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Saturday, July 4, 2015

#BoxOffice Report: Machines, Strippers Fall, 'Inside' Outperforms

Post-apocalyptic machines and strippers lose out in July 4th Weekend bust.

Story by Matt Cummings

Early numbers are coming in from this week's domestic box office, and it doesn't look good for two movies with high expectations from their studios. It appears that Pixar's Inside Out will finally take the number 1 slot from three-peater Jurassic World, leaving Terminator Genisys and Magic Mike XXL in the dust. With hgh praise from critics and even talk of whether it deserves an Oscar nod for Best Picture, the movie about a little girl's emotions will take in an estimated $30 million over the three-day weekend. It's already made over $225m and on Friday seemed ready to exert its influence over Mike and Terminator.

Coming in at a close number 2 is Jurassic World, which should take in $28-29m. Considering its staying power, there's no reason why a last-minute surge could see the two slip-flop, attesting to the popularity of both. That leaves Terminator Genisys in a tough spot, forced to feed on the carcasses with Magic Mike XXL. the post-apocalyptic action sequel getting the better of it, making a paltry $26m over the three-day and around $46m for its early start on Tuesday. That's not great numbers considering the film's $155m budget and all of the controversy surrounding its production and disastrous marketing campaign. Audiences have apparently responded, giving it a B+ on Cinemascore.

Coming in at number 4 will be Magic Mike XXL, earning just $30m. That's off from the original's surprising $39.1 opening, although it beat Terminator in early screenings only to fall fast after the initial buzz wore off. It has less to worry about than Terminator, as it only cost $14m to make. It also fare better on Cinemascore, earning a surprising 'A.' We didn't agree with that, but we'll see if it earns that grade as it heads into its second week.

Unfortunately, audiences have nearly forgotten about Ted 2, the raunchy teddy bear comedy which slid to number 5. Its 67% decline - predicted to take just $11m over the weekend - represents no less than a disappointment, even though we liked it a lot. Apparently, the Seth McFarlane comedy didn't resonate with moviegoers, also earning a 'B+' in Cinemascore. Its 8-day total is rough 50% lower than that of the original.

One other quick note: we could also be looking at a thin year for the top 12 overall during the weekend. Here are the numbers from the past four years:
2014: $120m
2013: $221m
2012: $182m
2011: $228m
If these numbers dip below 2014's ebb, it certainly proves that domestic audiences are fickle during this weekend, as hot dog, fireworks, and pool parties draw them away from perceived sub-par box office experiences.

Terminator Genisys will have to pick up the pace overseas, where Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has always dominated. Mike and Ted 2 have their work cut out for them, as next week's Minions looks poised to debut at number 1. But even with strong overseas for Terminator, one or even two of these three domestically will get bumped out, and we could even see the horror film The Gallows do some early damage before Marvel's Ant-Man arrives in two weeks. Either way, we're poised to see someone to be shown the door as the Summer Mesosauraus feeds on yet another hapless victim.

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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TV Review: Hannibal "Contorno"

Déjà vu sets in on Hannibal’s European vacation.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

For an adaptation of well-known source material, Hannibal has thus far mostly marched to the beat of its own drummer. Seasons 1-2 took Thomas Harris’ famed characters and spun them in entirely new directions, with only brief references presenting themselves in certain lines and events (most notably with some of the Mason Verger arc near the end of Season 2). While the series has always marched inexorably toward direct adaptations of Harris’ novels and their subsequent film adaptations, it has played so fast and loose with the original texts that there was no reason to ever expect a rigid do-over of material with which fans are already so familiar.

Which is why it’s so surprising, and disappointing, that “Contorno” opts to retread the ground already covered by Hannibal, the novel and film, so slavishly. This section of Season 3 had always consciously set itself up to tackle Harris’ third Lecter novel, but up until now, it had found a way to bend the material in such a way that it didn’t feel like a mere cover version. “Contorno,” however, traces over the novel and, especially, Ridley Scott’s film version so thoroughly that we can almost dictate exactly what will happen as it occurs. Commandatore Pazzi, whom the previous episodes had set up to be an upstanding law enforcer rather than the greedy fool he was in his earlier incarnation, is now back to being a craven opportunist, looking to nabbing Dr. Lecter to obtain Mason Verger’s substantial reward, and thus keep his young trophy wife (Alias’ Mia Maestro) appeased. As before, Pazzi takes to a phone booth to reach out to Verger’s team. As before, he tries to bag Hannibal all by his lonesome. As before, he winds up hanging from a window by his neck, with his bowels spilled out on the ground beneath him.


The synchronicity between “Contorno” and Hannibal is so complete that even the dialogue follows suit, down to Lecter politely asking Pazzi whether he’d prefer his bowels in or out before deciding for him, predictably choosing the more gruesome option. In the film, Pazzi’s fate is momentarily interrupted by a chance phone call to the inspector from Clarice Starling, which Lecter intercepts, creating an impromptu reunion. But since there is no Clarice Starling in the present Hannibal TV narrative, Alana Bloom fills that void, to the exact same effect. This sort of tit-for-tat faithfulness feels more akin to a far lesser, more literal-minded adaptation like From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series than to Hannibal. Perhaps the producers were so taken with the Pazzi material (and it is, by far, the best section of the film) that they simply couldn’t resist taking it on, but they perhaps should have tried resisting a bit more.

