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Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Walking Dead Getting Budget Cut. Will It Hurt The Show?

You're a cable TV network, and you suddenly have the biggest hit in the channel's history on your hands. So what do you do next? Take an ax to the show's budget, of course.

Okay, that hasn't happened yet. But in a roundtable interview with TV showrunners sponsored by the Hollywood Reporter, The Walking Dead head honcho Frank Darabont expressed his concern that AMC might slash the show's budget for its second season—despite the show being the biggest original series success ever for the network.

Darabont said,

 "Creatively I have no complaints thus far. But I believe if they do move ahead with what they're talking about, it will affect the show creatively ... in a negative way. Which just strikes me as odd. If you have an asset, why would you punish it?"

Darabont wasn't alone in his fears, with Boardwalk Empire producer Terence Winter saying that his hit HBO series was also looking at budget cuts.

The video of the discussion is below. Production is now underway for season two of The
Walking Dead, with the 13-episode arc set to premiere in October.

Do you think AMC is being foolish for wanting to cut the budget for The Walking Dead? With the show such a hit, what could possibly be the motivation for such a move?

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Eliza Dushku To Star In Torchwood Spinoff

Remember how Jane Espenson teased us a couple of weeks ago with some cryptic tweets hinting that Eliza Dushku might star in a Torchwood spinoff? Well, the mystery has become a reality.

Espenson had tweeted (among other things) that she had "faith in Torchwood: Web of Lies," which we all hoped would mean what we all thought it meant—that Dushku, the actress who'd brought the character of Faith to life on Buffy the Vamppre Slayer, would be starring in a new Torchwood series. And James Hibberd over at EW just broke the news ... that she will!

According to Hibberd:

Dushku has been signed to star in an online animated "motion comic" series based on Starz upcoming Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Titled Torchwood: Web of Lies, Dushku will be front and center in the short-form story, which will also have voice appearances by Torchwood stars John Barrowman as Capt. Jack Harkness and Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper. Jane Espenson, who has worked on Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica and Torchwood, is penning the series along with co-writer Ryan Scott.

The web series will be made up of 10 episodes, each three minutes long, with the first installment launching before Miracle Day premieres and the others going online after each subsequent episode airs.

Looking forward to seeing (or should that be "hearing") Dushku saving the Earth side by side with Barrowman and Myles? We know we are. Because as far as we're concerned, there can never be too much Torchwood!

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Source-SyFY
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Fear Factor Returns To NBC

When NBC revived Fear Factor this week, the network gave executive producer Matt Kunitz specific marching orders. “They only wanted it if they were going to get bigger and better than before,”  For a reality competition series that last aired original episodes in 2006, fulfilling those instructions won’t be difficult considering how far technology has evolved in that time.

'Fear Factor' Lives Again at NBC

Here are five things to know about the new Fear Factor.

It will be bigger and better. A good jumping off point for Fear Factor 2.0 will be the show’s final stunt that involved contestants dangling from helicopter unscrewing grenades off a moving Army truck heading off an aircraft carrier. “It’s been six years since we shot Fear Factor and in that time technology has come a long way,” Kunitz says. “Our ability to fling, drop and shoot people is much greater.” The falls, for example, stand to be dramatically different. “With the new technology like accelerators and all the different tools, I can drop somebody from a 50-story building at full speed -- basically freefall -- until they are 5 feet above concrete then slow them down,” he says. “Having that new tool is going to elevate the level of what we can do and the fear that we can cause someone.”

Gross is good. Insect consumption will still be a factor. “We’re still going to do gross because that’s the water-cooler part of the show,” Kunitz says. As grand as the launch off the aircraft carrier was, people still want to talk about contestants eating bugs or being placed in a coffin full of rats. “That stuff still gets people talking and we would be crazy not to include that.” Kunitz says the skin-crawling element will comprise a third of each episode. “In a typical episode, there are three segments and two will be big Hollywood stunts with one a gross stunt.”

