Friday, September 20, 2019

AIRBNB Offering IPO Next Year


There is quite the number of stories regarding big companies today that started out only through the initial efforts of a handful of people. Over a decade ago, two working roommates advertised their apartment living room, turned into a bed-and-breakfast, via a website designed by their tech partner. From this humble beginning was born Airbnb, more often than not the place to go online for simple and reasonably affordable homestay lodging or tourist experiences. The San Francisco-based company has grown and expanded all these 11 years since, doing so as a privately-held company. But that is soon about to change.

Indie Film “VERDICT” is Philippine FOREIGN OSCAR Bet for 2020


The 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino ended just this Thursday, September 19 after a week of showcasing another fresh crop of films from the country’s rising independent filmmakers. One of the indie movies shown there, while not one of the official entries, just received a great honor along with a greater responsibility. “Verdict” from CenterStage Productions got a limited screening at the PPP, as it was already an entry for two earlier international film festivals namely Toronto and Venice, the latter of which awarded it a special jury prize. Next, “Verdict” is going to the US as the country’s official bid for an Oscar Award.

BTS Fans Petition KOREAN Defense Ministry to Keep Group TOGETHER During their Upcoming COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE


For dedicated fans of Korean pop culture and its many performers, particularly the good-looking heartthrob males, from actors to idols to boy bands, there is always that dark shadow hanging over everyone’s adulation of the K-showbiz guys. That is the two-year mandatory military service required for all able-bodied South Korean men (and something women could volunteer for). It is a necessary burden that makes all males in South Korea equal, and something nearly impossible to receive exemption for. A number of K-Pop groups have had to part ways as its members get called to report for duty. Even international Korean sensation BTS is not exempt.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2017 Indie Rom-Com "KITA KITA" Getting INDONESIAN Remake Premiering OCTOBER


Two years ago, there was a really nice romantic comedy feature brought out by Viva Films and Spring Films starring Alessandra Da Rossi and Empoy Marquez. “Kita Kita” had the distinction of first premiering outside the Philippines in Osaka, Japan, due to the story being set in the country recounting the love life tribulations of two Filipinos residing there. It was a favorably reviewed film but a modest sleeper hit for 2017, having been moved then from its original planned inclusion in the 2016 MMFF. For those who have actually watched it, they might be pleased to know that it is getting a foreign remake.

SEGA GENESIS MINI Retro Gaming Console Now RELEASING this FRIDAY


The statement “everything old is new again” got an additional context a few years ago with a trend that is sweeping the home videogame console market.  It started when Nintendo, one of the current three pillars of the console gaming industry, released a “Classic Mini” version of its legendary NES console in 2016, loaded with a selection of popular 8-bit titles for nostalgic gamers. Since then it has followed up with a Mini take on its SNES console, which other companies like Sony and SNK have tried to replicate. And then there is Sega, taking the plunge to relive its console-making glory days with the Sega Genesis Mini, released Thursday.

“BREAKING BAD” Getting MOVIE “EL CAMINO” on NETFLIX, Limited THEATERS


AMC has always been one for gracing its audiences with hard-hitting shows. From the struggles of human society to remain civilized in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, to the evolution of an ordinary academic into a life-destroying monster, they certainly got the right blend of action and character drama going for fans. That latter series, “Breaking Bad,” lasted five seasons on AMC and Netflix, and ended back in 2013, but it still has a good grip on the imagination of viewers, who might have wondered what happened to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) following the death of his high school teacher-turned-drug-lord boss. A surprise reveal by Netflix tells us what.

"Boutique" Airline SKYJET Gets New 25-YEAR FRANCHISE Signed by President


In 2012 an air charter company that ferried tourist travelers between Manila and Batanes was granted an air operator’s license to upgrade itself into a formal domestic commercial airline. Thus, Magnum Air Inc. became known as SKYJET Airlines, a “boutique” local air carrier providing quick links from their hub at the NAIA to top island destinations such as Batanes, Camiguin and Palawan (two airports). SKYJET has even attempted to open an overseas route connecting to Taiwan in 2014, but cancelled following aircraft anomalies on the maiden flight before it could depart.  Five years later the airline is ready to go international again, armed with a franchise signed by the President.

