From the biggest Summer tentpoles to the smallest independent films, the geek got you covered to what's worth the admission--and what's not.


A celebration of the hottest happenings on the silver screen.


Updates and scoops to upcoming films this year.. and beyond!


A monthly series in this site wherein the geek dish out his TOP 5 films/awesomeness of something or someone.

Birdman (Film Review)

How Director Alejandro Gonzales Iῆárritu opened ‘Birdman’ is somewhat odd. The lead character appears for the first time meditating, afloat wearing nothing but his underwear. But the way he presented it onscreen is brilliant; putting me under a certain type of spell that made me stunned the whole time. ‘Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ is cinema magic at its best. The film is hypnotic and undeniably hilarious, making it one of the most refreshing movie experiences in recent memory. 

Michael Keaton headlines this all-star ensemble, playing the role of Riggan Thomson—an actor downgrading his career after leaving a superhero franchise he stars—who wants a comeback at the business in the form of directing, producing and starring in a Raymond Carver play at Broadway. But through the days leading up to opening night, Riggan must deal with family, life, love, friends, actors, relevance, and his alter-ego Birdman.
Despite being a part heavy drama, the film makes an effective comedy on its own. Many portions of the movie dedicate its craft by self-parodying its actors, and how they deal with their absurdity. Take Michael Keaton’s hey-days donning the Batman cape in Tim Burton’s superhero films as an example. The movie pokes the fact that Keaton might‘ve been more successful if he says yes to another Batman movie. The same way Edward Norton essentially plays himself in the movie, a very talented actor but a demanding and big douche behind the curtains to reach a higher level of quality in his profession. 

Also, the movie became very self-aware at the things it does. It satirizes summer blockbusters (‘Transformers’ and any superhero movie to be exact), and how audience always prefer them over dramatic, art-house, substance-driven movies. One of the most memorable bits of this film was when Michael Keaton gives a very honest monologue on film criticism, that some critics made their reviews  just to create a quote on the back of a Blu-ray cover.
The performance by everyone was great. Michael Keaton managed to create multiple layers on his character that deals with the multiple layers of the film. Edward Norton and Emma Stone are also good here, which is no surprise considering the Oscar nods attached for their characters in this film. Even Zach Galifianakis was terrific with his breakthrough performance as Keaton’s best friend in the movie. 
The most ambitious aspect of ‘Birdman’ was of how it flows, making it as one seemingless, unbroken shot. It’s kind of like the infamous restaurant tracking shot in Martin Scorsese’s (Scorsees??) ‘Goodfellas’ but it goes on in 2 hours. Following its characters to every place imaginable—on the stage, backstage, on the street, on the roof—it adds a level of unpredictability to the story, and you don’t know where it will take you. 
Every year, there will be that one film that never leaves a lasting effect on you. ‘Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ was snappy, hypnotic and downright fun time at the movies, and its technical wonder alone is worth the catch.

The geek rates it 10/10.

'Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens January 28 exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas from 20th Century Fox!
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Angelina Jolie's Passion For Directing Remains 'Unbroken'

Angelina Jolie’s first feature-film directorial effort, 2011’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey” was an auspicious debut and received strong reviews and a Golden Globe Award Best nomination for Best Foreign Language film. It wasn’t surprising that the urge to continue a career as a filmmaker persisted in Jolie, even as the subject matter of another directorial effort eluded her. “I would be lying in bed thinking I want to do something meaningful. But what was it? I needed some help, some guidance,” she gives.

The living, breathing embodiment of the guidance Jolie sought, and of the themes and values that pique her interest—courage and endurance, the resilience of the human spirit, faith, forgiveness and redemption—turned out to be quite nearby. She found it wholly in the person of one of her neighbors, a living legend whose home, unbeknownst to her, was nearby her family’s house in the Hollywood Hills.

