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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rumlow, A.K.A Crossbones, is Back

Looking Better Than The Last Time We Saw Him

Story by David Clark

Images have surfaced this past week showing Frank Grillo’s character Rumlow finally taking on his villainous persona known as Crossbones. First appearing in the Marvel movie universe as part of Captain America’s S.T.R.I.K.E. team in Winter Soldier, Frank Rumlow has served as little more than a punching bag thus far.

In Winter Soldier Rumlow and his team were assigned to apprehend and detain Captain America after the Captain withholds information from S.H.I.E.L.D., clearly a task that is easier said than done. Cornering Captain America in an elevator Rumlow and his team proceed to receive a royal beatdown. Unfortunately for Rumlow, getting his butt kicked was not the end of his troubles in Winter Soldier. At the movie’s conclusion Rumlow has the misfortune of having an airship dropped on top of him. One of the very last scenes in Winter Soldier is that of a badly burned Rumlow being carted into a hospital due to his severe injuries.

Fast forward to Captain America: Civil War and Rumlow is back. In the comic books Rumlow is usually working as an agent of the Red Skull. The fate of the Red Skull in the Marvel movie universe is not yet known after he disappeared into a portal during the original Captain America movie. Rumlow’s reemergence as Crossbones could be an indication that the Red Skull’s fate is not as of yet final.

In the previous movie Rumlow lacked any type of superhero component or power. In comic book lore he eventually develops an energy powered ability that engulfs his face in flame and allows him to manipulate energy to fire lasers. Whether his character will develop to that point or be killed off by Marvel before being fully explored, like all of the other Hydra linked villains, is yet to be seen.

Regardless, it is safe to assume that Crossbones is still a very mortal non-power wielding character at the start of Captain America: Civil War. With that in mind, how does the suit measure up? Despite his new outfit Crossbones is still very vulnerable to weapons fire and his suit does not appear to give him very much protection from incoming projectiles. It is difficult to tell but the kevlar nature of the uniform does not appear to cover his neck, arms, waist, or legs. He does have a full helmet on which might provide him with some protection if it is also bullet proof.

The utility of his vest is clear. He has enough pockets to hide a small arsenal of explody-stabby-like-gadgets. The iconic gauntlets on the uniform will also likely hold the spring loaded knife shooting weaponry that the character has in the comics. The one thing the uniform does provide for Crossbones is the freedom of movement the character needs. Despite a lack of powers Crossbones has military grade combat training mixed with an extensive martial arts background, making him a living breathing deadly weapon in hand-to-hand combat.

Is the suit as practical as it should be given the superhero nature of his opponents? Perhaps not, but it looks good on the big screen so who cares! It will be interesting to see the development of Crossbones as a character during the Civil War chapter of the Marvel Universe.

Sources: AceShowBiz

Blue Bloods S05E20 Recap: 'Payback'

Who Got Chopped?

Review by David Clark

As with every other episode this season, this week’s Blue Bloods revolves around three main storylines.

Opening with the aftermath of a homicide, detectives Danny and Maria must overcome their initial shock at finding a celebrity chef named Bret Madison dead. Having found his fame through a reality cooking show, the now dead chef was on the upswing of a promising career. The first suspect that Danny and Maria come across in the investigation ends up giving a full confession. Being seasoned veteran detectives Danny and Maria find the convenience of the confession to good to be true; so they continue looking under rocks for clues.

They quickly learn that the dead chef was having issues with his landlord Choinski. Coincidentally Choinski is also the man who pointed the detectives towards the initial suspect that confessed. Learning that Choinski runs a number of less than legal business ventures, Danny guessed that Choinski may have coerced their initial suspect into a confession.

In an attempt to corner Bret Madison’s real killer, Danny and Maria recruit a young man by the name of Gorski (Kett Turton) on parole that was working for Choinski. They blackmail the kid into being an informant because he is working in an illegal chop-shop which is a violation of parole. Either the kid helps Danny and Maria or the kid goes back to prison for a very long time.

Danny sets up a sting operation in which Gorski wears a wire in an attempt to get a confession out of Choinski. It was a valiant effort but Choinski is clearly not a fool and Gorski is not a trained police detective. Choinski gets suspicious because of how inquisitive Gorski is when they meet. However, before Choinski figures out he is being set up by police Choinski’s wife confesses to killing Chef Madison. Anyone having trouble believing the cute young blond woman might be capable of such an act had those doubts quickly erased when she slammed a knife into the hand of Gorski and threatened to kill him. Fortunately for Gorski Danny and Maria were close enough to save his butt before Choinski and his wife could finish the job.

As these events transpired Jamie and Eddie were facing their own quirky investigation. Finding a girl named Christina (Emily Althaus) nearly unconscious wearing only her underwear in a local park, they proceed to try and unravel the strange story of her assault. Christina is part of an online gaming community which participates in a game that has both online and real-life components.

Christina originally assumed the assault was a result of her actions within the game called Ionic Storm. She tells Eddie and Jamie that her boyfriend Trevor dumped her because he felt betrayed by her actions within the game. Christina was positive that Trevor and many of his friends conspired to assault her in real-life and stalk her through social media.

Jamie, perhaps not being in tune with the younger generations found Christina’s story to be somewhat hard to believe. He was equally confused by his partner Eddie’s strong reaction to Christina’s story. Eddie wanted to hunt down Trevor while Jamie thought that the hearsay aspect of Christina’s story left little ground upon which to act. Attempting to calm down his partner Jamie brought up a situation involving Eddie in which she was raped. Eddie responded how you might expect, she was outraged and stormed off.

After some reflection Jamie decided to use some unconventional means to investigate the situation. He dug up the alleged offender’s college records and found out Trevor had been disciplined multiple times at his college for inappropriate behavior towards women. The college handled the situations internally so the infractions never became part of a criminal record. With that information Jamie was willing to admit Christina’s story had some legitimacy.

It was fortunate that Jamie did finally decide to look into Trevor; by the time they found Christina to ask her more questions Trevor had his hands around her throat and was trying to strangle her to death. Fortunately Eddie and Jamie arrived in time to save her and arrest Trevor.

