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“Logan” to Hold Midnight Screenings On March 1, Wednesday (12:01AM) Nationwide

Responding to the fever-pitch anticipation of Hugh Jackman’s “Logan”, the most eager of cineastes who want to see it first can finally catch the movie on its midnight screenings (12:01am) set on March 1, Wednesday in Philippine theatres nationwide (check your nearest favorite theatres).

Theaters that will be participating are:

• Century 2D
• Eastwood 2D
• EVIA MX4D
• Fishermall 2D
• Gaisano Davao 2D
• Gaisano Tagum 2D
• Gateway ATMOS
• Glorietta 4 2D
• Greenbelt 3 2D
• Newport 2D
• Powerplant ATMOS
• SM Aura 2D & IMAX
• SM BF 2D
• SM Cebu IMAX
• SM Clark 2D
• SM Fairview 2D
• SM Light Mall 2D
• SM Mall of Asia IMAX
• SM Megamall IMAX
• SM North Edsa IMAX
• SM Pampanga 2D
• Starmall Alabang ATMOS
• Starmall EDSA 2D
• Starmall Las Piñas 2D
• Starmall San Jose ATMOS
• Trinoma 2D
• Vista Bataan ATMOS
• Vista Pampanga ATMOS
• Vista Sta. Rosa ATMOS
• Vista Taguig ATMOS

Starring Hugh Jackman in the title role, “Logan” is directed by James Mangold that also stars a powerhouse of a cast that includes Patrick Stewart, Boy Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant and newcomer Dafne Keen. A standalone story that sees Jackman in the final chapter of his Wolverine alter-ego, the movie brings the iconic hero at a crossroads that will finally define his destiny.

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The film takes place more than 50 years after the events depicted in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and is its own standalone tale that plays more like an intimate family journey but is also packed with high-stakes action scenes. When the film opens, Logan is in a vulnerable and broken state, the curse of his immortality wearing heavy on him as he cares for a weakened Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a derelict smelting plant at the edge of an abandoned oil field. They’re joined there by a third mutant, Caliban (The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant), sheltering in obscurity at a time when the world believes mutants have passed into history.

But Logan’s days of drinking in relative solitude are interrupted when he finds himself the reluctant guardian of a young girl, Laura (Keen) who has powers remarkably like his own, from her hands as well as her feet spring the same adamantium claws as Wolverine’s. Not that he’s exactly eager to accept this newfound responsibility—he’s far too weary to play the hero once more.

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Tasked with protecting her from the murderous cybernetic criminal Donald Pierce (Holbrook), Logan and Professor X set out to cross hostile territory to ferry Laura to a place called Eden, where young mutants are said to enjoy safe haven. But Pierce and his fearsome army of cyborg Reavers are determined to return the girl to the custody of Dr. Zander Rice (Grant), the sinister geneticist behind Alkali who triggered her mutations through a series of inhumane experiments in the hopes of creating a child super-soldier.

“Logan” further unleashes its claws a few hours after its midnight screenings (with more screens) on March 1 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. Also available in IMAX (2D) screens. The movie is rated R-16 by the MTRCB.

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Mel Gibson Guns for Oscar Best Director Prize with “Hacksaw Ridge”

With films that span from the classic, Oscar Best Picture-winning Braveheart to The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, The Passion of the Christ and his most recently directed film, the Mayan civilization epic Apocalypto, Mel Gibson has become known for meshing big themes with atmospheric style that takes audiences into revealing worlds.

Now, Mel Gibson’s re-creates with a mesmerizing realism the epic combat that saw the true-to-life heroism of Desmond Doss in the World War II action-thriller, Hacksaw Ridge.