When producer Matthew Baer introduced Jolie to the “Unbroken” working script in 2012, she was immediately taken by Louis Zamperini’s tale. “I was intrigued by the draft I read, but it was after I read Laura Hillenbrand’s book that I knew I wanted to direct the film,” Jolie says. “Like the millions of readers who find themselves unable to put down the book once they start it, I was drawn into the incredible story of Louie’s journey and Laura’s brilliant re-creation and rich documentation of pivotal events that shape the last century.
Unbroken” is an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O'Connell of “300: Rise of an Empire”) who survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during World War II—only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a series of prisoner-of-war camps. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's (“Seabiscuit”) enormously popular book, “Unbroken” brings to the big screen Louie Zamperini’s unbelievable and inspiring true story about triumph over tribulation and the resilient power of the human spirit.

Jolie admits that the themes that Hillenbrand explored moved her as much as Louie’s life itself did: “There’s so much pain in the world. I feel that we need stories like this today—the journey of a man finding his way through darkness and into the light—stories that can help us, inspire us, show us something remarkable and make us feel positive about life.”

It was during this process of Jolie discovering Louie’s story that Baer told her that Louie was her neighbor. “Louie could actually see the roof of my house from his living-room window,” she laughs. “Little did I know that he’d been right there all the time…all the while I was trying to figure out what to do next with my life.”

This confluence of events lit a fire inside of Jolie; she felt she had to helm “Unbroken.” But she would learn that winning this coveted directorship would not be an easy task. “I had to fight to get the job,” she shares. “I had to fight very hard, not only prove to the studio I could do it, but later, to prove it to myself. And I also had to prove it to Louie, which took some time.”

Jolie went about the task by steeping herself in Louie’s story, researching all its aspects for hours on end, learning everything she could about him and his era and deciphering how to tell the story best on the screen. A sweeping historical drama that stretches from 1920s Torrance and the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the high stakes air battles of World War II was only the half of it. Jolie would need to take audiences into the terrifying ordeal of being adrift in the ocean for 47 days and then the powerful experience of a more than two-year internment as a prison of war.
When Louie found out that a well-known actress was going to direct the film, it required some getting used to. It wasn’t long, however, before he embraced Jolie and welcomed her into his extended family. “Angie called and said she was going to direct the movie,” Louie said. “I’d only seen her on the news because I don’t go to the movies anymore. But I knew that they called her the most beautiful girl in the world. Then she came to the house. What a doll! What a sweetheart! I saw right away she’s got not only beauty but brains. She’s very considerate, and she has a charitable heart. I thought, ‘What else do you need?’”

Producer Baer, who’d been the champion of Louie’s story for so long and was shepherding the project, was readily convinced. “Angie and I had a three-hour conversation on the phone about the project. She is a brilliantly creative person. I heard her passion and knew her as a filmmaker of force and will. I knew she was the person to do this.”

Opening across the Philippines on February 18, “Unbroken” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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These 'Civil War' Memes Pits Steve Rogers And Tony Stark On A Battle

Though 'Captain America: Civil War' don't come until 2016, the heat (sort of) already started this year. These memes perfectly shows how an argument would sound like between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers—and I can't hardly wait how it will end with these two when the finished product opens May 6, 2016!

And personally the best of 'em, a hint to Hulk's solo movie 'Planet Hulk'
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Johnny Depp Dons a Terrific Mustache in Action-Packed Con-Caper Comedy 'Mortdecai'

Johnny Depp ‘s chameleon-like talent to effectively transform himself in any given role is again punctuated in the laugh-out-loud movie “Mortdecai” along with a stellar cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum.
Based on the charismatic anti-hero popular trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli - (“Don’t Point That Thing at Me,”  “Something Nasty in the Woodshed” and “After You with the Pistol”), Charlie Mortdecai is a professional bon vivant and occasional art dealer perpetually at the end of his financial rope.  In “Mortdecai,” Charlie charms, schemes and blunders his way in and out of hilariously compromising situations as he attempts to beat out an array of international evildoers on the trail of a priceless Goya masterpiece that could also be the key to claiming missing Nazi millions.
Depp had already read and fallen in love with Bonfiglioli’s novels when the script found its way to him. “I’d read them years before and they made me laugh out loud,” says Depp. “They are irreverent and insane in a way I thought would translate well to the screen.”

