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Saturday, August 2, 2014

July 2014 Box Office Bleeds Red

July 2014 was a dismal month for the box office.
The domestic numbers are in for July 2014, and they're not good. According to our friends at BoxOficeMojo.com, the domestic box office for July totaled a paltry $966 million, which is down 30 percent from last July. The site also reported that this marks the first time since 2002 in which a July fell short of selling $1 billion in tickets.

No matter how you cut it, no month has seen such a falloff year-to-year since January 2011, when the market dropped 29 percent. That was due entirely to the 2010 release of the mammoth Avatar. Yet, news like this isn't exactly a surprise, considering that few films last month peaked our interest, as we lamented in our July Preview post. Apparently, audiences felt the same, staying away in droves almost as soon as the July 4th weekend began.

The writing was on the wall as far back as June 27th, when Transformers: Age of Extinction was released, experiencing a massive $100m opening in June but quickly falling off after that. Hollywood made a serious mistake in not scheduling other films around it, which left audiences with little new watch once the negative buzz surrounded the picture became bigger than anticipation in seeing it. Given such a situation, it wasn't hard to understand why such a disappointment like Tammy thrived initially as well, eventually raking in a decent haul of $80m. That's down from her 2013 comedies, but enough to justify Hollywood's confidence in her. Under any other month, the film probably would have disappeared soon after release.

Other films - like Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo - couldn't find audiences, and they quickly disappeared to the back burner. As the last week of the month arrived, business was down a whopping 42 percent year-to-year. Such an uphill battle started back in June proved to be too much to handle.

The month wasn't a total loss, as individual films thrived in their respective releases. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was July's winner, taking in $180.6 million in just three weeks. It outperformed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and made the follow-up one of the biggest hits of the Summer. Lucy also performed quite well, taking in $61.3m with just two weeks under its belt. While it could make $100m by the end of its run, it's likely to have a rough time of it as opinion of the Sci-Fi release hasn't exactly been good. Finally, The Purge: Anarchy grossed $57.4m through the smae period, guarnanteeing it will make more than its predecessor ($64.5m).

But this market needs not to rely on one or two successes, but must instead balance its take so the entire market is healthy. That philosophy wasn't employed in July, and Hollywood paid dearly for it. As Age of Extinction took in $100m lower than its predecessor, and Planes: Fire & Rescue also took in far less than the original, with just $41.2 million in sales - as a matter of comparison, Planes earned $90.3m during its run. While we really liked Hercules, it took in just $41.6 million in its opening week, ensuring that it will probably miss the $100m mark.

Add a few flops in like Sex Tape ($30.4m) and the aforementioned Earth to Echo ($36.5m) and Deliver Us From Evil ($30.3m) and you can see why July was such a bloodbath.

While Guardians of the Galaxy is doing amazingly - estimates are placing it as the highest August release ever as we go to post - there is very little else which seems to be generating the needed buzz to keep people coming back once they've see the film. In fact, they've mostly stayed away all Summer, with numbers suggesting a drop of 19 percent year-over-year. Even with Guardians's massive debut, estimates suggest that Summer 2014 will be the lowest since 2006, and year-to-date numbers down seven percent.

What does news like this mean for them market going forward? In short, we'll need to see a very strong August beyond Guardians (which isn't likely) and very strong fourth quarter to erase Summer's issues. But when you consider that a majority of top 10 most successful movies are released during the Summer, Hollywood looks to see a year-to-year dip in receipts.

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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JON STEWART’S "ROSEWATER" Release Date Announced

OPEN ROAD FILMS WILL RELEASE JON STEWART’S ROSEWATER ON NOVEMBER 7, 2014 IN SELECT THEATERS

Open Road Films will release ROSEWATER – written for the screen and directed by Jon Stewart – in select theaters on November 7, 2014.

The feature film ROSEWATER is based on the New York Times best-selling memoir “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival,” written by the BBC journalist Maziar Bahari. A true story, the film marks the screenwriting and directorial debut of The Daily Show host and anchor Jon Stewart, and stars Gael Garcia Bernal, leading an international cast. ROSEWATER is produced by Scott Rudin, Stewart, and Gigi Pritzker, with Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush and Chris McShane serving as executive producers.

ROSEWATER follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a 42-year-old broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship living in London. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, who was the prime challenger to controversial incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Moussavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed on election day, Bahari endured great personal risk by submitting camera footage of the unfolding street riots to the BBC. Bahari was soon arrested by Revolutionary Guard police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who proceeded to torture and interrogate the journalist over the next 118 days.

In October 2009, with Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign from London to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart continuing to keep the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.