The creative team will return. Stunt coordinator Pat Romano, who boarded the reality series in its sixth and then-final season, has experience on the big-screen stunt-rigging side with credits including Rush Hour 3, The Number 23 and Black Hawk Down. “When we brought Pat on in the last season, the show changed dramatically and got much better,” Kunitz says. “He comes from the movie world and brings a real cinematic element to the really big fantastic stunts. We were just getting really good at [big stunts] when we went off the air. You’re definitely going to see more high-risk and bigger cinematic stunts.” And while the reboot is still in the early stages, Kunitz also notes that there’s a “good chance” host Joe Rogan will return. “That’s a conversation we’ll be having very soon.” Also returning: director Rupert Thompson.

It’s a family show. One of the things Kunitz enjoys most about Fear Factor is that parents and kids can watch it -- like his other show, Wipeout -- together. “It’s become my brand,” he notes. However, don’t look for kids to be featured in the reboot. “We’ve featured families before but you can’t go as wild and crazy with a kid as you can with an adult -- and we want to be wild and crazy and take it right to the limit and push it,” he says.

It will look better. When Fear Factor ended original episodes in 2006, there were only a few scripted series being broadcast in HD. “We’re going to be in HD for the first time,” Kunitz notes.

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Easter Eggs For X-Men: First Class. Did You Spot Them?

"X-Men: First Class" hits theaters this weekend, and like all good comic book movies, it's packed full of nods to its comic book source material and the existing X-Men movie universe. Via splashpage.

If you have seen the movie were you able to spot the Easter eggs? Did you SPOT THAT MUTANT? Or See the two Cameos in the film?


I got details on a few Easter eggs you don't want to get left out on.




WILLIAM STRYKER, SR.
In 2003's "X2," Brian Cox played William Stryker, a government agent on a quest to eradicate all mutants. In "X-Men: First Class," we're introduced to his father, William Stryker, Sr. Playing the role is actor Don Creech, and there's a mention of the younger William Stryker during a pivotal scene in the film.

SPOT THAT MUTANT!
When Charles Xavier tries out Cerebro for the first time, he scans the world for mutants to make contact with. At one point, his search pauses on a dark-skinned girl with bright white hair. Could it be the weather-controlling mutant? What about the other young mutants his search pans over?

"WE'RE BROTHERS..."
Late in the film, Magneto refers to the mutants who side with him as his "brothers" — which could easily be interpreted as a nod to "The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants," the group he eventually forms to oppose the X-Men.

MYSTERY CAMEO #1
A character everyone's been asking about makes a brief but memorable appearance at one point in the film, and though the details have already been making the rounds online, I'll leave this one for you to find on your own. Trust me: you won't miss it.

MYSTERY CAMEO #2
In what might be an even more surprising cameo, there's a nice nod to one of the actresses who played a big role in the original "X-Men" franchise. You'll have to keep an eye out for this one, but it's worth it.

And there you have it, folks: Five elements to look for in "X-Men: First Class" when you head to the theaters this weekend. There are definitely more of them in the film, so make sure to let me know what you find!

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance To Ride Into Comic-Con 2011

I wouldn't really call this news but for the folks that are excited for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. We got some news for you.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, known together professionally as Neveldine/Taylor tweeted some interesting and expected news. If they want this film to have any chance the need to bring it BIG.

I for one will have to be blown away for me to even step into the theater to see this film.

GRSOV update:

 "this movie is fucking badass" "can't wait to reveal the evolved GR...... comicon seems like a year away" "not sure where the last one came from, but this GR comes from nightmares"

Set several years after the first film finds Johnny Blaze in self-imposed exile from the world. Blaze has become a tormented soul, convinced that his powers are a curse. Former stuntman Blaze is then approached by Moreau, a member of the monastic order of Michael, the warrior angel. Moreau seeks a protector for a mother and son duo who are being pursued by a figure named Roarke – a fellow with a detailed knowledge of the Ghost Rider and his “… different identities over the centuries.