Fortunately, after Pazzi’s guts go splat, “Contorno” immediately hands us something new to wash the taste of the familiar out of our mouths, as Jack Crawford arrives on the scene and immediately pursues Hannibal in a game of cat-and-mouse where Hannibal is, for once, the mouse. Jack initiates a rematch of the season-ending brawl that he decisively lost, and he’s hungry enough this time to seize the upper hand, laying a vicious beating upon Hannibal. This fight is easily the most thrilling moment in what has been, thus far, a frustratingly sleepy season, and coupled with the fight from Season 2, there’s a case to be made that these two should go at it every week, or at least as often as possible. Jack’s savagery is also noteworthy. Whatever hang-ups that might have led to him holding back before are gone, as he’s not opposed to using whatever objects are handy as weapons against Hannibal including, most memorably, an antiquated wheel device Jack utilizes to crush the cannibal’s arm. Jack’s loss of Bella - whose ashes he scatters this week in addition to chucking his wedding ring in the drink – has clearly left the man with little lingering regard for anything beyond vengeance and the protection of those he still holds dead. While Hannibal walks away from the battle, using Pazzi’s hanging corpse as a means of escape, the injuries he has sustained could hinder his efforts to remain free from capture.


That capture does seem imminent, with Jack, Alana and Verger all in hot pursuit. Also on the trail is Will, who is pushed from a train by Chiyoh, the woman who knew Hannibal as a child, after informing him of Hannibal’s presence in Florence. Hannibal being shanghaied back to the states probably can’t come a moment too soon, either, as this entire European sojourn has not resulted in the most captivating material the series has offered us. For as beautifully shot as much of this section has been, it has lacked any real urgency and is too populated by repetitive conversations about Will’s and Hannibal’s perverse connection with one another. The second half of the season will deal with the material from Red Dragon, wherein, in the novel and film adaptations, Hannibal is incarcerated. It’s difficult to say how reverential the show intends to play that material, but a return to a more procedural context would probably do the show a lot of good. Still, when tackling Red Dragon, let’s hope the show does a better job of zigging when we’re expecting it to zag. We’ve already seen that story play out on film the same way twice; we don’t need to go for the hat trick.

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



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Thursday, July 2, 2015

#BatmanVSuperman New Images Of Cast

As the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con is now less than a week away, the studios are gearing up to show off what they have to offer in the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, romance, adventure and, of course, superheroics. With Marvel’s Cinematic Universe skipping this year (the TV shows will represent), Warner Bros. and DC are naturally going big with their efforts. Some new images from Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice have emerged via Entertainment Weekly.


See all the images after the Jump...

As you’ll know by now, the film finds Kal-El (Henry Cavill) going toe-to-toe (or cape-to-cowl) with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) as a world-weary Batman decides that Superman is just too much of a threat to ignore. And while the idea of Bats taking on Supes would seem to be along the lines of a bicycle battling a tank, Wayne is coming loaded for alien bear, with a reinforced suit that enhances his strength and some handy Kryptonite for making the fight a little more equal.



Also present? Wonder Woman, played here by Gal Gadot, and seen in the picture swanking it up in Diana Prince mode, attracting the attention of Bruce. “I love the fact that there was this Thomas Crowne Affair, Bond-y sexy scene that they wrote about two people who are pretending to be two different people who each know the secrets of the other person,” Affleck tells EW.


And of course, while Batman and Superman are destined to become besties (all right, colleagues) in the Justice League, there is a real threat present in the film, with Jesse Eisenberg playing classic villain Lex Luthor, here a billionaire who can apparently afford hair. Which will be gone soon enough. For more from the movie, head to EW’s site.


With Zack Snyder once again marshalling the madness and Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and more expected on screen, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be out on March 25 next year.



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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #MINIONS In Sacramento

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For MINIONS on July 7th at 7:00 PM in SACRAMENTO.


Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.


But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.



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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



Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Follow David @Clark_SJF, Matt @mfc90125. And be sure to LIKE us on Facebook for a chance to win he tickets at a drop off location.

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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#ATTICUSROSS TO SCORE ROBERT KIRKMAN’S UPCOMING SERIES #OUTCAST

ATTICUS ROSS SIGNS ON TO SCORE ROBERT KIRKMAN’S UPCOMING SERIES OUTCAST

FOX International Studios (FIS) today announced that Atticus Ross, Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning composer, producer and electronic musician is on board to score Robert Kirkman’s upcoming exorcism drama, Outcast, produced for Cinemax by FOX International Studios (FIS). This marks Ross’ television series score debut.

Ross’ acclaimed film work includes the score for David Fincher’s The Social Network, which earned him the Oscar and the Golden Globe, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl with long-time collaborator Trent Reznor. He also composed the music for Hughes Brothers’ The Book of Eli, Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy and Michael Mann’s Blackhat among others. Ross first garnered attention in the mid-1990’s as a programmer for Tim Simeon’s Bomb the Bass, and later for co-producing and programming five Nine Inch Nails albums with Reznor: With Teeth, Year Zero, The Slip, the instrumental Ghosts I-IV and Hesitation Marks.

“Who can’t recall the shrieking violins in the Psycho shower scene or the repetitious two-notes that play before a shark attack in Jaws?” said Kirkman. “A haunting and epic score is critical in the telling of horror on any screen, and we’re privileged to have Atticus on board to help illustrate Kyle Barnes’ story.”

“I'm excited to be working with Robert Kirkman and the whole Outcast team. Hopefully we'll be able provide sonic justice for Robert's depraved and brilliant vision.” said Ross.

