"Magic Mike" was simply magical when it was released three years ago. Beyond its sensual interior, the film brought in a very deep look into the lives of a group of male entertainers. It wasn't just about males stripping,gyrating or being funny, it was the intimate nuances and characters that sucked as in. Unfortunately, much of this magic is gone in "Magic Mike XXL". While it still serves the purpose of titillating a certain portion of the population, it isn't as rewarding for the adventurous types.

Picking up the story three years after Mike (Channing Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, Mike finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach in the annual stripper convention on the Fourth of July. On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.

As sequels goes, this is definitely an inferior version of its predecessor. Sadly, "Magic Mike XXL" feels like a cop out to what the original meant to us. The film lacks the story, emotional and character depth that we loved three years ago. While we can't say anything bad about the choreography and dance sequences, they were great and fun to watch and drove the film forward, we just couldn't get into the film as it struggled to be deeper than its source material. In fact, there were long sequences of chatter between characters and secondary characters. That's not a bad thing in most scenarios but when all they do is talk about shallow things, the experience is less deep but more a slow stutter into the next strip show. If you expect to be stunned by dancing male entertainers, you may just get your money's worth. The film has a load of laughs and comedic sequences as well. But expect more, then you may just leave a little bit disappointed.

Rating: 3 reels





Why you should watch it:
- choreography is great
- Channing Tatum is an awesome dancer

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- so shallow especially when compared to the original


As the story of Universal Pictures' new adventure comedy “Minions” begins, the Minions are currently masterless in the frigid Antarctic, having grown despondent the more time they spend without a master to serve. Over the centuries, they have had such great intentions for their numerous bosses, but in true Minion fashion, they end up accidentally getting each and every one of their masters killed. When the Minions finally do meet Gru, they’re more relaxed and less insecure. In 1969, however, they’re still in the middle of a steep learning curve.

Although Kevin, Stuart and Bob are very much Minions at the core, it was crucial to provide differentiation not just to their look, but to their unique sounds. Producer Janet Healy says that it wasn’t until the Illumination team began developing “Minions” that they started discovering their distinct personalities. “It was hard at first because the Minions have always been a group that share characteristics of impatience and childishness and buoyancy,” she says. “When we decided to differentiate these three characters and track them, we realized how to make our heroes very distinct and show what each of them are thinking and feeling through their pantomime and sounds.”

Producer Chris Meledandri describes the characters: “Kevin is the older brother of the three, and he desperately wants to be heroic. Bob is the littlest, and I think of him as the Agnes from “Despicable Me” of the group. He just loves everybody; he’s a very happy little guy. Stuart is more of the adolescent, the rebellious one. By the end of the movie, you get the sense that the three of them are their own little family.”

As Kevin is the elder statesman of the tribe and filled with nothing but good intentions, he sounds a bit more responsible and is quick to admonish his younger siblings when they’re too distracted by nonsense or chicanery. Stuart’s sound is much more laissez-faire, and he’s quite partial to blurting “meh.” He goes with the flow but is not interested in any drama. Bob’s vocals are much more childlike. He is so joyous, so full of life, but also easily scared of the adventure ahead and is prone to gasps and “ooooooh”s.

Director Kyle Balda explains that the three members of the Minion tribe that we get to know over the course of the film actually revealed themselves to the animators as the animation process evolved. He explains: “When you storyboard a scene, you start to know who Kevin, Stuart and Bob are. You let your imagination run, and you think that Bob wants to go this way or that. So you let him go that way and see happens. You don’t try to always reign in the characters and make them do what you think they’re supposed to do. You play a bit, and often it can take you someplace really interesting.”

Balda jokes that if our heroes had anything to say about running the production of “Minions,” he knows exactly what they’d have done: “Stuart absolutely wants to do his own thing, and he would love to get in front of a camera and talk about the movie and take all the credit. Bob would just be fascinated with all the lights and the technical aspects and not know what was going on most of the time. And Kevin? Kevin would take it all very, very seriously.”

