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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rumors Abound About Constantine

Showrunner Says It's Not Over Yet

By David Clark

Gossip has abounded in recent months regarding the cult NBC show Constantine. Since the network announced early renewals that did not mention Constantine fans of the series have feared a premature end to the dry humored hero. In a bewildered attempt to placate fan fears Daniel Cerone took to Twitter and explained the show’s status.

Over a series of tweets Cerone revealed NBC’s renewal press release in February was not fully inclusive of all the networks intentions moving forward. Cerone seemed surprised by the assumption the show was already canceled.

“NBC made some early pickups but #Constantine not canceled”.


According to Daniel, NBC has yet to even hear a pitch regarding the second season of Constantine. “We'll pitch them our plans for 2nd season in May. Then they decide,” said Cerone.

Until the pitch is made it would seem premature to assume cancellation is inevitable despite ratings projections. Cerone encourages fans of the series to show their desire for a second season by viewing legally obtained physical and digital Constantine episodes through media outlets such as Amazon, Itunes, and Hulu.

Cerone summed up the situation by saying, “Anyone putting money in studio coffers by purchasing #Constantine in any form will motivate [the] studio to find a home for [the] show.”

Two months out from a renewal being pitched to NBC leaves time for fans to show the network a real desire for a second season pick-up. Given the speculation surrounding the show this latest news should alleviate fears and create hope for the struggling shows fans.

Source: Blastr
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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #TheLazarusEffect In Sacramento #EvilWillRise

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For The Lazarus Effect on February 25th at 7:30 PM in Sacramento.

From masters of horror Blumhouse Productions- producer of THE PURGE, INSIDIOUS and SINISTER franchises - THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) who've achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated.



See how to win tickets after the Jump...

Frank, Zoe and their team (Donald Glover, Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters) take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject.

Initially, the procedure appears a success, but the team soon realizes something is wrong with Zoe. As her strange new persona reveals itself, the team quickly becomes stuck in a gruesome reality. They are no longer faced with the question of whether they can bring someone back to life- but rather, the wrath of her return. #EvilWillRise

Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and to be to notified about our upcoming Advance Screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our Podcast

Click HERE and enter code: SJFLAZSAC 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 #TheLazarusEffect In San Francisco #EvilWillRise

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For The Lazarus Effect on February 25th at 7:30 PM in San Francisco.

From masters of horror Blumhouse Productions- producer of THE PURGE, INSIDIOUS and SINISTER franchises - THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) who've achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated.



See how to win tickets after the Jump...

Frank, Zoe and their team (Donald Glover, Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters) take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject.

Initially, the procedure appears a success, but the team soon realizes something is wrong with Zoe. As her strange new persona reveals itself, the team quickly becomes stuck in a gruesome reality. They are no longer faced with the question of whether they can bring someone back to life- but rather, the wrath of her return. #EvilWillRise

Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and to be to notified about our upcoming Advance Screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our Podcast

Click HERE and enter code: SJFLAZSF 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.

Please Leave A Comment-
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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #TheLazarusEffect In Fresno #EvilWillRise

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For The Lazarus Effect on February 25th at 7:30 PM in San Francisco.

From masters of horror Blumhouse Productions- producer of THE PURGE, INSIDIOUS and SINISTER franchises - THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) who've achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated.



See how to win tickets after the Jump...

Frank, Zoe and their team (Donald Glover, Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters) take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject.

Initially, the procedure appears a success, but the team soon realizes something is wrong with Zoe. As her strange new persona reveals itself, the team quickly becomes stuck in a gruesome reality. They are no longer faced with the question of whether they can bring someone back to life- but rather, the wrath of her return. #EvilWillRise

Make sure to LIKE SandwichJohnFilms on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all your entertainment news and to be to notified about our upcoming Advance Screenings. Also make sure to subscribe and download our Podcast

Click HERE and enter code: SJFLAZFR 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.

Please Leave A Comment-
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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Deleted Scenes

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is available today on Digital HD
and will be on Blu-ray/DVD/On Demand on March 6.

"I'm not asking" features a tense exchange between President Snow and Peeta, highlighting Peeta's experience as a prisoner of Panem, previously unseen to audiences in Mockingjay: Part 1.

"Face of a revolution" features a humorous scene with Effie and Katniss as she's prepped (and primped) to become the Mockingjay.

Deleted Scene "I'm not asking"


Watch More after the Jump...

Deleted Scene "Face of a revolution"


Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) global juggernaut The Hunger Games franchise continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 arriving on Digital HD February 17 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and On Demand Friday, March 6, the Company announced today.

Mockingjay - Part 1 became the highest-grossing domestic release of 2014 when it reached nearly $333.2 million at the domestic box office yesterday. The last two installments of The Hunger Games franchise (Catching Fire and Mockingjay - Part 1) have become the highest-grossing releases at the domestic box office each of the past two years, the first time in decades that a studio has scored back-to-back #1 films of the year and the first time ever for back-to-back sequels. Mockingjay - Part 1, which opens in China on February 8, has already grossed more than $700 million worldwide, bringing global box office for the franchise to over $2.2 billion.

"The number one theatrical release of 2014 is poised to become one of the biggest home entertainment events of 2015," said Lionsgate Home Entertainment President Ron Schwartz and Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. "With the film's home entertainment rollout beginning on Digital HD next month and continuing on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand in March, we're continuing to expand the portfolio of choices we offer to enrich the experience of our consumers."

Academy Award® winner Jennifer Lawrence leads an all-star cast in the battle for Panem in a spectacular sequel packed with five hours of extensive, must-see bonus materials including the two-hour behind-the-scenes documentary "The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay - Part 1." Featuring never-before-seen interviews and on-set footage of the cast and crew, the documentary takes an in-depth look at the making of the film including the script adaptation, location scouting, set design - including physically creating the hovercraft - casting the new characters, and bringing District 13 to life.

Additional special features include "Straight from the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman," deleted scenes, an audio commentary with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson, as well as the "Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack" featurette, the music video for the Golden Globe®-nominated song "Yellow Flicker Beat" and a brand new sneak peek at The Divergent Series: Insurgent. The Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 features an acclaimed cast including Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone with Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland reprising their original roles from The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The impressive lineup is joined by five-time Academy Award® nominee Julianne Moore*, Mahershala Ali (Netflix's "House of Cards"), Natalie Dormer (HBO's "Game of Thrones"), Wes Chatham (The Help), Elden Henson (Jobs) and Evan Ross (Jeff, Who Lives at Home).