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Bobby Glickert & Justin Lin To Produce Sci-Fi Film For Universal

Universal has acquired an untitled sci-fi crime thriller project from Bobby Glickert, a former assistant turned burgeoning filmmaker. Scott Stuber and Fast Five helmer Justin Lin are producing.

Glickert wrote the outline for the pitch and will direct. He'll also be a producer. The studio will search for a writer to pen the screenplay.

The pick-up brings additional heat to Glickert, who was a P.A. on Transformers and Iron Man, then acted as an assistant to Lin on Fast & Furious. In between, he directed a couple of short films: the action-tinged The Descendent and the horror tale Road to Moloch.

Glickert jumped up several rungs last July when he, with Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners attached as producers, set up a spec sci-fi project at Paramount. That untitled project is still in development.
The new project’s details are being kept secret but speaking to Heat Vision, Lin said: “Taking a step back, as a viewer, the tone and the gritty approach to the sci-fi genre taken here is something that hasn’t been seen in a while.”

Insiders say the project is in the vein of the Michael Mann crime thriller Heat and the Jason Bourne spy-action movies.

Lin said even when Glickert was an assistant, they always talked about projects. “We’ve always shared information and wanted to be part of something we could start from the ground up.”

Part of the appeal for Lin and Glickert is to work with people of like minds in a fun and creative environment, something that doesn’t always happen in the corporate culture.

“When this project gets going, this core group is going to be poeple who’ve I worked with and who’s he’s worked with,” said Lin. “And this will be good to do on a studio film.”

The project was brought into Stuber Pictures by Nick Nesbitt and Michael Clear, with Jon Mone overseeing for the company. Jeff Kirschenbaum and Jay Polidoro will shepherd for the studio.

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Source-Heatvision
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Friday, June 3, 2011

New Captain America T.V. Spot

Here is a new TV spot Captain America: The First Avenger, we  get to see some footage not shown before. Short and sweet & to the point.

Watch the clip after the Jump...



Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment… Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Solider Serum and bombarded by “vita-rays.” Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America. Armed with his indestructible shield and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and as leader of the Avengers.

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New Green Lantern Images

Warner Bros. Has delviered a ton of new images from their upcoming film Green Lantern. With less then two weeks away from opening in theaters it's time for the Hype of the film.

See more images after the Jump...

























In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

Campbell directs “Green Lantern” from a screenplay by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, story by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim, based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

The film also stars Blake Lively (upcoming “The Town,” TV’s “Gossip Girl”) as the spirited Carol Ferris, a test pilot and the heir apparent to her father’s aviation company; Peter Sarsgaard (“An Education,” “Flightplan”) as scientist Dr. Hector Hammond; Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes”) as Sinestro, Jordan’s powerful mentor in the Green Lantern Corps; Jay O. Sanders (“Revolutionary Road”) as Carl Ferris, Carol’s aircraft designer dad; Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars” Episodes II and III) as Abin Sur, Jordan’s alien predecessor; Taika Waititi (TV’s “The Flight of the Conchords”) as flight navigator Tom Kalmaku, Hal’s good friend and confidante; Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as enigmatic government scientist Amanda Waller; and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins (“Mystic River”) as Hector’s influential father, Senator Robert Hammond.

The film is being produced by Donald De Line (“The Italian Job”) and Greg Berlanti (upcoming “Life As We Know It”). Herbert W. Gains and Andrew Haas serve as executive producers. Geoff Johns and Lucienne Papon are co-producing.

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Release Date For James Bond Film

We all knew that 007's new outing would be hitting cinema screens in late 2012. But Sony have today confirmed that Bond 23 - the intriguing working title for, erm, Bond 23 - will be released on October 26 of next year, and not November, the traditional slot for Bond.