Nominated for eight Oscar Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, Hacksaw Ridge centers on the story of Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a Seventh-day Adventist who became an army medic while adhering to his religious convictions of not carrying a weapon. He saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

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For producer Bill Mechanic, Gibson was always the ultimate choice to direct Hacksaw Ridge. “The script felt to me almost like a companion piece to Braveheart,” comments the producer. “It pulls together the same themes of faith, violence and war, though it’s a very different story about a man from a very different time and background. To me, what also sets Mel apart as a contemporary filmmaker is how experiential his filmmaking is, how visceral the storytelling is in his films. He’s become a consummate director. He’s equally great with characters, with actors, with the camera and the editing process and with giving audiences a new experience.”

Gibson saw in Hacksaw Ridge a chance to bring into the light a forgotten hero – and he was drawn to Desmond Doss as man who determined to find a way to live by the values that meant everything to him, even when they seemed in conflict with the whole world around him.

Says Gibson: “Desmond Doss abhorred violence, it was against his principles, his religious beliefs, but he wanted to serve his country in World War II as a medic. How does somebody go into the worst place on earth without a weapon? It was all the more compelling to me, because it was a true story, and I thought I could bring my visual language to it.”

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Gibson notes that Doss never called himself a conscientious objector. That was the army’s term. Instead, he called himself a “conscientious co-operator,” believing with unflagging tenacity that he had plenty to contribute without having to kill other human beings.

He was a co-operator in the sense that he passionately wanted to join the war effort, but he wanted to enter it as someone aiming not to take life but to save it,” says Gibson. “Still, you have to ask, what kind of madman goes into that kind of a conflagration seen on Okinawa without being armed? Doss defied what anyone could have expected from that situation. Somebody mentioned to me that the Congressional Medal of Honour is usually given to people who have a singular moment where they make a snap decision and do one heroic thing. One of the things that stood out to me about Desmond is that in Okinawa, this guy was heroic 24/7, for a whole month. He took heroism to another level not often seen.”

Mechanic notes that when it came to the battle sequences, Gibson zeroed right in on the most essential and creative details. “Mel has such an eye for war action, I feel he was the real creator of all the battle sequences, regardless of who wrote the scenes,” says the producer.

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Yet even in the most frenetic action, Gibson wanted the humanity of the character to hold sway. He says of the battle sequences: “The important part was to give you the sense that this is the worst place anyone has ever seen, which it was for these men. And here’s Desmond, this guy you’ve hopefully come to know and to love, thrown into this terrible place where he will finally see how measures up to the standards he has set for himself.”

Hacksaw Ridge will open in Philippine cinemas on February 22, 2017 from Buena Vista International Philippines. 

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Naomi Watts Sees Nightmares Becoming a Reality in “Shut In”

In the psychological thriller SHUT IN, Naomi Watts plays a child psychologist who is still grieving the car accident that killed her husband and paralyzed her step-son (Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton). Living with the latter in an isolated New England house, Watts’ character begins to experience unsettling phenomena that may or may not have something to do with a former patient (ROOM’s Jacob Tremblay) who has gone missing. Watts is no stranger to the thriller genre, having appeared in films like The Ring, Mulholland Drive, King Kong and many others.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Naomi Watts for a long, long time. Ever since Mulholland Drive, really,” says director Blackburn of the actress’s breakthrough role as a tormented ingénue in David Lynch’s acclaimed drama. “When I read the script, she popped into my head straightaway. She has the ability to switch from calm, normal and curious to fearful then to terrify in just seconds. I am a great fan and follower of her work.”
Indeed, Watts has made an impressive career playing women under siege in such diverse films as Alejandro Iñárritu’s 21 Grams, Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and Gore Verbinksi’s horror hit The Ring. “I’ve always enjoyed the thriller genre,” Watts explains. “So many different emotions come with fear, and I like playing fear.”

