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Saturday, December 28, 2013

First Look At Ben Affleck In Gone Girl

As marriages go, David Fincher and Gone Girl is shaping up to be a whole lot more auspicious than that of the two characters at the story’s heart. Empire and 20th Century Fox is proud to give you a first-look pic from the film which also features in our new issue, showing Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), shortly after the disappearance of his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) early in the piece. Note those badges as Nick attempts to galvanise the people of North Carthage, Missouri in his quest to find his missing wife.

Gillian Flynn, the ex-journo behind the bestseller and its adaptation, has conjured a story that oscillates neatly from taut domestic drama and thriller and back again - often in the same beat. It’s perfect Fincher terrain, as anyone who’s seen The Game and Panic Room recently will testify. The central mystery powers the plot, but it’s the cracks in their relationship, deeper than a Perth batting wicket from the get-go, that will make the fallout so scarily relatable.

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Source-Empire
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Friday, December 27, 2013

47 Ronin Could Be One Of The Biggest Hollywood's Bombs

The samurai tentpole, starring Keanu Reeves, opened Christmas Day and is projected to earn under $20 million through Sunday — the worst debut for a $150 million-plus movie in 2013.

The film finished sixth on Thursday with a meager $3.4 million.

Internationally, “47 Ronin” has opened in 14 territories for a total of $10 million through Wednesday. Though the film’s opening two weeks ago in Japan was dire, it finished first in its Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan openings.

Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp., issued a statement confirming the writedown but did not disclose its size.

“Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment,” the studio said. “In the case of ’47 Ronin,’ we adjusted film costs in previous quarters and as a result our financial performance will not be negatively impacted this quarter by its theatrical performance.”

Universal saw solid performances this year from “Fast and Furious 6″ and “Despicable Me 2.” It’s finishing third in overall U.S. box office with more than $1.4 billion in grosses, trailing Warner Bros. and Disney.

Earlier this year, Disney took a writedown on “The Lone Ranger” after losing nearly $200 million on the Johnny Depp Western.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance For Screening For PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES on Thursday, January 2 @ 7PM in Sacramento at Century Stadium 14.


PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES is an upcoming 2014 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Christopher B. Landon. It is a spinoff of the Paranormal Activity horror movie franchise. It is also Landon's second directorial effort, after Burning Palms, and the first to be shot in found footage style.


The story begins in June 2012, at a party in Oxnard, California. After a woman dies in the apartment beneath the party, some party goers camera to investigate. They discover items associated with black magic rituals, even the missing tapes from Paranormal Activity 3. When Jesse, the film's lead protagonist, discovers an inhuman bite mark on his arm, strange forces pursue him while Jesse's loved ones attempt to save him.


Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and screenings.


Official Website-



See how to win tickets after the Jump...

Head on over to GOFOBO and enter Code: SANDAJYV

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

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES In San Francisco

Win Tickets To An Advance For Screening For PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES on Thursday, January 2 @ 7PM in San Francisco.


PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES is an upcoming 2014 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Christopher B. Landon. It is a spinoff of the Paranormal Activity horror movie franchise. It is also Landon's second directorial effort, after Burning Palms, and the first to be shot in found footage style.


The story begins in June 2012, at a party in Oxnard, California. After a woman dies in the apartment beneath the party, some party goers camera to investigate. They discover items associated with black magic rituals, even the missing tapes from Paranormal Activity 3. When Jesse, the film's lead protagonist, discovers an inhuman bite mark on his arm, strange forces pursue him while Jesse's loved ones attempt to save him.


Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and screenings.


Official Website-



See how to win tickets after the Jump...

Head on over to GOFOBO and enter Code: SANDQFJV

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

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MILLION DOLLAR ARM Trailer Is Here Starring Jon Hamm

The new trailer for MILLION DOLLAR ARM is here.

