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Doug Cooper's Top 10 Films of 2013

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 22/12/2013 - 22:14

By Doug Cooper

1. Gravity
The best use of 3D I've ever seen in a movie – a visually stunning, awesomely exciting space adventure deftly delivered by Alfonso Cuaron, all in a welcomely lean 90 minutes.

2. Captain Phillips
Paul Greengrass' riveting true life tale grips like a vice and is superbly realised, with an outstanding turn from Tom Hanks giving it his all, especially in the emotionally shattering closing stages.

3. Before Midnight
The sublime, semi-improvised performances from Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy make this third affair detailing the lives of bickering couple Jesse and Celine the best so far – insightful, funny, wry and absorbing.

4. Metro Manila
This subtitled crime drama is a slow burn effort, sneaking up on you slyly and ultimately packing a sizeable wallop. Atmospheric, unpredictable and very compelling. Seek this one out.

5. The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann's vibrant, in-your-face re-imagining of F Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel was not for every taste – but I loved it. Leonardo DiCaprio was perfectly cast as the enigmatic millionaire. A marvellous movie.

6. The Sessions
John Hawkes gives a wonderful performance as polio sufferer Mark O'Brien in this nuanced, heartfelt and amusing true life tale. Helen Hunt partners him splendidly as his "sex surrogate".

7. The Way Way Back
The year's best coming-of-age tale – a funny, touching affair recounting a troubled teenager's experiences at a holiday water park, with top notch performances by all. One feels great affection for it – you can't help but like it.

8. A Late Quartet
This quiet, soulful drama about a classical string quartet never received the attention it deserved. The exquisite performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Imogen Poots, Mark Ivanir and Christopher Walken make it a most satisfying and rewarding endeavour.

9. Philomena
All the elements mesh perfectly for Stephen Frears' unfussy and very assured helming of this lovely, moving and heartwarming story – boasting a customarily excellent turn from Judi Dench and a career best performance from Steve Coogan.

10. Pain & Gain
Who would've thought that Michael Bay of all people could've come up with one of the most goofily enjoyable movies of the year? A consistently hilarious, high octane, guilty pleasure of the first order.

The Five Worst Movies of 2013
1. After Earth
2. Pacific Rim
4. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
5. Only God Forgives

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Stuart O'Connor's Top 10 Films of 2013

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 22/12/2013 - 12:16

By Stuart O'Connor

This has not been too bad a year for film – my favourites list outweighs my "hated" list by three-to-one, easily. The following may not be the BEST films of 2013, but among the ones I actually got to see, they were the ones that I enjoyed the most. As usual, they are listed in no particular order (although the top one may well be my favourite of the lot).

An old-school animated Disney musical, Frozen was a sight for sore eyes (and music to my ears). A conventional Disney Princess story, based on the classic Hans Christina Anderson fairytale, but given a modern feminist twist and a Broadway sensibility (have I mentioned yet that the music is to die for?). A brilliant voice cast, beautiful animation, solid 3D  ... and talking snowman Olaf is the icing on the cake. Frozen is easily the best Disney musical since The Lion King, and the big number Let It Go is a shoo-in for the Best Song oscar come March.

I've never been much of a fan of Formula 1 racing, but Rush is not really about funny little cars going very fast round and round tracks; it's about the men who get behind the wheel and put their lives on the line. Although the script doe take some liberties with the truth, it's a gripping drama and one of Ron Howard's best films in years.

Cuaron's space survival drama is a stunning peice of cinema. It's been criticised for its plot, script and dialogue, but those people are just wrong – Gravity is a feast for the senses.

Tarantino on top form and brilliant performances from Foxx, Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson in this slavery drama. Shame about Tarantino's "Australian" accent though.

Jackman and Gyllenhaal face off in this kidnapped kids drama. Gripping and twisty.

From the gorgeous slow-motion opening scenes of children playing hide and seek, Big Bad Wolves is a dark fairytale about a nasty child killer that will leave you breathless and shattered. With just two features under their belts, writer-directors Keshales and Papushado have shown themselves to be filmmakers of superior quality – as good as Hitchcock, Scorsese and the Coen brothers.

