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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Spoiler: Edge Of Tomorrow Alternate Ending Revealed

Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow is easily one of the most beloved films of the year. It’s a hit with critics and has garnered passionate reactions from its fans. The only problem people seem to have is with its ending.

Before we go any further: beware of spoilers if you haven’t seen Edge of Tomorrow yet. If you haven’t, shame on you.

The movie is so different, fresh and original that, to some people, ending on a familiar/happy note doesn’t gel with its riskier choices. Would it have been more badass if Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) had died to save the world? Of course he does sacrifice himself repeatedly, but what if he had stayed dead? The problem is that a downer ending isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time.

But crowd-pleasing commerce isn’t why the film ended the way that it did. Genre demand is why.

filmschoolrejects spoke with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, who explained the original script for Edge of Tomorrow was tonally much darker. Cruise stressed the importance of the story’s humor, even when people like McQuarrie initially didn’t see the joke. Once Edge of Tomorrow began to lean more heavily on the comedy, that’s when this happy ending materialized. As McQuarrie reminds us, comedies generally have to go back to the way things were, and that’s exactly what Edge of Tomorrow did.

“I was always arguing it has to end on the helicopter,” he explained. “You have to be thrown back to wondering, ‘Did the movie even happen? Did any of this really happen?’ To that end, there were a million things you had to do with the writing and visually, to serve that ending. That presented a lot of challenges and debate for us. We really struggled to deliver what the movie needed to be emotionally. I know the ending was somewhat controversial, with some people who didn’t like it. I think the only way to make those people happy would to end the movie in a way that wasn’t happy. We weren’t interested in doing that. It needed to end in a way that wasn’t harsh.”

McQuarrie argued for another element that, unlike returning to Cage sleeping on the helicopter, didn’t make the final cut: a pretty bonkers sounding moment in the third act.

“When Tom loses the power, and they go to Paris, and Tom is preparing the team as they go into Paris where he’s telling them the rules of the movie, he tells the team everything the audience knows,” says McQuarrie. “Basically, he told them: ‘Kill as many Mimics as you want, but do not kill an Alpha. If you kill an alpha we’ll be right back here having this conversation, and we won’t even know it. The enemy will know we’re coming and they’ll kill us all.’ When they get to Paris there’s the classic horror movie scene where one of them gets separated from the group, and he gets attacked by an Alpha and kills it. As he kills it, you see the Omega reset the day and you see the point-of-view of the villain. We cut to the plane and hear the same speech all over again. This time when he gets to the line, ‘You can bet they’ll have a plan to kill us all,’ the ship gets hit. As the audience, you realize the enemy knows they’re coming. The problem was you were so exhausted by the time you got to that point.”

Ultimately they didn’t want to add any more sci-fi, timey wimey talk. They already had a lot of exposition to get through, to the point where one day both Liman and Emily Blunt expressed their frustration for a scene where Rita explains the rules to Cage. McQuarrie, on the other hand, saw it as necessity. When they were filming that scene, Liman complained that he hadn’t needed that much exposition to make his spy thrillers, so McQuarrie asked, “Doug, how many time traveling aliens were there in The Bourne Identity?”

What makes for too much exposition, too many rules, or a lack of clarity is obviously subjective. This isn’t the first time McQuarrie has experienced an unexpected level of confusion/criticism over something he didn’t see as a problem. Some people found the ending of Jack Reacher problematic, unsure whether James Barr’s emotional response meant to imply his already disproven guilt.

Not until Edge of Tomorrow opened in theaters last month did the ending become a huge topic of discussion, at least on the Internet. Sometimes a “tacked-on” happy ending is a cheat or a trick, but not always. In the case of Edge of Tomorrow it happened to be a decision that simply felt right to the people telling the story.

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The masters of two mediums come together with an all-new, limited-edition vinyl figure of Sin City’s beloved brute, Marv! This unique interpretation of Marv was created by Eric So, a master of modern design and a leader in the Hong Kong designer-toy movement. With the guidance of Frank Miller, So has sculpted a thirteen-inch vinyl figure that is unlike any that has come before it.

While best known for his groundbreaking toy designs, Eric So is also an accomplished designer in many other areas, such as men’s fashion and accessories. He is a legend in his native Hong Kong, and has made a name for himself worldwide.

In the same spirit as his previous collaboration with Dark Horse (a vinyl figure of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy) or his Nike-commissioned statue of Michael Jordan, So favors a humorous and cartoonish approach over realism. While Marv is depicted in his customary trench coat, he has been transformed through Eric So’s unique approach to angles and features. Still, the influence of Frank Miller’s signature style shines through.

Each figure is individually hand painted and comes with a pack of band-aid stickers, which collectors may affix to Marv as they like. Also included is a certificate of authenticity, signed by both Frank Miller and Eric So.

“Besides the figure itself, the packaqe is innovative and fun” noted Dark Horse vice president of product development, David Scroggy. “Eric has come up with a gray translucent plastic blister that is the flat front of the box. The Marv figure inside is visible in silhouette. The outer surface is over-printed in white, creating the illusion of a shadowy Marv walking in the snow. This was inspired by Miller’s classic Silent Night story. It is a striking package design.”

Frank Miller is widely acclaimed worldwide for his comic work and boasts multiple Hollywood successes, including two adaptations of his masterwork, Sin City. Marv is one of Sin City’s most memorable characters, in both comics and film.

This beautiful thirteen-inch piece will be produced in a limited run of 950 and will arrive just in time for the release of Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Mark your calendars for September 10, when this figure goes on sale for $150.

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Best Movies Of 2014 So Far

Though 2014 is only at the halfway mark, it’s already shaping up to be one of the best movie years on record, thanks to wisecracking Legos, hipster vampires, and a certain Budapest hotel. Here are our favorite flicks so far:

What are some of your favorite? Leave a comment.

See the list after the Jump...

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
From a story standpoint, Captain America: The Winter Soldier — in which our beloved Cap finds himself targeted by shadowy government forces —is one of the tightest Marvel films to date. Using the ’70s espionage thriller as a template, Winter Soldier is the rare comic-book caper that’s not only free of bloat, but also rooted in the real world. Throw into the mix the easy chemistry between Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans; a fearsome and complex adversary in the Winter Soldier; and parkour-packed action sequences, and you’ve got one of the smartest superhero movies ever made.

Edge of Tomorrow
Many viewers decided to skip Tom Cruise’s time-tripping sci-fi joyride, which is a shame, as it’s the star’s slickest, giddiest action flick in years. As a cowardly military-PR agent who gets unwillingly stuck in an oft-repeating, Groundhog Day-like battle, Cruise gets to employ all of his apex charms here, running and gunning with maverick energy, and occasionally flashing that still-potent, Risky Business-era smile. And co-star Emily Blunt, playing a brutally driven war hero, gives an athletically fierce, appropriately edgy performance.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is writer-director Wes Anderson’s best work in years. Flamboyantly colorful, it’s driven by an utterly comic performance from Ralph Fiennes, who plays an old-world concierge with a love for little old ladies. He’s aided by a gaggle of brilliant support from the Anderson irregulars, but what really puts Grand over the top is its soulful nostalgia for a lost civility that can never to be recaptured.