In a last ditch effort to save his career as a sports agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turninto a Major League Baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a realityshow competition called “Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of a cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin) he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home toAmerica to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India — the boys, who have never left their rural villages — are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball — JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell) — learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.

Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Tom McCarthy, Walt Disney Pictures’ drama “Million Dollar Arm” stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell, Madhur Mittal, Pitobash and Alan Arkin. The producers are Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth. The executive producers are Palak Patel, Kevin Hollaran,Bill Simmons and Connor Schell. The film will be release in the United States on May 16, 2014.

The film stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell, Madhur Mittal, Pitobash and Alan Arkin.



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DRAFT DAY Trailer Starring KEVIN COSTNER & JENNIFER GARNER

On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he's willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.

Film stars KEVIN COSTNER, JENNIFER GARNER, DENIS LEARY, FRANK LANGELLA, SAM ELLIOT, SEAN COMBS, TERRY CREWS, with ELLEN BURSTYN, and CHADWICK BOSEMAN.




Directed by IVAN REITMAN
Written by RAJIV JOSEPH & SCOTT ROTHMAN
Produced by IVAN REITMAN, p.g.a., ALI BELL, p.g.a., JOE MEDJUCK, p.g.a.
Executive Producers TOM POLLOCK, MICHAEL BEUGG, GIGI PRITZKER, WILLIAM LISCHAK, MICHAEL NATHANSON
Starring KEVIN COSTNER, JENNIFER GARNER, DENIS LEARY, FRANK LANGELLA, SAM ELLIOT, SEAN COMBS, TERRY CREWS, with ELLEN BURSTYN, and CHADWICK BOSEMAN

On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he's willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.

In theaters nationwide on April 11, 2014.

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The Wolf Of Wall Street Review. Electric Performance By Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wolf Of Wall Street Review
By: MattInRC 

An electric performance by Leonardo DiCaprio saves The Wolf of Wall Street from becoming a coked-up hot mess.


As the Oscar season and 2013 concludes, we're treated a rather raucous submission: Martin Scorsese's epic The Wolf of Wall Street, a big, overbearing, coked-up, sexed-up delight of bacchanalia proportions that it almost OD's on itself. This is Gordon Gecko's Wall Street tuned up about 50 notches; the question is, does that make for an Oscar-winning experience? The answer is decidedly yes and no.


Based on the Jordan Belfort autobiography, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the man behind the curtain, an investor and swindler with few morals who rides a wave of drugs, sex, and booze to financial ruin. At film's beginning, he's a wide-eyed stock lapdog looking for a break when a chance lunch meeting with an insane senior broker (Matthew McConaughey) opens Jordan's eyes to real world. Unfortunately Black Monday hits and the firm has to let Jordan go, forcing him to sell penny stocks out of a strip mall call center. It's here that the wiz kid comes out, selling the proverbial ice to Eskimos and eventually landing his own brokerage house.


Soon, his slick talking scripts are nabbing his nefarious thug employees wads of cash, including the odd Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), who immediately quits his old job after Jordan shows him a paycheck for $70,000. Belfort's empire begins to grow, fueling a life of drugs, booze, and sex that catches on with his team - the office is merely a place to fornicate (even though there's a 'No Sex During Office Hours' sign in the bathrooms in place of 'Employees Must Wash Their Hands'), throw midgets against a giant bullseye, and masturbate in front Jordan's new bombshell wife (Margot Robbie). But the FBI is onto Belfort's scheme, and soon the dour G-Man Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) sets his sights to bring the hotshot and his merry band to justice. As the drugs and booze alter his personality and priorities, Belfort will come face to face with his humanity and lose, dragging his company and family down with him.


