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Friday, February 12, 2016

Dirty Grandpa: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

Jason (Zac Efron) is a young corporate lawyer who is scheduled to marry next week with her demanding fiancee Meredith (Julianne Hough). However, his grandmother died and his grandpa (Robert De Niro) asks him if he could drive them to Florida and have a little bonding together. Soon, Jason quickly learns that his grandfather has different intentions for this trip: to do drugs, get back in shape and screw a college girl. 

Dirty Grandpa has a really interesting premise. It has an utmost intention to bring in a vulgar and raunchy comedy. However, things came out pretty disappointing as the script is lazily written and there isn't much firepower to back it up. Still, there are some funny scenes but most are forced and couldn't quite to get the rhythm it needed to be an enjoyable flick. 

Robert De Niro may have given enough effort to sustain energy throughout the film. He successfully delivers the meaning of the title and be a dirty grandpa with his performance. However, Zac Efron couldn't catch up and feels a bit lost in his role. Aubrey Plaza added goofiness and led the supporting cast, and Zoey Deutch is simply stunning in every frame. 

Overall, Dirty Grandpa fell short in bringing in a decent R-comedy film. You've got to know that it's going to be bad after they rolled in the disastrous photo-shopped pictures at the start of the film.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 4 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza

Directed by: Dan Mazer
Distributed by: Pioneer Films 
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide 

Dirty Grandpa: Red Band Trailer
Dirty Grandpa: Red Band TrailerOpens February 3, 2016Starring Zac Efron and Robert De NiroViewers' Choice Philippines
Posted by Lakwatsera Lovers on Sunday, 27 December 2015
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Sony Pictures Announces Additional Cast For “SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE”

Culver City, CA, February 11, 2016 – Sony Pictures Animation today announced the addition of three new cast for the lineup of talent in the next Smurf adventure “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” hitting theaters March 31, 2017 (including the Philippines).

Joining the already announced Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel and Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf will be: triple Emmy nominee Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) as the sweet, awkward and honest-to-a-fault Clumsy, who’s forever trying his best and missing the mark; Danny Pudi (“Community”) as book smart and geek proud Brainy, who’s long on knowledge, but short on inter-Smurf-onal skills; and Joe Manganiello (“True Blood,” “Magic Mike”) as the strong and super-positive Hefty, a loyal dynamo struggling with his hero complex.

  Clumsy (voiced by Jack McBrayer), Hefty (Joe Manganiello, center) and Brainy (Danny Pudi, with glasses) in “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” which arrives in theaters in March 2017.
The newest entry in the Columbia Pictures movie franchise that has grossed more than $900 million globally, “Smurfs: The Lost Village” is set for a worldwide release on March 31, 2017. The fully-animated return to the tone and style of the beloved comic book creations of Peyo is directed by Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2,” “Gnomeo & Juliet”), produced by Jordan Kerner (“Charlotte's Web,” “The Smurfs”) and co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder (“Hotel Transylvania”), and executive produced by Raja Gosnell and Ben Waisbren.

It seems to Smurfette that everyone else in the Village has a purpose — Papa Smurf (leading), Baker Smurf (baking), even Grouchy Smurf (grouching) — except for her. So what’s the only girl in the village to do? Go in search of hers, of course! When she accidentally crosses paths with a mysterious creature that takes off into the Enchanted Forest, she follows, and sets off into the uncharted and strictly forbidden woods. Joined by her brothers Brainy, Hefty and Clumsy — and with the evil wizard Gargamel shadowing their every step — Team Smurf undertakes a wild journey full of action, danger and discovery, setting them on a course that leads to the biggest mystery in Smurf history!

Opening across the Philippines on March 2017, “Smurfs: The Lost Village” will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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First Trailer Tolls Out for “THE PURGE 3: ELECTION YEAR”

Universal Pictures has just rolled out the first trailer of its upcoming suspense thriller “The Purge 3: Election Year” which may be viewed below: 

The Purge 3: Election Year (Trailer)
The Purge 3: Election Year (Trailer)July 2016United International Pictures Philippines
Posted by Lakwatsera Lovers on Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Expanding the universe introduced in the hit franchise that electrified the culture and earned $200 million at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures’ “The Purge: Election Year” reveals the next terrifying chapter that occurs over 12 hours of annual lawlessness sanctioned by the New Founders of America to keep this country great.

It’s been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.