The Lego Movie
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller — the whiz-kid co-directors of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the Jump Street films — continued their streak of mining smart, hilarious movies out of the unlikeliest of sources. The Lego Movie is a wildly inventive family movie so brimming with laughs, sight gags and subtle asides that it begs for revisiting – which works out well, considering your kids are going to want to watch it over and over.

Life Itself
Roger Ebert receives the four-star documentary he deserves from filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams), based on the late film critic’s memoir. The warts-and-all look at Ebert’s lifetime examines his impact on the industry he covered — including his complicated relationship with longtime sparring partner Gene Siskel — and chronicles his final days, resulting in a surprising (and deeply affecting) meditation on death.

This cross-generational R-rated comedy — in which new parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne feud with bad-boy frat leader Zac Efron — struck a chord not only with young married couples struggling with the responsibilities (and uncoolness) of raising a kid, but also with carefree college kids who feel their sole responsibility is to party as hard as humanly possible.

Night Moves
In this taut drama from director Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy), Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg play environmental extremists trying to destroy a hydroelectric dam. With its ambient score, gorgeous shots of Northwest forests, and long passages devoid of dialogue, Night Movies is a minimalist drama that nonetheless achieves maximum tension.

Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive marks a milestone for director Jim Jarmusch, who crafts a hipster serenade to his long-time partner Sara Driver in the form of a vampire genre film. Unlike most vamp-chroniclers, however, Jarmusch is less interested in bloodletting as he is in documenting what long-term love would look like, with dreamers Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton cast as a centuries-old couple in crisis.

The first English-language production from acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother), Snowpiercer is an action-packed, uniquely layered story of survival and social struggle. Set in the near-future, after a man-made Ice Age has frosted the entire planet, Snowpiercer places Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, and Octavia Spencer on a high-speed train loaded with at-odds survivors and strivers. It’s a violent, genre-bending, and visually stunning thriller that never derails.

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Ken Jeong Joins Ride Along 2

Hangover alum Ken Jeong has joined the cast of Universal’s Ride Along 2, joining returning leads Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in the cop comedy sequel to this year’s $153 million hit. Tim Story will direct and Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay are writing the script.

Cube and Matt Alvarez will produce for CubeVision alongside Will Packer for Will Packer Productions and Larry Brezner. Jeong recently wrapped The Duff, opposite Mae Whitman and Bella Thorne.

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Open Forum Friday is Back!

Here's your chance to connect with the SJF community.
While you're welcome to comment on any movie or television thoughts you might have, here's a brief rundown of the movies released this week and Blu-rays to be released next Tuesday:
- Deliver Us from Evil
- Earth to Echo
- Tammy
- Begin Again
- Life Itself

- Bad Words
- Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
- Nymphomaniac, Vols. I & II
- The Raid 2

Also, don't forget about July Movie Preview posting - are you excited about July's releases?
No matter what you choose to talk about, 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.

Feel free to comment on any of the following:

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!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #PurgeAnarchy In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance For The Purge: Anarchy on Tuesday July 15th at 7:00PM in Sacramento at Regal Natomas.

With the smash success of low-budget chiller thriller The Purge last year, Universal has been quick to try to capitalise on that by throwing the sequel into production. The first teaser trailer for what is now called The Purge: Anarchy has arrived online.

The sequel film stars Frank Grillo, Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams, Carmen Ejogo and Kiele Sanchez.

You’ll recall the basic concept – in a bizarre, violent future America (next week?), the government comes up with a radical idea to curb crime and social issues. One night a year, all laws are suspended, the emergency services including police, fire and medical are rescinded and people are free to do exactly what they want within a set 12-hour period.

While the first film aimed for claustrophobic tension by spotlighting one family’s nightmare trapped within their seemingly secure house under siege by masked vigilantes, the sequel opens the canvas up a little, following what happens when a young couple (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez) break down outside LA on the worst night possible. Naturally, things turn very dark for them as masked weirdoes haunt their every turn and the violence begins to ramp up…

Audiences were clearly ready for this, even given the incredibly odd concept, which goes even further satirising the country’s attitude to gun violence versus other problems. With James DeMonaco back writing and directing.

Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our podcast.

See how to win tickets after the Jump...

Come and see us (I will have on a SandwichJohnFilms shirt) at the TNT Firework Booth on Friday between 9-11.

The booth is  in front of Sam's Club on Greenback.

If you haven't gotten your fireworks yet please help out Sunrise Girls Softball.

Keyword is Grillo

No purchase necessary but appreciated.

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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#DevonAoki Joins Arrow Season 3

Devon Aoki has landed a major recurring guest role on the hit CW drama Arrow from Warner Bros TV. Aoki will play Tatsu Yamashiro, a character that first appeared in the Green Arrow origin series graphic novels

published by DC Comics. She is a Japanese martial arts expert who wields a deadly sword, a blade from which her codename Katana is derived. In Arrow, Tatsu will be one of Oliver’s mentors in the flashbacks and a critical influence on his journey to eventually become The Arrow of present day.

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New Trailer For #Foxcatcher

Following on from the new, Channing Tatum-centric poster for Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, Sony Pictures Classics is clearly betting on the 22 Jump Street star – already being talked about as a potential awards nominee – as a mainstream draw for the film. He’s once again the focus of this latest teaser trailer for the drama.

In the very real story Foxcatcher chronicles, chemical fortune heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) recruits wrestlers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo) with a tempting offer. The man has a dream of creating a winning US wrestling team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. To that end, he’s created a state-of-the-art training facility on his estate and he wants the Schultz brothers to train the team.

Flattered by the attention and entranced by du Pont's luxurious world, Mark comes to see his benefactor as a father figure and grows increasingly dependent on him for approval. Soon du Pont's erratic behaviour and cruel psychological game-play begin to erode the athlete's already shaky self-esteem. Meanwhile du Pont becomes fixated on Dave, who exudes the confidence both he and Mark lack. Fuelled by du Pont's increasing paranoia and alienation from the brothers, the trio is propelled towards tragedy…

With Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall and Brett Rice among the cast,

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Galaxy Getaways Viral Travel Site Launched For #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

“Hawaii. Tahiti. The Bahamas. Some of the most beautiful destinations on Earth… look like shit compared to the rest of the galaxy.” It’s an unusual way to open the viral site for a film, but then Galaxy Getaways, which ties into that bunch of a-holes from Guardians Of The Galaxy, is no ordinary stealth movie site. Head here to have a look.

For a start, it’s not particularly stealthy, but it does have the vibrant, cheeky feel the movie has given off in its trailers so far. No ‘70s jams from the soundtrack to be found, but it’s a clever way to introduce people to the various destinations that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and co. will be visiting.

Sprinkled among the descriptions of places such as Knowhere (carved into the skull of a massive, ancient creature) and Xandar, home to the Nova Corps (and Gluborg’s, the first restaurant in the galaxy to score five stars), are a wealth of in-jokes and little bits of information about the movie that enhance rather than spoil the experience.