ROSEWATER has a direct connection to Stewart, who since taking over as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in 1999, has turned the nightly half-hour satirical look at newsmakers and news-coverers into not only a perennial Emmy-winning juggernaut, but also an important touchstone on the zeitgeist. Stewart’s reach with his show appeals to a broad age group including those 18-24 years of age, many of whom get their news updates solely from The Daily Show. Stewart and The Daily Show covered Bahari’s saga nightly and had the journalist appear on the show to talk about his ordeal once he was released from prison.

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OFFICIAL POSTER FOR BEYOND THE LIGHTS

Relativity Studios has just released the OFFICIAL POSTER for the upcoming movie, BEYOND THE LIGHTS. Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), BEYOND THE LIGHTS stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Richard Colson Baker (“MGK”) and Danny Glover.



BEYOND THE LIGHTS is the story of Noni Jean, a hot new award-winning artist who is primed for superstardom. But not all is what it seems, and the pressures cause Noni to nearly fall apart - until she meets Kaz Nicol, a promising young cop and aspiring politician who’s been assigned to her detail. Drawn to each other, Noni and Kaz fall fast and hard, despite the protests of those around them to put their career ambitions ahead of their romance. But can Kaz's love give Noni the courage to find her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be?

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Classic Monsters To Appear In Godzilla 2

After this summer's reboot of Godzilla scared up an impressive $491 million worldwide, a sequel seemed assured … until Star Wars came calling. "Unfortunately, our director Gareth Edwards is locked up in a galaxy far, far away," said Legendary Pictures chief Thomas Tull let us know at Comic-Con. Indeed, after Edwards was selected to helm one of the coming Star Wars spinoffs, Hollywood wondered whether Legendary would press on with a new Godzilla film without him … but in a special video message from Edwards that just played at Hall H, the director thanked fans for their support and revealed, "It means we get to make another one. I'll be back to do Godzilla 2."

And what might we see in the sequel? Tull showed another new video, reminiscent of Godzilla's opening-credits sequence, when three monsters turn up in classified footage: Godzilla's famous foes Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah. "There is still one secret that remains hidden," teased the trailer. "There are others."

Whether all three of those monsters will appear in the second installment remains to be seen, but Tull was bullish on the notion. "That's what we want to do, yes," he said. "Now we have more monsters to play with, and we're excited about it." It'll just depend on when they can pry Edwards back from the land of lightsabers.

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Original Short Series Of The Muppets Now On Disney Movies Anywhere Now

Disney Movies Anywhere Debuts an All-New Original Shorts Series “Disney Drive-On with The Muppets"

Exclusively Available on Disney Movies Anywhere for a Limited Time Beginning Today, August 1, 2014



In celebration of the home entertainment release for Muppets Most Wanted, Disney Movie Anywhere (DMA) is debuting a six-part original series called “Disney Drive-On with The Muppets” for a limited time beginning August 1, 2014. With two new episodes releasing each Friday, "Disney Drive-On with The Muppets" brings you everything you've come to love and expect from The Muppets, including special celebrity cameos! Be sure to visit the Discover Section within DMA each week to view new episodes of the series at www.DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com.

After being left in charge of the Muppets’ office by Kermit, Pepe the King Prawn takes on the responsibility of “mentoring” Walter on the business of Hollywood. Still considered the “new guy” with the Muppets, Walter is given low-level jobs working alongside his fellow Muppets at their office in the famed Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. He quickly learns there is a lot more to making movies than he thought! Developing projects may not always be so glamorous, but Walter is still excited to tackle new challenges, and discovers life on the Disney Lot is certainly a fun and funny adventure.

Check out a clip from “Disney Drive-On With The Muppets” Episode 1


Perfect for keeping you and the kids entertained on-the-go, download the free Disney Movies Anywhere app on your iPhone or iPad to find exclusive content, behind-the-scenes interviews and much more! And for a limited time, when you download Disney Movies Anywhere and link your iTunes account, you'll get The Incredibles for free. Find out more about buying, watching, and collecting your favorite Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies anywhere and download the App at: http://di.sn/ij1

ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):

Disney Movies Anywhere is a cloud-based digital movie service that allows you to browse and watch your collection of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies along with bonus material and exclusive videos! You can easily manage your digital movie collection and instantly stream and download your favorite Disney movies across your devices. There are over 400 films available from Disney’s rich history and, for the first time ever, you can earn points towards great rewards with your digital purchases and enjoy special clips and features from your favorite movies. It's fun for the whole family! Access Disney Movies Anywhere on your computer through DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com or download the free Disney Movies Anywhere app for your iPhone or iPad, and iPod Touch (iOS 7 required) from the App Store. It's free and easy to sign up!

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MALEFICENT Arrives On Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere On November 4th!