Wolf is unabashedly unafraid to show its dirtier, scummy side. From female full frontal to bondage and drug use, this gets as close to an NC-17 rating as we've seen in years. In fact, Scorsese had to make several cuts to bring it down, with the result still a very hard R. But that's the problem with Wolf - for all of its over-the-top skits, its brazen nudity, and its total lack of morals, the film is missing any semblance of a soul, content to display a lifestyle of decadence without infusing any of its characters with a moral center. We at once hate Belfort for what he's become, how he has ruined the lives of so many, but we fail to feel a single shred of pity for him. Unlike the psychopath Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver or the mobster Henry Hill in Goodfellas - both whom we come to almost admire in some sick way - the cynical theme of Wolf throws everyone under the moral bus, leaving the audience with as many empty characters as those in the old ABC afternoon specials. They look good and say nice things, but there is absolutely no reason to like or care about their well-being. Scorsese and Writer Terrance Winter wallow in the gutter from the opening frame, filling it with expletives, cock-blocking, and candles in creative places, but that doesn't necessarily make for good theater.


But, there's a difference between shallow characters and shallow performances, and when viewed in that light Wolf shines bright. As much as Stratton Oakmont depends on Belfort as its noise behind the veritable microphone, Wolf succeeds mainly because of DiCaprio, who keeps this ship afloat with such a powerful presence that he nearly blots out the sun. Whether critics will see things that way come Oscar time is hard to predict, but this is a disaster at sea without him. We're also impressed with newcomer Robbie as Belfort's wife, as well as Hill with his bleached teeth and preppie sweater portrayal. This isn't his first stab as a dramatic actor, and here we like the comedian taking on such a meaty role. When Jordan and Donnie ingest too many decades-old Quaaludes, they destroy a sportscar and later fight for control of the telephone in one of the funniest scenes of the film.


A common theme behind several 2013 movies has centered around 'what are you prepared to do for your family' and Wolf shows it's unafraid of the answer. In this case, it's Belfort's original employees who benefit, receiving his love and loyalty like a hooker who dispenses her tricks with cool efficiency. Anyone else - such as his family and the investors who trusted his slick charm - suffer a good fleecing that's almost painful to watch. This is the pure insanity of Scorsese's fifth collaboration with DiCaprio, ill content to rest on any laurels or good will which the duo have engendered over the years to push the satire genre right to its edge. But it's the length which might ultimately kill any Oscar hopes - at exactly 3 hours, we think the plot could have been told more efficiently, But leave the boobs in.

If this was Scorsese's intention - to create morally ambiguous characters in a cynical world, acting out with an intensity that even a reality TV show couldn't imagine - then count it as a stunning success. In the end, The Wolf of Wall Street will divide audiences much the same as it has for other Scorsese films - you either adore The Aviator, The Departed, Casino, or any of his other brilliant masterpieces, or you despise him for brazenly displaying the seedier layer of humanity with this one. No one should complain about the excellent performances, but with a runtime of 3 hours it's in need of a serious edit. With so few quality entries this year, The Wolf of Wall Street does dominate over the flock of passive sheep, but it's 'big noise/small room' approach may not be a good thing. It's rated a very extreme R for everything imaginable and has a runtime of 180 minutes.

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

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Grudge Match Review. Predictable & Disappointing

Grudge Match Review
By: MattInRC

The predictable and disappointing boxing dilemma Grudge Match leaves us down for the count.


The boxing comedy Grudge Match wants to be a warm and upbeat exclamation point on the role of the elderly in today's 24-hour news cycle society, ready to thump their chests in defiance of any preconceived notions. But a movie must be good for that statement to hold water, and sadly this one isn't.


