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Saturday, September 27, 2014

First Look At The Chrome Trooper From Episode VII

indierevolver sources have provided them with a second concept image of the new Chrome Trooper.

For months, there have been reports of chromed stormtroopers in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, but those closest to the production have been extremely tight-lipped in regards to this new variant. We’re finally seeing our first glimpses of this new armor’s look:

It’s refreshing to see that he’s not simply a shiny black metal version of the standard-issue Episode VII Stormtrooper. While the overall contours are again in line with the classic design, this helmet has clearly evolved on a different path.




Rather than squared tubes along the cheeks, the bottom of this helmet flares out into a fairly sharp-edged arc. Where those contours end at the front of the helmet, there does not appear to be an aerator or vent on either side.

Once again, we see the appearance of a connected band across the eyes. This is a complex shape, flaring downward at the cheeks and back up towards the temples at the ends.

There’s a seam edge similar to the Episode VII TIE pilots and Forest/Snowtroopers along the mouth. If any of these faceplates are actually removed in the film, it will be interesting to see if they are a window to the character’s face or an access panel for maintenance.

Fans of the original trilogy trooper design will be glad to see that this helmet appears to retain the classic proportions. It’s wide, where the new white troopers have a surprisingly narrow face when seen from the front (in line with Ralph McQuarrie’s design sketches for ANH). The chrome trooper also includes the classic stormtrooper frown instead of a floating nose plate.

The chrome troopers do not actually wear a hood or covering in the film. The metal collar stands up from the torso armor and curves up on the sides before dipping down again at the back.

We’ll never post rumors as genuine news or fact here, but we love nothing more than to speculate with you! Let’s take a few leaps and try to guess how this guy may fit in: A couple sources have expressed that the chrome troopers are a private security force for Adam Driver’s character – silver mercenary rent-a-cops rather than true Imperial Forces for Adam Driver’s character. While we’ve not heard this from anyone directly, the most abundant rumor about Driver is that he’s a wealthy aristocrat with an interest in Sith artifacts. While this production seems eager to distance themselves from the prequel era, of all the films’ props this design shares DNA most closely with the Naboo ships. The chrome finish and elegant curves fit in with that established aesthetic perfectly. Might JJ try to make lemonade out of lemons with Padme’s home planet? Could our Sith-obsessed aristocrat hail from the same planet/society as Vader’s wife? Or is this just a natural result of bringing the prequels’ Doug Chiang back as production designer lead concept artist (Thanks for the correction, Matthew Palanca!) ?

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Fantastic Four Reboot Details On Johnny Storm & Sue Storm

One of the most interesting films set to come out next year is the new Fantastic Four reboot with Josh Trank directing and a main cast filled with some of the better up and coming actors working today. There isn’t really a lot known about the film yet, with only rumors and some set photos leaking online the past few months and Trank making a few statements about the tone the film will have. I’m really excited for it honestly, and with the talent involved, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being one of the best and most interesting superhero films we end up getting.

Schmoes Know got our hands on some new interesting plot details for the film from a very reliable source! First, remember all of the controversy that happened when Michael B. Jordan was announced to be cast as Johnny Storm in the film? For those of you that don’t know, in the comic books Johnny Storm and Sue Storm are brother and sister, and since Sue Storm is being played by Kate Mara in the film, people were worried and curious if they were still going to be siblings in this new reboot. The general thought among the fan community eventually became that Johnny would simply be adopted and they would still be brother and sister, just not biologically.

Well, we have heard from our source that it is actually Mara’s Sue Storm who is adopted in the film, with her and Michael B. Jordan’s parents being African American! (So it’s still basically what we have all assumed about their relationship, only the film has flipped it around.) We have also heard that instead of the group gaining their powers from a failed scientific mission in outer space like in the original comics and (awful) existing films, this time the group’s origin story will be much more like their Ultimate versions.

In the film, the team will gain their powers through a lab experiment gone wrong in a way, where they create a portal to another world or dimension (its not clear) and they get their powers after the exposure to this other dimension/planet. Much like how the group gets their powers in the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, after they are engulfed in a failed teleporter experiment.

This definitely makes sense with what the film’s screenwriter, Simon Kinberg has been saying about the film being much more scientific than the previous adaptations and some of the comics. So from both the new cast’s ages and how they get their powers in the film, it seems like this reboot is going to be following the Ultimate run of the comic books much more than the original run.

The other small tidbit of news that we have is that the film is going to be VERY character-driven. I don’t want to say that the action in the film takes a backseat or is secondary, but this first installment is much more focused on setting up the characters and their relationships with each other and their nemesis Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) than it is about making things blow up in big action set pieces. Which I love! The reason Trank’s earlier film, Chronicle, was so good was because it focused so heavily on it’s characters and you felt emotion towards them, so this definitely makes me happy.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Guardians Of The Galaxy On Blu-ray December 9th

Marvel's runaway smash hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, grossed over $314M domestic and $633M worldwide making it the highest grossing domestic film of the year and the 7th highest grossing film worldwide. The film, which was perceived as a risk initially, also managed to win over both critics and fans putting another tick in the win column for Marvel.



Even though Marvel has yet to make an official announcement, Amazon has made the film available for pre-order in three editions: a standard one-disc 2D Blu-ray, a two-disc 3D Blu-ray combo, and a one-disc DVD. The film is also expected to arrive on a Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook, similiar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier & Thor: The Dark World.

Release date December 9th.


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“Rogue Cut” Of “Days Of Future Past” Coming In 2015

Anna Paquin’s scenes as Rogue that were cut from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” will be added back to the film and re-released as the “Rogue Cut” next summer on homevideo platforms.

The extended version of “Days of Future Past” will become available in the first half of 2015, most likely during the summer, according to the film’s writer and producer Simon Kinberg, who made the announcement Thursday from Stage 21, where scenes for the previous “X-Men” installment, “First Class” were filmed on the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot. Kinberg, who also worked on that film, was back on the lot to promote the theatrical version of “Days of Future Past,” available now on digital and on Oct. 14 on DVD and Blu-ray.