 David Koepp, also a prolific Hollywood screenwriter (he wrote “Mission: Impossible,” "Jurassic Park" and “Spider-Man”) directs “Mortdecai” and also Depp’s friend whom the actor trusted to helm the movie.   “I can’t say enough good things about David Koepp. We did a film called Secret Window years ago. It was not a comedy but we were able to incorporate a lot of humor into it, which is part and parcel of what David does as a writer and a director. He had a vision for this movie and he created an atmosphere where the actors could try anything.,” Depp says of Koepp.

Mortdecai books features beautiful people in beautiful clothes, bantering wittily and doing outrageous things. “You want a plot that’s complex enough to support a caper, but not so complicated that it weighs down the beautifully fun comedy,” notes Koepp. “The moustache is a major character in this movie,” says Academy Award®-winning make-up designer Joel Harlow, Johnny Depp’s personal make-up artist since their first collaboration on 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl'. “It had its own trailer and traveled with an entourage. If the Charlie Mortdecai character didn’t have a moustache, he wouldn’t be the Mortdecai character,” declares Harlow. “The moustache is such a part of the character and the way Johnny uses it is comedy gold.”
Mortdecai’s” action is overseen by U.K.’s busiest stunt coordinators and second-unit action directors, Rowley Irlam has either coordinated or performed in some of the biggest action movies shot in the country, including “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Thor: Dark World,” “Captain Phillips,” “Prometheus” and “Skyfall,” for which he received a SAG Award® for Outstanding Action Performance in a Motion Picture.

Although 'Mortdecai' is a comedy, it is packed with action sequences, as Jock constantly saves Charlie from outlandish mishaps. Irlam coordinated a motorbike and sidecar careening through Moscow, an unforgettable sword fight and a massive explosion sequence featuring virtually all of the key cast members.
Irlam and director Koepp had a specific strategy for the film’s action. “This movie is very much actor driven,” he says. “I see it as bit of an homage to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. My work was not just about stunts. It was about making the whole piece quirky, interesting and different.”

Laugh-out-loud adventure starts January 22 when “Mortdecai” opens in theatres nationwide.

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Emily Blunt Goes 'Into The Woods' With A Luminous Portrayal

Golden Globe®-winning actress Emily Blunt's transformative ability and versatile performances make her one of the most in demand actresses of today. Blunt rose to international prominence with her outstanding performances in films such as “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Looper” and “Edge of Tomorrow.”

Now, Blunt plays the emotionally resonant character of the Baker’s Wife, in Walt Disney Pictures' Oscar-nominated fantasy musical “Into the Woods.”

“My character has a desperate yearning for a child,” Blunt says. “Because of the curse that has been placed on her family, she must venture into the Woods to secure a list of items given to them by the Witch, so she becomes this tenacious and determined character who is willing to go to any lengths to get what she wants.”

She continues, “Eventually we see her unravelling. She is innately a good person, but gets swept up by the Woods and their potential.”
When director Rob Marshall first approached Blunt about the film, he told her that he was not looking for a singer, but for an actress, so she went to the audition and sang “Moments in the Woods,” which is the Baker’s Wife’s big number, and got the part. She says, “From there I took singing lessons, which helped a lot, but at the end of the day I kept coming back to the idea that they really wanted me to act in the musical numbers. It was a little terrifying when we first had to sing in front of everyone, but we all knew immediately that we were all in the same position.”

Marshall had always thought Blunt would be perfect as the Baker’s Wife, but didn’t have an inkling as to her talent as a singer. “When she came in and sang, I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “By the end of the song I literally found myself crying because I was so happy that someone had all the ingredients required for the Baker’s Wife.”

