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Apple's “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me" to Premiere on November 4th

#GameOfThrones Season 6 Red Band Trailer

We're facing a slightly longer wait for new Game Of Thrones this year  but the series returns in late April with its six season. And to give you a taste, here's a red band trailer to tease and taunt you. As the narrative forges on in unexpected ways, pushing ahead of George R.R. Martin's books, we're all in unexplored territory, and readers are almost as much in the dark as viewers who have only seen the show. From the looks of this, Kit Harington's Jon Snow still appears to be very much among the dead, but it's not exactly a picnic for any of the characters. And what else can we expect? Well, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) appear ready to exact some vengeance on those who have wronged them, and are facing down the Faith Militant. Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has been continuing to lean the ways of the warg, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is in another tricky situation, and without her dragons to hand (though they are still arou

HBO Finally Making Deadwood Movie

HBO swears they’re bringing back Swearingen. By Brandon Wolfe Since its premature cancellation in 2006, Deadwood has always been the one major HBO show that got away. The Sopranos , The Wire and Six Feet Under all got to come to their natural ending points, but Deadwood was cruelly cut short, and seemed for a decade to be fated to remain that way. But sometimes our age of constant franchise resuscitation pays off because HBO is indeed finally committed to reviving the cult-fave Western. Programming president Michael Lombardo has confirmed that he has given series creator David Milch the go-ahead to make a movie that continues the story of Al Swearingen (Ian McShane) and the rest of the denizens of that muddy little South Dakota outpost. “David has our commitment that we are going to do it,” says Lombardo. “He pitched what he thought generally the storyline would be — and knowing David, that could change. But it’s going to happen.” Lombardo says that, while Milch has anothe

#Watchmen TV Series Heading To HBO

Variety is reporting HBO is in early talks with Zack Snyder to develop a “ Watchmen ” television series, based on the superhero comic book series from DC Comics, Variety has confirmed with the network. Snyder directed the 2009 film adaptation of “Watchmen.” “Preliminary discussions regarding ‘Watchmen’ have occurred but we have no additional information and no deals are in place,” HBO said in a statement Thursday. Warner Bros., which owns DC Entertainment, declined to comment, though insiders confirm the studio would be involved in the potential project. Other than Snyder meeting with the premium cabler to discuss adapting the DC property for TV, any storyline details are being kept under wraps, and no writer or other auspices have been attached. There’s currently no word on whether the series would be a prequel, sequel or new take on “Watchmen.” Should the project (first reported by Collider ) continue, HBO’s “Watchmen” would mark Snyder’s first big foray into television

Op-Ed: A Letter to the #SesameStreet / #HBO Deal

We send an impassioned plea to HBO as Sesame Street leaves PBS. Story by Matt Cummings Dear HBO: Please don't screw up Sesame Street . It's a simple request, but one that's essential to keeping the center of our national culture alive. I am a product of Sesame Street , as are many of my friends. We all remember the insanity of Ernie and Bert, the musical numbers educating us about crossing the street, the dangers of driving the wrong way, and the relationships formed between felt characters and humans living on a street just over the bend. Kermit the Frog, Grover, Count von Count and a dozen others are more iconic than any sports franchise and more beloved than any comedy, their simple values of love and friendship leaving an enduring mark on how we raise our children. The show has helped to form the basis of America's television culture, going so far as to connect children to big concepts like the death (Mr. Hooper) as well as Big Bird's f

#SesameStreet Is Headed To HBO

According to Variety   “ Sesame Street ,” is headed to HBO . The Time Warner pay-cable service said it would license the next five seasons of the venerable program, which has taught preschoolers for decades about numbers, letters, emotional development and the joys of a rubber ducky. The series has become a mainstay of the American cultural experience, and has often served as one of the first pieces of video entertainment experienced by the nation’s tykes. New episodes will begin airing on HBO as early as late fall. And there will be more of them: HBO will air twice as many “Sesame” episodes in a season than has been the recent norm, lifting the number produced to 35. “Sesame Street” will still appear on PBS, which will has aired the program since 1969. But new episodes will first appear on HBO, and then be provided to PBS after nine months. It was disclosed yesterday that PBS would run only half-hour episodes of “Sesame Street” in the fall, as opposed to a full hour – which

TV Review: True Detective “Church in Ruins”