It's good to see that Daniel Craig's Bond is keeping the British end up - In Europe they will see the film two weeks before it is releases in the USA. The films opens in the US on November 9th.

Oh, and we sincerely hope that Bond 23 is the actual title of the film. How ballsy would that be?

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Source-Empire
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Brandon Routh To Star In Crooked Arrows

"Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh is set to topline "Crooked Arrows," an underdog sports pic set in the world of lacrosse.

Steve Rash ("Can't Buy Me Love") is directing from a script by Todd Baird.

Story follows a rag-tag Native American high school lacrosse team that is forced to join the local prep school league, which is comprised of better trained and equipped rivals.

Routh will play the tribal chairman's part-Native American entrepreneurial son who is tasked with coaching the reservation's motley lacrosse team in the hopes that he'll reconnect with his fellow tribe members. An unlikely and uplifting journey to the prep league's championship game ensues.

J. Todd Harris and Mitchell Peck are producing, while Sports Studio ("Miracle") will co-produce with a focus on authentic athletic casting, outfitting and choreography. Reebok is the film's first athletic corporate sponsor. Production is scheduled to start this July in the Boston area.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Routh attended the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four in Baltimore, where "Crooked Arrows" held an open casting call. "I was moved by the script," said Routh, whose ancestors hail from the Kickapoo Tribe. "While it has all the ingredients of a classic underdog sports movie, it actually appealed to me on a deeper level. I think the father-son and brother-sister dynamics of the story are compelling, as is [the] more spiritual Native American aspect."

"We couldn't be happier," boasted Harris. "Brandon is a highly recognizable and well-liked actor around the world, and he brings authenticity to the athletic and Native aspects of the film."

Routh recently wrapped the indie "Missing William," which co-stars his wife, Courtney Ford. Thesp last starred in "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night," an adaptation of the Italian horror comic book.

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Source-Variety
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spider-Man To Swing Into Comic-Com 2011

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™” SWINGS INTO COMIC-CON® –

AND YOU CAN GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO REPRESENT

SPIDER-MAN FANS EVERYWHERE

BY BECOMING THE FACE OF THE FAN®

The Amazing Spider-Man” Face of the Fan Contest Begins Today

CULVER CITY, Calif., June 2, 2011 – In anticipation of the July 3, 2012 worldwide release of The Amazing Spider-Man™ in 3D, the cast and filmmakers will discuss the movie for the first time as they address the fans at Comic-Con® San Diego. One fan can be a part of the action by proving he or she is the ultimate Spider-Man fan in The Amazing Spider-Man Face of the Fan® contest. The contest winner will be the “face of the fan” at Comic-Con, and have the opportunity to meet the talent and filmmakers and conduct an interview with them…

US residents 18 years of age and older can go to www.faceofthefan.com/TheAmazingSpider-Man to enter the contest, which begins today and runs through June 27, 2011. To enter the contest, users submit a sixty-second video of themselves answering the question, “Why should you be the Face of the Fan correspondent at Comic-Con?” Complete rules and instructions are available at www.faceofthefan.com/TheAmazingSpider-Man.

All entries will be judged and one winner will be chosen to attend Comic-Con San Diego 2011. The winner will meet the cast and filmmakers, and have a chance to ask them fan questions gathered from the social communities on the web about The Amazing Spider-Man.

The prize includes one trip for two (2 days/2 nights) to attend Comic-Con San Diego 2011, including hotel accommodations, roundtrip airfare, and transportation to and from the hotel, as well as two passes to attend Comic-Con.

Commenting on the announcement, Marc Weinstock, president, Worldwide Marketing for Sony Pictures, said, “We’re thrilled to be bringing Spider-Man back to Comic-Con – it’s an exciting place to give the fans an inside look into what the new Spider-Man film is all about.”

