Pop Culture

Advanced Screening Aftermath: French film Special Forces

June 19, 2012

I’m one of the lucky bloggers who were able to score a special invite for the advance screening and press conference of the French movie Special Forces. Held last June 8, 2012 at the SM Mall of Asia, the press conference came first at the IMAX Theater then the advanced screening at Cinema 1.

Coming alone as always, I am glad to meet and share this experience with a fellow blogger and movie buff.

The event started with the arrival of Special Forces director Stéphane Rybojad together with Mr. Macalintal, the Filipino representative for the Audio-Visual from the French Embassy (as his interpreter) and Mr. Gilles Garachon, French Ambassador to the Philippines.

Initially a documentary film maker (more than a 150 works), he shared that the movie was inspired by the joint experience of being a journalist and exposure to military. He “would really love to make a film in the Philippines.” The last few days of his stay prior to the press conference, he says he’s “trying to imagine a film to be shot here” and hopes for a chance in the future.

Since he mentioned he likes going to dangerous places, he was asked if he views the Philippines as a dangerous place – which he immediately answers with a “NO”. In fact, his perception of our country is a country where he “met people that’s all smiles and warm”, which is quite the opposite of his mother country.

During the presscon. From l-r: Mr. Macalintal, Mr.Rybojad and Mr. Bondoy

About the Movie

The French action film is currently screened exclusively at SM Cinema starting June 13, 2012.

Special Forces is a French war adventure film from the director Stéphane Rybojad.  It is distributed by Pioneer Films, the same company that gave us the Twilight series. The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave the film an R-13 rating.

Here’s the short synopsis (no spoilers from me :P):

One of the scenes in the movie.

Afghanistan. War correspondent Elsa Casanova (Diane Kruger, Troy) is taken hostage by the Taliban. Faced with her imminent execution, a Special Forces unit is dispatched to free her.

In some of the world’s most breathtaking yet hostile landscapes, a relentless pursuit begins between her kidnappers who have no intention of letting their prey escape them and a group of soldiers who risk their lives in pursuit of their single aim – to bring her home alive. This strong, independent woman and these men of duty are thrown together and forced to confront situations of great danger that inextricably bind them – emotionally, violently and intimately.

The movie is dedicated to fallen French soldiers and war reporters who had risked their lives during the Afghan war.

The Verdict

Honestly, this is my first advanced screening film and I believe that first French film that I ‘ve ever viewed. Like Mr. Rybojad said, the film was real (no “magic tricks”) – with the actors actually trained by the Special Forces, their expressions and actions (such as reaction to extreme temperature changes, sleeping in made-shift camps, etc).

I swear that this film made me cry, especially in that moment when one of my favorite characters in the film died as well as the last moment before the end. It also made me laugh, as some members of the Special Force love to joke around.

The plot was great. Screen sequence was good. Cinematography was great. The music was  appropriate and the timing was good. I recommend watching this film 🙂

Special Thanks

To Ate Sophia of FrugalFilipinaGirls for being a good companion; and to Mr. Ferds Bondoy of TatakDigitista for the invite.


About SM Cinema

SM Cinema is the country’s leading film exhibitor with a total of 237 cinemas in 42 branches nationwide. SM Cinema is also proud of its IMAX Theatres in the Philippines, namely, IMAX Mall of Asia, IMAX Southmall, IMAX North EDSA and IMAX Cebu.

Watch it best at SM Cinema and for a more convenient way of getting your tickets; experience the newest from SM Cinema – the CINEMOBILE: Your mobile, your movie ticket. Have your movie tickets delivered to your mobile phone only through www.smcinema.com.

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You may also avail SM Cinema’s e-PLUS (Entertainment, Privileges, Lifestyle, Upgrades and Surprises) card to make your movie-watching more convenient, rewarding and fun. On top of the reward point scheme, e-PLUS is loaded with VIP privileges, special promos like a 50 percent discount on select movies, seasonal offers, quarterly raffles and invites to exclusive events. e-PLUS members can also avail promos and discounts from partner merchants. The e-Plus starter kit comes with your personalized e-Plus card, free movies, snacks and a premium item.

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