More than 10 minutes of extra footage will be added to the “Rogue Cut” of “Days of Future Past,” which in addition to Paquin’s cut scenes, will also include other sequences involving other characters, as well.

“It’s a big chunk, a substantial part of the movie,” Kinberg said of Paquin’s storyline as Rogue. “We want to give (fans) the fullest picture of the film — behind the camera, and in front of it,” with the “Rogue Cut” and provide “more of the process we went through” to make the film.

“Every movie has scenes that are cut out, but not every movie has scenes cut out with such a beloved character,” Kinberg added.

Paquin played Rogue in “X-Men,” “X-Men 2″ and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” She does still appear in “Days of Future Past” but in a smaller cameo.

Paquin’s scenes didn’t make the final cut because the film was “full of plots and subplots.” Her storyline as Rogue just “didn’t fit” with the final film, which Kinberg said was always designed to revolve around Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy.

“It’s the most complicated movie I’ve ever worked on,” Kinberg said, because of the film’s time traveling focus that unites the X-Men characters from the first trilogy, directed by Bryan Singer, and younger ones from Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class,” while introducing even more like Quicksilver.

“I pray to God I never work on another time travel movie,” Kinberg said.

Kinberg is currently writing the next “X-Men” film, “Apocalypse,” which Singer will return to direct the film that’s set during the 1980s. “Days of Future Past” was set during the 1970s.

The return to the Fox lot on Thursday, “is the first time I’ve been out of the house in awhile,” he said, given his scripting duties on “Apocalypse.”

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TV Recap: @ForeverABC "LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP"

We take a look at the first episode for the ABC series. TV Recap: FOREVER "LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP"
By: Suepafly


After a quick recap of Henry's never ending condition the episode opens with a frantic woman in a cab. She pleads with the person on the phone to wait, begging him not to do anything rash. She spots something on the bridge and forces the cab driver to stop as she opens the door in traffic. She runs from the cab and climbs over the guard rail, leaping off to her screaming death. Her body washes up on shore.

Henry's first patient has an axe stuck in his head. The detectives think it to be a homicide,but Henry has another story. The drunk soccer fan tried to cut a branch interfering with his connection, fell from the ladder, and the axe fell from the roof killing him. The woman jumper however, Henry concludes is a suicide. He's never seen a jumper with fractures as hers, she was facing the wrong way and there was a good deal of lead paint beneath her nails, clearly a homicide. Detective Jo Martinez plans to look into it since Henry has yet to be wrong.

Jo's boss however doesn't think time should be wasted on the jumper. Between witnesses and the cab driver's statement that the woman was hysterical before her leap, its a clear suicide. She asks what she's missing, and Jo tells her that the ME has helped out on a number of homicides. The Captain brings up Jo's personal life, telling her that she can't cut her any slack, and if the ME is as good as she says then they'll find better use of his talents.

Henry is asked to rule the jumper as a suicide, but he refuses. Her family wishes to speak to him, but Henry doesn't like to talk to the families. They come in anyways, and Henry is forced to tell them that it looks like she fell to her death. They're adamant that she didn't commit suicide, she was set for an internship in Paris, and they're sure it had to be something else. Henry offers his condolences, but the parents think he has no idea the pain he's going through without having a child of his own.

Past. The baby that was found in the wreckage is happy and healthy, and he needs a home otherwise, Abigail tells Henry, he'll go into an orphanage. She's named him Abraham, and she clearly thinks Henry would be the perfect person to adopt him.


The father has become the son. Abe has Henry try some sauce, but he's distracted with the current victim. He can't get the girl's death out of his mind, but he's done his job and its up to the police. He doesn't want to get caught up in the messy entanglements of life. Abe points out that's the point of life, and he has a date.

The jumper leapt to her death in the middle of the bridge, and Henry sets out on his bicycle to take a look for himself. The impact of falling is one of the worst ways to die. He climbs over the rail for a better look, and finds not only clay marks and paint missing, but also a shoe print. Henry spots something above, and as he grabs it, he nearly falls himself. He manages to get back to the top of the bridge, but gets hit by a truck, killing him.

Running nearly naked with just a pizza box covering, Abe picks him up, his date interrupted by Henry's bad night. Henry was right, there was someone else on the bridge, the girl was indeed pushed.

Henry's steps are light as he gets to work. Under the jumper's nails is paint that matches the bridge, and something more. She scratched someone before falling. On Henry's desk is a gift, offering his condolences on a painful death. Someone is stalking again. Henry tells Jo his findings, and she's surprised to hear that he personally took a look, but he has a special relationship with death. Henry is quick to run out.

He takes his newest note to Abe, who notices a watermark on the paper. They no little about his fan, but Abe thinks he may be able to find out more about the sender. Jo arrives to tell him what she found. The jumper Vicky had checked into her Paris flight, not normal behavior for someone who was about to leap to her death. They head to her school to ask more questions.

Vicky was well liked, and was a shoulder to cry on to those in her dorm. Her parents are in her room, and they're excited to see Henry, thinking that they reopened up her case. Her death is an unexplained death at the moment. No boyfriend. At the moment she was working on translating an Egyptian Codex. The mother mourns, and Henry tells her that he will find out who did this. Outside the room, Jo cannot believe that Henry told the mother that they would solve the case, considering she's not suppose to be looking into the girl's death, and sometimes these cases go years without being solved, but Henry has plenty of time.

They head over to see where Vicky was studying, and they meet her genius professor and see the codex. He's speaking to a group of students about the Codex. Professor James Brown is more than happy to talk about his greatest student. He gushes over the codex, and Henry notices that it was a love letter. They were about to publish their work, and Henry asks if he smoked, because of the way that he holds his pen. He's a former smoker. Professor Brown claims to not have been too close to Vicky, that he was at Opera with his wife, but later Henry tells Jo that they were having an affair, between the title of the paper and the signs of cigarettes in Vicky's bed. There was also a picture in her room wearing his scarf. It's all circumstantial at this point, but Henry has nabbed the pen for a DNA comparison. The DNA is a perfect match to that under her nails.

