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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Movie Review: 'Mistress America'

The the well-intentioned Mistress America is true independent comedy, and that's not a good thing.

Review by Matt Cummings

Actress Greta Gerwig and Director Noah Baumbach hit paydirt with 2012's Frances Ha, showing that that Sacramento-born actress and Brooklyn helmer could craft a funny, poignant comedy about struggling to identify your place in the world. But 2015 already producing a strand of very good independent comedies - Dope, While We're Young, and The DUFF among them - Mistress America arrives feeling a bit rushed, stumbling often, but ultimately delivering a decent quirky time.

The 18-year-old Tracy (Lola Kirke) is facing more than the challenges of her first semester in college would suggest: her mother is getting married to a conservative Catholic, she struggles to maintain a social life, and an effort to join the campus' Morbus Literary Society has utterly failed. Desperate for friends, she contacts her soon-to-be sister Brooke (Gerwig), who invites her to party in Manhattan. Thus begins a transformative experience for the demure Tracy, who realizes that Brooke seems to know everyone and has an opinion on everything. At the top of her list: Brooke is hoping to open a scatter-brained-themed restaurant with her boyfriend Stavros. But when he backs out and disappears from her life, Brooke must travel to her sworn enemy Mimi Claire (Heather Ludd), who stole her boyfriend (Michael Chernus), her t-shirt business idea, and even her two cats. As Brooke's life begins to falter, Tracy decides to write it down, hoping the Society will take her in, but not realizing the damage its release will have on her new-found friendship.

It doesn't take long before one will start to compare America to a stage play, its carefully-rehearsed comedic beats working against its terrific script. America is about generally unlikable people doing unlikable things, nothing illegal mind you, dolling out character assassinations and stating its superiority to everyone else. Even the shy Tracy gets infected with it, tossing off her friend Tony (Matthew Shear) for being superficial like a piece of cordwood. After awhile, this New York comedy starts to weigh too much, as I began to hope that the jerkiness of these people would be exposed. Luckily that happens to a certain degree, but it's not a nice feeling to have in the first place.

Co-Writer/Director Baumbach scored with another comedy this year in While We're Young, painting his many characters as similarly superficial. He's got a great comedic talent, and sometimes his directorial genius comes out in understated ways. Performances are solid, with Gerwig getting the better end of it than the lispy Kirke; Gerwig is a breath of intelligent comedic air, not confined to the physical comedy of Melissa McCarthy to sell a laugh. Brooke is about to get in over her head, and Gerwig also shows the growing wear of losing everything quite well. By the time the lights come up, she's a ragged and defeated mess, perhaps the saving grace behind America. And yet I couldn't stop feeling that she deserved everything that was happening, with Tracy trying to emulate what becomes a losing formula. Kirke is decent but doesn't jump off the screen, nor does much of the cast. Perhaps that's what Baumbach intended, but it's to the film's detriment that no one steps up to challenge Brooke.

And that's where America goes south. The comedic panic becomes very practiced, especially when all the players meet at Mimi Claire's house, each one needing to be at the right place and time for the exchanges to work. Even when Brooke loses, it feels like she's won the scene. That sort of bombasity overwhelms too many scenes, as if Brooke's larger-than-life personality and endless supply of friends is somehow better than anyone else's. But credit the ideas instilled by Writers Gerwig and Baumbach, their intelligent comedic bend coming off much better than many low-brow affairs. A film like this would have been better served with a strong A-list cast, which might have defeated the whole point of the independent comedy; but something needed to be done, as the script feels more worthy than its performances.

I give credit to Mistress America for its spirit, not to mention Gerwig's axle-to-the-wheel stage presence. However, this will have a hard time playing in smaller cities, where New York comedies feel as foreign as a place 12,000 miles away.

Mistress America is rated a surprising R for language including some sexual situations and has a runtime of 84 minutes.