In this episode Frank Reagan had his own very real problems to address. When one of New York’s finest pulls over a vehicle for running a red light, the officer finds a married New York Senator in the car and a drunk young woman behind the wheel. The senator tried to initially bully the officer into forgetting the entire thing. When that did not work the senator tried to pull rank and push things up to Frank Reagan.

Clearly the senator is not watching the same show the rest of us are because Frank Reagan is a commissioner that keeps his office above reproach. Despite pressure from the senator the commissioner was not about to use the power of his office to do favors for someone who was clearly breaking the law and disrespecting the sanctity of their own marriage.

This season of Blue Bloods is winding down to what will likely be a conclusion to the series. While it will be sad to see yet another police procedural that focuses on cops in the field disappear, when a show loses the creative element it is time to go.

Blu Ray Review: 'Hollywood Shuffle'

Is Stardom All It Is Cracked Up To Be?

Review by David Clark

Buckle up for this one and be prepared because Hollywood Shuffle will make you laugh, think, and feel guilty all at the same time. Robert Townsend, known today as a well rounded actor, writer, and director, had a message on his mind that he wanted to share with the world. Nearly 30 years later Townsend’s little project is still funny and still holds relevance.

Joined by the likes of Keenan Ivory Wayans, David McKnight, Anne-Marie Johnson, Helen Martin, and Sarah Coughlan; Townsend sheds light on what life as a young would-be minority actor is like in hollywood. Despite the important message regarding equality for actors, Hollywood Shuffle does not preach or lecture, it is a satirical comedy that has a moral at the center.

The movie follows Townsend as he plays the character of Bobby Taylor, a young African-American actor trying to earn his big break in the movie and television industry. Bobby tries to juggle time constraints, family expectations, personal and public judgements, and hollywood expectations as he tries to find his place as an actor.

Hollywood shuffle takes frequent breaks from the main narrative with In Living Color type skits that are supposed to be Bobby’s daydreams. These daydreams poke fun of the racial issues in hollywood such as tight casting and stereotypes while also parodying movies like Indiana Jones and Dirty Harry.

The Blu Ray conversion of Hollywood Shuffle was brought about by a studio named OliveFilms. The philosophy of OliveFilms is a belief that, “Films are aesthetic expressions of human experiences [and OliveFilms is] dedicated to bringing independent, foreign, documentary & classic films to life.” Hollywood Shuffle may not fit directly into any one of those categories, but given the message of the film it encompasses the goal behind OliveFilms’ mission.

Filmed in 1987 the film shows age despite the upgrade to Blu Ray. The movie has an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is available in both color or black and white. Though grainy in some spots which adds to the character of film, the colors are still very vivid and beautiful in an old fashioned way. Another area where the Blu Ray holds up is that of the audio. Backed with a solid Soundtrack led by Patrice Rushen, even Townsend lends his vocal chops to the featured music. Overall the genuine vibe of the upbeat synthesized tones of the 80’s can be heard on every track.

From a cinematography perspective it is important to remember this film is nearly three decades old. If there is any area within which Hollywood Shuffle shows age it is the lack of unique camera techniques. Three decades has shown great advances in camera technology, editing techniques, and filming methods. Audiences are used to having their attention held by the use of modern camera tricks and Hollywood Shuffle is old school. There was a time when a movie’s writing, directing, and acting had to engage and captivate an audience on nothing but pure skill and talent. Hollywood Shuffle is a great example of what a clever script can do when coupled with talented and funny actors.

It is great to see OliveFilms concentrating on bringing older movies to the forefront of a new era. Hollywood Shuffle touches on such important and sensitive subjects with an unholy irreverence that sends a message without people realizing they are learning. Hollywood Shuffle has a runtime of 78 minutes, a price tag from OliveFilms of $21.99, and is rated R. A rating that, at first glance, is surprising because the movie does not contain nudity or violence. The rating is due to the subject matter and the way it is presented.

It is good this movie was made in the 80s because it might not have been made today. The movie touches on stereotypes and racism with a level of self realization and self deprecation so great; even the most forward thinking and desensitized people are likely to feel uncomfortable during the more offensive moments. Comedy Central might even think twice before playing a movie like this one.

Hollywood Shuffle is a very good movie and the Blu Ray version, though lacking in any additional features, is a great watch. Be warned, if easily offended, self-conscious, or a person of a sensitive nature, Hollywood Shuffle may not be the best avenue through which such a person should learn about the racial issues presented within this film.

Movie Review: 'Living with Lincoln'

The well-made HBO documentary reveals essential truths about Lincoln and the family who protected his legacy.

Review by Matt Cummings

Our nation's cherished history is often expressed in terms of events: the American Revolution, The Civil War, 9/11. But at its heart, our history is a story of people. Figures like Abraham Lincoln have been celebrated in over 15,000 books, each trying to tell another aspect of his life. In the HBO documentary Living with Lincoln, one more story is told that's never been attempted: the effort made by one family to preserve its overwhelming collection of related photographs and documents. The result is far more about the their extraordinary burden of maintaining it rather than shedding any new light on the 16 president, and that's ok.

Narrated by Documentary filmmaker Peter Kunhardt, the grandson of famous historian/child author Dorothy Kundhardt, the documentary traces the history of the family's four generations to protect and later tell an important aspect of the Lincoln assassination: the 20-day train trip back to Springfield, Missouri to bury the president. Dorothy's father had advised on the creation of Lincoln's statue at the DC monument, the selection of his face for the penny and dollar bill, and the same for face at Mount Rushmore. Gifted with the same love of Lincoln that her father had, Dorothy's life soon became connected like a ribbon with Lincoln's as she struggled to raise a family while trying to write the book. Along the way, she would experience incredible success with her book Pat the Bunny and great difficulty in battling depression and drug/alcohol abuse. But as Peter packs away their collection for its final destination, we learn just how great that burden became, not only for Dorothy but for Peter and his father.

Lincoln isn't a tired breakdown of his life, but a stirring reminder of the weight some people bear to preserve a portion of our country's history. In this case, Peter was merely the next family member in line to take it on. No wonder he eventually released it to Yale University in 2014. As the film ends and the attic is slowly cleaned out, one can feel the release, knowing that it's forever in good hands. With it and Dorothy's childrens books now available for public appreciation, it's a fitting reminder that some responsibilities shouldn't always transfer to the next of kin.

