New HBO Original Series “On the Job” in competition at Venice Film Festival

The six-part crime thriller is a Philippines HBO Asia Original premiering first on HBO GO

WarnerMedia is giving Filipinos another reason to celebrate as it announced today the premiere of ON THE JOB (#OTJonHBOGO), a new HBO Asia Original series continuing the saga of Erik Matti’s 2013 film carrying the same name.

The engrossing six-part hour-long crime thriller series will premiere globally and exclusively on HBO GO in September. Inspired by true events, select episodes from the series will play in Competition at the prestigious 78th Venice Film Festival as On The Job: The Missing 8 in September. It is the only film from Asia out of the 21 international films in Competition at this year’s Venezia 78.

The series centres around crime syndicates that temporarily release contracted prison inmates to carry out political assassinations for those in power, except that the crime syndicates are run by politicians. The series also puts a spotlight on the real-world predicament concerning fake news and how easily truth can be manufactured and disseminated to the public in today’s age of information.

Conceived and directed by Erik Matti, the series in English and Filipino is filmed in the Philippines and stars Joel Torre, John Arcilla, Piolo Pascual, Dennis Trillo, Gerald Anderson, Joey Marquez, Dante Rivero, Christopher De Leon and Lotlot De Leon.

While the first two episodes of the series were shown as a film as part of the Director’s Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it received a standing ovation, the episodes on HBO GO are remastered and include never-before-seen and exclusive content.

Produced by Reality MM Studios and Globe Studios, ON THE JOB is written by Michiko Yamamoto and Erik Matti and executive produced by Ronald “Dondon” Monteverde, Erik Matti, Joe Caliro and Quark Henares.

Watch Erik Matti’s other HBO Asia Original production, FOOD LORE: ISLAND OF DREAMS on HBO GO. Fans of crime dramas will enjoy other HBO Asia Originals on HBO GO such as TRINITY OF SHADOWS, THE HEAD, THE WORLD BETWEEN US and MISS SHERLOCK. Erik Matti is also directing an episode of the HBO Asia Original series Folklore Season 2 which will premiere later this year.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe to SKY services, fill up this form.

Image and details provided by Warner Media in a recent press release.

‘Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union’ debuts Aug 4 only on HBO GO

HBO’s three-part documentary, Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union, debuts same time as the U.S. over three consecutive days from Wednesday, August 4 exclusively on HBO GO. The documentary chronicles the personal and political journey of President Barack Obama, as the United States grapples with its racial history. Weaving together conversations with colleagues, friends and critics, and interspersed with his own speeches and news interviews, the series begins with Obama’s childhood and takes us through his perspective as the son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father, his spiritual formation by a generation of Black leaders, and his hopes for a more inclusive America.

Through the story of one man irrevocably bound to the history of a country, Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union reflects on the country’s past and present national identity.

Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union is directed by Emmy® winner Peter Kunhardt (HBO’s “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality,” “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “King in the Wilderness”).
With the clarity of hindsight and perspective of the last four years, Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union forms a cohesive picture of America under its first Black president. Obama’s presidency was unique in America’s history, but what was a historic step forward for the country also exposed the ever-present need to address deeply entrenched challenges around race, racial justice and our history.

The series provides context, insight and critique from a wide range of participants including: author Jelani Cobb; Representative John Lewis; political consultant David Axelrod; Rev. Alvin Love; author Michael Eric Dyson; journalist Laura Washington; Rev. Jeremiah Wright; journalist Michele Norris; New Yorker editor David Remnick; Rev. Al Sharpton; professor Cornel West; politician Jesse Jackson; author Ta-Nehisi Coates; NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill; political advisor Valerie Jarrett; professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.; actor Keegan-Michael Key; former government official Shirley Sherrod; journalist David Maraniss; professor Ken Mack; speechwriter Jon Favreau; advisor Broderick Johnson; and Representative Bobby Rush.

Part One of Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union looks back over Obama’s upbringing by a single mother from Kansas and white grandparents, his early schooling in Hawaii and his education at Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Through archival interviews, Obama reflects on the impact of having an estranged African father, growing up bi-racial and his evolving relationship with the African American community in Chicago, where he worked with Black churches as a community organizer.

Part Two takes us from Obama’s presidential bid to his election to the White House in November 2008, exploring the obstacles and successes along the campaign trail. With constant pressure to define his identity along racial lines and frustrated by what he saw as a distraction from other important issues, Obama delivers his “race speech” of March 2008, a determined defense of the U.S. Constitution and a plea to look beyond America’s “racial stalemate” in order to advance prosperity and unity.

Part Three takes us to the White House years and the formidable hurdles that Obama faced trying to pass legislation in a bitterly divided Congress. He ultimately succeeded in passing the Affordable Care Act but the chasm across the aisle in Washington grew ever wider. As the nation faced a period of heightened awareness around police brutality towards African Americans and the fervent partisan battle over gun control, his critics accused him and the administration of not doing enough to lead a conversation about race, and the president moves forward with policies that focus on racial justice and empowerment.

Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union encapsulates the man and the president, illuminating his vision for the nation shaped from his own experiences and identity. Through today’s lens, the documentary reflects on the Obama administration with new understanding about the personal obstacles he faced and the challenging pursuit for equality in America.

HBO Documentary Films’ presents a Kunhardt Films Production, Obama: In Pursuit Of A More Perfect Union, directed by Peter Kunhardt; produced by George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt, Matthew O. Henderson; edited and produced by Maya Mumma, ACE; executive producers, Peter Kunhardt; Andi Bernstein and Mona Sutphen; Jelani Cobb and Jacqueline Glover. For HBO: senior producer, Sara Rodriguez; executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe to SKY services, fill up this form.

What’s new on HBO GO – July 2021

At the midpoint of the year, HBO Go brings the heavyweights in star power and stories with this month’s exclusive premieres.

No Sudden Movespremieres on Friday, July 2

Set in 1954 Detroit, this Steven Soderbergh-helmed film centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

The star-studded film features Don Cheadle (“Avengers: End Game”, “Hotel Rwanda”), Benicio Del Toro (“Sicario”, “The Usual Suspects”), David Harbour (“Suicide Squad”, “Stranger Things”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”, “The Town”) , Amy Seimetz (“Upstream Color”, “Sun Don’t Shine”), Brendan Fraser (“The Mummy”, “George of the Jungle”), Kieran Culkin (HBO’s “Succession”, “Igby Goes Down”), Noah Jupe (HBO’s “The Undoing”, “Honey Boy”), Craig muMs Grant (“Dark Water, “Side Effects”), Julia Fox (“Uncut Gems”, “Day by Day”), Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”, “Too Legit”), with Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”, “Narc”) and Bill Duke (“Predator”, “Commando”).

Gossip Girl – premieres July 8

Developed by showrunner Joshua Safran, a writer and executive producer on the original series, this extension of the pop culture classic takes us back to the Upper East Side finding a new generation of New York private school teens being introduced to social surveillance nine years after the original blogger’s website went dark. The series is based on the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar and the original show, developed by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage.

Gossip Girl explores just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years. The series stars Jordan Alexander, Eli Brown, Thomas Doherty, Tavi Gevinson, Emily Alyn Lind, Evan Mock, Zion Moreno, Whitney Peak and Savannah Lee Smith.

The White Lotus – premieres July 12, 9am

From Mike White (HBO’s “Enlightened”) comes a social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort.

Starring Murray Bartlett (HBO’s “Looking”), Connie Britton (“Nashville”), Jennifer Coolidge (“2 Broke Girls”), Alexandra Daddario (HBO’s “True Detective”), Fred Hechinger (“Eighth Grade”), Jake Lacy (HBO’s “Girls”), Brittany O’Grady (“Little Voice”), Natasha Rothwell (HBO’s “Insecure”), Sydney Sweeney (HBO’s “Euphoria”) and Steve Zahn (HBO’s “Treme”), this six-episode limited series follows the vacations of various hotel guests over the span of a week as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travellers, the hotel’s cheerful employees and the idyllic locale itself.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe to SKY services, fill up this form.

Friends: The Reunion premieres on May 27 on HBO and HBO GO

Could we BE any more excited?

Friends: The Reunion special will debut same time as the U.S. on Thursday, May 27 at 3.01pm exclusively on HBO GO, with a same-day broadcast on HBO at 9pm. Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer return to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a real-life unscripted celebration of the beloved show.

For the first time in 17 years, the cast of Friends reunites for a special celebration of the smash-hit comedy series. Taped on the original soundstage, Friends: The Reunion finds the cast joined by moderator James Corden and a star-studded roster of special guests as they relive the show’s fan-favourite and unforgettable moments. This once-in-a-lifetime special event honours the iconic series, which continues to permeate the zeitgeist today, with a hilarious and heartfelt night full of laughter and tears.

Friends: The Reunion, an HBO Max Original, will feature a variety of special guests including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai.

Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced along with “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, Fulwell 73 Productions and Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer executive produced the special. Emma Conway, James Longman and Stacey Thomas-Muir co-executive produced.

“Friends” remains one of television’s most beloved series. One of the highest-rated shows on television in its original network run, the series still remains a perennial go-to in syndication and on streaming services, where it continues to be a smash hit worldwide. A favorite among critics and fans alike throughout its 10-season run, “Friends” not only won the Emmy® for Outstanding Comedy series, but also garnered Emmy® Awards for series stars Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow. From Warner Bros. Television, Friends follows the lives and loves of a close-knit group of friends living in New York City: siblings Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), along with friends Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston). “Friends” was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who executive produced the series with Kevin Bright through Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

HBO is available on SKYcable Ch. 54 SD/Ch. 168 HD (For Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Lipa-Batangas) or on Ch. 402 SD/710 HD (For Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo). SKYdirect subscribers can watch it on Ch. 22 HD. HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe to SKY services, fill up this form.