Academy Award®-Winner Angelina Jolie transforms into one of Disney's greatest villains in MALEFICENT, coming to Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand November 4th! This wickedly fun twist on the classic "Sleeping Beauty" comes with spellbinding bonus features including: deleted scenes, "Building An Epic Battle," the meticulous detail that went into creating Maleficent's elaborate head wraps in "Classic Couture" and more!

DISNEY’S GREATEST VILLAIN COMES TO LIFE IN THE WICKEDLY FUN, FANTASY ADVENTURE STARRING ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNER ANGELINA JOLIE

DISNEY’S “MALEFICENT” Arrives On Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD & On-Demand Nov. 4, 2014!

Disney’s most iconic villain “MALEFICENT” comes to life for all to own, November 4, 2014. Starring Academy Award®-winning actress Angelina Jolie (Best Supporting Actress, “Girl, Interrupted,” 2000) as Maleficent, this wickedly fun twist on the classic “Sleeping Beauty” will be made available on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand platforms.

After enchanting audiences around the world and grossing more than $700 million in worldwide box office, this live-action, fantasy adventure casts a wondrous new spell on Blu-ray and Digital HD, featuring stunning high definition picture and sound, plus spellbinding, all-new bonus features, including several deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes that take viewers deeper behind the scenes of the filmmaking magic.

Join the cast and crew as they explore how Disney’s animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” was re-imagined as an innovative, live-action epic in “From Fairy Tale to Feature Film.” Discover how King Henry and Maleficent's opening battle scene was created using gigantic wire rigs and elaborate choreography in “Building an Epic Battle.” Learn how playing Aurora was a fairytale come true for actress Elle Fanning in “Aurora: Becoming A Beauty.” And find out more about the meticulous detail that went into creating Maleficent's elaborate head wraps, rings and other accessories in “Classic Couture.” Viewers can also relive the film’s journey to the screen through concept art, layered visual effects and behind the scenes footage in “Maleficent Revealed.”

“Maleficent” stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning (“Super 8,” “We Bought a Zoo”), Sharlto Copley (“District 9,” “Elysium”), Sam Riley (“Control,” “On the Road”), Imelda Staunton (“Harry Potter” series), Lesley Manville (“Another Year,” “Secrets & Lies”), Juno Temple (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Atonement”) and Brenton Thwaites (“Oculus”). It marks the directorial debut of two-time Academy Award® winner Robert Stromberg (Best Achievement in Art Direction, “Avatar,” 2010; Best Achievement in Art Direction, “Alice in Wonderland,” 2011). It was written by Linda Woolverton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “The Lion King”) and produced by Joe Roth (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Oz the Great and Powerful”).

Bonus Features:
Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD/SD & Disney Movies Anywhere
· From Fairy Tale to Feature Film - Reimagining Maleficent for a new generation
· Building An Epic Battle –Creating the clash between Maleficent and King Henry’s Forces
· Classic Couture - Examine Maleficent’s spellbinding head wraps and jewelry.
· Maleficent Revealed - Explore the layers of extraordinary special effects.
· Aurora: Becoming A Beauty - Elle Fanning reveals her lifelong love of Disney’s original animated classic.
· Deleted Scenes:
o “Stefan In King's Chamber”
o “Pixie Idiots”
o “Diaval asks about the Curse”
o “Pixies Seek Asylum”
o “Suitor”
· And More!

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

DVD
· Aurora: Becoming A Beauty

Disc Specifications:
Feature Run Time: Approximately 97 minutes
Rating: Feature Film: “PG” in U.S. and Canada (CE); G in Canada (CF)
Additional Bonus Features Not Rated
Aspect Ratio: Blu-ray Feature Film = 1080p High Definition/2.40:1
DVD= Widescreen 2.40:1 / Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions
Audio: Blu-ray Feature Film = 7.1, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD=English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
Languages/Subtitles: English, Spanish & French
English Captions for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Social Media:
Stay connected with the latest news and information about Disney’s “Maleficent”:
· “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent
· Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Maleficent
or http://www.twitter.com/DisneyPictures
· Check out our Website and Mobile Site: http://www.disney.com/maleficent
· Visit www.Disneymoviesanywhere.com and download the DMA App at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disney-movies-anywhere-watch/id766894692?mt=8

ABOUT “MALEFICENT”:
Explore the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain in this wickedly fun twist on the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” In an unforgiving mood after a neighboring kingdom threatens her forest, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse on the king’s newborn daughter, the Princess Aurora. But as the child grows, Maleficent finds herself becoming fond of the girl. And as the conflict between the two realms intensifies, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land. Journey beyond the fairy tale in this soaring adventure that is “visually arresting, brilliantly designed” (Andrew Barker, Variety).

ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):
Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is a cloud-based digital movie service that offers a hassle-free way for consumers to buy, watch, and manage Disney digital content across platforms and devices via the easy-to-use DMA app or atDisneyMoviesAnywhere.com. A DMA-eligible digital title purchased from an iTunes-connected account or redeemed in DMA will be accessible in a user’s DMA and iTunes lockers. There are currently over 400 films from Disney’s rich history available through DMA for streaming and download, including Disney Branded Animation, Disney Live-Action, Pixar, and Marvel titles, along with exclusive, original content. For more information or to redeem Digital Copy codes to build your library and earn Disney Movie Rewards Points for digital purchases, visit http://www.disneymoviesanywhere.com.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:
For 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Trailer For SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

SpongeBob SquarePants, marine superhero and unofficial seventh Avenger, has a new movie coming out and, like all good movies, it’s got a trailer to share.



Leaping... okay, inching slowing onto the superhero bandwagon, SpongeBob and his pals become superpowered in this second Spongemovie. Loosely speaking, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Sponge Out Of Water sees SpongeBob and his pals pursuing a stolen book into our world where they must tackle the pirate (Antonio Banderas) who has pinched it. The trailer has some amusing visual gags and its own lunatic charm, but it definitely helps if you’re either under 10 or really drunk*. Preferably not both.

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All The Marvel Easter Eggs In One Video

Before Marvel Studios came along, Easter eggs — or small lines or visual cues that are included in movies as nods to fans in the know — were few and unimportant. Stan Lee got his “Spider-Man” cameos, Wolverine joked that his suit wasn’t “yellow spandex,” and Lou Ferrigno was seen briefly in “Hulk.”

But with the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with “Iron Man” all the way through its newest release, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Easter eggs have become an art. Sure, sometimes they’re still similar to the old ones — after all, Stan Lee still has had cameos in every MCU movie so far — but Marvel was the first studio to really ask its fans to rewatch, slow down, and magnify its movies to find all the secrets within, secrets which could be integral to the plot of future movies.

Watch the clip after the Jump...



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Captain America’s shield can be found in the first “Iron Man,” which at the time seemed like a throwaway, until we realized that Tony Stark’s dad was integral in the hero’s creation. A map behind Tony in “Iron Man 2″ shows the location of each Avenger, with some still to come. The Infinity Gauntlet, sure to play a huge role in upcoming “Avengers” movies, is seen briefly in Odin’s Trophy Room in “Thor,” along with a number of other objects which might foreshadow future storylines.

The level of detail Marvel has lavished on its movies is insane, so we decided to try to make it a little more palatable, with this video, narrated by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, of every Easter egg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe* to guide you through the jokes, fun facts, and hidden plot secrets.

And honestly, the universe is just so expansive that we probably missed some, so let us know if you noticed any in the comments!

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Source-MTV
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Deadpool Test Footage Clip

While the Deadpool movie appears to be still unable to find a strong foothold at 20th Century Fox, it has been in development for years. Thanks to director Tim Miller, the Merc With A Mouth got closer than other attempts. Along with Blur Studios, he created a short piece of test footage to show how Deadpool might work on screen. A snippet of that leaked recently, but now Miller and co. have officially put it online.

Featuring voice and mo-cap contributions from Ryan Reynolds – who has been trying to push the movie forward for years since playing a less-than-successful version of Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine – it’s a violent, funny, thrilling piece of 'what if?' filmmaking, one that is almost certain to delight those hoping for a snarktastic, fourth-wall shattering, R-rated take on the wise-cracking superhero.

Watch the clip after the Jump...


DEADPOOL Movie Test Footage SDCC 2014 Blur... by burasu

Back in 2013, Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who worked with Miller, talked up the clip and its tone. “I look at the three minutes and I’m like, 'That’s the movie, and it has to get made',” said Reese. “I think the biggest hurdle right now is convincing the-powers-that-be that it’s okay to have a hard-R rated movie within the Marvel Universe."

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Source-Empire
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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For @the100ftJourney In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance For THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY on August 5th at 7:30PM in Sacramento.


In “THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.


The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.


Directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. The executive producers are Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini. The screenplay is written by Steven Knight, based on the novel “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais.


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...

Click HERE to get your tickets.

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

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For @the100ftJourney In San Francisco

Win Tickets To An Advance For THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY on August 5th at 7:30PM in San Francisco.


In “THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.


The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.


Directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. The executive producers are Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini. The screenplay is written by Steven Knight, based on the novel “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais.


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...

Click HERE to get your tickets.

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

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For @the100ftJourney In San Jose

Win Tickets To An Advance For THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY on August 5th at 7:30PM in San Jose.


In “THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.


The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.


Directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. The executive producers are Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini. The screenplay is written by Steven Knight, based on the novel “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais.


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...

Click HERE to get your tickets.