Based on the best-selling third novel of Suzanne Collins' award-winning trilogy, with a screenplay by Peter Craig (The Town) and Danny Strong (Lee Daniels' The Butler) and directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 reveals that the rebellion is growing. Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived and is recovering from the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell deep inside the bunkered catacombs of District 13. Separated from some of her closest allies and fearing for their safety in the Capitol, Katniss finally agrees to be the Mockingjay, the symbolic leader of the rebellion. Still uncertain as to whom she can trust, Katniss must help District 13 rise from the shadows, all the while knowing that President Snow has focused his hatred into a personal vendetta against her-and her loved ones.

*(Best Actress, Still Alice, 2014; Best Actress, Far From Heaven, 2002; Best Supporting Actress, The Hours, 2002; Best Actress, The End of the Affair, 1999; Best Actress,
Boogie Nights, 1997)


DIGITAL HD SPECIAL FEATURES**·
"The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay - Part 1": 8-part feature-length documentary·
"Straight From the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman" featurette
"Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack" featurette
"Yellow Flicker Beat" - Lorde music video
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
Sneak Peek of The Divergent Series: Insurgent
**Subject to change

BLU-RAY COMBO PACK SPECIAL FEATURES**·
"The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay - Part 1": 8-part feature-length documentary·
"Straight From the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman" featurette
"Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack" featurette
"Yellow Flicker Beat" - Lorde music video
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
Sneak Peek of The Divergent Series: Insurgent
**Subject to change

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES**·
Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
Deleted Scenes
Sneak Peek of The Divergent Series: Insurgent
**Subject to change

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Digital HD Street Date: February 17, 2015
Blu-ray Street Date: March 6, 2015
Price: $39.99 Blu-ray/$29.95 DVD
Title Copyright: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 © 2014, Artwork & Supplementary Materials TM & © 2015 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Feature Run Time: 123 minutes
Type: Theatrical Release
Genre: Action/Adventure; Action; Suspense; Adventure; Drama; Futuristic
Blu-ray Closed Captioned: English SDH
DVD Closed Captioned: English
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Blu-ray Format: 1080P High Definition 16x9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
DVD Format: 16x9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
Blu-ray Audio Status: English TrueHD Atmos Mix, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late-Night Listening, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital DTS Headphone:X™ Audio Track, English Descriptive Audio
DVD Audio Status: English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late-Night Listening

ABOUT LIONSGATE
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy
Anger Management, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success
The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black.

Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first installment of the
Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, John Wick, Warm Bodies, Roadside Attractions' A Most Wanted Man, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.

Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com


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Friday, February 20, 2015

Steven Spielberg Hoping to Direct Chris Pratt Indiana Jones Reboot

Indy may change, but the director stays the same.

By Brandon Wolfe

It sounds like if and when recently crowned King of Hollywood Chris Pratt decides to take over the fedora and whip from Harrison Ford for an Indiana Jones reboot, he might have Indy’s old guiding hand helping with the transition. Sources tell Deadline that, depending upon the script being up to snuff, Steven Spielberg hopes to direct Pratt’s inaugural outing as the intrepid archaeologist.

It’s still far too early in the game for any celebration to begin, however, as no formal work has yet begun on the project. But considering how integral Spielberg has been to the entire series from the beginning (the dreadful fourth film notwithstanding), it’s encouraging to hear that he is eager to oversee the next phase of the franchise. Given that Spielberg personally selected Pratt for his starring role in the upcoming Jurassic World, it would seem that the director is as high on the actor as everyone else.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.
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Movie Review: McFarland USA

Filled with feel-good sports moments and genuinely honest portrayals by its cast, McFarland USA sprints past the competition.

Review by Matt Cummings

There's a good chance you've never heard of Disney's McFarland USA, and yet you would be mistaken if such a lack of marketing didn't mean it wasn't completely worthy of your time. This drama about high school runners is a pitch-perfect, uplifting tale that separates itself from the common feel-good tripe, demanding your attention and inspiring you with its gigantic heart.

Set in the 1987 California farming town of McFarland, hot-headed and disgraced football coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) drags his wife Cheryl (Maria Bello) and children to yet another job after he's fired (again) for assaulting an athlete. As soon as they arrive, Jim realizes that this nearly all-Hispanic town is economically disadvantaged, many of its students work in the fields rather than in the classroom, and very few of their parents have ever attended college. Although he joins McFarland's football team as an assistant, he soon finds himself being forced to step down because he tried to keep an athlete off the field after a vicious hit. Instead of disappearing from the school, Jim decides to start a cross country team and fills it with an odd assortment of fast runners. As his team deals with the pressures of field work and competing against more experienced programs, Jim realizes their potential is nearly limitless, spurring the town to support them as they make their way to California's first state championship.

It doesn't happen too often when a film "Based on a True Story" actually sells itself as honestly as McFarland does. And yet, we get just that here: a warm, feel-good story of determination and hope in the midst of what seems so little when the title card emerges. This is another submission in Disney's ongoing series of underdog sports films like the flawed Million Dollar Arm, which also emphasizes race/cultural relations and people of various backgrounds learning to work together; but McFarland gets all the ingredients right with a thoroughly likable cast of veterans and newer talent, all shepherded by capable direction in the Oscar-nominated Niki Caro. She realizes the mix is nothing new, but aligns all of her pieces into a competent and thoroughly inspiring tale that matures just like Jim and his team. She succeeds in giving many of her characters a breath of life that goes far beyond typical stereotypes, with Jim as the emotional center. It's his show, but the runners contribute as well with substantial moments of their own. And yet, it's never preachy, relying instead on situations to tell itself, as the boys battle their parents' preconceptions about their futures and their coach who's as different as anyone they've ever met.