3 things you didn’t know about Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Four years ago, the team-up movie of DC Comics’ superheroes premiered in theaters.

But there’s more the story of these super-powered heroes than what was originally shown on-screen.

With the highly anticipated premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC’s four-hour HBO Max Original feature film “Zack Synder’s Justice League” HBO GO on Thursday, March 18, the full story, faithful to the director’s artistic vision, can finally unfold.

Determined to ensure that Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.

With a screenplay by Chris Terrio, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder and Will Beall, “Zack Synder’s Justice League” is based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, with executive producers Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Wesley Coller, Jim Rowe, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck.

While we wait with baited breath to witness Zack Snyder’s vision come to life, we can tide ourselves over with some little-known tidbits of information from the production notes recently released by HBO.

1. It delves deeper into the superheroes’ backstories.

We get to meet characters integral to the superheroes’ backgrounds such as Victor Stone’s mother, Elinore, and Barry Allen’s potential love interest, Iris West. We also get to see more of Lois Lane’s emotional arc, deepening her connection to Superman and his eventual resurrection while Vulko, the vizier of Atlantis, provides to context to Aquaman’s story.

“Justice League is a story of a group of misfits,” relates Snyder in a recent Q&A. “They’re superheroes but they’re all kind of wayward, and each of them has certain skill sets needed to save the world. It’s the story of the coming together of those lost souls into a family.”

Never-before-seen existing footage featuring Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), Calvin Swanwick/Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix), and Ryan Choi (Zheng Kai) will round out the mythology.

2. It entailed an additional shoot… featuring the Clown Prince of Crime.

While Snyder mostly mined existing footage from his original movie, an entirely new scene was shot: a scene between Batman and his old nemesis, Jared Leto’s Joker.

“After I realized there would be no more Zack Snyder DC movies, my biggest regret was that there was no Batman/Joker confrontation scene,” explains the director. “It’s the key relationship for both of them. They both went through a series of films and never ran into each other. It didn’t make sense to me.”

3. It was made and completed in the midst of the pandemic.

You would think that putting a film together while everyone is in quarantine will be near-impossible, but Snyder and his crew were able to pull it off.

For some, it was a much-needed culmination of their artistry. Others, struggling from a lack of work due to the pandemic, could put their available time and resources to good use.

From a technical standpoint, a lot of elements that require in-person collaboration (like shooting the movie) were already finished. Most of the visual effects vendors are international, so they work remotely anyway. Snyder was able to work from his home office via an AVID that his editor could control remotely. And when something absolutely needed to be done in person, all safety precautions were taken.

The movie’s score is probably the only element that had to be completely recreated from scratch. So, Zack called Dutch composer Junkie XL, aka Thomas Holkenborg, who had written the score for the movie’s 2017 iteration — and gave him a blank slate.

“Individually, these characters have one thing in common – a tormented past. A lot of darkness and pain and melancholy and sorrow are speaking through their music and I have to find all these different approaches to establish that with each character,” Junkie says.

With the release of the Snyder cut, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a sense of closure that we are able to view the director’s oeuvre the way he wants it to be seen.

“The movie itself is one of those few times I wasn’t making it for anyone, I was just making it,” Snyder shares. “Whether it’s superfans or the uninitiated or whoever watching it. It has nothing to do with it. It’s more like reading someone’s journal than it is reading someone’s novel. I think that’s part of the unique experience of the film. I’ll be honest. It’s kind of the way I work anyway. I’ve always been slightly embattled throughout my career. I think it makes for good rewatching.”

“Zack Synder’s Justice League” will premiere exclusively on HBO GO. This video streaming service is available to SKYcable subscribers for as low as Php 99/month.

Click here to know more about HBO GO.

Justice League superfans will also get a chance to win movie snackboxes and HBO GO merchandise for five from SKY by joining this promo.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Joss Whedon-helmed Victorian period drama “The Nevers” premieres on HBO and HBO GO this April

If you’re looking for girl power on TV, HBO’s got exactly what you need!

Its newest six-episode series, “The Nevers,” premieres this April on HBO and HBO GO. Renowned creator of ground-breaking TV series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly” Joss Whedon served as its writer, director, executive producer and showrunner.

In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the “Touched”: people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities – some charming, some very disturbing. Among them are Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces – to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place.

At Comic-Con 2018, Whedon explained the show’s title:

They, themselves are not called that [The Nevers] in the show. It’s a phrase that’s meant to evoke a sort of reaction to their oddity, to what is considered unnatural. The idea that you should never be like this, you should never have existed. Something is not the way it should be, and you don’t have the right to have whatever weird power or ability that you have. And that idea, that some people are not of the natural order, is fascinating to me. I don’t agree with it. But to me, it’s one of those things where you take something negative, and you wear it as a badge of honor, basically. Certain things could never happen – they’re happening. And the people they’re happening to are taking their place in the world.