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

#BEYONDFEST Announces Star Studded Lineup


LEGEND, THE ASSASSIN, BONE TOMAHAWK, YAKUZA APOCALYPSE, THE INVITATION, THE MIND'S EYE, and SOUTHBOUND join Bruce Campbell, Edgar Wright, Al Pacino, Brett Ratner, Henry Rollins, Shepard Fairey, Fabio Frizzi, Die Antwoord's Ninja and The Meltdown's Jonah & Kumail for a slate featuring 16 West Coast Premieres, iconic repertory titles, and live musical performances!

Beyond Fest, the highest attended genre film festival in the US, is excited to announce its full slate of 2015 programming featuring 25 events of mind-bending, movie madness. Presented by Shudder, Beyond Fest returns to Hollywood's famed Egyptian Theatre for 11 days of movies, music and mayhem spanning Thursday, October 1st - Monday, October 12th to generate funds for co-presenter, the nonprofit American Cinematheque.

With a diverse slate that includes films from all corners of the globe Beyond Fest is proud to present 18 West Coast premieres including Brian Hegeland's masterful LEGEND as opening night film and Hsiao-hsien Hou's breathtaking martial arts ballet THE ASSASSIN, to close. Other hotly-anticipated titles include Kurt Russell's existential western shocker BONE TOMAHAWK, Miike Takeshi's gloriously outrageous YAKUZA APOCALYPSE and Karyn Kusama's terrifying thriller THE INVITATION.

See after the Jump for the full lineup of newly announced film titles for Beyond Fest 2015.

"We're just relieved that a film institution as revered as the American Cinematheque let us come back," said Beyond Fest Co-Founder, Christian Parkes. "Last year, guests were whipped, they vomited and snorted snuff en masse, it was bedlam. With this lineup I'm proud to say it's going to be even bigger."

The legend Bruce Campbell takes center stage with Edgar Wright for an EVIL DEAD double bill for the ages featuring both films projected on glorious 35mm. Tickets will be made available to purchase on Saturday, September 5th at noon PST, however, the most die-hard Deadites will be rewarded early as 25 pairs of tickets will be gifted free to those sporting an EVIL DEAD tattoo. Maintaining the theme and commemorating the night Studio City Tattoo will be on-site providing free EVIL DEAD tattoos for the most hardcore fans.

Two wildly different anniversary screenings celebrate two wildly iconic films with Al Pacino sitting in conversation with Brett Ratner for the 40th anniversary of DOG DAY AFTERNOON, while The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail host an epic 30th anniversary reunion screening of BETTER OFF DEAD with director Savage Steve Holland, Curtis Armstrong, Diane Franklin and more.

Once again, music features prominently in Beyond Fest's charter with some of the most influential and innovative artists participating. Die Antwoord's Ninja will be joined by friends as he hosts a rare 35mm screening of ERASERHEAD for 'A Night of Zef Absurdia.' Punk icon Henry Rollins is celebrated with the West Coast premiere of his existential cannibal shocker HE NEVER DIED. Post screening, Rollins will be joined by director Jason Krawczyk in a wide ranging conversation moderated by agent provocateur Shepard Fairey. Legendary composer Fabio Frizzi is performing in Los Angeles for the first time in his illustrious 40 year career. Complete with his 8-piece orchestra, the Maestro will perform FRIZZI 2 FULCI LIVE: his magnificent musical-opus highlighting his work with Lucio Fulci. FRIZZI 2 FULCI LIVE will also feature a rare screening of the Fulci's gothic masterpiece THE BEYOND uncut, uncensored and in scope on 35mm. The original 1925 version of Lon Chaney's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA gets the live score treatment courtesy of his grandson Ron Chaney who is screening the masterpiece on 16mm. The 1925 score has remained in possession of the Chaney family since the film's release and will be performed for one of the first times in 90 years. Ron Chaney will be in attendance to discuss the impact of Cheney's work. Premiering live, synth superstar Steve Moore will perform his score to horror wunderkind Joe Begos' THE MIND'S EYE before the telekinetic shocker receives its hometown throwdown premiere. Moore's performance will be complemented by the release of a limited 7" courtesy of Death Waltz Records, produced exclusively for the screening.