Sure, Costner's been at this spot before, but I don't think I've seen him quite as good since Field of Dreams. As White, he learns to dial down his gruff but well-meaning personality while imbuing his runners with a sense of purpose far beyond the next meet. When he realizes that all of them can go to college and succeed, McFarland takes on an exciting new direction as the boys begin to realize that "Blanco" (as they call White) might actually have a point. Bello turns in a somewhat underwhelming role as Jim's wife, not because she's incapable but due entirely to runtime. While she's supportive but ultimately concerned about Jim's temper, there isn't enough time to develop her character beyond the typical coach's wife, although she does get a few moments to operate outside of it. The runners - Carlos Pratts, Hector Duran, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Sergio Avelar, and Michael Aguero - are all solid and enjoy at least one memorable moment as they're honed into a well-oiled running machine. We see the difficulty these boys face every day before they even get to school, providing needed work for their families, and ultimately teaching White a lesson when tries to join them in the fields.

McFarland USA won't win any awards, but it knows exactly what it is and excels at presenting it. Costner is the smooth operator here, surrounded by a thoroughly likable (if mostly unknown) cast and a script that leave any stereotypes in the dust. And while it's certain to get crushed by better advertised fare, I can't think of many films I could recommend right now than this. Its path will make you realize that great stories don't always need a bad guy to further them, and that pure determination can and will rule the day. Isn't that the definition of inspiring?

McFarland USA is rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language and has a runtime of 128 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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PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY UNDERWAY ON OLIVER STONE’S “SNOWDEN”

Cast confirmed as shooting begins for December 25th release.


Filming on Academy Award®-Winning Director Oliver Stone’s highly anticipated production, SNOWDEN, has begun in Munich and will continue in various locations around the world until mid-May.

The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Night Rises, Inception) in the title role alongside a stellar cast comprising of Academy Award® Nominee, Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, White Bird, The Descendants), Academy Award®-Winner, Melissa Leo (Prisoners, The Fighter), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek: Into Darkness), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man, Notting Hill), Joely Richardson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Patriot) and Timothy Olyphant (I Am Number Four, This Is Where I Leave You).

Pathé Films developed the project with Stone’s long-time producing partner Moritz Borman and have retained distribution rights for France and Benelux. Wild Bunch is handling international sales in all other territories, with Open Road Films and Endgame Entertainment partnering for the U.S. release.

The film is being produced by Moritz Borman, Eric Kopeloff and Philip Schulz-Deyle. The creative team includes renowned Academy Award®-winning Cinematographer Anthony Dod (Rush, Slumdog millionaire), Production Designer Mark Tildesley (28 Days Later, High Rise, In the Heart of the Sea) and Editor Alex Marquez (Alexander, Savages).

Written by Kieran Fitzgerald (The Homesman) and Oliver Stone, the screenplay is based on the books, “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man”, by Luke Harding and “Time of the Octopus”, by Snowden’s Russian Lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena.

Open Road Films will release the film on December 25th; Pathe will open France on December 30th and Universum have dated Germany on January 8th. Other distributors include Gaga for Japan.
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Zack Snyder Reveals Jason Momoa's Aquaman

Our first look at the King of Atlantis.

By Brandon Wolfe

Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming Batman V. Superman as well as the two-part Justice League film, offered a glimpse tonight of a major player in those films, as he posted to his Twitter page the very first image of Jason Momoa as Aquaman. The accompanying tagline, "Unite the Seven," likely alludes to the eventual union of all Justice League members.

Momoa's Aquaman looks ornate, imposing and about as far away from this guy as possible.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.
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Terminator Genisys Gets IMAX Treatment, Glowing Script Reviews

Latest sequel goes big and goes all over time.

By Brandon Wolfe

It’s been confirmed that IMAX Corporation, Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions will be digitally remastering this summer’s Terminator Genisys into the IMAX 3D format and releasing the film into IMAX theaters worldwide on July 1st. It will be the first film in the Terminator franchise to appear on IMAX screens.

The film, the fifth in the franchise, is directed by Alan Taylor and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, J. K. Simmons and (ugh) Jai Courtney.

Also, our good friends at The Arnold Fans have posted a pair of script reviews for the film, both positive.

SPOILERS BELOW

The first review gives the indication that Genisys (which is still spelled that way) will be jumping all over the place, Back to the Future Part II-style, starting out during the future war that we’ve only glimpsed in prior films before zipping back to the 1984 timeframe of the original film and ultimately winding up in an as-yet-unrevealed third time period, which will be the setting of the film’s major climax.

The second review forwards the opinion that the film feels more in step with the first two films in the series, rather than with the much more coolly received third and fourth films, and also indicates that there will be numerous villains throughout.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.
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Vikings S03E01 Recap: Mercenary

The long wait is over, and Vikings is back! I hope you've dusted off your shield, and sharpened your swords, because Ragnar and crew are ready for raiding.

But first. Lagertha pays a visit to the seer. She wants to know if she will ever bear another child, she will not, no matter how far into her future he looks. She asks what does he see. He sees a harvest celebrated in blood, a trickster, a city of marble, a burning city. She doesn't understand his prophecy, and she's not meant to. Lagertha asks when she will die. It has already been decided, but he cannot tell her when or how.

High on Ragnar's new perch he tells his son that when the ice breaks he will go back to Essex, and claim the land that King Ecbert promised. He will farm it as he dreamt. Bjorn wants more, he wants to fight, to raid. Ragnar asks why he wishes to fight, and for what. Bjorn has large aspirations of his own. Ragnar asks what he sees. Bjorn sees power. Power is dangerous, it attracts horrors, corrupts the best. Power is only given to those who can lower themselves to pick it up he tells his son.

Lagertha returns to her home. All men except one rises as their Earl comes through the great hall, her former brother in law. He rises as she stops in front of him, before proceeding into privacy with her handsome second in command Kalf. He will not go with her to Wessex, he wishes to stay behind to look after her best interests. He's earned her trust over the last year. She tells him of her newest marriage offer, a turf cutter. She jokes that she'd be warm all winter, and wonders why Kalf has not offered to marry her. He's made himself almost indispensable. He claims he has nothing to offer, and the marriage would be looked at poorly by others, which would do neither of them any good. She asks about her former brother in law. He is still trying for a coup, and trying to rally those around him to restore his family's former dynasty. Lagertha ponders what to do.

Porunn looks over one of the ships trying to imagine what it will be like when they finally sail away for a raid. Bjorn reminds her that they have not talked about it yet. He's not sure he wants her to come. Porunn is sure that she's ready, Lagertha has trained her herself. Bjorn is worried that she's pregnant, and cannot fathom the thought of losing mother and child.