The ensemble cast also includes Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, Amy Manson, Pip Torrens, Denis O’Hare, Zackary Momoh, Elizabeth Berrington, Kiran Sawar, Anna Devlin, Viola Prettejohn, Ella Smith, Nick Frost and Ben Chaplin.

Curious yet? Check out the episode synopses for what you can expect from this series.

Episode 1: “Pilot”

Monday, 12 April at 9am 

Series premiere. London, 1899. Three years after an inexplicable event suddenly equips them with extraordinary abilities, Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) work to protect their kind from widespread, deepening antipathy. Meanwhile, police inspector Frank Mundi (Ben Chaplin) investigates a string of murders at the hands of a reportedly Touched and highly dangerous serial killer named Maladie (Amy Manson).

Episode 2: “Exposure”

Monday, 19 April at 9am 

With the city reeling from Maladie’s (Amy Manson) opera debut, Mundi (Ben Chaplin) takes a personal stake in tracking her down, while Amalia (Laura Donnelly) launches an investigation of her own. Meanwhile, the charitable Lavinia Bidlow (Olivia Williams) seeks to destigmatize the Touched at a society event, Hugo Swann (James Norton) enlists Lavinia’s younger brother Augie (Tom Riley) to help monetize his illicit enterprise, and a deranged doctor (Denis O’Hare) conducts a series of experiments.

Episode 3: “Ignition”

Monday, 26 April at 9am 

Penance (Ann Skelly) creates an amplifier to spread Mary’s (Eleanor Tomlinson) hope-inspiring song across the city – but first, Mary (Tomlinson) must find her elusive voice. As danger mounts against her group, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) propositions an unlikely ally and sets out to expand the Orphanage’s reach. Swann (James Norton) further entangles Augie (Tom Riley) and Mundi (Ben Chaplin) in his business affairs.

Episode 4: “Undertaking”

Monday, 3 May at 9am

While Mundi (Ben Chaplin) seeks justice, Amalia (Laura Donnelly) and her most trusted advisors make a list of potential enemies. Harriet (Kiran Sonia Sawar), Primrose (Anna Devlin), and the other Orphans attempt to decipher a message. Later, Amalia (Donnelly) exposes an unexpected threat.

Episode 5: “Hanged”

Monday, 10 May at 9am 

As the city buzzes with anticipation over a pending execution, Penance (Ann Skelly) grapples with a moral calling at odds with Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) plan. With the two women at a crossroads, the Orphans must decide whom to follow.

Episode 6: “True” (Part One Finale)

Monday, 17 May at 9am

After Amalia’s (Laura Donnelly) origin story is revealed, a long-awaited reunion crystallizes the Orphans’ mission.

While the series was created by Whedon, he announced that he was stepping down from the project in November 2020. In his statement after his departure, he wrote:

This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing The Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer. I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change. I am deeply proud of the work we have done; I’m grateful to all my extraordinary cast and collaborators, and to HBO for the opportunity to shape yet another strange world. The Nevers is a true labor of love, but after two-plus years of labor, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.

On January 28, 2021, it was announced that British screenwriter Philippa Goslett, who wrote the Salvador Dali biopic “Little Ashes” will be the series’ new showrunner.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe to SKY services, fill up this form.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Three reasons why the SKY EVO Box will keep you glued to your TV screen

For many of us, the past year has made our home take center stage in our lives.

Instead of being just the place for rest and respite from our various occupations, it became the central venue for work and learning.

The large screen TV that used to take pride of place in our living rooms as our main source of entertainment may have been relegated to being just another screen by which we consume content.

If you look back with longing to the time when you can sit down in front of your TV to escape the stress and drudgery of daily life, SKY may just have what you need.

With the launch of its latest innovation, SKY Evo, it promises a host of enriching and larger than life viewing experiences that will make you rethink just what your TV is for.

SKY Evo is the newest Digibox, an equipment attached to your TV which decodes SKYcable’s digital signal, allowing you to access the channels in your cable TV plan. With this device, you also have the option to subscribe to additional channels and pay-per-view programs (take your pick from over 190 channels available), enabling you to personalize your cable TV service according to your family’s needs and preferences.

However, SKY Evo is so much more than that.

1. Built-in streaming apps expand your entertainment choices.

Watch the latest trending series on Amazon Prime Video or HBO Go. Learn from a new tutorial video on Youtube or listen to cool tunes on Spotify. You may also watch top local shows, iWantTFC Originals, Filipino blockbusters and classic movies on iWantTFC. Really, you get a wealth of entertainment options every time you turn on your TV.

2. Gaming apps extend the fun capabilities of your TV.

You can share the fun with the fam with over 5,000 apps and games available for download on Google Play.

3. A multitude of Google functionalities at your fingertips.

On top of the jam-packed entertainment offerings of SKY Evo, the device is also equipped with Google Assistant, a virtual assistant that can follow commands and answer questions with just a press of a button and speak through the remote control.

