DINGDONG Dantes’ new show, “Alyas Robin Hood”, brings back the action genre to GMA Telebabad starting September 19 replacing “Descendants of the Sun”. He was a well-intentioned priest in his last soap, “Pari Koy”, and now, he’s a well-meaning criminal lawyer, Pepe de Jesus, who aims to help poor clients but he himself becomes the victim of a frame up and gets imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit: Killing his own father, played by Christopher de Leon.
While he’s in prison, a terrible accident happens during a jailbreak and everyone thinks he’s dead. But the truth is, he survives and gets trained to be a crimefighter called “Alyas Robin Hood”, whose deadly weapon against crime is a bow and arrow. He helps the poor and the oppressed and also searches for the real killer of his dad.
“Very challenging ang role ko dahil maraming angst that I have to resolve and I also do my own stunts in the show,” says Dingdong. “I trained hard to learn archery, para maging magaling ako sa pagpana. I’m so excited not only with my role kasi maga-action ako rito nang husto, but also with all my co-stars kasi puro magagaling ang mga kasama ko rito, including our director, Dominic Zapata. Nakaka-inspire!”
Wasn’t he affected when some quarters accused them of being an imitation of the Hollywood TV series, “Arrow”? “No, I was not affected at all kasi I believe in the creative team I’ve been working with for my 18 years with GMA7. We know naman we cannot please everyone. 'Yung character ni Robin Hood is a universal legend, pero ang show namin, very Filipino ang takbo ng story and also centers about the love for family.”
Aside from Christopher de Leon as his dad, playing his mom is Jaclyn Jose, who always believes in his innocence. Megan Young plays Sarri, a doctor who falls in love with him before he’s jailed, and Andrea Torres is Venus, who helps in his quest for truth and justice after he regains his freedom. Supporting them are Sid Lucero as Dean, a corrupt politician who’s the real killer of Christopher; Cherie Gil as Maggie Balbuena, a powerful PR practitioner who’s the scheming mother of Sid; Gary Estrada as Caloy, Dingdong’s older brother; Paolo Contis as Daniel, Megan’s older brother who’s an honest cop and acts like Gen. Bato; Dennis Padilla as a casino magnate who’s in cahoots with Cherie; John Feir as a businessman who will help Dingdong; Tanya Gomez as the corrupt barangay captain who helps frame up Dingdong; Gio Alvarez as Dingdong’s best friend who invents his weapons; Lindsay de Vera as Dingdong’s niece; Dave Bornea as Sid’s younger brother; Rey PJ Abellana as the dad of Andrea and Ces Quesada as their city’s
corrupt vice mayor.
How is it working with new leading ladies? “I’ve worked with Megan as co-host in ‘Starstruck’ and with Andrea in ‘My Beloved’ and ‘Pari Koy’, pero hindi kami magkapareha. They play very different characters and I can say they’re both very charming and competent, also dedicated to their craft. Maganda ang teamwork namin dito.”
Aside from having a new TV show, Dong is also shooting a new movie, “The Unmarried Wife”, with Angelica Panganiban for Star Cinema, directed by Maryo de los Reyes.
For the latest updates of “Alyas Robin Hood”, check the official website of GMA Network www.gmanetwork.com and official FB page of GMA Networkwww.facebook.com/GMANetwork.
ALLEN WINS BEST ACTOR IN ITALY
CONGRATS to Allen Dizon for winning the best actor award at the Salento International Filmfest in Tricase, Italy last Saturday, September 10. This is for the movie “Iadya Mo Kami (Deliver Us)”, directed by Mel Chionglo, which also won him the best actor trophy at the Silk Road International Filmfest in Dublin, Ireland earlier this year.
Allen played the role of a priest who breaks his vow of celibacy and sires a child with a woman who’s so in love with him, Diana Zubiri, and later gets involved in the murder of a mayor, Ricky Davao. Faced with these situations, he has to make a crucial decision as to whether he’d turn his back on his vocation for good or go on with being a servant of God. The film was shown in local theaters as part of the World Premieres Filmfest last July. where it won technical awards for best production design and musical score. It will next compete at the International Filmmakers Festival of World Cinema in Berlin from October 22 to 29 and where Allen is nominated once again as best lead actor.
Founded in 2004 by Luigi Campanile, the Salento International Film Festival emerged as a major cultural event and the top film festival in South Italy. Each year it introduces filmmakers worldwide to the Salento area's unique resources, while celebrating the history and future of the film industry with 4 days of world premieres, special events, seminars, feature films, short films, documentaries.
MOVIE REVIEW: PETE’S DRAGON
“PETE’S Dragon” is a remake of a musical with the same title made by Disney in 1977, a combination of live action and animation (like the earlier “Mary Poppins”) about the special friendship between a boy and his dragon. The 2016 version is also made by Disney but it’s no longer a musical but more of a tear jerking drama. Our granddaughter kept on crying in that scene where the dragon gets captured by bad guys and is put in chains.
In the original, Pete is a boy bought from an orphanage for $50. In the remake, we see 5-year-old Pete and his parents in the opening scene going camping. A deer darts into the road and his dad tries to avoid it, leading to a tragic car crash in the woods. His parents die but Pete miraculously survives. He finds himself surrounded by wolves but a kind green dragon rescues him.
The dragon actually has a face that looks more like a dog, still fire-breathing but not the usual scaly type. He’s more furry and cuddly this time and looks like a puppy with wings. Just like in the original, he has the power to hide in plain sight and be invisible. Six years quickly pass and Pete (Oakes Fegley) grows up in the forest with his friend who he calls Elliott. He is now a feral boy that reminds you of Mowgli from “Jungle Book”.
The story is set in the forested town of Millhaven, where an old man (Robert Redford, originally played by Mickey Rooney) tells children a story about a dragon he says he has seen many many years ago but no one would believe him. His daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard, originally played by singer Helen Reddy), is a forest ranger who doesn’t believe him at all.
Grace is engaged to Jack (Wes Bentley), who has a daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence), who tags along to the forest one day and meets Pete by chance. Pete, while trying to save Natalie from falling from a tree, meets an accident and is taken to the town’s hospital. Exposed to civilization, Pete then takes Grace, her dad and Natalie to the forest to meet Elliott face to face. It turns out that Jack’s brother, Gavin (Karl Urban), has followed them with his men and they use tranquilizer darts to capture Elliott, intending to use him for some money-making business.
Animal lovers are advised to bring a hanky as this part of the movie will surely tug at their heartstrings. It’s to the credit of Director David Lowery that he has succeeded in humanizing Elliott so you’ll totally sympathize with him. The next sequences are filled with suspenseful scenes when Elliott has to breathe fire to defend himself from his kidnappers, thereby putting the lives of innocent people in danger. The CGI is astonishing and spectacular it’s worth the price of admission.
The acting is also quite generally fine. There are some “laylay” moments in the narrative but, all in all, it’s a heartwarming family movie with some humorous scenes, like Elliott discovering the wonders of a sprinkler system on the lawn. Too bad that the film didn’t do that well at the box office and is considered as one of the flops of the recent U.S. summer, along with the sequels of “Star Trek”, “Independence Day” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other remakes like the big-budget “Ben Hur” and “Ghostbusters”, and originals like “Warcraft” and “The BFG”. Looks like movie audiences are getting harder and harder to please these days.