Ragnar plays with his three young children, chasing his little piggies. Aslaug watches with delight, carrying Ivar in her arms. When Ivar begins to cry, Ragnar notices the pair and stops playing. Aslaug tries to get him to continue, but he tells her they're through, asks how is Ivar. Ivar is what he is.

Floki looks at his wife and daughter, and he cannot stand all the happiness. Ever melancholy he laments. Floki doesn't think that families should be happy, and Helga points out that Ragnar's family is happy. It's a lie and Floki knows it. He wants Helga to be angry that he's upset over their happiness, and she is, but she knows it won't help, and wonders if it will be better once he's left and returned home from Wessex. Floki points out that he could die in Wessex. He turns to leave, he can't stand the happiness any longer, or how good Helga is to him.

Aslaug is filled with sorrow over Ivar, she cannot make him happy. He suffers and there is nothing she can do for her crippled child. She asks Ragnar if he even cares, and he does. He nears his son, looking over his legs as she asks if he loves Ivar. Of course he loves the child, but when she asks if he loves her, he does not answer.

Over in Hedeby, Scandenavia Lagertha prepares to leave. Kalf helps her into her saddle, and as she leaves, her former brother in law approaches Kalf. He will not talk betrayal or murder, and his men have the man surrounded before he can draw his sword.

The men prepare to leave, Aslaug cooks by the fire. Athelstan looks out at the preparation. Ragnar knows what tortures Athelstan. He cannot his God, or Ragnar's. Together they will return to Wessex, and they will stay together, with Athelstan guiding him as his own personal John the Baptist.

In the great hall, Siggy watches Rollo. Torstein tells Bjorn and Rollo of his problem. He has two women who both claim to be carrying his child. Bjorn wonders if that is possible. Rollo suggests that he marry one and take the other as a concubine, but he can't, the women hate eachother, and he just wants to head out as soon as possible.

The boat preparations continue. Floki tells Rollo how ecstatic to be leaving, and Rollo understands completely. Torstein looks over his two lady loves, Floki always warned him to keep his axe in his pants. But he's the lucky one, he gets to leave his trouble behind, whereas Bjorn will be taking his with him. Ragnar greets Lagertha. She notes that Porunn is joining them. Bjorn could not talk her out of it, she's a lot like another woman he knows he tells his mother. The people of Kattegat gather as the ships set off. Aslaug watches her husband set off with his ex-wife.

Kalf takes his prisoner out to the middle of the lake, telling him that it is time to die. The man wants to die with an axe in his hand, as he would in battle. He tries to talk Kalf into giving him the axe, and Kalf does hand it over. He's surprised at Kalf's gift, calling it foolish. Kalf doesn't think he will use it against him. If he kills an unarmed man, he is really foolish, and he doesn't think the man would kill his own Earl. He wants the man to talk to his family, and put their support behind Kalf. Lagertha is no Earl, she goes off raiding with Ragnar, and she and Ragnar care only about farming. He doesn't want to go places to farm, there is no glory in that.

In Wessex, the Vikings have arrived, and they're allowed entrance into King Ecbert's castle. King Ecbert greets them all happily, especially Earl Ragnar. Athelstan clarifies, that Ragnar is now a King. Ragnar tells him that King Horik met with an unfortunate end, they are now equals. Around the table, Ragnar asks what happened with the war against Mercia. Princess Kwenthrith's Uncle proved to be formidable, but she's sure with his and Lagertha's help they could defeat him. Lagertha asks for translation, and Ragnar complies. She points out that they came to farm, and have no quarrel. King Ecbert admits that he has honored the treaty, but some of his nobles do not disagree. He wishes for them to help in the war. Though they do not have to, Ragnar tells King Ecbert he will fight, but he cannot speak for the rest. Rollo upon hearing that his brother will fight, he will fight as well. Bjorn came to fight, so he's on board, and of course Porunn wants to fight as well. Torstein is with him, Floki teaters. Ragnar asks for a decision. Floki will fight. Athelstan translates for King Ecbert, all will fight, but Lagertha. He announces that for their farming settlement, he will need a strong leader. Lagertha agrees to remain in Wessex to establish their hold, and to farm. King Ecbert asks that Athelstan also stay, he needs him, and he can translate. Ragnar thinks it is a good idea, so Athelstan will stay.

King Ecbert brings Athelstan back to the room he spent so much time in during season 2. He gives him back the cross that the left behind.

Ragnar and the others prepare to go their separate ways from Lagertha and her people. Lagertha hopes that the Gods will protect her son. Princess Judith sends her prayers with Athelstan. He thanks her. She asks if she may touch his hands, having heard that he was crucified and still bears the marks of Christ. He tells her its not true, but she grabs his hand and sees that he lied. Aethelwulf watches the exchange and approaches his wife, telling her to take care of their child and to wait for him.Bjorn tries to appeal to Porunn, asking her to stay behind and attend to the settlement with Lagertha. He loves her and thinks she is already with child. She makes no denials. Lagertha boards the wagon, as King Ecbert stops them. He's coming with them. He does not care that he is a King, he wishes to accompany Athelstan and Lagertha. Rollo asks his brother if this makes him happy, but Ragnar points out that none of it has ever been about his happiness.

Lagertha's wagon leads the way to the settlement.

Ragnar's boats go up river, loaded with Vikings and Anglo-Saxens. Ragnar asks Princess Kwenthrith about her family. Her uncle has usurped her crown, and her brother she thinks has been tricked, or magicked into helping him. Ragnar mocks this excuse. He's been deceived many times, but magic was never the culprit.

King Ecbert stares at Lagertha, he's quite taken in by her. She's unlike any woman that he's ever known, warrior, mother, farmer, he finds her irresistible.

The men watch Princess Kwenthrith dance around. Torstein thinks that he could love her for a lifetime, and have many babies. Floki and Rollo slip into some bittersweet poetry about loving a woman. Aethelwulf is unsure he can trust the Pagans, regardless of what his father says. Rollo tells the others how he knows of unrequited love. He loved deeply once, sat in the reeds waiting. Love leaves many in bad repair. Princess Kwenthrith dances herself out as Aethelwulf ponders which of their religious beliefs are the true ones. Princess Kwenthrith's men return. Her uncle has his men posted, waiting for their arrival.