Chan-wook Park's first English-language film is beautiful, intriguing, lush, moving, unsettling and compelling. It's a tale of murder, mystery, double-dealing and yes, even incest, that's been told a hundred times before. But Park brings a clever set of fresh eyes to it, giving us something that we haven't seen before.

If you want to know what to expect from this film. the clue is in the title: MAN of Steel. This is a very human story, a story of Clark Kent's search for identity. It's also a very modern and original take on the character, with Goyer and Snyder bringing a gret deal of freshness to the Superman mythos.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his writing/directing debut with an absolute corker, a tale of a porn-obsessed Jersey boy who's rather fond of one-night stands and daily gym workouts. Everyone is on top form here (and it's great to see Tony Danza on our screen's again) by Scarlett Johansson's Jersey girl steals the show.

A late entry (it's showing in London but doesn't go nationwide until January 1), this is simply a joy. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence are all on top form in this 70s-set tale of conmen and and FBI sting. It seems that director David O Russell can do no wrong.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: American Mary, Maniac, Compliance, Trance, Papadopoulos and Sons, The Place Beyond The Pines, Olympus Has Fallen, Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mud, Byzantium, Behind The Candelabra, World War Z, Despicable Me 2, This Is The End, Frances Ha, The Conjuring, You're Next, No One Lives, White House Down, Blue Jasmine, Filth, Enough Said, Bad Grandpa, Drinking Buddies, Philomena, Nebraska.

DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS (the disappointments of 2013): Movie 43, Flight, I Give It a Year, This Is 40, The Lords of Salem, After Earth, The Last Exorcism: Part 2, Now You See Me, Grown Ups 2, Planes, Insidious: Chapter 2, The Call, Runner Runner, Getaway, Powder Room.

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Screenjabber Pubcast Finale: This Is The End

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 21/12/2013 - 19:33

Join Simon Thompson, Mark Brennan, Mark Searby, Andrew Jones, David Watson, Doug Cooper, Christa Ktorides, Steve Boxer and host Stuart O'Connor as Screenjabber takes a look back at the year in film and video games.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Showbiz Simon Says ...

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 18/12/2013 - 08:58

By Simon Thompson

Already a shoo-in for Oscar glory, 12 Years A Slave looks set to also dominate at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards. Steve McQueen's movie is up for nine awards including Film Of The Year, Best Director, British Actor Of The Year for Chiwetel Ejiofor, and supporting role nominattions for Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o. There are five nods for Philomena including British Actress and British Actor Of The Year for Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan respectively. Just behind in the nomination tally stakes are Blue Jasmine, Filth, Gravity and The Wolf Of Wall Street, which all get four nominations each. The London Critics' Circle Film Awards will be handed out on 2 February 2014.

★ Josh Gad is off to Gilligan’s Island. Warner Bros has confirmed it is moving forward with the moie adaptation of the classic TV show and has signed Gad up for a lead role – the studio isn’t saying which one yet though. (Justin Long will be Gilligan, so our guess is the Skipper – Ed.) The original show ran for 98 episodes on CBS from 1964 to 1967. There were also three TV movies. The show starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr, Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Dawn Wells, Russell Johnson and Tina Louise as a bunch of castaways stranded on an uncharted island.

★ Can you smell what The Rock is counting? It’s money. Dwayne Johnson has been named as the top-grossing actor of 2013 – that’s in terms of how much his movies have earned though and not his actual salary. Robert Downey Jr is in second place after Iron Man 3 brought in $1.2 billion. Thanks to Fast and Furious 6, GI Joe: Retaliation and Pain and Gain, Dwayne’s big-screen exploits earned a total of $1.3 billion. Sandra Bullock is to top female on the list, published in and complied by Forbes magazine, but “only” clocked up $862 million via box office hits Gravity and The Heat. Just behind her is The Rock’s late F&F6 co-star Paul Walker – it was the biggest hit of his career.

