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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Charlie Hunnam Will Not Return For Pacific Rim 2

Bad news if you were hoping that Raleigh Becket might be back for a little drifting with a fellow pilot and some fresh Kaiju-battering... Charlie Hunnam has revealed that he won't be part of Pacific Rim 2.

Talking with Yahoo Movies at this weekend's Comic-Con (where he was promoting Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword), Hunnam revealed that he had been approached by producer Guillermo del Toro and director Steven S. DeKnight to return, and that initial drafts of the script featured his character considerably. Sadly, it's not the Kaiju threat keeping him from returning, but the age-old problem of scheduling issues. Still, he seems excited to see that the Pacific Rim story will continue.

John Boyega is the lead for the new movie, snagging both the lead role and planning to be a producer. And del Toro has said that the sequel will be expanding the universe of Pacific Rim, blending with other planned stories. "If and when the animated series happens, we are mixing them. In fact the sequel takes some ideas that we created for the animated series originally," del Toro told The Hollywood Reporter. " I think we need to let the live-action lead. When we went with Steven we showed him everything we were developing and he said, ‘I like this from this universe, I like this from this element, I want to bring them into the movie.’ It’s easy to expand cause you have not only the Jaeger-human universe and the Kaiju-alien universe, but (also) the fact that you are now able to play in a very history-filled universe. We started the war with the Kaiju, we won the war with the Kaiju and now it’s a postwar of those two universes."

Pacific Rim 2 (or Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, if it ends up using that title) is currently scheduled to bring the robots vs monsters action back to our screens on February 23, 2018. As for Hunnam, watch the first trailer for King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword.

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#MOANA Announces Voice Cast & Character Images

WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS REVEALS THE CHARACTERS AND VOICE TALENT FOR UPCOMING FEATURE FILM “MOANA


Jemaine Clement, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison and Nicole Scherzinger Join Auli‘i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson in Epic Big-Screen Adventure.

See all the images after the Jump...







Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” which opens in theaters nationwide on Nov. 23, 2016, features a dynamic roster of characters brought to life by a talented group of actors. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who were behind “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” “Moana” showcases the life-changing journey of a tenacious 16-year-old who teams up with the mighty demigod Maui to fulfill an ancient quest.

The newly revealed characters and voice talent join the already announced duo that includes newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, who lends her voice to the title character, Moana, a teenager who dreams of becoming a master wayfinder, and Dwayne Johnson (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”), who voices Maui—half god, half mortal, all awesome.

“Our assembled voice cast for this film is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Musker. “We are so fortunate to have this group of talented actors, many from Oceania, breathing life into their characters.”

Added Clements, “We are so thankful to have found such extraordinary people who not only capture the voices of these characters, they elevate them in every way.”

Joining Cravalho and Johnson are the following performers.
· JEMAINE CLEMENT (“The BFG,” “Despicable Me,” “Rio,” “Rio 2,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” Flight of the Conchords) provides the voice of TAMATOA, a self-absorbed, 50-foot crab who lives in Lalotai, the realm of monsters. The conceited crustacean wants to be more than a “bottom feeder” and overcompensates for this perceived shortcoming by covering himself in all things shiny.

· RACHEL HOUSE (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) lends her voice to GRAMMA TALA, Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. Although her son Tui, the chief of Motunui, is a no-nonsense leader, Gramma Tala most definitely dances to the beat of her own drum.

· TEMUERA MORRISON (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Six Days, Seven Nights”) voices Moana’s father, CHIEF TUI, the gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island. Chief Tui wants Moana to follow in his footsteps as leader of their people, but fears his daughter’s draw to the ocean and the world that lies beyond their reef.

· NICOLE SCHERZINGER (Grammy®-nominated singer, West End's "Cats") voices Moana’s mother, SINA, who always has her daughter’s back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef.