HBO and Kunhardt do a fine job threading the needle between both histories, reminding us of the importance of preserving these memories for future generations. It comes recommended, and is now playing on HBOGo.

Living with Lincoln is unrated and has a runtime of 68 minutes.

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

First Look at CW's 'DC Legends of Tomorrow'

We break down the cast, and discuss its big differences to a certain Marvel team.

Story by Matt Cummings

Now that CW's Arrow and The Flash have released their finales, it's time to look at another superhero series debuting on the network next Fall. And just like Warner Bros' movie adaptation of the team up Suicide Squad, this one's got a lot of familiar faces. Titled DC's Legends of Tomorrow, the series brings together a collection of heroes from Arrow and The Flash, some of which were introduced this season. The Atom (Brandon Routh), FIRESTORM (Robbie Amell), Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders), White Canary (Kaity Lotz), and villain Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller). Scientist Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) looks to be the team's version of Professor X, leading the way backstage and serving as the team's morals/conscience.

The announcement was made this week at the Upfront media event in Los Angeles by showing the trailer below, and has already been a subject on our last Inside the Bucket podcast,. Check it out, and then scroll down to learn our thoughts:

Unlike the Supergirl trailer which landed with a thud on the Internet, Legends of Tomorrow has received a good response from critics and nerds alike. On the outside however, it would appear CW and Producer Greg Berlanti were borrowing liberally from the team make-up of Marvel's The Avengers. A guy in a red suit who can fly? An archer with issues? A hot female assassin? While it might look like someone should be filing a Cease and Desist order to CW, there are several unique differences that should be mentioned.

First, the tech billionaire The Atom can both fly and shrink, merging two Marvel characters (Iron Man and Ant-man) into one person. Second, Hawkgirl and the resurrected White Canary represent the only team with two women on it, while a character like Firestorm can only be seen currently in movie form (Fantastic Four). Forming this team gets DC's product out long before Marvel/Netflix's The Defenders doesn't arrive until they've released both Luke Cage and aka Jessica Jones. This will give CW plenty of time to flesh out this team's quirks, no doubt resulting in a couple of hopefully epic throwdowns.

CW has hit paydirt with its superhero lineup, with Arrow and The Flash as two heroes who've appeared on each other's shows this season, mixing up secondary characters and giving everyone a moment to establish their quirkiness. Each were renewed for next season, which gives Legends a chance to further mix in the team-up concept to stretch to three series. Both retain their current positions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, respectively.

What say you, Sandwich-ers? Do you like the preview, and what stories would you like to see CW tell to expand this DC universe ever further?

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

Friday, May 15, 2015

Movie Review: 'Pitch Perfect 2'

Read on to learn if the sequel recaptures the magic of the original.

Review by Sue Lukenbaugh

The Pitches are back, and while the Bellas prove they've still got swagger, they lack the spark that made us really love them in the first place. The Barden Bellas have been ruling the world of collegiate a cappella since we last saw them, but with that success and the lack of Aubrey's stringent leadership the girls have gotten sloppy. They've lost their identity and can't get through a performance without some sort of catastrophe. Just as in the first one, the Bellas have to come together to after a very embarrassing display. Instead of projectile vomit, its muffgate at the Kennedy Center in front of the POTUS and FLOTUS. The girls not only get their victory tour taken from them after the snafu, but in order for the Bellas to redeem themselves and not be disbanded forever after their current season they have to win the World Championship in Copenhagen. The Chief competition comes in the form of: Das Sound Machine. They're a super slick group of juggernauts that make the Treblemakers look like tiny talentless human children. Seriously maybe its just their height, but they look much older than the Bellas, even super senior (she failed Russian Lit three times to stay a Bella) Chloe but they put on slick techno show with some powerhouse vocals.

All of the Bellas return in some capacity. Leading the pack is Anna Kendrick's Beca, who comes off more prickly than in the first outing. She's secretive, and utterly bitchy, trying to find her footing, not within the group or college this time, but at a recording studio she's managed to snag a coveted internship at. Although she manages to prove her worth by singing a Christmas carol mash-up with Snoop Dogg, she still has a long way to prove that she's more than a one trick pony. Her mash-up skills aren't going to be enough this time. We've seen that, anyone with a laptop can make or find dozens of them on youtube. As she tries to impress her prickly boss, the film should take its own advice and bring something new to the table rather than rehashing it's former material in a less awesome way. Remember that great mash-up audition of Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" from the first one,followed up by the 2012 anthem "Cups"? Don't expect any of that this time around. As a part of their punishment the Bella's aren't allowed to recruit new members, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any auditions, there just isn't any fun in the one they do have. Instead you get an awkward cringe worthy single audition by Hailee Steinfield's Legacy Bella Emily. She doesn't have super mash-up skills to bring to the table, or even an amazing voice, but her mother (Katey Sagal) was a Bella, with makes her practically royalty and is enough to get her on the team. Unlike Beca's outsider vibe in the first one, Emily is so coltish she's hard to watch. Her one saving grace is the absolutely adorkable budding relationship she sparks with Treblemaker and magician Benji (Ben Platt).

Speaking of relationships, the one between Jesse (Skylar Astin) and Beca is practically nonexistent. He may have captured our hearts when he serenaded Beca with Foreigner’s "Feels Like The First Time” without coming off like a glee castoff. Not to mention how we rooted for them as he forgave Beca during her Simple Mind's "Don't You Forget About Me" mash-up. But none of that matters, this time around they share maybe three scenes, with little that invokes the warm and fuzzies. Most of the romance is left to Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and obnoxious former Treblemaker leader Bumper (Adam DeVine). Falling back into the overly used secret hook-up schtick between the two, before the moment of revelation is tiresome. Embarrassing tension and power vocals can only take you so far.

Also tiresome is the mean spirited humor. The original was full of self-effacing humor, and hilarious one liners. Instead we're faced with ethnic barbs and flat sexist jokes. Bella Flo (Chrissie Fit) seems to only get screen time when cracking jokes about growing up in poverty-stricken South America or when a back flip is needed. Worst, commentators John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks) get expanded roles with John upping the degrading comments. Sure a few of his pompous comments are funny, but the zingers land with less sting as the film goes on.