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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#IfIStayTour Comes To San Francisco With @ChloeGMoretz & Gayle Forman

Come meet Chloë Grace Moretz (actress) and Gayle Forman (author) will be at Hillsdale Shopping Center on behalf of Warner Bros. upcoming release, IF I STAY. The event will take place August 7th from 5-6:15 PM

They will be signing postcards and we will be raffling of free prizes such as an iPad mini, VIP seating at a screening, and more!



Adapted from Gayle Forman’s 2009 bestseller, the film stars Chloe Moretz as Mia Hall, a young music prodigy who is experiencing her first taste of love with rocker Adam (Jamie Blackley). Wavering between her Julliard ambitions and her blossoming personal life, Mia is cast into an even more difficult situation when a devastating car crash kills her parents (Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) and leaves her in a coma.

Caught between life and death in a limbo state, Mia must choose between fighting to live in a world where she’ll face tragedy and passing on to a presumably peaceful death. The film itself has survived a period in limbo, originally set up back in 2009 with Dakota Fanning attached, it was moved to MGM after a period in turnaround and is finally ready to hit the screen.

With a script by Whip It’s Shauna Cross and R.J. Cutler calling the shots, If I Stay also features Lauren Lee Smith, Jakob Davies and Liana Liberato

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Get On Up Review. Rousing Delight Simply Due To Boseman’s Performance

Review By Brandon Wolfe

Our first glimpse of soul legend James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) is not a favorable one. In Augusta in 1988, a disheveled Brown pulls into a strip mall’s parking lot in a rickety pickup truck and enters a dreary business office that he owns. A seminar of some sort is being held inside and Brown notices that his private bathroom has been used by one of the attendees.


He then proceeds to return to his truck to retrieve a shotgun, which he brandishes at the terrified drones, forcing them to dive out of their folding chairs in abject fear. Accidentally firing off a shot into the ceiling, Brown demands to know which among them relieved his or herself in his personal washroom before ascertaining the culprit, a tearful older woman. Brown ultimately decides to let the whole thing slide, but not before police sirens cry out in the distance. Clearly we are not catching the Godfather of Soul on his best day.



‘Get On Up’, the new biopic from Tate Taylor, director of ‘The Help’, then takes us backward through time on a decidedly non-sequential voyage through James Brown’s tumultuous life. Bouncing capriciously between Brown’s abusive childhood, wayward teen years, burgeoning music career and full-fledged superstardom, ‘Get On Up’ is initially like watching James Brown’s lifelong journey set to shuffle. For its first forty or so minutes, the film jumps around so much that it’s disorienting and somewhat difficult to obtain one’s bearings. We go from Brown as a young boy being menaced by his awful father (Lennie James from ‘The Walking Dead’) to Brown as an up-and-comer arguing with manager Ben Bart (Dan Aykroyd) over relinquishing a gig’s closing spotlight to some new band called The Rolling Stones to Brown as a teen being busted for stealing a suit. There are no clear thematic links between any of these events, so the movie playing hopscotch throughout the decades feels frustratingly random.


But after a point, ‘Get On Up’ stops jumbling the chronology and mercifully begins to unfold in a more linear fashion as Brown’s career starts to take off. Joining up with a gospel group fronted by Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis), whom Brown meets while serving time in prison for stealing the aforementioned suit, Brown christens the band The Famous Flames and attempts to guide them on a path that will make the Flames actually famous. Receiving some valuable career advice from the slightly more accomplished Little Richard (Brandon Mychal Smith, a standout in his brief scenes), Brown cultivates a following for the band that snowballs into a recording contract with a major label. However, the label recognizes that Brown’s talent far outshines the talents of the other Flames, making no secret that they are all dispensable and relegating them to mere satellites orbiting Planet James Brown, a fact that sows the seeds for simmering resentment among the ranks.


‘Get On Up’ is a bit thin for a biopic, surprising considering its 138-minute running time. The film shows no apparent interest in dealing with Brown’s personal life. It introduces a pair of wives and a handful of children, all of whom the film promptly forgets about and never returns to. This is particularly surprising in the case of Brown’s second wife, Deidre “Dee-Dee” Jenkins (Jill Scott), whom the film depicts Brown abusing in a manner similar to what we saw his own father do at the beginning of the film before she simply vanishes without explanation. It also skimps on Brown’s relationship with his Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer), who wound up being the stabilizing force in Brown’s young life, yet does not receive a substantial amount of screentime.

The only meaty bit of familial connection shown is in a heartbreaking scene where a grown Brown meets the mother who walked out on him all those years ago in his dressing room after a concert. While the woman (Viola Davis) claims love and pride toward a resistant Brown, it soon becomes clear that the reasons behind her sudden reemergence are not quite as pure as she wants him to think. Brown fighting back tears as he’s confronted with the mother who turned his back on him and now only seeks his attention for a handout is painful to witness and gives the film its most dramatically poignant scene.