"Music has been an integral part of Beyond Fest from the very beginning," said Spencer Hickman, Mondo / Death Waltz Recording Co. Label Head. "The first show we ever booked was Goblin and we're incredibly proud to build on that foundation with this phenomenal and unique line up."

Celebrating LA filmmaking remains a priority for Beyond Fest with Karyn Kusama receiving this year's 'LA Spotlight' for her shocking thriller, THE INVITATION. As part of her Spotlight screening, Kusama selected Philip Kaufman's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS to accompany her film citing its malevolent corresponding elements and themes. LA represents en masse with SOUTHBOUND, a wild and insanely gory reinvention of the horror anthology model from the team behind the V/H/S series. SOUTHBOUND is co-presented with fellow LA-conspirators, Spectrefest, and features a live performance by I Speak Machine for the premiere of their new short, ZOMBIES 1985.

Beyond Fest welcomes the horror streaming platform Shudder as its Presenting Sponsor, a partnership that provides 10 screenings (9 West Coast premieres) absolutely free to film fans. Every night, the 100-seat 'Shudder Theatre' will feature a brand new film selected from across the world including a demented Mads Mikkelsen's in Anders Thomas Jensen's unbelievably black comedy, MEN AND CHICKEN, manga favorite / insanely-mental-live-action-madness of ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM, the hyper-violent remake of Mario Bava's Euro-crime nasty, RABID DOGS, the creepy debut shocker from Oz Perkins, FEBRUARY, Majid Al Ansari's electrifying cat and mouse thriller, ZINZANA and the over-the-top martial arts sequel, SPL 2.

"These are some of the best and most provocative films of the year," said American Cinematheque and Beyond Fest programmer, Grant Moninger. "That we can provide them completely free of charge is very important to us, we're thankful to Shudder for being a part of our mission to bring great films to the great genre fans of this city."

See below for the full lineup of newly announced film titles for Beyond Fest 2015.




China, 2015
LA Premiere, 105 min
Director - Hsiao-hsien Hou

BETTER OFF DEAD - 30th Anniversary Reunion Hosted by The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
United States, 1985
97 min
Director - Savage Steve Holland
wi. Jonah Ray, Kumail Nanjiani, director Savage Steve Holland + cast in person

Uncut, uncensored director's cut in scope on 35mm
Italy, 1981
35mm, 87 min
Director - Lucio Fulci

United States, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 133 min
Director - S. Craig Zahler
wi. director S. Craig Zahler and actor Matthew Fox in person

United States, 2015
35mm, 125 min
Director - Sidney Lumet
wi. actor Al Pacino and director Brett Ratner in person

Original US X-rated cut on 35mm
England, 1971
35mm, 111 min
Director - Ken Russell
wi. introduction by director Bernard Rose

Ninja Presents ERASERHEAD: A Night of Zef Absurdia
United States, 1977
35mm, 89 min
Director - David Lynch
wi. Ninja and friends in person

Co-presented with Starz and Ash vs. The Evil Dead
United States, 1983
35mm, 87 min
Director - Sam Raimi
wi. Bruce Campbell and Edgar Wright in person

Co-presented with Starz and Ash vs. The Evil Dead
United States, 1987
35mm, 84 min
Director - Sam Raimi
wi. Bruce Campbell and Edgar Wright in person

Italy, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 100 min
wi. Fabio Frizzi and 8-piece orchestra performing live

United States, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 99 min
Director - Jason Krawczyk
wi. director Jason Krawczyk and actor Henry Rollins, moderated by Shepard Fairey in person

United States, 1978
115 min
Director - Philip Kaufman

United States, 2015
Special Screening, 97 min
Director - Karyn Kusama
wi. director Karyn Kusama, writers Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi and actor Logan Marshall-Green in person

