Zee Sine brings the best of Bollywood to SKY

Did you know that Bollywood is actually the world’s largest film industry in terms of number of feature films produced?

Bollywood is the more commonly applied term to the Indian Hindi-language film industry. It is also one of the largest centers of film production in the world, with an annual output of 1,986 films in 2017. It also outstrips Hollywood in ticket sales with a reported 3.6 billion tickets sold worldwide in 2001 compared to Hollywood’s 2.6 billion tickets sold.

This industry has produced many onscreen luminaries over the years, with a lot of its current top stars also becoming globally recognized actors and actresses. These include Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Hritik Roshan, Kareen Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and even former beauty queens Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai.

Today, Filipinos can view many of their outstanding feature films dubbed in Tagalog on Zee Sine.

Developed with the tastes and likes of the Filipino audience in mind, Zee Sine has a wide range of content – from drama, comedy, romance, action, thriller and musical – all carefully selected based on stories relatable to the Pinoy audience.

In Zee Sine, the localization process goes as far as creating movie themes such as Unli Tawa Monday for comedies, Hari ng Aksyon Thursday for action flicks, Kilig Monday for romances, Pinoy Bollywood Box Office for blockbusters, Star of the Month which focuses on a key Bollywood actor and Bollywood Divas which give tribute to the gorgeous ladies in the industry.

Zee Sine viewers can also expect three original movies and three original drama series that feature the latest love teams from India on weekdays. On weekends, they can look forward to five original movies, three movie premieres every month.

In a recent media launch event held at Restaurant 9501, representatives of local press as well as lifestyle and entertainment bloggers got a sneak peek of the myriad of movie choices that Zee Sine has to offer.

The attendees were also treated to the bold flavors of Indian dishes prepared by 9501’s Chef Richard Aranas especially for this occasion which included Hummus di Tahini with Chapatti bread, Vegetable Samosas, Aloo Gobi (Potatoes and Cauliflower sauteed in spices), Chicken Tandoori, Beef Vindaloo and the coconut rice pudding dessert Kheer.

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

According to Harish Goyal, CEO of Zee International Asia Pacific and Africa, Pinoys share the love of color and music in cinema with their Indian counterparts. They can catch these and more in Bollywood movies which feature musical numbers every thirty minutes.

Liza Ginting, country head of Zee Entertainment in the Philippines, cited the similarities of Hindi and Pinoy cultures, such as the supremacy of the mother in the household, which will anchor the appeal of Bollywood movies to local audiences.

SKY’s integrated marketing head Gidgette Faustino, on the other hand, lauds the Pinoy’s openness to global content and sense of adventure when it comes to foreign shows. These will drive SKY to continue bringing more shows and content through its pay TV and broadband platforms.

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine Media Launch

Zee Sine is part of Zee Entertainment which is available in 173 countries worldwide and entertains over 1.3 billion viewers everyday. Today, Zee Entertainment has three channels targeted towards local audiences in Southeast Asia and ten in other countries across the globe.

To enjoy the Bollywood movies and series on Zee Sine, SKYcable subscribers can add the channel to their lineup via SKYcable Select for only Php20 per month. SKYcable Select allows subscribers to add channel individually or in packs to their basic cable subscription for a customized TV viewing experience.

Zee Sine may be viewed on SKYcable channel 112 in Metro Manila and channel 424 in Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Iloilo.

For more details on Zee Sine and other SKY products and services, visit mysky.com.ph or visit your nearest SKYzone.

Channel details provided by SKY and Zee Sine in a 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.

Bring out the popcorn for these international movies on CinemaWorld this June

Rainy days are upon us!

With the onslaught of the wet season, going out to watch a movie might be more of a hassle than a treat.

Why not stay inside, and get your movie fix right at home?

With CinemaWorld’s releases this June, curling up in your comfy sofa with a tub of popcorn is a great movie date!

Mondays need not be manic with these highly entertaining rom-coms.

A SONG FOR MIA

(June 3, Mon, 9pm)

In this German film, Sebastian’s life of wanton indulgence comes to an abrupt stop when he gets blinded by an accident. Mia, a nurse unlike his usual women, enters his life and shows him the beauty of a life he can attain if he follows his true passions.

ROMANCING THE JUNGLE

(Jun 24, Mon, 9pm)

Romancing the Jungle

While doing an investigative piece on sea piracy in Thailand, rookie journalist Eva is kidnapped for real by pirates. She bands together with hunky smuggler Nik, and together, they fight for their survival in this German movie.