NBCUNIVERSAL Unveils “PEACOCK” Streaming Service


Where digital streaming media online is concerned, the time of universality in terms of source platforms is fading into the twilight. In its place is a period where all media providers that could, would put all their online content in their own exclusive services. Disney, Warner Media, CBS and the like are all taking steps to separate their respective libraries and force binge-watchers to stick to ideally one. In response, the former “universal” streaming services must develop their own exclusive original content to compensate for what has been pulled. NBCUniversal is following suit with its own platform, the name of which has now been revealed.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

PACQUIAO Told to FIGHT MAYWEATHER OR RETIRE ALREADY by ARUM


It is now close to two months since Manny Pacquiao, serving Philippine Senator, celebrated one-time eight-division world champion boxer, and pride of the Filipino, defeated American Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this past July. For casual followers of Pacquiao that sounds like routine news, though the victory was by split decision and not one of the overwhelming KOs the Pambansang Kamao was famous for. Observers might attribute that to age; Manny is 40 going on 41. That is also the factor that longtime Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is pointing out with his latest challenge to the Pac-Man.

“PRINCESS BRIDE” REMAKE Rumors Upset Fandom, But were Apparently DEBUNKED



The 1987 film from 20th Century Fox, based on the screenwriter’s own 1973 fantasy novel, may have had an average box office run despite good critic reviews. But in the decades that followed “The Princess Bride” became a cult classic and fountain of internet memes, regarded highly by fans and already preserved in the National Film Registry. So when a Sony Pictures executive interviewed for a profile on the movie’s producer dropped hints at a possible “Princess Bride” remake, the original cast and the internet went off on a meme and catchphrase-laden online campaign, only mollified later when it was revealed the remake prospects were just talk and not concrete.

AMAZON TV’s “LORD OF THE RINGS” Spinoff Series Returning to NEW ZEALAND for Location Shooting


Back in the first decade of the 21st Century, New Zealand had plenty to show off about. After all, it was Middle Earth, or so goes their tourism promotions at the time, to cash in on the hype of New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which was shot on location there. The natural locations were breathtaking, and some of the constructed locales for the film have remained as permanent attractions. When Amazon announced its plans for a “Lord of the Rings” streaming series, fans were apprehensive at the news…until the company declared that they returned to Middle Earth for production.

SMHC Announces New BULACAN AIRPORT to BREAK GROUND this December


Somebody only has to visit the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the primary air transportation hub in the Philippines’ National Capital Region, and they will know that it has long been straining at the sheer volume of airliner and passenger traffic that goes through it. It has long been proposed that a new airport complex to service Metro Manila and surrounding areas be built, with the San Miguel Holdings Corporation getting a project award from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to begin work on an airport in Bulacan. Despite a challenge from environmental groups, the contract has been finalized allowing SMHC to start working on the project by year’s end.

Famous ITALIAN Animated Series “WINX CLUB” Getting LIVE-ACTION NETFLIX Adaptation


Global streaming giant Netflix has over the years managed to expand its audience by not just offering a wide streaming library of licensed property content, but also its own stable of original productions. These range from films to series, either live-action or animated (western or anime-style). Even then these Netflix Originals are based off of licensed properties themselves, like the once-MCU-connected superhero series like “Daredevil” and the anime-style adaptation of Konami’s “Castlevania” videogames. Now, Netflix is looking to adapt a franchise not from the Americas or Asia, but Europe. The long-running stylishly-animated “Winx Club” series will become a live-action miniseries.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

JUDY ANN SANTOS Returns to TV as ANTAGONIST in “STARLA”


As one of ABS-CBN’s top primetime soap opera (then tele-serye) stars, Judy Ann Santos has gone on to portray quite the number of character types over the preceding years. She has, much like Vilma Santos, grown up with her roles, from her breakout lead part as an awkward but kind-hearted girl in “Mara Clara,” to a police agent and even a super-heroine. After being scarce from Kapamilya programming for a while, Juday is ready to return to TV, and in a role she arguably has not tackled to a large degree before. How does Judy Ann as a bad guy come across to you all?

WEDNESDAY is “RAMBO DAY” Ahead of “RAMBO: LAST BLOOD” Premiere


While he has played a wide variety of characters in his lengthy career, Sylvester Stallone fully accepts that he will always be immortalized in cinematic history as two characters, boxer Rocky Balboa and shell-shocked yet heroic ex-Green Beret John Rambo. Both franchises starring these characters had their blockbuster heydays in the 1980s, although Stallone has somehow managed to revive them to notable success in the 21st Century, even when his now-aged but still formidable portrayals were a far cry from his stereotypical action-hero looks from decades past. In fact, his latest movie turn as John Rambo is premiering this Friday, but the fandom is celebrating him some two days earlier.