“Outcast is an incredibly special series that requires a measured and distinctive sound. Atticus’ musical genius will take the show to a whole new level,” added Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of FOX International Studios.

Comic Con goers will get a first look at Outcast on Saturday, July 11, in Room 6DE at 3:00 p.m.Panelists include: creators and executive producers Robert Kirkman and Chris Black, cast members Patrick Fugit (Kyle Barnes), Philip Glenister (Reverend Anderson) and Wrenn Schmidt (Megan Holter). Kumail Nanjiani (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) will moderate, followed by a fan autograph signing at 5:45 p.m at the Warner Bros. booth #4545.

Outcast, the TV adaptation of Kirkman/Skybound’s comic book by the same name, was developed by FIS and was picked up to series by Cinemax in the US and by FOX International Channels (FIC) outside the US earlier this year. The series follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Outcast is expected to premiere day & date on Cinemax in the U.S. and across FIC’s FOX-branded entertainment channels in over 125 countries worldwide in 2016.

Kirkman serves as Executive Producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Sue Naegle of Naegle Inc., and Sharon Tal Yguado of FIS.


About FOX International Studios

FOX INTERNATIONAL STUDIOS (FIS) is FOX International Channels’ (FIC) US based scripted production arm. We identify, develop and produce wholly-owned global scripted series. Our creative mandate and portfolio reflects FIC’s well-established brand of high quality, innovative, global event series including the world’s biggest show of the past five years, THE WALKING DEAD. FIS’s newest series OUTCAST, created by THE WALKING DEAD’s Robert Kirkman and sold to HBO/Cinemax in the US is currently in pre-production on its first season. The studio has a number other high profile projects in active development including FALSE FLAG, the English language adaptation of Keshet’s (Homeland) newest Israeli original series SKUFIM.

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#JoeDirt2 Sneak Peek & Clips

In this sequel to the 2001 cult favorite, David Spade ("Rules of Engagement") returns as the mullet-wearing, rock and roll loving, down on his luck white-trash-hero who embarks on another epic journey, this time through the recent past, the heartland of America - and his own mind - to get back to his loved ones.




Watch the clips after the Jump...





Joe Dirt is back with a vengeance, and a mop. David Spade reprises his role alongside Oscar winner Christopher Walken (WEDDING CRASHERS), Brittany Daniel ("The Game"), Dennis Miller and Adam Beach (FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS). Patrick Warburton ("Rules of Engagement"), Mark McGrath (SHARKNADO 2), Charlotte McKinney ("Dancing with the Stars") and Kevin Farley also star in the sequel.

Director, Writer and Producer:
Fred Wolf (JOE DIRT, GROWN UPS)

Writer and Producer:
David Spade

Produced by:
Happy Madison Productions
Lifeboat Productions

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#IDR INDEPENDENCE DAY RESURGENCE WANTS YOU TO #Dubsmash THE PRESIDENTS SPEECH

With the 4th of July upon us, 20th Century Fox Films and INDEPENDENCE DAY RESURGENCE are celebrating this holiday with the following events. Feel free to share these #IDR events commemorating this years’ Independence Day!

To kickoff the holiday weekend, Jeff Goldblum is joining Facebook and Instagram!



The famous speech from Independence Day is now on Dubsmash! Fans can now record their best impression of President Whitmore’s speech and share using #IndependenceDubs for the chance to featured in the official Independence Day Dubsmash remix. More info on the IDR Facebook page.

Lastly, check out this classic photo of Bill Pullman in the first Independence



We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

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#MFarlaneToys & @HBO Announce New #GameOfThrones Collectibles

McFarlane Toys and HBO Global Licensing® Announce Agreement To Create a
New Construction Line Based on the Critically-Acclaimed Series Game of Thrones®

McFarlane Toys to reveal the highly collectible and much anticipated new Game of Thrones construction sets at 2015 San Diego Comic-Con

McFarlane Toys, in partnership with HBO Global Licensing, announced today a new licensing agreement to bring the global television phenomenon Game of Thrones to the construction toy aisles this Fall 2015.

In 2014, Todd McFarlane’s award-winning toy company, McFarlane Toys, revolutionized the construction brick aisle with its introduction of realistic and highly detailed construction sets. McFarlane Toys will add an artistic layer to each Game of Thrones brick piece, turning ordinary construction sets into realistic models of notable locations seen on the show. The new Game of Thrones construction sets extend McFarlane's high standards of artistic vision, realistic accuracy, and incredible detail the company is known for throughout the industry.

Todd McFarlane, CEO and founder of McFarlane Toys, said, “I'm very excited to work with HBO. They are a world-class network and Game of Thrones is one of the most visually compelling shows that I’ve ever seen.”

“We're thrilled to have the opportunity to create high-quality collectible construction sets based on this fan-favorite property. Both collectors and fans of this epic series can build their favorite scenes with this new product line,” McFarlane added.

Each Game of Thrones construction set will feature iconic environments with realistic sculpted pieces, along with multiple figures of fan-favorite characters.

McFarlane Toys will be unveiling the first look of this new product line, including the legendary Game of Thrones Iron Throne Room and Mother of Dragons construction sets, at International San Diego Comic-Con from July 8-12 at booth #2729.

The launch of Game of Thrones construction line will feature construction sets, expansion packs, and figure blind bags for fans ranging in price from $3.99 to $49.99 and will start hitting stores shelves in November 2015.

Construction Sets: MSRP $14.99-49.99 – Depicting the most outstanding moments from your Game of Thrones, including the Iron Throne Room, Mother of Dragons and Attack on the Wall, each set includes scene specific characters, stunning details and realistic accessories.