Pitch Perfect 2 doesn't fall flat with every effort. Das Sound Machine poses a legitimate threat, even more so than the Treblemakers did in the first one. The riff off is a lot of fun, especially with the addition of the Green Bay Packers. It's not as surprising this time around, but it isn't any less fun with a Dave and Busters card on the line, and categories like "I Dated John Mayer." The production numbers are absolutely dazzling, but Pitch Perfect 2 is best when it's Bellas are together and bonding. When they go on a retreat they have to overcome their differences and disagreements by using their brains and talents. The culmination of the moment is when they sing “Cups” to each other over a camp fire, its sincere and sweet, and every reason why we were dying for a sequel. Then again, there's nothing really surprising in this sequel.

It was impossible to recapture the spark that made the original so memorable. Beca blowing us away with her surprise rendition of "Cups" can't be duplicated by Emily launching into not quite finished "Flashlight." The new girl blowing the riff off by not understanding the rules doesn't have the same disappointment this time around, it's far too gawky and embarrassing when Emily is center attention. Fat Amy splitting her pants onstage isn't nearly as funny as the high-strung Aubrey puking like a fire hydrant at the big competition. Pitch Perfect 2 should be like bubbly freshly corked champagne, like its predecessor, rather than the day old less than fizzy drink it is. It's drinkable and still tasty, but not nearly as good as it could be. You'll see it for the nostalgia, but you won't be as eager for another sequel.

'Mad Max,' 'Pitch Perfect' To Unseat 'Ultron' This Weekend

Read on to learn why this weekend isn't all bad for Marvel.

Story by Matt Cummings

With Avengers: Age of Ultron passing $1 billion internationally this week, the film has been a massive success, and should eclipse Furious 7 as the top domestic film of 2015 by the end of this weekend. Still, the latest superhero team-up hasn't fared nearly as well as its 2012 predecessor: as of this posting (10 days since its North American release), it's off nearly $70 million. That's a lot, and it's soon about to be deposed from its two-week throne as Universal’s sequel Pitch Perfect 2 and Warner Brothers' Mad Max: Fury Road arrive.

Each of these releases is looking to take in as much as $50 million each, which should easily overthrow Ultron. Based on early Friday estimates from both Variety and BoxOfficeMojo, the Rebel Wilson/Anna Kendrick musical comedy is drawing solid numbers, with a very good $20-$22m, which could see it finish the weekend between $48-$52m. But the vehicular madness that is Fury Road isn't far behind, crashing through with $20m on its way to another $50m opening weekend.

Not to be forgotten, Ultron will draw a solid third place with another haul of $35-$38m. Should these numbers pan out, it would be the first time since the final week of December 2014 that three films finished over $30m each. At that time, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies ($40.9m), Into the Woods ($31.1m), and Unbroken ($30.6m) all ended up with very good weekends, proving that 13 films in one month wasn't too much to discourage holiday audiences.

Depending on how you look at the projections for this weekend, it wouldn't be too much to consider Ultron a disappointment. The trouble started with its opening weekend, which saw a major boxing match sucking its Saturday dry of a record. That, and the less than stellar praise by critics, edged its totals downwards. But with audiences still packing in to see it, Marvel can count this one as a success, and proof that audiences still haven't gotten their fill of superhero epics.

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

New Poster for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2'

See the first image released by Lionsgate for the final film.

Story by Matt Cummings

With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 bringing in a very profitable $752 million worldwide, it's time to say goodbye to this YA franchise with the final chapter. Lionsgate Films began its marketing campaign this week by releasing a new poster of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 for the Cannes Film Festival. Known as the "commemorative" print, it features Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen dressed in her strappy leather-armored suit and standing behind her sister Primose (Willow Shields).

From the pose, we can see just how much Katniss has changed since the series started in 2012, with Primose looking on a bit worried. Here's the plot according to a press release from Lionsgate:

In the last installment of the "Hunger Games" movie franchise, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends - including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) - Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

Philip Seymour Hoffman reprises his role as Plutarch Heavensbee, marking his final appearance in a movie. Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Jena Malone also return to the upcoming film.

Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 will be released on November 20, 2015.

Movie Review: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

The spectacle of Mad Max: Fury Road is equaled only by its uncompromising brutality.

Review by Matt Cummings

The Mad Max franchise is one whose fans cling to it like the last tank of gasoline on planet Earth, while others state and wonder, "What's the big deal? Simply put, the franchise is one of the most brutal, thunderously loud and oddly-cast in movie history. Filled with memorable and outright weird characters like the hockey-masked Humungous to the assless-chapped Dex in The Road Warrior, to Master/Blaster and Pig Killer in Beyond Thunderdome, the entire experience can be difficult for some to get through. But with its trend-setting action sequences and dark, gritty tone, Mad Max has endured since it premiered in 1979. Its follow-up/reboot/sequel Mad Max: Fury Road is a spectacle of vehicle manslaughter, furthered by images that could be some of the most disturbing in recent film.

Set in the mire of a post-apocalyptic world, one-man wrecking crew Max (Tom Hardy) is captured and delivered to Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), whose tyrannical leadership has spawned a motley collection of desperate followers like the War Pup Nux (Nicholas Hoult), who believes it's his duty to die in battle. When the War Rig driver Furiosa (Charlize Theron) runs away with Joe's prized women, Joe sends out a menagerie of Frankensteined vehicles filled with Bullet Farmers and War Boys to get them back. Hell bent on delivering the women out of Joe's long reach, Furiosa enlists Max's help to get them to The Green Place and Furiosa's all-female Vuvalini motorcycle gang. But the cost of escaping - and surviving - might be too much for a man haunted by his past and facing certain death in this maelstrom of decay.

Road feels like the much wilder, younger brother to The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome who's had cocaine and three energy drinks before 9am. From the moment the engine of Max's Interceptor roars to life, you know this one is going to be loud. But as the film progresses, its true nature emerges: disturbing, ugly, and gritty are merely placeholders to describe one of the most intense and unique films I've seen in awhile. It defies expectation for what a summer movie should be: shrew in the way it sucks in the viewer, smart in its efficient storytelling, and completely uncompromising in its action. I'm not kidding when I say this film features the most intense and innovative action with vehicles I've seen...ever. The scale and scope of what is essentially a non-stop chase across the desert is stupendous, enhanced by the now-classic Frankensteined desert vehicles, and mixing in a bizarre fetish of nipple-clamped warlords, silver-spray painted battle teeth, and radiation-produced cankles and boils.