RP Basketball Patron MVP PANGILINAN Talks 2023 FIBA WORLD CUP Joint Hosting, 2019 Handover Ceremony


At first blush, the recently-concluded 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China would be something that Filipino fans of the sport, and of the men’s national team Gilas, would prefer to damn from their memories. Of the 32 participating national teams, Gilas placed dead last with a totally winless campaign, being humbled both by FIBA top contenders and even middle-ranked squads. But as the closing ceremony took place in Beijing September 15, following the epic Finals triumph of Spain over Argentina, there was a scene where Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming handed the FIBA flag to a Filipino business magnate familiar to basketball fanatics: MVP.

BLACKFACE Accusations on Latest AD Spurs LIZA SOBERANO to EXPLAIN


In this day and age of political correctness, certain norms, ideas, concepts and more have long been discredited as offensive to society as a whole. One of them is the practice of “blackface,” or the use of theatrical makeup to portray a character of dark skin tones, particularly Africans or those of that descent like African-Americans. The practice has fallen out of favor in the US since the turn of the century, though other countries continue to use it without much fuss. But when actress Liza Soberano appeared on a Jollibee advertisement made up in “dark” skin and an Afro wig, social media detractors exploded, leading to her explaining herself.

APPLE ARCADE Online VIDEOGAME Subscription Service OPENS Ahead of Thursday LAUNCH


One major element in the historical evolution of electronic videogames is portability. These games had their start with bulky arcade machines set up in commercial venues, then transitioned to home consoles, from which sprang handheld game systems which in turn partly inspired mobile gaming (going from simple preinstalled games in cellphones to more complex apps with the coming of smartphones). In the race to push the boundaries further, Apple has come up with a novel new experience blending mobile gaming with a massive online service that could be utilized universally across all Apple platforms. This is Apple Arcade, and apparently the tech giant has released it ahead of its launch.

Monday, September 16, 2019

GMA7 Answers Safety VIOLATION Charges from DOLE Investigation Regarding ACCIDENT and DEATH of EDDIE GARCIA


Last June, the Philippine entertainment industry suffered a major loss. Legendary veteran actor Eddie Garcia, 90 years old at the time, died late that month. While his was already a ripe old age, the circumstances of his passing were contentious, seeing as he had been shooting a scene for an in-production new TV series when he tripped on some wiring and hit his head, resulting in a neck and cervical fracture. GMA7, the network producing the soap that Garcia was co-starring in, was placed under scrutiny by government agencies for the lack of medical personnel on scene to help the actor in case of accidents.

“POKEMON” Anime Hero ASH FINALLY Becomes a MASTER in Japan


For a generation or two of fans who grew up on Nintendo’s runaway hit game franchise “Pokémon,” and who have also followed the similarly long-running anime adaptation, they might still recall the opening lines of the first theme song, about being the very best like no one ever was. That was the goal of the “Pokémon” anime protagonist Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in the original Japanese). But while he is a formidable trainer with a strong roster of “pocket monsters” led by his partner Pikachu, throughout the anime’s seasons (each adapting a specific “Pokémon” game title series) he has always found himself being eliminated in the league tournament finales; until now.

MICHELLE DEE Representing Country After Winning MISS WORLD PHILIPPINES 2019


Perhaps the qualities of a beauty queen can be considered a hereditary trait. That might somehow explain why model, athlete and actress Michelle Dee has also taken the same path as that of her nationally illustrious mother Melanie Marquez, winner of Miss International 1979 who became a major celebrity and celebrated coach for image enhancement and personality development. Granted, Dee is choosing a different major international pageant to compete in, Miss World 2019 this December. But first she had to win the crown for the selection competition of Miss World Philippines this past Sunday. Long story short, she was victorious.

