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Friday, January 20, 2017

Sterling K. Brown Joins The Predator Reboot

THR is reporting Boyd Holbrook is leading what is described as an ensemble cast that includes 'Moonlight' breakout Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key and Olivia Munn.

Sterling K. Brown — one of the stars of NBC's buzzy ensemble drama This Is Us, who also won an Emmy for his work on FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story — is in negotiations to join the cast of The Predator, Twentieth Century Fox’s reboot of the sci-fi action franchise that will be directed by Shane Black.

Boyd Holbrook is leading what is described as an ensemble cast that includes Moonlight breakout Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key and Olivia Munn.

The setting for the new story is suburbia and will feature many of the fierce hunter killers, not just one.

If a deal is sealed, Brown will play a government agent who jails Holbrook’s ex-Marine character, but later needs his help with the Predators.

Previously cast Rhodes and Key will play ex-Marines, while Munn is a scientist. Black wrote the script with Fred Dekker.

The potential Predator deal marks a busy time for Brown, who is riding high thanks to his turns on This Is Us and People v. O.J. The latter earned him an Emmy win last fall, as well as SAG and NAACP award nominations. In part due to the heat generated by those works, the actor was recently cast in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, which is now in production in Atlanta.

Sterling, who will be seen in Marshall, the Thurgood Marshall biopic starring Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad that Open Road will release later this year.

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GO SEE @20thCentWomen This Weekend & @A24 Will DONATE TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN HONOR OF WOMEN (AND MEN)

A24 WILL MAKE A DONATION TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN HONOR OF ALL THE WOMEN (AND MEN) WHO SEE THE FILM THIS WEEKEND.

Writer/director Mike Mills and stars Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning reflect on those who raise us and the times that shape us in latest video 'Modern Women', featuring an exclusive interview with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards



Planned Parenthood consulted on the film and Planned Parenthood California Central Coast shared information and resources about Planned Parenthood health centers in the '70s. Planned Parenthood also plays a crucial part in the lives of two of the main characters in the film. Of the collaboration, writer/director Mike Mills says, "The people at Planned Parenthood were so helpful to me with the writing and pre-production of 20th Century Women. They connected me with people who worked in PP offices in the '70s to make sure every aspect of my scenes was correct, from the language counselors used to the very particular decor and dress of the people in those offices, to the overarching philosophy and attitude of the women who worked there. It was very important to me that we capture this moment in women’s reproductive rights accurately and they were so generous and helpful to me.”


Mike Mills' Golden-Globe® nominated 20TH CENTURY WOMEN will be in theaters nationwide today!

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#WILSONMOVIE Motion Poster Starring Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson stars as Wilson, a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope who reunites with his estranged wife (Laura Dern) and gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter (Isabella Amara) he has never met. In his uniquely outrageous and slightly twisted way, he sets out to connect with her.



Wilson will have its World Premiere at the 2017 The Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, January 22 in the Premieres section

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Movie Review: #xXxReturnofXanderCage

A world-class extreme athlete returns to save the world in the big, dumb, and fun xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Review by Matt Cummings

It goes without saying that no one will be lining up to give xXx: Return of Xander Cage any awards, unless there's a Scantily-Clad Hottie or Ridiculous Stunt of the Year category I'm not familiar with. And yet, for all its big dumb hyper-sexual nature, the film is fun and filled with enough cheesy one-liners to float its ridiculous premise upon, while entertaining us through what's already been a terrible January movie season.

Although Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) has been out of the NSA for 12 years, his former boss Augustus Gibbons boss (Samuel L. Jackson) has been busy recruiting for the xXx program anyways. But that doesn't mean the bruising baldy doesn't still enjoy the rush of liberating cable television to the masses of the Dominican Republic. But any celebration is soon extinguished, when a new threat uses a cutting-edge technology to turn satellites into giant weapons by hurtling them onto major cities. one of them apparently kills Gibbons, forcing his associate Marke (Toni Collette) to bring Cage back in to find said tech. But he'll need a team that's strictly off the books, which includes a sharpshooter (Ruby Rose), a sexually-submissive techie (Nina Dobrev), and a thrill-seeking psychopath (Rory McCann), who all could be as dangerous as the baddies themelves. They include a high-flying killer (Donnie Yen) and a stylish assassin (Deepika Padukone), both of whom share a dark connection with Cage. As lines are drawn and the action ramps up, Cage must decide whether these bad guys and their associates (including Tony Jaa) represent a real risk, or if the true villain might be right under his nose.

