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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Transcendence Review: Love+Computer=End of Instagram and Selfies

Here's why Transcendence is big on talk and small on do.

Review by: Matt Cummings

The idea of a world gone mad has produced several great films over the past several years, including Oblivion, Ender's Game, and Pacific Rim. In these, man deals with the end of his existence, brought on by a terrible epoch; in the case of Transcendence, we get to see the disaster as it unfolds. The result is filled with messy storytelling and performances we want to like, and a cautionary tale that feels all used up.

Artificial Intelligence researcher Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is one of several scientists leading the charge to incorporate man into machines. After coordinated attacks by home-grown terrorists, that apparatus is nearly destroyed, leaving several teams dead and Caster condemned to a slow irradiated end. A radical decision is made: merge science from the various labs to transfer Caster's mind into a computer. His wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and friend Max (Paul Bettany) eventually succeed, and Will's consciousness is reborn. Without the of limitations of flesh, he's able to regenerate cells, cure diseases, and purify water and the environment itself. But both the FBI - led by Agent Buchanan (Cillian Murphy) - and the terrorist leader Bree (Kate Mara) realize the inherent danger Will represents. As they face off, Evelyn must decide whether her husband's digitized soul is more important than the survival of mankind.



Depp seems like an actor who relishes playing extreme characters, those who mock society with their antics but are somehow filled with brilliance that someone eventually needs. Put him in a vanilla role like Will Caster and Depp seems like a fish out of water. His rather flat delivery is sometimes hard to hear, and he genuinely seems uncomfortable in several spots, as if he's powerless to affect the plot holes developing around him. And there are a few: a messy timeline and poor attention paid to supporting actors leave us with the sense that Transcendence either suffered a huge edit or was reshot after test audiences initially rejected it. News that the marketing team added dramatic Morgan Freeman dialogue from another film just goes to show how even Hollywood was worried about its chances. Perhaps that concern was justified, as its typical distopian caution never elevates itself into new territory. Consider an ending where man and machine CAN and DO work together to rescue the environment and cure diseases without taking your freedom of choice as a form of lifetime payment. That's a future worth living for, and one we wish would have been explored here.

Having served as Christopher Nolan's cinematographer for the Batman series, Pfister can orchestrate a pretty scene and fill it with believable A.I.. But a film of this type must do more, and this is where Transcendence - a love story buried in a Science Fiction tale - ultimately fails. The idea of loved ones sacrificing for one another is a powerful but understated message here that gets lost in squint-eyed distrust of tech gone awry. Transcendence's maturity arrives too late, thanks in turn to Writer Jack Paglen's rather one dimensional script. SJF favorites Murphy, Bettany, and Morgan Freeman become confusing pawns whose intentions are never fleshed out enough for us to care about what they're doing. Hall on the other hand is very good, devoted to her husband to a fault while ushering in a future where rotting and unpowered cities represent mankind's legacy. That's a hard sell when compared to superhero shield-throwing and steel-drumming animated Macau; and while Transcendence's dark tenets no doubt demonstrate our creative team's desire to tell a gritty tale, the final product would have been so much more.

Transcendence is the kind of film that will be hard-pressed to find a devoted lot willing to give it a chance. Those who do will be treated to an intellectually superior, cautionary tale that takes on a Revolution-like ending, one that the Instagram fans of the world will be hard-pressed to accept. Unfortunately, they'll be too busy uploading pictures of their dinners to notice, while paying customers will notice the sloppy timeline, cluttered one-dimensional characters, and Depp's out-of-sorts persona. Pfister's outing isn't terrible, but its plot is typical Hollywood distopia that fails to elevate the larger conversation about our increasing depends upon machines.

Transcendence is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality. and has a runtime of 119 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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A&E NETWORK GREENLIGHTS “D.O.A.”