Dwight Caines, president, Worldwide Digital Marketing for Sony Pictures, added, “The Face of the Fan® program is all about connecting fans from all over the country to the films they care about the most by using the web and social networking tools. We expect there will be exciting Spider-Man news coming out of Comic-Con, and the contest winner will be the fan correspondent giving moviegoers everywhere an inside look.”

Face Of The Fan® is a Sony Pictures Entertainment initiative that lets moviegoers and TV viewers get involved with Sony Pictures’ projects by participating in online casting calls and contests—turning today’s fans into tomorrow’s stars™. The concept was launched in 2007, tied to Spider-Man 3, when two fans were chosen to bring Spider-Man news to the fans following the film’s website. In November 2010, Face Of The Fan began offering casting calls for various Sony Pictures Entertainment films, including such Screen Gems projects as Lakeshore Entertainment’s Underworld and Rainforest Film’s upcoming Think Like A Man, which is based on Steve Harvey’s national best-seller, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. The site also features contests in which winners can have an opportunity to appear on the red carpet at movie premieres, meet or interview talent, filmmakers, and producers, or even go on the sets of their favorite shows. Many exciting opportunities are available through Face Of The Fan®, and this program provides fans with a way to share their enthusiasm and get face to face with key decision-makers and talent.

A Columbia Pictures presentation of a Marvel Studios production, The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans, is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The film is produced by Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

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PLANET OF THE APES Trailer

20th Century Fox has delivered the second trailer for the upcoming film RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.


The film stars James Franco, Andy Serkis, Frida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, and Tom Felton. James Franco plays a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer's by testing on apes. When test subject Caesar suddenly begins to mutate rapidly, the scientist takes him home to remove him from the cruel lab doctors.

The film is a prequel/reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise.


Watch the trailer after the Jump...



In the film’s story, a single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other -- and to the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. It stars James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo and Andy Serkis as Caesar. Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark are producing for Chernin Entertainment under its pact with Fox. Rupert Wyatt is directing from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, who are also producing.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens in theaters everywhere August 5, 2011.

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Tron: Legacy Mural Being Painted By A Graffiti Artist

Time-lapse video of the talented graffiti artist Jim Vision creating a 65-foot Tron: Legacy mural in London.

The video was shot over 4 days using two Canon 5D MK 2 cameras and a 3D rig. It's pretty amazing video to watch.

Watch the video after the Jump...


Tron Legacy : Aerosol Mural from End of the line on Vimeo.

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The Hunger Games Trilogy To Be Made Into Four Films

Convinced that it has the makings of a hit franchise, Lionsgate is planning to spin the three books in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy into four feature films -- a la the extended film adaptations of the Twilight trilogy and the Harry Potter novels.

"The property is generating tremendous buzz and excitement, and it all points to a major Lionsgate franchise in the making," CEO Jon Feltheimer said during an analysts' call Wednesday.

The Hunger Games, the first film in the series, which is set in a post-apocalyptic world where teams of teens compete for their lives in an annual TV event, started production last week in North Carolina and is slated for release March 23.

Joe Drake, Lionsgate's motion picture group president, said the title was the studio's highest-selling film when it was offered for international sales at the recent Cannes Film Market.

He added that while the Hunger Games books have sold mostly in North America, they are starting to penetrate the international market, raising the movies' box office potential overseas.

"We have distributors who consider this as their big brand next year, the movie that can change their company," Drake said.

Although the film has attracted a high-profile cast -- which includes hot new talents like Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Banks as well as established names like Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson -- Lionsgate said it held the line on the back-end payouts it offered to bring them on board.

"Our business affairs did an extraordinary job. Although everyone is being treated fairly, we do retain the upside in all of the pictures," Drake said.

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JUST GO WITH IT Interactive Games

If you can't wait until June 7th for the DVD release of the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston's film JUST GO WITH IT.


Check out these great new games for for the film.

Spot The Difference Game:

Just Go With It Trivia Game:

Think you have what it takes to be the ultimate wing man or wing woman? Don't just wing it... nail it! We've got the top ten tips to show you how.