The menagerie of mayhem starts with the those vehicles, including a 50-loudspeaker monstrosity with a rock guitarist threading Heavy Metal riffs from a axe that also shoots out flames, just because it can. The only thing missing here are leather-clad Dominatrixes whipping their slaves on another ridiculously-conceived vehicle, while Max and Furiosa's team is pursued. I'm not even kidding when I say this sort of imagery would fit right in. It's as if Judge Dredd, the cars from Furious 7, and the tank epic Fury had a head-on collision. Director George Miller and Cinematographer John Seale compose both epic action set pieces and beautiful desert scenes that show just how dire Max and Furiosa's situation is.

But Fury Road isn't just a visual spectacle; its story tells of a broken world filled with broken people who blindly follow Immortan Joe because that's all they know. Nux spews the same kind of empty promises of reaching Valhalla that Joe does, until Nux realizes that he's been fighting for the wrong side. Furiosa, Joe's ladies, and the bikers are really the story's emotional core, as three generations of them fight against Joe. Contrary to popular belief, this really isn't a movie with Max at its center, nor is it vestal virgins needing rescue from a shining knight: this is an uneasy truce of convenience whereby the women initially stare down Max and Nux before bringing him into their community of escape and redefinition. Max is merely the wheels and the might which Furiosa needs to stay alive.

Fury Road isn't a predictable film either, with the good suffering as much as the losers. There's a high price to pay for freedom in this wretched land, and Miller throws nearly everyone under every bus, tank, semi, or hauler before it's all over. That makes for an amazing amount of brutality, some of which we've never seen before. One scene in particular will make every woman nearly choke on their popcorn, so gentlemen you should warn them before buying their ticket. Whether that scene is ultimately necessary will probably be a matter of debate for quite awhile, but I suppose that is exactly what Miller desired. But the one thing that cannot be denied is the terrific universe building in Miller's story. We get to learn much more about these maniacs, their enemies, and the reasons why they fight so brutally. In terms of story, it feels as if Miller has opened the throat of his high-powered Interceptor and mixing it with practical action that's simply not be attempted anywhere else.

Some critics are suggesting that Fury Road is destined for Oscar glory; I disagree. Lacking any real character development, short of the nightmarish sequences in Max's mind of those he's lost over the years, Road isn't here to wax Shakespearean. It knows such dialogue will only slow its engine blower kits, explosive javelins, and porcupined vehicles waging war for the precious juice and the women that Furiosa has smuggled out. Miller doesn't try to mask this perceived shortcoming by piling on the eye candy; his Opus simply doesn't need it. Still, Theron and Hardy are forces of nature, even though the two hated each other by the end of production. Hoult has proven his ability as a character actor, immersing himself in the role much like Daniel Day Lewis does with such constant perfection. With that sort of pedigree, one could imagine seeing this pop up somewhere come February, although I think that's much too early to call.

When it's all said and done, moviegoers will no doubt compare Fury Road to The Road Warrior, and try to rank it against Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first is a good argument to have, while the latter is frankly fruitless. Both are technically proficient, endearing themselves for vastly different reasons, and filled with memorable dialogue and actors who portray their characters with cool efficiency. My recommendation is to enjoy each as the best in its particular subgenre because each also has its rather huge shortcomings. But if you're masochistic enough to try placing one over the other, let me know as I'd love to enjoin you in battle.

Unapologetic in its awesomeness, Mad Max: Fury Road is a marvel of mayhem, grit, and ugliness. Keep children far away from this one, unlike the one woman in our screening who forgot that babies count as children, too. You'll find the experience almost too much for your eyes as well, but that's the point of the beauty which Miller has wrought. It's an amazing experience, and perhaps even a game changer.

Mad Max: Fury Road is rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images and has a runtime of 120 minutes.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Asa Butterfield In Talks for Spider-Man

Ender's game to join the MCU.

By Brandon Wolfe

Reported weeks ago as one of a handful of finalists for the role of the new Spider-Man, Ender’s Game star Asa Butterfield has entered early talks to portray Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War before headlining his own film for Sony. While Deadline states that other candidates are still “in the mix,” the 18-year-old Butterfield has emerged as the frontrunner to bring a dash of youthfulness into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where one expects he will be called “squirt” or “sport” by Tony Stark.

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



Read on to learn about their newest project.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and Executive Produced by Ed Helms.

Production has begun in Boston on the action comedy Central Intelligence, for New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures. The film, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, will be directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, director of the hit comedies “We’re the Millers” and “Dodgeball.”

The story follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.

Central Intelligence will also star Oscar nominee Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”) as CIA Agent Harris; and Danielle Nicolet (TV’s “The Game”) as Maggie, the wife and high school sweetheart of Hart’s BMOC. Thurber will direct from a screenplay by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen and Sean Anders & John Morris, story by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen. The film will be produced by Scott Stuber (“Ted”), Peter Principato (TV’s “Black-ish”), Paul Young (“Black-ish”) and Michael Fottrell (“Furious Seven”). Ed Helms, who previously worked with Thurber on “We’re the Millers,” will serve as executive producer.

The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography Barry Peterson (“We’re the Millers,” “21 Jump Street”), production designer Stephen Lineweaver (“Ted,” “Blades of Glory”), editors Mike Sale and Brian Olds (“We’re the Millers,” “Tammy”) and costume designer Carol Ramsey (“Horrible Bosses,” “Dodgeball”). A New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures presentation of a Bluegrass Films/Principato Young Entertainment Production, “Central Intelligence” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

George Miller & Hugh Keays-Byrne 'Don't Talk' PSA

See the PSA after the jump. Did you know that a contributing factor to the hellish post-apocalyptic wasteland depicted in director George Miller's MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was talking & texting in a theater? Watch Hugh Keays-Byrne (aka Immortan Joe, aka The Toecutter) and George Miller warn that seeds of our society's downfall could begin with human callousness in the movie theater.

