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Friday, June 27, 2014

Begin Again Review: Great Music Gets Lost in the Meh

The musical-romance Begin Again dares you to divorce it with its snails pace.


One of my favorite 'musical-romance' films is High Fidelity. The story about a record store owner and his eclectic collection of employees, it's where I reconnected with Stevie Wonder, and where audiences probably saw Jack Black for the first time. And while I forgive them for failing to highlight Rush, Yes, and King Crimson, its timeless tale of people searching for love is an instant go-to classic. Unfortunately, Begin Again isn't nearly as endearing, wallowing in its own pool of self-pity, and merely easing the pain with a variety of really great music.

Singer/songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley) has come to America with her boyfriend and aspiring musician Dave (Singer Adam Levine) to get his career on track. Almost immediately, he attains success partially due to Gretta's songwriting. Unfortunately, she is soon without Dave due to his infidelity and finds herself in a bar performing in front of an indifferent crowd, save one. That person is Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a former record executive who's drinking problems and willingness to take wild chances with the company has left him without a job. As he attempts to sign an unwilling Gretta and get his old job back, Dan must also deal with his estranged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and wife (Catherine Keener), whose dark secret put him in this situation in the first place.

The main problem with Begin Again is its molasses-like plot and pacing, dripping with each sigh of Knightley's depressing situation and extending many scenes instead of giving them a trim. While I've grown to dislike her mousy performances - especially when you consider that the project was to have starred Scarlett Johansson instead - her problem isn't her singing. Knightley has that part down, but all of the songs are post-recorded, missing a golden opportunity at growing the film organically. Blame this on Writer/Director John Carney - a veteran of do-it-yourself independents - who just misses the mark by not knowing when to quit, a common problem with most independents. Carney wants us so badly to love his characters that he keeps them doing banal things like showering, shaving, and showing the beginning three different ways, where only two were needed.

Where Carney does succeed is in his choice of Steinfeld, who is terrific along with Ruffalo, whose ease and ability to turn on the rage goes far beyond Avengers. He's a damaged soul looking for an anchor, which doesn't necessarily become the music. His shattered marriage has left him seeking any stability, and Carney does a good job of leaving Ruffalo to tell that story in any way he wants, his disheveled appearance and drinking issues covering a world of pain and regret for not being a good enough father. Every other supporting character is merely thin paper here, but some performances - such as James Corden as Steve - are just funny enough to keep things from getting suicidal.


And then there's the soundtrack, a mix of Knightley-sung originals and classics. In my opinion, the soundtrack might live on far longer than the film, due entirely to its well-manicured selections. Levine is an incredible singer, and so his arena-rock presence gives a nice balance to Knightley's home-spun tones. But when a film gets dangerously close to losing your approval, making even the music seem unlikable, that's a clear indication that something strayed along the way. The way the ending plays out will make you want to take Gretta to the side to teach her the economics of survival. The smattering of applause with the test audience during the credits was more like a polite way of saying, "That's nice, dear." rather than an endorsing Gretta's actions or Carney's final version.

Begin Again has all the pieces to be the next High Fidelity. Unfortunately, its plot drags and leaves us almost hating the experience. Against giant transforming robots, kaiju, and time-traveling X-men, Begin Again doesn't stand a chance. It's rated R for language and has a runtime of 104 minutes.

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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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Beyond the Lights Trailer & New Images

Here is the first trailer & new images from  BET/Relativity Media-backed next feature film from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood, now titled "Beyond the Lights" (previously, "Blackbird").


Beyond the Lights is the story of Noni Jean, a hot new artist who has just won a Grammy and is primed for stardom. But the pressures of success compel her to nearly end her life until she is saved by a young police officer. They fall hard for each other, despite the protests of their parents who want each to focus on their own career ambitions. But he might be the missing piece to unlock her artistic potential.

Watch the trailer and see all the images after the Jump...



Bythewood's "Beyond the Lights" stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. Danny Glover and Minnie Driver co-star.






Stephanie Allain is producer. Relativity president Tucker Tooley is exec producing with Matt Alvarez and Reggie Bythewood.

"Beyond the Lights" will be released theatrically by Relativity, with an official release date now set for November 14, 2014. After that, it'll have an exclusive television premiere in the U.S. and South Africa on BET.

This will be Bythewood's first feature film directorial effort since 2008's "The Secret Life of Bees."

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Trailer And Q&A For #DRACULAUNTOLD Starring @TheRealLukevans

Universal Pictures, has released a  NEW trailer for DRACULA UNTOLD which has just debuted on iTunes Trailers.

Plus stay tuned tomorrow morning for a live Twitter Q&A with star @TheRealLukevans taking place at 8AM PT. Tweet your questions for the #DraculaUntold Twitter Q&A with Luke Evans using the hashtag #AskLukeEvans

Watch the trailer after the Jump...



#DraculaUntold is in theaters and IMAX everywhere October 17.

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Interview: Gary Oldman Talks Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes At The Premiere

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Premiere Interview With Gary Oldman



A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

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Ben Kingsley Cast As "Bagheera" In The Jungle Book

Ben Kingsley is Bagheera in Disney’s The Jungle Book.

Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley has been cast as the voice of Bagheera in Disney’s upcoming The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau from a script by Justin Marks, The Jungle Book combines live action and animated filmmaking. The Jungle Book arrives in theaters in 3D on October 9, 2015.

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Official Poster For @thegivermovie

Get a good look at THE GIVER, the highly anticipated film.

THE GIVER is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. You can read her new foreword for THE GIVER, and learn how she looks back on her groundbreaking novel and its influence 20 years later.

Trailer For THE GIVER Is Here-

THE GIVER, starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard, Cameron Monaghan, Odeya Rush, and Taylor Swift, will be in theaters everywhere August 15th

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THE GUEST Trailer Starring #DanStevens

Watch the teaser trailer for THE GUEST, exclusively Via IGN:

From the director of YOU’RE NEXT and featuring a standout, badass performance from Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”), comes THE GUEST: a tense, action-packed and unpredictable film like everything and nothing you've ever seen before. Empire Magazine called it "a demented action-horror hybrid of sci-fi conspiracy thriller and gore-fest", and Vanity Fair US said, “THE GUEST is big, it’s bold, it’s badass, full of flavor Hollywood wishes it could pour over its vanilla blockbusters.”

Watch the trailer After the Jump...



Synopsis:
A soldier (Dan Stevens) introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

THE GUEST visits theaters this September. Let us know if you'll be letting him in.

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Talk Of Fame's "Massive Movie Minute" #HTTYD2 Art Exhibit

Albert Lawrence's experience at At DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 exhibit, some innovative artists showed him there's more than one way to draw a dragon!


Albert will be helping us from time to time when he has a free second. And we are looking forward to his coverage of the Echo To Earth Junket.

Make sure to check out his site TALK OF FAME and follow him on Twitter.

On this episode of Massive Movie Minute, Albert explores DreamWorks' 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' art exhibit at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. From paper to pencil to paint, three artists show us there's more than one way to draw a dragon!



Host: Albert Lawrence
Camera: David Gaafar

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#TEENWOLF Takes a Bite Out Of #ComicCon2014

MTV’S “TEEN WOLF” RETURNS TO SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON WITH A STAR-STUDDED PANEL FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR.

Network Takes a Bite Out of the Convention Center Floor with First Ever “Teen Wolf” Themed Booth

MTV announced today that its hit drama series "Teen Wolf" will return to San Diego Comic-Con for the fifth year in a row with a panel featuring series’ stars on Thursday, July 24. “Teen Wolf” will also have a show-themed booth on the convention center floor for the first time ever.

Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, plus new cast members Shelley Hennig and Dylan Sprayberry, along with Executive Producer Jeff Davis, will once again take Comic-Con by storm, giving fans a can’t-miss panel in which they will share season four secrets, debut a new mid-season trailer and answer fan questions. The panel will be moderated by Buzzfeed Senior Editor, Jarett Wieselman.

The “Teen Wolf” booth (#3729) will be open to fans all weekend long and will be highlighted by signings and special appearances by cast and crew. The booth will also feature four full days of activations where fans can insert themselves into a custom character poster and create their own “Teen Wolf”-inspired monster. Additionally, MTV commissioned artist Swann Smith to illustrate a limited edition bestiary that serves as a full guide to the creatures of Beacon Hills. The bestiary will be distributed for free throughout the weekend and Swann will be on hand signing copies at the booth.

On Friday, July 25 MTV will host “Teen Wolf” press room and also hold a signing with cast members at the Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment booth (#4213), which distributes the DVD. Special edition season three DVDs that will be exclusive to Comic-Con attendees, will also be available for purchase at the Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment booth.

For more ways to connect with “Teen Wolf” like it on Facebook at Facebook.com/teenwolf or follow the show on Twitter @MTVTeenWolf.

“Teen Wolf" was developed by Jeff Davis (creator, "Criminal Minds") who also serves as executive producer. Additional executive producers include Russell Mulcahy ("Highlander," "Resident Evil: Extinction"), Marty Adelstein ("Prison Break"), René Echevarria ("Medium," "Castle"), Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley. The pilot was written by Jeff Davis and Jeph Loeb & Matthew Weisman and directed by Russell Mulcahy. The "Teen Wolf" series is based on a Screenplay by Jeph Loeb & Matthew Weisman. Julie Schwachenwald, Dana Gotlieb-Carter and Alexandra James are the MTV executives in charge of production. The series is a co-production with, and distributed by, MGM, in association with Lost Marbles Productions, Inc., First Cause, Inc. and DiGa.

ABOUT MTV
MTV is the world’s premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy®, Grammy® and Peabody® award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV’s sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is a leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information, go to www.mtvpress.com.

ABOUT MGM TELEVISION
MGM Television is a leading producer and global distributor of content for television and digital platforms, with distribution rights to original productions and a robust catalog of 10,500 television episodes and nearly 4,000 feature film titles covering some of entertainment's premiere franchises including the James Bond franchise and “The Hobbit” trilogy. Current television projects include the hit series “Vikings,” heading into production for its third season on HISTORY; the critically-acclaimed limited series “Fargo,” a co-production with FX Productions and “Teen Wolf,” which will air its fourth season on MTV. In addition, MGM Television serves as the syndicator for "Right This Minute" and “Let’s Ask America.” Through its finance and distribution entity, Orion TV Productions, MGM Television’s courtroom series "Paternity Court" with Lauren Lake begins production this summer. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

ABOUT TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

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Knopf Doubleday Returns To San Diego Comic Con 2014

Random House’s Knopf Doubleday group returns to this year’s San Diego ComicCon (July 24-27, plus preview night on July 23), and we would love to see you there. We are booth #1515, along with the other Random House groups. A reminder that Knopf Doubleday is comprised of Pantheon & Schocken Books, Alfred A. Knopf, Doubleday, and Vintage Anchor Books.

This year’s appearing authors include: debut Pantheon graphic novelist Michael Cho, author of SHOPLIFTER (September 2014); Pantheon/Vintage Anchor novelist Charles Yu, author of HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE and SORRY PLEASE THANK YOU, whose new novel THE BOOK OF WISHING (2016) is already in the works; Doubleday novelists Chuck Palahniuk, author of BEAUTIFUL YOU (October 2014) and Daniel H. Wilson, author of ROBOGENESIS (June 2014); and Knopf author Anne Rice, author of PRINCE LESTAT (October 2014). See below for more details, and please note that all authors are available for select interviews in advance of and during the show.

As always, we will offer many giveaways at the booth: buttons, bookmarks, doggie poop bags (yes, you read that right), and other swag; plus previews of Pantheon’s forthcoming graphic novels: SHOPLIFTER by Michael Cho (September 2014), SUGAR SKULL by Charles Burns (September 2014), HERE by Richard McGuire (October 2014), THE ADVENTURES OF LOVELACE AND BABBAGE by Sydney Padua (April 2015); in addition to F (August 2014), a quirky new novel by Daniel Kehlmann about three brothers, a hypnotist, and a Rubik’s Cube . . . . Stop by the booth to hear more.


AUTHORS AT SDCC 2013
Michael Cho is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer based in Toronto, and his debut SHOPLIFTER (Pantheon Books, September 2014) tells the story of a young woman’s search for meaning, happiness, and self fulfillment as she works as a millennial urban professional. She dabbles in small time shoplifting as a means of coming to terms with her conflicting emotions. Cho’s previous work includes Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes as well as the illustrations for Rabindranath Maharaj’s The Amazing Absorbing Boy. Cho is well known for his offbeat illustrations of superheroes and basketball players, and one of his stories was included in The Best American Comics 2010. He appears on the Words & Pictures/Graphic Novel panel on Friday at 3 pm (Room 9), and then in conversation with Pantheon’s own Chip Kidd on Friday at 5 pm (Room 28DE) to talk about Pantheon’s entire graphic novel list. He will also sign teasers to SHOPLIFTER at the Random House booth (#1515) during the convention.

Chuck Palahniuk is the New York Times bestselling author of Fight Club, Choke, Survivor, and 11 other novels which have sold more than 5 million copies in the United States. His new novel, BEAUTIFUL YOU, will be published in October 2014. Palahniuk appears on the Fight Club panel on Saturday at 7 pm (Room: 25ABC), and he will sign books at the Random House booth (#1515) during the convention.

Anne Rice returns SDCC this year to meet fans and promote her new book PRINCE LESTAT: Vampire Chronicles, which will be published by Knopf in October 2014. Her signing will take place on Saturday, 3-5 pm (location TBD). And watch for a fun giveaway at the Random House booth (#1515) while supplies last.

Daniel H. Wilson appears at SDCC to talk about ROBOGENESIS (Doubleday, October), the stunningly creative, epic sequel to his blockbuster thriller and New York Times bestseller Robopocalypse and editor of Robot Uprisings: An Anthology (April 2014). Wilson is the author of Amped, Robopocalypse, How to Survive a Robot Uprising, Where's My Jetpack?, How to Build a Robot Army, The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame, and Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown. He will speak on the SF/Robots author panel on Saturday at 12 pm (Room 7 AB), and he will sign books at the Random House booth (#1515) during the convention.

Charles Yu was a break-out star at SDCC 2010, just months before his debut novel HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE was published, followed by his short story collection SORRY PLEASE THANK YOU in 2012. Yu returns to SDCC to appear on two panels: WONDERBOOK: Writers on Creativity and Inspiration on Thursday at 10 am (Room 28DE) and FUTURE LANDSCAPES on Saturday at 1 pm (Room 28DE). He will also stop by the Random House booth (#1515), and may even tell fans a bit about his new novel THE BOOK OF WISHING, forthcoming soon from Pantheon Books.

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Trailer & Poster For GOOD PEOPLE Starring James Franco & Kate Hudson

Millennium Entertainment will release GOOD PEOPLE in theaters and on iTunes/OnDemand September 26, 2014.



