For seven seasons, Pretty Little Liars has been a mainstay of the Freeform (formerly ABC Family) lineup. Over the course of its 150+ episodes, it’s provided plenty of shocking moments as the storyline’s taken numerous turns. If you find yourself needing a scorecard to keep track of all the plot twists, you’re not alone. Even one of the show’s stars, Lucy Hale, has had trouble keeping up with all of the changes! (Click on the media bar below to hear Lucy Hale)

Pretty Little Liars will air its series finale on June 27; you can catch the remaining episodes Tuesday nights at 8/7c on Freeform.

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95432056

Blake Lively uncovered (and hid) her share of secrets on the CW series Gossip Girl, and now she’s executive producing and starring in The Husband’s Secret. The thriller, based on the best selling novel by Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies), is also being produced by filmmakers Chris and Paul Weitz (via their production company Depth of Field).

The story centers on Cecilia Fitzpatrick (Lively), a perfectionist wife and mother who discovers a devastating secret that her husband has hid from her for years.

Liane Moriarty has established herself as one of the defining voices of the modern woman and Blake Lively’s unique combination of vulnerability, strength and extraordinary talent makes her the perfect actress to realize Moriarty’s creation,” said CBS Films president Terry Press.

Lively’s previous film credits include The Town, The Age of Adaline, and The Shallows.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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96soulsThe new feature 96 Souls centers on Jack Sutree (Grinnell Morris) who is able to visualize the fragrances from various substances. It’s a weird “superpower” to have (Suttree attains the skill after a lab accident), and it’s put to the test after a chance encounter with a homeless musician (Toyin Moses) who’s in search of her mother.

Though the movie’s premise of seeing smells and fragrances is fantastical, writer-director Stanley Jacobs grounded much of his story in reality. “With every thing that happened, I tried to have some type of scientific basis. Even though (96 Souls has) sci-fi (elements), there was some type of relationship to science so it’s not too inconceivable,” said Jacobs. “That was one of the reasons I took a classic approach to shooting the film. There’s not a lot of handheld shots - we wanted to create a real world so this maybe this stuff could be somewhat believable and pull viewers into the film a little more.”

Shooting an indie film has its share of challenges, and Jacobs upped the difficulty level by shooting 96 Souls all throughout Los Angeles (he had 20 locations in a 23 day shoot) to give his project visual breadth. Having tons of set-ups with little time, however, doesn’t compare with finding a suitable home for his movie.

“I had made to go with the distributor (Gravitas Ventures) that I went with because they’re an aggregator and they had instant access to a lot of places and I really want the film to be seen,” said Jacobs, whose love for movies began at an early age after watching Journey to the Center of the Earth and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. “But the big challenge on a film like this without a big name in it or a subject matter doesn’t set the world on fire, is it’s working against you because everyone is looking for a name to exploit and that hot topic. That’s where all the eyes are with the festivals and the distributors. I understand that, to some extent, because it makes their marketing easier. When you have something that’s different from the norm, and it’s original and has unknowns, that’s a much more difficult thing to market.”

Jacobs knows that his passion for cinema doesn’t mean a 100% fidelity to shooting on film. He shot 96 Souls on the RED DRAGON camera and was more than happy with the result. “As much as I love film, and I’m the first one to love the look of film, you’re life is much better with digital,”said Jacobs who also helmed the documentary Pitch People. “Things are much easier plus you can get a film look with it - I don’t care what anyone says. Almost every digital film that comes out now has incredible mastery to it as long as the people in charge have that eye and they use the right tools. There’s so many more things you can do (with filmmaking).

96 Souls opens in select theaters today and will be available on VOD and all other digital platforms on May 30.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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From his very first appearance, in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, to the present day, Johnny Depp has made a career of playing enigmatic characters. Perhaps that’s why he still has a career. He rarely plays the same character twice (Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow being the notable exception), which helps him steer clear of wearing out his welcome with his fans. He realizes how important that is, since he knows he would have no career without them. (Click on the media bar below to hear Johnny Depp)

Depp’s latest Pirates adventure, Dead Men Tell No Tales, is in theaters now.

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When you think of Adam Sandler, what comes to mind? If you said “his serious movies,” you might want to get your head examined. After all, he made his name as a comedian, and all of his most successful movies have been comedies. He has tried to stretch himself as an actor, taking on more serious roles in movies like Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me, with limited success. But believe it or not, he’s earning rave reviews for his role in a film that just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories stars Sandler, Ben Stiller and Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman as an estranged family forced to come together for an awkward and emotional reunion when the father (Hoffman) is honored at an event in New York. Sandler admits he was a bit apprehensive taking on a role like this, and he certainly didn’t want to feel like the weak link in such a great cast, so he worked hard to get it right. (Click on the media bar below to hear Adam Sandler)

The Meyerowitz Stories will premiere on Netflix later this year.