Hugh Keays-Byrne and George Miller "Don't Talk" PSA

George Miller's uncompromising vision of an apocalyptic wasteland future CONTINUES! Society is in total decay and homicidal maniac gangs rule the barren Earth. Then, when hope seemed lost and anarchy prevailing, the fiery decaying soil opened up and gave birth to the hardest man to have ever walked the Earth, Max Rockatansky, a man who drinks gasoline and eats bullets. In this wasteland he is the one who runs from both the living and the dead. A man reduced to a single instinct...survive. Teamed up with Furiosa, a woman of action with a mechanical arm, the two battle their way through the chaotic maelstrom of flipping cars and flame throwing annihilators to cross the cursed Earth and reach their ultimate salvation. Featuring some of the most insane practical stunts put to celluloid in the past 20 years MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is the movie to see this summer.

Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. 17 years later, the now 19-location chain has been named "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired.com. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short three year existence

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD opens at Alamo Drafthouse this Friday, May 15. and Badass Digest, an entertainment news blog curated by veteran journalist Devin Faraci.

L.A. SLASHER Release Date Announced

Read on to learn when you can catch the film.
Directed by Martin Owen

Starring: Mischa Barton, Drake Bell, Brooke Hogan, Dave Bautista, Abigail Wright and Andy Dick

A biting, social satire of reality TV and the glorification of those who are “famous for being famous,” L.A. SLASHER takes aim at the current state of the entertainment industry, where it is acceptable (and even admirable) to gain influence and wealth without merit or talent – but instead through shameful behavior, and the notoriety that comes from it. Incensed by the tabloid culture that promotes this new breed of “celebrities,” the L.A. Slasher publicly abducts a series of reality TV stars, which leads the media and the general public to question if perhaps society is better off without them.

L.A. SLASHER is directed, written and produced by Martin Owen. Producers are Jeffrey Wright, Daniel Sollinger, and co-producer Sean Decker. Director of Photography is Chase Bowman.

Starring Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”), Drake Bell (“Drake & Josh”), Brooke Hogan (“Hogan Knows Best”), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Abigail Wright (“Anger Management”), Tori Black (“Ray Donovan”), Frank Collison (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”), Marisa Lauren (Superhero Movie), Danny Trejo (Machete) and Andy Dick (“The Andy Dick Show”).

L.A. SLASHER will open in theaters on June 12, 2015.


Check out the Mondo-sized gallery appearing soon.
Mondo's dino-sized gallery show celebrating Jurassic Park and the highly anticipated Jurassic World (in theaters June 12) will feature dozens of artists contributing original works of art and screen prints for one of the all time greatest blockbusters. The films offer a rich world of colossal dinosaurs, gorgeous tropical landscapes and iconic characters for artists to draw their inspiration from. The title of the show "When Dinsoaurs Ruled The Earth" references the climactic scene of Jurassic Park when the T-Rex triumphantly reclaims her dominance at the top of the food chain, making the past tense of that falling banner's copy ominously incorrect. Now 65 million + 22 years later, dinosaurs are getting their first fully functioning theme park in Jurassic World with all of the terrible implications of how that will go perfectly wrong.

"Hosting an entire gallery exhibit of new Jurassic Park artwork is a dream come true for us. It has been over 20 years since the first film captured the imagination of the entire planet and we hope to recreate some of the wonder and excitement of the franchise with this show," said Mondo CEO Justin Ismael.

Mondo will also offer a limited pressing of the previously sold out Jurassic Park original motion picture soundtrack on Dino DNA Splatter vinyl. The first poster reveal from the show is from artist Francesco Francavilla, depicting the awe-inspiring T-Rex ready to take a bite out of a certain island off the coast of Costa Rica with its inverse composition alluding to another famous Steven Spielberg movie poster featuring a toothy maw.

The following artists will be represented at "When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth." Remaining prints and original works will go on sale at MondoTees.com at a future date. Follow @MondoNews for more art reveals and information leading up the show! For more information on the gallery, visit MondoTees.com.

Third Planet of the Apes Gets a Title

The ape planet goes to war.

By Brandon Wolfe

The third installment in Fox’s updated Planet of the Apes series has been given a title: War of the Planet of the Apes. Not anything too surprising, yet still fitting. Still, it's a bit awkward (maybe War FOR the Planet of the Apes might be better?), but this series, while great in every other way, has always contended with clunky titles (overuse of “of the”; “Rise” and “Dawn” meaning the same thing). Why should this one be any different?

War of the Planet of the Apes, which will again be directed by Dawn’s Matt Reeves, is set to open July 14, 2017.

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


TV Review: Citizenfour

Edward Snowden doc is as chilling as any thriller.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

One of the key traits that distinguishes Citizenfour from most documentaries is the way in which Laura Poitras’ film captures a landmark cultural moment as it occurs. Most documentaries – not all, but most – examine a subject from some distance, months or years after the fact, but Citizenfour allows us the opportunity to witness its seismic events unfold in real-time. Everyone always wishes they were a fly on the wall when something significant happens. Citizenfour puts us on that wall.

The film’s subject, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reached out to documentarian Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald via unsolicited, encrypted emails in early 2013. Snowden designated them as the ideal vessels through which to release information to the public that he felt was crucial. In his years working as an NSA contractor, Snowden became privy to knowledge that the agency, using 9/11 as justification, had been secretly encroaching on the civil liberties of American citizens, tapping into all manner of electronic correspondence via all the major telecommunication giants, such as AT&T and Verizon. Snowden even relays that NSA employees were allowed to view live drone feeds from their work computers. Snowden, with a laudable lack of concern for his own future, felt compelled to come forward and let the world know the ways in which their personal freedoms are being infringed upon.

Snowden privately met with Poitras and Greenwald at a Hong Kong hotel in June 2013, where he spent eight days detailing everything he knew to Poitras’ camera and Greenwald’s pen. The immediacy of what we are witnessing, the voyeuristic thrill of watching an historic summit transpire right in front of our eyes, gives Citizenfour a charge that eludes less plugged-in documentaries forced to delineate major events at a remove. We watch Snowden’s initial introductions with those who will tell his story, we see the group’s reaction when the story reaches the news cycle and we witness Snowden’s hotel phone starting to blow up once the press gets wind of his identity. By the time Snowden is brushing his hair in the mirror as the news breathlessly reports on him on the TV in the next room, we are right there with him, witnessing as it occurs the moment where he crosses over from anonymity into history.