· ALAN TUDYK, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ lucky charm (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6”), is behind the voice of HEIHEI. Heihei is one dumb rooster—the village idiot, in fact. When the clueless chicken accidently stows away on Moana’s canoe, he lands a front-row seat for her epic journey.

The roster of characters also includes the KAKAMORA, an intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want, and PUA, Moana’s loyal pet pig with puppy energy and an innocent puppy brain.

ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”) and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. For more information, visit http://disney.com/moana, like us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/disneymoana; follow us on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/DisneyAnimation; follow us on Instagram, https://instagram.com/DisneyAnimation.

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HELL OR HIGH WATER Premiere Images

Here are images from last night’s premiere of HELL OR HIGH WATER in Austin, Texas. Cast in attendance included, Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham. HELL OR HIGH WATER is directed by David Mackenzie and written by Taylor Sheridan.


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Young Han Solo Audition Tapes

Before Alden Ehrenreich nabbed the part, every actor worth their salt tried out to play the "Star Wars" smuggler.



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#OfficeXmasParty Trailer & Images

In OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, when the CEO tries to close her hard-partying brother's branch, he and his Chief Technical Officer must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.



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Soundtrack Review: #StarTrekBeyond

Star Trek - Music from the Motion Picture is lost in deep space.

Review by Matt Cummings

Star Trek Beyond has done a good job winning over critics and fans, who wondered what we would get from the 50th anniversary of the beloved series. And while its excellent cast and positive story of unity are a few reasons for its box office success, the pedestrian Music from the Motion Picture doesn't stand out as another reason why.

Three-plus years into their five-year mission, the crew of the USS Enterprise boldly explores the final frontier, while their Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) secretly harbors personal doubt. His approaching birthday will see him live longer than his father (who died aboard the USS Kelvin in the 2009 reboot), and thus Kirk is entertaining a promotion and desk job at the Yorktown space station. His science officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) is also wondering if his future lies in helping to repopulate New Vulcan. But when The Enterprise is viciously destroyed by the powerful new enemy Krall (Idris Elba), the crew is scattered on a distant planet and must band together with the alien Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to defeat a threat greater than any they've faced before.

Composer Michael Giacchino, best known for his work on Alias and most recently Jurassic World, returns to score his third Trek film, and the results are underwhelming to say the least. It's not that Giacchino is the wrong man for this series - as he created the now-well-regarded theme for the 2009 reboot - it's that he's only been good lately at creating music that accompanies rather than leads. For most of this 18-track score released by Varèse Sarabande Records, Giacchino plots a course into dull and uninspiring music, neither separating nor offending. Emerging from the theater, I couldn't remember any music which stood out to me - even though I thoroughly enjoyed the film - which usually isn't a good sign. Phasers on stun.

One of the many strengths behind The Original Series was its powerful theme and accompanying music, which to me represents the best television score ever. Here, Giacchino doesn't introduce anything new or particularly interesting, returning to his 2009 theme throughout by borrowing from his track Enterprising Young Men. That's ok, so long as other memorable tracks are being produced alongside it. Instead, we get a lot of noisy elements, made to impact the scene without being able to stand on their own. Loud drums, screeching violins, and a menagerie of noise permeate the experience, which usually tells you a lot about the creative team's thoughts about the role of music in their film. An example here is track 12 Mocking Jaylah, which features both a chorus and a full orchestra, but plods and meanders, sounding like random pieces assembled into unruly track that just ends without a meaningful push.

And then there's the rather inventive titles for several tracks. No. 14's Krall-y Krally Oxen Free and 9's Franklin My Dear feel like cheap naming conventions that take away from the importance behind the music as a backbone to any successful visual medium. Star Trek Beyond doesn't hold a candle to scores like 2016's The Neon Demon because it fails to exist outside of the film itself. You don't tie any track here to any particular scene in the movie, because it just isn't crafted that way. Jerry Goldsmith understood that when he created a completely new theme and music for 1979's The Motion Picture, seamlessly integrating it back into The Original Series theme for future films. A great score will allow you to do this, because its DNA is so strong. That's the measure of whether a score is merely noise (like track 15's Shutdown Happens), or if it has the ability to transcend the film itself.

