the reality show “I Can Do That” and was paired with Julia Montes in the “Wansapanataym” episode “Anikka Pintasera”. His latest assignment is the new teleserye, “Victims of Love”, where he is reunited with Julia Montes. Also in the cast are Lorna Tolentino, Paulo Avelino and Cherry Pie Picache.

“I’m so thankful for all the good breaks at sa sobrang blessings na I’m getting and I promise to do my best in every project that is assigned to me,” he says.
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RAFAEL ROSELL is happy that his love team with Kris Bernal in “Impostora” has been warmly received by the viewers and is rating very high. “Ang feedback ng netizens is that they enjoy watching the show so much kasi okay raw ang chemistry namin ni Kris,” he says. “Some folks even said kinikilig sila sa tambalan namin, especially when we have romantic scenes. Sana maging kami na rin daw in real life.”

Of course, such wish of their fans would never happen as it’s common knowledge that Rafael is now taken. He’s in a serious relationship with a pretty fashion designer called Valerie Chia who comes from a rich and conservative Chinese family. Valerie’s family has accepted Rafael for her as they find him well bred and has good values in life.

Doesn’t Valerie get jealous when he does provocative love scenes with Kris in “Impostora”? “Hindi naman. Magkasundo sila ni Kris and she finds Kris beautiful kaya dinidepensahan pa niya ito kapag may bashers na nagsasabing sobrang payat dahil sa kawo-work out.”

As for Kris, she’ll also be featured as part of a new travel show, “Road Trip”, that will replace Heart Evangelista’s show. She will be with Meg Imperial, Arny Ross and Jinri Park. Kris also just came from Brunei after attending an event in the Philippine community there.
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RYZA CENON is today’s most hated woman on local TV because of her very effective portrayal of the scheming homewrecker in the number one afternoon soap, “Ika-6 na Utos”. She will soon elicit praises for her title role portrayal of “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B”, which will be shown in theaters this August 16 to 22 as an entry in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino for the Buwan ng Sariling Wika.

We’ve seen the film as part of the QCinema Filmfest and Ryza, as the mysterious Jewel, gives her most daring and most controversial performance ever. She’s so sexy in that scene where her body grows huge wings and then gets divided into two as a manananggal. Later, as a love starved woman, she is shown giving pleasure to herself while in bed.

Ryza gives a nuanced performance, competently projecting the anguish and loneliness of an isolated soul who has a deadly secret. She keeps a turtle for a pet but, at night, she seduces men and then tears up their chests to eat their hearts. But the movie is surprisingly also a romance. This happens when Jewel meets Nico (played by Martin del Rosario), who is melancholic and lonely like her after his girlfriend just dumped him.

It’s not surprising that they can easily relate well with each other, like he also has a turtle for a pet. He calls it Dumbledore while Ryza calls her turtle, Edward. Obvious bang avid fans sila ng “Twilight” series? Do you think there is a happy ending waiting for this odd pair of lovers? That’s for you to find out when you watch the movie this coming August.

When we first saw the this movie, there were some parts that we found dragging but IdeaFirst Company producer Perci Intalan tells us that they have since re-edited the whole flick and even re-shot some scenes. So, in effect, you’re going to see a totally new version of the movie, which is written by Jen Chuaunsu and directed by Prime Cruz, the same theme who did the surprise indie hit, “Sleepless”, and the not so impressive mainstream film “Can We Still Be Friends”.

We ask Ryza how she felt playing the role of a manananggal? “It was very challenging for me,” she says. “First time ko to do a lead role in a full length film at may daring scenes pa agad na ipinagawa sa akin. But the script is good so I just put my full trust in our director.”

The movie also features Cholo Barretto as one of her victims (this is how they met and eventually became sweethearts in real life, so this movie is truly memorable for both of them) and Vangie Labalan, who won the QCCinema Filmfest best supporting actress award for her remarkable portrayal of Martin’s hilarious grandmother.
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Jul 23, 2017

THE AWARDS season is truly upon us. After the Eddy Awards, the Urian Awards were given out last Thursday night at ABS-CBN’s Studio 10 and the top winner is “Women of the Weeping River,” the tale of two women who try their best to stop the violence between feuding families in their Muslim community. It won the most number of awards, including best picture and the best screenplay, best director awards for Sheron Dayoc. The film previously won the best picture award at the QC Filmfest last October 2016. This time, it also won the Urian best supporting actress award for Sharifa Pearlsia Ali-Dans; best cinematography for Rommel Sales; and best editing for Carlo Francisco Manatad.

Hasmine Killip won best actress as the street kid whose baby is kidnapped in “Pamilya Ordinaryo”. She now lives in London with her British husband so it’s her director, Eduardo Roy, who received her trophy for her. Paolo Ballesteros won best actor for his performance in Jun Robles Lana’s “Die Beautiful” as a transgender who perennially join gay beauty pageants. Christian Bables won best supporting actor as Paolo’s loyal best friend. They were both present to personally accept their trophies.

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CIGNAL TV launches Cignal Entertainment -- a full entertainment brand of original content. For its premier production, Cignal Entertainment is proud to present its first miniseries “Tukhang”, an action-crime thriller that explores the social costs behind the controversial war on drugs while mining the human drama that surrounds it.

The four-part series, directed by Lawrence Fajardo, stars James Blanco and Karel Marquez as individuals whose day-to-day lives are spent trying to survive the unforgiving drug war zone our nation has turned into.

This is just the first of many more awesome new content programs that Cignal Entertainment promises to deliver. In their line-up are shows of different genres such as “Tabi Po”, “Advocasine 1 & 2” and the prequel to the movie “Die Beautiful”which is titled “Born Beautiful” starring Christian Bables.

To ensure that they deliver on their commitment to quality, Cignal Entertainment have partnered with some of the most exciting storytellers in the country, including Sari Sari Network, the ever efficient Madonna Tarrayo’s Unitel, the indefatigable Percy Intalan’s Idea First, Wilma Galvante’s Content Cows, and Masque Valley Productions. “Tukhang“ starts airing this July 22 on Colours (Ch 60 SD, Ch 202 HD), Sari Sari (Ch 3 SD) and Bloomberg TV Philippines (Ch 8SD, Ch 250HD), on Cignal TV.
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