Once again returning to collaborate with franchise creator James DeMonaco on “The Purge: Election Year” are the series’ producers: Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (“Insidious” and “Ouija” series, “The Visit”), Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), and writer/director DeMonaco’s longtime production partner, Sébastien K. Lemercier (“Assault on Precinct 13”).

  Opening across the Philippines on July 2016, “The Purge: Election Year” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

How to be Single: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

Alice (Dakota Johnson) just finished college and wants to have a break with his boyfriend (Nicholas Braun) to experience single life. She wanted to have that chance of freedom, she didn't experience her whole life.  With the help of her workmate, Robin (Rebel Wilson), Alice tries to adjust being single and further into the world of hooking-up entering some short term relationship without any commitment. However, after finding out what it really feels; she actually hated it and coming back to her true love is just simply too late.

How to Be Single delivers a promising premise when the first trailer came out. We expected a bit of lewd comedy that is perfect for this Valentines Day season. However, it didn't turn the way we expected as the film is shaky throughout. It is occasionally funny, thanks to its gifted stars, but it didn't have that solid grip to be an outstanding comedy flick for us to really recommend. 

The stunning all-female starring cast is already quite a treat. Rebel Wilson shines for a bit and gave out a few laughs but her story line was quite undeveloped, which is a wasted opportunity. Dakota Johnson was fine but didn't have an interesting story to tell. Leslie Mann and Alison Brie were just a side dish but came out with the most compelling piece to follow. 

Overall, How to be Single has enough fire power to deliver the goods but sadly, they didn't really push hard to reach the potential of their solid cast. There are still some enjoyable moments throughout, but we were quite disappointed on how it turned out as a whole.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 6 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie

Directed by: Christian Ditter
Distributed by: Warner Bros Pictures PH
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide

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Ginnifer Goodwin, Voice of Rookie Rabbit Officer in “ZOOTOPIA”

She gained fame and recognition for the hit fairy tale-style series “Once Upon a Time” in which she plays Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard. Now, Ginnifer Goodwin breathes life to rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps in Disney's new comedy adventure “Zootopia.”

Judy Hopps, who believes that in Zootopia, anyone can be anything, becomes the first bunny ever to join the Zootopia Police Department. But she quickly realizes she’ll have to prove herself, even it means teaming up with a con-artist fox to crack her first case.

Judy comes from a long line of carrot farmers,” says director Byron Howard. “In Bunnyburrow, bunnies are small and cute, productive and reproductive—she has 275 brothers and sisters. She’s expected to follow that path. But Judy considers herself progressive in every way. She’s not afraid to push boundaries. Ever since she was a young bunny, Judy has seen cops as heroes who really make a difference in the world.”

She faces a lot of opposition along the way,” adds director Rich Moore, “but she’s really determined—she’s not going to let anything stand in her way. She realizes that as a rabbit, she actually has a few advantages.”

Ginnifer Goodwin was tapped to help bring Judy’s enthusiasm to life. “I was told that Judy’s a glass-half-full kind of bunny,” says Goodwin. “She’s a spark plug.”

It was the character’s upbeat personality that led filmmakers to Goodwin in the first place. “Ginnifer has this natural positivity and great energy,” says Howard. “She embodies that purity and determination we wanted for Judy. We told Ginnifer to just be herself.”

Both Judy and I are fiercely optimistic,” adds Goodwin. “We’re determined and ambitious. I would definitely say I am a glass-half-full kind of bunny, too.”

Adds Moore, “Ginnifer has very good comedy chops. She really knows how to play that wholesome, sweet character in a funny way. She understands what makes that kind of character funny.”

Ever since she was a young bunny, Judy Hopps has wanted to be a police officer. The odds are against her, of course, because a bunny has never joined the Zootopia Police Department—or even dared to try. The cops in Zootopia are all big animals like rhinos, elephants and hippos. But that’s not going to stop Judy. “She has a strong sense of justice,” says Moore. “She stands up for the little guy, she doesn’t like bullies and she really takes to heart the motto of the big city: In Zootopia, anyone can be anything.”

  Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 17, “Zootopia” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #ZootopiaPH.

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“GAME OF THRONES” Star Natalie Dormer Bound to “THE FOREST”

British actress Natalie Dormer has parlayed her huge popularity for playing the devious seductress, Margaery Tyrell, on HBO's “Game of Thrones” into a blossoming career in the big screen. Following her stint in “The Hunger Games” franchise, she now takes the lead in Columbia Pictures' new terrifying horror-thriller, “The Forest.”