Giacchino will soon score Marvel's Doctor Strange, and I hope that the studio gives him full range to give The Sorcerer Supreme a powerful and memorable theme. He's certainly capable of opening his imagination to strange, new worlds, but none of that is apparent in the highly pedestrian Star Trek Beyond - Music from the Motion Picture. It's a competent but noisy and unremarkable score that luckily doesn't impact my appreciation for the movie. Skip the soundtrack to see the film twice - I promise you won't be disappointed.

Star Trek Beyond is playing everywhere. Music From The Motion Picture is available digitally, will soon warp to a CD release on July 29 (U.S. and Canada), and eventually on August 5, 2016 (rest of the world).

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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T2: TRAINSPOTTING Offical Trailer

Director Danny Boyle, reunites the original cast Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlye, twenty-one years after the release of his breakthrough hit.



Release Date: February 3rd, 2017


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Rihanna Joins Bates Motel Video Announcement

Rihanna has been tapped to play the iconic role of Marion Crane, formerly played by Janet Leigh, in the fifth and final season of A&E’s hit drama series “Bates Motel.” The highly anticipated casting announcement was made  during the season five panel at San Diego Comic-Con.



Creators and executive producers Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse were on hand with cast Vera Farmiga (“Norma”), Freddie Highmore (“Norman”), Max Thieriot (“Dylan Massett”) and Nestor Carbonell (“Sheriff Alex Romero”) to celebrate the casting, the series and speak to the final season.

"We wanted to thrust the iconic role into a contemporary spotlight and redefine it in a meaningful and exciting new way. We also heard Rihanna was a fan of the show, and we were huge fans of hers, so it was the perfect collision of creativity and fate," said executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin.

Additional announcements included: Vera Farmiga to executive produce and return in her Emmy-nominated role as “Norma” after her epic death in the final episodes of season four. Max Thieriot will make his directorial debut and Nestor Carbonell will direct for a third time. Finally, Freddie Highmore will write his second episode alongside executive producers Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse. “Bates Motel” will begin production this fall in Vancouver and will return for an exciting final season in 2017 on A&E.

This contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho gives viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years. “Bates Motel” gives fans access to the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is.


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Monday, July 25, 2016

Movie Review: #HighRise

High-Rise is a gorgeous but insane, sexual mess.

Review by Matt Cummings

If the movie industry nowadays seems hell-bent on searching for the next billion-dollar franchise, 2016 has emphatically demonstrated that creativity - and especially unique productions - still drives the narrative. With the drama/thriller High-Rise, we get one of the weirdest, sexualized, insane, and pretty messes of the year. But it might not be enough to recommend you immediately check it out.

Standing like a monolith among 1970's London, a new kind of apartment living has evolved: one in which every social class supposedly has the ability to live the good life. For Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), that opportunity also means starting anew from his former relationship. But almost immediately, Laing realizes that his new surroundings are anything but equal. He learns that "the architect" Royal (Jeremy Irons) maintains a lavish estate on the top floor, and that his minions just below him throw wild parties complete with Victorian-era garments and snooty attitudes. He also learns that Royal's dream is a work incomplete, as power and other essentials begin to fail building-wide, with the upper floors receiving first priority. Soon Laing finds himself caught between these extremes; as social order begins to break down, he begins a dance with insanity while his neighbors engage in fierce battles for their very survival.