A&E NETWORK GREENLIGHTS NEW NONFICTION SERIES “D.O.A.” (WORKING TITLE) FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER DICK WOLF

SERIES WILL FOLLOW AN ELITE TEAM OF DETECTIVES WHO RE-INVESTIGATE CONTROVERSIAL AND MYSTERIOUS MURDER CASES

A&E Network has ordered the new nonfiction series "D.O.A.” (working title) from executive producer Dick Wolf and his Wolf Reality along with Left/Right Productions, it was announced today by David McKillop, Executive Vice President and General Manager, A&E Network. The series follows a top team of detectives who will re-examine controversial murder cases in which unresolved questions still linger long after the verdict was determined. Production begins this spring on eight hour-long episodes.

The elite team of investigators include Detective Michelle Wood, a homicide officer from Chicago with 13 years on the force; Detective Joe Schillaci, a 30-year veteran of the Miami PD with a background in homicide and undercover work; and Kevin “Spider” Gannon, a retired NYPD detective and supervisor. With no prior knowledge of the crime or the verdict, Michelle, Joe and Kevin will begin their investigation at a meticulously reconstructed crime scene and will work the case, interviewing first-person players and forensic specialists. The question is: will they come to the same conclusion as in the original case? Or could the wrong man be behind bars?

“A&E has long been an innovator in crime and justice programming,” said McKillop. “We are looking to expand on our industry leading position by partnering with the master of the genre, Dick Wolf, on such a fascinating and unique new series.”

"D.O.A.” is produced by Wolf Reality and Left/Right for A&E Network. Executive producers for Wolf Reality are Dick Wolf and Tom Thayer. Executive producers for Left/Right are Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver. Executive producers for A&E Network are Laura Fleury and Brad Holcman.

About A&E Network
Now reaching 100 million homes, A&E is the home to 100% original content that inspires and challenges audiences to BE ORIGINAL. A&E offers a diverse mix of high quality, uniquely immersive entertainment ranging from the network’s original scripted series, including “Bates Motel” and “Longmire” to signature non-fiction franchises, including “Duck Dynasty,” “Beyond Scared Straight” and “Storage Wars.” The A&E website is located at aetv.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aetv and Facebook at facebook.com/AETV.

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For BRICK MANSIONS In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For BRICK MANSIONS on Wednesday April 23rd at 7:30PM in Sacramento at Century Stadium 14.


Get ready to see some exciting action and cool stunts this April in Relativity's upcoming film, BRICK MANSIONS – starring Paul Walker, RZA and David Belle.


In a dystopian Detroit, abandoned brick mansions left from better times now house only the most dangerous criminals. Unable to control the crime, the police constructed a colossal containment wall around this area to protect the rest of the city. Undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) is determined to bring his father’s killer, Tremaine (RZA) to justice and every day is a battle against corruption. For Lino (David Belle), every day is a fight to live an honest life. Their paths never should have crossed, but when Tremaine kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, Damien reluctantly accepts the help of the fearless ex-convict, and together they must stop a sinister plot to devastate the entire city. With stylized action featuring thrilling Parkour stunts (David Belle is the co-founder of this physical training discipline), Brick Mansions puts an entertaining twist on the action genre.


Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our podcast.



Official Website-


See how to get tickets after the Jump..

Please enter SJFBRICKSAC at: relativityscreenings.com to redeem your passes

DISCLAIMER: ARRIVE EARLY! SEATING IS FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED, EXCEPT FOR MEMBERS OF THE REVIEWING PRESS. THEATER IS OVERBOOKED TO ENSURE A FULL HOUSE. THEATRE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERBOOKING. THIS PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE ADMISSION AND MUST BE SURRENDERED UPON DEMAND. NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED WITHOUT A TICKET AND ONLY REVIEWING PRESS WILL BE ADMITTED AFTER THE SCREENING BEGINS. Duplicate passes will not be accepted. Screening passes are non transferable. This ticket is NOT for resale. Reselling of tickets is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. All those found in violation will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. MPAA - No Recording This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any audio and/or visual recording device including laptop computers into the theater and you consent to physical search of have against you. Unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability (including damages up to $150,000). *This includes, by way of example only, smart phones and your belongings and person for such device. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device*, you consent to your Immediate removal from the theater and forfeiture of the device

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For BRICK MANSIONS In San Francisco

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For BRICK MANSIONS on Wednesday April 23rd at 7:30PM in San Francisco.