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kong2Kong: Skull Island, the latest installment of the King Kong franchise, hits Blu-ray and DVD on July 18 via Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The movie, which centered on a group of scientists, soldiers and adventurers who venture off onto a remote island in the Pacific (only to find King Kong of course!), was shot in Australia’s Gold Coast, Oahu, and different locations in Vietnam. The film’s visually immersive look is credited to Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who was an interesting choice for the film since his previous work was an indie drama (2013’s acclaimed The Kings of Summer). Kong: Skull Island, starring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson, amassed over $565 in worldwide box office during its run.

Click on the media bar below to hear Larson talk about the themes behind the film:

Special features on both the Blu-ray and DVD versions include director’s commentary, deleted scenes, photography from Brie Larson, a featurette on Tom Hiddleston, a segment on shooting in Vietnam and two other featurettes on the making of Kong: Skull Island.


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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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NUP_178334_0003.jpg

The media drama The Night Shift has had three solid seasons on NBC, and thanks to an engaged ensemble and top-notch writing staff, the program is back for a fourth season. For co-star Eoin Macken, each season has resulted in a gradual improvement on the overall quality of the show.

“The characters are quite well rounded now so you,” said Macken. “They all kind of have a history that interconnects and I think there’s also a freedom from every time you do a season that you have more room to play with stuff. Because you created the world. I loved season three, i thought it was another step up from season one and season two and I think this season will be as well because we’re able to go to places that you couldn’t at the start. Because at the start, you’re sort of bound by certain limitations of needing people to like the characters and create those dynamics. Now you can focus more on certain stories and take it in different directions.”

Click on the media bar to hear Macken and Jill Flint talk about playing “beautifully flawed” characters on The Night Shift:

The Night Shift’s fourth season premiere airs June 22 on NBC (10/9c).



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On May 25, 1977, 20th Century Fox released a new movie into 32 theaters with little fanfare. Some industry insiders believed the studio was essentially burying the film with such a limited rollout. Nobody believed that it would make Hollywood history.

That movie, of course, was Star Wars. Before it became Episode IV: A New Hope, it was just a stand-alone film from a young filmmaker directing only his second full-length movie, starring three young leads whose names had never appeared on a movie poster before. By the time its run in theaters was done, it had become the highest-grossing movie of all time. With a box office total of $307.3 million, it blew away the previous record holder, 1975’s Jaws, by nearly $50 million. And since then, it’s become one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, with 10 films grossing $3.7 billion.

George Lucas could have predicted none of that. The writer/director told us that, as he prepared for the movie’s release, he had very modest expectations. (Click on the media bar below to hear George Lucas.)

Star Wars transformed its stars — Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford — from relative unknowns into superstars almost overnight. Ford, who went on to become one of Hollywood’s most successful actors, has played several memorable characters. But to most fans, none is bigger or more beloved than Han Solo, and Ford is constantly amazed by how moviegoers young and old show their love for the movie and the character. (Click on the media bar below to hear Harrison Ford)

As young Jedi-in-training Luke Skywalker, Hamill spent much of the movie teamed up with mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Academy Award winner Sir Alec Guinness. For an actor still learning his craft, Hamill told us that getting to work with a legend like Guinness was an incomparable experience, one that still resonates with him four decades later. (Click on the media bar below to hear Mark Hamill)

How big was the Star Wars phenomenon? Well, it put the London Symphony Orchestra on the pop chart! The original soundtrack recording of the Star Wars Main Theme reached Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1977, and Meco’s disco arrangement topped the chart that very same month. Credit that to the magic of John Williams, who created a piece of music that’s as much a part of the movie as any of the characters. Just ask Lucas, who says the importance of Williams’ work should not be overlooked. (Click on the media bar below to hear George Lucas)

So, on behalf of every little kid who ever pretended to wield a light sabre, the movie buffs who can recite every single line, and every filmmaker who’s benefited from the way it’s changed the way movies are made, happy 40th anniversary, Star Wars!

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Considering that his entry into the entertainment business came via the world of pro wrestling, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Dwayne Johnson’s physique has certainly factored into his popularity. So it makes perfect sense that he’s playing the savior in swim trunks, lifeguard Mitch Buchannon, in the big-screen version of Baywatch. Even though he’s stayed in great shape, the 45-year-old still needed a little fitness finesse to get his Baywatch beach body, which meant going on a diet and cutting out one of his very favorite foods.

Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron star in Baywatch, is now playing in theaters.

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Vulture

The just released Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer may feature the usual challenges of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) balancing high school and his job as a crime fighter, but the clip’s most refreshing addition features more time with the Vulture (Batman’s very own Michael Keaton). Midway through the trailer the Vulture swoops down our friendly neighborhood webslinger and takes him on a very dangerous night flight (with Spidey, the kid that he is, screaming “let go of me, let go of me”).

As evidenced from Holland’s scene stealing performance in Captain America: Civil War, this iteration of Spider-Man features Peter Parker at his youngest and most humorous (Holland also has a more boyish and humorous way about him than Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield). The trailer’s funnest moment comes from Parker’s high school classmate Michelle (Zendaya), whose sarcasm towards our hero probably doesn’t lessen his true affections for her.

Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Cop Car filmmaker Jon Watts, is expected to be one of this summer’s biggest hits when it comes out July 7th. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!

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