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The British actress, whose career began in Australia before moving to the U.S., says she was attracted to the challenges of capturing Mary’s fragmented state of mind. “She is completely consumed with taking care of one person, and not really relating to anybody in the outside world,” says Watts. “I think she’s shut down, emotionally. And as much as she wants to care for her child, it’s difficult for her. She struggles with it, and that’s when you see her starting to have these nightmares and weird things playing out in in her mind. The resentment of how her life has changed creeps in.”
Also appealing to the acclaimed actress was the simplicity of a story centered almost entirely on two characters and the dramatic change in Mary’s emotional state before and after the crash that leaves her husband dead and her stepson catatonic.
“When we meet her in the beginning of the film she seems to be happy,” Watts observes. “Then, we see her in a whole different way a few months later — she’s lost her husband in this horrific car accident, and her stepson is now in a vegetative state, in a wheelchair, and completely dependent upon her. Her whole life becomes about catering to his needs.”
Blackburn secured the highly sought-after actress’s commitment to the role via video-conference call, a technology that coincidentally plays a key role in the plot of Shut In.
“I had a nice conversation with him via Skype,” recalls the actress. “Then I looked at some of his work and thought, wow, he’s accomplished and very visual; he knows how to handle this genre very well. So I thought great, okay, I’ll give it a go.”

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Blackburn remembers the call a bit differently. “I was sitting in my flat trying to prepare for this call with Naomi Watts, which was bizarre in itself,” he says. “We all assumed that following the Skype there would be a period of silence, then possibly a decline — but she shocked us all by committing to the project there and then. In that short meeting, she was everything I’d hoped she would be.”
Shut In will be opening in PH cinemas on February 22, and is distributed by Captive Cinema.

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Cine Reviews: ‘Arrival’ (2016)

Denis Villeneuve, a master of cinema of which he had proved through two intensely provocative works of art, primarily 2015’s Sicario and 2011’s Incendies, returns to the big screen with yet another philosophical venture into the complexities of humanity. Arrival is an uncompromising masterwork  that competently trumps down even the greatest of its kind – blowing your mind to bits and pieces and sending a blast that moves mountains and souls. Conducting imposing experiments on linguistics, time, and determinism, it is a brazen work of cinematic purity that puts us through a cognitive test that lauds and dissects the art of science and the human mind in order to find a solution to such an abstruse predicament. Left in the open are clues that give us room for discovery where the attractive luster that builds through the gloomy allure of the unknown merges everything complex into an investigation of its intelligence wrought in resounding beauty that bestows a gift that gives value and astonishment to the life that we live.

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How time gets its role, and owns it, earns a central spot in the film as it explains just how precious and principal it is to our lives; linking it to the endless possibilities that could occur in its story through a realistic lens which effectively lets the tension run unpredictably as it gets blessed with Bradford Young’s cinematography that sucks us into its geography as does with Johann Johansson’s stentorian score that rumbles throughout. Joe Walker’s editing in particular, finds a greater significance as the vignettes of a tragic memory that haunt Amy Adams’ Louise pack a silence-shattering impact that gets spliced in between the quietest of moments – constructing a motherload of emotions that lures and mires; affirming the story’s ingrained beauty as a single haunting force that comes in close contact with our spirits. For this huge reason, the film deserves and commands to be seen more than twice – the story that it weaves would simply live on to make us look up to the art of cinema in bringing quality tales to cherish for eternity; shoving us beyond the boundaries that encourages to think in depths.

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The manner of which this story is told very well instigates the mind to summon morsels of human emotion to swell to life, and breathe soothingly as you glue your eyes to the pulchritudinous photographs and commit your attention to the words that are being hushed by an amazing, genuinely molded Amy Adams. She gets placed at the film’s center point, and there, she subdues her emotions in a brilliantly transluscent performance where her soul exudes of the film’s elegance that perspicaciously thrusts intimately into the psyche. Beyond a doubt, she is one of the film’s greatest strengths, and she perfectly blends ourselves into it. She’s just as inquisitive as we are the moment we arrive, and like her character, we get rewarded with something that is just as precious and priceless as the data that she gathers.