Get ready to see some exciting action and cool stunts this April in Relativity's upcoming film, BRICK MANSIONS – starring Paul Walker, RZA and David Belle.


In a dystopian Detroit, abandoned brick mansions left from better times now house only the most dangerous criminals. Unable to control the crime, the police constructed a colossal containment wall around this area to protect the rest of the city. Undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) is determined to bring his father’s killer, Tremaine (RZA) to justice and every day is a battle against corruption. For Lino (David Belle), every day is a fight to live an honest life. Their paths never should have crossed, but when Tremaine kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, Damien reluctantly accepts the help of the fearless ex-convict, and together they must stop a sinister plot to devastate the entire city. With stylized action featuring thrilling Parkour stunts (David Belle is the co-founder of this physical training discipline), Brick Mansions puts an entertaining twist on the action genre.


Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our podcast.



Official Website-


See how to get tickets after the Jump..

Please enter SJFBRICK at: relativityscreenings.com to redeem your passes

DISCLAIMER: ARRIVE EARLY! SEATING IS FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED, EXCEPT FOR MEMBERS OF THE REVIEWING PRESS. THEATER IS OVERBOOKED TO ENSURE A FULL HOUSE. THEATRE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERBOOKING. THIS PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE ADMISSION AND MUST BE SURRENDERED UPON DEMAND. NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED WITHOUT A TICKET AND ONLY REVIEWING PRESS WILL BE ADMITTED AFTER THE SCREENING BEGINS. Duplicate passes will not be accepted. Screening passes are non transferable. This ticket is NOT for resale. Reselling of tickets is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. All those found in violation will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. MPAA - No Recording This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any audio and/or visual recording device including laptop computers into the theater and you consent to physical search of have against you. Unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability (including damages up to $150,000). *This includes, by way of example only, smart phones and your belongings and person for such device. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device*, you consent to your Immediate removal from the theater and forfeiture of the device

Please Leave A Comment-
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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For BRICK MANSIONS In Fresno

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For BRICK MANSIONS on Wednesday April 23rd at 7:30PM in Fresno.


Get ready to see some exciting action and cool stunts this April in Relativity's upcoming film, BRICK MANSIONS – starring Paul Walker, RZA and David Belle.


In a dystopian Detroit, abandoned brick mansions left from better times now house only the most dangerous criminals. Unable to control the crime, the police constructed a colossal containment wall around this area to protect the rest of the city. Undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) is determined to bring his father’s killer, Tremaine (RZA) to justice and every day is a battle against corruption. For Lino (David Belle), every day is a fight to live an honest life. Their paths never should have crossed, but when Tremaine kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, Damien reluctantly accepts the help of the fearless ex-convict, and together they must stop a sinister plot to devastate the entire city. With stylized action featuring thrilling Parkour stunts (David Belle is the co-founder of this physical training discipline), Brick Mansions puts an entertaining twist on the action genre.


Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our podcast.



Official Website-


See how to get tickets after the Jump..

Please enter SJFBRICKFR at: relativityscreenings.com to redeem your passes

DISCLAIMER: ARRIVE EARLY! SEATING IS FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED, EXCEPT FOR MEMBERS OF THE REVIEWING PRESS. THEATER IS OVERBOOKED TO ENSURE A FULL HOUSE. THEATRE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERBOOKING. THIS PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE ADMISSION AND MUST BE SURRENDERED UPON DEMAND. NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED WITHOUT A TICKET AND ONLY REVIEWING PRESS WILL BE ADMITTED AFTER THE SCREENING BEGINS. Duplicate passes will not be accepted. Screening passes are non transferable. This ticket is NOT for resale. Reselling of tickets is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. All those found in violation will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. MPAA - No Recording This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any audio and/or visual recording device including laptop computers into the theater and you consent to physical search of have against you. Unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability (including damages up to $150,000). *This includes, by way of example only, smart phones and your belongings and person for such device. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device*, you consent to your Immediate removal from the theater and forfeiture of the device

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TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Providence” By: Brandon Wolfe

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Providence”
By: Brandon Wolfe

It was generally agreed upon that ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ improved a bit with last week’s episode, if just by its usual dire standards. The show’s problems, primarily its soul-deadening mediocrity on the plotting, character and dialogue fronts, remained in play, but with the events of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ acting as a catalyst, and with a final twist that seemed surprisingly gutsy for a show that has been anything but, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ managed to rise to a rare level of basic watchability. You take your victories wherever you can.


