Apr 20
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Cesar Montano, 2 Hollywood movies pa ang gagawin

Cesar Montano, 2 Hollywood movies pa ang gagawin

Author: Billy Balbastro
Column: Take Billy

A busy season for Cesar Montano: Tonight he�ll surely be the center of attention in the advance screening (premiere night in our lingo) of his Hollywood movie, Miramax�s The Great Raid.

No Hollywood or Miramax celebrities -- female lead star Connie Nielsen was earlier rumored -- are coming but Pioneer Films Big boss Wilson Que envisions the evening a grand affair.

In fact, Wilson have two theaters at Greenbelt 3 in Makati especially for that -- Cinema 1 and 2.

Cesar with brother Rommel (who�s also in the movie) and manager Norma Japitana just came last Thursday (August 4) from the US premiere of the movie at the Loews Uptown theater (capacity: 800) last July 28.

The movie, directed by John Dahl and produced by Harvey Weinstein -- sons of World War II veterans, was based on two books -- Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides and The Great Raid On Cabanatuan by William Bruer on rescue of 500 American soldiers from a war camp in January 1945.

Cesar plays Capt. Juan Pajuta, the head of Filipino guerrillas who helped the US Sixth Ranger Battalion led by Lt. Col. Henry Mucci (portrayed by Benjamin Bratt).

Cesar leads the Filipino actors (more than 10) in the movie and they include Ebong Joson, Alvin Anson, RJ Leyran (who died last year), Mars Cavestany, Paolo Montalban (who plays an American) and Natalie Jackson-Mendoza who resides in Austria.

The Great Raid stars also Joseph Fiennes, James Franco and Connie Nielsen.

After its premiere tonight, The Great Raid will hit the theaters here in the Philippines on Wednesday, Aug. 10, to outwit the film pirates.

The Philippine screening, Pioneer boss Wilson Que says, comes two days ahead of the film screening in regular theaters in the US, which is August 12.

Because of his scheduled commitments, Cesar as film director and producer of the movie Panaghoy sa Suba failed to go to the Czech Republic of the exhibition in the Karlovy Vary filmfest of the movie last month.

Incidentally, Panaghoy� which friend Ferdinand Lapuz is also helping out in foreign festivals is set to be in the international festivals in Brussels (November), Hawaii, Milan and Chicago.

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It is a fact now that although Cesar�s name appears in the credit titles, the ninth name after Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Connie Nielsen and Joseph Fiennes, his name isn�t in the posters and billboards in the US.

"We have been given the right to make our own posters for local marketing," Wilson Que insists. And local posters and tarpaulin and ad lay-out carry Cesar�s name first at the top line, above the title.

Anyway, Cesar is preparing to go to Hollywood later this month, to spend probably the whole of September in pursuit of his American dream. After all, he has still two movies under his agreement with Miramax.

He is also set to have an agent in Hollywood.

"Hindi madali to get the best ones," Norma Japitana, Cesar�s manager here, relates. "You�ve got to have your own credentials. Inirekomenda sa amin ni James Franco ang agent niya. Ang CAA. He�s being handled by Creative Artists Agency."

Cesar says he�ll try to spend September in Hollywood to see what would happen to his career over there. By that time he could get his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card. He�ll be there with his brother Rommel, who is also in The Great Raid.

He gives himself there some months to assess his chances over there. After all, wife Sunshine is set to give birth to their third baby girl (After Angelina and Angeline, now Angel Francesca) during the Christmas season.

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FIVECHILDREN: Star Records Video releases a new family blockbuster on original VCD format, 5 Children & It based on a UK bestseller by E. Neskit who inspired Harry Potter series.

The movie on five children on vacation when they meet a sand fairy and make their dreams come true stars Kenneth Brannagh and Freddie Highmore who stars in the current Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.

For inquiries, call up Star Records customer services at #415-02272 local 3621.

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MILESTONE: August is the birth months of friends -- Dr. Alex Gui of Asian Hospital (August 5), Ms. Bong Cuchapin, former First Lady (wife of former mayor Cesar Cuchapin) of Paniqui, Tarlac (August 8), Jess Villahermosa (August 8) and Eleanor Suson (August 9). CHEERS.

Today is also the death anniversary of my nephew Ruben B. Arafiles Jr. so we remember him with masses, prayers and flowers.

Source: Abante