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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See #THEEDGEOFSEVENTEEN In Peoria

Enter for a chance to see THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN on November 9 at 7:00 PM in Peoria.

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN is a new coming-of-age movie in the vein of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club – an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it’s like to grow up as a young woman in today’s modern world.

Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson)

See how to enter after the Jump...

All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.

The film also stars Kyra Sedgwick as Nadine’s well-meaning but completely ineffective mother, and Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s History teacher, mentor and reluctant sounding board.

The Edge of Seventeen marks the feature directorial debut of writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig, and is produced by Academy Award® winner James L. Brooks – the filmmaker behind big-screen, character-driven classics such as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, Big, Say Anything, The Simpsons, Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.


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WEBSITE: http://stxent.co/EdgeOf17
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Release Date: November 18, 2016

No purchase necessary


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 your belongings and person 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. Unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Movie Review: #DrStrange

Doctor Strange is a trippy, fantastical voyage that also has something to say.

Review by Matt Cummings

If the idea of yet another superhero comicbook-inspired throwdown has you wishing for more, your prayers are about to be answered: Doctor Strange is a wild mind-trip that actually has something to say about the future of this film universe without bashing you over the head with a hammer or a giant green fist.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon, able to save the next damaged human but also ready to boast about it. When he's involved in a savage car crash that leaves his hands permanently wrecked (and his job prospects a total zero), Strange spends his fortune looking for a traditional cure. Journeying to the east, he meets Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who introduces him to The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), a powerful sorceress who employs truly magical means to correct people's ailments. Strange is unconvinced, until The Ancient One sends him on a trip across space and even dimensions, forcing him to realize that his mission as a doctor was merely preparation for something bigger. Strange soon learns that the greatest threat to the Earth comes from the former student Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who seeks to break a spell protecting the planet from forces beyond imagination. As Strange, Mordo, and The Ancient One battle Kaecilius, loyalties and even time itself will be tested, while a Sorcerer Supreme will rise from the ashes of his former self.

While the first 15 minutes of Doctor Strange are going to seem bland and even a bit familiar to audiences (think Iron Man and Thor), it's gratefully a far different experience once Strange learns of the astral plane and other dimensions. No, let me rephrase that: it's a mind-fuck, a visual spectacle unequaled in its grandeur this year. Director Scott Derrickson - who expertly helmed Sinister - laces our bong with a heavy dose of competence, giving us time to enjoy his strange visual machinations, including Strange's initial trip through those same planes of existence. Derrickson also bends the reality of New York in a way we haven't seen since Inception, which is actually done quite well. Fight sequences take place on vacillating building facades and on a kaleidoscope of mirror dimensions that our cast does a good job of making look as real as CGI can.

It's fair to admit that the cast for Doctor Strange is perhaps one of the best to star in a Marvel origin flick, although some might think that some of their talents are wasted. Cumberbatch is Strange, both in his flippant (perhaps even Sherlock-ian) manner, but it's unclear why Derrickson and Marvel forced an American accent on him. Still, he's terrific and utters several comedic lines with perfect suavity. Ejiofor, McAdams, and Wong are serviceable if ultimately disposable, only because Strange doesn't given them enough time to shadow in their characters. But Swinton makes out the best here, giving life to The Ancient One in a way I hadn't expected from reading the comics. She's both teacher and keeper of some dark secrets that force one student to abandon Strange and provide a potential villain (again, let's hope!) for the sequel.

Moreover, Doctor Strange has something to say: this universe is not just filled with Earth-bound, spandex-wearing heroes in bright colors, but that other dimensions exist, filled with individuals that plan to cause our planet significant troubles going forward. And that pain won't just come through might, but through honest, genuine magic: whoever wields it better will win the day. We've seen a similar message from Thor to Guardians of the Galaxy, but with Doctor Strange it's like a whole basement has existed under our feet that we accidentally discover after falling into a well (hold on, that sounds familiar). If Marvel Studios wants to survive post-Infinity War, it needed to boldly expand itself, which Strange does so effectively.

But, Doctor Strange doesn't fully implement its own plan, suffering from a couple of problems that are never fully resolved. We never get a sense for how long Strange's journey to enlightenment actually takes, nor do we understand why he was chosen by the Ancient One. There's a suggestion that he was recruited, but again the reasoning isn't clear at all. Was he destined to supplant The Ancient One, or a bystander who comes along at the right time? And why is his magic so hard to come by for so long, before it suddenly doesn't? Doctor Strange could have actually used another 10 minutes to properly explain these, and it would have been a far better film. It would have also been more interesting had Strange's crippling accident been part of a larger plan by The Ancient One to bring Stange into the fold. I was waiting for that bit of conspiracy and was a little bummed when it never materialized.