Back on their boats, Princess Kwenthrith tells Ragnar that if he should be victorious in Mercia she will give him something beyond riches. I'm not sure he wants to play this offer out, the last one didn't work out so well for him. He doesn't voice his response. Floki sharpens his axe, as the arrows begin to fly. A few arrows take out unsuspecting men before the Vikings can get their shields up. Ragnar gets his up in time to save Kwenthrith, asking her if that was the work of her god or his. The ships surge ahead as they get out of range. Ragnar sees that he has not one army to face, but two, on separate fronts. One lead by her uncle and one by her brother. Bjorn points out that it is a much more formidable force, and Rollo suggests that its not too late to fall back and bow out.

Lagertha and crew arrive. King Ecbert has given her a sizable piece of land with many farms on it, and Lagertha likes what she sees. King Ecbert wants them all to live in peace.

The ships surge ahead. Ragnar looks over the situation. The armies are separated, with no way to quickly unite. If they head towards her uncle's forces, which are the smaller of the two, they can easily overtake them first. Ragnar orders the boats to be turned for the single bank. Kwenthrith's brother realize that the opposition are headed towards his uncle, and orders his archers to open fire. The ships are out of range, he cannot offer any assistance. Uncle Britwulf, on his own readies his men, trying to bar the Vikings from getting ashore, but they do a horrible job as the Northmen come pouring off their ship. The fighting is fierce, and beautiful in its savagery. Kwenthrith watches from the ship. For a moment Rollo and Aethelwulf meet on the field, but it's not a repeat of last season and they head off to opposite ends of the conflict. Porunn is nearly taken down, and Bjorn assists her, taking her away. Torstein has troubles of his own, and Floki helps with a little throat slashing. Britwulf and his men are no match for the Vikings and ultimately Floki beheads him. Kwenthrith watches with almost esctasy as her uncle loses his head. Ragnar sits, covered in blood in the aftermath.
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ROBERT RODRIGUEZ CURATES MUSEUM FEATURING ORIGINAL FRANK FRAZETTA MASTERPIECES

SXSW 2015 GALLERY EVENT RUNS MARCH 14 - 21
For a limited time only during SXSW 2015, Robert Rodriguez is proud to present a curated collection of original art, including twelve masterwork paintings by iconic artist FRANK FRAZETTA, including original paintings of CONAN THE BARBARIAN and DEATH DEALER. Considered to be the most influential fantasy artist in history, Frazetta contributed iconic artwork to classic works of fiction for Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars among others. Other notable artwork being featured is artwork from the upcoming Rodriguez film "FIRE and ICE" based on the works of Frank Frazetta.

The gallery will also feature an original SIN CITY masterpiece by FRANK MILLER, original art by DREW STRUZAN including his rendering of Sylvester Stallone for the movie poster FIRST BLOOD, and original poster art for THE THING. Original paintings by New Pop Art master SEBASTIAN KRÜGER including hyper real paintings of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Danny Trejo. Bronzed art sculptures from CLETE SHIELDS. Shields' work has been commissioned by Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, and Samuel L. Jackson.

In addition, the gallery will feature original movie props from Rodriguez's films and painted portraits of characters from Rodriguez's films between Rodriguez himself and his actors including paintings by Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Lady Gaga, Bruce Willis, and Joseph Gordon Levitt. There will also be a selection of hand numbered giclée prints of Frazetta pieces photographed and printed by Robert Rodriguez available for purchase. Proceeds from the prints and merchandise benefit the preservation of Frank Frazetta's art.

The idea for the museum has been long in the making. Robert Rodriguez, along with the cooperation of the Frazetta family, has been touring Frank Frazetta original art at Comic Con and Wizard Con to continue the wish of Frank Frazetta, a friend and collaborator of Robert's who always wanted audiences to see his paintings in person. The original Frazetta museum in upstate New York closed after the passing of Frank Frazetta in 2010. The new Rodriguez museum features other world class artists Robert has also worked with and studied under over the years, with art that he's collected himself, and others that are on exclusive loan for this event. The FRANK FRAZETTA COLLECTION has an unprecedented amount of original masterpieces including Death Dealer 2, Egyptian Queen, At the Earth's Core, Conan Man Ape and Dark Kingdom, as well a rare original painting Frazetta did for the movie FROM DUSK TIL DAWN among others, 12 original masterpiece paintings total.

I'm extremely excited to host this very special event at South by Southwest, featuring mind-blowing art by my favorite artists and collaborators," said filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. "It's the only place in the world where you can see original Frank Frazetta art, twelve masterpiece paintings total, alongside original art by Frank Miller, Drew Struzan, Sebastian Kruger and Clete Shields.


The gallery will be open to the public daily starting Saturday, March 14th - Saturday, March 21st from Noon - 8 pm. The museum is located at 920 Congress Ave. in Austin, TX. The gallery will have a $10 entrance fee benefiting the preservation of Frank Frazetta art.
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Nic Cage in Outcast on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand 3/31

The Nicholas Cage movie arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand on March 31st.
Entertainment One presents Nick Powell’s (X-Men: The Last Stand, Batman, Cinderella Man) directorial debut, OUTCAST, an epic medieval crusade starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen.

When the heir of the Imperial throne becomes the target of an assassination by his despised older brother, the young prince must flee the kingdom and seek protection. His only hope for survival is a reluctant war-weary crusader named Jacob, who must overcome his own personal demons and rally the assistance of a mythical outlaw known as The White Ghost. Together they must fight side by side in an epic battle to return the prince to his rightful place on the throne.

Watch the trailer here:
Rating: NR
Total Runtime: 98 minutes
S.R.P: $29.99
Video: 16x9
Audio: 5.1 Surround Sound
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Movie Review: The Duff

The hysterical, sweet The Duff renews our faith in teen comedies.

Review by Matt Cummings

Has recent teen programming always been this awful? In a world where Disney live-action programming makes you feel like you've entered The Dumb Zone with its horrible acting and cheesy scripts, The Duff arrives to kick all of them in their collective pants and then laugh about it all the way to the high school bathroom.