Explore the world while curled up in bed on weekends with these top movie picks from CinemaWorld:

THE FATHER AND THE FOREIGNER

(Jun 15, Sat, 9pm)

The Father and the Foreigner

In this Italian-language flick, Diego forms an unlikely friendship with Arab businessman, Walid. When Walid and his son go missing and the secret service enters the picture, Diego embarks on a dangerous search for them.

DEAR LEMON LIMA

(Jun 30, Sun, 9pm)

Dear Lemon Lima

In this coming-of-age comedy described by Variety as “Juno meets Napolean Dynamite”, 13-year-old Vanessa discovers her Eskimo heritage. She bands together with her misfit friends to compete in the school’s notorious winter competition to impress her crush.

CinemaWorld is a 24-hour, movie channel that premieres the world’s best and award-winning movies, box-office successes, critics’ favorites from all around the world. These films are aired in their original language with English substitles.

In the Philippines, SKYcable subscribers can add it to their channel line-up for only Php150/month. To subscribe to CinemaWorld, click here.

Until June 7, watch CinemaWorld’s movies for free along with other channels with a deluge of shows as SKYcable opens up its HD and standard definition channels to its subscribers. For more details, visit mysky.com.ph/allaccess.

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.

Check out my previous posts on CinemaWorld:

Header photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Notable character developments leading to the Avengers: Endgame

Seven years after Earth’s mightiest heroes assembled in one epic movie in Avengers, band together again against another global threat in Avengers: Age of Ultron and were then left to face the aftermath of The Decimation at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, many of the team’s character arcs may be considered completed by the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame.

With this, I thought a review of characters’ initial appearances and growth over the course of the franchise quite fitting.

Warning: This post may contain spoilers on previous MCU movies, but no spoilers about Endgame. I promise.

So here’s what the original Avengers have gone through so far:

Clint Barton aka Hawkeye

Played by Jeremy Renner

During his first appearance in Thor, he was a wise-cracking deadshot agent of SHIELD. In his later appearances, we learned that he was the one who decided against eliminating Black Widow and recruited her as a fellow SHIELD agent instead. Their shared adventures and strong bond outside the Avengers include the “Budapest Incident” and Nat’s familiarity with Clint’s wife and children.

Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow

Played by Scarlett Johanson

Nat has certainly come a long way from her first outing as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 as a SHIELD operative under cover as Pepper Potts’ stunningly gorgeous assistant. Her kick-ass fighting ability was apparent from the get-go, but we got glimpses of her dark past such as her training as an assassin in the Red Room, her loyalty to Nick Fury and Steve Rogers as they revealed Hydra’s infiltration of SHIELD, as well as her budding romance with Bruce Banner which was cut short when Hulk decided against returning to the fold after the events of Age of Ultron.

Bruce Banner aka The Hulk

Played by Mark Ruffalo

The Hulk’s origin stories were told in teo movies that came prior to the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played on-screen by Eric Bana and Edward Norton, respectively. Throughout the movie franchise, Banner’s disdain for his alter-ego is apparent, referring to the Hulk as “the other guy,” and always seeking ways to suppress him. After serving as a gladiator in Sakaar, helping in the Battle of Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok, he was soundly defeated by Thanos at the start of Infinity War, owing to Thanos’ possession of the Power Stone. The Hulk has since then refused to join the fray in succeeding battles, explained by the Russo brothers as stemming from his resentment of Bruce Banner, and how he is disdained despite always being called upon the save the day.

Thor

Played by Chris Hemsworth

The favored son of the Norse god Odin Allfather, Thor has experienced epic losses in the course of the films such as the death of his mother in Thor: The Dark World, the death of his father and the destruction of his home Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok, and the death of his adoptive brother Loki at the start of Infinity War. Throughout the franchise, he has displayed his earnestness and tenacity; despite being left for dead by Thanos, he pursued the forging of a weapon capable of defeating the Mad Titan.

Steve Rogers aka Captain America

Played by Chris Evans

Considered the First Avenger, Steve is the “man out of time.” Woken up from decades of cryostasis into modern times, his struggle is to find his place in today’s world after losing most of the people from his past.

Tony Stark aka Iron Man

Played by Robert Downey, Jr.