The one thing that isn't lacking are substantive bad guys. Mikkelsen is creepy and motivated to cause chaos (which is actually explained), while his boss (which we'll hold off on sharing their identity) is true evil and probably should go bowling with Thanos. Kaecilis and his bossman's motivations are clear: immortality, the Earth, and even The Infinity Stones. And yes, we do get another Stone reveal, which should satisfy comicheads (at least it did to this one). Doctor Strange Stick around for two end credits scenes, both of which do much to establish future films (and possibly a Strange sequel?). With perhaps its boldest film yet, Marvel is dealing big cards in Phase 3, but its unclear whether casual audiences are ready for this kind of expansion to the MCU. Even though I found its time trippiness immensely rewarding.

Doctor Strange sends an unequivocal message to both the MCU faithful and casual audiences: get ready for something big. And although it suffers from a shorter runtime - which I hope a Director's Cut will solve - it still manages to blow your mind with incredible effects that deserve every bit of your IMAX/XD/RPX 3D money. Performances are solid and a couple of cameos are some of the best we've seen. Let's just hope audiences adhere to the warnings of not seeing this under the influence, for its spectacle might be overwhelming in parts.

Doctor Strange is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence and has a runtime of 115 minutes.

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Soundtrack Review: 'Supergirl Season 1'

Although Season 1 may not be great, Supergirl: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack is up, up and away.

Review by Matt Cummings

When CBS announced in 2015 that they would enter the superhero television party and produce Supergirl, audiences were concerned whether a network known for attracting older procedural audiences would actually know what to do with it. More specifically, would they screw it up and totally miss the central themes behind the character? Sadly, the answer was yes, as most audiences backed away by the end of its first season. CW, smartly realizing what it could do with a slightly-damaged product, brought it onboard (a small matter since CBS owns CW) and the early result sees a vastly improved Season 2. One thing that was never in doubt was Composer Blake Neely's Season 1 score, which - like its titular hero - flies to new and different heights, establishing itself as an √úbermacht incarnate.

When the Kryptonian Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) escapes the destruction of her planet, she's raised by a kind American family and taught to hide her powers. But when her foster sister Alex is nearly killed in a mishap in National City, Kara saves the plane but still refuses to don the cape. During the day, she works for media mogul Cat Grant, but soon Kara realizes she can no longer live a sheltered life, when the head of a super-secret agency recruits her and The Martian Manhunter to protect the city's citizens from metahuman threats. Although she eventually accepts her family's legacy, Supergirl must juggle various human relationships on her way to becoming the planet's savior, alongside her older cousin Superman.

Supergirl is a very different score for Composer Neely, sounding more like Rachel Portman's Cider House Rules in parts than his Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow offerings. And that's refreshing. There's piano, flute, and oboe pairings that work very well for the subject matter, adding a lighter touch to what was usually unwatchable teenage angst. It made those moments go down a lot better, and I give Neely a lot of credit for taking such a different path from his other shows. Those also offer some really great moments, but they would not have worked with the brighter, cheerier world of National City. I honestly wouldn't have guessed that Neely was responsible here, because the sound is so different.

But anyone worrying that you might get shafted of hero pieces will want to hear A Hero Emerges, Fighting Vartox and Under Attack, which are given a chance to spread their wings. Much like the final track Theme from Supergirl, there's plenty of big moments that allow you to imagine Manhunter and Supergirl battling against Producer Greg Berlanti's expanding metahuman universe. Even a track like Strange Visitors from Other Planets kicks a serious amount of hero butt, as does Alex Brings Kara Back. But there's also some genuinely tender music throughout as well, such as How Does She Do It?, which I found myself revisiting only because it's far too short (1:48). Harnessing Anger might sound like it should be more authoritative, but it too is a powerful orchestrated ballad that works very well next to Do It?

Based on my other reviews of his recent Arrow and Legends scores (which you can read HERE and HERE), it's easy to see just how much Neely has grown as a composer. He not only clearly understands these characters but finds new and innovative ways to orchestrate them. He's expressed in interviews the desire to give Supergirl her own voice, and that's exactly what he's done. I don't think he could have done that when CW took a bold move to produce Arrow after such a productive run of Smallville. Much like the network that employs him, Neely is boldly pushing new frontiers and the effect is pure joy.