United States, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 131 min
Director - Brian Hegeland
wi. director / writer Brian Hegeland in person

United States, 2015
US Premiere, 87 min
Director - Joe Begos
wi. live performance by Steve Moore before screening
wi. director / writer Joe Begos, editor Josh Ethier and actors Graham Skipper, Noah Segan in person

United States, 1925
16mm, 101 min (1925 original release)
Director - Rupert Julian
wi. live score performance of the original 1925 composition
wi. Ron Chaney in person

Co-presented with Spectrefest
United States, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 87 min
Director - Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence
wi. live performance by I Speak Machine before screening
wi. cast and crew in person

TOO LATE (free screening)
United States, 2015
35mm, 107 min
Director - Dennis Hauck
wi. director / writer Dennis Hauck in person

Japan, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 115 min
Director - Takashi Miike


Japan, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 110 min
Director - Eiichiro Hasumi

DER BUNKER (free screening)
Germany, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 85 min
Director - Nikias Chryssos

FEBRUARY (free screening)
United States/Canada, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 93 min
Director - Oz Perkins
wi. director / writer Oz Perkins in person

IN SEARCH OF ULTRA SEX (free screening)
France, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 60 min
Directors - Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine

MEN AND CHICKEN (free screening)
Denmark, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 100 min
Director - Anders Thomas Jensen

RABID DOGS (free screening)
France, 2015
West Coast Premiere,99 min
Director - Eric Hannezo

SPL 2 (free screening)
China, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 120 min
Director - Pou-Soi Cheang

ZINZANA (free screening)
United Arab Emirates, Jordan, 2015
West Coast Premiere, 91 min
Director - Majid Al Ansari

Attend Beyond Fest:

Tickets for Beyond Fest 2015 are will be made available for purchase through Fandango and the American Cinematheque on 9/3/15. EVIL DEAD tickets will be available through Brown Paper Tickets on 9/5/15 at noon pt.

For the latest developments, visit the Beyond Fest official site and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

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Paramount Pictures’ “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION,” the sixth film in the blockbuster horror franchise, will premiere in RealD 3D closing night of the Screamfest Horror Film Festival on Thursday, October 22nd at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The screening marks the series’ return to the largest and longest running horror film festival in the U.S., where the first “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY” film made its debut in 2007.

“We are thrilled to have the ‘PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION’ premiere close this year’s festival,” said Rachel Belofsky, Screamfest Founder and Festival Director. “We are so proud of Oren Peli and his success with the franchise. It’s great to have him back in the festival where it all began.”

“It's incredibly exciting, and somewhat surreal, to premiere the final installment of the ‘PARANORMAL ACTIVITY’ series at Screamfest where the first film premiered eight years ago,” said producer Oren Peli, who directed, produced and wrote the original “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.” “These films continued to be made because of the incredible fans that supported them from the very beginning, so I look forward to bringing the series back to its roots to honor them.”

As a tribute to the original film’s most passionate fans, for the first time ever, Screamfest will expand nationwide with special advance screenings of “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION” in the 12 markets in which the first film opened with “Demand It” fan screenings before its theatrical run in 2009. The new film will play in Ann Arbor, MI; Baton Rouge, LA; Boulder, CO; Columbus, OH; Durham, NC; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Orlando, FL; Santa Cruz, CA; Seattle, WA; State College, PA; and Tucson, AZ on October 22nd.

See the unseen in “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION” – the horrifying conclusion to the “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY” films in theaters on October 23rd. The film is produced by Jason Blum and Oren Peli, based on the film “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY” by Oren Peli. Story by Brantley Aufill and Jason Harry Pagan & Andrew Deutschman, with a screenplay by Jason Harry Pagan & Andrew Deutschman and Adam Robitel & Gavin Heffernan. Directed by Gregory Plotkin. Starring Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Dan Gill, Ivy George, Jessica Brown, Chloe Csengery, Don McManus, Hallie Foote and Cara Pifko.