Composer Stephen Sondheim wrote the song “Moments in the Woods” for the Baker’s Wife as a vehicle for the character to express her desire for romance. He explains, “Screenwriter James Lapine had this nice idea of having the Baker’s story intertwined with Cinderella’s story, and by the end of the song, she comes to terms with how important her life with the Baker is, though it is just as a Baker’s Wife, whereas she could be dallying with a Prince. She understands the difference between the two.”
“The most exciting part for me was recording it with Stephen Sondheim and the specific notes he gave us about how he likes his lyrics to be sung,” says Blunt. “So for someone like me who does not consider themself a singer, it was really reassuring to have Stephen come in and tell us to not worry about making it sound pretty, but to make it sound real. I think he really likes having actors who can kind of sing rather than singers who can kind of act, so it was just exciting and bizarrely wonderful.”

“This is probably one of the most human of all of Stephen Sondheim’s musicals,” continues Blunt, “and I like the fact that it challenges you to think. The majority of the songs we see in musicals have a rather simplistic outlook, whereas Stephen Sondheim’s songs are more like monologues or conversations in that they don’t sound too perfect or too lyrical or too melodic.”

For Blunt, the song“No One is Alone” made her cry when she first heard it, particularly given the circumstances of her character. “I think it’s a song that speaks to a lot of people who’ve lost somebody that they love and they don’t know how to move forward,” she concludes.

Opening across the Philippines on Jan. 28, “Into the Woods” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

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Witness Emma Stone's Oscar-Caliber Performance in 'Birdman'

This year’s frontrunner at the Oscars, “Birdman” will open exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas on January 28 and has thus far dominated the Academy Award with nine nominations in major categories including Best Picture.  Other notable nominations for “Birdman” includes Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton),  Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

In “Birdman,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s black comedy, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) hopes that by spearheading an ambitious new Broadway play he will, among other things, revive his moribund career. In many ways, it is a deeply foolhardy move – but the former cinema superhero has high hopes that this creative gambit will legitimize him as an artist and prove to everyone – and himself – that he is not just a Hollywood has-been.
With the play’s opening night looming, Riggan’s lead actor is injured by a freak accident during rehearsals and needs to be replaced quickly. At the suggestion of lead actress Lesley (Naomi Watts) and the urging of his best friend and producer Jake (Zach Galifianakis), Riggan reluctantly hires Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) – a loose cannon who is guaranteed to sell tickets and get the play a rave review.  As he preps for the stage debut, he must deal with his girlfriend and co-star Laura (Andrea Riseborough), his fresh-from-rehab daughter and personal assistant Sam (Emma Stone), as well as his ex-wife Sylvia (Amy Ryan), who appears every so often to check-in with the intent to stabilize things.

“Riggan is profoundly human,” Iñárritu says. “I saw him as a kind of Don Quixote, where the humor comes from the disparity and permanent dislocation of his solemn ambitions and the ignoble reality that surrounds him. Basically, it’s the story of all of us.”
While the movie centers on the trials and tribulations of actors, Iñárritu sees their quest for gratification as a universal longing. “The modern definition of accomplishment - people want to be famous immediately, not from a body of work developed over years. In one second, people have 800,000 likes or followers and for some that is achievement in itself – but it’s delusional. The immediacy of social media can easily distort the reality of one person, especially Riggan, who has to fulfill expectations of what it is to be famous.  And all this is new to him, that crossover is difficult. 

This is the story of a man trying to prove that he is more than that, more than the popular ‘liked’ guy. But in today’s world, where irony is king, anybody who wants to be earnest or honest is crucified. It is an absurd, surreal world,” Iñárritu explains. “In the end, I just tried to recount in a funny way the disasters of our human nature to reconcile, if not with the defects or faults of the world and our nature, with the way we approach and live them.”