With Chromecast also built-in to SKY Evo, you can wirelessly cast your mobile device’s display onto your big screen TV.

With SKY Evo, getting glued to your TV is becoming a very attractive proposition, wouldn’t you think?

SKY Evo is best experienced with SKY Fiber Unli Broadband + HD Cable TV plans so you can enjoy fast and reliable connection with SKY Fiber and a plethora of content with SKYcable channels.

The SKY Evo with SKY Fiber Unli Broadband + HD Cable TV plans is available for a one-time installation fee of Php2,000. It is also available on SKYcable plans for a one-time installation fee of Php2,500.

Know more about SKY Evo and its bundle offerings here.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Enjoy a funtabulous February on HBO and HBO GO

February may have less days than the other months of the year but it certainly won’t lack for movie magic.

Whether on your large-screen TV via HBO (ch 54 SD | 168 HD on SKYcable) or your handy mobile device via HBO GO, you can enjoy blockbuster movies as soon as they have their TV premiere.

Enjoy a fantabulous February when you catch these new movies on HBO and HBO GO.

Unpregnant
Premieres Saturday, 6 February at 9pm

Seventeen-year-old Veronica never thought she’d want to fail a test—that is, until she finds herself staring at a piece of plastic with a blue plus. With a promising college-bound future now disappearing before her eyes, Veronica considers a decision she never imagined she’d have to make. This never-taken-lightly decision leads her on a 1000-mile hilarious road trip to New Mexico over three days with her ex-best friend, Bailey where they discover sometimes the most important choice you’ll make in life is who your friends are.

This HBO Max original film adapted from the young adult HarperCollins novel by authors Jenni Hendriks (How I Met Your Mother) and Ted Caplan (music editor for The Hate U Give, The Greatest Showman) offers a mix of humor and grounded human emotion as it tackles complicated friendships and the difficult road to adulthood, all while in a stolen Trans-Am. Stars Haley Lu Richardson, Ramona Young and Sugar Lyn Beard.

Birds Of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Premieres Saturday, 13 February at 9pm

Harley Quinn is back for more freaky fun and malevolent mayhem, as she dumps the Joker and teams up with Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from Gotham City crime czar Roman Sionis. Stars Margot Robbie, Mary Winstead and Ewan McGregor.

Dolittle
Premieres Friday, 12 February at 9pm

After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr.John Dolittle, famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures. Stars Robert Downey Junior, Tom Holland and Emma Thompson.

Midway
Premieres Sunday, 14 February at 9pm

This epic war picture chronicles the ferocious battle that occurred from June 4-7, 1942. Six months after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy and a squad of intrepid fighter pilots take part in one of the most vital fights of World War II: the Battle of Midway. Stars Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

Allen vs. Farrow
Premieres Monday, 22 February at 10am on HBO GO with a same-day encore at 10pm on HBO

From award-winning investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering and Amy Herdy comes this four-part documentary series that goes behind decades of sensational headlines to reveal the private story of one of Hollywood’s most notorious and public scandals: the accusation of sexual abuse against Woody Allen involving Dylan, his then seven-year-old daughter with Mia Farrow; their subsequent custody trial, the revelation of Allen’s relationship with Farrow’s daughter, Soon-Yi; and the controversial aftermath in the years that followed. Once celebrated for their on and off-screen partnership, Farrow and Allen’s lives were irrevocably fractured and their sprawling family torn apart with the public disclosure of the abuse allegations and the vitriolic disputes that followed.

This gripping series interweaves new investigative work – meticulously pieced together via intimate home movie footage, court documents, police evidence, revelatory videotape and never-before-heard audio tapes – with exclusive, in-depth interviews on the subject with Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, Ronan Farrow, family friend Carly Simon, prosecutor Frank Maco, relatives, investigators, experts and other first-hand eyewitnesses – many of them speaking publicly about the events for the first time. The series also includes prominent cultural voices exploring Allen’s body of work in a broader context and reflecting on how public revelations about the personal lives of artists can lead to re-evaluations of their work.

Allen v. Farrow includes an intimate look at Farrow and Allen’s charmed courtship and emergence as one of Hollywood’s power couples, making thirteen influential films together over a decade. Over time, Allen becoming a father figure to Farrow’s children as well as their shared children. Yet, threaded throughout all of their professional success and personal achievements, there were dark undercurrents at play.

Allen v. Farrow examines the shattering effects of trauma on a family and is a haunting depiction of the skepticism and backlash that can result from an accusation

The Invisible Man
Premieres Saturday, 27 February at 9pm

In a terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by the classic monster character, Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss stars as a young woman who escapes her abusive relationship with an optics engineer only to have him fake his death and return as the titular terror –who makes it his sole mission to terrorize her. Stars Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge and Oliver J Cohen.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe to SKY services, fill up this form.