Construction Figure Packs: MSRP $9.99 - Starter packs featuring Houses Stark and Lannister with your favorite house armies, complete with house banner and sigil.

Construction Set Figures: MSRP $3.99 – Twelve buildable blind bag figures inspired by characters from Game of Thrones. Each 2-inch scale figure includes an environment base, and humans include articulated body parts. Series 1: #1 Tyrion Lannister; #2 Jon Snow ; #3 Daenerys Targaryen; #4 Grey Worm; #5 Ghost; #6 Rhaegal; #7 Unsullied; #8 Crow; #9 Kingsguard; #10 Wildling (w/ Axe); #11 Wildling (w/ Spear) and #12 Wight.

About HBO Global Licensing:
HBO Global Licensing officially licenses the HBO® brand for the development and merchandising of innovative product lines inspired by the network's award-winning programming. With products created around hit series like Game of Thrones® and True Blood® as well as classic series like The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, and Entourage, items include fashion apparel, figures, jewelry, digital and CD soundtracks, prop and costume replicas, games, books, and beverages, as well as exclusive, premium collections in partnership with upscale, designer brands. Merchandise can be purchased in retail stores nationwide, at http://store.hbo.com, and at the groundbreaking HBO retail hub, the HBO Shop®, located at 42nd and 6th Avenue in New York City. HBO Global Licensing products are also sold internationally across Europe (www.hboshopeu.com), Asia and Australia.

ABOUT MCFARLANE TOYS:
Grammy-and Emmy-winning producer/director Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, is the creative force behind McFarlane Toys, one of America’s top action figure manufacturers. McFarlane Toys has become an industry leader, redefining the standards within the action figure market. For complete information on this pop-culture powerhouse, visit http://www.mcfarlane.com; http://www.facebook.com/mcfarlanetoys; http://www.twitter.com/Todd_McFarlane and http://www.instagram.com/mcfarlane_toys_official.

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Laurence Fishburne To Star In ROOTS Remake

ACADEMY® AWARD NOMINEE AND EMMY® AWARD WINNER LAURENCE FISHBURNE TO STAR AS ALEX HALEY IN ROOTS.

Scripted Event Series to Simulcast on HISTORY®, A&E and LIFETIME

Academy® Award nominee and Emmy® Award winning actor Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish) is set to star as Alex Haley in the A+E Networks scripted event series ROOTS, it was announced today by Dirk Hoogstra, EVP & General Manager, HISTORY. Fishburne will play Haley, the author of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, an American family origin story based around the life of Kunta Kinte. ROOTS will be an original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley's novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time.

Laurence Fishburne has achieved an impressive body of work not only as an actor but also as a producer and director. In 1992, he won the Tony Award for his portrayal of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. The following year, his performance as Martin of the television series Tribeca, earned him an Emmy Award. In 1994, he was an Academy Award nominee as Best Actor for his portrayal of Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to do With It.

Fishburne was later an Emmy Award nominee for his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, broadcast as an adaptation of his one-man show, Thurgood. He was also an Emmy Award nominee and an NAACP Image Award winner for his starring role in the telefilm Miss Evers’ Boys, which he executive-produced.

Some of his many other motion pictures include John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood; Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club, and Gardens of Stone, all directed by Francis Ford Coppola; Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple; Spike Lee’s School Daze; Robert Markowitz’s telefilms Decoration Day and The Tuskegee Airmen, for which he received an NAACP Image Award as well as Golden Globe, Emmy and CableACE Award nominations; The Matrix movies; Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River; Emilio Estevez’s Bobby, for which he shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with his fellow actors from the ensemble.

Fishburne’s next project is the upcoming Warner Bros. film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He can currently be seen in the series Black-ish, for which he serves as executive producer. And most recently appeared in Hannibal and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

ROOTS is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte who is captured in his homeland in The Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America where he’s sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history – including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation. The story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.

ROOTS is an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, the company that produced the original ROOTS. Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Marc Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins are co-executive producers. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. Dirk Hoogstra, Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as Executives in Charge of Production for HISTORY. ROOTS is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.

About HISTORY®
HISTORY®, now reaching more than 96 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming, features a roster of hit series including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, Counting Cars™, Pawn Stars® and Swamp People® as well as HISTORY®’s first scripted series Vikings, and epic miniseries and special programming such as The Bible, The Men Who Built America, Houdini, Sons of Liberty and the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us® and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY® website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY®’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial. www.history.com.

About A&E Network
Now reaching more than 96 million homes, A&E is the home to quality original content that inspires and challenges audiences to BE ORIGINAL. A&E offers a diverse mix of uniquely immersive entertainment ranging from the network’s original scripted series, including “Bates Motel” and “Damien” to signature non-fiction franchises, including “Duck Dynasty,” “Wahlburgers” and “Storage Wars.” The A&E website is located at aetv.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aetv and Facebook at facebook.com/AETV. For more press information and photography please visit us at press.aenetworks.com.

About Lifetime
Lifetime is a premier female-focused entertainment destination dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning scripted series, non-fiction series and movies. As a result of the network’s aggressive programming strategy that has doubled the hours of its original programming, in 2014 the network reached its strongest ranking among the key Women 18-49 demo in six years and its youngest median age in 18 years. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

About A+E Studios
A+E Studios is the studio unit of the award-winning global media company A+E Networks, LLC. A+E Studios creates, produces and distributes high quality scripted programming across all networks and platforms in the A+E Networks portfolio, including A&E Network, Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI, H2 and A&E IndieFilms. A+E Studios’ slate of programming consists of scripted series, event series and movies, including "The Returned" for A&E Network, "UnREAL" for Lifetime and “Texas Rising,” “Sons of Liberty,” and “Houdini” for History, among others.