Eighties Band THE CARS’ Front-man RIC OCASEK DEAD at 75


It is no exaggeration to state that many music artists who have jumped onto the new audiovisual platform provided by MTV/Music Television during its initial years in the 1980s were elevated into, if not outright legends, then musical household words for fans. One such group that has gotten good mileage out of having their songs presented as music videos on early MTV was the American new wave rock band The Cars, which emerged from the late 70s as part of the generation that blended rock and synthesizer pop. Also a big factor in their popularity was the vocals of front-man Ric Ocasek, who died Sunday.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

ABS-CBN BALL Showcases KAPAMILYA Star Power While Remembering GINA LOPEZ


Operating a charitable social welfare program, especially for children, can have significant financial costs, even if said program is but a part of a larger corporate organization like ABS-CBN. One source of funding the network devised was to allow its talent training and management arm, Star Magic, hold annual balls featuring the many film and TV stars under their umbrella, which of course also translates to more exposure for the Kapamilya Stars. After several years this yearly ball/charity event has become one of the big banner events in the Philippine entertainment industry. This year, the Star Magic Ball has simply become the ABS-CBN Ball, and with its rebranding comes even bigger spectacles from participating talents.

NEW Costumed Contestants PREVIEWED for “THE MASKED SINGER” Season 2


It must feel liberating for a famous celebrity to do something under the guise of anonymity. Why not sing in front of a studio audience in a concealing costume? A South Korean TV network went with that concept and applied it to a singing competition reality format. Their original show proved popular enough with overseas viewers to generate localized spinoffs. The US is just one of them, with “The Masked Singer” impressing audiences at Fox to earn it two follow-up seasons, one of which is premiering later this month. But already some of the new anonymous contestants have been revealed in a Sunday sneak peek.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

NETFLIX’s “THE CROWN” Show-Runner Admits SPOILING Season PLOTS to ROYALS


“The Crown” is easily one of the most-watched exclusive series on Netflix, with many viewers tuning in to stream episodes in the lives of Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family from shortly before her reign to…probably up to the present if it keeps getting renewed. Its third season is getting close to release while season 4 is already assembling is cast. One idle question of “The Crown” audiences is whether or not the real-life Royal House of Windsor watches the series. As the show-runner reveals, not only do they watch, and that the Queen is (somewhat) a fan, but they also have the privilege of getting season spoilers.

At 100 YEARS of PHILIPPINE CINEMA, SEPTEMBER Proposed for “PH MOVIE INDUSTRY MONTH” in CONGRESS


Here is one nice piece of trivia for Philippine cinema. A hundred years ago to the day, a pioneering Filipino filmmaker named Jose Nepomunceno produced and directed what is historically recognized as the first locally-made movie, the silent film “Dalagang Bukid” starring Atang de la Rama, a future National Artist. Considering that this is the first full century since the traditional start of the Philippine movie industry, a number of voices from that industry today are petitioning Congress to give this day, or rather the whole month of September, an annual commemoration to celebrate, that of Philippine Movie Industry Month.

SONY Plans for Cinematic Universe of VALIANT COMICS Foiled by PARAMOUNT Picking up “HARBINGER” Film


Marvel and DC may be the first brand names in mind when it comes to western comic books featuring superheroes, but there are more of them in the wider comic publication market. One of these publishers with a solid following of its own is Valiant Comics, formed in 1989 and, following alternating periods of having parent companies and independence, is now a subsidiary of DMG Entertainment. With the big success of Disney-Marvel’s MCU, and the moderate one of Warner-DC’s DCEU, Valiant partnered with Sony to produce film adaptations of its own superhero comics, prospectively known as the “VCU.” Its two initial offerings are “Bloodshot” and “Harbinger,” but now the second film has gotten another studio.

YENG GUIAO Relinquishes GILAS Coaching Duties Post-FIBA World Cup DISASTER

The absolutely winless performance of the Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team, aka Gilas Pilipinas, during the soon-to-conclude 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, was the culmination of a streak of bad luck that has hounded the squad from the qualification rounds. And the one on the helm as head coach has put himself front and center by claiming full responsibility for their failure. Yeng Guiao had been called up to replace Chot Reyes who was slapped with a suspension, along with most of the Gilas team, following the 2018 bench-clearing brawl with Australia during qualification. And upon stepping down after the FIBA cup, he is shouldering all the blame.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

“STAR WARS LEGENDS” Continuity Material Might Come to “MANDALORIAN” on DISNEY+



"The Mandalorian" on Disney+ is a streaming TV series based in the “Star Wars” universe that is trying to build on a concept fiddled with by the “Rogue One” and “Solo” spinoff movies. That is the live-action “Star Wars” production which has zero involvement from the Skywalker family or even the order of Jedi. But this concept is not exactly new. It was already thriving back when Lucasfilm was a partner of 20th Century Fox, and the original plus prequel trilogies were augmented by novels, particularly post-trilogy sequels, written by an ensemble of authors under the “Expanded Universe” media franchise.

