Afflicted (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Now out on Blu-ray and DVD, the horror thriller Afflicted (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 86 minutes, R) marks the promising directing debut of filmmakers Derek Lee and Clif Prowse. Shot for an estimated $2-300,000 the flick centers on two buddies (Lee and Prowse playing a pseudo version of themselves) who decide to travel the world and document their adventures. When a beautiful woman in Paris attacks Derek during a one night stand, their halcyon trip takes a drastic turn for the worse. Although there are a ton of found footage and vampire films out there in the cinematic universe, Afflicted effectively blends both genres to create a compelling storyline.

The movie, which was shot on a Canon 5D, is also blessed with a strong visual design, proving that it doesn’t take millions of dollars to create an expensive looking feature. For their efforts, the directors won several awards (including Best Horror feature) at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.

“The visual polish of that camera - there is no barrier between having to convince the audience of ‘hey this is a real movie,’” said Lee. “It looks very cinematic. We had a mobile editing station while we traveling throughout Europe and we were cutting the movie while we were on laptops. Your ability to create world class visuals and present that to the audience, the barrier to that is much, much lower now which is exciting because hopefully all that means is that it’s going to come down to your ability to tell good, compelling stories.”

Special features on the Blu-ray include deleted scenes and an informative behind-the-scenes featurette which details one of the film’s more ambitious stunt sequences. To check out our full interview with Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, go to our sister site/blog Deepest Dream.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi



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1178499 - 22 Jump StreetThese days, Jonah Hill is best known as one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, picking up two Oscar nomination for his supporting roles in the sports drama Moneyball and co-starring along Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorses’s drama The Wolf Of Wall Street. In addition to his acting, he’s also one of Hollywood’s most talented young writers, too. He’s pulling double duty in box office hit, 22 Jump Street - not only does he star in the comedy, he helped write the movie as well.

We have spoken with Hill several times over the years and during one of our many interviews with him, he told us how he started off as a writer, and he didn’t develop an interest in acting until he went to college.


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14Betty White has been working in radio, films, and television for 75 years. While most people would be enjoying retirement in their golden years, the career of 92-year-old White is still soaring. Her series, Hot In Cleveland, has made her more in demand for movies and television shows than she ever was. White told us that it is still hard for her to turn down jobs. (Click on the media bar to hear Betty White)


Catch Betty White in Hot In Cleveland Wednesday nights on TV Land.

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DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Screen Gems)Deliver Us From Evil starts off with three U.S. Marines encountering a terrifying presence at an Iraqi desert palm grove before cutting to present day life in New York. To be specific, it’s the Bronx, and Sergeant Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is a dedicated officer who’s deeply affected by the shattered lives he encounters on a daily basis.

As much as he loves his wife (Olivia Munn) and daughter (Lulu Wilson), Sarchie is horrible at pretending everything is completely fine. His sole form of solace lies in sharing a squad car with fellow officer Butler (Joel McHale), an ex-Army Ranger whose sarcasm briefly softens Sarchie’s all too intense persona.

Evil comes in many forms, and when the idea of demonic possessions enters the picture, Sarchie looks the other way. There is a logical explanation for a person’s instability and criminal actions, and any paranormal theories, at least to Sarchie, is a waste of time.

Edgar Ramirez is Father Joe Mendoza, a once morally conflicted priest turned exorcist. He tells Sarchie that there is a deeper reason why things really go bump in the night. A primary evil exists in our world, and exorcism is a means to a necessary end.

While Deliver Us From Evil is packed with the requisite horror sequences and carefully placed edits to make audience members scream or shudder at the opportune moments, the film isn’t just a cookie cutter thriller. Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) brings a human aspect to the proceedings, as he understands that to partly understand the supernatural, the “natural” must spring forth.

The true conflict, one can argue, from Deliver Us From Evillies in Sarchie’s battles with his own demons. His conversations with Mendoza regarding faith and spirituality are among the narrative’s strongest moments, and their philosophical exchanges don’t come off as corny or half-baked. Having Ramirez and Bana at the center of these conversations definitely elevates the creative stakes, but Derrickson, who penned his first draft of the script over a decade ago, has also crafted a solid narrative.

On a visceral sense, the film’s final exorcism sequence, which pits our protagonists against a possessed Mick Santino (Sean Harris) will have you glued to the screen. At times, it may feel a bit too intense too watch, leaving you either exhilarated or exhausted (maybe even both). Harris is a complete revelation in this scene, as he goes above and beyond the call of duty as a man who’s entirely lost in another dimension.

Deliver Us From Evil is a cop thriller/exorcism hybrid that balances both genres with cinematic brio.  Ramirez, Bana, and a buffer than usual McHale are fully engaged in their respective roles (McHale fans will also be treated to a first rate fight scene with Harris), and Derrickson has directed yet another first rate paranormal thriller (it’s great news he landed the Doctor Strange directing gig).

The story’s based on Ralph Sarchie’s book Deliver Us From Evil: A New York City Cop Investigates The Supernatural. Since this is Hollywood, the book and the film aren’t exactly one and the same, but we don’t watch movies to fact check. If you’re in the mood for a good scare and a bit of drama to boot, Deliver Us From Evil understands that the devil is truly in the details.