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SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Final Poster & Music Video

Summer is FINALLY here, and we’re amping up the sunshine and happiness with the worldwide sensation SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE! Headed to a theater near you AUGUST 5, Shaun and his flock are off on an unexpected and exciting adventure to the Big City, and you can grab a sneak peek at the whole gang in the BRAND NEW Final Poster. Plus, experience all the good summer feels by watching this charming farm family grow up right before your eyes in the delightful “Feels Like Summer With You" Music Video.



When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #PIXELSMOVIE In Las Vegas

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For PIXELS on July 20th at 7:00 PM in Las Vegas.


In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.



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Click HERE to get your tickets.

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

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#Hannibal Episode 4 "Contorno" Preview

Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) and Inspector Pazzi (guest star Fortunato Cerlino) search for clues that will lead them closer to Hannibal Lecter's (Mads Mikkelsen) location in Florence, but the promise of riches offered by Mason Verger (guest star Joe Anderson) threatens to corrupt Pazzi's quest for redemption. Meanwhile, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto) travel to Florence, both on a mission to find Hannibal, but at odds over the desired outcome.


Watch the preview after the Jump...



Elsewhere, as Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) continues to work with Mason Verger she grows concerned for the safety of all involved. Gillian Anderson also stars.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

First Look At The #GHOSTBUSTERS Costumes

Paul Feig tweeted the first costume image from the GHOSTBUSTERS reboot.

Paul Feig and his “The Heat” scribe, Katie Dippold are co-writing this all-female new GHOSTBUSTERS movie.

The story will once again be set in New York City. Feig previously stated that he wants this reboot to be a lot scarier but it will still be PG-13

Starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the new team. And their receptionist will be played by none other than Chris Hemsworth.

GHOSTBUSTERS arrives July 22, 2016

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Another Reboot. #FatalAttraction Heading To FOX TV

THR is reporting Fox is developing a remake of 1987 Fatal Attraction starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer.

Mad Men alums Maria and Andre Jacquemetton are on board to pen the script for Paramount Television and executive produce.

The project, which received a script commitment, is being eyed as a short-order event series — but with the potential to continue for a second season. Stanley R. Jaffe and Anonymous Content's Rosalie Swedlin will exec produce.

Current Fox president of entertainment David Madden developed and supervised the movie — which scored six Oscar nominations — when he was an exec at Paramount's film studio.

The potential series is described as a reimagining of the iconic thriller, in which a married man’s indiscretion comes back to haunt him.

For Fox, the deal comes as the network is poised to reboot The X-Files and launch film-to-TV remakes with Minority Report and a new take on Frankenstein.

At Paramount, meanwhile, Fatal Attraction comes as the TV division continues to mine its film library for the small screen. The company also has updated takes on Shutter Island in the works at HBO and Shooter at USA Network, among others. The deal expands Paramount TV and Fox's relationship beyond their upcoming Grease: Live production.

Reboots and remakes have been a major development season trend this past year — with a few already on the fall schedule as broadcast and cable networks alike look for proven hits with built-in audiences in a bid to draw live viewers in an increasingly crowded original scripted landscape.

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ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT #MARVEL PREVIEW AVAILABLE NOW

The Future is Here! Presenting ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MARVEL!

This Fall, prepare for an all-new, all-different Marvel Universe to begin! The House of Ideas is kicking off this bold publishing initiative with the free ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MARVEL PREVIEWS, available today in comic shops! Can’t make it to a comic shop? Download the updated version right now via the Marvel Digital Comic Store or Marvel Comics App! Peer into the next phase of the Marvel Universe with striking images from some of the new titles launching this fall!

Download the All-New, All-Different Marvel Previews Now!

“Dropping the mic right before San Diego Comic-Con has become a Marvel tradition,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “The ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MARVEL PREVIEWS magazine provides a large snapshot of what’s to expect in the fall: new characters, new teams, new wrinkles for our heroes, and most importantly, fresh creative directions. And we’re just getting started. We have a few more aces up our sleeves.”


The future is here and it’s all new and all-different. See for yourself with the ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MARVEL PREVIEWS!

Available right now, ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT MARVEL PREVIEWS is available now on the Marvel Comics app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod Touch® & AndroidTM devices) and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop!

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

About Marvel: Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com © MARVEL 2015

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#LondonHasFallen Trailer

Gerard Butler is back in action as Mike Banning, Secret Service man with nerves of steel and the kidneys of an ageing thespian. Banning has tragedy in his past and skeletons in his closet – some metaphoric, some possibly real – but they’ve let him into the UK and, judging by the first teaser for London Has Fallen.

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He may have missed the Secret Service’s health and safety day but Banning is a ruthless practitioner in the art of defending his President, the highly incident prone Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). He’s seen off North Korean commandos in Olympus Has Fallen and now there’s another cadre of evildoers to fend off, this time on English soil. Not too many tourist attractions look like they'll be surviving this one.

The premise sees Asher and his fellow world leaders assembling for the state funeral of the British Prime Minister. The presence of so many big knobs in one place attracts some Very Bad People to the capital with a Very Nasty Plan. "Only three people have any hope of stopping it,” runs the official synopsis. “The President of the United States, his formidable secret service head, and an English MI-6 agent who rightly trusts no one.” Sounds like Eckhart, who spent the majority of the first film cuffed to a railing, is finally up and running in this one.