The film features the washed up boxer Henry 'Razor' Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) who fought in two of the greatest boxing matches in history against Billy 'The Kid' McDonnen (Robert DeNiro). But that was in 1983, and when Sharp suddenly retires, McDonnen is denied a chance to break the tie and beat his nemesis. Fast forward to the present, where Sharp has just lost his job at a steel plant, when promoter Dante Slate, Jr. (Kevin Hart) approaches him to lend his voice to a video game. What Sharp doesn't know is that his old enemy McDonnen is planning to crash the party, and their fisticuffs become top news on ESPN and YouTube. Suddenly, people want to see these two tussle a final time, and so Slate convinces them to train for a winner-take-all battle. We also learn that their disdain for one another centers around Sharps's old girlfriend Sally (Kim Basinger), who slept with McDonnen years ago, producing a son (Jon Bernthal) who now wants to connect with his estranged dad. Meanwhile, Razor employs his former trainer and general pain in the butt Louis 'Lightning' Conlon (Alan Arkin) to whip him into shape. After much posturing (and pill popping) the geriatric teams meet up for a battle that only one of them can win. The question is, do we care?


Grudge Match is the kind of early April/late August film that moviegoers can consume and instantly forget. Sadly, it's been dropped into the middle of the Oscar season with results that are 'meh' at best. Director Peter Segal can't keep the energy or intensity up above a gentle boil, as Sharp comes to terms with his age and McDonnen attempts to recapture his youth. Segal's notorious for making utterly forgettable tripe like Get Smart and Anger Management, but Grudge is a different disaster all together. The one-two punch starts with him and ends with Writers Tim Kelleher and Rodney Rothman delivering a mediocre script that elicits only the faintest response from the audience. Perhaps the three had a good idea when the movie was conceived, but the end result is unconscious before it hits the ground. Stallone can't seem to get out of his own way here, content to play an aging boxer in yet another boxing movie, while DeNiro hasn't put gloves on since Raging Bull and it shows. But the problem goes much deeper than Stallone's choices of films. How anyone can think that he is still a marketable lead actor needs to wake up to the reality that all stars have their end. Sure, he was serviceable in Bullet to the Head and actually awake for Escape Plan, but in Grudge Match he seems tired and just struggling to stay afloat. Like Adam Sandler, it's time to place him in supporting roles or get him into vehicles that others produce, as his slurring of words is getting worse by the movie. He attains zero chemistry with Basinger, who similarly performs like she's asleep at the wheel. Neither she or Stallone feel right in their relationship, and it's clear that any movie magic in rehearsals did not make it to the final cut. DeNiro is also out of place, content to play the role of the jerk at the expense of other actors like LL Cool J, but never growing as a character who's too preoccupied with facing a boxer he cannot beat.


There are a myriad of reasons why Grudge Match fails, but that's not due to Arkin or Hart, who single-handedly keep the ship afloat. Their banter - in the middle of the waste that is this film - is the only thing we can recommend, and that's because we're trying desperately to be nice. The way the cheap race and elderly one-liners are thrown out here really defeats the whole intention of the movie, which was supposed to show that old men past their prime still can be men. Had that angle been better explored, and the script hadn't relied on the dog and pony show we do get, the film might have been slightly more memorable.

For a season supposedly filled with the best Hollywood has to offer, Grudge Match utterly disappoints. Filled with cheap race and elderly one-liners and suffering from a severe lack of chemistry, we constantly found ourselves looking at the watch wondering when the misery would finally end. Wait for this one on Netflix, because we think it won't take long to get there. Grudge Match is rated PG-13 for sports action violence, sexual content, and language and has a runtime of 113 excruciating minutes.

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

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Monday, December 23, 2013

THE NUT JOB-Will Arnett Presents 'Twas the Nut Before Christmas!

Christmas is just around the corner, so get into the holiday spirit by watching THE NUT JOB's Will Arnett present 'Twas The Nut Before Christmas! This nutty take on the classic tale delivers all of our furry friends from THE NUT JOB into our favorite holiday story.

In animated 3D, THE NUT JOB is an action-packed comedy in fictional Oakton that follows the travails of Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a much more complicated and hilarious adventure.

THE NUT JOB hits theaters nationwide on January 17, 2014!

Happy Holidays!

Watch the clip after the Jump...



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Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray Review. Looks & Sounds Great

Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray Review
By: MattInRC

The sweet-natured Despicable Me 2 is fun family entertainment on Blu-ray, but nothing more.