Directed by Henrik Ruben Genz
Written by Kelly Masterson
Starring James Franco, Kate Hudson, Omar Sy, Tom Wilkinson

Young American couple Tom and Anna Reed (James Franco and Kate Hudson) fall into severe debt while renovating Anna's family home in London. As the couple faces the loss of their dream to have a house and start a family, they discover that the tenant in the apartment below them has been murdered and he left behind a stash of cash—$400,000 worth. Though initially hesitant, Tom and Anna decide that the plan is simple: all they have to do is quietly take the money and use only what's necessary to get them out of debt. But when they start spending the money and can't seem to stop, they find themselves the target of a deadly adversary—the thief who stole it—and that's when very bad things start happening to good people.

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“The Met: Live in HD” “Otello” To Broadcast July 9th

Renée Fleming and Johan Botha Star in Verdi's Shakespearean Masterpiece “Otello”

Broadcast to Your Local Movie Theater Wednesday, July 9

Renée Fleming sings one of her greatest roles as the innocent Desdemona in Verdi's towering tragedy “Otello.” South African tenor Johan Botha sings the title role, one of the most demanding parts in the operatic repertory, with German baritone Falk Struckmann as the treacherous villain Iago and rising American tenor Michael Fabiano in his Live in HD debut as Cassio. Maestro Semyon Bychkov conducts Verdi's dramatic masterpiece, which is based on Shakespeare's play. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, one of the Met's leading Verdi stars, hosts the transmission and interviews the stars backstage. (Running time: approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes.)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. local time.

Click here for a list of participating U.S. cinemas and ticketing links. Ticket prices vary. More information is available at www.FathomEvents.com or http://www.metoperafamily.org/hdlive.

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Fright-Rags Release TALES FROM THE CRYPT Shirts & Box Set For 25th Anniversary

Fright-Rags release Tales from the Crypt shirts & box set for 25th anniversary Limited edition designs available now for pre-order: http://bit.ly/1rH3GTO


It's hard to believe that Tales from the Crypt celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. HBO's horror anthology show changed TV as we knew it. Fright-Rags is showing its gratitude in the way it does best: making kick-ass horror shirts!

A trio of fan-favorite artists - Jason Edmiston, Christopher Lovell and Jeff Zornow - each offer their unique take on the show's cackling, pun-spouting host, the Crypt Keeper. The three designs are limited to 500 pieces each and available on unisex shirts, girl shirts and zip-up hoodies.



The diehard boils and ghouls who want all of the shirts are in for a real treat. Fright-Rags is offering a limited edition box set that includes all three designs, a bonus glow-in-the-dark Tales from the Crypt logo shirt (exclusive to the set), an 11x17 poster and a sticker pack, all packaged in a collector's box. Only 200 box sets are available. Please note that sizes and quantities are limited, and hoodies are not available in the set.


Pre-orders are up now on Fright-Rags.com. Due to the limited quantities, they may sell out during the pre-order period - so act fast! Orders are expected to ship in mid-August.

The prolific company also recently released new shirts that imagine horror icons Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kruger as comic book characters. Those shirts and many more can be found on Fright-Rags' website.

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Watch 17 Minutes Of Exclusive Footage From “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY”: At AN IMAX® 3D FIRST LOOK Experience

MARVEL AND IMAX GIVE FANS WORLDWIDE AN AMAZING FIRST LOOK AT THIS SUMMER’S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED EPIC ADVENTURE— MARVEL’S “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

MARVEL’S “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY”: AN IMAX® 3D FIRST LOOK FEATURES EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE TO BE SHOWN IN 150 SELECT IMAX® THEATRE LOCATIONS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA ON JULY 7 AT 7 P.M.

See how to get tickets after the Jump...

Marvel Studios announces Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”: An IMAX® 3D First Look, featuring 17 minutes of exclusive footage from the highly anticipated summer blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The sneak peek will be showcased in 150 IMAX® theatre locations across North America on July 7 at 7 p.m.

Select IMAX 3D® theatres nationwide and internationally will offer the special screening of thrilling, never-before-seen IMAX 3D footage of the James Gunn-directed epic space adventure, which opens in U.S. theatres on August 1.

Commenting on the exclusive footage, director James Gunn says, “We’ve re-mastered some of our epic sequences into the IMAX 3D format, taking the scope and scale to new heights while creating a truly immersive, cinematic experience that will take you further into the Marvel Universe than ever before.”

“IMAX and Marvel fans are some of the most die-hard in the world and we’re excited to offer them this exclusive extended first-look at one of the summer’s hottest upcoming movies in IMAX 3D,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “James Gunn’s visionary film in IMAX 3D is going to give our audiences an immersive experience they won’t find anywhere else, and we’re thrilled to get the ball rolling and reward fans early at this unique event.”

Tickets to the July 7 Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”: An IMAX 3D First Look are free and are available now for U.S. and Canadian screenings on a first-come, first-served basis through www.facebook.com/guardiansofthegalaxy.

Fans who attend this sneak peek will also receive a limited-edition collectible Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” IMAX poster.

An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy's fate in the balance.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.

Kevin Feige, p.g.a., is the producer and Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Nik Korda and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. James Gunn and Nicole Perlman wrote the screenplay.

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 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit: marvel.com. © MARVEL

About IMAX Corporation:
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2014, there were 840 IMAX theatres (707 commercial multiplexes, 18 commercial destinations and 115 institutions) in 57 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAXnXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

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Bond 24 Delayed Due to Script Rewrites

The fourth Daniel Craig outing will add more Bond repartee.


Ever since news broke in November that MGM had acquired both SPECTRE and the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, fans of the James Bond franchise had breathed a sigh of relief. The biggest news since perhaps the signing of Pierce Brosnan to revive the franchise back in 1994, the acquisition of SPECTRE would now allow MGM to pursue a story arc pitting Bond against the evil think tank of villains which included Blofeld at its head.

From all indications, the upcoming Bond 24 was in good shape: the script was complete and 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor had supposed been offered the role of the film's villain. So, it comes as a bit of surprise that The Daily Mail is reporting that some script changes are in the works. Writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade - responsible for five previous Bond films - have been brought on to "polish and punch-up" John Logan's original script. According to the article, the two are adding more humor, specifically between Craig's 007 and Naomie Harris's Miss Moneypenny. There's also word of improvements to the interplay between Bond and Ralph Fiennes's M.

The site also states that shooting was delayed already, due to Sam Mendes's desire to finish his work on King Lear with the National Theatre in New York. This would push things back to December, just two months longer than originally planned.

Should this be a mere tune-up of material, and the resulting delay doesn't affect the November 6, 2016 release, we have no problem with others taking a look at the script. Should the rumors of "polite turmoil" between Logan and Purvis/Wade be more than just professional, we would become worried. For now, this sounds like a light dusting of the material and not a cleanup on Aisle 5.

Still missing an official title, Bond 24 will hit theaters on November 6, 2015.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125
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Open Forum Friday is Here!

Here's your chance to connect with the SJF community.
A few ground rules: keep it nice, no ads, and no flaming.

Other than that, sound off on any movie or television thoughts you have.

Some ideas as we get this part of the site going:

1. What are you watching on television?
2. What's the last film you saw?
3. How can we make the podcast better?

These are just some of the questions, but again pick something movie or TV related.

Happy posting!
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Pacific Rim 2 Coming in 2017 - Animated Series In Development

Guillermo del Torro announces new plans for a Pacific Rim sequel.


With Godzilla eating up the box office, one has to recognize the first assault on the beach head in terms of bring kaijus back into the movoe consciousness: 2013's Pacfic Rim. While not as runaway success, the movie did earn $411 million worldwide, demonstrating that fans would embrace giant monsters wrecking cities. But, would that mean Pacific Rim would somehow benefit from that fact?