Anyone looking for thespian acting in these flicks should be leave the theater immediately, lest all the sexuality and brazen man-action sweep you under its giant tires. xXx doesn't care what you think of the B-movie action genre, because it's having way too much fun to listen. Ignore the raised pinkies of the common critic, and you'll be treated to all the normal trimmings: leather-booted bikini babes, tons of slow-motion 'ramming,' plot twists that make no sense, and CGI that looks like it was made on a home computer. At least Diesel and Director DJ Caruso aren't pretentious to think they're making an epic here, and that sense of fun which made the original xXx so much fun has returned.

The cast, while solid in many parts, is simply too big, sporting 3 characters who really didn't need to be there. But there's a core of actors led by Padukone, Yen, Dobrev, and Rose who could be very interesting in future films. They enjoy great chemistry - even if the one-liners are at times eye-roll worthy - with Diesel taking it all in like some sort of a ghetto James Bond. He's a womanizing brute with zero Bond style, but it's fun watching him extreme skateboard, water-bike, and parachute into sexual glory. He's Dominic Toretto if the Super-solider program actually produced a serum, and that plays very well against the foursome, giving each a moment (or several) to shudder, fist-bump, or prance their unhinged physicality at Cage. Dobrev is perhaps the best of them, a deviant sexual outcast if there ever was one, and she enjoys one of the best sequences of the film, giving up her safeword (kumquat) after she first meets Cage. Rose's military lebianism aside, it's Padukone's style that upgrades every scene she's in. She could be the perfect Bond Girl, but for now enjoy her bootie-short/big-boot action sequences while she and Diesel dance around all the mayhem which Caruso brings.

Once again, I have to spank the marketing department for giving away an important cameo in the trailers that I hope you will stay far away from and instead let xXx pour over you like girls at the Champagne Room. But my real beef is that Diesel and Caruso are essentially making Fast and Furious 7.5 here, banding a team of rebels together with the moniker "xXx's always look out for each other!" Sound familiar? But at least the creative team have introduced several interesting characters who could potentially outdo those still left in the FF franchise. It's also a multi-national team, which should play really well overseas.

Regardless of who you are, you'll be sure to notice the highly-suspect CGI, and there's just enough of this chicanery to sometimes take you out of the scene. But for the most part, you should enjoy it and hope xXx makes a killing so it can afford better graphics in future releases. A nip and tuck, and this series can enjoy a long run of ridiculous action and over-sexualized heroes. That also won't happen unless they improve the "Jackson being Jackson" shtick and keep up the effort they've made here with the enjoyably acerbic Collette. Again, no one's winning any awards here, but that doesn't mean we can't have a testosterone-infused franchise that must include some serious CGI if it has any chance of prospering. If Deadpool can do it for under $50m, then xXx can put out, too.

xXx is big, dumb fun that might actually become a full-fledged every-three-years affair if audiences see the series for what it is. Its solid and deep cast provide for one of the most enjoyable affairs of January 2017, which isn't saying much considering the dearth of quality that's been forced into our popcorn buckets. Sure this one's got a ton of issues, but you probably won't care once Yen starts kicking ass. See this one with all the sound and visual trimmings, then grub up afterwards and toast the return of Xander Cage, because he might be around for awhile. And that's ok for me.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is rated XX for XX and has a runtime of XX 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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Movie Review: Split


23 personalities, all of them bad.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

After finally bottoming out of the event-movie game with 2013’s After Earth, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest twist has been to reinvent himself as a craftsman of low-budget horror. This transformation began with 2015’s surprisingly successful psycho-grandparents yarn The Visit and continues with Split, a similarly grubby/schlocky multiple-personality thriller. This downgrade makes a much better fit for the man who made the low-key Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, but it doesn’t fix the unevenness that has long affected Shyamalan’s work. The Visit was frequently effective, but had significant tonal issues. Split is much less effective and its issues are even more pronounced.