Of this generation’s most admired women, Emma Stone plays Sam, Riggan’s daughter, newly sprung from rehab and working as her father’s assistant.  Their relationship is strained – his onetime fame as the super hero Birdman meant that he was absent for much of her youth.  Hiring her as his aide doesn’t do much to improve their situation.  Sam has a keen eye and observes her father and the histrionics that come with his play with wry dispassion that is spot on but also a bit of a defense mechanism.
She says: “Because she is fresh out of rehab, I assume he needs to be watched by a family member. So she makes a huge mistake by working for him. It doesn’t help that he can’t connect with her at first and has her doing really menial errands. So it doesn’t begin well but by the end, she starts to see that they are very similar.  Sam is one of the few characters in the movie who isn’t an actor, who isn’t in the play.  That was kind of nice to play, she’s on the outside and witnesses all that is happening without being in the tornado on stage with all these crazy people,” Stone says.

And while this play has become Riggan’s single focus and his bid for artistic relevance, his daughter has a completely different and modern definition/measurement of what it is to matter.

“We find Riggan at a point of no return, in the midst of mounting a career comeback mostly driven by his desire to be relevant. My character Sam teaches him a lot about social media and the new nature of fame, which is something he is willfully ignorant of. The way actors are accessed now is very different than when Riggan was coming up as Birdman, 20 or 30 years prior.  He wants to mean something but he also wants to be well-liked and respected as an artist but there is this sort of a modern day keeping up with the Joneses, this desire for mass appeal – and I think everyone can understand and relate to that,” Stone says.

Fortunately, she had a supportive guide in Iñárritu. “I learned so much. It was so exciting to live and breathe the character for the entire length of the scene. And Alejandro is so tuned in to actors, he knows what is going on your head line by line, sometimes better than you do. There was a day when I knew it just wasn’t working for me and suddenly I could feel it kick in and as I did, he clapped and said, ‘That’s IT!’  It’s amazing. I’ve never met a director who could do that, he feels what you do,” Stone says.

“Birdman” opens this January 28 exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide.

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Hiking America's Roughest Trailer For 94 Days in 'Wild'

Pacific Crest Trail, America’s wildest through-rail, with its infamous harsh passages, has recently rose to further prominence in the latest Reese Witherspoon starrer – “Wild,” based upon the personal accounts of Cheryl Strayed’s  journey to bring her life back together after losing everything that deeply meant to her.
Wilderness epics have been around since the beginning of cinema. But from the 1912 silent film “The Conquest of the Pole” to “Jeremiah Johnson” to “Into The Wild” to “127 Hours,” nearly all have traced the paths of men far from civilization.  But the fact that WILD takes a different, less expected direction drew a devoted group of filmmakers.
Says Witherspoon, who produced the film with her partner Bruna Papandrea:  “Wild” is about so many things that touch people.  It's about life, love, loss and family. It’s about how a woman who thought she was completely broken, but found a way to reconstitute herself.”
Recalls Strayed:  “It was a huge physical undertaking for me to hike the PCT for 94 days, but it was also very much a spiritual journey. I turned to the trail as many people turn to the wilderness -- at a time when I felt lost and desperate, when I was in a place where I didn’t know how to move forward.  In many ways the trail taught me to literally just put one foot in front of the other again.”

“If I would have been a person who didn’t love the outdoors, this role would have been impossible,”  laughs Reese.  “As it was, it was extremely challenging on every level, and far more physically challenging than I ever anticipated.  There was climbing up the side of a mountain and balancing in river crossings and marching through chest-deep snow and falling into a freezing river.  I had no idea it was going to be as hard as it truly was.  But it was also very, very rewarding.”