Henry is impressed by James's brownstone. Her block was extremely popular in the artistic circles. They question her about her and her husbands whereabouts. Henry points it must have been awkward sitting in an opera about betrayal, noting that her husband was never with her, one program was crumbled. He further reasons that she new about the affair and was trying to remind him of happier times with a newly placed picture. Her home is old, and they wouldn't have to bring any shame to her family. She's surprised that he knew all of that. Jo asks her question again, and this time she answers honestly.

James is taken into custody and questioned. They know about the affair, and that Vicky was leaving to study in Paris. His life was unravelling, and Jo says that Vicky was trying to stop him and fell. James tells her that it wasn't like that. He loved her, and he had the strength to break it off with her. He was happy for her, and Henry believes he's telling the truth. He notices a skin condition, and asks him to remove his shirt as his lawyer arrives. They leave, and Henry believes the skin got under Vicky's nails in the heat of passion, not as she fell.

Henry laments over the injustice of James spending his life in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Abe ponders that it could have been a crime of passion, but Henry notes that the crime was meticulously planned. On the paper front, it was manufactured for a Hotel that has been closed for at least 6 years. It came from the Hotel Montliogne, on that he stayed at in 1945, and even wrote a letter on the stationary. As Abigail lay sleeping Henry wrote his letter and left, but Abigail woke and gave chase. He tried to leave her because things wouldn't work. So long as he loved her, she didn't care how it ended. Life is about the journey, not the ending, and she wasn't letting go.

Henry investigates further. If the professor was telling the truth, and he broke up with her, she wasn't letting go, Vicky was a fighter. The scuff marks on her shoes prove there was a struggle. She was lured up there. He opens her mouth, and finds some flesh between her teeth. He tells his assistant to check that against James's, but Jo arrives, telling him its unnecessary, there's another body.

James's body was found at his desk with a suicide note. The detectives think its a clear case, but Henry thinks he was murdered. There was too much blood on the floor, he was drugged and sedated, and his wounds go from the inside out, instead of outside in. The suicide note is written by a left handed person, and theres an improper usage of the word for love in French.

Jo looks through security footage, and she recognizes James's wife Amanda.

Henry gives his condolences to the student that showed him around earlier. He notices
that Tucker is typing with his right hand when he's left handed. He also concludes that he was upset over not being given more credit for the research, and for Vicky falling for the professor, not him. He called Vicky saying that he was going to jump, and she came because that's the type of person she was. Killing the professor and making it look like a suicide tied up all the loose ends. Tucker notices that the police haven't arrived, and looks to tie up Henry's loose end, but slitting his throat. It lacks his regular flare, but improvising is his only option, even though a camera is catching the whole exchange. Henry points out the camera, but its too late for that. Tucker carries Henry out of the room, and Jo see it all. Jo goes after Tucker, and with her partner, Hansen's help they take him down. Henry gets a little cut but he'll live.

Hansen looks over the camera footage, still unable to believe Henry was telling him to shoot Tucker. The captain clears the room, and takes Jo aside. She gets a slight reprimand for going after the case when she was told to back down. She is impressed Jo stuck with her gut, and trusted her ME with a sixth sense about death.

Henry faces Vicky's parents, doing the human thing, and offering comfort and allowing them to start healing. Jo faces her husband, and Henry looks at Abigail. Abe misses her as will, she'd be 94 if she were still alive. Henry always knew she would be gone some day, and hoped they could all be a proper family. Abe tells him that they were a proper family, that he's enjoyed his life. Henry gets a call from his mystery fan. He's done playing games, he asks about the hotel Montliogne. It was an easy manner of looking through records, which helped him finally understand why it all matters, because he still cares. He's a child the caller says. He's been around for thousands of years, and tells Henry to call him Adam.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook and make sure to follow us at @SandwichJFilms on Twitter, and follow the author Sue Lukenbaugh on Twitter at @suepafly.

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Predestination Has Arrived

The first promo for the Spieirg Brothers' time-travelling sci-fi Predestination arrived a couple of months ago, and now here's a second to pique your paradoxical interest. Appropriately the marketing campaign seems to be running backwards, since this new clip is a far more teaser-ish affair than the longer first glimpse.

Not much there that wasn't revealed first time around, but interestingly there's far less footage of Australian actress Sarah Snook, who takes much of the acting weight as Ethan Hawke's new partner. There's a bigger emphasis on a surgical procedure too.



If you've read Robert Heinlein's short story All You Zombies, on which Predestination is based, you might glean some of what might be going on, and why some things are better kept secret before a full viewing. Nothing to do with lumbering undead (the title is lifted from a quote towards the end of the story), it's a mind-boggling catalogue of time travel paradoxes. We can't tell you quite how mad it is without spoiling it...

The official movie synopsis gives us Hawke as a temporal agent, traveling back and forth through time, altering history on an assignment to thwart the mass-murderous ‘Fizzle Bomber’. Undercover as a bartender, he falls into conversation with a tough customer (Snook) and decides to take her under his wing.

Hawke previously worked with the Speirigs on the rather good Daybreakers, and the brothers describe this new opus as 'the mother of all time travel paradoxes'. One for the Looper crowd?

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New Trailer For #JupiterAscending

There were worries aplenty when the announcement came that the Wachowskis’ latest sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending would be moving back to next February. And while we’ll have to wait until then to see if those fears were warranted, the latest trailer has arrived.



Jupiter Ascending focuses on Mila Kunis’ Jupiter Jones, a young woman who was born with signs predicting great things. But as an adult, a series of bad breaks have led to her gig cleaning other people’s houses. Then Caine (Channing Tatum) comes a-calling, rescuing her when some very nasty medical types discover who she really is and attempt to terminate her.