Apparently, the answer is Yes. According to the video you're about to see, Director Guillermo del Toro revealed that he is collaborating with Zak Penn on writing deveoping a sequel, and now Universal has confirmed that Pacific Rim 2 will arrive in 3D and IMAX theaters on April 7th, 2017. If you haven't seen the announcement, here it is:



Pacific Rim is a guilty SJF pleasure to be sure, but news of a sequel is intriguing. How can a series which seemed to have a definite ending be expanded to include more (and presumably) larger Kaiju fighting Jaegers on bigger vistas? Hoefully, the other news del Torro revealed will help answer that. He also announced plans to develop an animated series, as well as continuing with Travis Beacham’s Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero comic book. That should give the series the needed shot in the arm, a technique that also worked in bringing Guardians of the Galaxy to theaters with such a limited source of issues.

While 2017 is a long time to wait for a follow-up, the news is welcomed. Turning this into a franchise will be a challenge, but it appears Legendary and Universal are up to the challenge. That means we'll have two kaiju films within one year of each other, as Godzilla 2 has already been greenlit.

While there have been hints at what Pacific Rim 2 would address, we do know that Jaeger pilots Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) will definitely return, along with others:

“The characters I love will return. Raleigh, Mako, Newt, Gottlieb and who knows, maybe even Hannibal Chau – but we are taking them into a fresh territory that will display amazing sights and battles. The first film set the stage and now we’re ready to have a blast. We’re all very happy to be bringing you more Kaijus and more Jaegers kicking each other’s butt.”

Pacific Rim 2 is set for release on April 7th, 2017.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.
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Star Trek 3 Will Take Place on the 5-Year Mission

News that Star Trek 3 will be in 'deep space' gets us excited...ok, not like that.


With Director J.J. Abrams far away producing the first Star Wars movie in a decade, his other project - the rebooted Star Trek franchise - has been handed over to Co-writer and Producer Roberto Orci. Simply titled Star Trek 3 at this point, it's aiming for a 2016 release date to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary.

With the series a financial success so far, it seems like Trek fans are ready for the actual 5-year mission which made the original so successful. So, where will the next chapter lead the crew of the starship Enterprise?

Apparently, the answer came during a taping of the Bad Ass Digest podcast interview for Humans From Earth which Orci is producing along with Writer Geoff Boucher. Here's what he said:


In [Into Darkness] they set out finally where the original series started. The first two films – especially the 2009 [Star Trek] – was an origin story. It was about them coming together. So they weren’t the characters they were in the original series. They were growing into them and that continues on in the second movie. So in this movie they are closer than they are to the original series characters that you have ever seen. They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space. 

So, the answer is 'deep space,' meaning little to no contact with Earth, and an adventrue that might reflect one of the original story lines from Season 1. That opens an amazing set of possibilites, but where to start? We know that the movie will return staple characters Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho) Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin), but the key is to find a situation or plot that could build on the Klingon threat brought forth in Into Darkness, while moving the franchise forward.

But, there's also the possibility of delving into classic TOS episodes such as 'Arena,' in which Kirk battled the Gorn alien while The Metrons looked on. Wherever Orci stands on the issue, his interview response was the following:


The Horta is actually the villain in the next one – no – they are in deep space now, so lets see what’s out there.

Of course, Orci is playfully referring to the burrowing beast from ‘The Devil in the Dark,’ another classic Season 1 episode. But, there may be a chance to go even further than the original series could at the time: the introduction of homosexual character. We know that Creator Gene Roddenberry was progressive on Star Trek, pushing for the first interractial kiss. His desire to see homosexual officers on the show did eventually make its way into the very good fan-produced series Star Trek Phase II (also known as Star Trek: New Voyages). To that question, Orci replied:

It can be part of a character and not be the whole shebang…It doesn’t have to be like ‘South Park,’ like ‘what have we learned today.’ It can be so normalized that it just exists. I agree it can’t be shoe-horned in. And it is not necessary for it to be the whole point of the thing. It is an ensemble and there is lots of people to represent so no one point of view should hog it.

Whatever the angle Orci is working, we know the franchise can play it safe by re-telling an episode from TOS or go in this much bolder direction. We're thinking the previous is more likely, since Paramount hasn't quite hit the paydirt they've been hoping for with the reboot. But in a world that Star Trek helped to mold, one which pushed the limits with intelligent storytelling, the possibility exists that we will see something relatively new. Considering how we felt about the role reversal in our review of Into Darkness, we think the series is headed in the right direction.

We'll keep you posted on details as they beam in.

Star Trek 3 is currently expected to open in theaters in 2016.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Transformers Age of Extinction Review: Punishing and Soul-Suckingly Long

Any hope for a fresh reboot of the franchise is extinguished by a bloated runtime and generally dull effects.


With three highly divisive Transformers films behind us, one was hoping Director Michael Bay would introduce a new world of sentient robots and situations that would reinvigorate what was beginning to feel like old hat. Poor acting? Check. Over-the-top CGI that was hard to follow? Check. Poor storytelling and a general sense that the right hand was robbing the left hand blind? Check again. Sadly, Transformers: Age of Extinction is just more of the same, except with new actors to muck up the lines and a nearly three-hour mess that will leave a dull feeling in your brain.


With The Battle of Chicago five years in the past, the country has decided that Autobots and Decipticons should be kicked off the planet or face annihilation. Through a series of raids, an elite black ops squad are employed to take down both sides with the help of the mysterious Transformer Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan). But, there's a reason for the attacks: a robotics company headed by Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) has aligned with ops director Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) to build their own Transformers using the bodies of fallen robots. Meanwhile, deep in Texas the struggling inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Walhberg) rescues a beat-up semi truck he hopes to tear down to sell for scrap. What he doesn't realize is that the truck is none other than Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), who's badly injured, trusts no human, and has no way of reaching his fellow Autobots. As Cade and daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) struggle with this information, the ops team descends on their home to take Prime in. Forced to run, Cade, Tessa, and her boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) ally with Optimus, who gathers the remaining Autobots for yet another violent showdown. There, new alliances will be forged when everyone learns that their real target is the not-quite-dead and plotting Megatron (voiced by Frank Welker).

Despite promising something new, Director Michael Bay delivers much of the old, filling in the cracks on the old barn door and re-painting it rather than buying a whole new one. Sure, there's an all-new cast of upgraded humans, including Wahlberg and Tucci. But, the creeping feeling that humans are just in the way of a much grander robot epic is still there, and that epic is filled with beings we couldn't care less about. These are Autobots that no one can like, reduced to mere caricatures of their previous movie selves and pushed to the edge so that their hatred of humanity is palpable. The biggest of these travesties lies in the bastardization of Prime himself, who makes it clear early on of his new-found disdain for humanity, including the surprising promise to flat-out murder the human who burned him. That's not the behavior of a Prime, and even given the movie's premise this seems way out of whack for such a supposedly noble being. If it was Bay's desire to see us actually despise Optimus for what he's become, then consider the mission accomplished. As he leaves Earth in the final scene, we suddenly learn he's had rocket boots the entire time, making us want to push him out the door as soon as possible.

Bumblebee is without many of his adolescent moments, and without Sam Witwicky around, his role feels entirely unnecessary. Other new robots suffer similar fates: there's Ken Watanabe as the samurai Drift (wait, an exclusive Earth-based cultural icon was also a Transformer?), a the Patton-esque Hound (voiced by John Goodman), neither of whom are involved enough to represent character extremes that Optimus can stand between. For seemingly large stretches of time, they sit around lamenting why humans hate them so much while uttering comedic lines from Writer Ehren Kruger's logic-empty screenplay. Same for the humans, who throw out nearly self-aware gags about sequels and of Bay's filmography. They're funny for a moment, until you realize that their self-reflexive nature only slows a plot that has trouble establishing itself in the first 45 minutes. It's only when that chase begins that we get excited.