Check Out The Tips:

FACEBOOK PAGE:

Please find additional links below, and for more updates, visit the Just Go With It Official Site:


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Jackie Robinson Film On The Way

Legendary Pictures is developing and producing a film based on Jackie Robinson, the first African American Major League Baseball player.

Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential) will write and direct the project.

"My family and I are thrilled to have this important film on Jack produced by Legendary Pictures," she said in a statement. "We are proud of his lasting impact on our society, and we know that the legacy he left is inspiring and worth preserving."

Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, is consulting on the project, which falls under Legendary's partnership with Warner Bros.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Poster & Trailer

Last week we brought you the Red-Band trailer for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, today we have the Green-Band official trailer for the film. Another treat we have in store for you is the first international poster for the film.

he film stars Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgård, Embeth Davidtz, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic and Julian Sands.

The film is the second film based on the Swedish novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The first film was the 2009 Swedish-language adaptation. The upcoming film is written by Steven Zaillian and directed by David Fincher.

The film is scheduled to be released on December 21, 2011.

Watch the trailer after the Jump..





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POTC:On Stranger Tides Movie Review By Jonathan Cyfer

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review
By: Jonathan Cyfer

Guest blogger The Missing Man is back and this time he rolled in with the tides for his review of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. You can compare my review with his after your done.

Captain Jack is Back!

I had an extra day off after getting back from vacation, so some friends and I decided to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). Like most people (and most reviewers) after the disappointing third installment of the "Pirates" franchise, I was a little concerned that seeing "Stranger Tides" at the theatre would be a waste of my money. After all, both Thor and X-Men: First Class are also out and if I wanted to wait a couple of weeks, I could go see Green Lantern. However, Captain Jack not only beckoned me but my movie companions as well, so it was off in search of the Fountain of Youth for the lot of us.

It's hard to say that I was disappointed when I didn't really expect much. It was better than "At World's End" but the film didn't do justice to the original "Pirates" film Curse of the Black Pearl.

What did I like?

Johnny Depp is always entertaining and he plays the narcissistic, corrupt, yet amazingly "loveable" Captain Jack with his best panache. No guy has ever worn eye makeup better.

The action sequences were passable and required, the two most noteworthy was Jack's romp around the streets of London and the "attack of the Mermaids" (and if you have any romantic or lusty fantasies about mermaids, the "chickens of the sea" served up in "Stranger Tides" will just about kill them dead...except for one, but I'm getting to that).

This film once again reunites Captain Sparrow with his arch-nemesis Captain Barbossa (played wonderfully by Geoffery Rush), this time out to gain the secrets of the Fountain of Youth for the King of England (or does he have an ulterior motive?).

I guess Disney thought it was high time for Captain Sparrow (I have to say "Captain Sparrow" rather than just "Sparrow" or "Jack", since he gets kind of offended when I don't), to have a (jilted) girlfriend, so they introduced Angelica Malon (played by Penelope Cruz). I couldn't figure out if she loved Sparr...Captain Jack or hated him (or both), but I think the character had trouble deciding that for herself, too. Captain Jack only admitted to having "stirrings" and not quite "feelings". Then again, he's not exactly the romantic type, unless you include how much he loves himself.

What I didn't like.

The film is entertaining and a good way to kill 136 minutes, but that's really about it. The scale is smaller than any of the films in the first trilogy (rumor has it that "Stranger Tides" may be the first of a second "Pirates" trilogy). I asked my movie companions and we all reached the same conclusion. This isn't a film that you either love or hate, but one where everyone will leave the theatre feeling "OK". I actually did laugh outloud at least twice during the film, usually at something Captain Jack said or did, but I wasn't rolling in the aisles as it were.