Radha Mitchell is back as Leah Banning, with Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster and Colin Salmon all aboard.

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2015 #BoxOffice Mid-year Report

How has the 2015 box office performed compared to 2014? Read on to find out.

Story by Matt Cummings

From late 2014, critics and writers were ready to proclaim the 2015 box office as the most successful in history. We too felt a certain sense of destiny, with so many great films arriving throughout the year. We even wrote about it here, here, and here. Then January arrived, and one dud after another came with it, including Blackhat, Mortdecai, The Boy Next Door, and Project Almanac. February was actually worse, with Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son dropping stinking loads at our door before running off. But within that mire of disaster, we also saw great films, including Paddington and Kingsman: The Secret Service, both of which kept many theaters from turning into mausoleums. You can read our QUARTER 1 REPORT here.

As we pass the half-way mark of 2015, it's time to compare this year's box office to 2014, and to determine if everyone was right about this year's supposed dominance. Before we begin, let's establish a few rules: our analysis is based on movies that were released from Jan. 1st and later, thus eliminating the massive run of Oscar candidates that survived into February. So, no American Sniper or Mockingjay Part 1, both very successful but not released in 2015. Finally, we compared the top 10 highest performers of 2015 with last year's list, both at the six-month point.

The Numbers
With that in mind, we're happy to report that 2015 has been the most successful in recent years, and should go on to be the top grossing year of all time. Here's the list from both 2015 and 2014:
2015 (Jan. 1- Jun. 30)
1 Jurassic World $460,541,000
2 Avengers: Age of Ultron $451,248,000
3 Furious 7 $351,032,910
4 Cinderella (2015) $200,025,513
5 Pitch Perfect 2 $180,040,000
6 Home (2015) $174,344,711
7 Fifty Shades of Grey $166,167,230
8 The SpongeBob Movie $162,994,032
9 Inside Out $147,807,000
10 Mad Max: Fury Road $145,788,000
Top 10 TOTAL: $2,439,988,396

2014 (Jan. 1- Jun. 30)
1 Captain America 2 $257,114,221
2 The LEGO Movie $256,956,996
3 X-Men: Days of Future Past $222,407,427
4 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 $200,094,341
5 Maleficent $199,539,534
6 Godzilla (2014) $196,755,173
7 Divergent $150,489,120
8 Neighbors $147,039,595
9 22 Jump Street $135,744,534
10 Ride Along $134,938,200
Top 10 2014 TOTAL: $1,901,079,141

As you can see, we're way ahead of the totals reached by this time in 2014. A couple of interesting notes:
1. Universal has ruled the roost this year, with an impressive 4 films in the top 10 (Jurassic World, Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2, 50 Shades). This time last year, they had only two (Neighbors and Ride Along.) Universal also holds 3 of the top 5 spots (Jurassic, Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2).
2. Three films in 2015 have already made more than the six-month winner of 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
3. The 10th film on 2015's list (Mad Max: Fury Road) has made more money than 2014's number 10 film Ride Along.
4. Animated/family films have made a strong showing in 2015, holding 5 of the top 10 spots. In 2014, only two movies made that list (The LEGO Movie, Maleficent).

Destiny Fulfilled?
But how does 2015 compare to other recent years? In a word, impressively. We looked at the total box office performance for each of the past five years and found 2015 to be superior as well:
2015: $5,559,000,000
2014: $5,226.600,000
2013: $5,297.000,000
2012: $5,409.800,000
2011: $4,931.900,000
2010: $5,358.800,000

A Record Year, Indeed
One last comparison to share: the top 10 performers for all of 2014 are about to get beat by 2015. At $2,439,988,396, only one movie needs to make $300m in order to eclipse last year's $2,736,384,725. And it's gong to happen soon: will the knockout punch come from Ant-Man, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, or perhaps Minions? Also, keep in mind 2013's incredible total year performance of $10,923,600. Given the films ahead of us for July-December, that record could easily fall.

However it turns out, one thing is clear: a slow beginning to a year can be easily made up if the right films show up to plug the holes. And we haven't even mentioned Star Wars The Force Awakens or The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2, each of which should easily make $400m. Until then, we'll drop by again to see if 2013's record can in fact be broken.

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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#THETRANSPORTER REFUELED Official Trailer

Frank Martin (played by newcomer Ed Skrein), a former special-ops mercenary, is now living a less perilous life - or so he thinks - transporting classified packages for questionable people. When Frank’s father (Ray Stevenson) pays him a visit in the south of France, their father-son bonding weekend takes a turn for the worse when Frank is engaged by a cunning femme-fatale, Anna (Loan Chabanol), and her three seductive sidekicks to orchestrate the bank heist of the century. Frank must use his covert expertise and knowledge of fast cars, fast driving and fast women to outrun a sinister Russian kingpin, and worse than that, he is thrust into a dangerous game of chess with a team of gorgeous women out for revenge.

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From the producers of LUCY and the TAKEN trilogy, THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED is a fresh personification of the iconic role of Frank Martin, that launches the high-octane franchise into the present-day and introduces it to the next generation of thrill-seekers.

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Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For #MINIONS In Fresno

Win Tickets To An Advance Screening For MINIONS on July 7th at 7:00 PM in FRESNO.


Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.


But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.