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Assessing logic is also perceived to be the key to everything, and the majority of the film carefully examines that; confining humanity in a single room where they either find out how each other’s mind works or they fail. The equivocations of humanity are largely discussed – placing man at the foreground, and developing seemingly intelligently characters that move quite the opposite to be scrutinized and observed while the extraterrestrials are set as the backdrop that constructs a laboratory which raptures about the power of language that is cunningly perceived to be both a tool and a weapon.  Ponderously elaborated are the unwanted consequences that could be bore from our very own misinterpretations the moment we let go the sheer will of identifying a message’s true meaning, and here, the concept of man’s thinking and communication is dissected, and radiates a signal prompting a human interaction to occur on such a level that would challenge us to delve into different territories of intellect all at the same time.

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While known by the industry as the man who conceived exceptionally taut dramas and thrillers, VIilleneuve bears no signs of unfamiliarity, and made this provocative sensation fully composed in every aspect. Beginning from the storytelling that stretches far and wide up to the filmmaking as a whole, he makes it exactly what it is and should be; an instant classic that is lovingly tangled in intricacies and marked with timelessness. Stern and grim landscapes are where we are kept in, and instantaneously, our minds get stuck in the same environment that our characters walk on and endeavor in every second that wastes no time in making an impression that dwells deep in the memory.  The cinematic exhibition of its premise, the execution of its concept and the thought of making a film as unfathomably prepossessing as it could get, quenches the interest and intrigue in oneself that continually rages on as the mystery builds and eventually gains a momentum that even passes past its peak.

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Again, one of modern cinema’s most intrepid filmmakers certainly doesn’t let us down when it comes to making us think and absorb just how marvelous his works are. Commencing an interaction, that seamlessly tethers its brain to ours, which puts us in every mood imaginable, Denis Villeneuve, again, validates that he is at the top of his game and is making it his own as he attempts to experiment with the sci-fi genre using his own theatrics, and exceeds the boundaries as the product reinforces his ever-impeccable, brazen bravado in filmmaking. Amalgamating Kubrick’s 2001 and Nolan’s Interstellar, it forms a fresh blend of genre purity which relishes the unthinkable theories that it has to divulge – giving sci-fi purists and cinema enthusiasts their money’s worth and so much more through screenwriter Eric Heisserer’s overflowing genius that compels and registers at an immersive, brisk rate using the same elements that we’ve encountered in the director’s prior works which technically puts this very film in the same line, and fits in like a brainchild that feels very much like the director’s own.

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Arrival is one of the most awe-inspiring sci-fi pics in recent memory that will forever endure in the minds of its viewers not only for its possession of a human quality that ascends every second to golden status from the sheer mastery of direction, but also for its writing that majestically inculcates when fully digested – gifting us with a ton to admire about the nature of science, and the art of erudition that stems from its complications. It is not as alienating as you’d expect, but it doesn’t stay in its comfort zone either as it unloads an artistic and thematically exploratory caliber where its innate beauty that grows to unravel at every turn instantaneously allows to claim itself as one of the the best that its generation has to tout. Its ambition is also poetically mind-blowing and captivates the spirit largely – instituting a very involving human interaction that converges for many to imbibe its knowledge that bleeds which as a whole, reads like a thick, sensuously incendiary book where astonishing curiosities are to be bared in a science fiction tale that is just indescribably over and above. You’ll simply feel more human than ever during and after the second you get lost in its transcendental waves that will leave you into a state which will stun you for days. It’s too awake a film, too sentient an experience that you could virtually hear it breathe, and feel it serenely caressing your heart and mind.

Rating:

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Arrival is now showing in Philippine cinemas from Columbia Pictures Philippines. Rated PG by the MTRCB.