A few sparks can’t save a show in ruins. Review by Brandon Wolfe This far into its second season, it’s now a foregone conclusion that True Detective has forfeited its status as one of contemporary television’s great shows. The remaining two episodes would have to each count themselves among the greatest hours ever broadcast to redeem the sheer amount of inertia and waste we’ve trudged through thus far. No, all True Detective can hope for at this late stage are moments, fleeting shards of promise emanating out of the abyss of tedium. “Church in Ruins,” it must be said, has at least a few such moments. By this season’s standards, that almost looks like a triumph. The first moment comes early on, as Velcoro and Semyon sit across a kitchen table from one another, guns in their hands just underneath, and have a tense discussion about the man Semyon once handed Velcoro for the price of the former cop’s loyalty and soul. Velcoro now knows that this man was not actually responsible for

TV Review: True Detective "Other Lives"

Someone solve the case of this show's missing pulse. Review by Brandon Wolfe At what point will it be officially appropriate to throw our hands in the air and declare True Detective a lost cause? The show’s second season only has three episodes left and I’m still waiting for it to begin. At this point in Season 1, the show was actually starting to wind down a bit from a series of consecutive highs, but with the current season, we remain stuck in this monotonous, low murmur. Maybe lightning can’t be captured twice, but True Detective isn’t even catching a spark this time. Even deploying the time jump, the de rigueur shakeup move in TV these days (one that the show’s initial season, in particular, benefitted tremendously from), doesn’t help matters. It’s now two months after the previous episode’s climactic firefight, an adequately staged yet curiously non-riveting attempt to elicit some of the thrills of Rust trying to extricate himself and an informant from an urban warzone

TV Review: True Detective “Maybe Tomorrow”

It’s time for this season to stop being a flat circle. Review by Brandon Wolfe It would seem that rumors of Ray Velcoro’s death were greatly exaggerated, which is something the Internet tends to do. The truly rumpled detective, it turns out, was blasted twice at close range with “rubber buckshot,” leaving him with light bruising and some cracked ribs, but otherwise no worse for wear. This is, of course, patently ridiculous. Whatever the form of ammunition, the blasts we saw Velcoro absorb would have almost certainly been fatal, or at the very least would have resulted in devastating bodily injury. Also, if the mysterious parties who killed Ben Caspere, among others, were as ruthless as we’ve been led to think, then why would they cut Velcoro a break like that? The net result of his shooting stands as a really cheap cliffhanger ending and a crushing blow to the show’s own internal logic. For what is thought of as a high-caliber prestige show – or what was once thought of in those ter

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 h

TV Review: True Detective “The Western Book of the Dead”

The series is back, but without all its key ingredients. Review by Brandon Wolfe Anthology series seem to work at cross purposes with the modern appeal of television. For bygone shows like The Twilight Zone , the format made perfect sense on an episodic basis, allowing for the telling of a different mindbending tale each week, but for most viewers today, TV characters are seen as buddies to spend a few years checking in on, to watch grow and evolve. We become attached to these fictional people and enjoy spending 30-60 minutes of our week in their company. Their lives become extensions of our own. It’s one of the unique traits of television over films and books, that experience of observing characters on a weekly basis over an extended period of time. The anthology format is antithetical to this. By reshuffling the deck, that sense of intimacy and familiarity is lost. This is the approach that HBO’s True Detective has opted to take in its second season. Gone are detectives Rust Co

Movie Review: Entourage

HBO bros hug it out on the big screen. Review by Brandon Wolfe Sometimes television shows are cut down too soon and are reborn as feature films to fill the hole left in the hearts of the fans and the creators. So great is the sense of premature loss, the feeling that the characters never got to achieve their full potential, that, through sheer tyranny of will, a final act manages to materialize, however improbably. Firefly and Veronica Mars were shows like this. Entourage was not. It was a show that profoundly lacked any true sense of purpose after its second season, yet continued onward for an additional six anyway. There were no untapped reservoirs to explore in any of its single-note characters, no daring storylines it had the slightest interest in tackling. Entourage , unusual for a premium cable series, was a rudderless hangout show, happy to keep the party going for as long as its parent network was willing to foot the bill. Now Entourage is a movie, not because it has a

HBO Is Setting Records...