The 2015 Screamfest Film Festival will run October 13th through October 22nd at TCL Chinese Theater. Tickets are available at

Screamfest Film Festival premieres and showcases new work from American and international independent horror filmmakers. Many of the filmmakers have garnered distribution and representation as a result of the festival. Film entries are accepted in the categories of Best Feature, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Special Effects and Musical Score. In addition, there are special categories for Best Animation, Best Short, Best Documentary and Best Student Film.

Screamfest was formed in August 2001 by film producers Rachel Belofsky and Ross Martin in order to give filmmakers and writers in the horror/sci-fi genres a venue to have their work showcased to people in the industry.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About RealD Inc.

RealD is a leading global licensor of 3D and other visual technologies. RealD's extensive intellectual property portfolio is and can be used in applications that enable a premium viewing experience in the theater, the home and elsewhere. RealD’s core business is the licensing of RealD Cinema Systems and the product sale of RealD eyewear to motion picture exhibitors to enable a premium viewing experience for 3D motion pictures and alternative 3D content in the theater.

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Sphero’s BB-8 Droid Preview & Where To Buy It

Here is Sphero’s remote control BB-8 droid. This is going to be the HOTTEST toy of the year.

Sphero’s BB-8 isn’t a toy so much as it is a very simple robot performer with Pixar-esque aspirations. The $149.99 droid will go on sale starting this Friday at Apple’s retail stores, Best Buy, and Sphero’s own website (don’t worry, it’s Android compatible, too).

The plaything, expected to be priced around $150, is among the litany of Star Wars: The Force Awakens products being revealed as part of the “Force Friday” merchandise announcement, which spans everything from LEGO kits to Hasbro action figures and even pet toys. (That is, toys that your pet plays with.)

Watch him in action after the Jump...

Sphero’s BB-8 is a different kind of pet toy, an action figure that seems like a lovable creature. (And will probably make your actual pets feel neglected and jealous.)

The ball droid character, which was first glimpsed last November in the movie’s teaser trailer, tearing across the sandy, rocky surface of the planet Jakku, became an instant fan favorite — even though no one knew anything about its personality or role in the story.

There were audible gasps in the Anaheim convention center’s auditorium when a real version of the rolling robot made an appearance on stage this April at the Star Wars Celebration fan event alongside director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and R2-D2. Wait… this thing isn’t a digital effect?

The Sphero toy isn’t as large as the beachball-sized BB-8 that appeared with Abrams and Kennedy. The Sphero version is baseball-sized. More of a mini-me.

The movie version of BB-8 is sentient, but Sphero’s version is controlled by way of an app on your tablet or smartphone. The little guy is also voice activated and can respond to some basic commands. The toy can also record and project what look like holographic images when viewed through your mobile device screen.

The toy races forward by way of internal gyroscopic propulsion (a fancy way of saying there are rollers spinning it from the inside, kind of like a hamster on a wheel.) Batteries aren’t included, they’re embedded. Sphero’s droid comes with a small stand for inductive charging and has an hour-long battery life.

Kennedy says Lucasfilm got connected with Sphero through Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, who caught wind of the company’s rolling robot toys and said it seemed like a good fit given their plans to introduce something similar with BB-8.

The droid itself was conceived by Abrams, who sketched out two balls on top of each other with a cycloptic single eye. “I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia,” Abrams told EW. “It was sort of how he looked to me, the 8 and the two B’s. I came up with it early on, and it just stuck.”

From there, The Force Awakens concept designer Christian Alzmann stepped in and borrowed some influence from soccer balls for the body, while designer Jake Lunt Davies and chief monster-manufacturer Neal Scanlan of the movie’s “creature shop” tried to figure out how to create it in real life.

There were many versions of BB-8 on the movie: some digital, some puppets, some locked in place, some immobile dummies, depending on what was necessary for any given shot. But they also came up with the freewheeling model, known as the “red carpet” BB-8, who spins and plays seemingly on its own. (Pay no attention to the guys behind the curtain.)

