Filipino movie line-up to open 2017

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‘Extra Service’
Star Cinema and Skylight Films starts the New Year with a bang as the sexy action-comedy film, Extra Service, brings together three of today’s hottest Kapamilya actresses Arci Muñoz, Jessy Mendiola and Coleen Garcia to cinemas beginning today.

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The movie, helmed by Chris Martinez [director of Kimmy Dora And The Kyemeng Prequel and writer of the two installments of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank]multiplies the excitement as it presents the beauteous trio in a movie showing girl power defying the odds.

Coleen Garcia, Arci Muñoz and Jessy Mendiola

Coleen Garcia, Arci Muñoz and Jessy Mendiola

Extra Service, written by the writer of the highest-grossing local film in history The Super Parental Guardians Alpha Habon, is a story about three female ex-convicts Aw (Muñoz), Em (Garcia) and Gee (Mendiola), who due to their criminal records, have a hard time finding jobs. Faced with this dilemma, the girls have no other choice but to work in a spa as masseuses.

However, unknown to their clients, theirs is only a day job because at night, they transform as secret agents: Aw is Kapitana, Em is Maldita, and Gie is Henya.

“When you ask for ‘extra service’ you are actually asking for their service as secret agents,” explains Habon about the title of the film. “As secret service agents, they encounter a mission that will cost them their lives and freedom —they must retrieve the three most important pearls of the country that are collectively called Perlas ng Silangan.”

‘Ilawod’
Box-office director Dan Villegas (English Only, Please!; #WalangForever; The Break-Up Playlist; Always Be My Maybe and How To Be Yours) tries his hand at the horror genre via the movie Ilawod due for theatrical release on January 18.

Villegas said he and Palanca-winning writer Yvette Uy Tan bring to the screen a story about “possession,” not in the expected concept of demons or curses as horror films go, but about “the force of life and survival.”

Ian Veneracion and Iza Calzado (second from left and right respectively) with Xyriel Manabat, Therese Malvar and Harvey Bautista

Ian Veneracion and Iza Calzado (second from left and right respectively) with Xyriel Manabat, Therese Malvar and Harvey Bautista

In the movie, Dennis (Ian Vene­racion), a reporter and Carlo (Epi Quizon), a photographer, work for an online news publication covering both supernatural and bizarre stories. Dennis accidentally brings home the “ilawod” (meaning downstream in Filipino), which then possesses his wife, Kathy (Iza Calzado), daughter Bea (Xyriel Manabat), and the youngest child, Ben (Harvey Bautista).

The ilawod wrecks havoc on Dennis’ family whom he fights to save.

An initial post of the film’s trailer on social media immediately earned over a million likes, views and shares, sure to make Ilawod the first scream-fest of 2017.

‘Moonlight Over Baler’
This February, T-Rex Entertainment will bring to the big screen Moonlight Over Baler a timeless love story encompassing two important events in the country—World War 2 in the ‘40s and Edsa Revolution in the ‘80s.

Starring Elizabeth Oropesa, Ellen Adarna and the love team of Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert, the film is written by Eric Ramos and directed by Gil Portes.

Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert

Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert

With the haunting “‘O Maliwanag na Buwan” as theme song, Moonlight Over Baler is set in the scenic and historical Aurora Province town opening with a Japanese journalist (Abrenica) visiting Baler after covering the 1986 People Power. By coincidence, he turns out to be the spitting image of the great love of a retired spinster teacher (Oropesa) who was killed during the war. Their paths meet, leading to a special friendship.

The Japanese falls in love with the town’s beauty (Adarna), which the retired teacher approves of, but misfortune breaks them apart when another suitor pounces on him and banishes him from Baler.

The events lead the teacher to reckon with her tragic past, feeling all over again she was to blame for the death of her life’s only love.

The ending is bittersweet yet proves that love conquers all.

‘Across the Crescent Moon’
With a playdate this early 2017 soon to be announced, director Baby Nebrida has announced the release of Across the Crescent Moon, a “meaningful action-drama” tackling problems facing the country, including human trafficking and differences in religious beliefs.

Matteo Guidicelli

Matteo Guidicelli

Matteo Guidicelli portrays the dedicated and brave Muslim solider who fights criminality. He is married to an enlightened Christina girl, portrayed by theater actress Alex Godinez in an introductory role. Completing the cast are Christopher de Leon andy Andolong as Guidicelli’s Muslim parents, and Gabby Concepcion and Dina Bonnevie as Godinez’ Catholic father and mother.

Across the Crescent Moon does not pass judgement on either religions but shows unity in diversity.

Bong Tan is executive producer.

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