High-Rise is based on the JG Ballard 1975 book which took a harsh look at social classes. Considered difficult if not impossible to turn into a movie, Director Ben Wheatley sure gives it a college try, by embracing its depravity utterly and completely. Therefore, be prepared for brazen nakedness, promises of fetishes made whole, and other taboos utterly ravaged. And while that might sound like a glorified porno, it's more A Clockwork Orange than that, filled with enough terrific performances to get you through the weird. Hiddleston has become a superb character actor, ready to bring Ballard's book to life. We first see Laing at the end of his story - eating the leg of a dog on a spit - before turning back the clock three months before the apartments go completely tits up. Hiddleston initially feels as if he's trying out for James Bond, injecting Laing with a sense of cool detachment. But as the building falls apart, so does Laing, and here Hiddleston transitions into psychotic with that same icy demeanor. He's also quite naked here - as is Sienna Miller who plays his upstairs neighbor - which should impress those looking for High-Rise to kick things into Weird Gear.

And boy does High-Rise come out to play. The only sexual act Wheatley doesn't show is S&M, but anal sex and full frontal male nudity were apparently OK to the British director. The film also shows the fake-pregnant Elizabeth Moss smoking and drinking, and later getting banged by Hiddleston. DP Laurie Rose presents us with stark and sometimes disturbing images, all wrapped in 1970's-era clothing and sets; but the scene is never just imagery, and in the end we're never left wanting visually.

But the real question remains: does all of this depravity make High-Rise an absolute must-see? Sadly, its script by Wheatley's wife Amy Jump is just too scattered in its storytelling, introducing us to too many characters to keep track, bathing them in dirt, nudity, and drugs along the way. There's the womanizing Wilder (the always excellent Luke Evans), Helen (Moss), the diabolical Pangbourne (SJF fave James Purefoy), and the building handyman (Reece Sheersmith) who keeps a murdered friend in his apartment after things go sideways. Then add Royal, his detatched wife, and Miller's sexual tidalwave Charlotte. After awhile, all the naked bodies, drowned dogs, and sexually ravaged people begin to stack up like cord wood. It became difficult to know who was screwing who and which ones were either victims or winners. Perhaps that's the point, but it becomes an excuse rather than a way to show the death of the building.

High-Rise - as well as this year's exceptional The Neon Demon - have 'cult film' written all over it, both of which snub their noses at the billion-dollar franchise by pushing the genre to incredible visual heights. To Wheatley and Jump, this is truly independent film, with little worry if audiences will accept its wild ride. But this isn't student film either, as every creative force here powers one of the most unique and visually arresting films I've ever seen. It's such a bold stance to take, even if the film becomes as messy as the apartment itself, a war zone of broken promises and shattered dreams while Royal powerlessly looks on. I can see this and Demon taking years for audiences to break down, and perhaps a future viewing will encourage me to reconsider my concerns.

For now, take in High-Rise if the idea of all the disappointing Summer 2016 movies have left you wanting something deeper. If you enjoy a little (actually, a lot) of bold risk-taking in your films, I couldn't recommend High-Rise any more. At least you'll be thrilled by great performances, stellar cinematography, and gorgeous set pieces. Beyond that, it's anyone's game.

High-Rise is rated R for violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content/graphic nudity, language and some drug use 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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The Last Ship Comic-Con Trailer & Extended Clip

TNT Unveils New Trailer and Extended Clip for The Last Ship During Comic-Con® International Panel Session.



TNT gave fans of its blockbuster drama The Last Ship a couple of very special treats during a panel session today at Comic-Con® International in San Diego. The treats came in the form of a new trailer teasing the second half of the show's third season, plus an extended clip from an upcoming episode. The panel session featured The Last Ship stars Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin and Bridget Regan, along with showrunner Steven Kane.

Watch the extended clip after the Jump...



The Last Ship is in the midst of its thrilling third season, which finds Captain Chandler and the crew of the Nathan James shifting their attention to Asia after hearing rumblings that the Chinese leader has been hoarding the "Scott cure" from the infected people in the region, as well as rumors of a possible mutation of the original virus causing a fresh outbreak in Japan. present an exclusive sneak preview of what's yet to come this season.

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