Show details and images provided by HBO in a recent press release.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

What’s on HBO GO this January

Here are some great shows for your New Year streaming playlist! HBO GO opens the year with the hottest premieres from movie blockbusters to fresh installments of award-winning series that you can watch on-demand wherever you are and whenever you want. Check them out:

Tora-San, Wish You Were Here
Premieres Friday, 1 January at 10pm

Jan 2021 on HBO GO

Fifty years after Kiyoshi Atsumi’s wandering salesman first appeared on the big screen, the beloved long-running Tora-san film series comes to a close in this 50th and final instalment, exploring the lives of the ones he left behind. Hidetaka Yoshioka reprises his role as Tora-san’s nephew, Mitsuo.

1917
Premieres Saturday, 2 January

Jan 2021 on HBO GO

At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers – Blake’s own brother among them. Directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes, this World War I epic stars Oscar winner Colin Firth, Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, Golden Globe winner Richard Madden and Golden Globe nominee Andrew Scott.

The Rook
Premieres Monday, 4 January
New episode premieres every subsequent Monday

Jan 2021 on HBO GO

This series tells the story of Myfanwy Thomas, a woman who wakes up in the rain beside London’s Millennium Bridge with no memory of who she is and no explanation for the circle of dead bodies splayed out around her. When she discovers that she’s a high ranking official in Britain’s last secret service for people with paranormal abilities, she’ll have to navigate the dangerous and complex world of the agency to uncover who wiped her memory – and why. Stars Emma Greenwell, Golden Globe nominee Joely Richardson and Olivia Munn.

Tiger
Premieres Monday, 11 January at 10am
Part two premieres at the same time the following Monday.

Jan 2021 on HBO GO

An HBO two-part documentary offering a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of global icon Tiger Woods. The series paints an intimate picture of the prodigy whose dedication and obsession with the game of golf not only took his fame and success to new heights, but also down a dark, spiraling road that eventually led to a legendary sports comeback, culminated by his victory at the 2019 Masters.

C.B. Strike: Lethal White
Premieres Thursday, 21 January at 10am
New episode premieres every Thursday

Jan 2021 on HBO GO

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger return in the brand-new second season of C.B. Strike, based on the best-selling crime novels written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Euphoria: F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Seablob
Premieres Monday, 25 January at 10am

Jan 2021 on HBO GO

In the second of two special episodes of the Emmy® winning HBO drama series Euphoria, we follow Jules (played by Hunter Schafer) over the Christmas holiday as she reflects on the year. Schafer also serves as co-executive producer on this episode, which she co-wrote with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe, call your local SKY office or fill up this form.

Show details and images provided by HBO in a recent press release.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma and others featured in The Manila Hotel’s 2021 Countdown with a Cause

Artists like Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma, world-renowned soprano Rachelle Gerodias, Korean baritone Byeong-In Park, Richard Reynoso, UP Concert Chorus, and others join The Manila Hotel in a virtual countdown event to mark the coming of the New Year.

In keeping with the long-standing annual tradition that has been in place since pre-war times, The Manila Hotel will still hold a New Year Countdown this year albeit in a different space. Due to the restriction on gatherings, this year’s welcome to the New Year will be done virtually via a Zoom viewing. with amazing raffle prizes to be given away.

Guests and customers of The Manila Hotel can join the Zoom party on December 31 from 10pm to watch artists share messages of love and hope through songs, words of encouragement from the hotel’s president Atty Joey Lina, and a chance to win the amazing prizes at stake. To join, anyone with a purchase from the hotel is eligible to a raffle ticket for every P3,500 in a single receipt. This includes dining bills from Café Ilang-Ilang, the Lobby Lounge, Roma Salon, and even The Manila Hotel’s signature grill restaurant Cowrie Grill in Greenhills; purchases from The Delicatessen, Lobby Shop, and Christmas corner; room bookings for FIT guests; promo purchases; and even Take Out from the regular or the festive menu. Promo period is from Dec 17 to 31, 2020, with cut-off at 10pm on the last day.

The Grand Prize is an overnight stay at the world-famous MacArthur Suite, worth P500,000 (not convertible to cash). A lavish room in the historic Manila Hotel where war hero General Douglas MacArthur stayed, the stately room has received many illustrious guests over the years, including kings and queens, world leaders, and heads of state. Renovated and modernized, the suite can be booked for special occasions like private dinners and parties, and a luxurious overnight dwelling. The rest of the prizes are suite room and dining vouchers, Prestige memberships, and many others.

The Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to many events this year so an online gathering such as this also gives The Manila Hotel a platform to continue its service to Filipinos that it began in March with the Mabuhay Meals Food Drive for Frontliners; and its partnership with groups like the Rotary Club of Makati Central and others to donate food and PPEs to government-run hospitals like PGH and the Manila Medical Center, among others.