★ A fourth instalment in the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is on the way. According to the book’s Swedish publishers, David Lagercrantz will write a new story about the characters of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist created by Stieg Larsson. Larsson had already started work on a fourth book in the series before he died in 2004. Apparently some plot lines from the existing novels will be picked up it’s not known if any of the original, unfinished work will form any part of the new book. The novel, which as yet doesn’t have a confirmed title, is due to hit shelves in August 2015. The original trilogy sold more than 75m copies worldwide and has been turned into three Swedish and one Hollywood movie.

★ Staying on the resurrection theme... Brian Griffin is BACK! The makers of Family Guy are bringing the family dog back just weeks after he was run over by a car in an episode called Life Of Brian. The talking pet returned in a Christmas episode. Called Christmas Guy it saw Stewie Griffin travel back in time to save his friend after asking the Father Christmas at a local shopping centre to bring him back. Around 75,000+ fans signed an online petition to get showrunners to save the popular character. Following his death, Brian was replaced by a new dog called Vinny, voiced by Sopranos star Tony Sirico, but it’s not known if he’ll appear in the show again.

★ He may have been killed off in the last film, but it seems that won’t stop Channing Tatum possibly returning for a third film in the GI Joe franchise. The threequel’s been greenlit with Jon Chu returning to direct. The helmer’s been quoted as saying: "We're taking it in a whole new direction... taking it to another level with this one." If Tatum does return it wouldn’t be the first time a character in the series has come back from the dead. Chu has teased: "Storm Shadow was killed in the first one and came back in the second one. The 'GI Joe' world... the best thing about it is you never know who's coming back and who's not."

★ New Zealand is to be home to the next three Avatar movies. The move is part of a $412 million deal between the New Zealand government, 20th Century Fox and James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment. Part of the deal means that, in addition to spending $412 million in the country, the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the movies must contain a featurette on New Zealand PLUS the country must host at least one red carpet premiere. Production is due to kick off next year with Avatar 2 due for release December 2016 and Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 following in December 2017 and 2018 respectively.

★ Even The Bible is getting a sequel. NBC has greenlit the 12-hour miniseries A.D. as a follow-up to the miniseries passed on the religious text after it proved to be a ratings, if not critical, hit when aired on the History channel earlier this year.  It’s recently aired on Channel 5 in the UK and hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 26, 2013. Jennifer Salke, president at NBC Entertainment, has been quoted as saying: "You might think the story is over at the Crucifixion, but as most of the world knows, that was only the beginning." Jesus Christ...

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PRESS RELEASE: Kick-Ass 2 fans get creative

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 17/12/2013 - 13:21

Last weekend, fans of the Kick-Ass franchise marked the release of Kick-Ass 2 on Blu-ray and DVD at the Kick-Ass Comic Canv-Ass, recreating writer and executive producer Mark Millar’s favourite scene from the superhero blockbuster.

Comic-book buffs and aspiring artists proved they could give John Romita Jr a run for his money at the Rockwell House Rooftop in Shoreditch, contributing to a giant comic strip that is currently being showcased at the venue and on the official Kick Ass Movie Facebook page.

The fans sketched out the dramatic battle between Hit Girl and Mother Russia under the watchful eye of one of the most foremost street artists in the UK, EndoftheLine creative director Jim Vision, and his team of talented artists including Rufus Dayglo, Dr Zadok and Ed Hicks.

People travelled from across the UK to take part in the event. Louie Moselhi, a student from Aberdeen University, said: “I saw the event on Facebook and had to come down as I’m a massive fan of both Kick-Ass and Jim Vision. I’ve never spray painted before but the artists showed me the ropes and I’m really pleased with my finished scene.”

Millar said: “The event was a fantastic opportunity for fans of Kick-Ass 2 and anyone with a talent for cartooning or a passion for comic books to be involved in the creation of an exciting piece of art. The turnout was amazing and shows just how supportive Kick Ass fans are. The reason I chose the scene with Hit-Girl versus Mother Russia in the final act is because it shows Hit-Girl, who's always been the bad-ass of the franchise, up against someone she's slightly scared of and I loved seeing her really showing us what she's capable of.”