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a high school brainiac whose super-hot friends Casey (Bianca A. Santos) and Jess (Skyler Samuels) are the center of every high school boy's fantasies. Yet, Bianca's Nirvana/Seattle style makes no one turn their heads, escpecially the football team's quarterback and Bianca's longtime neighbor Wesley (Robbie Amell). Through a strange twist of fate, Bianca comes face to face with the jock, learning that she has been designated as a Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), and that this phenomenon is repeated with kids all over campus. Fearing her realization will be soul-crushing, Bianca enlists Wesley to make her over into a winner so she can entice heartthrob Toby (Nick Eversman) into finally dating her.

Perhaps The Duff's greatest strength lies in casting its lead as a female who frankly doesn't have the looks of her much hotter friends. It's a bold move to cast Whitman, whose absolute charm and crassness is contagious from the moment she appears. She clearly hates the world of high school, save for her friends and the newspaper, content to see the world in pencil lines, slow motion, and Twitter handles. Credit Fastlane Producer McG for the slick imagery, as well as Director Ari Sandel for the great team of young talent he has assembled. But this is Whitman's show, and she emerges as one of the best surprises of 2015, her chemistry rubbing off on everyone here, even handling a subdued Ken Jeong as her newspaper advisor with quick wit and a sense of realness that actually eclipses his performance. Alison Janey is also made better as Bianca's mother, while Amell is simply hilarious as the meathead jock made mature by Whitman's sarcastic style.

But Duff takes a distinctly different but no less rewarding turn after Act 1. Instead of becoming a straight-up revenge/self-help teen comedy, it adds elements of cyber-bullying when school bitch Madison (Bella Thorne) posts embarrassing videos of Bianca at the mall. This gets the principal (Romany Malco) involved in wondering just how far this sort of behavior can go before the teen will snap. That sort of diversion is great because it lines up all the characters in the film against Madison, something Writer Josh Cagan has obviously planned but without devolving the arc in a bloodbath.

Not until Cagan adds another layer to the story by showing average-looking kids begin to utter "I'm a Duff!" to the screen do we come full circle with the film. This isn't a milk crate declaration about acceptance in front of a cheering crowd but a simple statement that outsiders, geeks, and even Duffs offer something for everyone. Cagan's script is warm and hilarious but mindful of the incredible pressures faced by kids today, and the world he paints around Bianca gets it absolutely right without being right on the nose. But don't let that pleasant surprise distract you from the larger, insanely funny comedy that stands front and center.

The Duff is perhaps a rare exception in teen comedies and teen films in general: it doesn't feel After-School Special or propped up by unwatchable dialogue supported by B-rate actors. Instead, it gives me hope that good, funny stories about teens are still out there waiting to be told by directors who can make them smart and fill them with great talent. The Duff succeeds in every one of these categories, making it the most quotable film of late and giving Mean Girls a run for its money.

The Duff is Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material throughout, some language and teen partying and has a runtime of 110 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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Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is one of the worst films of the year, and we're still in February. Movie gods, hear our pleas!

Review by Matt Cummings

It doesn't happen too often when I can call a film dead on arrival, but in the case of the franchise-killing Hot Tub Time Machine 2, I can both confidently state its supreme and utter lack of worth, while urging you to stay away at any cost.

Jumping off from the end of 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine, Lou (Rob Coddry) and Nick (Craig Robinson) have made fabulous wealth over the years from their stealing of other people's intellectual property before they themselves had a chance to make it. Meanwhile, Lou's son Jacob (Clark Duke) hasn't taken advantage, relegated instead to being Lou's butler and Adam (John Cusak) is nowhere to be found. But as a guest at Lou's party shoots one of them in their privates, the trio must set off in the time machine to find the murderer, finding themselves in 2025 and meeting up with Adam's son (Adam Scott). As the guys booze and party their way in the future, they must alter the past by fixing the future, which is really the present...or so they want us to think.

The problems for Tub start in its first scenes and proceed downhill at a rapid pace. Scenes are so poorly cut that actors are far away in one sequence, then suddenly very close to one another in the next, all without movement or explanation as to how they suddenly appeared in another spot. That may sound like nitpicking, but then add in the complete lack of humor and an almost sadistic feeling throughout, and you begin to see just how uninspired this production was. Did I mention the shot-up penis, the foaming at the mouth, and 'evacuation' of buildup from yet another penis? And forget about any time-travel logic, because none it makes a lick of sense.

It's possible that at one time this franchise had a good concept, with Director Steve Pink and Writer Josh Herald originally offering a Better Off Dead vibe to the first Hot Tub. But something went very wrong along the way, either with audience feedback or studio pressure, to the point that I can't even recognize this any longer as a viable entity. What we're left with is some of the most unfunny comedy I've seen in years, on par with Tammy, That's My Boy, and The Hangover III. How a film and a series could go so far astray was beyond both me and the smattering of moviegoers who were somehow duped into seeing this early screening, thinking the mistakes of the original would have been corrected, resulting in an improved product. Stupid us.

Herald is of the opinion that crude sex jokes, breasts, and drug trips make for an enjoyable film when they alone serve as the film's backbone. Therefore, we get plenty of disgusting medical humor - most of it involving vomiting and surgery on penises - dabbled with an actually funny joke every 30 minutes. If you do the math on this 93-minute production, that's literally one laugh every 30 minutes. That sounds about right. Coddry, Robinson, and Duke don't help, as their obvious ad-libbing do nothing to the film's long lapses in time-travel logic. Sure, this isn't Looper or Terminator (each mentioned in the film) but the creators' mix of 'fun'/self-reverent humor just doesn't work here. Even the future imagining is awful, with emotion-filled self-driving cars and reality shows based on gay sodomy and trapped teens in crushed collapsed buildings.

The franchise-killing Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is clearly the worst film of the year so far. It makes 50 Shades of Grey look like cinematic mastery, Seventh Son a mesmerizing fantasy epic, and Jupiter Ascending the next Star Wars. It's unnecessarily disgusting and filled in some parts with gratuitous nudity that does nothing to further the story; but at its heart Tub just isn't funny. No wonder John Cusak stayed as far away as he did. I just wish I could have time-traveled back to about two hours ago to warn myself never to see this atrocity. Yes, it's really that bad.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violence and has a runtime of 93 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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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SNL's Cecily Strong Possibly Haunting New Ghostbusters

Reboot will be proton-packed with funny women.

By Brandon Wolfe

Paul Feig’s distaff Ghostbusters reboot might be plucking yet another funny lady out of Saturday Night Live’s Studio 8H as Film Divider reports that Cecily Strong might be joining the cast alongside her SNL colleagues Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, as well as show alum Kristen Wiig.