With this event, the hotel is making all its valued guests partners in an endeavor that has no extra cost to them or separate purchase needed. Part of the proceeds of guest purchases eligible in the 2021 Countdown with a Cause and the raffle will be pooled together to brighten the holidays of displaced workers in the city of Manila affected by the pandemic through a partnership with Manila Bulletin’s Bag of Hope.  

For more information on The Manila Hotel’s 2021 Countdown with a Cause, you may call 85270011 or 09989501912. Info and raffle mechanics are also posted on the Manila Hotel’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Regency era romance series “Bridgerton” based on Julia Quinn novels premieres today on Netflix

From Shondaland and Creator Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne. Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.

Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all.

This is the first project among many of writer-producer Chris Van Dusen with streaming service Netflix. Together with Shonda Rimes and Betsy Beers through Shondaland, Van Dusen adapted, show-ran and executive produced the series.

This smart feminist take on Regency England romance unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.

“I couldn’t be more excited about being a part of the creative powerhouse that is Shondaland at Netflix,” said Van Dusen. “Bringing these irresistible books by Julia Quinn to the screen, with the fearless and talented team of storytellers I’ve been so fortunate to have worked alongside for so long, is a dream come true. I am grateful to have a home at Netflix, whose commitment to innovative, groundbreaking storytelling is unmatched.”

The series also stars Golda Rosheuvel, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Nicola Coughlan, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh, Polly Walker, Ben Miller, Bessie Carter and Harriet Cains and Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown.

Bridgerton premieres today on Netflix.

Want to lose yourself in the Regency world of the Bridgertons? Check out the best-selling novels by Julia Quinn that inspired the series.

Image and series details courtesy of Netflix.

This post contains affiliate links.

Check out my blog posts about other Netflix shows.

Finn and Jake return to the Land of Ooo in Adventure Time special

The Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning series Adventure Time returns to Asia with Adventure Time: Distant Lands – four new one-hour original specials. The first, entitled BMO, is now available to stream on HBO GO.

These long-awaited new specials will continue Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time stories that captured imaginations and introduced unlikely heroes and best-buds – Finn the dog and Jake the human – who traversed the mystical Land of Ooo and encountered its colourful inhabitants.

BMO follows the lovable little robot from Adventure Time. When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!

En route to Mars, BMO gets sucked into a wormhole and crash lands on an unknown alien world. On this decaying distant land, BMO finds competing alien races mired in a conflict over dwindling resources and appoints himself sheriff of this seemingly lawless outpost.

He deputises a reluctant new friend, Y5, but Y5’s family has other plans for BMO: complete dismantling! Realising BMO’s importance, Y5 joins forces with our robot hero to save this alien world and uncover the real reason her people are on the brink of extinction.

In Southeast Asia, the remaining three episodes will be available on Cartoon Network and HBO GO in 2021.

Obsidian features Marceline and Princess Bubblegum as they journey to the imposing, beautiful Glass Kingdom—and deep into their tumultuous past—to prevent an earth-shaking catastrophe.

Wizard City follows Peppermint Butler, starting over at the beginning, as just another inexperienced Wizard School student. When mysterious events at the campus cast suspicion on Pep, and his checkered past, can he master the mystic arts in time to prove his innocence?

Together Again brings Finn and Jake together again, to rediscover their brotherly bond and embark on the most important adventure of their lives.

Created by Pendleton Ward and executive produced by Adam Muto, Adventure Time is a critically decorated show that garnered numerous entertainment awards and cultivated a generation of talent who have helmed such hits as Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall, and Clarence. Adventure Time: Distant Lands is produced by Cartoon Network Studios and is an HBO Max Original series.

HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming to SKYcable subscribers on HBO GO for as low as Php99/month. To subscribe, call your local SKY office or fill up this form.

Show details and images provided by HBO in a recent press release.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

TikTok launches its first ever Philippines TVC

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year on TikTok, with an amazing lineup of events, creators, and giveaways.

In the face of all the adversities and challenges that have come our way in 2020, the holiday season remains to be a bright, shining star that Filipinos can look forward to at the end of the year. As the biggest festival celebrated in the country, this Christmas serves as a bittersweet reminder to cherish every moment that we spend with our loved ones, whether face-to-face or online. 

Through a pandemic, back-to-back typhoons, and months spent physically far apart from our loved ones, we should remember that life goes on, no matter how hard things have become. In making every moment count, we must learn to continue on in life with love. 

This Christmas, love lives on TikTok. Here, we are able to preserve our precious memories of wonderful times that have passed, and we are given hope that the best still lies ahead. We realize that, no matter how tough the world out there might be, happiness and optimism will always be with us at home, where we are surrounded by the people that we care about.

The inspiration behind this video is family. Through TikTok, we are reminded that every moment we get to share with our cherished ones truly matters.

This Christmas, the entire TikTok community comes together to celebrate family, hope, and love. Post your #LoveLivesOnTikTok videos using this hashtag, both to inspire others, and also to memorialize your beloved holiday moments on the app. You may even win a special prize from TikTok this Christmas when you share your videos. 