From the moment the droid rolled onstage last April, it was clear: What Star Wars fan wouldn’t want one of these?

Now Sphero is making it possible to hold BB-8’s fate in your own hands.

If you can find one.

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#MyAllAmerican Trailer & New Release Date

What Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) wants most in the world is to play football. Deemed too small by the usual athletic standards, his father trains him hard, and Freddie brings a fight to the game that ultimately gets him noticed — by none other than legendary University of Texas coach Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart). Awarded a scholarship and a chance to play for the Longhorns, Freddie sets off to Austin with his loving high school sweetheart Linda (Sarah Bolger), determined to make the team. Alongside his old teammate Bobby Mitchell (Rett Terrell) and new pal James Street (Juston Street), Freddie is put through the paces of a grueling practice schedule, but the boys' camaraderie off the field translates into solid playing on it, and they rise up the depth charts, giving the Longhorns a real chance to turn the team around. But just when they’re reveling in the success of the season, Freddie suffers an injury that leads to a shocking diagnosis and the biggest challenge he will ever face.

Watch the trailer after the Jump...

From the writer of HOOSIERS and RUDY, MY ALL AMERICAN tells the true story of a boy who became a hero and what it truly means to have the heart of a champion.

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BROOKLYN Official Poster Starring @saoirse_ronan

BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

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New #SPECTRE Poster

A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

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Cate Blanchett To Star As Lucille Ball In Upcoming Biopic

Cate Blanchett is attached to star in an authorized biopic of Hollywood legend Lucille Ball that Aaron Sorkin is set to write for Escape Artists, TheWrap has learned.

The film will chronicles Ball’s 20-year marriage to Desi Arnaz, with whom she starred on the classic TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Ball had two children with Arnaz before they divorced in 1960. She married Gary Morton the following year.

Lucy Arnaz Jr. and Desi Arnaz Jr. will produce with Escape Artists, whose executive Jenna Block will oversee development of the project on behalf of the Sony-based company.

A representative for Blanchett declined to comment, while a representative for Sorkin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Blanchett won her first of two Academy Awards for playing another Hollywood icon, Katharine Hepburn, in Martin Scorsese‘s The Aviator. She’s gearing up for another Oscar run thanks to her acclaimed performance in Todd Haynes‘ lesbian romance Carol. Blanchett also stars opposite Robert Redford in the Toronto-bound drama Truth and co-stars in a pair of upcoming Terrence Malick movies.

Sorkin won an Oscar for writing The Social Network and has proven adept at tackling real-life famous people, from Mark Zuckerberg to Billy Beane and Charlie Wilson. He also wrote the Steve Jobs movie that stars Michael Fassbender and hits theaters Oct. 9 via Universal. Additionally, Sorkin adapted Michael Lewis‘ Wall Street drama Flash Boys for producer Scott Rudin.

Escape Artists recently produced Jake Gyllenhaal‘s boxing drama Southpaw and Denzel Washington‘s action-thriller The Equalizer. The company is also developing a Masters of the Universe movie.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Star Wars: Episode VIII Female Casting Underway

Rian Johnson is directing the sci-fi sequel, which Disney and Lucasfilm will release on May 26, 2017

Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Golden Globe nominee Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” star Olivia Cooke are considered the top contenders for the new female lead in Rian Johnson‘s “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” multiple individuals familiar with the casting situation told TheWrap.

Insiders insist it’s early in the casting process and that Johnson is still auditioning actresses, with several rising stars yet to read for him. Others suggest that Johnson is narrowing down the field and that Rodriguez, Maslany and Cooke will be among a group of girls slated to chemistry-read with “The Force Awakens” star John Boyega before the end of the month.

A representative for Disney declined to comment. The studio will release the sci-fi sequel on May 26, 2017. Ram Bergman is producing the film with Lucasfilm’s Kathy Kennedy, and production is expected to start early next year.