The film begins at a birthday party for Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), who has invited her entire art class from school, including, out of a sense of grudging inclusiveness, outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch). When Casey is left without a ride home from the restaurant at which the party was held, Claire’s father offers to drive her home, along with Claire’s best friend Marcia (Jessica Sula). Upon arrival at the family car, dad is incapacitated by an assailant (James McAvoy), who hops into the driver seat, maces the girls out of consciousness and drives away. The girls awaken locked in a room within some sort of industrial utility area, scared to death. Claire and Marcia begin brainstorming plans of escape and/or attack. Casey, on the other hand, almost immediately shuts down.


It’s here that Split springs its gimmick on us. The abductor, Kevin Wendell Crumb, is a man with 23 distinct personalities alternating turns at the wheel. One, Dennis, is frighteningly gruff. Another, Patricia, is a stern disciplinarian. Yet another, Hedwig, is a simple nine-year-old boy. All of the personalities speak in hushed tones about the impending arrival of The Beast, a figure that might be Kevin’s 24th personality. Kevin, for his part, is seeking therapy from noted psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), but she isn’t able to discern which of the personalities she is speaking with from session to session. And as the girls are eventually separated from one another, it’s the haunted, reclusive Casey who begins to emerge as the best strategist for using Kevin’s mental disorder to her advantage, with the innocent, impressionable Hedwig being her way in.

Though it had to have already been in some form of production at the time of their releases, Split strongly and peculiarly echoes two very recent films, Room and 10 Cloverfield Lane. Both of those films also center on a female protagonist held against her will by a fearsome captor, using her wits to plot an exit strategy. It is, however, less effective than those films. It doesn’t build the suffocating levels of frustrated hopelessness that Room generated. It makes a better companion piece with 10 Cloverfield Lane due to its genre trappings, but that film offered up a heroine much more resourceful than Split’s, as well as a villain far more imposing. John Goodman’s character was a hulking obstacle that Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s lead couldn’t easily circumvent. When all three of Split’s captives are initially being kept together, they discuss the feasibility of overpowering Kevin together, and given McAvoy’s slight stature and build, they probably could have succeeded had they tried, regardless of which personality was present. Split has a baffling habit of denying its characters any true autonomy or ingenuity in their own salvation.


Part of that is by design, at least on Casey’s part. Split has the loftier ambition on its mind of exploring the debilitating effects of abuse, how victims are stripped of their resolve by the cruel hands fate has dealt them. This conceit is explored in surprisingly harrowing fashion with a recurring flashback structure. But the meat of Split is in McAvoy’s sketch-show audition reel of characters, and while he commits to each one admirably, they often veer into the realm of camp, effectively short-circuiting any of the film’s darker pursuits. This sort of tonal clash was present in The Visit, but feels more deadly here, resulting in a film where you’re never sure whether you’re supposed to feel amused or afraid, leading you not especially feel either.

Split could have used some of The Visit’s get-in-and-get-out efficiency. This film runs a full half-hour longer than that one, leading it to sag heavily from time to time, a numbing repetitiveness frequently setting in. Kevin’s visits with Dr. Fletcher bring the film screeching to a halt, and her character never makes much sense. She is inexplicably oblivious to how dangerous her patient clearly is and, it’s revealed, possesses the knowledge of the magic words that will neutralize Kevin, yet neglects to use them even when it might save her life. And when we do experience the arrival of The Beast, the result is sillier and far less frightening than the film seems to realize.

Of course, given the auteur at work here, there is a big twist ending in place, and I suspect that it will be the only thing that people will especially care to discuss upon watching the film. I will not reveal it, but it will make longtime Shyamalan fans grin. It doesn’t save the shaky mess of a film that preceded it—as point of fact, it couldn’t feel more tacked-on and disconnected from what we just watched—but it does tease out a much more enticing film than this one. Which actually only succeeds in aggravating us further. Why didn’t Shyamalan simply make THAT film instead? And, given his deep-set unreliability as a writer, do we even trust him to make it still?