Swept up into a huge struggle for the future of the solar system and our world in particular, Jupiter learns that she’s in line to be the owner of the Earth as part of a complicated hierarchy that stretches between the stars. Sadly for our heroine, some very powerful and dangerous people are also laying claim to her birthright. The new trailer has some extra shots of fancy effects creatures and vistas, proving that there was definitely still work to be done.

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X-Men Viral Websites Are Online Now

With X-Men: Days Of Future Past due on Blu-ray next month and the details for X-Men: Apocalypse beginning to crystallise, what better time for 20th Century Fox to sneak a couple of new viral websites for the mutant franchise online? Take a look at, and prepare to try to unravel the mysteries of, the Tandem Initiative and M-Underground.



Tandem is advertising itself as a scientific think tank, which, according to its spiel, was “founded to help explore a new and growing generation: the genetically gifted.” The site offers mutants a chance to submit their stories and win free genotyping analysis, which makes us think they’re almost certainly up to no good.

It’s a view shared by M-Underground, whose stated ambitions include “to expose those who wish to create a rift between humans and the genetically gifted. We will not let our world be torn apart with misinformation. The only ‘mutant threat’ is that which threatens mutants.” So… yeah, the two sides in this particular conflict are still far apart.

The sites will almost certainly expand as Apocalypse gets closer. The new X-Men film has just locked in Bryan Singer to direct, with the plot set in the 1980s and the First Class team fighting a brand new/ancient threat, the powerful mutant Apocalypse.

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Open Forum Friday: September 26, 2014

We celebrate the release of The Equalizer with a great Open Forum question.
To celebrate the release of The Equalizer (you can read our review here) this week, we want to know what television show from your youth you'd like to see turned into a movie. And, would you be OK if that film borrowed only the bare minimum from the original - perhaps the title and a couple of characters?

While you're welcome to comment on this question or on any movie or television thoughts you might have, a friendly reminder to keep it nice, no ads, and no flaming.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance For MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN on Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00PM in Sacramento.


MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose - some tragic, some hopeful - as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.


The film stars Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ansel Elgort, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris and Adam Sandler.


Official Website: http://www.menwomenchildrenmovie.com/


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 get tickets after the Jump..

Go to GOFOBO and enter Code: SAND3AW3

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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Interview With David Cooley. He Talks About His Upcoming Film The Wolves Of Savin Hill

Childhood friends from the streets of Boston drift apart following a shocking discovery deep in the woods of Savin Hill. Years later a tragic murder brings them together again. But for one man, it’s no mistake. A trap has been set…


We had a chance to talk to actor David Cooley and he takes us on a tour of The Wolves of Savin Hill.

Clearly, the film is an ensemble piece, but you’re front row centre for most of the movie. Do you feel the pressure, knowing you’re such a huge part of the film and a lot of it is riding on your performance and the audience’s acceptance of it?

Not while making it no. John and Sean & I talked a lot about who my character was and what his motivations were. I really felt like I knew him. I knew his secrets and his potential violence and his rage. Once we were finished however, well that’s a horse of a different color. NOW, yes I fell it. I am not a big fan of watching my own performance, I tend to be a pretty harsh critic. But also I so want the audience to believe my character. Find my truth to be honest and sincere.



Was the film something that you happened upon from a casting call – or did you know director John Beaton Hill, previously?

I brought this page I’d printed out with about 17 words on a it. I said, “Hey man write me a few scenes and you’ll direct me ok?” We spoke for weeks on it, where we were going, who this guy was, how he ended up where he might end up and then John kicked me out and wrote this amazing script.



The film has somewhat of a French Connection vibe to it. Was that an appeal to you?

One of the things John and I have in common is real acting. Truth in a story. Not fairy tales and fucking moonbeams. Real people saying real things in dark and scary places. That’s what I get off on. Going to really dark places and making them my own. John I think is the same way. Also I trust John, implicitly and told him so. I said you fucking take me wherever you want to go and I will make him run.

Why do you think Los Angeles lends itself so well to this particular story?

LA is the largest city I have ever felt so lonely in. That in a nutshell is why it works so well. Millions and millions of people that can be completely alone.

Do you have a favorite moment in the film – one you’ll likely add to your showreel?

The Ocean, fuck that moment in the ocean. Which wasn’t a moment, haha! I was so far gone in the character, so deep, it was fantastic and the way John shot it was superb.

What do you hope the film does for your career? Obviously, you wish the film success, but what would you like to see come out of it for you.. as an actor?

WORK & more Work & more WORK. This is all I have ever wanted to be. I used to watch the Sunday morning movies as a kid. Bogart, Flynn, Edward G, Rooney, Wayne, Cooper. I watched them over and over and thought “Oh dear God that’s what I want to do. Not for the fame or money because I didn’t know that’s what happens to you when you are a star. I just wanted to work. To slide down a sail with my knife like Errol Flynn or a gun battle like John Wayne. But truly when I saw To Kill a Mockingbird, I realized you could touch people and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do as an actor. Touch people, make then feel. Because that’s what they did to me when I watched and I wanted to always to do that for someone else.

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TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Shadows”

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Shadows”
By: Brandon Wolfe

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ was one of the biggest disappointments of the previous year. Heading into the fall TV season last year, it seemed like the show to beat. Bringing Marvel’s cinematic hot streak to the small screen, under the (partial) guidance of brilliant TV impresario Joss Whedon and employing fan-favorite Clark Gregg to anchor the series as the beloved, revived Agent Coulson, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ appeared to have everything going for it.



Then it aired and the balloon of hope immediately burst. In place of the intelligence and personality we had grown accustomed to with Marvel’s cinematic universe, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ was a dull slog, less an expansion of the Marvel experience into broadcast television than some cheap junk-TV adventure show that seemed more at home airing on a Saturday afternoon in 1994. The chintzy production values, the blandly attractive leads, the plodding dialogue and the inert storytelling left the series dead on arrival, a mode it continued in throughout its first season, getting only a moderate boost (but one not nearly as substantial as its defenders would insist) from dovetailing with ‘Captain America: The Winter Solder’ late in the game. It was hard to muster up much enthusiasm for the continuation of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ into another season without some serious overhauling.