In 2010, a year dominated by the creepy Toy Story 3 and the predictable Shrek 3, a little animated film called Despicable Me was missed by the Oscar nominating fools over at AMPAS. It wouldn't be long before their error was revealed: heart-warming and downright hilarious, the comedy about an evil madman and his Minions has seen its popularity almost eclipse that of all the animated Oscar candidates of the same year. Its sequel, the likeable but superficial Despicable Me 2, looks and sounds amazing in its home release.


The Movie - 3.5/5
When we left Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell), he had renounced his evil path to raise three loveable adopted girls, but not before stealing the Moon and then returning it. Now, the former madman is busy with soccer games, grilling up meats during Agnes's birthday party, and fending off eligible neighborhood women. He's also trying to be a respectable businessman, crafting jams and jellies with the help of his Minions and Doctor Nefario (voiced by Russell Brand). This isn't exactly Gru's cup of tea, but luckily fate intervenes, matching him up with the shadowy Anti-Villain League to hunt down the thief of a lab and a monster-creating serum. He's strapped to the newbie agent Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig), who Gru sees as overly obnoxious. As Minions begin to disappear, Gru and Lucy track down the elusive El Macho (voiced by Benjamin Bratt) and learn of his sinister plot to use the serum as a prelude to invasion.

DM Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud return, ready to deliver plenty of laughs from Writer Ken Daurio's script. Unfortunately, the paper-thin plot is just an excuse to highlight the many hilarious Minion moments; any semblance of a deep story about relationships - which made the original so rewarding - is not here. While DM2 doesn't pretend to be more than what it is, one would have wished for something more, or at least a better plot involving El Macho. This series is now clearly the Minions to own, and that's a shame only if you don't like Gru or the girls. Gru has such the potential for hilarious badness, and the girls, such centers of attention in the original, are certainly worth developing. Their warm hearts give Gru that extra layer of personality that's more of a distraction here than revealing anything new to the audience about him. Crazy man Ken Jeong (Hangover series) also makes an appearance as a Chinese wig maker, but he's never given the chance to strut his stuff, representing a huge missed opportunity. Having said all of this, it's hard to have any problem with a movie filled with little yellow men cross-dressing, farting, and speaking in an nonsensical language. Their comical distractions prop up any issues the story might have.


The Video - 4.5/5
Universal's MPEG-4/AVC transfer is simply beautiful. Animated films from Illumination Entertainment and Universal always look amazing in Hi-Def, and DM2 shines in both color and clarity. Colors are vibrant without being overly saturated while black levels are nicely inked without becoming crushed. Shadows on the houses surrounding Gru's neighborhood provide wonderful depth of scale, while 'lighting' in general is flawless. Clarity and detail are stunningly accurate - look at the stitching on Gru's jacket and Edith's individual strands of hair for evidence. Wallpaper and carpet at Gru's house look authentic and lived-in, while mall storefronts and interior shots look like you could step right into them. Skintones on the humans look cartoony but are so clear and defined that reflections and detail on the eyes can be easily seen. Finally, there's zero evidence of banding, aliasing, or other noise. In short, Despicable Me 2 easily establishes itself among the best animated transfers of 2013.


The Audio - 5/5
Despicable Me 2 is presented in an amazing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that makes it a reference-quality product. Beginning with the front speakers, we get a nice mix of dialogue, effects, and music, the latter sounding especially good. In addition, phasing and separation is precise. The center channel also contains these tracks, but none of them get in the way of the dialogue. The surround channel is immersive, even when there's only dialogue seemingly at play. Check out the crackling fireplace when Gru is read Agnes's poem - it's these little things which separate good home releases from great ones. From the rears, we are also treated to Heitor Pereira's James Bond-inspired soundtrack. Finally, the LFE doesn't rest for one minute, erupting, exploding, and crashing with every disaster and action sequence. The low-end loves this film, and we're all the better for it. In the end, Despicable Me 2's lossless track is one of the best of 2013.