Apparently Disney felt they needed an additional romantic angle besides Jack (Captain) and Angelica, something more "pure", something in the vein of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth swann (Keira Knightly), so they invented, uh, introduced the characters of the Missionary Philip (Sam Claflin) and the Mermaid (I kid you not) Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey). Their relationship wasn't quite as "straightforward" as Will's and Elizabeth's, seeing as how Philip is human and a Christian Missionary and Syrena is a mix of man-eating (and not in a good way) human and fishy underbits.

Nevertheless, Syrena is the only mermaid in the film that didn't try to have seamen and seafood and Philip did have pity on her after she was captured by Blackbeard, even though he was the one who stabbed her in the tail.

Syrena and Philip didn't "insert" well into the film. Rather than being an integral part of the storyline, they seemed like a poor, frayed patch over a rather large plot hole, left behind by the departure of Bloom's and Knightly's characters. I could see what Disney was going for and I wished it had worked, but unfortunately, Claflin and Berges-Frisbey just didn't add that much to the film. Too bad, because Berges-Frisbey has an intense, almost other-worldly beauty (at the tender age of 24 when she played the part and turning 25 just a few days ago) that made her fairly believable as a mermaid.

Ian McShane turns in a good performance as Blackbeard (yeah, that Blackbeard) and I have to admit, when the Spanish turn up at the Fountain (there are three different interests racing to get to the Fountain at the same time...go figure), they surprised me by their reaction. I kind of doubt weather, under the circumstances, any person or group would have been that noble.

Keith Richards does a cameo as Captain Teague (Captain Jack's father) but except for the "hey, that's cool" reaction, it was a wasted trip for Richards.

What's the secret of the Fountain of Youth? Does Jack become immortal (he had a shot at that one in the previous film)? Whatever happened to the Black Pearl? And where the heck is that damn monkey?

I won't tell. If you want to find out, they're all in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It's not a great film, but it's good. I have a rather dark feeling that it may be better than some of the other hopefuls that have been or are about to be released this summer.

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Twilight BREAKING DAWN MTV Teaser Trailer

Here is a very quick teaser for BREAKING DAWN' EXCLUSIVE AT 2011 MTV MOVIE AWARDS! SNEAK PEEK VIDEO. If you blink you might just miss it. Jason Sudeikis Hosts the 20th Annual “2011 MTV Movie Awards”

LIVE on Sunday, June 5 at 9pm ET/8pm CT

Something to hold over Twi-hars until this weekend.

Watch the clip after the Jump...


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Spielberg & Abrams Super 8 Screening Contest In Sacramento

If you have been living on another planet somewhere the past few months, you must know that the world has been excited for Steven Spielberg and J. J. Abrams's Super 8 to come out.


Super 8 is a 1970s-set thrilller wherein a group of teenage filmmakers witness a devastating train crash - only to learn that there may be even more destructive forces threatening their town. It's been shrouded in secrecy to date, but just a few hints of what's in store are now beginning to emerge.


While the movie doesn't come out til June 10, 2011 in both conventional and IMAX theaters in the U.S.


Paramount Pictures has provide me with codes to randomly give-out to fans for the upcoming screening of the film in Sacramento,Ca.


The screening will take place on June 7, 2011 at 7:30 PM at Century 16 Greenback Lane, 6233 Garfield Ave.- At former site of Cinedome 9, Sacramento, CA 95841


For more information on how to win tickets after the Jump...



J.J. Abrams started the production company Bad Robot. What was your favorite 80's robot toy and why?

Please email me you answers to sandwichjohn@sandwichjohnfilms.com

Winners will be notified by Monday June 6th




The Paramount Pictures release is set in Ohio in 1979 and introduces a troupe of six youngsters who are using a Super 8 camera to make their own zombie movie. One fateful night, their project takes them to a lonely stretch of rural railroad tracks and, as the camera rolls, calamity strikes — a truck collides with an oncoming locomotive and a hellacious derailment fills the night with screaming metal and raining fire. Then something emerges from the wreckage, something decidedly inhuman.

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