That overhauling did not happen. “Shadows,” the second-season premiere, carries with it a distinct “ain’t broke/don’t fix” vibe. There is no evidence that the series’ creators (Joss’ apple-fell-7,000-miles-from-the-tree brother Jed Whedon and his wife, Maurissa Tancharoen) have learned anything over the summer hiatus. The whole gang is back, doing and saying the same sorts of tedious things that they were before. The series maintains its status as a mirthlessly uninteresting grind.

“Shadows” opens with some more Marvel symmetry, giving us a flashback to 1945 Austria where future spin-off headliner Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and a squad of Howling Commandoes (including Neal McDonaugh’s Dum Dum Dugan) infiltrate a HYDRA camp and confiscate a weapons cache, including a mysterious object that we learn is the first documented 0-8-4 (the S.H.I.E.L.D. term for object of unknown origin). Flashing forward to the present, Coulson is now director of a reconceived shadow version of S.H.I.E.L.D., which contains all the stiffs he worked with last year supplemented by a team of mercenaries headed up by Isabelle Hartley (erstwhile Xena, Lucy Lawless). When an operation goes south after a seemingly invincible third party intervenes, the team is ordered to go dark and reconvene to figure out who this mystery man was.


The man’s name is Carl Creel, known to comic fans as the Absorbing Man, a fellow who, as his title suggests, can absorb the essence of anything he touches to contour his body to match its texture (for comic know-nothings, think Nick Nolte in the last act of Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’). Creel is out to obtain the original 0-8-4, and after he makes an attempt on the life of noted S.H.I.E.L.D. opponent Gen. Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar, with a less hilarious mustache than last year), the military apprehends Creel and takes him to a secure location. Come to find out that this location also houses the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’-esque storage facilty that contains the 0-8-4 and Creel got himself nabbed just so he could be taken directly there. This leads the team on a secret mission to infiltrate the facility and obtain the 0-8-4 before Creel can, a mission that ultimately does not succeed.

It bears mentioning that the Absorbing Man effects are a notch above the usual anti-eye-candy (eye vegetables?) that this notoriously cheap-looking series offered us a steady diet of last year. But that just about ends the list of things that “Shadows” does well. As with last year, we are given a storyline that insists upon an urgency that simply isn’t there. The characters remain another crucial problem. They are still amazingly dull. May remains a framework upon which to hang a scowl. Skye has more of a boots-on-the-ground role this year, but she’s still merely a pretty face with nothing underneath it (she’s also now saddled with some seriously unflattering bangs). And Coulson, more aloof and businesslike in this premiere, is still an exposition-spouting windbag without any of the playful spirit of the guy we loved in the movies. The great Patton Oswalt is back as Billy Koenig, the clone (?) of the departed Eric Koenig from last year, but the series doesn’t use Oswalt’s gifts any better than it did before. Only B.J. Britt as the returning Agent Triplett seems at all close to potentially being an engaging presence going forward.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s’ frustrating inability to cut off any of its considerable fat manifests itself in the form of a couple of other returning characters. Fitz, one half of the insufferably cutesy tech duo FitzSimmons, is back in his lab after the injuries he sustained in the season finale, but now suffers from temporal lobe damage that makes him forget every fifth word he attempts to speak. He seems to be watched over by a concerned Simmons, but by episode’s end, we are told that Simmons actually left the team some time ago, and Fitz is in such a state of disrepair that he has begun to hallucinate her presence. Personally, I say you can keep FitzSimmons, whose irksome adorability gave them the notable distinction of being among the series’ most irritating elements, but clearly the creators aren’t willing to make that sacrifice, as they aren’t willing to make any sacrifices at all. But what makes Fitz’s return so insane is that he’s brain-damaged and possibly insane, and yet Coulson STILL HAS HIM WORKING IN THEIR LAB. Analyzing crucial evidence and everything. You want to hold onto him out of affection, fine, but surely S.H.I.E.L.D. has a mail room where the drooling mess can Xerox stuff instead of fine-tuning highly-detailed cloaking technology.

The other, somehow even more astoundingly ill-conceived return appearance belongs to Agent Ward, the blank slab of beefsteak whose surprise turn to the dark side is the only specific thing anyone will remember having happened in Season 1. Coulson has opted to keep Ward locked up on-site in a high-tech Hannibal Lecter cell as a constant source of HYDRA intel, but really so the show can continue to pretend that the dance it’s crafted between comely nonentities Ward and Skye has any weight at all, as Coulson uses Skye as the go-between with Ward so we can watch the sparks not fly. The show appears to be setting Ward on the path to a quasi-redemption, making him an uneasy ally of the team, similar to how Whedon’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ used the character of Spike. But Spike was a hugely entertaining and charismatic presence and Ward is the guy you see modeling Dockers for Kohl’s in the Sunday ads. Not exactly the same thing.

Look, somewhere in the back of my head, I still foolishly want to believe that it’s possible for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ to become something. It really should be something, given its bona fides. But the parts it contains are irreparably broken and the show doesn’t seem to be aware of this. As such, all we can do is document the dysfunction while we wait for this particular Helicarrier to collapse out of the sky.

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

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The Equalizer Review: Old Meets New in a Viciously Delicious Throwdown

The Equalizer is the most visceral, stylish, and rewarding experience in quite awhile. Summer movies, take note.

As we've been talking about this week, the 80's drama/action television program The Equalizer is getting the full-on movie treatment, courtesy of a duo of heavy hitters: Director Antoine Fuqua and his Training Day leading man Denzel Washington. For those of us who thrilled to the weekly exploits of former Company spy Robert McCall saving New Yorkers in trouble, the thought of a movie version has obviously piqued our interests. And while there's very little comparison here to the original, moviegoers are in for a violent and ultimately rewarding experience.