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Trailer For Jimi: All Is By My Side

There are a number of films about different periods in the life of iconic guitar slinger / singer Jimi Hendrix in development. After playing various festivals, Jimi: All Is By My Side is the first to actually take aim at theaters.

Written and director by 12 Years A Slave scribe John Ridley, and featuring Outkast’s Andre 3000 (here credited as Andre Benjamin), it’s an account of his pre-fame days, of time spent in London, the people he meets and his tangles with the law.

It’s also minus any of his famous music, which seems odd for a film about a man who had such an impact on it, but without the expensive, closely held rights to his work, this is what Ridley focused on.

With Imogen Poots and Hayley Atwell as two of the women who had an influence on his life at the time.

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DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Short-Film Prequels. #DawnofApes

With Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes picking up ten years after Rise left off, you might be curious as to what exactly has occurred in the intervening period. As luck – and 20th Century Fox’s marketing bods – would have it, there are three new viral videos showing exactly that. And, from humanity’s point of view, it’s not too pretty. Ape-manity, meanwhile, is out there... biding its time.

Motherboard, Vice’s production arm, is behind these three virals that offer a glimpse into the decade elapsed, as well as a further video that takes us to an ape testing facility in Liberia.

The standout, Story Of Gun, boasts obvious echoes of Winchester 73 in charting the breakdown of law and order in society as shotgun passes from one pair of hands to another. And another...

See all the stories after the Jump...

The intervening period has brought the spread of the Simian Flu. First isolated cases, then an epidemic and finally a full-blow pandemic has devastated the human population and brought anarchy and despair. Looting is everyone and the penalty for just about any crime is death.

Into this breach scampers an army of apes, led by Andy Serkis’s Caesar who negotiate a fragile-looking truce with the human survivors, Jason Clarke’s scientist Malcolm and Gary Oldman’s jaundiced Dreyfus among them. Judging by the latest trailer, war will be hard to avoid.

Island of the Apes (Trailer)The crew goes to Liberia to discover "Monkey Island," a place solely inhabited by former lab-tested chimpanzees. We talk to the fearful locals and meet the scientists involved in the testing facility 25 years ago.

The Lab Apes of Liberia-The Real Planet of the Apes (Documentary)

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2 New Clips From My Man Is A Loser Starring John Stamos

On behalf of Step One of Many Entertainment and Lionsgate, we are pleased to share 2 new clips from the upcoming comedy My Man Is A Loser – opening in select theaters and on demand on July 25th!

John Stamos stars as Mike, a New York bachelor with all the right moves. When his buddies (Michael Rapaport and Bryan Callen) ask for advice on how to regain their marriage mojo, Mike’s lessons start backfiring with hilarious results.

Check out two new clips after the Jump...

Clip – The Single Life:

Clip – Good Clean Fun:

When it comes to women, playboy Mike (John Stamos) has all the right moves. So when Mike’s buddies (Michael Rapaport and Bryan Callen) ask for advice on how to reconnect with their wives, Mike figures he’ll share some secrets and help the guys regain their marriage mojo. But when Mike’s lessons start backfiring with hilarious results, it takes a beautiful, no-nonsense friend (Tika Sumpter) to show Mike he still has a thing or two to learn about relationships. Lionsgate presents a Step One of Many Entertainment production in association with Imprint Entertainment.

Official Website: http://mymanisaloser.com/
Follow @MyManIsALoser on Twitter
YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/user/MyManIsALoser

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Earth to Echo Review: Sterilized for an Emotionally Unsatisfying Experience

The pleasant but emotionally hollow Earth to Echo is more Frankenstein than ET.

Echo centers around 3 boys and their 'found footage' adventure to locate the source of an odd radio wave affecting their cellphones and other mobile devices. Their neighborhood will soon be knocked down to build a freeway, but Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley), foster kid Alex (Teo Halm) and “acquired taste” Munch (Reese Hartwig) set off on their bikes the night before everyone is to move to investigate the anomaly. What they find are pieces of a starship shot down by an agency claiming to be the freeway company, who's more than interested in discovering its whereabouts. The pilot - a tiny but adorable robot later called Echo - just wants to return home, and so the trio head off to rescue the alien, piece together the ship, and band together once more before their friendship comes to an end.

Few might not care about the backstory of Echo's development, but Disney's decision to quietly sell this script around 2012 seems well-founded. This is a Frankenstein-ed affair with the script by Henry Gayden stealing elements of ET, Goonies, Gremlins, Wall-E, and even Explorers. Director Dave Green has scrubbed so much of the action clean that even the found-footage style hides more action than it shows. As a result there is zero sense of danger, with the kids and Echo's movements never creating enough tension that would have allowed the picture to elevate beyond its interesting premise. Green does allow some ad-libbing along the way, which is some of the film's best moments. But from the moment we realize that Echo is in the picture, it becomes sadly one-dimensional: find the ship, get Echo home.

Our three leads are good enough, but at the same time don't screw anything up - if you can read between those lines, you'll notice that we weren't exactly thrilled with their performances. But it's the script that once again fails to give them anything meaty to do except achieve the next goal, quickly turning things procedural as their roles remain predictable throughout. Any chance for boys to be boys is lost so often that its missed opportunities pile up like cordwood behind a house.

What should have been the next chapter of ET becomes an exercise in keeping your food down as the POV rockets back and forth as Echo slowly reassembles his starship. Speaking of him, Relativity takes the one thing that audiences didn't need to see in the trailers and posters - the loveable alien - and instead plasters it on every one of those mediums, as if they knew that no one would see this picture if they didn't parade it out for us to ogle over. Boy were they right: Echo is paper thin in the character department, making comparisons between R2-D2 and ET pointless. The humans are almost as bad, featuring more adults characterized as either out of touch parents or just plain mean than we've seen from a kids movie. They're nothing more than flat, unsympathetic things for the kids to ignore, manipulate, or mock on their way to making contact with Echo.

But so many questions about the backstory remain that audiences are sure to be scratching their heads afterwards. We fail to learn why Echo was here in the first place, how long it's been since his ship was shot down, and why the mean adult freeway dudes don't just use radar to locate the ship which has always been under their feet. Even the end-credits scene - which suggests our friends will be back soon with another adventure - feels out of place because the kids are exact age as they were when the adventure began. The story suggests that gather again a few years later, but none of them have aged.

Earth to Echo is pleasant enough, maybe even a tad entertaining; but its lack of a soul or emotional power makes the entire affair feel sterilized. If you're looking for homogenized entertainment that's easy to drink and is entirely inoffensive, then this one is for you. But with plenty of better age-appropriate material out there, we think Earth to Echo doesn't hold a candle to them. Look for this one to disappear under the explosions and big epic pictures still hanging around that probably deserve more of your family's time.

Earth to Echo is rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language and has a runtime of 91 minutes. Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

The First Official Image from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The first official image arrives. See it here. Although Dawn of Justice is nearly two years away, fans have been clamoring for hints about Director Zack Synder's superhero team-up. Earlier this year, we got images of both the Batmobile and of Batman himself, suggesting a much bigger universe than a Henry Cavill follow-up to a very divisive movie (see our review of Man of Steel here).