The man who started the MCU, Tony Stark dealt with his father’s death and legacy, the consequences of his billion-dollar empire built on weapons manufacturing and his self-assumed responsibility to protect the Earth from all possible threats.

I’ve just gotten home from watching the movie and I can say that it ended well. To avoid spoiling it for those who haven’t watched it yet, I won’t write about how these character arcs played out in Endgame. Instead, I’ll update this post after a week, which will also give me some time to digest the experience.

For over a decade, the Avengers have been a part of my life, taking me along on their adventures and letting me peek into their family. For me, the Avengers saga is not just superhero movies: it is comprised of stories about love, family, friendship, sacrifice and hope.

Avengers Endgame

I’m happy to be alive at a time when a movie based on comic books can have such an impact, not just on pop culture, but on me personally as well.

Relive the adventures of the Avengers by streaming the MCU movies on your mobile device. Join Amazon Prime, to have unlimited access to shows and movies which include:

Avengers

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Infinity War

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Four things I like about Captain Marvel

The first solo female-led film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (since Black Widow is part of an ensemble in Avengers and the Wasp co-headlined Ant-Man and the Wasp), Captain Marvel carries with it a lot of expectations.

The movie is centered on Carol Danvers (played by Oscar winner Brie Larson), a US Air Force pilot who was given superhuman powers when she absorbed the energy from an explosion.

Being an MCU geek, I couldn’t pass up the chance to see it on its first day of theatrical release. While I’ve been seeing mixed reactions about the movie on the web, let me share four reasons why I think it’s awesome.

I will try to minimize spoilers in this blog post but there will be some references to scenes in the movie or other MCU releases so be warned…

Here be spoilers.

One: It passes the Bechdel test.

Why would I start my review with the movie’s most academic aspect?

Well, much has been hyped about Captain Marvel being the first female-led MCU outing, and I’m glad to see, with its depiction of the abiding friendship between Carol Danvers and Maria Rambeau (played by Lashana Lynch), that it passes the one of the most basic of standards for female representation in fiction.

The Bechdel Test asks whether there are at least two women in the movie who talk to each other about anything other than a man.

Danvers’ reunion with Maria after a long separation empowers and reaffirms her without needing to include a male in their conversations.

Two: The absence of a love interest.

Nope, Captain Marvel doesn’t need a love interest to inspire her or stir her to action. Her notable interactions were with her Kree mentor Yon-Rogg (played by Jude Law), her friend Maria Rambeau, and a young, quippy Nick Fury (played by CGI-de-aged Samuel L. Jackson), not with a potential boyfriend.

Oh, and the fact that the movie didn’t have the need to explain why there’s no father-figure in the Rambeau household is remarkable.

Three: Younger and work-in-progress Fury.

Since Iron Man 2 to Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury has always shown up as nothing less than the BAMF director of SHIELD.

Here, he is still a desk jockey, starting to navigate his way through the realization that a bigger universe exists other than the one he’s known. His banters and quips with Carol Danvers are light and breezy, an indication of the friendship and respect between them that will carry over to when Captain Marvel makes her appearance in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.

Oh, and we see a young Phil Coulson (played by a similarly CGI-de-aged Clark Gregg) in the movie as well, just when I was despairing of ever seeing him again in an MCU movie after his demise in Avengers (and subsequent resurrection in the TV series Agents of SHIELD).

Four: The nods to the 90s

Being a child of the 90s myself, I found myself excited to see the various references to the decade, from Captain Marvel’s crash landing into a Blockbuster Video store, the boxy computers with the slow loading icon and the on-point musical accompaniment to key scenes (No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” for instance).

For me, Captain Marvel does an admirable job in introducing a new addition to MCU’s superhero roster, and tying her story to the rest of the films (guess where Fury got the idea to name his brainchild project the Avengers Initiative).

To some, it may be another cog in the machine that is the MCU, but really, what do cogs do? They keep the machine going.

What do you think of the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments.

A lesson on friendship from “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

Six years after the game Sugar Rush and its denizens from Turbo, video game bad guy Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is pretty satisfied with his life. He and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman), who is growing bored with the predictability of her game, hangs out every night after their day’s work at the arcade.

After a mishap that resulted in the arcade owner Mr. Litwak unplugging Sugar Rush leaving its denizens homeless, Ralph and Vanellope decide to leave the confines of the arcade and venture to the vast, uncharted world of the internet to save the game.