But once there, it's just more of the same Bay menu of action, action, action, comedic reaction, action, action, big end to the action. Story is sacrificed for a mayhem of explosions, slo-motion battle scenes, and unrecognizable robots, all of which quickly desensitizes us. Rather than wrapping his characters around shifting loyalties and putting them in situations designed to test those limits, Bay for the most part continues to paint them in such broad strokes that it seems like a 12-year old created them. Their purely good or evil stance throughout the film makes their actions seem one-dimensional and utterly predictable. There's a ridiculous amount of product placement here, some of which seems out of place - a Chinese bank in the middle of Texas? A Victoria Secret bus stop utterly destroyed in the finale, and curious drinking by both Tucci and Wahlberg? None of it should come as a surprise, but it's so obvious that one can't keep lingerie on the mind and watch this film at the same time. Even the appearance of the vaunted Dinobots - dinosaurs converted to metal when they were wiped out - are merely vehicles for the Autobots to ride - their story post-mortem isn't insightful in the least. Rather than reasoning with Optimus during a critical scene, they - you guessed it - fight for control of the situation How unique.

Transformers: Age of Extinction doesn't even fulfill its title, leading to an ending that should have arrived a full hour earlier. Its lapses in logic (and human survival) are as big as the robots, and its lack of heart is evident from the beginning. That's too bad, because Bay can build exceptional set pieces, but it's his continual lack of storytelling which makes every single one of these ever-escalating over-the-top scenes ring as hollow as the next. There is the interesting idea that humans are about to embark on a questionable path of building their own robots, a theme which will probably find traction in TF:5, but it's entirely lost here behind robot declarations of "Die, bitch!" and "This One's for You, A-hole!" during the dull 30-minute finale. Why Optimus chooses to fly into space himself rather than use the fully-functional spaceship defiled by Lockdown is hard to determine, and the absence (or explanation) of Shia LaBuf's Whitwicky character - as well as the sympathetic special ops group led Josh Duhammel in TF:-3 - makes this feel like a completely different adventure that was made by Bay's alter ego.

It's quite likely that nearly everyone who emerges from Transformers: Age of Extinction will feel some sort of regret for making the effort. Those hoping for a fresh reboot are in for a shock: Michael Bay's world is dull, bloated, and on the verge of extinction. Those hoping for mere entertainment will get more than they wanted, their minds turned to jelly after such a shockingly long and dull affair. It's set to make a killing overseas, and might just break records here within its own franchise; but once the word gets out about its runtime and 'nunc pro tunc' approach, we wonder if it has the legs for a run into late July. It's high time something better come along, for this franchise feels like it needs a brand-new All-Spark.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo and has a runtime of 165 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125. Bay will probably tell you that he couldn't care less about character development,
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Guardians of the Galaxy TV Spot: "That's a Big Gun"

The universe is depending on "criminals, misfits, and thugs" in this spot.


With Marvel Studios and Empire releasing covers featuring heroes and villains from the upcoming movie, as well as a series of character posters, there was bound to be another trailer released. And like clockwork, Marvel Studios has released a new TV spot for Guardians of the Galaxy, which you can see here:

The spot focuses on the team's rather sorted individual histories, suggesting that the Nova Corps are planning to use them to stop a war threatening an unknown planet. While that's probably not all we're going to see from the August 1st release, it's a guarantee that we'll be seeing other plot lines which have leaked, including the role of the mysterious Nowhere, a space station on the edge of the universe, manned by telekinetic dog Cosmo (voiced by Nathan Fillion). Additionally, we'll be seeing Ronan the Accuser, a Kree warrior who behaves like Judge Dredd but carries a much bigger gun (anvil, actually).

The ad also includes new/classic music for the track 'Cherry Bomb' suggesting that Peter Quill's Walkman is full of hits prior to his departure from Earth, another side story that we;'re sure to see.

Yup, it's going to be one of those movies, and we can't wait for it.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

24: Live Another Day – “7:00 PM-8:00 PM”


Does Jack finally get his woman? Read on after the jump.
Review by Brandon Wolfe

If there is one ‘24’ hallmark that ‘Live Another Day’ has thus far denied us, it’s with displays of Jack Bauer’s ruthlessness. We’ve seen him shoot a couple of people and he did inflict some light torture on Simone, but Jack has played things relatively straight thus far, not really unleashing his full wrath upon any of his adversaries. But when Jack finally does catch up to Margot Al-Harazi, after he has incapacitated her and foiled her plans, she can’t help but throw in his face the hundreds of lives she was successful in taking on this day, deaths that she claims are on his head. Jack’s response: “The only death tonight on my head is yours” before chucking her out the window. It’s at once shocking, rousing and even a little hilarious in its audacity. Jack murdering a neutralized villain out of pure spite is a character trait that extends all the way back to the first season’s finale, but rarely has it ever seemed as blunt as this. It’s clear that whatever thin line Jack had in the past is completely gone now in light of all he’s been through, his always palpable rage no longer being even mildly restrained. This seething vengefulness doesn’t make Jack a commendable hero, but it certainly makes him a memorable one.

“7:00 PM-8:00 PM” is one of those midstream transitional episodes where ‘24’ decides to wrap up its primary storyline before shifting gears toward something else. The entire first half of the episode is devoted to the breathless rundown of Margot before she can attack again. We open with something of a surprise: President Heller was not actually killed in that drone attack. In a plan that suggests that Jack watched ‘Speed’ at some point during his exile, he had Chloe loop the video feed of Heller to fool Margot, who remains true to her word and begins dumping the drones before realizing she’s been duped and retaining one of them. Heller’s survival might seem like a cop-out, but given that this is ‘24’, it comes as a genuine shock. This show has never backed down from killing a major character. It wants to kill all the major characters (indeed, when Jack later needs to call upon an old friend to run an assassin’s prints, the show has to use a heretofore unseen CIA contact because anyone we know who could have filled that role is dead). A furious Margot decides to target Waterloo Station for maximum casualties, giving Jack a very small window to hunt her down, and this entire segment illustrates that this show, despite its myriad flaws, remains expert at crafting sustained tension. That Jack will succeed is never in question, but the show whips up so much urgency that you clench your jaw all the same.

The problem with wrapping up the Margot storyline is that it isn’t immediately clear what Jack’s next focus will be. For a moment, it appears that the show will fold Jack over into the nonsense to do with CIA honcho Steve Navarro and his efforts to do away with nosy techie Jordan Reed, an assignment that hardly warrants the attention of Jack Bauer. But then the aim of the next few episodes clicks into place when Adrian Cross demands that Navarro secure for him Margot’s override device in exchange for safe harbor. That’s more Jack Bauer’s speed. Navarro does manage to nab the device and escape into the wild, but there’s an even more intriguing wrinkle to the plot. Chloe, who has been romantically involved with Cross, decides to take back up with him, her duties to Jack now complete. Now that Jack is on a path that will see him colliding with Cross very soon, Chloe will find herself directly in the center of a storm between the two gravelly-voiced men in her life. It’s an interesting position for Chloe to be placed. This show has never really known what to do with Chloe beyond having her at her laptop taking Jack’s orders. Giving her direct dramatic stakes in the action for once is a welcome shift from the usual rubric, even if it’s difficult to imagine Chloe ever deciding to oppose Jack.

As ‘Live Another Day’ begins winding down, it seems more and more likely that it will stand as the period at the end of ‘24’. The ratings have not been great and it’s a bit hard to imagine the show being dusted off yet again in the face of such Nielsen apathy. Thus far, the event series has functioned as a mixtape of ‘24’s’ greatest hits, but now the onus is on it to cap off Jack Bauer’s saga possibly for good. It’s been a nostalgic pleasure watching ‘24’ rise from the dead and perform its old tricks, but now the possibility exists for something more substantial to be placed into effect in the coming weeks, for a final declarative statement to be made on what this character’s fate will be. The original series finale was left open-ended, with the assumption at the time that a feature film would pick up the thread. It will be interesting to see how Jack calls it a day without the expectation that his services will be called upon again.
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Penny Dreadful Recap S01E07: Possession


What's new with Penny Dreadful? Read on to find out!