And although we saw Cavill in a behind-the-scenes image of him as Clark Kent, this wasn't quite the one we were hoping for.

Until today.

Warner Bros has released the first official image from Dawn of Justice. The image, debuted by USA Today, suggests a much darker tone than Man of Steel:

Here, we see a more serious Superman than perhaps we would have expected. That's not to say the entire film will be this tonally dark, but Snyder's decision to move Supes into the 21st Century was one reason why we loved MofS so much. The image gives us hints to the story's plot as well: looking at the city in the background, we see something very different from the cleaner Metroplis, most of which was destroyed by Zod and Superman during their climactic battle. We see smoke stacks, and an uneven skyline.

You know what this means: we're seeing our first glimpse of Snyder's Gotham. Synder apparently doesn't seem worried about putting him in new conditions, stating recently:

"We've both created this guy and we can push I'm around a little bit," says Snyder. "The more time I spend with Henry, the more he's Superman to me."

During the interview, Snyder also talked about introducing Batman into the film, confirming that the pictures he leaked this Spring are acurate to his and Actor Ben Affleck's take on the Caped Crusader:

"it's cooler to see a crusty old Batman beating the snot out of guys."

Dawn of Justice is likely to feature some of the biggest names in comics, from Wonder Woman and Cyborg to Lex Luthor, and Snyder has no problem with that, stating:

"You can talk all you want about other superhero movies, but it's Batman and Superman, let's just be honest," he says. "I don't know how you get bigger than that."

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set for its USrelease on 6 May 2016.

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tammy Review: 85 Minutes We'll Never Get Back

The listless and uninspiring Tammy is one of the worst films of the year. Tammy is one of those films you can see coming a mile away, a trainwreck whose strong cast could have prevented but sadly occurs because its driver is too enamored with her own creation to notice the obvious faults.

Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) has had a really bad day: a deer hits her car, she loses her job, and finds her husband (Nat Faxon) screwing one of their friends (Toni Colletti). When she runs down the street to her mother (a way to young-looking Allison Janney), she makes contact with her senile grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon), who begs Tammy to take her on a roadtrip to Niagara Falls. Along the way, the two meet father-son duo Earl (Gary Cole) and Bobby (Mark Duplass), who are going through their own issues. Together with Pearl's friend Lenore (Kathy Bates), Tammy learns that most of her life's failures can no longer be attributed to other people, and that her future happiness is dependent entirely upon herself.

McCarthy has surrounded herself with top-name talent that's absolutely squandered. Colletti, Faxon, and Janney are just pencil sketches of real characters we've seen in better films this year, and Duplass is a little too boring for the wild McCarthy. We never really get to know them enough to decide if we like them, and their behavior almost seems like another animal in the road that Tammy is better off swerving to avoid. The exception here is Dan Aykroyd who's incredibly funny in his two scenes as Tammy's dad - his appearance is too short and probably should have been given cameo status. It honestly would have made Tammy a tad better, because the film has so little to offer. Part of that blame has to fall on Director/Writer/Actor and real-life husband Ben Falcone, who fails to push his cast enough to bring the pot of water to any temperature above tepid. His listless script breaks no new comedic ground: when a film delves into grandmother sex as a condition of comedy, all you can say is that Adam Sandler - and probably no one else - would be proud.

Sarandon is serviceable as Tammy's grandmother, but in terms of pure self-destruction, McCarthy is queen of that realm. Her 'hit the road and the road hit back' performance isn't funny in the least. This is a mix of every one of her better roles, filled with ad-lib that just doesn't cut it. For someone as clearly talented as McCarthy, I'm tired of seeing her in fat, self-denigrating roles in which other men somehow find those destructive parts of her personality to be attractive. From The Heat to Identity Thief, McCarthy, one would guess that she is being pigeonholed by a Hollywood that must think very low of her, until you consider that Tammy was written and produced by her. And the plot thickens. I'm going to stay away from making any further conclusions here, but you get my point.

For those of you who loved 22 Jump Street and Neighbors, go see them again rather than taking a chance on Tammy - your gamble will result in 1 hour and 25 minutes of your life lost. It's one of the worst movies of 2014, and a clear indication that McCarthy needs a career reset. Tammy is rated R for language and sexual situations.

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

TV Review: Tyrant “State of Emergency”

TV Review: Tyrant “State of Emergency”
By: Brandon Wolfe

The pilot episode of ‘Tyrant’ was very flawed, but showed some promise. Its major pitfalls were a fairly unremarkable set of characters, a bland lead actor and an overreliance on silly melodrama, but its intriguing premise and lush production values seemed to merit giving it some time to find itself. However, its second episode, “State of Emergency” would seem to indicate that ‘Tyrant’ might not be on the path to pulling itself out of its tangle of problems. The characters remain uninteresting, the lead remains dull and, if anything, it doubles down on the melodrama. It doesn’t seem to be working out its flaws, but reveling in them.

In the aftermath of his accident, Jamal is on the road to recovery. We are told of the nature of his injuries, which will make every male member of the viewing audience squirm in his seat, but that he is on the mend. But while he is incapacitated, civil unrest is growing in Abuddin in the wake of all the recent dramatic developments among the Al-Fayeed family, and Nusrat, the new bride of Jamal’s son, Ahmed, is taken hostage at gunpoint by three young boys. Bassam/Barry, still highly resistant to having anything to do with affairs pertaining to his family, balks at getting involved in the standoff, but finally agrees to intercede at the behest of his forceful mother. Barry speaks with the boys and manages to resolve the conflict peacefully, but when the boys are apprehended, Barry’s uncle, a general in the military, orders all three young men to be abruptly executed. The scene where each of the boys is nonchalantly shot in the head is the only moment in “State of Emergency” that carries any charge. It’s shocking and brutal, and briefly jolts us out of the somnambulance that the rest of the episodes lulls us into.

“State of Emergency” doesn’t do a great deal to build upon its supporting characters. We learn that Leila, Jamal’s fiery wife, once had a love affair with Barry in their teenage years, a fact that will almost certainly be relevant in the weeks ahead. Barry’s family doesn’t advance much this week. Son Sammy is still circling a flirtatious relationship with Abdul, the son of the head of the Al-Fayeed security detail. Wife Molly is still asking her husband why he has such issues with his family, somehow remaining oblivious to the fact that his issues are both completely obvious and understandable based on who his family is. The key problem with the cast remains Adam Rayner as Barry, who is the black hole at the center of the show. Rayner is bland and inscrutable in a role that requires at least some evidence of life. Barry’s character does advance some this week, as he informs Jamal at the end of the episode that he now wants to be involved in the family, a turnabout that seems quite flimsily established. But perhaps Barry aligning himself more with his heritage will light a spark somewhere in Rayner’s performance.

A great nuisance of the series is how everyone in Abuddin speaks that sort of vaguely European-accented English that Hollywood uses to denote “foreign” rather than in their native tongue. This makes sense around Barry’s family, as they are American transplants completely ignorant of this new culture, but having Abuddin citizens conversing with each other in a language they obviously would not speak is a colossal cheat. I presume it’s being done to stave off what would otherwise be a very subtitle-driven series, which I take it the producers feel would alienate audiences unaccustomed to having to read during TV time, but it’s such a frustrating and distracting choice that it robs every scene of the already scarce amount of authenticity it’s has to begin with.