In the clip below, Eric Bana talks about his initial conversations with Scott Derrickson regarding Deliver Us From Evil:




To check out our full Q&A interview with Deliver Us From Evil star Eric Bana, check out the post on our sister site Deepest Dream.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi



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13Actress MELISSA McCARTHY has teamed up with hubby BEN FALCONE to capitalize on her success with box office hits BRIDESMAIDS and IDENTITY THIEF by co-writing TAMMY (FALCONE also directs). It’s a coarse, low-brow comedy about an extremely unlikable woman who, after losing her car, her job, her fast-food job and her husband, sets out on a road trip with her boozy grandmother in an effort to get her act together. TAMMY is a love-it-or-hate-it movie that, depending on who you ask, is either very funny or very not. I’m inclined to go with the former rather than the latter. Sure, there are a bucket of things that can be nit-picked here but, the bottom line is, there are some extremely funny bits and McCARTHY just can’t help herself from being a force majeure when it comes to funny. The fact that the supporting cast includes SUSAN SARANDON, MARK DUPLASS, KATHY BATES, SANDRA OH, DAN AYKROYD and ALLISON
JANNEY
certainly doesn’t hurt either.

As ridiculously out-there as the situations are in TAMMY, apparently, many were based in fact. At the recent Los Angeles press conference to promote the film, McCARTHY and FALCONE talked about how the movie was a ‘love letter’ to their home state. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

TAMMY opens in theaters today.
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Posted by Bob Healy


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12Airing tonight on Fox, the hit competition series SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE celebrates its 200th episode with a two-hour performance show featuring guest judge JASON DeRULIO. An accomplished dancer as well as a smooth vocalist, DeRULIO will perform his latest single, WIGGLE, featuring SNOOP DOG in addition to sharing the panel with series regulars MARY MURPHY and NIGEL LYTHGOE.

A former professional dancer before branching out to television production, LYTHGOE is one of the people behind such shows as SYTYCD and AMERICAN IDOL. We’ve spoken with LYTHGOE several times over the years and, during our most recent interview, he talked about the genesis of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and its subsequent success.


SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE airs tonight on Fox

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Posted by Bob Healy


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11Noah Wyle currently stars on the TNT hit sci-fi series, Falling Skies, which is produced by legendary director Steven Spielberg. Spielberg and Wyle’s relationship goes back almost two decades, when Spielberg was one of the producers on the iconic medical drama, ER, which Wyle starred in.

Wyle was just 23 years old when he landed the part of Dr. John Carter, the character he portrayed for the entire run of the series. Wyle recalls how nervous he was meeting Steven Spielberg for the first time, and continues to be a little intimidated by him. Wyle was also surprised how hands on Spielberg was with the ER (Click on the Media bar below to hear Noah Wyle)


Catch Falling Skies Sunday nights on TNT.

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134292_6875From The Mickey Mouse Club to N’Sync, from his solo career to his acting career, Justin Timberlake has been on quite a ride these past 20 years. Obviously, he was really young when he started out… yet somehow he’s avoided falling into a lot of the traps that other child stars have fallen into. So how’d he manage to stay out of trouble? (Click on the media player below to hear Justin Timberlake)

Justin Timebrlake is currently playing to sold out audiences with The 20/20 Experience World Tour

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154Opening in theaters tomorrow, EARTH TO ECHO is a family-friendly sci-fi adventure that, while aimed directly at the kids, should prove to be an entertaining distraction for adults as well. Utilizing the ‘found-footage’ meme, the film incorporates a sweet coming-of-age tale while telling the story of three inseparable teen besties who get wrapped up in a techno-mystery involving a stranded robotic alien while facing separation because of the demolition of their suburban neighborhood.

Directed by DAVID GREEN from a script by HENRY GAYDON, the film will undoubtedly conjure up memories of such classic faves as E.T., EXPLORERS and, even, SUPER 8 (STEPHEN KING’S last line in STAND BY ME also jumped to mind: “I never had any friends later on, like the ones I had when I was twelve…Jesus….does anyone?”).

We recently sat down with GREEN and GAYDON, who were quick to point out that they wanted this to be a film that doesn’t talk down to kids and one that the whole family could enjoy together. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

EARTH TO ECHO opens in theaters Wednesday 7/2

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Posted by Bob Healy


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155Airing tonight on the critically acclaimed ESPN series 30 for 30, is the seasonal special 30 FOR 30: SOCCER STORIES: WHITE, BLUE AND WHITE. Directed by CAMILO ANTOLINI, this compelling documentary tells the story of Argentinean footballers OSSIE ARDILES and RICKY VILLA before, during and after their lives and careers were torn apart by the Falklands War. A tribute to the power of patriotism and gamesmanship, the film is a terrific portrait of a pair of athletes who became international symbols of people who just wanted to get on with the game.

Recently, documentarian ALEX GIBNEY spoke at a press conference to promote the ESPN SOCCER STORIES series and addressed the issue of politics intersecting with sports, such as soccer. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

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Posted by Bob Healy


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