In the course of their adventures, they meet Yesss (voiced by Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm of the trend-making site “BuzzTube” and Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot), the tough-as-nails driver from gritty online auto-racing game Slaughter Race.

Noting Vanellope’s desire for the excitement and unpredictability of the online racing game, and admiration for Shank, Ralph worries that he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.

Central to the story is Ralph’s growing insecurity in his position as Vanellope’s best friend. His growing clinginess and selfish possessiveness land them, and the entire internet, into more trouble.

While the first movie was focused on the growing bond of friendship between Ralph and Vanellope, the sequel posits that the bond is strong enough to survive them being apart.

It took me many years to learn this lesson myself: that the true test of friendship is that you don’t have to cling to each other for the relationship to stay strong. If the bond is strong enough, and the people involved are whole enough unto themselves, letting go of each other allows the relationship to be enhanced by their exposure to different people, viewpoints and experiences.

Pretty soon, I might face the same situation as my kids become their own persons and grow into adulthood.

But for the meantime, I’ll enjoy my time with them.

This block screening of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a joint project of SKY and the Disney Channel (SKYcable ch 47 SD and ch 250 HD). Through its SKYlife events such as this, SKY rewards loyal subscribers with exclusive privileges and experiences.

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.

CinemaWorld brings Russian movie “Mortal Affair” for free on SKY On Demand

In Mortal Affair, stunning female photographer Sasha finds her artist lover murdered.  She goes on the run from the criminals who wants to leave no witnesses alive and the authorities who view her as the prime suspect.  While struggling to keep herself alive, she unravels the mystery of his death.

Mortal Affair (aka Chistoe Iskusstvo in Russian) stars Russian actress Anna Chipovskaya as Sasha.  She is joined by Pyotr Fyodorov,  Konstantin Yushkevich and Dmitry Brauer.  The film is helmed by Renat Davletyarov.

CinemaWorld brings this 2016 Russian thriller for free on SKY On Demand this August,  allowing registered users of the video streaming service to view the movie online for one month at no additional cost.

To use SKY On Demand, register at skyondemand.com.ph. You can watch the movie and more using your computer’s browser or by downloading the SKY On Demand app on the Google Playstore or the Apple App Store.

CinemaWorld is a 24-hour, movie channel that premieres the world’s best and award-winning movies, box-office successes, critics’ favorites from all around the world. SKYcable and One SKY subscribers can add it to their channel line-up for only Php150/month.

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.

Top 3 book-to-movie adaptations coming in 2018

Adapting books to the silver screen makes sense for movie producers. For one thing, the story is already laid out: the characters, setting and the plot have been thought out by the author. Another advantage is that successful novels, from the classics to contemporary bestsellers, already have a following, an audience that is eager to relive their favorite narratives via the big-screen.

If you’re a fan of these books, you’ll be glad to know that they’ll have their turn at the cinema. For movie lovers who don’t mind spoilers, reading the books that these films are based on prior to their theatrical release will enrich the viewing experience.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters

In post-World War II Britain, a country doctor with humble beginnings is called to visit a patient in the 18th century estate of the local gentry where more than just the past haunts him and its inhabitants.

Released in 2009, Sarah Walters’ gothic novel explores the themes of evil and social class in a society in upheaval.

The movie directed by Lenny Abrahamson stars Domnhall Gleeson (“About Time,” “Ex Machina”), Ruth Wilson (“The Affair,” “Luther”), and Will Poulter (“The Revenant,” “The Maze Runner”). It will be released in cinemas on August 31, 2018.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

In this continuation/reboot of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist match their wits against spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

The film directed by Fede Alvarez stars Claire Foy (“The Crown,” “Season of the Witch”), Sverir Gudnasson (“Wallander,” “Gentlemen”) and Stephen Merchant (“Logan,” “The Office”). Its theatrical run starts on November 8, 2018.

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

In a post-apocalyptic world, cities survive by moving around on giant wheels, attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.

Directed by Christian Rivers, longtime collaborator of producer and co-writer Peter Jackson, the film stars Hera Hilmar (“Da Vinci’s Demons,” “Life in a Fishbowl”), Robert Sheehan (“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” “Love/Hate”) and Hugo Weaving (“The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,” “The Matrix Trilogy”). It will be released on December 14, 2018.

Movie details were taken from their respective IMDB pages. Official movie trailers were embedded from Youtube.

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