‘Tyrant’ continues to operate as a soapy melodrama, filled with heated, overcooked dialogue delivered with maximum emotion (though there is one moment of unintentional hilarity, when Leila exclaims to Jamal regarding his injury “You nearly un-manned yourself!”). It feels more like a Middle-Eastern-flavored spin on an ‘80s primetime sudser like ‘Dynasty’ or ‘Falcon Crest’ rather than anything that has something relevant to say about that corner of the world. You can credit this to executive producer Howard Gordon, a man with a documented history of trying to pass off triteness and clichĂ© as profound television. Gordon sort of skirted by on ‘24’ because that show, while occasionally pretending it has something to say about the war on terror, is operationally just a Steven Seagal movie rendered as weekly episodic television. But ‘Tyrant’ has the opportunity to really explore the nature of a dictatorship from the inside out, yet it has little interest in anything authentic. It just wants to be a sexy drama that wears the clothes of something more substantial.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe on Twitter at @ChiusanoWolfe.

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Studio Brings 15 Series to Comic-Con from Top Producers Including Greg Berlanti, Bruno Heller, Greg Plageman, Julie Plec, Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Kevin Williamson and Many More

In Addition to a First Ever Saturday Night WBTV/DC Entertainment Event, Fans Won’t Want to Miss Panels and Signings with the Stars and Producers of Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Childrens Hospital, Constantine, The Flash, The Following, Gotham, The 100, iZOMBIE, Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Originals, Person of Interest, Supernatural, Teen Titans Go! and The Vampire Diaries

See the line-up & times after the Jump...

Twitter Pitch: Super heroes+Super-Villains: prepare for a massive @Comic_Con 2014! Get @warnerbrostv lineup details here: http://bit.ly/1o3Yebj #WBSDCC

It wouldn’t be summer without a sizzling, action-packed lineup from Warner Bros. Television Group at Comic-Con International: San Diego. The Studio returns to the world’s leading pop-culture convention in 2014 with 15 series, including 10 returning fan-favorite shows and five programs making their much-anticipated Comic-Con debut. Plus, for the first-time ever, Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment are joining forces for an epic special Saturday night event on July 26, as previously announced, featuring super heroes, Super-Villains, screenings and special appearances, including the world premiere of Gotham.

Participating in all the action are Comic-Con favorites and new additions including The Following’s Kevin Bacon; The Vampire Diaries’ Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder; Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins; The Flash’s Grant Gustin (Arrow); Constantine’s Matt Ryan and Harold Perrineau (Lost); The Originals’ Joseph Morgan; Childrens Hospital’s Rob Corddry; Mike Tyson Mysteries’ Mike Tyson; and cast members from Gotham — to name just a few — who will join producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), Greg Plageman (Person of Interest), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals), Jason Rothenberg (The 100), Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero-Wright (iZOMBIE, Veronica Mars), Kevin Williamson (The Following, The Vampire Diaries) and many more to deliver the ultimate experience for fans, with screenings, panel sessions, autograph signings and media appearances.

Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment have your Saturday night all taken care of with a three-hour special event on July 26 featuring the world premiere of Gotham (the only time Gotham will screen during Comic-Con), a screening of The Flash pilot, and footage from the much-anticipated Constantine pilot and from the upcoming third season of Arrow.

Comic-Con essentials Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Childrens Hospital, The Following, The 100, The Originals, Person of Interest, Supernatural, Teen Titans Go! and The Vampire Diaries are all back in San Diego.

World-premiere screenings of complete pilot episodes of highly anticipated new WBTV series The Flash, Constantine and iZOMBIE on Preview Night, plus an advance look at a new episode of Teen Titans Go!

The Studio’s 2,400-square foot booth will once again be a must-visit destination on the convention floor
For additional info on the Studio’s plans for Comic-Con and for real-time updates during the convention, please follow us on Twitter at @warnerbrostv — official hashtag #WBSDCC — and visit http://comiccon.thewb.com.

To connect with WBTVG in the social space — including official Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for WBTVG series, talent and producers — check out the social media contacts page here: http://bit.ly/1mhkeCC



6:00 p.m. — It’s OK, you can peek — WBTV gets Comic-Con off to a dramatic start for the seventh year in a row by hosting a special sneak peek, world-premiere screening event on Preview Night, debuting some of the most hotly anticipated new series of the year. For 2014, WBTV will screen the complete pilot episodes of The Flash, Constantine and iZOMBIE. Additionally, Warner Bros. Animation will unveil a brand-new episode of Teen Titans Go! Ballroom 20

The Flash: From the Arrow creative team of executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and director David Nutter, The Flash is a fast-paced super hero drama based upon the characters from DC Comics that follows the high-speed adventures of the Fastest Man Alive. With a pilot written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, the action drama follows police scientist and everyday guy Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who, after an unexpected Particle Accelerator accident, is suddenly charged with the ability to move at incredible speeds, which he uses to help the people of Central City.

Constantine: Based upon the characters from DC Comics and executive produced by Daniel Cerone (Dexter) and David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight films), Constantine reflects the lore of the fan-favorite comic, combining noirish storytelling with the evolving mythology of John Constantine (Matt Ryan), a morally challenged character who doesn’t come down on the side of either good or evil … but ultimately might be the only thing defending us against the dark forces from beyond.

iZOMBIE: Co-created and executive produced by Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero-Wright (Veronica Mars), along with executive producers Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge (also of Veronica Mars), Rose McIver (Masters of Sex, Once Upon a Time) stars as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a 25-year-old medical resident on the fast track to a perfect life … until she’s turned into a zombie. Liv transfers her residency to the coroner’s office for access to the brains she must reluctantly eat, but with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories. With her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she now solves homicides to quiet the voices in her head. iZOMBIE is based upon characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred for Vertigo.

Teen Titans Go!: Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven continue the fun in Teen Titans Go! with all-new comedic adventures, giving viewers a look at what life is really like as a teen super hero … once the cape comes off.


PLEASE NOTE: Series stars and creative teams scheduled to attend are subject to change. Additional information on panel sessions, signings and other events will be provided as news breaks.