Say Hello to the APPLE iPHONE 11, Coming September 20


It was really just a matter of time before Apple unleashed the iPhone 11. After all, the tech giant makes it a point to do such major releases in September of the year, which is of course the present month. And the iPhone line is pretty much an annual affair, with every succeeding model filled with greater ability than before, a selection of new features both intriguing and eyebrow-raising, and finally a pricing that has been going up, up and away. Well, the iPhone 11 finally got up close and personal with the public this Tuesday, and amazingly Apple managed to spring some nice surprises.

Art of TV Celebrity Landscape Painter BOB ROSS Being EXHIBITED


From 1983 to 1994, just a year before his death, American painter and art instructor Bob Ross enthralled audiences with his show “The Joy of Painting” on PBS, where he demonstrated speed-painting of fantastic landscapes within a half-hour using the “alla prima” or “wet-on-wet” oil paint technique. From a TV idol he would transition to being an internet icon when episodes of his show began streaming online, immortalizing his many catchphrases like “Happy little trees,” “beating the brush,” and uncommon paint shades like “cadmium yellow.” But the hundreds of paintings Ross did for his show never saw public exhibit beyond their TV appearances; until now.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

GREEN DAY Coming to MANILA for the FIRST TIME 2020


These days the Philippines is well-established as a significant stopping point for the concert tours of major foreign music acts. And that is not just the regional stars from the rest of Asia (K-Pop comes to mind), but also from the west be they from Europe (Westlife) or the US (Carly Rae Jepsen). And they are not stopping any time soon. Another American act that will be visiting the country is a familiar sound for rock bands, especially those who have been regular MTV viewers in the 1990s and 2000s. Much like the lyrics of their 1995 song, Green Day is coming around to Manila.

JACK MA Steps Down as Chairman of THE ALIBABA GROUP


Sometimes, it still amazes just how quickly China was able not just to keep up but become a pioneering figure in electronic commerce. It is not for nothing that Chinese companies rank pretty high in online business especially now. One particular big name in that regard is the Alibaba Group, founded in 1999 by a group led by Jack Ma, now one of the most recognizable business magnates in China thanks to this company which had the 9th highest global brand value as of 2018. It has been over two decades since Ma co-founded Alibaba, but now he has decided to walk away from it.

MUPPETS Comedy Series CANCELLED from DISNEY Streaming Even Before Launch



One can now literally count down the days before Disney officially throws its hat into the video-on-demand streaming ring, after worrying the likes of Netflix and Amazon with its advance promotion for its exclusive service platform. Disney+ will boast a massive library of content from the mother studio itself, plus that of its major subsidiaries Marvel and Lucasfilm. It will also feature new original programming only accessible with them, from live-action to animation, feature-length to regular series. But amazingly even as these streaming films and shows are raring to go, there have been some that are already cancelled before they even get viewed by audiences.

“GO UP” by KPOP-Styled PINOY GROUP SB19 Hits 1M YOUTUBE Views


It is already a well-known facet of Asian entertainment that Korean musical talents are produced similar to factories, with prospective talents gleaned from auditions being trained and coached for possibly years in singing, dancing and more, before being introduced to a constantly expectant market. This has been the secret to the formidable success of K-Pop acts in maintaining grueling performance and media appearance schedules. What might come of it if a group of Filipino talents were given the K-Pop development treatment? The result could be like SB19, a Pinoy boy band represented by Korean talent company ShowBT, whose second single video has just passed the 1-million view mark on YouTube.

Monday, September 9, 2019

VOLKSWAGEN Challenging TESLA Affordability with Under-€30,000 ID.3 E-CAR, Releasing 2020


In this decade, when it comes to electric-powered cars presenting themselves as the most affordable of their type (considering how they tend to be expensive to begin with), Tesla has been one of the most vocal with this pertaining to their Model 3 sedan. But they are hardly the only e-vehicle manufacturer that is looking to make lower-cost cars for the general public. Established automakers such as Volkswagen are in the race too, and their own efforts at developing an affordable car with an electric motor may have come into fruition. While it will not be available until next year, they can unveil it now.