...Though, Not The Kind They Want By David Clark HBO has set back-to-back records with the latest Game of Thrones episodes. As one of the most popular shows on television it is no surprise to hear records are falling, unfortunately these particular records are quite concerning. Two weeks in a row HBO’s hit show managed to break piracy records. Over the course of 24 hours from the original air date episode five saw 3.22 million copies of the show pirated and episode six broke that record one week later with a reported 3.5 million acts of piracy. The numbers are astounding. HBO has always taken a somewhat quiet stance on piracy but these numbers are likely hitting someone’s radar. It should be noted the numbers are tracked and reported by Excipio and it does not include streamed piracy. The 3.22 and 3.5 million acts of piracy listed only pertain to actual downloads of the episodes. The numbers would be considerably higher if streamed piracy were to be included. A

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 pro

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

#TRUEDETECTIVE Season 2 Character Posters

Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch glaring, throwing punches and engaging in shoving matches. Matthew McConaughey’s Rust Cohle is nowhere to be seen, regrettably. See all the posters after the Jump... True Detective's new season as Sunday, June 21 Please Leave A Comment-

TV Review: Tales of the Grim Sleeper

True-crime documentary takes a hard look at race issues. Review by Brandon Wolfe A series of murders – at least ten, but possibly as many as 100 – took place in South Central Los Angeles between 1985 and 2007. All were women, many of them prostitutes. In 2010, police arrested a man named Lonnie Franklin for the crimes. Franklin, whom many of his friends and neighbors considered pleasant and nonthreatening, if a little sexually quirky, is presently in jail awaiting trial. Noted documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield examines the case in HBO’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper , but the film doesn’t take the tack one might assume. Broomfield isn’t overly interested in the sordid details of Franklin’s alleged crimes. Those do come up, unavoidably, but they aren’t the aspect of the case that Broomfield is most captivated by. Denied access to police personnel for interviews, Broomfield takes to the streets to speak to the denizens of Franklin’s neighborhood, talking to people who knew him a

True Detective Season 2 Teaser Debuts

HBO’s noir series returns June 21. By Brandon Wolfe The teaser for Season 2 of HBO’s True Detective has dropped and is suitably intense and serious-looking. The wordless, minute-long teaser doesn’t provide any hints of plot, just glimpses of new cast members Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch glaring, throwing punches and engaging in shoving matches. Matthew McConaughey’s Rust Cohle is nowhere to be seen, regrettably. The teaser also reveals the premiere date of True Detective 's new season as Sunday, June 21, far earlier than had been previous anticipated. Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook . On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms , and follow author Brandon Wolfe at @BrandonTheWolfe .

David Fincher To Direct "Utopia" For HBO

Out and about plugging his latest film, Gone Girl , David Fincher has also been talking up his plans – announced earlier this year – to produce an adaptation of Channel 4’s conspiracy series Utopia . He’ll be even more involved than we thought, as he’s aiming to direct all the episodes of the HBO version’s first season. Utopia , in case you didn’t see the Channel 4 original, set things in motion with the discovery of a manuscript for a legendary graphic novel known as The Utopia Experiments , long shrouded in mystery. When a small group of previously unconnected people unite in their shared interest, things take a much darker turn. Because they are by no means the only ones interested in the manuscript. Targeted swiftly and relentlessly by a murderous organisation known as The Network, the terrified group are left with only one option if they want to survive: they have to run. “I like the characters – I love Dennis Kelly’s honesty and affinity for the nerds,” Fincher tells Th

TV Review: The Leftovers "The Prodigal Son Returns"

TV Review: The Leftovers "The Prodigal Son Returns" By: Brandon Wolfe From the start, ‘ The Leftovers ’ has struggled with trying to figure out just what it wants to be. Though the series was sold on a humdinger of a premise – 2% of the world’s population vanishes inexplicably into thin air – the meat of the show has dealt with the small town of Mapleton and its mopey, grief-riddled denizens. That tug-of-war between that tantalizingly fantastic high concept and the low-stakes misery of its characters, with the misery handily winning out, has led to an inert, relentlessly unenjoyable viewing experience. The series could just as easily be about the aftermath of a mass shooting or a pipeline explosion to the same effect. It’s a series about sadness and loss, and little else. Its faux-profundity and all-thumbs approach to symbolism do little to assist with the fact that ‘The Leftovers’ is a vehicle running on the wispiest of fumes. In the immediate aftermath of Patti’s sp