6:00–7:00 p.m. — Childrens Hospital (New episodes in 2015, Adult Swim): Creator and star Rob Corddry will share an exclusive video sneak peek at season six and will be joined onstage by select members of the show’s cast for a lively — and medically accurate — Q&A. Room 25ABC


10:00–11:00 a.m. — The Big Bang Theory (Mondays 8/7c CBS, season premiere September 22; Thursdays 8/7c CBS beginning October 30): Back by popular demand! The Big Bang Theory writers are back in San Diego and ready to share secrets behind TV’s #1 comedy. Ballroom 20

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. — iZOMBIE (Midseason on The CW): iZOMBIE makes its Comic-Con debut with a screening of the complete pilot episode, followed by a Q&A with series stars Rose McIver (Once Upon a Time), Malcolm Goodwin (Breakout Kings), newcomer Rahul Kohli and Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill), as well as executive producers Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and Diane Ruggiero-Wright (Veronica Mars). Room 6BCF

2:30–3:15 p.m. — Mike Tyson Mysteries (Premiering this fall, Adult Swim): In this new animated comedy series, Mike Tyson is taking the fight from the boxing ring to the streets … by solving mysteries! Join us for a first look at this new adult animated series and a can’t-miss panel featuring Mike Tyson, Rachel Ramras (MAD), Jim Rash (Community) and producer Hugh Davidson (The Looney Tunes Show). Indigo Ballroom

3:15–4:15 p.m. — The 100 (Wednesdays 9/8c The CW, season premiere October 22): After the stunning events in the season finale, join us for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A with series stars as well as executive producer Jason Rothenberg. Room 6BCF

4:15–5:15 p.m. — The Originals (Mondays 8/7c The CW, season premiere October 6): Last season’s top new series on The CW returns to Comic-Con! Join executive producer Julie Plec, co-executive producer Michael Narducci and series stars Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, Leah Pipes and Danielle Campbell for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A. Ballroom 20

5:30–6:30 p.m. — Arrow (Wednesdays 8/7c The CW, season premiere October 8): Arrow series stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne and John Barrowman — with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg — will take aim at San Diego with a special video presentation and panel discussion previewing the show’s upcoming and highly-anticipated third season. Ballroom 20


4:00–4:45 p.m. — The Vampire Diaries (Thursdays 8/7c The CW, season premiere October 2): The cast and creative team behind The Vampire Diaries return to San Diego for a sizzling sixth appearance at Comic-Con! Series stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham join executive producer/writer Julie Plec on stage for a video screening and Q&A session. Ballroom 20

5:15–6:15 p.m. — Constantine (Fridays 10/9c NBC, series premiere October 24): Based upon the characters from DC Comics, Constantine reflects the lore of the fan-favorite comic, combining noirish storytelling with the evolving mythology of John Constantine, a morally challenged character who doesn’t come down on the side of either good or evil … but ultimately might be the only thing defending us against the dark forces from beyond. Attendees will see a screening of the complete pilot, followed by a Q&A with series stars Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior), Harold Perrineau (Lost) and Charles Halford (True Detective), along with executive producers Daniel Cerone (Dexter) and David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight films). Room 6BCF

6:15–7:00 p.m. — Person of Interest (Tuesdays 10/9c CBS, season premiere September 23): The smash hit Person of Interest returns to San Diego for the fourth year! Join executive producer Greg Plageman along with series stars for a special video presentation and Q&A. Room 6BCF

8:00–11:00 p.m. — Warner Bros. Television & DC Entertainment Present: The Flash, Constantine, Arrow and the World Premiere of Gotham with Special Appearances by Casts and Producers: For the first time ever at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. Television presents an entire evening filled with some of DC Entertainment’s greatest characters, featuring the world premiere pilot screening — and only Comic-Con screening — of the highly anticipated new series Gotham (Mondays this fall, 8/7c on FOX). The much-buzzed about pilot of The Flash will also be screened — if you can catch it — along with exclusive video presentations of returning hit Arrow and new thriller Constantine. Cast members and producers from all four shows will make special appearances on stage throughout the night. Hall H


10:00–11:00 a.m. — Supernatural (Tuesdays 9/8c The CW, Season Premiere October 7): Join series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and Mark A. Sheppard, along with executive producer Jeremy Carver as they answer questions from the audience about what’s in store for the tenth season of this exciting series, including its upcoming 200th episode! Fans will also be treated to an exclusive video presentation featuring series highlights, and special features from the upcoming Supernatural: The Complete Ninth Season DVD and Blu-ray™ release. Hall H

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. — The Following (Midseason on FOX): Hit thriller The Following returns to Comic-Con for a third year! Series stars Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, Sam Underwood and Jessica Stroup will join creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson and executive producers Marcos Siega and Jennifer Johnson for an on-stage Q&A and special video presentation. Hall H

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. — Teen Titans Go! (Thursdays 6/5c Cartoon Network): Find out what’s in store for Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven — or just throw a meatball party with your friends! The Teen Titans are back at it again with all-new comedic adventures and, after screening a brand-new episode, there will be a Q&A with producers Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Aaron Horvath (MAD) and members of the voice cast. Plus, making a special appearance at the panel will be Puffy AmiYumi, the Japanese pop duo responsible for the iconic theme song from the original Teen Titans series. Room 6BCF

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Critically acclaimed first feature from Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy will be released theatrically in 2015.

Drafthouse Films has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2014 Cannes' International Critics' Week award winner The Tribe. Blowing away critics and audiences alike, the radically ambitious film has been called "an unprecedented cinematic accomplishment" by Indiewire, while The Guardian heralds it "the great discovery of this year's festival."

Watch the trailer after the Jump...

THE TRIBE TRAILER 2014 from Oleksiy Yevtukh on Vimeo.

Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film's narrative unfolds purely through sign language without a need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level. The film dominated the Cannes' Independent Critics' Week awards, winning the Nespresso Grand Prize, the France 4 Visionary Award and the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution grant.

Directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy and produced by Valentyn Vasyanovych and Iya Myslytska from Garmata Film Production, The Tribe's astonishingly intimate and raw depiction of disenchanted youth features a cast comprised entirely of non-professional, deaf actors including leads Grigory Fesenko as Sergey and Yana Novikova as Anna.

"As I was watching The Tribe, the goosebumps on my arms quickly signaled that I was seeing something truly special," said Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League. "Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy is a massive talent. I am confident that he will quickly become a world-renowned director, and I am excited and proud to be sharing his striking first feature with North America."

"When working with a film like The Tribe, we immediately became more sensitive to signs and language: passion speaks first. We received an amazing response after our first market screening in Cannes, and Drafthouse Films showed from the very beginning all the right signs - and the strongest passion-to distribute our film in North America," noted Alpha Violet's Co-CEOs Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato.

"I am very glad that my film will be released in the United States," added Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. "I have always believed in the universality of film's language, and have always believed that dialogue and subtitles change the way different audiences perceive the film in different countries. I am pleased to have created a universal film that audiences around the world can perceive in the same way, regardless of race, language or country. People laugh at the same parts and are horrified by the same parts. I think The Tribe is a truly universal movie in terms of language, and this makes me supremely happy."

The Tribe will screen in select theaters across North America and will be released on a variety of VOD platforms and digital, DVD, and Blu-ray formats.

For theatrical bookings contact Sumyi Khong Antonson, VP of Marketing and Distribution at sumyi.antonson@drafthouse.com.

The deal was negotiated by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato from Alpha Violet and James Emanuel Shapiro and Tim League from Drafthouse Films and marks the first collaboration between the two companies.

For more information on The Tribe and Drafthouse Films:

About The Tribe

Somewhere in Ukraine, Sergey enters a specialized boarding school for the deaf. Alone in this new and unfamiliar place, he must find his way through the school's hierarchy. Sergey quickly encounters the tribe, a student gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After passing their hazing rituals and being inducted into the group, he takes part in several robberies and begins to work his way up the chain of command to become pimp-protector for two of the girls, who turn tricks at the local truck stop. Finding himself in love with one of them, Sergey ultimately breaks all the unwritten rules of the tribe, with tragic consequences.