Robert McCall (Washington) is a thoughtful, well-read middle-aged gentlemen working at a local hardware supply store, his life falling into neat patterns of cleanliness and a spartan-like behavior. But deep inside, McCall is holding back a violent past that saw him fake his own death in order to escape the life of a superspy. Instead, he spends time trying to make a difference in people's lives, assisting an overweight fellow employee to slim down so he can take a security guard test and assisting his mother when dirty cops come to collect their monthly shock money. All of that changes when another of his 'projects' in the form of an aspiring singer-turned prostitute Teri (Chloe Grace-Moretz) is beaten by her Russian pimp, forcing McCall to take out his team. As news of the killings reach the highest levels, a Russian kingpin sends out his attack dog Teddy (Martin Cskosas) to find McCall at any cost. Faced with the prospect of a dirty conclusion, McCall must equalize the odds before Teddy's violent tendencies lead to more deaths.

Again, let's be clear: nearly every element of the CBS show has been changed. There's no Control, no Mickey Kostmeyer, and no son Scott, with McCall largely on his own to deal with the industrial-sized problems that Writer Richard Wenk has thrown into the script. Fans of the series - what few of them remain - might do best to simply divorce themselves of any connection, as ignorance in this case might be bliss. What's not missing is the serious baddies led by Csokas, clearly the best since The Winter Soldier, his calm style and impeccable tastes hiding a body full of tatoos and an insatiable desire for ultra violence. But don't count out our boy here: McCall too is a viscous killing machine, ready to dispense justice after summing up the situation Cumberbatch-style ala BBC's Sherlock. These - and the bloodbaths that follow - are some of the best scenes from Fuqua and some of the best of the year; just wait till you see the variety of ways Washington takes down the Russians.

And that's part of the problem: granted, McCall is the most dangerous man no one has ever seen, but that air of invincibility at times feels a bit unrealistic. We know that he will take down Teddy during the climax, even though there may be a moment when the odds are seemingly against him (no pun intended). Minus one huge throwdown with a yoked-up thug, there's simply no point in which McCall's life feels threatened, which at least jibes with the series. What we're left with is simply waiting for the next way he will take down Teddy's men, some of which are truly shocking. Word on the street suggested The Equalizer would be a hard R, and Fuqua doesn't let us down. But to its credit, this level of violence is balanced quite nicely by Washington, a simmering nuclear bomb if one could be imagined. His performance might remind me of previous man-on-the-edge endeavors, but it's done so well that I can look past any shortcomings. During a confrontation at a restaurant, McCall stares down Teddy with eyes as steely as a black hole and asks "What do you see when you look at me?" From that point on, we truly have a battle among titans brewing, even though we know exactly what will happen.

Moretz is putting together quite a resume, able to nimbly jump from feel-good tale to victimized hooker.; but at least her absence is finally explained near film's end. She and Washington enjoy good chemistry, sizing each other up with enjoyable exposition before Teddy gets in the way. There's even a pseudo double cameo by Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman, who are the closest thing to Control this version of McCall knows. And yet for all the talk and quiet scenes of him trying to forget his past, McCall wears his tortured soul right on his sleeve, still grieving at personal loss and trying to be something less than what he ultimately accepts as his calling. When that moment arrives, old Equalizer passes off to the new in a scene which should make fans smile.

And that's the reality behind Hollywood reboots: content to make wholesale swaps in content, studios play a dangerous game with fan's emotions, leaving us to hope they at least capture the spirit of our childhood memories before raping our wallets. Summer films could learn a lot from this one, balancing a deep story about embracing your true colors rather than keeping them tightly under wraps, while delivering some of the best fight scenes in recent memory.

I walk away from The Equalizer a bit conflicted, thoroughly appreciating the effort but mindful of the series that made me think in shades of spy grays. With a sequel already in the works, I can live with this new hero, even if the original one still occupies a special place in my heart. Now where's my Walther PPK?

The Equalizer is Rated R for for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references and has a runtime of 131 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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First Trailer For @stretchthemovie

EW deliver us the first trailer for Joe Carnahan’s film, STRETCH, produced by Jason Blum.

The film stars stars Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Ray Liotta, Brooklyn Decker and Ed Helms.

The story is about about a down on his luck, drowning in debt, chauffeur (Wilson) trying to pay of his debt to a bookie, by driving around a mysterious billionaire (Pine) who drags the chauffeur to hell and back by selling info on his criminal associates to the highest bidder.

Ed Helms plays a limo driver colleague of Wilson’s, STRETCH’s conscience and voice of reason. Brooklyn Decker plays Wilson’s materialistic, wild ex-girlfriend, engaged to another man.

STRETCH will now hit Amazon and iTunes October 7 and then on VOD October 14.

Watch the trailer after the Jump...

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Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting Stars In "Authors Anonymous"

Authors Anonymous is a 2014 comedy indie film directed and produced by Ellie Kanner. It stars Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Chris Klein, Tricia Helfer, Jonathan Banks, Jonathan Bennett, Teri Polo and Dennis Farina. It was distributed by Screen Media Films and Starz Digital with a VOD now.

When several dysfunctional and unpublished writers accept young Hannah into their clique, they don't expect her overnight success.



Hannah, who has rarely even read a book, let alone written one, not only manages to land a literary agent to represent her, she cashes in on a deal to turn her first manuscript into a Hollywood film. The support of her weekly writers group, Authors Anonymous, turns to resentment.

Colette Mooney receives rejection letters galore from agents and publishers. Her husband, optician Alan, speaks ideas into a hand-held recorder all day long, but never acts on them. Henry Obert has writer's block, as well as a huge crush on Hannah, while a Tom Clancy wanna-be, John K. Butzin, resorts to self-publishing in a delusional quest to become a best-selling author, helped by a young hardware store employee named Sigrid who believes in him.

In time, Hannah realizes that maintaining a relationship with these people is next to impossible, but does what she can to at least encourage Henry to begin writing again.

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#Blackhat Trailer Starring #ChrisHemsworth Is Here

Here is the first trailer for Blackhat.

