IZA Calzado is now simultaneously shooting two new movies and taping one teleserye with the same partner, Ian Veneracion. The first movie is for writer-director Jerrold Tarog, who made the acclaimed hit, “Heneral Luna”. It’s a horror suspense-thriller also starring TJ Trinidad and Shamaine Buencamino. As of now, it does not have any definite title yet. The second movie is “Ilawod”, a horror flick directed by Dan Villegas and produced by Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films, the same team that made previous award-winning Metro Manila Filmfest hits like “English Only, Please” and “Walang Forever”. The screenplay is written by Palanca awardee Yvette Tan and also in the cast are child stars Xyriel Manabat, Harvey Bautista and Teri Malvar, supported by Epi Quizon, Joel Saracho and Anna Luna.
We heard they’ll try to rush and finish shooting this so they can meet the filmfest deadline scheduled next month. But with Villegas also busy directing a new teleserye, “Because You Loved Me”, and with the movie requiring lots of special effects, let’s see if they could really fast track this project for it to meet the deadline and qualify as a Metro filmfest entry.
The teleserye Iza is doing with Ian is ABS-CBN’s “The Second Wife”, where they share top billing with Bea Alonzo. “Kami na ngayon ni Ian ang bagong loveteam,” Iza quips. Wonder where that will leave Jodi Sta. Maria who’s tandem with Ian in “Pangako Sa’Yo” was also a big hit.
WHY MOTHER LILY NEEDS TO MAKE MORE MOVIES
MOTHER Lily Monteverde says the retinue of Piolo Pascual and Director Dondon Santos who shot the movie “Once in a Lifetime: Northern Lights” in Queenstown, New Zealand is now back after two weeks. “Grabe pala,” she says. “It’s so expensive to shoot in New Zealand. Six times more expensive than shooting in the States. Kaya dapat, this movie should be a superblockbuster para makabawi naman kami sa gastos namin dito.”
Her daughter Roselle says the expense is worth it as all the scenes shot in New Zealand are so beautiful. “Magastos nga pero napakaganda naman talaga roon,” adds Roselle. “I’ve seen the scenes they shot there at naiiba talaga. Our viewers will be awed by the beauty of the place.”
“Naloloka si Roselle kasi I told her we’ll be producing 30 movies,” says Mother Lily. “Kasi our library of films, hindi lang dito sa atin pinalalabas kundi pati na rin sa other Asian countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia. May demand talaga, so tuluy-tuloy kami sa pag-shoot ng bagong movies.”
Their next release is the rom-com, “My Rebound Girl”, opening on September 28, with Alex Gonzaga, Joseph Marco, Martin Escudero, Nathalie Hart, Carl Guevarra, Helga Kraft, directed by Emmanuel de la Cruz. This will be followed by the sexy drama, “The Escort”, with Lovi Poe, Derek Ramsay, Christopher de Leon, Jean Garcia and Rommel Padilla, directed by Enzo Williams.
For the coming Metro-Manila Filmfest, they have three prospective entries: “Our Mighty Yaya” with Ai Ai de las Alas, Megan Young and Zoren Legaspi, directed by Joey Reyes; “Mano Po VII: Chinoy” with Richard Yap, Jean Garcia, Jake Cuenca, Enchong Dee, Janella Salvador, Jessy Mendiola, directed by Ian Lorenos; and “Pwera Usog”, a horror movie.
Also currently shooting are two more rom-coms: “Never Been Kissed, Never Been Touched” starring Angeline Quinto, Jake Cuenca, Tommy Esguerra and Miho Nishida; and “Recipe for Love” starring Billy Crawford and Megan Young.
MOVIE REVIEW: MECHANIC RESURRECTION
IF you're looking for mindless, no frills, slambang action, you’d enjoy underrated action star Jason Statham’s new movie, “Mechanic Resurrection”, where he recreates his character, Arthur Bishop, from the first “Mechanic” movie (which is a remake of an old Charles Bronson cult classic.) As a mechanic, Bishop is a hired killer nonpareil whose specialty is to make jobs in killing people look like an accident.
When the first “Mechanic” (2011) ended, he’s shown faking his own death so he could retire and live more peacefully.
The new movie starts in Brazil, where Bishop lives incognito. He is approached by the hench-men of a kingpin, Crain (Sam Hazeldine), to offer him some new jobs. He ends up beating up all of them. He then leaves Brazil and goes to Thailand where he is reunited with a friend, Mei (Michelle Yeoh, wasted in a short supporting role that didn't require her to do anything). It turns out he has a beach house there where he keeps a stash of various weapons.
He then meets a beautiful damsel in distress, Gina (Jessica Alba), the battered girlfriend of a bully that Bishop ends up killing. He and Gina fall in love, but it turns out Gina is actually in cahoots with Crain who uses her as a bait to lure Bishop and convince him to do three jobs requiring him to kill three dangerous men.
These are African war criminal Krill (Femi Elufowoju) who is in an Alcatraz-like prison fortress, Australian human trafficker Adrian Cook (Toby Eddington) and American arms dealer Max Adams (Tommy Lee Jones), whose character provides the twist in the movie. Bishop has now to kill for love and we see him hopping all around the globe to do this, from Rio to Thailand to Australia to Bulgaria. Jason as Bishop executes his numerous fight scenes capably and persuasively, even when it involves killing an entire battalion of hired goons. He looks leaner here, and also a much more mean killing machine and lone wolf than in his past movies like “Crank”, “Bank Job”, “Home Front” and the “Transporter” series. Despite this, though, he has never been elevated to Class A action superstar status the way Tom Cruise is in his “Mission Impossible” franchise and Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. We think he’s more regarded to be in the same B movie level as Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal. Some folks believe he’d be good as the ne
xt James Bond and it would be nice to see what he could do with it since we believe he could interpret it with more persuasion and some finesse. That spectacular scene in “Mechanic Resurrection” is proof that he could be better than Daniel Craig in perfectly executing difficult scenes without a double.
We see him using electronic suction cups to climb up to the penthouse swimming pool of his target in Sydney and it is ingeniously staged. He’s shown hanging on his harness, then he drills a hole in the pool’s glass bottom that cracks the glass and we see the bad guy falling right through. It would be nice to see Jason Statham doing a movie someday that will raise his game and give him more superstar status as an invincible and intelligent man of action.
But the first thing he should do is to stop accepting movies that demean him, like his supporting roles in “The Expendables” and “Fast & Furious 7”, and most particularly like his role in “Spy” where comedian Melissa McCarthy simply made fun of him and he allowed himself to be demeaned just for the money.