About Drafthouse Films

Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the simple motto of "sharing the films we love with the widest audience possible," Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named one of Time Magazine's "Top 10 Films Of The Year." Their diverse and unique slate includes the highly acclaimed Oscar® nominated documentary The Act Of Killing produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, 2013 SXSW Midnight Audience Award winner Cheap Thrills starring David Koechner (Anchorman), British auteur Ben Wheatley's psychedelic trip into magic and madness A Field In England, Ari Folman's Cannes Film Festival selected sci-fi epic The Congress starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti, Midnight Movie sensations Miami Connection and The Visitor,and rediscovered classics Wake in Fright and Ms. 45. Recent and upcoming releases include Dutch thriller Borgman, Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, and Sundance award-winning documentaries The Overnighters and 20,000 Days on Earth. Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically and through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms, integrating into the growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: the collectible art boutique Mondo; the largest US genre film festival Fantastic Fest; and the pop culture website Badass Digest.

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HBO’s Documentary Film "Dangerous Acts" Premiers July 7th

HBO’s next documentary, Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus will be premiering on Monday, July 7th at 9:00pm. Comprised of smuggled footage and uncensored interviews, this enlightening documentary gives audiences a front-row seat to the Belarus Free Theater – a performance art resistance movement against Europe’s last remaining dictatorship.

Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes with the internationally acclaimed underground troupe of courageous performers who refuse to remain silent in a country choked by censorship and repression. After premiering at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, the must-see film continues to shed light on the liberties often taken for granted – including free speech and right to artistic freedom.

Dangerous Acts Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus premieres Monday, July 7th at 9pm

Hashtag: #DangerousActs

Upcoming Documentaries:

The Newburgh Sting (July 21, 9pm) reveals the FBI’s involvement in the homegrown terror case of the “Newburgh Four”. The film features unsettling FBI hidden camera footage, never before publicly released, and insights from Muslim leaders and high-level Washington insiders, including former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes, Congressman Keith Ellison and former FBI undercover agent Mike German, as well as intimate interviews with the families of the Newburgh Four. Offering startling insights into the state of surveillance in a post-9/11 world, the film is directed and produced by the team of Kate Davis and David Heilbroner (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Jockey”).

Love Child (July 28, 9pm) examines the obsessive culture of online gaming. In 2010, South Korean police were contacted by a couple whose 3-month-old daughter Sarang (“Love” in Korean) had died. Upon further investigation, police learned that the parents, who met online, spent 6 to 12 hours a day in a local Internet cafĂ© (“PC room”) playing the 3-D fantasy game Prius, leaving their daughter at home alone and hungry. Although Prius’ Korean servers were permanently shut down in December 2013, the debate about online addiction – a global issue – rages on. Valerie Veatch’s Love Child debuted at the 2014 Sundance Festival and was produced by David Foox.

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#EarthtoEcho Interview With David Green & Henry Gayden

Earth To Echo is out in theaters today.

Albert Lawrence from Talk of Fame attended the press junket for Earth to Echo on behalf of our site.

Albert spoke to Director David Green and writer Henry Gayden on how they used a Sony RED, iPhone, and GoPro to build Earth to Echo's filmic world.

Albert will be helping us out from time to time.

Make to to check out his site and follow him on Twitter.

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BBC's Sherlock Will Return In 2015

The BBC announced Wednesday that Sherlock will return for a special and another three episodes, to begin filming in 2015.

In a BBC statement, co-creator, writer, and executive producer of Sherlock Mark Gatiss said: “Series Four! At last Not only THAT, we’ll then be shooting three more episodes which will take Sherlock and John Watson into deeper and darker water than ever before. The whole Sherlock team are terrifically excited to return for four new adventures. The Game is on - again!”

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#EARTHTOECHO Mysterious Pictures Appear In The Desert Near Barstow, Ca

First, a mysterious underwater formation that some think could be a UFO base was discovered 6 miles off of the coast of Point Dume in Malibu.

Then last week, for the second straight Wednesday in a row, unidentified lights were spotted in the sky above Southern California.

And then last Friday…

Found in the desert sand of Lucerne Valley outside of Barstow, California, the star of Relativity’s EARTH TO ECHO mysteriously appeared. Echo’s likeness spanned approximately half a million square feet. The ultimate “selfie”.

Don't miss EARTH TO ECHO when it blasts into theaters today.

See all the images after the Jump...

In Relativity’s PG summer family adventure movie, Tuck, Munch and Alex are a trio of inseparable friends whose lives are about to change. Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away. But just two days before they must part ways, the boys begin receiving a strange series of signals on their phones. Convinced something bigger is going on, they team up with another school friend, Emma, and set out to look for the source of their phone signals. What they discover is something beyond their wildest imaginations: a small alien who has become stranded on Earth. In need of their help, the four friends come together to protect the alien and help him find his way home. This journey, full of wonder and adventure, is their story, and their secret.

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Relativity Studios has just released the OFFICIAL POSTER for the upcoming film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel, THE BEST OF ME. The new romantic drama stars Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.  This epic love story—opening in theaters nationwide on October 17th, 2014!

THE BEST OF ME Teaser Trailer-

Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

For the latest news and updates, be sure to like the film's official Facebook page and follow THE BEST OF ME on Twitter and Instagram.

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EPIC INK Premires On A&E AUGUST 20th




A&E Network presents the new original series “Epic Ink,” following the artwork and exploits of the staff at a tattoo shop unlike any other, Area 51 Tattoo, located in Springfield, Oregon. Area 51 sits at the intersection of pop culture and cutting-edge tattoo art. The artists at Area 51 specialize in hyper-realistic tattoos featuring beloved characters and scenes from favorite sci-fi films and pop culture. “Epic Ink” premieres Wednesday, August 20 at 10:30PM ET/PT.

In each episode of “Epic Ink,” the talented staff brings comics, cartoons and fantasy to life with unique ink ranging from portraiture to hyperrealism, to geek-culture mash-ups. From closet nerds to creative cosplayers, sci-fi fans travel to Springfield from across the country to get tattoos from the artists at the shop. The Area 51 clientele even includes a few celebrities, such as Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) and the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira, who appears in an upcoming episode to get her very first tattoo. In between clients, the staff is likely to be found debating over who would win a fight – Spock or Chewbacca – or which ‘80s Saturday morning cartoon was best. When they’re not working at the shop, this family of misfits travels around the world tattooing at comic cons and tattoo shows to share their talents and geek out with the most hardcore fans around.