There’s a haunting quality to Citizenfour that is difficult to shake. The film often has the rhythm and cadence of a horror film or, perhaps more aptly, a paranoid ‘70s conspiracy thriller, like The Conversation or Three Days of the Condor. The minimalist score, with its unnerving low-level hum, creates a mood of palpable dread, and many of its sequences are imbued with a portentousness that keeps viewers on edge. When Snowden is interrupted continuously in his hotel room by an errant fire alarm, it visibly rattles him, as it does us. Its timing seems suspicious, even if it is just a happenstance. Snowden may be overly paranoid, but he has every reason to be.

Citizenfour does hit some dry patches. Whenever the film leaves Snowden to exam its subject matter through other avenues, it begins to grow a bit dull and monotonous. Perhaps that was unavoidable, given how electrifying the Snowden footage inherently is, but it has the end result of making the film’s flow feel stop-and-go. But whenever Snowden is on-camera, the film comes to life. The man is endlessly fascinating, intelligent as a whip while also radiating a wealth of nervous energy. Whether you admire him as courageous or consider him a traitor, it’s hard to dispute his effectiveness as a focal point.

As Snowden adapts to his whirlwind new life, unable to return to the U.S. and fearful of what consequences may lie ahead, the film ends on an especially chilling note as the man reunites with the journalists some time later after a lengthy period of laying low. Greenwald has picked up another mysterious contact and compares notes with Snowden, informing him of information from his source on just how far up the ladder the NSA’s actions go and how many people are landing on its ever-growing watchlist. The sequence is gripping for the fact that none of the parties want to speak any of this information aloud, the fear of potential listening devices forcing them to write out everything on paper and then tear it up, but also for the fact that Snowden, a man who already knew too much, is aghast at how much there is still left to learn.

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


Harry Shearer Has Left The Simpsons

Mr. Burns is gonna sound a little off from now on.

By Brandon Wolfe

While Fox’s undying The Simpsons has already been renewed for two more seasons (it’s 83rd and 84th, I believe), don’t expect to hear one voice – several voices, actually – when they air. Harry Shearer, who has been a part of the vocal cast from the start and who voices such major characters as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders and many more, has left the show. Shearer, who has long argued that the show should give its longstanding cast a piece of its sizable merchandising pie, posted a couple of cryptic tweets last night that seemed to indicate his departure, and today showrunner Al Jean has confirmed that Shearer turned down the offer that the rest of the cast accepted and has parted company with the series. Shearer’s numerous characters, however, will not be retired, just replaced with “the finest voice talent available.”

While it’s tempting to dismiss Shearer as greedy, the fact of the matter is that he is an indispensable component of the show, and recasting his parts with an armada of impressionists is only going to rankle the fanbase. Furthermore, if one of the veteran cast decides to quit after almost thirty years, isn’t it perhaps time to consider ending The Simpsons altogether? The show hasn’t approached the quality of its ‘90s heyday in over a decade, with most episodes tiresomely recycling former plotlines ad infinitum. The show may still be a cash cow that Fox wants to have, but it’s been mediocre longer than it was brilliant by this point. How many records do they need to break before finally giving Homer and his brood a much-needed retirement?

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


First Thoughts: 'The Muppets'

We pontificate on the return of an American classic to the small screen.

Review by Matt Cummings

The Muppets have experienced as of late what one might call an identity crisis. Filled with the glory of the 2012 movie, our hearts were nearly broken by the immense critical and financial disappointment of Muppets Most Wanted. It was as if a great sports athlete, bound for certain glory, was suddenly laid up by injury and unavailable to fulfill their destiny. But as in sports, entertainment always seems to get a second chance, and that's exactly what has happened for The Muppets. Ever since we reported on Tuesday that they would be returning to ABC Television in the Fall, our hopes for success have grown with the trailer that was released during the network's Upfront event. If you haven't see it yet, check out the extended trailer and see if your thoughts align with ours:

From the getgo, it's clear that the new show has a familiar flavor: zany Muppet characters misbehaving in a world that seems to accept felt creatures with iPads. That's always been the Muppet charm - to place their existence and ours smack-dab in the middle of each other. Another strength lies in the way they can take modern themes and effortlessly merge them into their superstructure. Mixing elements of Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Office, and Community, The Muppets looks like it will tackle the characters' personal lives, as well as various romances, break-ups, etc.

But ABC needs to be careful. Most Wanted failed because it strayed from the zaniness and warmth of past hits like The Muppet Movie or Muppets from Space, which relied less on cheap jokes and more on character development. Those instant classics represent the best of the Muppets, and hopefully Writer Bill Prady can bring his Big Bang Theory/Darma and Greg sensibilities without limiting himself to typical tropes. ABC's 1996 Muppets Tonight has stood the test of time, introducing many new characters like Bobo the Bear, Pepe, and Andy & Randy Pig, which Prady would be shortsighted not to use. Of course, the original Muppet Show 'adulted' all of the Sesame Street characters for prime time, mixing a special guest star each week. From the trailers, it looks like Prady will be utilizing the skit comedy routine which has made him such a success. However, this is Prady's baby, so any success/failure will be on his shoulders.

For those of you who loved the variety-show element of previous incarnations is missing here, don't. This 'docu-comedy' format doesn't mean we won't get some music or performances, as the plot does involve the development of a Jimmy Kimmel/David Letterman style for Miss Piggy. So, it's likely we'll see something. But that won't serve front and center here: this series will look to gently satirize popular culture, as The Office and Community did so well. The new format doesn’t mean there won’t be guest stars, musical numbers, and other variety elements. Prady mentioned in a recent interview just how many places this new format can take the Muppets: we can see them backstage, on-stage, at home, at the grocery store. And while they don't have guest stars lined up (yet), look for that to change soon. Prady is already fielding requests from interested parties.

Based on all of this, we're even more excited about the possibilities for this show. It sounds like Prady understands what the Muppets are and can be as commenters of popular culture, and that with his deep background and love for the franchise, it sounds like the series is in good hands. Does this mean we'll get more movies soon? Unlikely, because the Muppets are better on television right now. That doesn't mean we wouldn't get excited if Prady or Jason Segel - who directed the 2012 movie - announced something at the end of season one.

