"I dont mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it." ~Marilyn Monroe

"I don't mind living in a man's body as long as I can be a woman in it." ~VinVin Jacla

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jason Statham takes over as main villain in “FAST & FURIOUS 7


British actor Jason Statham best known for his hard-hitting action films (“Transporter,” “Crank”) takes over as the new formidable villain in Universal Pictures' “Fast and Furious 7.”

In the Fast tradition of baddies, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) had been the most impressive rival the crew had come up against. However, with one lethal move against Han (Sung Kang), Statham’s Deckard Shaw eclipses his brother with an endgame even more personal: to take Dom (Vin Diesel) and the crew down, one by one.

“Shaw’s a force to be reckoned with,” cites producer Neal H. Moritz. “Our guys are warriors now. Some of the best in the world, and we needed a warrior who could go up against them. We all had that gut feeling that Jason Statham should be our man, which was confirmed with the overwhelming response to his appearance in the last film.”

Statham, the pedigreed alumnus of a string of popular action films, is quick to point out that his character is not a one-dimensional villain. Like Dom, Shaw lives by a code: to avenge his brother. And in his pursuit of the team, he is a man with an unvarying moral compass, albeit a skewed one. “It’s not complicated with Shaw,” cites Statham. “He’s very black-and-white. Blood is blood and nothing gets in the way of that, so he’s left with no choice but to avenge his brother. Everything is on the table, and he’s coming to do to them what they did to Owen. But, as opposite as Dom and Shaw are, they’re very much alike. They both have that code; they both believe in family. It’s a great parallel for the two characters.”

Once he identified the lethal new threat to his family, Dom takes the offensive and goes after Shaw. Anticipating this clash of the titans, director James Wan developed a style that provides a perfect visual expression to the action and stunts that the series is known for…especially working with the added theme of revenge. “Fast and Furious 7 touches on that very classic theme of vengeance, retribution and seeing the consequences of what that brings,” the director says. “I’m a big fan of that cinematic theme, and to be able to bring a bit of a darker sensibility into this particular franchise has been cool. It grounds this film with a very strong primal emotion.”

Beginning with the epic Dom-Hobbs matchup in “Fast Five,” hand-to-hand combats have become a staple in each chapter. Kicking off an explosive early sequence in “Fast and Furious 7” are Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw, two men who are both military-trained and have a healthy dose of experience and self-confidence. Pitting the brutal enforcers in an all-out test of strength, technique and mental acuity is the perfect way to prepare audiences for what is in store.

Johnson and Statham, athletes who each possess impressive skill sets, embark in a brutal battle that showcases their natural athletic ability and finely honed, well-matched fight skills. Johnson was all-in when it came to working with Statham, a fellow perfectionist. Says the performer: “When it comes to fighting action, Jason brings an authenticity to this franchise. He’s a pretty tough guy, and he’s legit. He is a guy who is all about wanting to make every scene incredible, and I am really happy with the action sequence that we were able to put together. It’s a great blend of Jason showcasing his well-versed martial-arts techniques and my inflicting Hobbs’ very straightforward, hard-core way of fighting. From day one, we both were able to establish a cool shorthand with each other and bounce off ideas. That only elevates the action even more.”

Concludes Statham: “`Fast and Furious 7' is full of testosterone, and the best way to show that is to get down and dirty with bare knuckles. That’s the way the audience wants to see it go down.”

Opening across the Philippines on Black Saturday, April 04, “Fast & Furious 7” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.



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Vin Diesel steers “FAST & FURIOUS 7" to most memorable ride


Inhabiting a character for more than a decade is a rarity for most actors, but it’s something that the multicultural ensemble of Universal Pictures' “Fast and Furious 7,” takes quite seriously—whether it is about dialogue, story points, or car selection. There’s a certain amount of fierce pride that comes with their endurance, which parallels the swagger of streetwise underdogs they all helped bring to audiences so many years ago.

No one owns that pride more than Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, who play ex-lovers Dom and Letty, respectively.

Diesel is respectful of moviegoers who’ve placed their trust in the core team who has shepherded all seven of the films. He says: “The fact that the audience has allowed us to jump around in the chronology of `Fast,' and has been willing to take that ride and stay with us, is a feat in itself. One of the cool things about the way we’ve orchestrated the `Fast and Furious' saga for the last 10 years is that nothing is accidental. Everything comes together in `Fast and Furious 7.' Questions are answered, and new thoughts are proposed. If it lives in the saga, it’s a seed for something new and will be revisited.”

Amidst “Fast and Furious 7’s” tale of revenge, mounting emotional stakes and blazing action lies Dom and Letty’s love affair. Diesel and Rodriguez are the first to realize that and work hard to keep that love story based in reality. Even when bookended among perilous circumstance, amnesia or new relationships, their love is rooted in a shared history and faith in each other.

“Dom and Letty’s relationship is something that you don’t see in this day and age,” reflects the actress. “It’s that rare loyalty that you only see in old-school marriages. It’s that level of loyalty, but with a Bonnie-and-Clyde twist. You watch the evolution of these characters and see that romantic loyalty. Vin and I continuously see those moments and think, ‘That’s beautiful.’ It’s something we all wish we had.”

Riveting storylines with much-loved characters are not the only draw for Fast and Furious audiences. Deeply interactive cast and film engagement on social media platforms has allowed die-hard fans unheard-of access to talent and exclusive material that has fostered a years-long dialogue and symbiotic relationship. Courtesy of the interactive, immersive nature of social media, it’s one that has grown exponentially larger with each successive release. There’s an ownership unique to Fast audiences, who are often looked to as barometers of tone and story, as well as tastemakers of locations and cars.

Diesel, a close monitor of the series’ online presence, has harnessed that feedback, most notably by taking heed of the online outcry over Letty’s death in “Fast and Furious”—polling fans on who they would like to see (re)join the series and rewarding them with firsthand information about the films in real time.

The actor/producer would prove to be a much valued Fast partner to director James Wan, who appreciated the camaraderie and fellowship offered by Diesel. The director shares: “Vin was a vital partner for me with this film. Having his support made a huge difference with my coming onboard as the director. Very early on, we talked about the characters and the overall franchise—where it’s been and where it could go in the future. That early friendship between us helped the making of Fast and Furious 7 be so much more productive. Obviously, he knows what to do with the character of Dom, but he was very open to my directing and guiding him. I was and am very grateful for that.”

Opening across the Philippines on Black Saturday, April 04, “Fast and Furious 7” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.



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