‘Providence’ does not present us with a series now crystallized into focus, but ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is still getting along as far as it can by swimming in ‘The Winter Soldier’s’ wake. S.H.I.E.L.D. has officially fallen as an organization and the fallout has left it exposed and with only three bases confirmed as secure. Coulson’s team are now men, and women, without a country, but because they’re still on a show that needs to keep existing, apparently, they have opted to dedicate themselves as free agents in the hunt for remaining elements of HYDRA. A high-ranking official, Col. Talbot (played by Adrian Pasdar and a ridiculous fake mustache), informs Coulson that he is sending in a “peacekeeping” team to intercept the group, but Coulson realizes that such a team will not be peaceful in their reception and orders Fitz to fix the Bus and get it back in the air before the team arrives. Which Fitz does, of course, because that plane is where about 90% of this show is set. In the air, Coulson orders Skye to wipe all evidence of their team’s existence, to better stay off the grid. Skye, inadvertently summing up the entire show perfectly, announces that they’re “not agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., just agents of nothing.”


Meanwhile, Agent Ward has freed Raina, the origami enthusiast affiliated with the Centipede group, and brings her to Garrett to consult on how to harness the resurrection serum that brought Coulson and Skye back to life. Garrett, who informs Raina that “The Clairvoyant” was just a name and that he does not have any actual psychic abilities (for that might have been interesting, and this show rebels against interesting things like a petulant teenager), makes his next course of action to stage a raid on the S.H.I.E.L.D. base known as The Fridge, a “secret” location that is housed in a 100-story building, for extra inconspicuousness. After getting inside via staging an attack by an enemy helicopter, Garrett and Ward enjoy unrestricted access to the facility, made easier by the fact that it appears to be secured by only two guards. Garrett makes off with many advanced weapons while freeing all the prisoners housed on-site.


Coulson finds a badge stashed in a safe aboard the Bus with a set of coordinates loaded into it. Coulson, for reasons that don’t even seem clear to him, is convinced that this is a clue left for him by Director Fury. May is concerned that Coulson may have been compromised by HYDRA during his memory uploads concurrent to his resurrection, but trusts in him enough to let him follow his gut, as does the rest of the team. The coordinates lead to a desolate, snow-covered chunk of nowhere, but Coulson is determined to trek on through the rough terrain to see where it leads. It turns out that his hunch was correct, and they arrive at a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base known as Providence, headed up exclusively by a man named Eric Koenig, who is played by Patton Oswalt, always a breath of fresh air even in bad things. Koenig informs Coulson that Fury is still alive, but Skye informs Ward about Providence, where he is dispatched by Garrett to tend to his former teammates while they remain unaware of his HYDRA affiliation.

The best thing that can be said for “Providence” is that it does not walk back the revelation that Agent Ward is a bad guy. While he does voice some anger to Garrett for Skye’s shooting, there is no indication that he retains any loyalty toward Coulson’s team. One could have been forgiven for assuming that a show this bland and afraid of taking risks would immediately set about reassuring us that good ol’ boring Ward was still on the side of the angels, perhaps a victim of brainwashing or acting as some kind of triple agent, but the show seems to be, for now, committed to riding this development out. Ward isn’t any more interesting a character when he’s evil than he was when he was good, but the show does earn some commendation for sticking to its guns.

But that’s about all that “Providence” does well. It does not point to any structure for the season’s final arc. It seems as though Coulson’s team will keep on acting in essentially the same capacity they always have, even without official S.H.I.E.L.D. credentials. Garrett’s plans are not taking any shape beyond “do evil things.” And the episode’s idea of a riveting cliffhanger is to offer the return of Ian Quinn, a villain you’ve likely already forgotten about. And the sad thing is that this what ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ looks like when operating at its peak.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe on Twitter at @ChiusanoWolfe.