Of particular importance to the filmmakers was to make Kevin, Stuart and Bob’s journey not just a humorous one, but a global one. Meledandri shares: “Through the course of the movie, the Minions not only traverse time, but they also traverse geography. The movie takes you from New York City, Orlando and Australia to China, India and London, where a big portion of the film transpires.”

The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions” begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters — from T. rex to Napoleon — the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he - alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob - ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind from annihilation.



Opening across the Philippines on July 08, “Minions” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.


From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s “Creed.” The film is a new chapter in the “Rocky” story and stars Sylvester Stallone playing his iconic role once again with Michael B. Jordan playing as the son of Apollo Creed. In the film, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa. Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

“Creed” also stars Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a local singer-songwriter who becomes involved with Adonis; Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed, Apollo’s widow; and English pro boxer and former three-time ABA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Bellew as boxing champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan. Coogler directs from a screenplay he wrote with Aaron Covington, based on characters from the “Rocky” series written by Sylvester Stallone.



From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes a Chartoff Winkler Production, “Creed.” Opening across the Philippines on Dec. 02, 2015, “Creed” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


For a franchise that seemingly has heavily stumbled after its first two monumental films from the past century, "Terminator: Genisys" is a surprise and a much needed breather. While people may easily dismiss that the film is yet another addition in a list of failed sequels, an unnecessary one at that even, we beg to differ. "Terminator: Genisys" has glaring faults - there's no denying that fact - but at its core, as hollow as it may be, it is also one heck of an enjoyable film to watch.

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including a new T-800 terminator, a guardian nicknamed Pops (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: to reset the future.

Like how Arnold's line in the film goes, "Old but not obsolete", "Terminator: Genisys" feels like a film that could rejuvenate the franchise with its frenetic pace and action-packed sequences. Simply put, the film is extremely enjoyable and fun to watch. Ironically, it is also these elements that limit what the film adds up into the franchise. In our opinion, the story and characters themselves (minus Arnold's character of Pops) seemed empty. The characters in particular never jived together and their simplified and amped-up selves never made us be into their plights. The only exception is Pops. For a robot, he was the one who gave the occasional emotional and comedic dose that the film needed. The story was normal at best but could confuse a lot especially those who never watched any of the previous films. The biggest stumbling block on that front though is revealing who John Connor really is in its marketing materials. That alone, the shock of finding out that John becomes a terminator himself, could have turned around the film greatly. Overall, "Terminator: Genisys" turns out to be a little bit too generic but still an enjoyable one to experience and one that bests out the third and fourth films in our books.

Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- frenetic pace and outstanding action makes this enjoyable and fun

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- films turns out to be more generic than innovative


In DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3” first trailer, Po and the gang is back with three times the force and adventure! Po (voiced by Jack Black) is now considered as the legendary Dragon Warrior. How? By saving the world a few times. Along with his best buddies, Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Mantis (Seth Rogen), Po continues kung-fu training under the tutelage of Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).

The trailer shows that Po has finally met his father (Byran Cranston) in a very heartwarming and hilarious scene wherein the whole village sighed in frustration when the two didn’t immediately realize they’re both the father and son they’ve long been searching for.



Prepare for “Kung Fu Panda 3” when it opens this 2016 in cinemas nationwide. You can also check out the Philippines’ own “Kung Fu Panda 3” website here: http://www.kungfupandamovie-ph.com/ to keep up with awesomeness!


Universal Pictures has released two poster artworks for its upcoming adult comedy “Ted 2” – one celebrates friendship; the other heralds the return of everyone's favorite teddy bear – or does it? Seth MacFarlane returns as writer, director and voice star of “Ted 2”, the follow-up to the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time.
Joined once again by star Mark Wahlberg and fellow Ted writers Alec Sulkinn; Wellesley Wild, MacFarlane produces the live action/CG-animated comedy alongside Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, as well as John Jacobs and Jason Clark.
Opening across the Philippines on July 15, “Ted 2” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.