(Watch The Cave clip from “The Forest” below) 

In the film, a young American woman, Sara (Dormer), journeys to Japan's Aokigahara Forest in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. In the company of expatriate Aiden (Taylor Kinney), Sara enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness from which she must fight to save herself.

Dormer is no stranger to playing elusive characters, vacillating between angel and demon with her other roles like Margaery, Anne Boleyn in “The Tudors” and recently with Cressida in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.” Sara and her twin sister possess no shortage of complexities, and the film manifests them in terrifying and shocking ways. As Dormer puts it, “It’s a smart-thinking person’s horror movie.”

In the following interview, Dormer opens up about why she’s drawn to characters with demons, embodying women who are warriors and the physical and psychological impact of taking on a horror film.

Q: You've played characters that are somehow both good and evil. And we see this once again with your characters in “The Forest.” Was that something that drew you to the script?

Natalie Dormer: I love the idea that the central relationship in the movie was the love of two sisters—especially in a genre movie. They’re just textbook examples of how a human being, when they’ve suffered trauma as a child, can go in polar opposite directions. There’s [Jess], the wild child, who goes crazy and then [Sara], the girl who becomes the over-achiever, the suppressor, the control freak. I found that so fascinating—exploring that idea. And the great concept that drew me in the script—that a forest would hold your own demons up to yourself—that you actually, as a character in the piece says, do it to yourself. [Sara] hasn’t processed everything that she’s carrying and repressing. We could all see ourselves traveling half way across the world for someone we love. We all have baggage and history that we’re not proud of. Imagine going into a place where that gets thrown back into your face. Then, hopefully, you’ve got a horror movie that people who don’t normally like horror movies will want to go and watch. Then you’ve got the bang and the scares for the die-hards who love the genre as well.

Q: You went to this forest. When you were there, as Natalie, were you imagining things? Was it creepy?

Dormer: For me, I felt more sad—philosophical more than anything. You see the tape, the ropes around the trees as you start driving ever closer. You realize—this is a real thing. It’s horrific to think that people are in such pain that they make that decision. I found it a really pensive, philosophical experience as opposed to anything else. It’s a sacred place to the Japanese. It has the light and the dark. It’s a very spiritual place. I found it fascinating that such a location exists.

Q: This is such a physical character. Did you do any preparation? You’re running between trees and falling in holes!

Dormer: I’m quite an active person. Thank God I run! Running in a horror movie is like doing interval training, you know? It is a bit like cross fit! Run up and down the room 10 times as you re-set for the take. My body didn’t go into shock when the cardiovascular element of it started. And yeah, because you’re playing heightened-tension, someone who’s got an awful lot of adrenaline running through them, you just make sure you do your yoga every now and then because your muscles hold that tension and you need to let it go at the end of the day. I sat in the sauna a lot! It was Serbia, the Eastern European continent, so they love their saunas and their steam rooms in that part of the world!

Q: The film deals with this idea of demons. I look at the other roles you’ve played, Anne Boleyn, Margaery on GOT. Do you feel like they have demons, too? Why are you drawn to these people?

Dormer: Because we all do! There’s three-dimensional characterization, which is what we need in drama. The whole point of drama is that it cathartically helps us vent our own lives. Maybe people don’t realize that’s what they’re doing, when they turn on the telly or they pick up a book or they go to the movie theater. Yes, it’s escapism, but you have to identify with it on some emotional, human level—otherwise you wouldn’t be engaged with it. So, for me, it’s all of those characters, great three-dimensional fleshed-out characters who are struggling with love, loss, sacrifice, pain and often very contradictory characters. I like to play characters who are contradictory because, in real life, we’re contradictory.

  Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 17, 2016, “The Forest” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Deadpool: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

Well, I guess I already found my favorite movie this year. Deadpool is insanely fucking awesome from the funny opening credits sequences up to the very last post credit scene. Every second count as this comic book adaptation was a straight hardcore popcorn entertainment. Special thanks to 20th Century Fox for inviting us last night to the advance screening of Deadpool at SM Megamall IMAX.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary who hurt people for a living but his life turned around when he met and falls in love with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). However, their romantic love story was turned upside down when Wade was diagnosed with terminal cancer. From there, he was approached by a secret organization and offers him a deal that would turn him to superhero and cure his disease. After a series of torture and experiments under the hands of Ajax (Ed Skrein), Wade was cured and gave him healing abilities but was left for dead with a horrible physical appearance. 