Oscar winner Benicio del Toro is nearing a deal to play the villain in “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” for which plot details remain unknown. However, the Internet has taken it upon itself to speculate that Han Solo’s daughter could be introduced in the film.

Rodriguez starred in the acclaimed indie drama “Filly Brown” before landing the title role on the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” for which she won a Golden Globe. She has demonstrated she can play a strong female lead, and she next stars opposite Mark Wahlberg and Dylan O’Brien in Peter Berg‘s action drama “Deepwater Horizon.”

Maslany was a finalist for the lead role in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” though the coveted part ultimately went to Felicity Jones. Still, Maslany must’ve made a strong impression on Disney and Lucasfilm executives to be back in the mix for “Episode VIII.” In addition to playing multiple characters on “Orphan Black,” Maslany recently played the younger version of Helen Mirren‘s character in “Woman in Black” and wrapped the indie movie “Two Lovers and a Bear” with Dane DeHaan.

Cooke stars on “Bates Motel” and drew widespread acclaim for her impressive performance as a young cancer patient in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance. She has been in demand ever since, and is in the mix for the female lead in Steven Spielberg‘s “Ready Player One.” She’ll continue to showcase her range as a teenage prostitute in the indie drama “Katie Says Goodbye.”

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#TERMINATORGENISYS Arrives On Digital HD October 20th & Blu-ray Combo Pack November 10th


Global Blockbuster Debuts on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack November 10, 2015 Get it on Digital HD Three Weeks Early on October 20th.

Called “one of the best action movies of the year” (Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee), the thrilling new chapter in the iconic franchise TERMINATOR GENISYS explodes onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, DVD, and On Demand November 10, 2015 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film arrives three weeks early on Digital HD October 20.

“Arnold is back and better than ever” (Shawn Edwards, WDAP-TV, FOX) in the movie hailed as “the best Terminator since T2: Judgment Day” (Mark Hughes, Forbes). In the war of man against machine, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney, The Divergent Series) is sent back to 1984 by resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke, Everest) to protect his young mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”). However, this time unexpected events have altered the past and threaten the future for all mankind. Now Reese must join forces with Sarah and her “Guardian” (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to save the world and stop the next evolution of Terminators.

The TERMINATOR GENISYS Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs with Digital HD include nearly an hour of bonus content, featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and filmmakers, including the director of the first two films, James Cameron. Plus, take an in-depth look at the stunning visual effects and jaw-dropping action sequences, the recreation of iconic scenes from the original film, and more.

The Blu-ray Combo Packs also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack*, which delivers captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, to bring entertainment alive all around the audience.


The TERMINATOR GENISYS Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos* (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:


· Feature film in high definition

· Bonus Content:

o Family Dynamics – Casting Terminator Genisys and how the actors filled some of the most iconic roles in cinematic history

o Infiltration and Termination – Go behind-the-scenes to San Francisco and New Orleans in a first-hand look at filming locations

o Upgrades: VFX of Terminator Genisys – Delve into the revolutionary visual effects behind the movie’s incredible action sequences


· Feature film in standard definition


The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes all of the above, as well as a Blu-ray 3D presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos* (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack available for purchase include a Digital HD Version of the film that can be accessed through UltraViolet™, a way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them—reliably and securely—to a variety of devices.

The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

*To experience Dolby Atmos at home, Dolby Atmos enabled AV receivers and additional speakers are required; however, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.
Buy Now:

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions present a Skydance Production “Terminator Genisys.” Executive producers Bill Carraro, Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier, Megan Ellison, and Robert Cort. Produced by David Ellison, p.g.a. and Dana Goldberg, p.g.a. Written by Laeta Kalogridis & Patrick Lussier. Directed by Alan Taylor.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution

Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in more than 180 countries and territories. The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.