The character earmarked for Strong is said to be “one of the biggest non-Ghostbuster parts aside from the villain” and “an authority figure who liaises with our heroines, privately backing their activities and acknowledging their legitimacy, but publicly denouncing the group to the media in order to avoid panic amongst the wider populous.”

If true, this would seem to be a character with no analogous counterpart in the original film, making it even clearer how much Feig intends this Ghostbusters to be its own animal. It’s also clear that, Internet griping notwithstanding, this thing is going to be filled to the brim with fine comediennes.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.
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They're Talkin' 'bout Rebooting Shaft

Can you dig it?

By Brandon Wolfe

The long-dormant Shaft franchise is set to be revived by New Line, who have recently acquired the rights to the character. The studio is teaming up with Davis Entertainment to dust off the black private dick for the modern age.

The original Shaft was released in 1971 starring Richard Roundtree and directed by Gordon Parks. A reboot/sequel, directed by John Singleton, was released in 2000 starring Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of Roundtree’s John Shaft (who also appeared). Jackson was initially set to reprise the role in a new series of films, but despite the film’s modest success, the sequels never materialized.

No word yet on what direction the new film will take, but perhaps both Roundtree and Jackson can return to mentor a young John Shaft III, sex machine in training.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.
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Neill Blomkamp's Alien Fantasy Film Becomes a Reality

Alien gets a resurrection thanks to Instagram.

By Brandon Wolfe

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp created a stir recently when he posted to his Instagram page a series of Alien concept art images he had commissioned independently as an unsolicited “what if?” fantasy project. Blomkamp stated at the time that he did this for fun and that he did not expect any of it to ever come to fruition. Yet sometimes fantasies do come true, as both the director and 20th Century Fox have now confirmed that Blomkamp will indeed be bringing his Alien vision to life.


Ridley Scott, the granddaddy of the Alien franchise, will produce the film through his production company, Scott Free. The project will coexist with the upcoming Prometheus sequel that Scott is still making for some reason.

Though Sigourney Weaver has not yet signed onto the new film, she recently expressed enthusiasm for the idea and has just worked with Blomkamp on the upcoming Chappie. Given that the concept art showcased the Ellen Ripley character prominently, Weaver’s participation is very likely.

The nature of the project remains a mystery in terms of how it will line up with previous entries into the Alien mythos. Michael Biehn’s Corporal Hicks was infamously killed off in the opening moments of 1992’s Alien³, yet appeared in Blomkamp’s images all the same, leading many to wonder if this movie intends to retcon that film and 1997’s Alien Resurrection out of existence. Also possible is for the new film to have the Ripley clone from Resurrection again take center stage, yet given that film’s toxic reputation, it seems somewhat unlikely.

This film is the latest instance of the emerging trend of filmmakers releasing unsanctioned, self-developed materials online to cultivate fan buzz and grass-roots support for a project’s eventual realization. Another recent example was the test reel for Deadpool that led to Fox dusting off that property after a positive reception.

Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe.
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X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool Casting News

See why two signings in the X-men universe mean very different things for their respective films.

Story by Matt Cummings

With X-Men: Days of Future Past still basking in its critical and financial success from last summer, it's clear that Director Bryan Singer hit almost every note with his return to the franchise. That's a big difference when comparing it to the disaster that is the Spider-man camp, as Sony recently agreed to 'lend' back the iconic character to Marvel in an effort to boost his damaged reputation.

There is none of that over at 20th Century Fox, where both Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse begin their pre-production schedules with as much inertia as we've ever seen from these respective franchises. For both, the news continues to flow in, as major casting news was announced today, giving us a better idea of the various characters that will appear. First comes Apocalypse, as we've learned that Kodi Smit-McPhee (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) will be playing none other than a younger version of Nightcrawler.

For the forgetful, Nightcrawler aka Kurt Wagner was a blue-skinned orphan teleporter who was raised by a travelling circus somewhere in Germany. He and the X-Men meet him X-Men 2 after he attempts to assassinate the President. The role was first played by Alan Cumming, but it's clear that Singer is going much younger by signing Smit-McPhee. The question then inevitably gets raised: wills Cumming's appearance be wiped clean from the movie canon, allowing the film's creative team to tell new tales about Nightcrawler?

What we do know is that Singer has assembled a young core of actors that include Smit-McPhee, whose resume includes Let Me In, The Road, and the aforementioned Apes. Just like fellow signings Sophie Turner (Jean Grey) and Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Smit-McPhee can be around for quite awhile, potentially giving us years with these actors and further strengthening the X-men brand.

For Deadpool, the news is more about who's been cast than what they represent to the story. THR claims that V and Firefly star Morena Baccarin has been cast as an unknown female lead. While that is yet to be determined, it's clear that Director Tim Miller has now filled his movie with nearly everyone he will need to tell the story of The Merc with a Mouth. Reports indicate that Baccarin beat out Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) and Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) for the role, which could be for the mutant Copycat. Based on the character summaries released last week, the role of Vanessa Carlysle would fit Baccarin to a tee: a young prostitute who ends up getting close to Wade Wilson. In the comics, their relationship ends when Wilson learns he has terminal cancer, and decides to leave Carlysle to spare her the pain of seeing him die.

We also know that the role potentially offered to Baccarin might require her appearance in three sequels. While not new, this reveals a lot about Fox's faith in the franchise, and potentially where we'll see Baccarin lay her claim over the next few years. Same goes with Haywire and Fast Six actress Gina Carano, who recently signed to play another unknown role.

Deadpool hits theaters February 12, 2016 and X-Men: Apocalypse arrives in U.S> theaters on May 27th, 2016.

Sources: THR, AceShowBiz (images)

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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LIONSGATE AND SAMSUNG ANNOUNCE “INSURGENT – SHATTER REALITY” VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE

360°Immersive Video Creates Unique Experience for Fans of The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Lionsgate, a premier next generation global content leader, and Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Samsung), one of the world’s leading technology companies, have teamed up to create the exclusive virtual reality (VR) experience “INSURGENT – SHATTER REALITY,” the two companies announced today.