Recap by: Sue Lukenbaugh

Vanessa awakens in Malcom’s study. She speaks about the death, and how in some places the dead are prettied up and photographed for men’s spank banks. As she almost purrs about it, Malcolm asks if she remembers her episode the previous night. She’s been asleep since. She asks who dressed her, if he did like he did when she was a child. But he never dressed her, he was always away. It’s Mina inside her, as she talks about her mother weeping over him, missing him as he whored around the continent. She wants to hear about those women, but not Mrs. Ives, she knows all about him. He tells her to stop, but she continues talking about his screwing the natives, making his son screw them along side him even though he didn’t want to, but Peter did anything to please his father. Things start flying about the room, as Vanessa gets out of control, and Sembene is forced to come in and pimp slap her. He carts her off as Malcolm looks over the damage.

Vanessa awakes again. She stares at herself in the mirror, apologizing to Dr. Frankenstein that he has come all this way for no reason. Vanessa claims to be well, but Frankenstein isn’t buying. He checks her vitals, asking about her lip. Sembene’s sedation is a little rough. Everything looks good, as Frankenstein presses her for more information as to what happened downstairs. She doesn’t know what happened, there is usually violence when she goes away. Neither favor an asylum, thankfully. Eva hungers, and notices Frankenstein’s clean hands. She wonders if that is why she’s a virgin, and she tries to pull Frankenstein into her trap. He is scared, and pulls away. She asks if he knows a greater demon. His examination is far from over he tells her as he leaves.

Malcolm has called a meeting. It’s happened before, but he isn’t sure why they happen. Frankenstein asks if she experienced sexual trauma, if she’s intact. Malcolm has no clue. Vanessa has a deep seated psychosexual projection that is manifesting in shame. Malcolm only knows that she was out with a man that evening. Frankenstein reasons that Vanessa’s episodes are caused by guilt over some sexual act. As he touches one of her tarot cards a spider crawls over his hand. He drops the card and the table is swarming with spiders. Malcolm and Frankenstein look at it in horror as the spiders pour onto the floor. Vanessa’s screams pierce the air.

She continues to scream as Ethan arrives. Malcolm meets hi9m at the door, and Ethan is armed. They find Vanessa on the floor, stripped down to her undergarments, grunting. She asks for forgiveness, that she’s not herself. Vanessa is fighting the thing inside for control. She asks him if he fucked Dorian, or if Dorian fucked him. She concludes that Dorian fucked him, and asks if he enjoyed it. She tells him that they’ll Brona, that she already knows the boy. He screwed her too as she bled, tells him to have her show the pictures. Malcolm calls for the sedatives. It takes three of them to sedate her as Ethan looks on in shock.

Ethan asks what’s wrong with Vanessa. Malcolm tells him that she’s possessed by the Devil, or a devil. Her problem is outside of Frankenstein’s normal scope of practices. Based on the Egyptologist, Malcolm thinks that she’s fighting an incarnation of Amon-Et, and if she gains control it will be disastrous unleashing untold horrors. Ethan wants to get a priest to exercise her, but Frankenstein says that it would do them as much good to get the a witch doctor, or an old gypsy woman. They cannot bring anyone else in. For now they have to keep her alive and let her fight this thing. She told him once that in the end they only have the people the trust, and she trusts them. Malcolm asks Ethan to stay, and he will. He asks if Malcolm understood what Vanessa said to him at the end in a whisper, she said let me die.

Vanessa fights the thin g inside of her, and the men try to keep her sedated. They bathe and care for her, and nights pass. Only her screams of anguish pierce the night. She rocks, and fights, and it takes a toll on all of them as they struggle to help her. Frankenstein finds solstice in drugs he injects into himself. Ethan sits by her bedside. Vanessa awakens, normal sounding. She’s been sleeping for the most part of a week. He tells her that she did wake up and got feisty on occasion, which does not surprise her. He hesitates at handing her a glass of water, and she promises not to hurt him. Frankenstein had suggested restraints, and she smiles at that. Vanessa confides in him that it feels like an animal scratching at her insides trying to get out. She doesn’t remember everything, but she knows that he’s been kind. Everyone has been, but not like him. Vanessa admits that she might have fallen in love with him, and he tells her that she still might. She tells him that when the moment comes, to pull the trigger, the other won’t be able to. He will send her to heaven, but admits that he believes in the other place more, a place where he was flung when her cunt of a God cast him out. Ethan turns dark before her eyes. It’s not Ethan, but her old friend. She doesn’t like this game, she doesn’t want to give him a name again, forever hiding his face in another. He draws close, telling her his biggest fear is greatness never achieved. Vanessa will not surrender. He threatens to kill her, and she’s ready for death. He’s sure she can’t resist him forever, but she’s willing to try. He threatens to kill everyone downstairs, and she will not submit, because her soul would still be her own. The darkness wants her to be his demon bride, the mother of his children, ruler of his world where there is no more pain because there are no more hearts to eat. Together they could conquer god and rule over his throne. Vanessa falls into his kiss, listens to his heart’s sweet music as Sembene sits outside her door.

Ethan isn’t in the room at all, he’s in Malcolm’s study, twirling Brona’s necklace. Malcolm asks again about his proposition to go to Africa, and Ethan wonders if he’s trying to relive his glory days. Malcolm isn’t running from his past, like Ethan is though, and he isn’t ashamed of it. Ethan delivers a low blow, pointing out Peter’s death was his fault. Malcolm asks if Ethan knows why he must go to Africa, but Ethan has a case of cabin fever and doesn’t care. He tells Ethan how he found his son nearly eaten away by insects, and placed the body for safe keeping but had to continue his quest. He tells himself that he’s going back to bring his body home, but not even he believes it.

Vanessa’s shrieks interrupt, as she scratches the walls until her fingers bled. She goes into another trance, contorting. Her flesh is ripped into, and she tries to scratch off her own skin. Malcolm asks that she be restrained before she kills herself, and they sedate her once more.

Frankenstein sedates himself with morphine. He tells Malcolm its an addiction. Malcolm leaves him, but Frankenstein is not alone. Proteus lurks outside. Ethan reports that Vanessa is asleep, it’s the best thing for her. Frankenstein admits that for all their efforts they may still have to let her go. He asks Ethan his beliefs, he himself believes in everything but God. Ethan doesn’t think that Malcolm is being completely honest with them. He knows that Malcolm wants her to live, but not why. Frankenstein reasons that she’s like his daughter, but Ethan knows that’s not the true at all. He tells him that the saddest thing he ever saw was the Indian wars, how they white washed the Indians, took their identities from them. The worse was when one of these children would make it back to their tribes, they forgot their stories, their language and were outcast. These children did not fit into either world, like Ms. Ives. Frankenstein asks what they did, and Ethan tells him that they roam and they die. Frankenstein goes to look out at his creature again, and notices that its snowing. He asks Ethan for a favor.

Ethan teaches Frankenstein how to shoot a gun. He’s a very good teacher, or Frankenstein is a natural. Frankenstein hits all of his marks. He tells Ethan to play too, and Ethan fires with flare. Sembene breaks up the fun, since Malcolm is inquiring about the noise.