The Supplements - 4.5/5
DM2 arrives with several nice supplements, all of which are presented in HD:

Deleted Scene (0:46): A single deleted scene called Gruties.

The Minions (3:07): A self-study tongue and cheek discussion about the lovability of the Minions.

Evil Minions (4:18): This featurette focuses on the construction of the Evil Minions.

A Gru-some Transformation (5:27): A nice discussion about how Gru converts from villain to hero, while the introduction of Agent Lucy Wild completes Gru's adopted family.

El Hombre Malo (4:16): A short discussion on the development and voicing of El Macho by Benjamin Bratt.

Gru's Girls (5:35): The girls Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher return to discuss Gru's daughters, while Carell and the filmmakers analyze the challenges that the girls face in DM2.

Gadgets Galore (4:12): Described by Carell as 'thing-a-ma-bobs', we are introduced to the super gadgets our heroes and villains utilize.

Audio Commentary: Directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin laugh (often a little too much so) while providing insights into the making of the film. We learn about the heavy influence which films like Alien, The Blues Brothers, and Bugs Bunny had on the production. Other topics, such as the origins of the Anti-Villain League, the introduction of Agent Wild, and the growing up of the girls are also addressed. Of course, no commentary would be complete without a discussion of the Minions and the direction which the creative team took to bring them back. There are spoilers throughout the commentary, so be sure to watch the film first.

Mini-Movies (20 minutes): Gru briefly introduces three animated shorts: Puppy (5:04) stars the Minions and a wayward robot, Panic in the Mailroom (4:44) stars the Minions and the dangerous PX-41, and Training Wheels (4:46) starring Agnes and her search for the elusive ice cream truck. We're given the 5:44 Making of the Mini-Movies featurette.

Previews
Our evaluation copy arrived as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo and a Digital Copy of the film. The embossed slipcase is colorful and attractive. Three additional versions were offered, including Walmart's stuffed toys and Target's extra disc and booklet.



The Bottom Line - 4/5
In the end, the likeable Despicable Me 2 lacks the charm of the original, but has the Minions to thank for pulling out what could have been a predictable disaster. Its dull second act revs up the action and laughs in a nicely done conclusion, providing plenty of adult humor along the way. The Blu-ray looks and sounds terrific, with just enough supplements to satisfy the curious. And while the film itself won't play at your heart strings like the original, you and the kids will enjoy the experience. Despicable Me 2 is rated PG and has a runtime of 98 minutes.

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

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Fast & Furious 6 Blu-ray Review. One Of The Best Of The Year

Fast & Furious 6  Blu-ray Review
By: MattInRC

Fast and Furious 6 is absolutely devilish entertainment on Blu-ray. And we're OK with that.

Before I get into this review, let's get one thing straight: The Fast and The Furious films are not exactly The Italian Job, nor do they try to be. When you pay the big bucks to sit in a film like this, you know what you're going to get - implausible car chases that defy the laws of physics, bro-mance humor, and badass chicks driving fast cars while extras in skimpy clothes and knee-high boots dance behind them. And while it's not the smart, highly-detailed action/drama of a Skyfall, the franchise has matured over the years, settling in on fun action with enough story to keep things moving. As Fast and Furious 6 arrives on Blu-ray, the boys (and girls) are back with enough stunts and twists to satiate anyone's appetite, while every aspect of the Bu-ray release is nothing short of spectacular.