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Disney's Bears Review: Pretty Pictures Don't Tell Whole Story

Momma Bear tries to protect her young in this decent docu-drama.

Review by: Matt Cummings

Of all the divisions of Disney, one might forget to mention their documentary arm called DisneyNature. Producers and distributors of African Cats, Chimpanzees and Oceans, the company has put together an uneven library aimed mostly at the young ones. Their newest release Bears doesn't get it quite right, but the photography and its lighthearted nature might eventually win you over.

Shot over a year, we are introduced to the momma brown bear Sky, who's given birth to Amber and Scout (all names here are imagined by the film's producers). Amber sticks close to momma, while Scout becomes the center of troubles throughout the picture. From being chased by superior male bears hoping for a snack to a hungry wolf who won't say no, Sky's search for food leads to her ever-thinning frame, while Scout and Amber try not to get killed.

Narrated by John C. Reily, the film tries to mix lighthearted scenes of bears accidentally dropping rocks on each other and being bitch-slapped by salmon, while telling the more interesting story of nature and its various complexities. Giant male bears Chinook and Magnus throw down several times, while the salmon's story of moving upstream provides for a great balance. But it does feel that Directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey add a little too much drama into things, especially as the film heads into the second act. Bears is at its best when it simply allows these massive beasts to be...bears, rather than stitching disconnected scenes into a fake narrative. The story of nature doesn't need such a crutch, and this imagined storytelling somewhat reduces the stellar photography.



Even with these issues, Bears eventually wins us over. Its goofy antics and light-hearted nature might be DisneyNature's best yet. For every cute and cuddly moment of Amber clinging to Sky, we get the ugly slobbering bear, the hunting bear, and the constant challenges nature throws at them. Its message is powerful without standing on a soapbox to do so, which should keep kids returning to it over the years.


Disney's Bears doesn't quite make it as a documentary for adults, filling it with imagined threats to keep us awake. This is a film for the youngest in your family, who will probably find themselves ensconced in familiar themes of love and devotion to mom (sorry guys, there's no dad here), while dramatic avalanches occur right next to Sky. That's the value behind Bears, capturing nature in its rawest form, and one that eventually wins us over. See this on the biggest screen you can to take advantage of the gorgeous vistas, but be prepared for a little docu-drama along the way.

Disney's Bears is rated G and has a runtime of 78 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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TV Recap: Supernatural "Meta Fiction" By: Sue

TV Recap: Supernatural  "Meta Fiction"
By: Sue

A record plays, and there is typing, another Supernatural book is being written, this time at the hands of Metatron. He ponders what makes a good story, the concept, the writer, or the reader. He plans to tell a little story and let the viewer decide, and well opening up with Dean in the shower isn’t exactly a bad way to start. Dean looks at his reflection, eyes haunted, his attention turns to the mark of Cain. Dressed, Dean goes to see what Sam has found. He has leads, but no Abaddon. The boys prepare to get to work.


Castiel looks for something, and his trust coat rips. They just don’t make trenchcoats like they use to. There are bloody hand prints on the wall, and Castiel finds slain bodies all around. On the wall is a odd glowing symbol, which fades to blood red. Castiel takes a picture of it. A girl tries to stab Castiel in the back with an angel blade. The half mutilated Hannah tells Castiel that she heard a tone that sounded like Heaven, it felt safe, there were others. An Angel came, told them to fight for Metatron and they could return to heaven. Some angels joined, she and her friends refused, and were destroyed. Cas is sorry for their loss, and he heals her. She recognizes him, the one who took a stand against Bartholomew. She asks if he will lead them against Metatron, but he is no leader, he will make Metatron pay though. She wishes to help him, but he refuses, knowing she’s safer away from him.