The heart-stirring vistas rife throughout the shoot were a constant inspiration for Witherspoon, and a reminder of why the untouched spaces of wilderness called so strongly to Cheryl, even at rock bottom.  “It fills you up,” the actress says.  “To see the incredible beauty of our world makes you believe everything might really be OK.  I think that’s how Cheryl came to feel.”
The PCT became a character in and of itself –embodying the rough-hewn allure of the American West.  Winding through some 25 National Forests and 7 National Parks, it rises to 13,000 feet in the Sierra and dips to sea level at the Columbia River, passing through such diverse and inimitable territory as the Mojave Desert, Sequoia National Park, Tuolumne Meadows, the volcanic terrain of Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier, the forests of Crater Lake – all the way to the Bridge of the Gods, the cantilever bridge that crosses the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington state. 

Ultimately, as she entwined deeper and deeper with the character, Witherspoon found that Cheryl’s infamously weighty backpack and ramshackle boots became a part of her own soul.  While the backpack is often a source a comedy in the film, it also became a metaphor for Cheryl learning to shoulder the weight of the past and keep walking on.
“There is something about being in the wilderness,” sums up Jean-Marc Vallée, “becoming part of nature, learning to see it not as an enemy but as a friend, experiencing the beauty and the quality of the air that can be life-changing.  Cheryl went into that and kind of lost herself for nearly 100 days.  She was alone with her demons, her dreams and her past and it led her to ask:  ‘What do I really want to do with my life?’”
Hike along with friends and family when “Wild” opens February 4 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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American Sniper (Film Review)

Over Clint Eastwood’s career as a director, the journey has been very inconsistent. He may either make a really, really good movie or a really, really dragging one. From ‘Million Dollar Baby’ to well… ‘J. Edgar’, the director has this signature style of bringing raw emotions onscreen, exerting the most out of his actors (e.g. Tim Robbins, Hilary Swank). In ‘American Sniper’, his second feature of 2014—coming after the underrated ‘Jersey Boys’—though the emotions were there, it didn’t reach the right spot when it comes to fully embracing the outcomes of its character.

Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who is named as “the most lethal sniper in U.S. history”. His comrades call him a legend for having the most kills on the team, shooting over 150 casualties in their Iraq tour of duty. But the real terror isn’t with the war itself, but what’s gonna happen after it. Kyle must deal with post-traumatic stress disorder for the issues and trauma he got from the war.
For a movie that’s nominated for ‘Best Picture’ at the Oscars, ‘American Sniper’ didn’t feel great at all. Yes, it was a fitting celebratory film for Chris Kyle himself, his work, and his family. But it didn’t really leave enough impact on me to actually call it a “Best Picture Nominee at the Oscars”. Now, was it a good film? Yes.

The one thing that I have to give praise for is how they actually treat Chris Kyle on the war. They didn’t “Hollywood-ize” him when he’s carrying his sniper—the filmmakers could actually portray him as a Rambo-like figure, where he could shoot anyone without coming home with a scratch. But, and thankfully here, his display in the battlefield was simply a human being with a gun—forcefully shooting lives of everyone who is threating his fellow soldiers. Bradley Cooper played him very well; I mean this guy proved once more he is one of the best actors working today. He brought the right amount of emotion, courage, and seriousness in his performance which suited this character very well, and may I say Cooper transfixed in this role so much that he became unrecognizable at all.

There were intense moments here and there. I could count them on one hand, but these scenes are the one that will leave with you after seeing it. One scene, already hinted at the teaser trailer, shows an Iraqi mother giving a grenade to his child to throw to civilians. Not only it will make you bite your nails, it was perfectly executed by Director Clint Eastwood.
I really want the filmmakers to explore Chris Kyle and his post-traumatic stress more throughout the movie. They really go there, but not until the final 10-15 minutes of the movie. And the result is, you don’t seem to be emotionally embraced fully on this aspect after watching it—because there’s so many potential there that could improve this film a lot. 

Either way, ‘American Sniper’ was still a good movie; the first two acts seemed emotionally discharged, but the terrific performance by Bradley Cooper made this a satisfying tribute for Chris Kyle.

The geek rates it 7/10.

'American Sniper' opens Jan. 21 in IMAX and 2D cinemas,  and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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