The film’s chief investment resides in the relationships Brown maintains with Ben Bart and Bobby Byrd, the only members of Brown’s entourage that the film gives any significant focus to. The playful yet respectful bond between Brown and Ben is touching and gives Aykroyd (no stranger to the Brown mythos as evidenced by ‘The Blues Brothers’) his best role in ages. And the lifelong friendship Brown and Byrd share is the film’s true backbone. Bobby recognizes Brown as a force of nature and a genius, and is happy to accept his role as simply one of the ropes hanging off the Goodyear Blimp. While the other members of the band, like Maceo Parker (Craig Robinson), balk at playing second fiddle to the James Brown phenomenon, Bobby knows his place and is grateful for it. It’s only when he begins to feel Brown out for a possible solo record and is vehemently denied even the suggestion of it that the two men disband their partnership, striking out on separate paths that do not intersect again until many years later.

Yet despite its twisty narrative and stinginess with Brown’s personal life, ‘Get On Up’ is a rousing delight simply due to Boseman’s performance as Brown. He doesn’t play Brown so much as allow Brown’s ghost to use his body as a vessel. The actor captures the voice and physicality of Brown with eerie perfection. If this acting thing doesn’t go his way, he could make a fortune as a James Brown impersonator in Vegas or some such place. Boseman embodies the charisma and swagger of the man, the ferocity of his raw talent. It’s one of the most exuberant performances of the year, especially when married to the toe-tapping electricity of Brown’s catalog, which the film runs through almost continuously. ‘Get On Up’, entertaining as it is, perhaps isn’t Oscar-worthy as a film, but Boseman’s work here is canny enough to deserve serious consideration. Many actors could have played James Brown, but Boseman gives the Godfather a soul.

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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THE EXPENDABLES 3 Final Trailer

This summer is about to get explosive…on AUGUST 15th, see how much fun the ultimate action team has as they battle against the evil Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) in Lionsgate's upcoming film, THE EXPENDABLES 3! With the film only two weeks away, we have a BRAND NEW final trailer to feed your action-packed appetite!



THE EXPENDABLES 3 team includes your favorite action heroes - Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Terry Crews …and a new generation of badasses - Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammar, Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell. THE EXPENDABLES 3 will be in theaters everywhere on AUGUST 15, 2014!

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Open Forum Friday: August 1, 2014

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:

Movies
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Get On Up
- Calvary

Blu-rays
- Need for Speed
- Oculus
- Divergent

Also, don't forget to listen to our weekly podcast, where we break down the major news of the week and do our giveaways.

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!
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Calvary Review: Quirky Dark Comedy Asks Tough Questions

Brendan Gleeson shines in this unconventionally-funny-serious-soulful film.
I've always loved Actor Brendan Gleeson, his huge presence a startling contradiction to the small roles which have filled his terrific career. With Director John Michael McDonaugh's Calvary, Gleeson gets to spread his wings: the results might have Oscar written on them.

For parent-turned-Father James Lavelle (Gleeson), life in his small town soon takes a drastic turn, as he's threatened by an unknown man during confession. The victim seeks revenge for being being molested by a priest years ago, and Father Levelle becomes the target. But who in his small town would make such a threat? There’s the butcher (Chris O’Dowd) who is suspected of beating his slut-wife (Orla O’Rourke) and her Ivorian-immigrant lover (Isaach De Bankole), as well as the sexually-frustrated Milo (Killian Scott) and the crotchety old American writer (M. Emmet Walsh), who's hell-bent on taking his life before dementia arrives. But with his daughter (Kelly Reilly) arriving in town after her botched suicide, Revelle must keep the secret of his impending death from her, all while helping to rebuild her life. When the end comes, Revelle must stand alone, like the great rocky and unforgiving shores of the Eastern Irish Coast depicted near the town.

Director McDonaugh and Director of Photography Larry Smith deliver a technically precise work, somehow making the characters the center of story behind the beautiful vistas of Ireland's coasts. I'm not talking Lawrence of Arabia here, because the subtlety is so precise instead of so grand. Their characters never seem swallowed by the locations, instead becoming part of the narrative of life in a tough town. Patrick Cassidy’s score sets an immediate tone for each scene, especially the final one, leading us down a pan shot of each villager the moment Lavelle meets his end. It's an exquisite pairing.

There are plenty of roles where one can imagine a whole host of actors portraying - not with Gleeson. He seems perfectly at ease early on, drinking in the fetishes of his town, and perfectly willing to see his promises to the end, even if it means the end of his life. I've always liked his ability to stay behind the curtains, allowing other stars to take the lead. Here he is the perfect rock of Gibraltar, and we are better off for the perfect casting. Other villagers are similarly memorable, from the male prostitute (Owen Sharpe), to the violent atheist doctor (Aiden Gillen). Reilly plays a tortured daughter with the look of someone just trying to hold on, and needing both the father and the Father to mend. Even O'Dowd stretches his comedic legs to turn in a gripping third act performance. But it's Gleeson's Lavelle who reveals the most, from shattered widow and recovering alcoholic to dog lover and sensitive parishioner. His is the new face of the church, but his scars are almost as deep as the ones experienced by so many victims of abuse.