Castiel tells the boys that Gadriel is the angel that slaughtered the rest, he was told by Metatron to kill angel, of changing prophecies. Dean questions the Heaven enticement. The spell was suppose to close the doors of heaven permanently, but that is just what Crowley told them. Sam wants to find Gadriel and beat the info out of him, someone is still harboring a grudge. Castiel shares the odd symbol, the angel magnet, which had some odd ingredients including griffon feathers and fairy bones. Castiel asks how Dean is, Castiel misses his wings. Sam has come up with a hit on the symbol in police files, it has been at the scene of several multiple homicide locations. Crimescenes in industial cities of Utah, headed North. The trio chose the two most likely candidates and divide and conquer. Dean and Sam remember another Utah case, and plan to check out a source.


Someone goes into a shop looking for Griffon feathers, its Gadriel. The shop keeper laughs it off as Harry Potter wares, but with a hunters symbol on the door, he gets the shop keeper to show him a secret stash. He asks about fairy bones next, more laughs. He asks what Gadriel is hunting, and he merely tells him he’s hunting family.

Castiel prepares to leave his hotel with Casa Erotica 14 comes on the screen. Is that Uncle Richard? Castiel cannot turn off the TV, and so he watches the inappropriate fare. It is Gabriel! And of course Castiel remembers him. With a snap Gabriel is back! And he needs Castiel’s help. Castiel thought he was dead, but of course he was not. He faked his own death, and was in hiding in Heaven, up until Castiel and the others slammed the gates shut. He dropped and hid until Metatron sent his men after him. As an Archangel, Metatron thought that Gabriel has extra juice. He spent his time in porn, until someone started playing his song, with the Horn of Gabriel. It was a party favor that he never got around to messing with. Metatron started blowing it, and so Gabriel came out of hiding, safety in numbers and all. Metatron isn’t blowing the horn, Castiel tells him, its Gadriel. Gabriel plans to get the band back together to hunt down Metatron, and Castiel is being recruited.


Dean and Sam make it to the shop, but its closed up tight. Dean finds an open box of feathers, and Sam finds the slain shop keeper. They need to find Gadriel before he lights up the bat signal.

Cas makes a call into Dean, and Gabriel pilfers the cell, in the name of safe driving and all. Gabriel leaves a saucy little message, and tells them that they’re headed to their home. Gabriel tells him that after the whole falling angels, he saw Crowley and Abaddon duking it out, and their brethren scattered to the wind. Most angels are not like them, they cannot handle the whole free will thing, which makes them different, rebels. Castiel is still on the whole I’m just a soldier thing, but Gabriel doesn’t believe it for a second. Gabriel is finally ready to step up, and take control, and Castiel is more than happy to follow. Castiel heads to a gas station, which looks surprisingly familiar from that time that Castiel worked in a gas station. The minions of Metatron just happen to show ip at the same gas station.

Gadriel is slow to make his getaway after the whole killing of the store keeper, and Sam spies the angel. He puts a call into Castiel telling him that they need help as Gadriel lurks in the shadows, looking to take Sam by surprise, but its him that gets surprised. Dean drops a flame from above, lighting his containment circle, someone just got played.

Gabriel knows there is no way to keep the minions out, and Castiel is prepared to fight. Gabriel is ready to be a one man army. He confesses he didn’t watch Downton Abbey, and he’s got some Archangel juice left, enough to hold them off, long enough for Castiel to get out. Gabriel wants to make a hole, so Castiel can be a leader. Castiel doesn’t want to be a leader, but Gabriel can’t fail in this. He goes to sheath his blade and notices that his pocket isn’t ripped. Oops someone has a continuity error. Castiel knows that it can’t be real. Gabriel urges him out, as the blonde minion busts down the door, but Castiel knows that Gabriel is already dead. He slides the blade into him, nothing happens. Gabriel snaps his fingers, asking what gave it away. The torn coat. Castiel realizes that none of it was real, but all true. Gabriel tells him to hear out Metatron, that he’s trying to help out, he just doesn’t know how since he didn’t actually read the whole script. It was a great visit, and before he can leave, Castiel asks if he’s dead. He gives a very Trickster look, and snaps his fingers. So there is still hope of Uncle Richard returning later, right? Right! Castiel wakes, bound and gagged in Metatron’s study. Metatron types. He asks the beginning question, what makes a story work.