Hemsworth stars as Nicholas Hathaway, a furloughed hacker convict recruited by a mixture of American and Chinese law enforcement officials as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.


And though the network initially seems to be intent on damaging financial institutions, Hemsworth and co quickly discover that the stakes are much, much higher than that. It’s all shot in Mann’s trademark style and promises lots of Mr. Thor running around being an action hero. Plus the likes of Viola Davis, John Ortiz, Holt McCallany, Spencer Garret, Archie Kao and Wei Tang in the cast.

Blackhat (in case you’re unaware, it’s a term for an illegal hacker)

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MEET ME AT THE RECK Teaser Clip

MEET ME AT THE RECK PREMIERES ON MAKER.TV ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4th.



A six-part family series, “Meet Me at The Reck” follows Andrew W.K. and his band of kids—better known as “reckers,” as they explore what it means to celebrate the importance of using your imagination. With the help of special guests including Jack Black (SCHOOL OF ROCK), Zach Woods (“Silicon Valley,” “The Office”), digital superstar Joseph Garrett aka Stampylonghead, YouTube artist Mary Gutfleisch aka Mary Doodles, comedian Bobby Lee, pro-skateboarder Eric Koston, guitar legend Matt Sweeney and NASA scientist Michael Meacham ("NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory"), “Meet Me at The Reck” is an exploration of childhood, and a guide to being a kid in the world of possibilities.

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#OUTLANDER Returns April 4th 2015

STARZ SERIES “OUTLANDER” MIDSEASON PREMIERE SET FOR SATURDAY, APRIL 4TH 2015.

Outlander’s Highly Anticipated Wedding Episode Delivers Highest Ratings of the Season with 3.8 Million Live +3 Viewers, Up Almost 40% Since Premiere

Season One Averaging 5 million viewers per episode to date

Two days before the first half of season one concludes with the mid-season finale this Saturday, September 27th at 9pm ET/PT, Starz announced that its hit series “Outlander” will return with the remaining eight episodes from season one on Saturday, April 4th, 2015. The critically – acclaimed series adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling books and executive produced by Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) has already been picked up for a second season.

Approximately 3.8 million Live+3 viewers tuned in for the series highly-anticipated seventh episode, titled “The Wedding,” to finally witness the beloved characters Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) become man and wife in 18th century Scotland, the most on STARZ since episode 5 of “Spartacus: Vengeance” in February 2012. “The Wedding” performance represents a 19 percent increase from the week prior on “Outlander,” and a 38 percent increase since the series premiere episode. “Outlander” fans made “The Wedding” appointment viewing by flocking to the premiere of the episode on Saturday with 2.07 million Live+SD Saturday viewing and 1.23 million Live+SD viewers tuning in for the Saturday 9PM ET/PT episode premiere, both series highs. Through the first 4 episodes, more than 5 million average viewers have watched each episode of the hit series.*

The mid-season finale this Saturday, September 27th at 9pm ET/PT finds Frank (Tobias Menzies) desperately searching for his missing wife, while Claire tries to come to terms with her new marriage to Jamie. Claire is faced with an emotional quandary as a life-altering opportunity presents itself.

The “Outlander” series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure in one epic tale. It follows Claire Randall as she navigates the hidden dangers of 18th century Scotland, an unknown world where her freedom and very life are at risk. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Diana Gabaldon’s eight-book series has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and six of the books have graced the New York Times best-seller list. “Outlander” is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Starz retains all domestic multiplatform pay TV rights to the original series.

For more information, go to the official Outlander Facebook Page and follow @Outlander_Starz on Twitter and Instagram, or check out the vibrant online fan community. Join the conversation with #Outlander and #STARZ.

For additional high-resolution images and other press materials please visit the Starz Media Room at http://starz.mediaroom.com.

*Sources: Linear results based on Nielsen NPower data. Multiplatform results based on Starz internal estimates of linear and time shifted results from Nielsen (NPower), Rentrak (On Demand Essentials) and internal broadband data. Subject to further qualifications available upon request.

About Starz
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.

Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of June 30, 2014, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.9 million subscribers, including 22.0 million at STARZ, and 33.9 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks’ third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution’s home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.


About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (http://www.sonypicturestelevision.com), a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, is one of the television industry’s leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, around the world and for a multitude of platforms. In addition to one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) boasts a current program slate that includes top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. In addition to its US production business, SPT has 18 wholly-owned or joint venture production companies in 12 countries and also maintains offices in 31 countries. SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio includes 126 channel feeds available in 168 countries, reaching more than 980 million cumulative households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE’s premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns US production company Embassy Row and is a part owner of cable channel Game Show Network (GSN), 3D channel 3net and national U.S media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premier national advertising sales companies and handles the commercial inventory in SPT’s syndicated series as well as the Rural Media Group and www.doctoroz.com.

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New Trailer & Images From BIG HERO 6

The new trailer for Disney’s BIG HERO 6 has landed.




See all the images after the Jump...




From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.”

Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”). The film hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 7, 2014.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios (“Frozen,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter), who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

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#KeanuReeves Interview From The #JohnWick Red Carpet At Fantastic Fest

JOHN WICK took over Fantastic Fest this past weekend, with the festival adding two additional theaters to accommodate the sold-out crowds! This insanely entertaining action-thriller ramped up the excitement in audiences, receiving rave reviews across the board.


Interview Keanu Reeves.



An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, JOHN WICK (Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the "assassin genre".

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The Equalizer Movie - What We Know (Conclusion)

Our Equalizer introduction wraps up with the episodes you must watch before seeing the movie. Our discussion of all things The Equalizer concludes with a look at some of the best episodes of the series.

As audiences prepare to see Director Antoine Fuqua's vision for the 1980's iconic television series The Equalizer, all this week we're looking back at the characters, episodes, and other aspects of the show that helped to define it. In our final article, we'll discuss several memorable episodes, and explain how some of their themes could fit into the film's storyline.