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Hugh Jackman Shares Screen With Newcomer Dafne Keen in ‘LOGAN’ (Opens March 1)

Wolverine’s next of kin, Laura aka X-23 is finally revealed in “Logan,” the defining chapter in the cinematic saga of one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created from visionary writer-director James Mangold. Hugh Jackman stars in the title role, alongside Patrick Stewart (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant and newcomer Dafne Keen. The film is produced by blockbuster filmmakers Hutch Parker, Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner.

When the film opens, Logan is in a vulnerable and broken state, the curse of his immortality wearing heavy on him as he cares for a weakened Charles Xavier (Stewart) in a derelict smelting plant at the edge of an abandoned oil field. They’re joined there by a third mutant, Caliban (Merchant), sheltering in obscurity at a time when the world believes mutants have passed into history. But Logan’s days of drinking in relative solitude are interrupted when he finds himself the reluctant guardian of a young girl, Laura (newcomer Keen) who has powers remarkably like his own: from her hands as well as her feet spring the same adamantium claws as Wolverine’s. Not that he’s exactly eager to accept this newfound responsibility—he’s far too weary to play the hero once more.

Tasked with protecting her from the murderous cybernetic criminal Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), Logan and Professor X set out to cross hostile territory to ferry Laura to a place called Eden, where young mutants are said to enjoy safe haven.

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Jackman had especially kind words for his young co-star, Dafne Keen, who makes her feature film debut with “Logan” with a virtuosic performance. “She’s a phenomenal actress, and it’s an honor to share the film with her,” Jackman says. “Laura, genetically, has Wolverine’s DNA, so there are elements of him in her personality and her physicality and that’s not easy to pull off. I found it hard to pull off when I was 30, let alone an 11-year-old-girl, and she’s not like that at all. She’s very bubbly, vivacious and energetic. Playing this constantly pissed off, rage-filled mutant who will take your head off if you look at her sideways is nothing like who she is, and she nailed it.”

Stewart, too, was impressed by her professionalism: “She’s a child who performs with the weight and seriousness and intensity and diversity of a very experienced and worldly actress,” Stewart says.

“Laura at the beginning is a very silent child,” Keen says. “She can’t express sadness like a normal child would do so she gets really angry and starts killing people. It’s fun doing that and at the same time loving pink T-shirts and unicorns and rainbows and stuff.”

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The film is packed with brutal, visceral fight scenes, which presented some unique opportunities for Keen as Laura, who trained near her home in Spain before arriving to the U.S. for filming. “When she got here, we had about one month with her,” says stunt coordinator Garrett Warren.

Keen’s background in gymnastics and aerial arts helped her master the fight choreography, and Jackman was wowed by his young co-star. “Dafne did most of her fighting in the film,” he says. “She worked hard. When I say work, she loved it. She didn’t want to leave stunt training. I looked over one day and she had my claws on and she was beaming.”

“The other actors and filmmakers were like family to me,” Keen says. “I felt safe. I was always more focused on my character and what her longing for a normal family life which is what she is so desperately fighting for.”

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Rated R-16 by the local censors board (MTRCB), “Logan” cuts in Philippine cinemas nationwide on March 1 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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“Avengers: Infinity War” Stars Production, Phase 3 Details Teased

Marvel Studios has officially announced the production start of Avengers: Infinity War via a featurette that shows Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord).

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Watch the featurette here:

Prior to the release of the first featurette, Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) hosted a Facebook Live, to answer fan questions. Here’s everything we learned from the live chat (and the first Avengers: Infinity War featurette) so far:

  • Tom Holland will be reprising his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

  • Chris Pratt‘s Peter Quill/Star-Lord will also be joining the fray.

  • Robert Downey Jr. still fondly remembers the Mark 42 from “Iron Man 3”

  • Avengers: Infinity War” kicks off with tension as Captain America is still on Iron Man’s “S-List”

  • Reflecting on his appearance in the first “Iron Man” to “Avengers: Infinity War,” Downey says “[Tony Stark] has matured a bit. What has changed is the universe around him.”