Street Date: November 10, 2015 (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand)
October 20, 2015 (Digital HD)
SRP: $52.99 U.S. (Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack)
$39.99 U.S. (Blu-ray Combo Pack)
$29.99 U.S. (DVD)
U.S. Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
Canadian Rating: 14A for violence and gory scenes

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#AnaleighTipton To Star In Sadie

Deadline is reporting Up and comer Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love, Warm Bodies, Mississippi Grind) will star in filmmaker Craig Goodwill’s psychological thriller Sadie from a script with and written by Brian Clark. Goodwill, whose feature Patch Town recently bowed, will helm the story that centers on a young female novelist (Tipton) who, along with an enigmatic woman named Charlotte, are enticed by an ex-lover to join him at his Italian villa for a weekend celebration being held to honor the release of Sadie’s latest book. Once there, Sadie begins to fear his true intentions as she and Charlotte become embroiled in a dangerous game of moral and sexual discovery.

The project will roll before the cameras in Italy in early November. Producing with Goodwill is Mike Macari (The Ring) and Brian Dreyfuss; Moira Romano will executive produce via ETV Films, Inc.

Co-starring with Tipton as the ex-lover is Jackob Cedergren (Submarino, Terribly Happy) along with Peter Gadiot, the main character’s boyfriend who becomes an unwitting pawn. The role of Charlotte is not yet cast.

Tipton, a figure skater and model (America’s Next Top Model)

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#THEDANISHGIRL Official Trailer & Poster

Watch Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in the official trailer for Focus Features' THE DANISH GIRL. From Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper, and based on the book by David Ebershoff, the love story opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 27th, and in additional cities in December.

Watch the trailer after the Jump...

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Vincent Cassel Cast As The Villain For Upcoming Bourne Film

According to Variety Vincent Cassel is set to play the villain in the next installment of the Jason Bourne franchise starring Matt Damon.

Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones are also on board for the project, and Julia Stiles is set to return as well.

Paul Greengrass is back to direct and co-pen the script with Christopher Rouse. Frank Marshall again produces the action-thriller alongside Jeffrey Weiner for Captivate Entertainment. Greengrass, Damon, Greg Goodman and Ben Smith also produce. Rouse and Henry Morrison serve as executive producers.

Plot details are unknown at this time, though sources say Cassel will play an assassin tracking Bourne. Cassel joins the ranks of Clive Owen, Karl Urban and Edgar Ramirez, who played the villains in previous “Bourne” chapters.

Production is expected to begin later this summer. The film will bow on July 29, 2016.

Damon’s three Bourne movies, which began in 2002 and ended in 2007, grossed nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Cassel was most recently seen in “Child 44.” He can next be seen in “Partisan,” which is scheduled for release in the U.S. on October 2. Upcoming pics include “Tale of Tales” and “Mon Roi,” both of which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and he has completed lensing on “A Movie Life,” “The Great Mystical Circus,” as well as “It’s Only the End of the World.”

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #THETRANSPORTER REFUELED In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED on September 2nd at 7:00 PM in Sacramento.

Frank Martin (played by newcomer Ed Skrein), a former special-ops mercenary, is now living a less perilous life - or so he thinks - transporting classified packages for questionable people. When Frank’s father (Ray Stevenson) pays him a visit in the south of France, their father-son bonding weekend takes a turn for the worse when Frank is engaged by a cunning femme-fatale, Anna (Loan Chabanol), and her three seductive sidekicks to orchestrate the bank heist of the century. Frank must use his covert expertise and knowledge of fast cars, fast driving and fast women to outrun a sinister Russian kingpin, and worse than that, he is thrust into a dangerous game of chess with a team of gorgeous women out for revenge.

Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and to be to notified about our upcoming Advance Screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our Podcast

See how to win tickets after the Jump...

GO to GOFOBO and enter code hFCLp88930

DISCLAIMER: ARRIVE EARLY! SEATING IS FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED, EXCEPT FOR MEMBERS OF THE REVIEWING PRESS. THEATER IS OVERBOOKED TO ENSURE A FULL HOUSE. THEATER 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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