Gadriel taunts Sam, as he asks how long he’s been working for Metatron. Gadriel refuses to talk, and Sam is close to losing control. Dean reigns him back in.

Metatron wanted to tell Castiel a story, but his story failed. He alludes to Sherlock Holmes, but Cas knows nothing of it. He’s been around forever, but has yet to read the classics, Metatron angel blasts his brain with every movie and book he’s seen in the last millennium. The universe is made up of stories not atoms. Castiel recognizes the quote. Metatron goes on about writers club, and its rules. Every hero needs a villain. He set everything up, Hannah and her fellow angels getting slaughtered. He told Gadriel to slaughter them all,but let one live to tell the tale. Cas asks if it’s true, can he bring the angels back to heaven. Metatron laughs, that was never the point. He wants Castiel to lead the angels, but Castiel is no leader. Metatron studied the Winchester gospels, and burns them now. They gave him an idea, Castiel needed a lesson, and no one gives better lessons than Gabriel, so he started typing. He didn’t do it to make Cas a better hero, he’s no hero at all. Metatron thinks he’s the hero, and Castiel the villain.

They knows that Gadriel isn’t going to crack that fast, but Sam thinks that they can hack the angel, like Crowley hacked him. Crowley is the only one that can do the hack though, and Dean won’t call him, they need Cas, but the GPS on Cas’ phone shows that he hasn’t left the town he was in the last time they talked to him, or his phone hasn’t. Dean tells him that he has to go find him. Sam is too close to it, and Dean has it. Sam goes, and Dean gets to play good cop or so Gadriel thinks. Dean doesn’t really care if Gadriel talks, he wants payback for Sam and Kevin.

Metatron asks if Castiel knows why he didn’t kill him after he stole his grace, because he genuinely likes him. He left him human, hoping Castiel would find his happily ever after, but now, its death or fall back in line. Metatron wants him to lead the rebel angels against him so he can slaughter them, and he promises to save Castiel a nice warm seat up top for him. Castiel refuses. Metatron didn’t want to do the hard pitch, but he will. He asks about the stolen grace, tells him that it’s burning out, will burn him out. He offers an endless supply of rechargeable batteries. Metatron’s secretary interrupts with Gadriel trouble.

Gadriel meanwhile is getting sliced and diced by Dean. Dean offers him a deal, tell him about getting into heaven, and he’ll make it a quick death. Gadriel taunts him, tells him that Sam would not trade his life for his. Sam has told him that and worse. He asks if Sam told him how he pities him because of his daddy issues, that he’s a sad coward. Dean punches him, Gadriel continues his ranting trying to get dean to kill him. Dean lunges, but stops short. Gadriel begs for death, but Dean won’t deliver it. Gadriel isn’t afraid to die, but to rot in chains forever.

Sam heads to Castiel’s hotel room. Dean to a dirty bathroom. Inside Sam finds a bunch of pictures crossed out. Dean tries to clean up. Sam finds Castiel’s cell phone, when he gets a visit from Metatron, he wants to trade. The mark of Cain is bothering Dean. Metraton wants an even trade, otherwise Castiel isn’t coming back this time. Dean has a bad bad look on his face, and he leaves behind his phone. Sam heads back and finds Gadriel out of his chair. Dean is sitting against the wall. Gadriel looks bad. Dean didn’t kill him, he managed to reign himself in at the last moment. The boys don’t trust Metatron, but they do want to use this opportunity to trap him.

Metatron is late, well not really late, he was waiting for the boys to set up their trap. He makes sure that he’s in the right position, and Dean reluctantly lights the fire. Metatron makes a big show of being hurt by the holy fire, but it’s nothing to him. He blows it out. The boys pull out their blades, but Metatron pushes them back. He opens Dean’s trunk blowing away his Angel trap. Metatron releases Gadriel, as his angels arrive with Castiel. He’s confident that there is nothing that Dean, Sam, and Castiel can do to stop him, but he’ll enjoy watching them try. He reminds Castiel that he gave him a chance.

