The Magnificent Seven

Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, and he proved his power once again as The Magnificent Seven beat all comers with a $35 million debut. The animated flick Storks came in second with $21.8 million, and unfortunately Bridget Jones’s Baby’s second weekend took in just $4.5 million! Here’s this weekend’s top 10:

1. The Magnificent Seven - $35 million and expect this movie to make a decent profit for Sony.

2. Storks - $21.8 million

3. Sully - $13.8 million and to date the film has made over $126 million worldwide

4. Bridget Jones’s Baby - Although it bombed stateside, the picture has drummed up $67 million internationally.

5. Snowden - Director Oliver Stone’s movie is a box office misfire. This weekend, it made just $4.1 million

6. Blair Witch - $3.95 million

7. Don’t Breathe - This has been a huge hit for Screen Gems, as the $9 million budgeted thriller has taken in over $120 million worldwide.

8. Suicide Squad - $3.1 million

9. When the Bough Breaks - $2.5 million

10. Kubo and the Two Strings - $1.1 million


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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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tresspass

Recently seen in the sobering romantic drama The Light Between Oceans with Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender is going the criminal drama route with Trespass Against Us. Directed by Adam Smith, the story centers on Chad Cutler (Fassbender), a man who’s determined to break the cycle of crime that’s been handed down from generation from generation. Now that his son Tyson (Georgie Smith) is coming of age, Chad attempts to shield him from the evils of the past while his own father Colby (Brendan Gleeson) is determined to keep them on the same path.

Gleeson, who was terrific and should have received an Oscar nod for his work in the 2014 flick Calvary, also stars with Fassbender in the upcoming adventure flick Assassin’s Creed. Watching the fireworks between Fassbender and Gleeson should be worth the price of admission when the film hits stateside early 2017. DirecTV will make this film available to its subscribers starting November 24, and considering Fassbender’s previous work with A24 yielded a first rate Western (Slow West) I’m looking forward to checking out Trespass Against Us.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!!


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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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So far in his career, Benedict Cumberbatch has played legendary characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness) and soon audiences will see him as Dr. Stephen Strange in Doctor Strange.

Characters like the ones he has played influenced Cumberbatch to become an actor. The initial Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) were a huge part of his childhood. Growing up, Cumberbatch wanted to be Han Solo! (Click on the media bar below to hear Benedict Cumberbatch)

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Posted by Susan Brown


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Jennifer Aniston is one of the most famous stars in the world. Since starring in one of the biggest and most beloved television shows of all time (Friends) and headlining a slew of  movies, her face and personal life has been splattered all over the tabloids and gossip blogs.

Many would say the invasion of privacy comes with being famous. However, Aniston told us that’s not part of the deal and she says her personal life is nobody’s business. (Click on the media bar to hear Jennifer Aniston)

Jennifer Aniston’s voice can currently be heard in the family film Stork, which is in theaters now.

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Posted by Susan Brown


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One of the biggest hits on television last season was Quantico. Every week, the series had audiences on the edge of their seats with all of the twists and turns. The season finale answered many questions and there are lot of people wondering about the show’s direction in season two.

We caught up with Quantico star Priyanka Chopra who told us season two is going to be much different. While there are some storylines from the previous season that will be explored, the new season will forge an entirely new path. This prospect is an exciting one for the Chopra. (Click on the media bar below to hear star Priyanka Chopra)

Quantico returns Sunday 10/9c on ABC.

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Posted by Susan Brown


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Directed by longtime cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, Cameraperson is an evocative, complex, and ultimately ambitious documentary which, on the surface, centers on Johnson’s 25 plus years as a filmmaker. Viewers are immediately thrown into a world sans the linear storytelling or explain-it-all voiceovers, and for some jumping back and forth in time may be a bit jarring.

Whether it’s a boxer readying for a match in Brooklyn or an unidentified, pregnant woman weighing her decision at a medical clinic, Johnson keeps us engaged at the moment at hand, and like waves crashing to the shores she brings us back to these seemingly disparate stories throughout Cameraperson (the doc also includes footage of her mother, who struggled with Alzheimer’s Disease). During the course of 102 minutes, the life of a family Bosnia, an Afghan teenager recounting his brother’s passing, and Johnson’s own risky drive through an Al-Qaeda detention facility in Yemen are also explored. With so many tale to juggle, it’s understandable that the first edit of the film, which Johnson calls the “trauma cut,” was a “deep shock” to her system. Once she decided to forego voiceover, things started to fall into place.

That being said, Cameraperson’s effectiveness also partly relies on the emotional and analytical engagement of the viewer. “One of the things I said with my team from the jump is I really believe in the sophistication of the audience,” said Johnson, whose DP credits include Citizenfour and Fahrenheit 9/11. “And I really believe in the audience’s capacity to understand the ambitiousness and the complexity of the film. We tried to give people the tools to relate to what I experienced . . . and then little by little realize how much things connect, and just to start to pick up the themes, the repetitions, the structures, and the questions (raised) in (Cameraperson).