The Equalizer originally aired on CBS from 1985-1989 and was part of a series of new dramatic offerings that looked inside the world of spycraft and beyond the stylized Roger Moore James Bond movies. While shows like Scarecrow and Mrs. King used spies as a means to drive the romantic storyline, The Equalizer took a darker path, emphasizing the personal cost our heroes pay for defending others. The series featured McCall battling everyone from street thugs to cold-blooded killers, but it was at its best when his former life came into violent contact with his current one. Based on what we've seen from the trailers and various clips, we offer these episodes in the hope you might come to understand why a relatively unknown series was greenlit into a major movie starring an iconic American actor.

Season One
The Distant Fire
Plot: A woman from McCall's past and a deadly assassin return to wreck havoc on his life. Why We Love It: Just 8 episodes in, the series had already garnered attention for Actor Edward Woodward's laser-like delivery of the impassioned but cold-blooded McCall. Seeing him in a different light - as both the defender and the victim - put him in a unique situation, and audiences reaped the rewards. As the killer's identity is released, we see McCall for more than the guns and intricate plans, and as a man hurting - and regretting - the decisions he's made.

Unnatural Causes
Plot: A serial killer is targeting lonely women and leaving an orchid at the scene of each crime, while McCall protects a wanna-be actress from a dangerous pimp.
Why We Love It: A classic whodunnit mixed with the elements of a gentleman spy, this one appeared near the end of Season One. McCall enlists the help of a former spy to act as bait, while dispensing justice against the pimp in classic style. By this time, the series had found its stride, and had already been renewed for a second season.

Breakpoint
Plot: A wedding reception turns deadly as an unarmed McCall fights terrorists who have kidnapped an Islamic philanthropist.
Why We Love It: Perhaps as close to the upcoming movie in terms of using limited assets, this instant classic was also its most tense. Suggestions of rape and brutal violence are scattered throughout this episode as McCall prepares to take out the team without his famous sidearm. Monk's Tony Shaloub plays an absolutely cutthroat terrorist, and the finale is straight-up buttery delight.

Pretenders
Plot: An aspiring reporter learns her neighbor is far more deadly than she realizes, forcing McCall to take drastic steps to ensure her safety.
Why We Love It: The thrilling conclusion to Season One sees McCall and Control battle it out when the neighbor turns out to be an assassin who's being protected by The Company. It's one of many instances where the duo clash over philosophy, and where McCall sets out to right a Company wrong. The action-packed finale is equaled only by the terrific dialogue between the two, throwing in bits of levity along the way.

Season Two
Beyond Control
Plot: McCall seeks to protect Control from the KGB's top agent while unraveling a pattern of disturbing behavior involving his newest 'client.' Why We Love It: This is the best episode of The Equalizer, bar none and perhaps one of the best television episodes ever. It features a richly-textured story of intrigue and deception, as McCall learns that Control knows more than he claims about a dead Company employee and the secrets he was planning to sell to the Russians. As the climax arrives, we hear the haunting tones of Composer Stewart Copeland's trademark keyboards, while McCall searches a casket factory for the agent. But when he learns of Control's deception in the shocking last scene, we realize just how dark McCall's former boss can be. It not only delivers as an episode, but it sets up every spy-driven series after it.

Season Three
Mission: McCall
Plot: After McCall is kidnapped, his family and friends search desperately for him. Why We Love It: Sadly, Woodward had suffered a heart attack during this season, and his appearance and effectiveness in early episodes was limited. However, this two-parter still shows no signs of wear, as Scott assembles a team of McCall's current and former associates, including tough-guy Robert Mitchum as friend/foe Richard Dyson. And just like every good Equalizer episode, Scott and Mickey learn that Control might be involved in McCall's disappearance. And while this isn't directly related to the movie, its themes of friendship and Company deception might find their way in there after all.

Shadow Play
Plot: An on-the-mend McCall must protect a government witness from a deadly assassin, who will use anything to see his target eliminated. Why We Love It: A classic shoot-em-up with some terrific performances, even a post-heart attack Woodward can't keep him down. Harley Gage (Richard Jordan) returns to help Kostmayer, but the two find themselves in the assassin's crosshairs during a classic Act Four. Listen to Composer Stewart Copeland's soundtrack during this sequence. Of course, McCall makes a dramatic entrance at the end, all leading to a huge plot twist that's sure to satisfy.

Season Four
Riding the Elephant
Plot: McCall must protect two Thai nationals from a brutal racketeer with ties to The Company.
Why We Love It: Another classic example of Control's 'enemy of my enemy' belief system getting in the way of McCall's plans. This episode features memorable chemistry by McCall's clients who run into trouble with the local gang, but also seem to have connections to none other than Control himself. As we move towards a surprising ending, one member of the family pays the ultimate price, leaving McCall to wonder if his 'friend' really does have a heart.

Trial By Ordeal
Plot: When Control is brought up on charges of treason by The Company, McCall must defend him.
Why We Love It: An absolute classic courtroom drama, Ordeal is one of those 'come home to roost' episodes, where all the dirty deals Control has made come back to haunt him. By this time, the series had demonstrated its willingness to turn any major character into one of McCall's clients, and this one certainly didn't disappoint. Using scenes from previous episodes as 'evidence' in Control's trial, this is one of the first times I can remember a show establishing connections to other episodes as a means of creating a pseudo-arc. The twisty ending is so memorable and so well played by the duo that it ranks among my favorite episodes of all time - make sure you stick around for them.


Conclusion
While these character developments represent great places for Director Antoine Fuqua to base his film, it appears that much is being reshaped for the big screen. Melissa Leo will appear as McCall's former handler/Control, but it's not clear whether they will represent different Company philosophies or not. However, we can say this: just like in comic book movies, it's clear that the studios prefer to see television shows reworked rather than copied. Therefore, don't be surprised to see a very different Robert McCall from the one we've introduced to you.

The Equalizer movie blasts its way into theaters on September 26th.

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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