Another bout of hysterics on Vanessa’s part leave her restrained. It further brings down the hopes of the men. Ethan cooks a mighty fine meal, bringing a plate to Sembene who sits on sentry duty. He picked up the skill on the road. Ethan asks for his story, but Sembene claims to have none. He thinks that Malcolm saved his life and he owes him, or Sembene says that he saved his and now he’s responsible for him. Ethan believes it’s the same thing, and they’re all responsible in the end, even for Vanessa. Sembene thinks that they should call a Priest. He believes in everything.

Vanessa stays chained. Malcolm sits by her bed. He goes to her, trying to reach her. He knows she’s somewhere inside. He asks if she can hear her, and she answers him. He knows that she’s in a special place, somewhere between life and death, just like Mina is. He asks her to reach out to Mina, it may be their only chance. She sees that he allowed this to happen, just for this chance. She breaks down into tears over Malcolms cruelty, as he coos for her to find her. Ethan puts an end to it, and get Malcolm away from her. Ethan wants it all to end now, and to get Vanessa a priest. Frankenstein knows that the battle is over, that she is dying, and they need to accept that. They should give her what she wants. Then they should get a catholic priest to deliver last rites and exorcise her so she can lead them to Mina, Malcolm reasons. Frankenstein cannot believe his callousness. Ethan only sees that he has a girl dying inside, telling Malcolm that if he wants a daughter, she’s in that room. Malcolm orders the priest. Ethan swears that if Vanessa is right, if he allowed all of that to happen to manipulate her that he will rip his throat out.

Malcolm asks Frankenstein to give him something to stay awake. Frankenstein gives him a cocaine durative, but it makes an increase for narcotics. There is so much he doesn’t remember because of drugs, his son died because of him. Peter asked once for him to name a mountain after him, and after he died, Malcolm didn’t give him a second thought when he named mountains. He has no shed of decency left.

The priest has arrived. Malcolm tries to give Father Matthews the low down on Vanessa’s condition, but he doesn’t need to hear any of the whys he’s there, only that she was baptized and in good standing with her church. Malcolm admits that he wanted him to do more, that she may be possessed, but Father Matthews tells them that exorcisms are strictly forbidden without permission, and none will be granted. He can do little. Frankenstein is outraged, he tells the father to deliver the last rites and get out. He heads upstairs to do his duty and nothing more. Malcolm leads the way.

Vanessa is in the same grunting trance state she has been in, and Father Matthews is shocked to see it. Malcolm urges him to do what he came to do, and Ethan gets him a chair up close to Vanessa. Father Matthews prepares as Vanessa watches him warily. She is a faithful catholic, and when he asks for her confession she talks about other Matthews she knew and lured in. Vanessa springs forward biting a chunk from the Father’s cheek, and throwing off her shackles. She jumps to the ground on all four, stalking towards them. She leaps onto the wall above, and towards Malcolm. Ethan restrains her, telling the others to leave as the windows break. They scurry out. Ethan draws his gun on her, but he can’t do it. He begs her to come back, and she begs him to do it, to kill her. He places the gun against her chest, and he gives her exercises the demon himself with the help of Brona’s medallion. The deom fights to keep possession, but Ethan prevails. Vanessa falls to the ground.

Ethan walks out of the room, down the stairs and out of the house.

Malcolm finds Vanessa sleeping peacefully in the bed.

Vanessa hears voices, she sees sites of Mina. Plays and blood. Vanessa awakens. She goes down to Malcolm in the sunlight. He tells her that she should be in bed. She knows where Mina is.
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Salem Recap S01E10: House of Pain

What does the newest episode have in store? Read on to find out!

Recap by: Sue Lukenbaugh

Furniture piles up in the street. Inside Increase binds his flesh with a strap. He prays to the lord as he tightens it more and more finding himself a wretched thing, worse than those he pursues.

The girls prepare to dunk Emily’s father. She hopes that the devil is as kind to him as he was to her. She spits upon his face before the girls toss him down with the rest of the corpses in the grove. Emily misses Mercy, but Dollie believes that Mercy is always with them in the form of spiders.

Mary searches for Mercy in her darkened house. She isn’t pleased that the girl is hiding, and even less so that she pointed her finger at Tituba. Mary finds Mercy beneath a table. Mercy tells her that she did it for her, that had she not it would be Mary in the house of pain. That decision was not up to Mercy though, and when Mary goes to grab her, she finds a tarantula in her hand. Mary crushes the spider, and now she’s pissed.

Magistrate Hale goes out for a walk with Mary while Anne watches him leave from the window. She creeps down the hall into the back room. The door closes itself behind her, and she spies her father’s mask. She picks up the thing, looking through it’s eyes, there’s a forest. The mask binds itself to her face, and she can’t get it off. Anne falls through the mask, and finds herself in that forest.

Magistrate Hale has known Tituba even longer than Mary. If anyone can hold out against Increase its her, he tells Mary. Mary doesn’t like the idea of if, or the consequences of if she fails. Hale tells her to trust Tituba, she will use the opportunity. Mary doesn’t see torture as an opportunity. Tituba can use this as a distraction to take the heat off of them, and turn the attention elsewhere. Mary cannot bear the thought of Tituba being tortured, she won’t stand for it.

Increase has taken over the whore house, and he’s very pleased to hear that his place of repentance is nicknamed the house of pain. He finds it an apt name. Mary has come for Tituba, but Increase thinks that she belongs to the devil himself. Increase wonders if becoming befriended by her mistress is why she went astray, and furthermore if Mary herself would not benefit from being in the house. Cotton overhears, and admonishes his father, asking if he remembers to whom he speaks. He does, Mary is the wife of his friend, whom under her care has withered to an invalid. She resents his implications. He isn’t implying anything, at best she’s a weak and irresponsible woman, and he doesn’t even want to consider the worse. He’ll take responsibility for her husband and her slave, and he suggests that she return home to her husband’s house.

Tituba sits inside the house of pain, surrounded by instruments of torture. Increase shows off a tongue tearer to snip lying tongues, a skull crusher and breast stripper, some of his favorite toys. Cotton tells his father that he once pressed a man to death, that a tortured person will confess to anything true or not when under duress. Increase will not take the first lie as fact under pained query. Cotton argues that it’s a self evident truth. Whatever horror takes place today, Increase blames Cotton’s weakness on it. Cotton falls back, as Increase tells Tituba to meditate on the tools. They will be her savior. He places a heretic’s fork in place to keep her attention before he starts in with the thumb screws. Cotton points out that he is employing the same tools of the Inquisition, many that were used against Puritans, and reminds him that they were called heretics. Increase tightens the screws and Cotton leaves as Tituba’s screams pierce the air.

Mrs. Hale asks her husband where Anne is, as he burns his mask in the fire. He tells her that her foolish daughter did something really dangerous, she put his mask on. Mrs. Hale slaps him. Hale explains that only one traveler can use the mask at a time, and it took her to the woods. Since she has no experience using it, the only thing it served to do was be evidence against him, hence the burning. He will find her. His wife is livid. Whether he has to face down Indians, wolves or the devils that he swears that he can control, if he does not bring Anne home she swears to expose him. Hale warns that exposing him, will only serve to implicate herself. So long as he burns, she’s willing to die as well.

Anne thinks that it is all but a dream, that she is really in her bed at home. She desperately tries to wake herself up to no avail. With resolve she tries to figure out how to get home, and finds herself face to face with an Indian.

Once again John is chopping wood for shakes, and once again he’s shirtless. Hale comes to him about Anne. John wonders why he would think she would be in the woods, but he knows his daughter Hale tells him. Sometimes she thinks, and sometimes she leaps without looking. He knows that John thinks that he has failed in his position as Magistrate, and even has dark suspicions about him, but Hale asks that John put all that aside for Anne. Reluctantly John agrees, and tells him he can thank him if they find her.