At the heart of Calvary is its message that everyone in town harbors deep resentments - and some even violent anger - towards everything around them, and that Gleeson's efforts to deflect that misery through prayer clearly isn't enough. The resulting indifference serves as the heartbeat of the town, and as such some of faith might turn away at such ugliness. But I'd encourage you to stick around, as this is far more than a proper shunning of church values made possible by the detestable scandals of priestly abuse. Calvary is warm and inviting in parts, filled with hilariously weird characters throughout, and all wrapped around a 'whodunit' as the deadly deed unfolds.

I'm not sure where Calvary switches from bizarre town comedy to serious drama, but by the time gun meets priest, the transition has been perfectly made. It's like a late summer day that starts cool, slowly shifting to warm, before storming and washing away the dirt. But by the time it's over, we know the terrible price innocent and kind people will pay for the church's abuses. And it's not just the final scene that demonstrates this: a wonderful little scene between Lavelle and a little girl near the beach turns ugly when the father angrily snatches her up as if Lavelle was all the evil of the church wrapped into a single person. But it also asks very tough questions about faith: Does God create serial killers? How far can faith go before must abandon it?

It will be interesting to see if Calvary ever makes it into MPAS' self-esteemed Oscar purview. I hope so: it's a rich and satisfying tale of one priest's efforts to calm an angry congregation before his untimely end arrives; but it's so much more than that and thus completely deserving of your attention. Take some time off from the roar of the Summer movie machine by seeing this one and I think you'll be glad you did.

Calvary is rated R for sexual references, language, brief strong violence and some drug use and has a runtime of 100 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.
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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For @the100ftJourney In Fresno

Win Tickets To An Advance For THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY on August 5th at 7:30PM in Fresno.


In “THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.


The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.


Directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. The executive producers are Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini. The screenplay is written by Steven Knight, based on the novel “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais.


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...

Click HERE to get your tickets.

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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Guardians of the Galaxy Review: Misses Marvel's Bigger Picture

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy takes too many liberties and makes too much fun to be truly great.

Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead


Walk up to anyone on the street and ask them if they're planning to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and you'll get the litany of responses. In fact, it's one of those films that either brings joy to one's face or crinkles of concern as to its premise. Who could blame the naysayers: the idea of a talking raccoon and a giant tree as major characters is bold to be sure Perhaps the riskiest movie from Marvel Studios to date - and one of the riskiest of the year - Guardians is a hefty helping of explosions, cheap one-liners, and pretty moments. And while many of those moments are pretty and pretty funny, it misses a great chance to properly introduce a universe teaming with heroes (and villains) far stronger than The Avengers.


Terran Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a roguish sort who's been snatched from Earth and has lived most of his life amongst the stars, foraging with the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker). But when a seemingly simple smash-and-grab operation turns the adventurer into a wanted fugitive, he learns that the orb he has found is wanted by powerful forces, including the deadly Kree Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and none other than Thanos (Josh Brolin). Starlord is forced into an uneasy alliance with a team of misfits including Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and duo Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and the talking tree Groot (voiced by Vin Deisel). Together, these Guardians of the Galaxy must travel to the far reaches of the universe to stop Ronan's plans to destroy The Nova Corps and their planet Xandar, while also keeping Thanos and his robotic daughter Nebula (Karen Gillan) from seizing control of the orb's contents.

Let's assume that we put aside the comic history of Guardians, Thanos, Ronan, and the rest of the MCosmicU and focus on the details of the story. Doing that leaves us with a fun, wiz-bang movie with lots of new characters and places. Ideas of friendship, loss, and irreconcilable rage are explored throughout, leaving us no choice but to fall in love with The Guardians. Rocket is a sympathetically angry alien, tired of being shunned by people who would rather fear than know or appreciate him. Groot's deep eyes and generous nature tell of a life that only future movies can explore, and Drax's inability to deal with Starlord's obscure references is genuinely hilarious. The CGI is outstanding and perhaps the best since Iron Man, although only add IMAX to your shortlist of premium experiences. These Guardians go to a lot of places, and luckily many of them feel fairly complete, from the well-worn Knowhere and Kyln to the immaculate Xandar.