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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



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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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TV Review: Scream "Pilot"

TV adaptation is dead on arrival.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

Scream becoming a TV show at this point in the game is very odd, at least on MTV. Sure, we live in a culture that specializes in grave-robbing the past, unearthing musty old franchises to cash in on whatever residual name recognition can be extracted from their withering bones. But Scream is a property that has little, if any, familiarity to MTV’s tween target audience, many of whom (like some members of this show’s cast) were yet to be born when ol’ Ghostface went on his first rampage. If Scream were to be dusted off for a cinematic reboot, it would be difficult to feign surprise (other than that there remained any interest in something like that so soon after 2011’s Scream 4 came and went unnoticed), but a television series served up to an audience who wouldn’t know Gale Weathers if she backed over them with her news van seems peculiar. Perhaps MTV felt emboldened from successfully repackaging the even mustier Teen Wolf to its viewers.

Then there’s also the fact that Scream, as we know it, doesn’t really make sense as a TV show on any network, something this series actually acknowledges, much in the way that a fat kid makes fat jokes about himself before the other kids can do it. One of its characters, film and serial-killer aficionado Noah Foster (John Karna, the show’s wholly inadequate stand-in for Jamie Kennedy) points out how a slasher movie would not make sense as a television series, given that they’re all about buildup and quick release, where the serialized format requires a slower, more methodical approach. But openly acknowledging this, in the customary snake-eating-its-tail Scream house style, doesn’t neutralize the fact that Noah is absolutely correct. This franchise has always structured itself as a hall of mirrors, commenting on the tropes of the horror genre while both subverting and embodying them. Porting Scream’s signature meta approach over to TV doesn’t work in that same way because the horror niche that Scream represents simply doesn’t exist on TV. The show tries to point to The Walking Dead, Hannibal and American Horror Story in an attempt to create a larger horror context for itself in the current television landscape, but ignores that none of those shows have a single thing in common with each other, and even less in common with Scream.


Scream, the TV series, having immediately painted itself into a referential corner, is left attempting to ape Scream, the movie, which, again, the bulk of its audience has likely never seen. It opens with an extended sequence consciously designed to mimic the iconic Drew Barrymore opener of the film, with mean girl Nina Patterson (Bella Thorne) stalked and ominously texted around her palatial home by a masked assailant. This sequence immediately sets the stage for how wrongheaded this series is right out of the gate. There is little of the mounting dread the sequence’s cinematic counterpart had, no taunting, no “what’s your favorite scary movie?” interrogation, none of what made that scene so memorable. And since Nina has already been established as awful - she instigated the outing of a classmate by circulating a secret make-out video via social media, an element the series shares with the recent Unfriended and perhaps the only relevant new idea in this pilot episode - she has precisely none of the regular-girl affability afforded to Barrymore. When she is hacked to pieces, it’s hard to feel anything about it.

The series exists in the aftermath of this event, with the student body left shaken. Emma Duvall (Willa Fitzgerald) is our Neve Campbell here, positioned as the angelic protagonist. She is dating Will Belmont (Connor Weil), a secretive sort prone to blaming a dead cell-phone battery for his unavailability, and her entire circle of friends was tangentially involved in Nina’s viral outing of Audrey Jensen (Bex Taylor-Klaus), who once was Emma’s close friend. While the entire group converges for a wake (read: excuse for a party) for Nina, it begins to become clear that motives are not in short supply, and as original Scream nerd Randy Meeks once suggested, everyone’s a suspect.

The series also creates a backstory for its town of Lakewood, where some twenty years earlier, a deformed student named Brandon James once harbored an unrequited crush on a local girl, leading him to embark on a killing spree before being shot dead in the lake by the locals. This event still looms large over the Lakewood populace, and the onslaught of a new bloodbath reopens old wounds, particularly for the subject of that deadly crush, Maggie Duvall (Tracy Middendorf), who grew up to be the mother of Emma and who is now receiving gifts of removed animal hearts delivered to her doorstep. This story element, which evokes both Friday the 13th (deformed young boy dies in a lake) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (murdered killer strikes back from beyond the grave) without commenting on those cinematic links directly, as is Scream’s wont, is especially odd considering it calls to mind I Know What You Did Last Summer (also written by Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson and released in Scream’s wake) more than it does Scream. It also threatens to add a potential supernatural bent to the proceedings (Noah, the victim of a mid-party hazing, claims something in the lake grabbed him from beneath to pull him down), something Scream, the film series, never attempted.


Perhaps the greatest headscratcher of this series is why it opted not to connect to the film series more directly. With the series taking place in the shadow of a twenty-year-old murder spree, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have had that historical event be the 1996 Woodsboro killings from the original Scream rather than conjuring up this Brandon James nonsense out of whole cloth? That would have immediately provided a fitting context for the series to exist within, and connected it to something it could draw from, as opposed to the series operating as an island with essentially nothing to sustain it. The unwillingness to embrace proper Scream iconography extends to the killer’s mask, which evokes the design of the original mask in a muted, far more prosaic way rather than simply reusing that mask. What, are the producers concerned that seeing such a renowned Scream image will detract from the experience of watching a Scream TV show?

These decisions to veer away from Scream and its hallmarks might have been commendable had the series concocted something unique and original in place of what it leaves on the table, but there is no evidence that this is the case in the pilot episode. The series evokes Scream with certain characters and scenes, but with all the blood leeched from it. Williamson’s script for the original film was vibrant and witty, crafting colorful characters and clever dialogue while still functioning as an effective horror film. This series does none of this, offering up a collection of bland, pretty faces reciting flat, terrible dialogue, with none of the artistry that director Wes Craven brought to the scenes where the characters were imperiled. It’s like a peek into an alternate universe where Scream actually was the sort disposable trash that it ingeniously thumbed its nose at and rose above. Go ahead and butcher this show, Mr. Ghostface. What good is it?