Cotton wanders the woods, having a drunken conversation with his father. He wonders if the his father really thinks that he’s saving them from hell. He believes its too late, Salem is hell. He cannot be what his father wants him to be, he is only what he is. He wishes that he was never born, and although he cannot draw back the sands of time, he can break the hourglass. Cotton attempts to drown himself, but he cannot even do that.

Increase pauses in his little torture session. Tituba is bloodied and bruised. She’s accused half of the town, but he knows that its all been lies. Increase is rather pleased with the progress so far, he thinks she’s close to revealing the truth. She’s close to the point where angry is so undurable that she will break. He picks up another toy, a choke pear or the pear of anguish. It’s inserted and then opened, with the idea that the subject will open up. Increase prepares to insert it between Tituba’s legs.

Cotton says a mocking prayer and he stumbles around drunk. He has a sound in the wood, thinking the devil himself has come to take him. He offers himself up to the devil, ready to die. But when he hears it again, the sound fills him with fear, and he throws his boot at it. Cotton moves to retrieve his shoe, and finds a deer skull nailed to a tree, from the eye socket a butterfly comes out. Out of death comes life, he sees that’s the true face of the lord. He removes his remaining boot and dances around the trees. Bloodied instruments litter the table. Tituba tells him that he cannot know what she has done, or who she has served until he knows why. He asks her to tell him. She tells him for justice. She is not a witch, not a puritan. She was of the Arrowback tribe, she can still see the green of her jungle when she closes her eyes, and the deadly white skin of the English. They slaughtered the men, chained the rest, and raped the women. She was too small to be of use to them, but they made her watch. As she was chained she saw two glowing red eyes, and they spoke to her, claiming her. Increase tells her that Satan speaks to all of them in their own native tongue, and he readies to continue on.

John finds tracks in the woods, someone came through recently he tells Hale. They follow the trail, but the person did not know where they were going, they moved erratically. Cotton pees on the men from above, Hale thinks the reverend has lost his mind, and John demands that he comes down out of the tree. Cotton refuses, he sees more clearly from there, God himself walks in the woods. John asks what the hell happened to him, and Cotton gleefully tells him that he removed his boots, he felt the earth between his toes. John tells him that if his insight is real, then it will be just as real in his room. He thinks the tree can teach him so much more. The men leave him, they don’t have time for him right now.

Increase stokes the fire, asking Tituba when she sold her soul to the devil. Her body was bought and sold many times she says, but never her soul, never until she came to Salem. She was a child in a cage, given less food to eat than the animals on the ships. Then a man came, the one who brought her to Salem (Hale), only to be bought and sold again. Hale brings her and sells her from man to man, but atleast she is no longer in a cage. Her last owners the Wolcotts are nice, they give her a bed to sleep in, and their daughter Mary treats her like a sister. At night she still weeps for her mother, and runs off into the dark woods. Increase asks who she meets in the dark woods. She meets the Kanima. He has come to save her, to save them all. He gathers to him all who hurt, all who hide, all who hate, all who thirst for justice and gathers them into the circle and promises them a leader, a savior who will crush their enemies with a mighty fist and he keeps his promises. Increase keeps his promises too, and he promises to put her eyes out if he does not tell her who is in the circle, the circle of witches. She refuses, and he drives his fork into the board next to her head. He’s impressed with her mettle. It’s inspiring, touching, but she’s been duped. Those creatures are the enemies of all mankind. Tituba asks who started the war between witches and puritans, the few witches or the mighty puritans. By her own admissions, they’ve sold their souls to the devil, he asks. Were his people ever slaves? Did they ever call out for justice and his god answer with thunder? She tells him its obvious that there are no witches, just poor people like her, hunted and hurried for no reason other than they are not him. He begins to remove his gloves.

John finds evidence of Anne, he’s picked up her tracks now. Looking around John finds something besides Anne’s tracks. He tells Hale no matter what happens to stay calm and say nothing. A group of Indians descend from the trees around them. They get a closer look at the men, and John speaks to them in their native tongue. The leader answers, and the group clear out. Hale tells John that he is a mystery of mysteries. He walks the woods like a predator, and speaks to savages. John tells Hale that they saw Anne, but they did not touch her. They used a word that can mean many things, but usually just means crazy. Hale knows his daughter is many things, but not crazy. Luckily for her, they did think she was, they thought she was a walker between worlds. The men continue on. Increase’s hands are dirty, burned. He tells her that it does not matter who started the war, only that it end, and it will end. He tells her that she and her kind have no hope. They will bled, they will hurt and they will die for a hopeless cause. Tituba does not think that love is a hopeless cause. She will not betray the one true love of her life. He understands, finally he understands it all, understands everything. Shes nothing more than a poor girl, kidnapped and alone, seeking love. He does not doubt that she loves, but asks her to honest, does she really think that they love her as much as she loves them. He asks her to consider who they are, not who they wishes them to be. They would betray her in an instant to save themselves. He asks if the horrors she’s endured, the agonies have been worth it for this person, and Tituba has endured much, and there is still an ugly death in front of her. He asks if that is really what she wants now that she has admitted to herself who they really are. He tells her that the greatest pleasure in the world is when the pain stops, and all she has to do is whisper a name and it will stop. She whispers a name to him.

Anne continues to wander the woods, now blanketed in darkness. She takes a seat on a fallen log, finally admitting defeat, and begins to sob. As if matters couldn’t get worse, it begins to rain, and she laughs at her luck. The rain suddenly stops, startling her. The sound of breaking branches behind her scares her. There’s whispers in the woods, and the Kanima congratulates her for finding her way home. Anne runs scared in the woods, and flies right into John’s arms. She clings to her father, and asks him how they found her. He gives all the credit to John and his unnatural tracking abilities. John tells them that following the tracks was easy once they found some, but he cannot understand how she got so far from Salem leaving so few tracks. Anne looks to her father. She says she is a silly thing, and she ran into the woods. He doesn’t believe her story. She says that it rained briefly and perhaps that washed away her tracks. She kisses John upon the cheek, asking him to forgive her for what she put them through. Hale thanks John for finding his daughter. John says that he’s sure they would do the same for him if he needed rescuing.

Mary tries to pull herself together, Increase pays her a visit. He tells her that she is correct, that Tituba is a remarkable woman, and he can understand why she is not merely her servant, but her friend as well. He finds her extraordinary, so much love in her, but what he did not understand before was that the Chief Witch of Salem was not just her leader, but her lover. Mary is surprised that she confessed. Love is a two faced coin, and one side is surely betrayal. He asks if he can pour himself a drink, and Mary allows it. George always did have a fine cellar. He continues, no one will ever admit that love is equal. But when they find that one always loves more, and when they realize that it tastes of ashes. Mercy Lewis may have begun as a victim, but she was made a witch. Mary tells him that Mercy went out earlier, and she has not returned. Increase tells her that it does not matter, he will have her and her girls by the time the sun comes up. Increase admits that when he first returned to Salem he was convinced that Satan’s true partner was in front of him, and all he needed to do was take her. He was shocked to learn that Captain John Alden stands behind all of Salem’s horror. After laying that blow on her, he asks her to walk with him, to get some good night air so that they will have a good vantage point for the arrest. John, Anne and Hale walk back, and John is tempted to go back and find Cotton, concerned that he’s going to wake in the belly of a bear. As they enter the town, they’re greeted by a mob carrying torches, how cliché. John is placed under arrest by the Selectmen. John asks for his charges this time, and he’s told its for witchcraft. Mary watches the spectacle, and Increase watches her. Only Anne protests the arrest, but John goes peacefully. In a cell John sits, Tituba sits in one nearby, and she is quite pleased with herself.
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