At the Cedar Lodge, Dean wants answers. Castiel tells him that Metatron wants to play God. Sam remarks that he is God. He erased Angel warding, and blew out holy fire. He’s powering up with the angel tablet. Dean tries to regroup, think of how to find the stairway to heaven. Sam makes a Star Wars reference, and Castiel gets it. Dean is surprised, and asks if Castiel is all right. They both are. Dean tries to pat Castiel, but Castiel stops him, sees his mark, and taps Dean out of the game. Dean bows out, leaving the offer of help on the table. Cas tells Sam to keep an eye on him. The boys leave Castiel in the parking lot.

Gadriel is brought to see Metatron. He thinks that the way home is safe. He asks Metatron how his play turned out, it didn’t turn out as he had expected, but he plans to make revisions before publishing them. Gadriel asks if the Winchesters grabbing him was part of the plan, that was a surprise, a happy little twist. He tells him that his job is to set up interesting characters to see where they lead him, the byproduct of interesting characters is the twists they cause, but none of that matters as long as they play their part since he’s the only one that knows the ending.

Sam worries over Dean. Castiel goes back to his room and tears down his angel trackings, as Metatron continues tapping away at his keys. Castiel makes an angel horn and calls angels forth, as he was suppose to. Among those that arrive is Hannah. Metatron continues his work calling himself God. For now this story is to be continued.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook and make sure to follow us at @SandwichJFilms on Twitter, and follow the author Sue Lukenbaugh on Twitter at @suepafly.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

X-Men To Appear In The Amazing Spider-Man 2

It's not exactly unusual for superheroes to team up. Spider-Man and the X-Men have done so on numerous occasions in the comics, so it should come as no surprise that they are doing so again - sort of - on the big screen. But surprise! There is an X-Men: Days Of Future Past clip in the credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which marks a possible new era of collaboration between competing studios with Fox and Sony working together.

Now this isn't a post-credits sting as we've seen before in the Marvel universe, setting up some sort of crossover between the two worlds. Rather, it's a clip from the X-film that gives us a taste of the action we're in for. We've been told by Sony that the clip will be attached to the film in the UK.

The scene featured sees Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique, Lucas Till's Havok and Evan Jonigkeit's Toad taking on William Stryker (Josh Helman) and his military men. Without wishing to spoil anything, let's just say that Mystique once again demonstrates her formidable fighting skills in the brief segment.

Presumably there have been significant negotiations leading to this point, and the comic nerd in all of us hopes that someone said, over coffee during a break in the meeting, "Hey, how about we get these crazy kids together properly?" At the very least, this could lead to, next time, content being filmed expressly for this sort of crossover activity.

Neither is this the first attempt at co-operation between studios sharing the Marvel universe: there were early talks to have the Oscorp building appear in the New York skyline of Avengers, perhaps envisioning an exchange where Stark Tower would show up behind Spidey. However, this clip is still a step towards a unified Marvel theory universe, which would be unspeakably cool - even if it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

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"If I Stay" Trailer Has Arrived

Though we’ve gotten used to novel adaptations based around teens leaning towards dystopian futures or romances with supernatural creatures, the tearjerkers are coming back in force with the grounded likes of The Fault In Our Stars. If I Stay, however, treads both a fantastical and a romantic line, and the first trailer has arrived.

Adapted from Gayle Forman’s 2009 bestseller, the film stars Chloe Moretz as Mia Hall, a young music prodigy who is experiencing her first taste of love with rocker Adam (Jamie Blackley). Wavering between her Julliard ambitions and her blossoming personal life, Mia is cast into an even more difficult situation when a devastating car crash kills her parents (Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) and leaves her in a coma.



Caught between life and death in a limbo state, Mia must choose between fighting to live in a world where she’ll face tragedy and passing on to a presumably peaceful death. The film itself has survived a period in limbo, originally set up back in 2009 with Dakota Fanning attached, it was moved to MGM after a period in turnaround and is finally ready to hit the screen.

With a script by Whip It’s Shauna Cross and R.J. Cutler calling the shots, If I Stay also features Lauren Lee Smith, Jakob Davies and Liana Liberato

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