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



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TV Review: True Detective "Night Finds You"

Show still crawling along but ends with a bang.

Review by Brandon Wolfe

True Detective’s second season continues to plod along without generating much urgency or excitement. Now that the team of detectives have come together to investigate the brutal murder of city official Ben Caspere, we are starting to get more formally acclimated with this bunch of mopes, and the ways in which each of them is uniquely broken fails to make any of them compelling. If there is a common thread uniting all of the core characters, beyond a shared hatred of smiling, it’s how the wounds of the past fail to ever heal with time.

“Night Finds You” opens with a long monologue delivered by Vince Vaughn’s upwardly mobile Mr. Big, Frank Semyon, as he relays to his wife a tale of how he was once locked in a basement by his drunken bastard of a father, who then subsequently forgot about his son’s confinement for several days, leaving young Frank trapped in the dark, nibbled upon by hungry rats, one of which he pounded into pulp. Frank confesses that he still sometimes wonders whether or not he ever got out of that basement. And while Frank is a criminal, and thus is expected to have a less-than-rosy childhood, the cops circling the Caspere case don’t seem to have had it much better. Velcoro, the most outwardly unstable of the lot, was effectively broken by his wife’s rape, years earlier, and now views his son as the lone bright spot in his tumultuous life. Yet Velcoro’s violent tendencies have led his now-ex-wife to seek sole custody of the boy. Meanwhile, Bezzerides admits that of the five children who were raised by her hippie-guru father, she’s the only one that neither killed herself nor has run-ins with the law (she also apparently has a predilection for Internet porn, which the show seems to view as more troubling and ominous than it really should in this day and age). And CHP officer Woodrugh? He is prone to homophobic slurs while spending his nights peering in on gay escorts, cruelly severs ties with his neglected girlfriend rather than open up to her, has a queasily close relationship with his trailer-trash mom, and is, at least to some extent, suicidal.


So we have a collection of characters here that are deeply screwed up. That’s fine. Rust and Marty were screwed up as well. But the problem here is that these characters are defined by their damage and internal torment in ways that our previous true detectives weren’t. What is Velcoro to us beyond a self-loathing drunk? What has been established about Woodrugh beyond his laundry list of personal issues? And if you take away Bezzerides’ peculiar family issues, what’s left besides cold stares and an E-cig? Season 2 is piling on baggage as high as it can stack it, but to the point where there exists little else about any of these people beyond their personal demons. Rust and Marty had their problems, but they also had personalities and points of view that established them as more than simply troubled.

It’s tempting to write solely about Season 2 through the lens of how much stronger Season 1 was by this point, an impulse that should be quelled as much as possible, but the humorlessness of this second go-round is stifling. People may remember Season 1 for the antler-adorned corpses and assiduous Yellow King dread, but the partnership of Rust and Marty also bore a great deal of genuinely funny humor fueled by the stark contrast in the personalities and philosophies of its two mismatched protagonists. Compare that to the nonexistent chemistry between Velcoro and Bezzerides as they drive around gathering intel on Caspere from a variety of sources. There’s no friction, no head-butting, no humor (apart from a weak joke from Velcoro about what Bezzerides’ vaping looks like), just a low hum of mutual distrust. Season 2’s unwillingness to really knock its characters up against each other is creating a great deal of dead air.


But then, in its final scene, True Detective finally sparks the audience out of somnambulance, as Velcoro follows up a lead fed to him by Semyon about a secret secondary residence kept by Caspere. There, Velcoro is quickly accosted by a mysterious assailant, who unloads two shotgun blasts into the detective at close range. The moment is shocking, seemingly snuffing out this principal character to throw the audience off-guard, much like Psycho did with Janet Leigh all those years ago. And even though it’s easy to speculate that Velcoro was actually shot with buckshot and survives this attack, the implications of Season 2 potentially going on without him are intriguing. For starters, it would thin the herd a bit, tightening the focus on the surviving two detectives, while also thrusting Bezzerides into the spotlight, something from which this infamously male-centric show could benefit.

Whatever the case, this turn of events has given True Detective’s sophomore year its first nudge out of the slump in which it has been ceaselessly residing. If the characters are going to continue to be stiffs, at least the storytelling still has potential to jolt to life.


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


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Win Tickets To A Screening For #TheImpressionists In PHOENIX

Win ticket to see The Impressionists on July 14th In PHOENIX.

They are the world’s most popular artists. The works of Cezanne, Monet, Degas and their compatriots fetch tens of millions of dollars. But just who were they really? Why and how did they paint? What lies behind their enduring appeal?



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To help answer these questions, the film has secured unique access to a major new exhibition focusing on the 19th century Parisian art collector Paul Durand-Ruel, the outspoken champion of Impressionism. This eagerly anticipated exhibition is perhaps the most comprehensive ever held about the Impressionists. Duran-Ruel’s brave decision to exhibit the Impressionists in New York in 1886 introduced enlightened, wealthy Americans to modern French painting. In doing so, he ot only filled great American galleries with Impressionist masterworks, but also kept Impressionism alive at a time when it faced complete failure. This energetic and revealing film will tell his remarkable story along with that of the Impressionists themselves.

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