The Movie - 4/5
Fresh off their mammoth heist in Rio, the team has scattered to either find a quiet patch of life or live high from their earnings. Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) are raising their first child, while Dom (Vin Deisel) is still haunted by the loss of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sung Kang) are living in Tokyo, while Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Ludacris) do what they do best: spend. That all changes when DSS Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) returns to enlist Dom and Brian to hunt down the international terrorist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), who uses military tactics and armored vehicles to thwart the authorities. But this time, Shaw has upped the ante in hopes of stealing components for a Nightshade device. Assembled, Nighshade will render an entire country without power for 24 hours, and the terrorist wants to sell it to the highest bidder. Upon reassembling the team, Brian and Dom realize that Shaw and his team are no ordinary thugs who can be hunted down with fast cars, but are instead cold-blooded killers who will use any and all means to achieve their goals. As one team chases the other around Europe, Dom learns that an important character from his past (no spoilers here) is in fact alive and has teamed up with Shaw. With lives hanging in the balance, Dom's team must take out Shaw and his men before the device is assembled and carted away on a cargo plane.

There's so much going on in Fast Six that the trailers (luckily) don't tell the whole story. It represents the a true summer flick, complete with plenty of explosions, gunfire, incomprehensible action sequences, and funny comebacks, all surrounded by a competent story and cast. Walker and Deisel represent the sum parts of the whole, while Evans makes a terrific bad guy who should have been penned through a couple of films. He's the kind of dashing but deadly villain that can match up with Dom in every way, which makes his one-trick appearance all the more disappointing. In the middle of this, you have NOS-flavored racing, large American engines rumbling their way through London, and the requisite scantily-clad female dancers at races. This is not a film for the logical mind, but with the title Fast and Furious, you weren't paying to see high-brow entertainment. FF franchise Director Justin Lin once again delivers an impressive and fast-paced film, nimbly merging new and impressive stunts with long-time collaborator and Writer Chris Morgan's funny and well-polished script. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of 'benefit of the doubt' scenes here, but they work so well that we can't be too critical. And with a end-credits scene that still has people talking, it's clear that the series might be ready to movie into a new chapter. That is, if the studio can figure out how to deal with the tragic death of Walker. With opinion so divided as how to proceed, let's hope new director James Wan and team can keep the series from racing into the sunset any time soon.


The Video - 5/5
Fast & Furious 6 comes complete with an impressive MPEG-4/AVC transfer that would make any papa proud. Color is natural and abounds in every scene, rich and inviting in daytime shots and menacing in the many night scenes, with skintones looking lifelike. Blacks are inky but precise, although there is a slight issue with crush, but I believe that's a result of Lin's camera work and not Universal's transfer, as I remember seeing those issues in the theater. Shadows in day and indoor shots present several layers before fading into black, while night scenes provide sufficient background detail. Clarity in general is outstanding, from freckles and beard stubble on faces to individual strands of hair on our female leads. Dents and paint on cars look amazing while paint chips and sweat stand out. All in all, Universal does the sixth movie in this series to perfection.


The Audio - 5/5
Never willing to let their audio take a backseat, Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is as immersive as it is thunderous. To say this thing growls with a precision seen only in a few discs is understating how good it is. Starting with the front speakers, we get a clear mix of dialogue, sound effects, and music from Composer Lucas Vidal. The center channel boasts clear dialogue and nothing else, which keeps the listener from having to play The Remote Game to hear it, then suddenly dial it down for the action scenes. The real joy here lies in the surrounds, which boosts the music but also introduces a nice mix of crowd chatter, water effects, and other atmospherics. The surrounds also work closely with the fronts, moving sounds from each set with perfect precision, Usually, this would only be present in the fronts, as the best tracks would move the sound from left to right; here, the fronts are wedded to the rears in a way we don't hear too often. But when it's time to dial up the action, the LFE kicks in to close the deal by rumbling, exploding, and mauling its way into the scene. When Shaw's Flip Car is started, you can feel its unbridled power. Universal has commanded this aspect of home video since The Bourne Trilogy, and the FF franchise has certainly benefited from it throughout the years. In short, it's a reference-quality transfer.