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



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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter “Rewind Piece”

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter picks up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, in which Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. The film is written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.




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#CelineDion Will Perform The New Song #HowDoesAMomentLastForever For The Live-Action #BeautyAndTheBeast

Five-time GRAMMY® winning and best-selling recording artist Celine Dion will perform an all-new original song, “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” for Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” The song will also be included on the film’s soundtrack.

Written by eight-time Oscar®-winning composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”) and veteran lyricist and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (“The Lion King,” “Evita”), “How Does A Moment Last Forever” is an emotional ballad about holding onto life’s precious moments. Portions of the song are performed throughout the film and interpolated into the underscore before Dion’s full-length version debuts in the film’s custom main-on-end title design.

Says Dion, “Being a part of the original ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was such a magical experience in my life, and I'm truly honored to be a part of this film again.”

President of Music for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production, Mitchell Leib, approached the artist on behalf of the project with the idea of recording one of the three new songs written for the film. “Celine was the unanimous choice of the filmmakers and studio to perform this song,” says Leib, “And everyone involved with the film is thrilled she agreed to be part of this new live-action adaptation.”

Dion originally performed the duet “Beauty and the Beast” – featuring Menken’s haunting melody and two-time Oscar-winner Howard Ashman’s unforgettable lyrics – with Peabo Bryson for the animated film. The song became an instant classic and went on to receive an Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and three GRAMMY Awards.

Menken also provides the film score along with new recordings of the classic songs from the animated film written by himself and Ashman. The original motion picture soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10, 2017. The pre-order is available now at http://disneymusic.co/BeautySndtrkP.

About the film:
The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a. with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, like us on Facebook.com/ disneymusic or follow us at Twitter.com/disneymusic and Instagram.com/disneymusic/.

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Final #Logan Trailer Red & Green Band Trailer Plus New Images

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.




Watch the green band trailer & see new images after the Jump...








SITE: http://logan.movie
INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/wponx/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TheWolverineMovie/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WolverineMovie
HASHTAG: #Logan

LOGAN hits theaters everywhere on March 3, 2017

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Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam Will Get His Own Solo Film

THR is reporting New Line and DC Entertainment are doubling down on comic book hero Shazam!

New Line, which has been for over a decade developing a movie on the long-time DC character, will develop concurrently a movie centering on Black Adam, with Dwayne Johnson attached to star as Shazam’s arch-nemesis.

The move stems from last week’s high level meeting with Johnson and DC Films co-head and comics author Geoff Johns, after which Johnson took to social media to promise “hope, optimism & fun.”

But on a deeper level, the meeting led to a reconfiguring of the Shazam! movie. Johnson has been attached to play Black Adam since around 2008. Since that time, the actor has become arguably the biggest male actor on the planet. To execs, it made no sense to have a man of Johnson’s stature be just a villain and a supporting character in an expensive tentpole. Thus a decision was made to spin Black Adam into his own film.

Adam’s screen take involves him being an anti-hero. And it also mirrors recent developments in the DC comics, in stories written by Johns, where Adam, while still a villain, was fighting against enemies who sought to enslave his people.

No writer or filmmaker is attached to Black Adam. Shazam! has a script that is being worked by Henry Gayden, says one source.

One of the oldest comic characters around, Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel. The stories centered on Billy Batson, a teenager who becomes the superhero when he utters the magic word "Shazam!" The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Aries, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.


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#Powerless Offical Trailer

Emily Locke lands her dream job as Director of Research and Development for Wayne Security in Charm City, home to super heroes and villains and citizens fed up with the collateral damage of their constant fighting. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her aspirations far exceed those of her new boss and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.



NBC's new show Powerless follows Emily Locke, who lands her dream job as Director of Research and Development for Wayne Security in Charm City, home to super heroes and villains and citizens fed up with the collateral damage of their constant fighting.

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