ANGELICA PANGANIBAN and FRIENDS Producing MUSIC FESTIVAL Happening this SEPTEMBER


When not working on film or television productions, actress Angelica Panganiban indulges her passion for music by attending music festivals. This hobby has even taken her abroad, such as Fuji Rock in Japan and the iconic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. Angelica shares this love for music with her close circle of showbiz friends such as the Prats siblings John and Camille, Sam Milby and Isabel Oli, and they have decided to share it with the public as well as put the spotlight anew on Original Filipino Music. To that end, they are organizing their own music festival happening later this month.

WARNER-DC’s “JOKER” Film Starring JOAQUIN PHOENIX Honored at VENICE FILM FESTIVAL


Before 2008, nobody could have ever imagined that a comic book super-villain role in film could garner a prestigious accolade like a major acting award. Then Warner Bros. released “The Dark Knight” which eventually earned a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Heath Ledger as Batman baddie the Joker. True, perhaps the Australian actor who died months after filming the movie earned great pull towards his remarkable acting, but it was still notable that a super-villain clown role could generate that kind of reception. But when Warner showcased their standalone “Joker” spinoff at the Venice Film Festival, it got some high praise over there too.

GILAS Loses to IRAN; WORST FIBA Outing with WINLESS Record


It has not been a good period for Philippine basketball in terms of the rest of the world. It began in 2015, when the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) narrowed down its preference of host venue for the 2019 Basketball World Cup in Asia. That left the Philippines and China with the only serious hosting bids. Despite an inspired presentation the Filipino bid lost to the Chinese. Thus it was left for the country’s national men’s basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, to make up for that with a good showing in the tournament. Unfortunately, mismatches with some opponents and pure bad luck led to the team being eliminated, with no victories.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

GILLIAN ANDERSON Playing MARGARET THATCHER on “THE CROWN” Season 4


It can be rather surprising to see how much media producers plan ahead of things, when it comes to TV shows or franchised works in general. Fans of Marvel Studios’ epic Cinematic Universe can appreciate how they got the casting done for major characters in their next superhero films way before premiere, and with other movies still in the line for release. Netflix has been one of those entities following suit, such as with their historical drama series “The Crown.” Its third season will premiere this November, but casting is already underway for the fourth. And one of the new S4 casting auditions will certainly delight fans of “The X-Files.”

FOURTH Philippine TELCO Emerges with NTC License to NOW TELECOM


Last year, it seemed as if the race to become the third telecom company in the Philippines was quite the little drama in the industry itself. It was, after all, a telecom firm getting government approval to become the one that will break up the existing two-company market established by PLDT-Smart and Globe Telecom for years. After months of vetting, it was eventually the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (MISLATEL) that got the OK, after rebranding itself as DITO Telecommunity. The new “third TELCO” would spend this year and the next setting up infrastructure nationwide ahead of its general launch; but before it can do that, a fourth TELCO just appeared.

From JORAH MORMONT, IAIN GLEN Becomes BRUCE WAYNE in “TITANS” S2


When it was first announced in 2017 followed by its first few trailers, the “Titans” series that streams exclusively on the DC Universe video-on-demand service did not exactly meet with positive reactions off the bat. Still, when the show premiered in October of last year, its overarching storyline and plot style overcame all initial doubts about the product and even secured for itself a second season. And then that follow-up started generating buzz of its own with the revelation that Scottish actor Iain Glen, fresh from HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” is playing Bruce Wayne/Batman. But from his first appearance on the “Titans” season 2’s premiere episode he pulled it off quite nicely, if somewhat different.

Friday, September 6, 2019

HEINOUS CRIME Convicts Released Under GCTA Begin SURRENDERING to Authorities


One of the notable provisions for some modern criminal justice systems around the world is that, even if a convicted criminal might be sentenced to lengthy or lifetime prison terms, they might still have a chance of early release if they consistently show good behavior during their incarceration. This is the “time off for good behavior” or “good conduct credit,” something the Philippine justice system also has. Unfortunately, the country’s system seems to have been exploited to the point that several inmates convicted of heinous crimes were reportedly released on questionable good conduct credits. The President has deemed the issue grave enough to call on the released to surrender, and no less than 33 have.