Deadpool is pretty solid throughout with Ryan Reynolds mastering and basically loving every single minute playing Wade Wilson and the Red Mask Anti-Hero. He just killed it in every aspect, especially the voice work and humor he brings into our beloved character. The costume is pretty nasty and made me so jealous, so I promised myself that I will save enough money for me to have that red mask and suit.

There are a lot jaw-dropping action sequences that are choreographed well. With blood, brutality and violence, it was decent enough but will make you crave for more. The film never losses it's momentum and runs smoothly in a very tight pace. The comedy is pretty slick, and with a lot of profanity which they delivered neatly with the help of Ryan Reynolds masterful work. 

Overall, Deadpool knows how to spell FUN in many ways. It has a lot of amazing surprises in store for everyone who is looking forward to see this spectacular feature on the big screen. The opening scene is already a treat and what more if you watch another 100 minutes of slice and dice action of pure pleasure. With a charismatic character whose mouth never seems to have a break. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 10 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller

Directed by: Tim Miller
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox PH 
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide
Experience it on IMAX cinemas

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Penelope Cruz, Sexy Fashion Police Agent in “ZOOLANDER 2”

Penélope Cruz has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses by playing a variety of compelling characters, and becoming the first actress from Spain to be nominated and win for an Oscar.

Her versatility comes to the fore anew as she tries slapstick comedy with Paramount Pictures' hilarious sequel, “Zoolander 2” in which she stars with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig.

In the film, not long after their fashion comeback in Rome, Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Wilson) are approached by Valentina Valencia (Cruz), a beautiful Special Agent with Interpol’s Global Fashion Division who recruits them to help solve an investigation surrounding an alarming list of murdered pop stars. All the murders have one glaring characteristic in common that could crack the case— a selfie at the time of their death with that look... Zoolander's signature look BLUE STEEL. Believing there is only one person capable of interpreting that look, Valentina and her partner look to Derek to help infiltrate the world of high fashion and crack the case.

Valentina is incredibly beautiful, a sexy Latin fashion police agent, who oozes sexuality but is all business. She just wants to figure out who’s killing these pop stars,” explains Stiller who also co-wrote and directed the film.

Throughout the writing process, Stiller had only one actress in mind for the role of the intelligent and super-sexy investigator, the incomparable Penélope Cruz. “From the beginning it was always Penélope. While we were writing, I loved imagining her saying the lines with her accent. She was one of the first people I called and she said yes very quickly. I was so happy because I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it.”

I got a call from Ben and when he mentioned Zoolander I asked him if he was serious because I loved the first movie so much,” recalls Cruz. “I was really excited that he wanted to make me part of this.”

Cruz was drawn to the surprising complexity of Valentina. “I like this character because she has many colors and many faces. She’s the smart and efficient one but there is also something a little bit off in her. From the beginning I had to find where exactly that note is off and how she has to be a weirdo in a parallel way to Derek,” recalls Cruz.

Despite the absurdity of some of the scenarios and circumstances, Penélope approached the character with extreme focus and heft, which complemented Derek’s light-hearted and dim-witted nature. “Penélope took it very seriously and really cared about Valentina’s backstory and where she was coming from. She consistently asked herself what would Valentina be thinking in this scene and how does she relate to Derek? I loved that, because in a movie with an absurd tone, the more the actor takes it seriously, the more the audience can invest in the reality of the movie,” comments Stiller.

For Penélope Cruz’s Valentina, the comedy of her character was found in the unintentional inherent sexiness of the serious Interpol agent. Whether it’s a corset worn underneath her clothes in case she happens to have to power-swim off a remote island, or a skin-tight fire-engine red moto suit that perfectly matches her red motorcycle, Valentina is always dressed for whatever the investigation calls for and looks good while doing it.

The different outfits give Valentina the classic spy look with a sexy edge, taking advantage of Penélope’s natural beauty and ability to wear clothes extremely well. “With Penélope’s character we wanted to play up the whole ‘60’s Italian Sophia Loren and Bridgette Bardot iconic images of sexy and beautiful Italian women, while playing up the comedy of a character who doesn’t know she’s so sexy. It was really fun to find the balance between Valentina being quite serious and quite seriously fantastic, and Penélope is so stunning and wears clothes so well,” says costume designer Leesa Evans.