But that is where any love for Gunn's script ends - the rest is as empty as the space between galaxies. Thanos is reduced to an angry villain without a plan to deal with Ronan, and whose desires to secure the orb and the Infinity Stone inside it is never fully explained in the first place . Again, remember we are stripping the comic history away to analyze the film. The Accuser - a powerful being who's been known to dabble on both sides of a conflict - is painted in such broad strokes that any real reasons for his hatred of Xandar are entirely missing. Such a piercing performance leads to a comeuppance that isn't very satisfying. The Collector (Benicio del Toro) - who also wants the orb, again for unknown reasons - is also misused, relegated to two scenes of which one is exposition to explain the origin of The Infinity Stones. His early exit - and the lack of a meaningful end credits scene - makes him look like a sadistic dealer of universal trash than an Elder of the Universe. Others - like Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, and Djimon Hounsou - are lightly sketched and feel unnecessary to the story.

With so many introductions to make, I worried that a 121-minute runtime wouldn't be nearly enough to do this justice, and for the most part I was sadly correct. Sure, the script is filled with plenty of cultural references and lots of good times, as well as songs we grew up with but haven't heard in awhile. But that sort of goodwill sometimes gets in the way of the telling the story, which reminds me of Thor: The Dark World. Guy steals weapon, Person must stop guy before guy destroys everyone, People are engaged in moments of levity throughout, leading to hilarity and a neatly wrapped-up ending. Perform some character replacement and you have Guardians. Imagine a Thanos who could have played both sides of the middle to secure the Stone (which we're not even told which one this is), then disappears in an effort to secure more for diabolical reasons. That sort of deepness is totally lacking here, with good and evil being drawn with very thick lines.

When one places the comic filter back on, the issues become even greater. But that's a rant for another time. Guardians of the Galaxy represents a new and exciting chapter to expand the Marvel property, setting up a perfect Guardians/Earth team-up for Avengers 3. However, the thin baddies represent a ton of missed opportunities to start this adventure on solid ground, making it feel more like a reused adventure than a part of the MCosmicU. For now, such issues won't phase moviegoers and early euphoria should translate into box office gold, as such chances to expand on this interesting universe is a critical play for Marvel Studios going forward. I just hope that Gunn will have enough to produce a sequel - one's already been announced - once the hype and novelty over these characters has ebbed.

Guardians of the Galaxy is Rated PG-13 and has a runtime of 121 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.
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@ChefTheFilm on Blu-ray September 30th

JON FAVREAU DIRECTS AND STARS IN A DELICIOUS COMEDY FEATURING SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ROBERT DOWNEY JR., JOHN LEGUIZAMO, SOFIA VERGARA, OLIVER PLATT AND TWO-TIME OSCAR®-WINNER DUSTIN HOFFMAN

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK DVD, DIGITAL HD WITH ULTRAVIOLET™ ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

A disenchanted master chef reclaims his love for cooking and his family during a rollicking road trip through some of America’s most mouthwatering food destinations in Chef, coming to Blu-rayTM Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD with UltravioletTM on September 30, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Writer, director, actor Jon Favreau (director Iron Man, Elf) stars in this heartwarming comedy with something on the menu for everyone. The Chef Blu-rayTM Combo Pack include uproarious deleted scenes, as well as feature commentary from Favreau and the film’s technical advisor and co-producer, food-truck pioneer Roy Choi.

An online feud with an influential food critic (Oliver Platt) and a creative disagreement with his investor (Dustin Hoffman) convince Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) to hang up his apron at a posh Los Angeles bistro and get his mojo back in Miami’s Cuban-inspired cuisine. When his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) helps him get a fresh start with a rundown food truck, Carl and his best friend and sous chef Martin (John Leguizamo) head across the country with Carl’s young son Percy on a culinary adventure that helps Carl rediscover what matters in life.

Robert Downey Jr. (Ironman, Sherlock Holmes), Scarlett Johansson (Her, The Avengers), John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Ride Along), Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family,” Machete Kills), Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine, Win), Oliver Platt (“Fargo,” X-Men: First Class), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy, “Alpha House)” and two- time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman (Meet the Fockers, Rain Man, Kramer vs. Kramer) star in a film that Pete Hammond of Movieline praised as: “Highly entertaining!...It’s got it all: laughs, warmth, terrific actors and lots of mouthwatering food. Jon Favreau has cooked up a real winner NOT to be missed!”

The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray™, DVD and DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet™.
• Blu-ray™ unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
• DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
• DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet™ lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

Bonus Features on Blu-ray™ and DVD
• Deleted Scenes
• Feature Commentary by writer and director Jon Favreau, and chef and co-producer Roy Choi

TECHNICAL INFORMATION - Blu-ray™:
Street Date: September 30, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61130280
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rating: R for language, including some suggestive references
Technical Info: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles

TECHNICAL INFORMATION - DVD:
Street Date: September 30, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61130279
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rating: R for language, including some suggestive references
Technical Info: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles

About Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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