The Supplements - 5/5
Featuring some of the deepest supplements in recent memory, Fast and Furious 6 arrives with the following, all offered in HD:

Unrated Extended Cut: Two versions are presented - a 131-minute extended cut and a 130-minute theatrical cut. The only difference is minor and doesn't significantly alter the film.

Deleted Scenes (1:40): Three very short scenes are offered - Intro to CCTV, Han & Gisele Talk, and Prison Guard.

Audio Commentary: Director Justin Lin sits down for an excellent breakdown, which includes a shot by shot, scene by scene dissection of the film. He touches on every aspect, from development, casting, shooting, and visual effects. It's one of the best commentaries of the year.

Take Control (19:18): A series of short interviews from Deisel, Walker, Lin and others, we learn a little of the franchise's background and several aspects of making the film, including Lin's desire to shoot the film 'in camera' as much as possible.

The Making of Fast & Furious 6 (26:43): Viewers are treated to a four-part documentary that breaks down the action and story. Segments include The Fastest of Them All (10:06), Reuniting the Team (7:34), Letty's Return (4:42), and The Mastermind and the Mole (4:21).

Planes, Tanks and Automobiles (23:37): Another four-parter that details the various action sequences, including The London Chase (7:56), The Convoy Attack (6:28), The Antonov Takedown (6:18) and Dom and Letty Race Again (3:35).

It's All About the Cars (15 minutes): Boys and their toys, right? The actors and the crew step behind the wheel to take you inside the cars made for the film. Segments include: On the Set with Vin (3:16), Gearhead's Delight (6:27), and The Flip Car (5:23).

Hand to Hand Fury (9:44): In an effort to improve themselves from the epic fighting sequences in Fast Five, the cast and crew practice and shoot several hard-hitting scenes.

Fast & Furious 7 First Look (2 minutes): A very powerful scene as the team attend a funeral for a fallen comrade. Given the death of Paul Walker, this might be the only footage we'll ever see from the original. Or maybe not...

Our evaluation copy arrived as a Blu-ray Combo Pack, complete with a single Blu-ray and DVD set, along with a Digital Copy of the extended cut of the film. Luckily, American audiences were also treated to two steelbook editions, which several retailers sweetened with a soundtrack (Target) and 30 minutes of online featurettes (Walmart). Best Buy offered a completely different yellow steel with no interior artwork. The embossed slipcase is attractive, and our vanilla version contained no interior artwork.



The Bottom Line - 4.5/5
In what might stand as the last true action franchise around, Fast and Furious 6 offers something for everyone. If the words 'plausibility' and 'realism' enter your vocabulary when it comes to Summer films, look elsewhere. If you're able to check them comfortably at the door, with the words 'jocularity' and 'edge-of-your-seat action' taking over, then you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself with this one. The home release is one of the best of the year, with an amazing package from the stellar audio and video to the amazing set of supplements. Given the tragedy that's befallen the FF team and Walker's family, another film at this point is not a given, so we'll just have to enjoy this amazing release and hope for brighter days. Fast and Furious 6 s rated R for action and violence, has a runtime of 130 minutes, and is highly recommended.

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

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Summit Entertainment's 2014 Movie Preview

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES - January 10


In the epic origin story THE LEGEND OF HERCULES, Kellan Lutz stars as the mythical Greek hero - the son of Zeus, a half-god, half-man blessed with extraordinary strength. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom. Through harrowing battles and gladiator-arena death matches, Hercules embarks on a legendary odyssey to overthrow the King and restore peace to the land.



DIVERGENT - March 21




In a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities, Tris Prior is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late.


DRAFT DAY - April 11


On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he's willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.


STEP UP ALL IN - July 25


In the next exciting chapter of the international phenomenon STEP UP, all-stars from previous installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.


CHILD 44 - Fall 2014


Based on the first novel in author Tom Rob Smith's best-selling trilogy, CHILD 44 tells the story of a man fighting to reclaim his humanity from a system that requires him to sacrifice it in order to survive.

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