These characters take themselves too seriously which is important for the rhythm and comedy of this film because everything is outrageous. But what Leesa has created is so unique and special. Some of the looks are so over the top they almost hurt your eyes, there is so much beauty in every piece she’s created,” concludes Cruz.

  Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 24, 2016, “Zoolander 2” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Love is Blind: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

We believe you already saw the trailer of Regal Film's latest offering "Love is Blind" which stars Derek Ramsay, Solenn Heussaff, Kean Cipriano and Kiray Celis. If the trailer already catches your attention; well, we can tell that you'll more fun watching the entire film on its opening day. 

We attended the red carpet screening of Love is Blind last Friday night at SM Megamall. The jam-packed cinema was filled with laughter throughout the screening. With unlikely pairing, the cast did the trick to bring entertainment value up to the highest level. The film didn't have a dull moment and gave out a ton of surprises that will definitely caught you off guard.  The story is pretty simple, a bit flawed and rushed, but definitely they know how to deliver big time throughout. 

Fe (Kiray Celis) is a hopeless romantic intern who had lost faith, whether if can still find the love of her life.  Out of desperation, she enlists the help of Yari (Kean Cipriano) to make a love potion, so she can be the apple of the eye of their hotel guest Wade (Derek Ramsay), who is attending a conference at the hotel. Soon,  her plan worked as every time Wade sees her, Wade thinks she is a carbon copy of her girlfriend Maggie (Solenn Heussaff). Will Fe finally get what she always wanted or will her plan backfire and break her heart one more time?
This film is definitely a big break for Kiray Celis. You can see her mostly as a side dish in different shows and movies but this time she's the one who carries the load in making this film enjoyable. Good thing that his leading men (Kean Cipriano and Derek Ramsay) are up to the challenge in bringing out their quirky personality. We also saw a very lively Solenn Heussaff that added more ingredients to an already ensemble cast.

Overall, Love is Blind is a fun and wacky film for you to watch and celebrate your Valentines Day with or without a date. We totally recommend this film if you want to laugh and release your stress while watching a comedy movie that will surely entertain you from start to finish.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 9 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Derek Ramsay, Kiray Celis, Solenn Heussaff, Kean Cipriano

Directed by: Jason Paul Laxamana
Distributed by: Regal Films
Opens February 10 in cinemas nationwide

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MMFF New Wave Entry "TANDEM" Gets a Deserving Wide Release on February 17

On February 17, Director King Palisoc's Tandem will have a deserving wide release on our cinemas. It already had its world premiere at the Montreal International Film Festival and also participated at the Vancouver International Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival. 

Palisoc is a Filipino director whose body of work ranges from music videos and TV commercials to television shows and film. Graduating with a degree in B.A Communications from the Ateneo de Manila University, King went straight to pursuing a career in filmmaking, directing music videos for established local acts in the Philippines. Likewise, he has also worked as director and writer for the TV show “Rakista”, and became a member of the Concept Development group for Star Cinema Productions, Inc, where he co-wrote his first feature-length film “Babe, I Love You.”

King first made his mark in the video industry by earning the nomination for Music Video of The Year (for Pupil’s “Dulo ng Dila”) at the Awit Awards in 2006, which was also listed as one of the 50 Best OPM Music Videos of all time by FHM Magazine. In 2008 and 2010, he received awards for the same category at the NU Rock Awards for the music videos of Pupil (Monobloc) and Tanya Markova (Disney), respectively.

In 2012, King started venturing into narrative filmmaking by directing and producing the acclaimed short documentary “Paalam Pilipinas” (Farewell Philippines). His short feature-length film entitled “Makina” (Machine) is the second installment of the crime drama anthology film “Bang Bang Alley”, and was released under Curve Entertainment in 2014. Tandem is his first full length feature film.

Synopsis: In the traffic-laden streets of Metro Manila, two brothers use the chaos of the city roads as a smokescreen for their shady occupation: tandem robbers on motorbike. But when a robbery goes sour, the brothers are forced to graduate from low-level thieves to high profile hit men in an act that tests both their resolve and their relationship. 

Check out the trailer below: 

Panoorin ang bagong trailer ng TANDEM! Malapit niyo nang mapanood sa mga sinehan. FEB 17! TANDEM tayo mga tol!SUPORTAHAN ANG PELIKULANG PINOY!
Posted by TANDEM on Wednesday, 3 February 2016
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