Cameraperson opens today in Los Angeles. For more info, check out the movie’s official site.


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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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lolaslastletter1If want make your own film, taking charge and knowing the lay of the land is absolutely paramount. First time feature filmmaker Valerie Brandy may have had cinematographer Katie Walker and an invested group of actors at her disposal, but for Lola’s Last Letter to become a reality, she essentially wore a ton of creative hats.

The narrative centers on Lola (Brandy, whose acting credits includes a stint on Justified), a 22-year-old ex-con who’s completing community service by picking trash on the side of the road with her best friend Ree (Annamarie Kenoyer). Lola is trying her best to move forward with her life, and she videotapes a series of apology letters to a pen-pal named Henry. When a new guy named Sam (Travis Quentin Young) walks into Lola’s life, it signals the start of something new and unexpected. But what is Lola’s true connection to Henry, and will this relationship thwart or maybe enhance her new relationship with Sam?

Though shot on a shoestring budget, Lola’s Last Letter’s should keep viewers intrigued with the mystery that lies behind the story (all of the actors in this indie also do solid work). During our chat with Brandy, she talked about using an unreliable narrator (Lola) as the center of the story. “I chose to structure the film film that way because I wanted you to get to know Lola as a person before you had the opportunity to judge her based on anything that’s happened in her past or any choice that she’s made,” said Brandy, who also edited her film. “I think that too often in life, it’s very easy to judge people based on what we’ve heard about them or what we know their experiences has been. I wanted to give the audience the opportunity to fall in love with Lola before they knew everything about her life.”

Technology will continue to grow at a rapid rate, and for a reasonable price someone can pick up a camera, buy editing software, shoot their own project, and even go the crowd funding route for financing. However, passion and a ton of guts is also a few qualities to have when spearheading a film. “I’ve never been particularly afraid of failing,” said Brandy, who’s currently working on an adaptation of the young adult novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, a story set in her hometown of Santa Barbara. “I don’t like it (laughs), but (it’s about) being unafraid to start and (knowing) that God and the universe will make it work out in the end. You just need the courage to start something like this.”



Lola’s Last Letter is now available via iTunes and Amazon.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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beautyandthebeast

On this week’s episode of CinemAddicts, all three films get my personal stamp of approval and are definitely worth checking out in theaters. However, Anderson absolutely disliked the documentary Cameraperson (I loved it). Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, whose previous director of photography credits include Fahrenheit 9/11 and Citizenfour, culls seemingly disparate footage from her 25 year filmmaking career, carving out an ambitious, non-linear narrative about the universal struggles, tragedies, and beauty that exists in life.

The Lovers and the Despot is the true story of South Korean director Shin Sang-Ok and actress Choi Eun-hee. Kim Jong-il had the pair separately kidnapped and taken to North Korea, where they eventually worked for the ‘despot” and made movies for the leader (who also was a movie buff). The couple’s journey back to South Korea, and eventually the U.S. are also spotlighted in the documentary. Though both of us didn’t completely flip over this doc, The Lovers and The Despot is worth watching thanks to its subject matter, and watching Choi Eun-hee reflect on her journey (Shin died in 2006) was a movie experience (at least for me).

Personally, I can’t get enough of actress Léa Seydoux, who was wonderful earlier this year in Cohen Media’s Diary of a Chambermaid. Now she plays the iconic Belle in Beauty and the Beast, a French film that was actually released in Europe in 2014 but opens stateside on Friday. Vincent Cassel is also solid as the prince turned beast thanks to a curse that, in retrospect, he somewhat deserved. Directed by Christophe Gans, the picture is mainly framed as a mystery as Belle gradually uncovers the secret behind the beast’s haunted past. The production design and climactic action scenes are well done, as this version of Beauty and the Beast thankfully stands on its own.

Anderson’s streaming picks of the week are Los Punks: We Are All We Have and Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie and my Blu-ray pick is the Alexander Payne feature Sideways.

Check out this week’s episode of CinemAddicts by clicking on the media bar below:


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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi


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Does Kevin Hart ever stop working? He has already starred in three films this year and he has another movie coming out in October. Kevin Hart: What Now? is a follow-up up to his stand-up concert movie Let Me Explain which was a huge box office hit back in 2013. Hart performed What Now at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Eagles which marked the first time any stand-up comedian performed to a sold out stadium.

Hart is one best stand-up comedians performing today, and he tackles many subjects in his act. That being said, is there a subject he won’t tackle? We caught up with Kevin Hart and asked him that question. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kevin Hart)

Kevin Hart: What Now? opens in theaters October 14.

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Posted by AC



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Carrie Underwood is one of the biggest country music stars in the world. Having sold over 15 million albums and playing to sold out concert venues all over the world, Underwood has one of the most loyal fan bases that any entertainer can have.

While many stars take their fans for granted, Underwood has a much more grounded approach to fame and her respective career. (Click on the media bar below to hear Carrie Underwood)

Carrie Underwood has another hit single that is climbing the music charts. Check out the video for Dirty Laundry below.

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Posted by Susan Brown


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