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

First Thoughts: 'Supergirl'

We weigh in on CBS' extended trailer.

Story by Matt Cummings

Ever since we first reported that CBS was developing a Supergirl series for their Fall lineup, our opinion (and that of most of the Internet) has been the same word - uneasiness. The idea wasn't bad and CBS' logic (at the time) seemed sound: bring the next baddest good guy they could find to the screen that wasn't named Superman. But in looking at the extended trailer below - which we announced yesterday - our concerns have moved far beyond uneasiness. See it for yourself, and see if your thoughts align with our own:

From the beginning, it's clear that Producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Flash) is trying to capture the magic of Flash's memorable first season into a bottle he can replicate with any DC hero he desires. But the result looks cheap, melodramatic, and seems to return to many themes already echoed in other DC movies and television episodes. This isn't even the second time we've seen a Kryptonian save a jet from destruction (Superman Returns, final episode of Smallville), and to see it played out here doesn't give any weight to Kara's struggles to identify herself.

If you've read enough DC comics (I recommend the 13 TPB's of Batman/Superman), you know that Kara isn't working a regular job, fetching coffee for a still-gorgeous Calista Flockhart: she lives with Kal-El/Superman in the Fortress of Solitude while she learns how to use her powers. The fact that Superman is not a part of this series in the role of mentor/teacher (although he will cameo) and that Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) has to relate words of sympathy and gifts from Superman feels cheap.

We've already lamented about Supergirl's frumpy appearance and costume, and yet here we are with no discernible improvement since the full-length shots of Benoist went viral. Made to look like Superman's chainmail look in Man of Steel, CBS has not done enough to give Kara a uniform worthy of the character's powers. Moreover, Berlanti is trying to bring the quirky elements of The Flash to this series, mixing the techniness of Arrow's Felicity Smoke into Benoist's smaller frame.

The one thing we do like are the special effects, most of which look nearly cinematic in quality. While short, Kara's flying sequences look good, as does the airplane and explosion of the semi truck. It's amazing what modern CGI can do on television when used correctly. But at its heart, Supergirl seems nothing more than a cash grab for CBS, who's clearly desperate to get something - anything - on air and deal with the consequences later. And the news just gets better: it's been picked up not only for a pilot, but for an entire season. Comic book nerds will no doubt have a field day with this one.

For Supergirl to retain any hope of a second season, Berlanti and team need to focus on great character development - not cheesy CW tripe that plagues so many of their shows - and mix bold storytelling that takes chances. The Flash has been so successful in its freshmen run, due entirely to this formula, and don't get me started on what just happened with Arrow. Regardless, we won't have long to wait, as Supergirl arrives on CBS this November on Mondays at 8pm.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015



Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired North American rights to YOUTH, starring Oscar winner Michael Caine, Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, Oscar winner Jane Fonda, Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel and Paul Dano. The film is written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, director of Italy’s Oscar foreign language winner THE GREAT BEAUTY, and produced by Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima, Carlotta Calori for Indigo Film in collaboration with Medusa Film. YOUTH is coproduced by Fabio Conversi for Barbary Films, Jérôme Seydoux for Pathé, Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen for Number 9, David Kosse for Film4, and Anne Walser for C-Films. YOUTH will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and is scheduled to be released in 2015.

“I’m delighted and proud that Fox Searchlight has acquired my new film: Youth. As a movie lover, I have always appreciated Fox Searchlight’s choices which have given us the opportunity to see beautiful and unforgettable films. This time, as the auteur, I am honored with the faith they have placed in me and the film," said Sorrentino.

“Paolo’s masterful film projects an extraordinary wisdom and grace. Anchored by Michael Caine’s emotionally riveting performance and buoyed by an exceptional supporting cast, YOUTH is, simply put, a film about life and living told in the most cinematic of terms,” said Utley and Gilula.

“I am very happy that Fox Searchlight has picked up Youth. To secure a North American distribution with such a prestigious company, which always chooses and promotes its films with the utmost care, is a very important signal for Italian Cinema," said producer Giuliano.

From Paolo Sorrentino, the director of Italy’s Oscar foreign language winner THE GREAT BEAUTY comes YOUTH, about two longtime friends vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Oscar winning actor Michael Caine plays Fred, an acclaimed composer and conductor, who brings along his daughter (Rachel Weisz) and best friend Mick (Harvey Keitel), a renowned filmmaker. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. The two men reflect on their past, each finding that some of the most important experiences can come later in life.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache and Executive Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien with Muriel Sauzay, Pathe’s Executive Vice President International Sales, who represented the film.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 21st Century Fox.

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#ALITTLECHAOS Opens In SF Bay Area & Sacramento Region June 26

A LITTLE CHAOS opens in SF Bay Area and Sacramento Region June 26, 2015.

Reunited for the first time since Sense and Sensibility, Alan Rickman directs Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet in the romantic drama A LITTLE CHAOS .

Make to to check back often we will be offering screening passes to see the film ealry.

Reunited for the first time since Sense and Sensibility, Alan Rickman directs Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet in the romantic drama A Little Chaos.

A romantic drama following Sabine (Winslet), a talented landscape designer, who is building a garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV (Rickman). Sabine struggles with class barriers as she becomes romantically entangled with the court’s renowned landscape artist (Matthias Schoenaerts).

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #GOODKILL In San Francisco

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For GOOD KILL on May 21st at 7:30 PM in San Francisco.

In the shadowy world of drone warfare, combat unfolds like a video game–only with real lives at stake. After six tours of duty, Air Force pilot Tom Egan (Ethan Hawke) yearns to get back into the cockpit of a real plane, but he now fights the Taliban from an air-conditioned box in the Las Vegas desert.

When he and his crew start taking orders directly from the CIA, and the stakes are raised, Egan's nerves—and his relationship with his wife (Mad Men's January Jones)—begin to unravel. Revealing the psychological toll drone pilots endure as they are forced to witness the aftermath of their fight against insurgents, Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) directs this riveting insider’s view of 21st-century warfare, in which operatives target enemies from half a world away.

See how to win tickets after the Jump...

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

Email us at screenings at sandwichjohnfilms.com
Subject-Good Kill
Will need your full name.

Winners chosen at random.

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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