The cast of “Epic Ink” features some of the most talented tattoo artists in the world, including five of only a handful of tattooists worldwide who are licensed by LucasFilms to tattoo their properties. Chris 51 is one of the most well-respected tattoo artists around and the proud owner of Area 51, located in the hometown of his most beloved cartoon family, “The Simpsons.” Welshman Chris Jones has been nominated for three-consecutive Tattoo Industry Awards for Best UK Male. Wild child Heather Maranda is a self-taught artist who specializes in hyper-realistic tattoos that appear to jump out of the skin. Josh Bodwell combines his love of geek culture and tattoo art into custom realism and portraiture tattoos and is a walking encyclopedia of sci-fi trivia. After early run-ins with the law, Lifelong sci-fi fan Jeff Wortham looked to tattooing to turn his life around and now travels the globe to tattoo at sci-fi conventions. Rounding out the group is receptionist Caroline Russell who serves as the “Nerdio translator” between the full-fledged geeks and the rest of the world.

In the premiere episode, Josh takes a client down the rabbit hole with an Alice in Wonderland tattoo. When Heather crafts an epic portrait of a beloved Goonies character, the gang is shocked to learn that Caroline has never seen the ‘80s classic. Chris Jones gives a client a Herculean Arnold Schwarzenegger tattoo to match his stature, naturally launching the rest of the staff into conversation over their favorite Schwarzenegger flick.

“Epic Ink” is produced by Matador for A&E Network. Executive producers for Matador are Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin, Sara Quick and Jerry Carita. Executive producers for A&E are Drew Tappon, Shelly Tatro and Evan Lerner.

About A&E Network
Now reaching 100 million homes, A&E® is home to 100% original content that inspires and challenges audiences to BE ORIGINAL. A&E offers a diverse mix of high-quality, uniquely immersive entertainment ranging from the network’s original scripted series, including Bates Motel and Longmire™, to signature nonfiction franchises including Duck Dynasty®, Beyond Scared Straight and Storage Wars®. The A&E website is aetv.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aetv and Facebook at facebook.com/AETV.

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Dimension Films' SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR unveils two new images of Rosario Dawson & Jamie Chung for the anticipated sequel from co-directors Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller.

See the images after Jump...

Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller's visually stunning "Sin City" graphic novels back to the screen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Weaving together two of Miller's classic stories with new tales, the town's most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more notorious inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller's 2005 groundbreaking film, FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TV Review: 24: Live Another Day “8:00 PM – 9:00 PM”

TV Review: 24: Live Another Day “8:00 PM – 9:00 PM”
By: Brandon Wolfe

The ‘24’ writing staff is pretty much set in their ways. They know their formula inside and out and adhere to it as if their very lives depend upon it. In the series’ original run, this rigorous sameness grew wearying. In ‘Live Another Day’, it has mostly been fine, even welcome, like revisiting an old friend who hasn’t let the years away change him one bit. But the sole aspect that marks this event series as a deviation from the original series is in its length, 12 episodes versus the usual 24.

With the Al-Harazi threat neutralized and defenestrated last week, this is the precise point where ‘24’ would be gearing up for the next big thing that will act as the primary focus for the next ten or so hours, and that is indeed what happens in “8:00 PM – 9:00 PM” when the override device is used to successfully order an American military sub to launch a strike against a Chinese aircraft carrier. This is huge, an event that could trigger a third World War, and the sort of thing that would keep Jack busy for at least a couple months’ worth of episodes. Except there are only two episodes left to deal with the consequences of this. One can’t help but begin to wonder if the writers have fallen so deeply into their old grooves that they’ve lost sight of the fact that they’re playing in a much smaller sandbox now.

The new crop of villains who’ve emerged to do villainous things is a band of Chinese mercenaries led by Cheng Zhi (Tzi Ma), a character who sort of lurked around the margins of Seasons 4-6. Cheng is the man who held Jack accountable (in the form of two years’ worth of torture) for a perceived act of war against the Chinese when Jack led an assault on the Chinese embassy in L.A. for reasons that have long since escaped me. Now Cheng is perpetrating his own act of war against the Chinese, for reasons that also escape me. Cheng’s resurgence shows how deep into the barrel the ‘24’ crew is having to scrape to dredge up old characters. Cheng is a character we remember as having existed, but not one that I would imagine anyone remembers fondly. Him bubbling back up to the surface provides us with no particular thrill. He’s here simply because he’s perhaps the only preexisting villain that the show never got around to killing off. ‘Live Another Day’ really could have benefitted from the writers having, years earlier, left a few characters alive for a rainy day.

The show directly calling to mind that Chinese thread from all those years ago feels appropriate since this continuing thread with the Russians very much echoes it. As Cheng once did, so do the Russians want Bauer’s head for a perceived act of war, and Mark Boudreau is still fixing to hand them the platter that holds it. Boudreau’s reasons for cooperating had been largely mere self-preservation for having forged the President’s signature earlier in the day, but as his relationship with Audrey has grown colder while her feelings toward Jack have reheated, there is now the sense that it’s a bit personal as well. But Mark is still new to ‘24’ so he sends the Russians after Jack without realizing that Jack has immediately transitioned into resolving the inevitable next crisis, thus jeopardizing the mission when the Russians pin down Jack and Kate while they are on their way to intercept the override device. That Mark will get his comeuppance is now assured, but it does beg the question of how ‘Live Another Day’ will resolve this Russian thread. ‘24’ already ended a stretch with Jack being shanghaied away by a foreign power for revenge. Doing the same thing again would seem unlikely, but doing the same thing again is the core principle upon which ‘24’ operates.

That resistance to change certainly carries to over Jack himself. Jack doesn’t really change as a character. He’s eternally the self-sacrificing superagent with a mean streak. But one aspect where Jack actually is a bit different this year is that his streak is slightly meaner. This is presumably a conscious effort by the writers to convey how the last four years spent in hiding (to say nothing of all the terrible years he’d had prior to that) have affected him, but Jack – never a plush animal to begin with – has become a notably pricklier pear. After his stunningly ice-blooded murder of Margot last week, Jack is back at the CIA station to deal with Navarro, whom Jack suggests to Acting Station Head Ritter that he interrogate himself. When Ritter finally agrees, Jack goes out of his way to snidely spit "Just so we're clear, I wasn't asking. That was me being courteous” before contemptuously shoulder-checking the man as he walks past him. Then Jack conducts his Navarro interrogation, which goes exactly as all of Jack’s interrogations do. The suspect asks for immunity and Jack does something horrible to him, in this case shattering the man’s hand with the butt of his gun. While Jack has certain done much worse when in torture-mode (and, considering how little torture he’s inflicted this far in ‘Live Another Day’, I half expected him to cut off Navarro’s face), it’s made plain that Jack’s already perilously low patience level has reached a new depth.

Finally, we lost Michael Wincott’s Adrian Cross in this episode, who was not only the most (only?) interesting new character of the year, but probably also the most interesting character ‘24’ has given us in the past several seasons. Much of Cross’ seeming potential can likely be chalked up to Wincott, one of the more compellingly insidious character actors around, but some credit must also be awarded to the character’s neutrality. He was a criminal, but one with murkily noble intentions. Even when the show made him an actual Big Bad, as it did in these last few episodes, he was allowed to retain motives that at least could look somewhat estimable if you squint. This might not seem like much to crow about, but on a show as white-hat/black-hat as ‘24’, it counts as progress. So naturally ‘24’ killed him. Never change, ‘24’.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe on Twitter at @ChiusanoWolfe.

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