Former ZIMBABWE Dictator ROBERT MUGABE Has DIED at Age 95


If there has been any strong real-life example to the narrative device of a well-meaning leader fighting against an oppressive government only to become a more oppressive dictator upon rising to power, one need look no further than Robert Mugabe. He was outwardly a nationalistic African revolutionary leader struggling against the entrenched white minority population and leadership of the breakaway British colony of Rhodesia in the 1960s-70s, eventually being elected as Prime Minister and President of the nation, renamed Zimbabwe. Unfortunately his heavy-handed governance and backfiring policies would lead to the 30-year economic breakdown of the country until Mugabe’s 2017 overthrow. Nearly two years after that, Robert Mugabe has passed.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

NICKI MINAJ Stuns Fandom with Sudden ANNOUNCEMENT of Her RETIREMENT


For as early as the mid-2000s the Trinidad and Tobagoan (but Queens-raised) singer-rapper Onika Tanya Maraj has sung and rapped her way to eventual superstardom as the music household name Nicki Minaj. There probably is not a lot of people who have not heard her songs or tried to follow through her awesome raps, and she certainly did her own branching out into other endeavors in entertainment such as live and voice acting as well as “American Idol” judging. Her fans are probably still yet to tire of her 2018 album “Queen,” fourth in her discography. But a Thursday announcement by Minaj has changed things.

New Upcoming ABS-CBN TELESERYE with BEA ALONZO and RICHARD GUTIERREZ Shot Scenes at GENSAN FISH PORT during 2019 TUNA FESTIVAL


Aside from a cameo episode in “Kadenang Ginto,” the last time Bea Alonzo has been a regular presence on an ABS-CBN tele-serye was back in 2017, in “a Love to Last.” True, it is not as if she is completely out of sight in show business, as the epic reception of the film “Eerie” this year demonstrates. But perhaps many of her fans have been looking forward to seeing Bea again every weekday on the Kapamilya primetime hours.

SAMSUNG GALAXY FOLD Debuting with GALAXY TAB S6 SEPTEMBER 6


“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again,” so goes a rather cliché saying. A possible addition to that sentiment would be, “Just because it didn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it will not work at all.” South Korean electronics giant Samsung certainly took this lesson to heart when their most ambitious mobile device offering, the Galaxy Fold phone-tablet proved to have software and hardware weaknesses revealed in units sent for professional reviews. They postponed its release, went back to the drawing board,” and announced an improved version this past July, for release in September. This first week, we finally know when.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

“HELLO, LOVE, GOODBYE” Becomes ALL-TIME HIGHEST-GROSSING Filipino Film at P880-M


In their romantic drama film “Hello, Love, Goodbye,” which premiered at the end of July, Star Cinema and by extension ABS-CBN have hit upon a perfect storm of popular entertainment power. There was the lead tandem, an improvised pairing of Kapamilya Kathryn Bernardo and Kapuso Alden Richards. There is the relatable story setting of OFW life in Hong Kong. Then there was the multimedia promo blitz such as a novel adaptation with additional story chapters and epilogue. All of these contributed to a box office explosion unlike anything ever seen in Philippine cinema. And it is true, because the movie has indeed broken the record.

PAY DISPARITY Spurs “CRAZY RICH ASIANS” Cowriter to Exit SEQUELS


Last year, something that has not been expected by Hollywood and the film industry became a noticeable reality. Warner Bros. Pictures at the time had released “Crazy Rich Asian,” a cinematic adaptation of the same-named novel by Kevin Kwan starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh, became the first Hollywood film since the 1990s with a majority Asian-descent cast, and would go on to be a blockbuster, also gaining award nominations in the 76th Golden Globes as well as wins in the 24th Critics’ Choice and 25th Screen Actors Guild this January. It was obvious then that sequel based on further books by Kwan will be produced. Unfortunately, their development has hit a snag.

Newest Version of FIREFOX Browser Now BLOCKS ALL 3rd-PARTY Trackers


When exploring the internet on a browser application, a user will end up collecting quite the number of tracking software, little programs produced by third parties for websites and other online presences. These trackers send a user’s browsing data to their originators, telling them what websites the surfer visits, what information he looks for, and so on. While innocuous on its own, the data collected by tracking software can be shared illegally by the companies that got them, as they are supposed to be private. No wonder then that web browsers invest in features to block third-party software trackers. Recently, Mozilla Firefox has proven itself the toughest of them all.