On December 19, 2020, an All-Star Livestream will be taking place on the app, featuring host and content creator, Show Suzuki, with celebrity guest, Alex Gonzaga. Be entertained by their unforgettable antics at the talk show style event, as they reminisce about the year gone by. Watch Alex perform your favorite TikTok challenges, and get the chance to win amazing prizes to be given away by Show “Santa” Suzuki during the event. 

Mark your calendars, and be sure to take part in the love-filled Christmas celebration on TikTok this December. Download the app on your iOS and Android devices to see for yourself, how #LoveLivesOnTikTok.

About TikTok

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, Mountain View, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. http://www.tiktok.com.

Ben&Ben, Darren Espanto, Moira, SB19, Maximillian, and more to headline BYE2020

Philippine record labels and musicians of all stripes are standing up for solidarity with the biggest concert event of 2020.

With the utmost goal of bringing together the Filipino people through music and inspiring them to help cope better in the face of adversity, BYE2020 is a powerful statement that not only recognizes the small but impactful triumphs of the music community despite a very challenging year, but also honors the collective efforts of everyone in holding each other up during the pandemic.

28 artists are set to join the movement with virtual performances designed to make the experience as immersive and enjoyable as possible.

The lineup includes some of the biggest acts here and abroad, including Ben&Ben, Darren Espanto, Moira, SB19, Matthaios, The Itchyworms, Leanne & Naara, Maximillian (DK), Peach Tree Rascals (US), Tate Mcrae (CA), Glaiza de Castro, Kean Cipriano, Lala Vizon, Zack Tabudlo, Keiko Necessario, Fern., Elha Nympha, Autotelic, Sud, Miguel Odron, VVS Collective, Ace Banzuelo, Paolo Sandejas, Earl Generao, FANA, TALA, J-Nine and Dia Mate.

In a statement by the team behind the virtual show, BYE2020 is committed to mounting the first-of-its-kind year-ender party to usher in a brighter, better new year and turn this unprecedented moment in history into a collective call to seek a way out of darkness through unity, hope, and music.

“What BYE2020 delivers is a way for every Filipino to look back at all of the challenges we have faced, and enter 2021 a bit more hopeful,” the organizers explained. “Fortunately for us technology has allowed us to re-imagine what we can do for music entertainment and live events. And we are bringing to bear every learning, every talent, and every skill we have gained this 2020 and applying it to our event BYE2020.”

Aside from top-notch entertainment and much-awaited surprises, BYE2020 is set to recognize some of the most notable feats in the online space in order to shine a light on the more positive side of 2020. Through the Best of the Year Awards, digital platforms such as Facebook, Spotify and TikTok, and other notable partners will be part of a special segment dedicated to awarding the finest local creators for their record-breaking achievements in digital content and entertainment.

The six-hour continuous virtual event will be streamed live on multiple platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and more on December 31, 2020, from 7pm onwards. It will also air on Sky Cable (Ch 955 HD and 155 SD).

For exclusive concert privileges such as access to zoom pits, backstage content with the artists, and limited-edition merch, visit ticket2me.net to get tickets.

BYE2020 is brought to you by Pepsi, Tinder, and Its More Fun in the Philippines, and is presented by MCA Music, Sony Music Philippines, Warner Music Philippines, O/C Records, Star Music, Universal Records, and Midas Records.

The virtual showcase is also co-presented by Official Beer Partner, Heineken; Official Streaming Partners, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok; Official Music Partner, Spotify; Official Cable Partner, Sky Cable; in partnership with Viber; and Media Partners, CNN Philippines, InqPop, Manila Concert Scene, We The Pvblic, UDoU PH, Wonder, Rank Magazine, Adobo Magazine, Starmometer, and Rakista.

BTS #LifeGoesOn TikTok Challenge Sets a Record of 930M views in 15 days

TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile videos, today announced that BTS’ ‘Life Goes On’ which recently topped the Billboard ‘Hot 100’, hit a milestone on TikTok, setting a record of 930 M hashtag views in just 15 days.

Held from November 21 to December 5, the #LifeGoesOn challenge was a call for users all over the word to interpret and positively express how ‘Life Goes On’ in their own creative ways. The videos created with #LifeGoesOn had more than 463,276 in 15 days of the campaign.

BTS also participated in the challenge and connected with their fans by releasing TikTok videos of their own: Jin goes through a flipbook, RM and V does maple leaf art, Jimin decorates a glass bottle, j-hope takes Polaroid pictures and JungKook practises calligraphy. In response, the group’s fans, ARMY, uploaded videos of themselves dancing and singing along to the new song, as well as moments in their daily lives with friends and family.

A special ‘Life Goes On (ARMY version)’ music video will be released on the official BTS TikTok and social media channels on December 30, capturing selected video submissions that were part of the #LifeGoesOn challenge.

For more details about the challenge, visit the #LifeGoesOn Challenge Event Page.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.