The four-minute visual work of art is a fully-immersive, 360° narrative experience set in the world of the upcoming feature film The Divergent Series: Insurgent and features stars from the film including Academy Award winner Kate Winslet, Miles Teller and Mekhi Phifer. Beginning February 27, fans can experience the VR content for themselves exclusively through Samsung Gear™ VR powered by the Galaxy Note® 4 as “INSURGENT – SHATTER REALITY” goes on tour in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin and San Francisco prior to going live across all platforms and app stores.

The experience will also be available exclusively on Samsung’s Milk VR™ service through March 1. Fans outside the tour markets will have an opportunity to view the experience on Samsung Gear VR over the weekend of March 7-8 at select Best Buy® stores across the US.

“Virtual reality elevates the world of Divergentto a whole new level by creating a uniquely exciting and immersive experience for our fans,” said Lionsgate Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen. “The ‘INSURGENT – SHATTER REALITY’ experience reflects our commitment to partner with leading technology companies like Samsung to remain at the cutting edge of VR and other innovations that expand the worlds of our franchises and extend our storytelling in exciting new directions.”

“As we push new boundaries in the world of technology and virtual reality, we are excited to continue our relationship with Lionsgate and bring Divergent fans a one-of-a-kind experience through Gear VR and Milk VR,” said Nick DiCarlo, Vice President and General Manager, Immersive Products & Virtual Reality at Samsung Electronics America. “This partnership will bring fans closer than ever to the action in this blockbuster series.”

By putting on the Gear VR headset, consumers are immersed in the role of “Divergent” members of society who have been captured by Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) and her Erudite faction and are subjected to a series of mental ”simulations” in order to determine the full extent of their divergence. As the VR technology simulates Jeanine and her faction cohorts testing them with experimental serums, they experience two distinct, intensely gripping and realistic fearscapes, transporting them from the frightening heights of a crumbling Chicago skyscraper to the intimidating challenge of a massive, fast-approaching locomotive.

Created by virtual reality innovators Kite & Lightning with assistance from the film’s VFX team, the experience was built using stereoscopic 4K video of the actors, with effects and environment built in Unreal Engine 4 and then rendered into an immersive 3D/360° experience. It was scored by The Divergent Series: Insurgent composer Joe Trapanese.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the second installment of the blockbuster Divergentfranchise, will be released in theaters worldwide on March 20. The first Divergentfilm grossed nearly $300 million at the global box office, and the Divergent trilogy has sold more than 30 million books around the world.

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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'Inferno' Hails the Return of daVinci Code's Robert Langdon

We have new information on the return of daVinci Code's Robert Langdon.
Director/producer Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer have cast an energetic company of some of the world’s most talented and interesting rising international stars to join Tom Hanks in Inferno, the new film in Columbia Pictures’ Robert Langdon series, which has taken in more than $1.2 billion worldwide to date.
The Imagine Entertainment production, which has a screenplay by David Koepp based on the book by Dan Brown, is slated for release on October 14, 2016 and will begin principal photography at the end of April. The projects executive producers are Dan Brown, Anna Culp, Bill Connor, and David Householter. Inferno continues the Harvard symbologists adventures on screen: when Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks, a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories and prevent a madman from releasing a global plague connected to Dante’s “Inferno.” Felicity Jones, an Oscar® nominee this year for her performance in The Theory of Everything, will star opposite Hanks as Dr. Sienna Brooks. Irrfan Khan, one of India’s biggest stars, best known for his roles in Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, and The Lunchbox, takes the role of Harry Sims, also known as The Provost. French actor Omar Sy, best known for his work in the French mega-hit The Intouchables, as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past, the upcoming Jurassic World, and John Wells’ upcoming untitled project, will play Christoph Bruder. Sidse Babett Knudsen, star of the Danish television series “Borgen,” will portray Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey, the head of the World Health Organization. The filmmakers are also in talks with several other internationally recognized actors for major roles.
Commenting on the announcement, Howard said, “For this film, I wanted Tom Hanks to be surrounded by an international cast of actors whose energy will underscore Robert Langdon’s life-or-death peril, the high-stakes action he takes, and the global threat that he’s trying to prevent. Felicity, Irrfan, Omar, and Sidse have all broken through with recognition here in America as well as their home countries – they are phenomenal talents and we can’t wait to get started.” “We're thrilled to be making a third Robert Langdon film with Ron, Tom and Brian,” said Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group. “Inferno will deliver all of the excitement, intrigue and international adventure that audiences expect from a film based on Dan Brown’s huge selling Langdon book series. We can't wait to see this character back on the big screen.” Michael De Luca and Andrea Giannetti will oversee the project for Columbia Pictures. 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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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Begins Filming

Will Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley return?

Story by Matt Cummings

For fans of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it's been a bumpy road as of late. Two excellent films - Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest - were followed up by two thoroughly disappointing ones, in At World's End and On Stranger Tides. Some have pointed out that the failure of the last two were due to poor character development of leads Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, and that their absence in On Stranger Tides sealed the fate of one of the most successful live-action series in history.

Still others blame the decision to feature Actor Johnny Depp's quirky Jack Sparrow so prominently in On Stranger Tides as the prominent reason for that film's failure. Debate was fierce over whether the Knightley-Bloom-Depp triangle was the reason for the series' early success, and whether or not that relationship should be renewed. As Dead Men Tell No Tales begins filming in Australia, news on several fronts has arrived that both answers this question and might give fans continued pause.

Not only are Bloom and Knightley not returning in leading roles (and may not appear at all), but it appears that Director Gore Verbinski is not helming the project. Additionally, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions released the following synopsis that places Jack Sparrow dead center as the lead in the film:

“Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.”

From the looks of it, this is a completely different synopsis that Brendon Thwaites leaked a few weeks ago, perhaps indicating his own character arc and not that of the larger film. Still, putting the pieces together tells us that this will be another Johnny Depp-centered film, and that relative newcomers Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning will be directing the picture, perhaps giving it a different feel than audiences might have been hoping for.

Not all hope is lost: we do know that Geoffrey Rush will return as Captain Hector Barbossa, along with Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs and Stephen Graham as Scrum. However, Sandberg and Rønning do have a bit of an uphill battle, considering the lukewarm reception which On Stranger Tides received. They will need to return the series to its funny but action-packed roots without centering on one character but instead tell a more connected story featuring multiple leads. If they can do that - and still give Depp his time - then Dead Men Tell No Tales will be another success that this franchise sorely needs.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales sails into theaters on July 7th, 2017.

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