It's great to see Neely branch out to make Supergirl: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack such a refreshing score. His efforts here are definitely worth your time and hard-earned cash, and you might even find yourself flying high as you travel with Kara into a far-better Season 2. Let's hope Berlanti's brilliant introduction of Superman gives Neely some additional avenues to explore, as I'm very impressed with this freshman effort.

Supergirl: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack is now available on CD and digital download.

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

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Soundtrack Review: 'Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1'

Like the series, Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack sets a course for superhero time-traveling kick ass.

Review by Matt Cummings

CW's superhero shows have become a M-TH staple in my DVR. Whether it's the speed and quick wit of The Flash, the gritty Star City vigilantes of Arrow, or the newest arrival of Supergirl, CW has hit creative gold by assembling this team. Perhaps at the top of these was the surprise hit DC's Legends of Tomorrow, a time-traveling epic featuring several characters culled from Arrow and The Flash. The completely original series from Producer Greg Berlanti sported impressive special effects, more witty banter than three people can stand, and of course a solidly entertaining score from Composer Blake Neely. The bold and unapologetic Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack arrives full of superhero kick ass and ready to take the throne as Neely's best so far.

The time-traveling Captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) has witnessed the end of humanity thanks to a horrific final assault of London during 2166 by the immortal madman Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). In an attempt to save his future from Savage, Hunter has assembled an unlikely team of 2016 metahumans including the criminals Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Atom (Brandon Routh), the resurrected White Canary (Caity Lotz), and the duo Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh). But this team isn't exactly prepared to work together, nor are they qualified to be true guardians of history. As Hunter takes them on a time-traveling chase to hunt down Savage, they'll all learn just how dark and sinister Savage's plan is, as well as who's responsible for his seemingly innate ability to escape the capture of The Legends. The results will threaten their lives and even time itself.

Featuring a mammoth 27-song tracklist by La-La Land Records, Legends is a glorious and over-the-top auditory escape. Composer Neely - who's given us distinct themes for each of CW's shows - puts together the most impressive collection of television music he's done yet. It's not that he's doing anything particularly new or cutting edge: he's still using synths for most of this, and his movements sound a lot like his other CW work, but his bombasity breathes a life into Legends that's usually missing from Arrow. Maybe it's the larger nature of this universe, one in which gritty street vigilantes might get run over by time-traveling wizards and 50' assassin robots. Either way, tracks like At the Oculus / Cold Hard Sacrifice are wildly entertaining and give the show a unique voice that few shows can muster.

Take a track like Savage Meteoritual Fight: it has all the elements we're accustomed to by Neely and yet it's also distinctly new territory for him, featuring odd trombone escalations and chants around 1:10. He comes back down to more familiar ground soon after, but these bold chances elevate the track significantly. Another - Martin Sends Jefferson Away - is a beautiful and epic piece that oozes team sacrifice as a Legend is send back to 2016 to save his team from certain destruction. Sacrificial Trip to the Sun would have no place in the Arrow soundscape, but here it's pitch-perfect. By the time we get to the final track Who’s Up for More?, we're ready for the next adventure.

Even The Magnificent Eight - which celebrates The Legends' travels to The Old West - is fabulously cheesy. It's one of the best episodes as well, featuring the undeniable Jonah Hex, and Neely's use of chimes and Spaghetti Western styling is equally memorable. But that's Track 17, which is usually reserved for filler as we march to a grand conclusion. Not here: Eight stands as impressive as the rest, including the first three tracks London 2166 / Set a Course, You Are Legends, and Boarding the Waverider / Back in Time. Each of these sets the mood for what we're about to experience, which could be the best television soundtrack of the year. That SuperHero playlist I mentioned in my Arrow: Season 4 review is about to get a lot bigger.

Simply put, Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack is perhaps the best television score of 2016. Filled with a bombastic tone and monumentally-epic DNA, Neely has crafted an impressive array of music . It's going to be difficult deciding which tracks to add my SuperHero playlist, because most if not all are fabulously rewarding. And with the promise that Season 2 promising to blow open CW's comic book world, it's my hope that Neely's music will also rise to the occasion.

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1 Original Television Soundtrack is now available on CD and digital download.

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

  © Site Graphics by Randy Jennings by http://www.artfreelancer.com/ 2009

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