  • Stark’s universe now involves Peter Parker, the Guardians and Doctor Strange.

  • Joe and Anthony Russo have never fought on set

  • The three Avengers the Russo brothers would go on a family vacation with: Tony Stark, Peter Park, and Vision.

  • Start of production officially began last month in Pinewood Atlanta.

  • Thanos will be “the most frightening villain the Avengers have ever faced;” he’ll show us all why he’s “the biggest, the best, the baddest villain that we’ve ever had.”

  • The Avengers are completely unprepared to face Thanos as a result of the events of “Captain America: Civil War” leaving the Avengers a team name with no team members.

  • Get ready for the Guardians of the Galaxy / Avengers team-up as we see Thor fighting alongside Rocket Raccoon

  • The Russo brothers confirm two films will be deeply connected – “these next two Avengers films will be an event like no one has ever seen on film before”

  • Downey drives that point home as we’ve come to learn the next two Avengers will be filmed back-to-back for a “year of fun-filled lensing”

Avengers: Infinity War will hit US theaters May 4, 2018, with the second part following on May 3, 2019.

Continuing a cinematic universe that launched in 2008 with Iron Man, Infinity War promises an epic story that will bring in characters from a decade of films. The cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Pom Klementieff, Tom Holland, Peter Dinklage and Josh Brolin as Thanos. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who return after Captain America: Civil War, are directing both Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled second half, which will close Marvel Phase 3.

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“Rings” Director Talks About New Chapter of Horror Franchise

Accaimed Spanish filmmaker F. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall), now directs Paramount Pictures’ suspense thriller Rings, the new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise.

In the film, a young woman (Matilda Lutz) becomes worried about her boyfriend (Alex Roe) when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…

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Q: What prompted you to sign up for this?

F. Javier Gutierrez: I was involved in The Crow at the time, that movie got delayed. I met Walter Parks and Laurie McDonald, the producers of the Ring franchise some time ago after my movie Before the Fall. I got a call from Walter asking if a new chapter in The Ring was something I’d be interested in. I felt attracted by the challenge.

Q: What were some of the challenges coming into your first studio gig that you hadn’t seen on your more independent films?

Gutierrez: Apart from adapting your directing style to a studio system, I was a big fan of the first Ring. I like challenges. The challenge was to keep the atmosphere and respect the originals as much as possible, and at the same time bring these new elements so it would work as its own movie. The challenge was to make a movie for this generation and bring it to a new audience, and at the same time for people like me who remember “The Ring” to create an atmospheric work.

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Q: Obviously when you’re doing a sequel you want to bring new ideas to the table. What was the big new idea you wanted to bring to Rings?

Gutierrez: The fact that it happens 15 years later is kind of exciting. We open a lot of doors to play with new technology. We are surrounded by not only TVs but cell phones and iPads. That’s something that’s exciting to explore. The idea of a video inside the video and tracking Samara also.

Q: The movie wrapped in 2015, but it’s only coming out now. Can you talk a little bit about the delay and the post process?

Gutierrez: I know from the outside it looks bad, but once you’ve seen the movie it makes sense. When we shot the movie we didn’t have the time to put it together in time for Halloween, because it’s a complex movie. The video within the video, the clues that links to all the elements of the movie, we worked forever on those because we didn’t want to be too on-the-nose, there were a lot of ideas on the table.

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We didn’t even have the video, we had a storyboard. Luckily we took the time to develop all the options for that video. We got to reconfigure the path of the movie we had in our minds, so we decided to push it to spring. We had no time to shoot a couple of sequences because we didn’t have the cast. There were brand-new sequences in the move that are cool, that add more horror and excitement. Those sequences are linked to the video, so we pushed it to the summer when we were all available. By September we put it together, and practically finished but didn’t have time to put the marketing together. We gave them extra time to put the marketing together and they did a great job.

Opening across the Philippines on February 22, Rings is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.