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News Jab: US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 15/12/2013 - 21:23

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug No.1 but softer than Unexpected Journey

By Rich Matthews

Peter Jackson's second part of his Hobbit Lord Of The Rings prequel trilogy, The Desolation Of Smaug, opened some 13% lower than 2012's first outing (which took $84.6m to notch up the biggest ever December opening), An Unexpected Journey, but still took $73.7m with a worldwide opening of $204.9m.

That softer opening may not be the film alone, however, because the first Hobbit had no competition to speak of, while Smaug is fighting off strong holdovers Frozen (at number two with $22.2m, a US tally of $164.4m and a worldwide gross of $266m) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (number four with $13.2m, US total of $357m and a global haul of $730m, surpassing the first Hunger Games' $691m).

And we haven't yet mentioned Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, which opened at number three with a disappointing $16m, nearly $10m less than Perry's last Madea flick, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection in June 2012. However, both Madea and The Hobbit will likely gain momentum during the Christmas period, so both may come close to matching or surpassing the respective $65.7m US and $1bn global grosses of their last entries. Thor: The Dark World rounded out the top five with $2.7m, a US gross of $198.1m and a worldwide tally of $620m.

The back five of the top 10 was compromised of smaller fry, with Christian Bale underperformer Out Of The Furnace at six ($2.3, $9.5m), Vince Vaughn flop Delivery Man at seven ($1.9m, $28m), Judi Dench/Steve Coogan dramedy Philomena at eight ($1.8m, $11m, $28.3m), Geoffrey Rush Holocaust drama The Book Thief at nine ($1.7m, $14.9m) and Jason Statham vehicle (penned by Sly Stallone) Homefront at 10 ($1.6m, $18.4m).

In the specialist front, David O Russell's 70s heist flick American Hustle – starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence – posted a stellar per screen average of $115,000 to take its total to $690,000 from only six theatres, while Disney's Saving Mr Hanks – starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins creator PL Travers – only managed an average of $28,000 and a $421,000 gross from 15 theatres.

The market starts to get even more cluttered this week as Will Ferrell returns as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues on Wednesday, while Friday sees the 3D film version of Walking With Dinosaurs stomp into view as American Hustle and Saving Mr Banks both expand nationwide. Then there's the traditional Christmas Day flurry that this year includes Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin, Ben Stiller's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and Leonardo DiCaprio getting mental for Martin Scorsese in the long-awaited The Wolf Of Wall Street.


A hero and a hellraiser: Film and theatre icon Peter O’Toole dies at 81 | The Independent

Emilia Clarke to play Sarah Connor in Terminator reboot | NME

On the Cinema Paradiso trail | The Daily Telegraph

Golden Globes: nominees react | Screen Daily

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Screenjabber Pubcast: Desolating the smeg

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 14/12/2013 - 20:04

Join Simon Thompson, Mark Searby, Andrew Jones, Christa Ktorides and host Stuart O'Connor for a little movie news and gossip and a long, hard look at this week's big release — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Christmas Gift Guide: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 14/12/2013 - 11:50

Having trouble buying a Christmas gift for that special someone? You can’t go wrong with a DVD or Blu-ray, so let Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment help you to pick the perfect present this Christmas.

Lock the doors and pull down the blinds – you’re not going anywhere once you’ve checked out these wonderful treats. There’s a whole new collection of brilliant DVDs, Blu-rays and box sets perfect for yuletide presents – and for when you’ve maxed out on mince pies and are stuck to the sofa …

And thanks to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we have FOUR special Blu-rays that you could win to give as a gift to a loved one (or as a special Christmas treat for yourself) – Ice Age 4: Continental Drift 3D, Life of Pi 3D, The Croods 3D and American Horror Story: Season 1-2.  Read on to find out how to win one of these fantastic prizes.



How I Met Your Mother - Season 1-8 [DVD]

On the night Marshall (Jason Segel), finally got engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Lily (Alyson Hannigan), his best friend Ted (Josh Radnor) realised that he had better get a move on too if he was ever to find true love. At the same party, flanked by his friend, the outspoken and sharp-suited lothario, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), Ted laid eyes on Robin (Cobie Smulders), and although he thought this was love at first sight, it was never meant to be and so his quest continued…

Still confused? Don’t be! How I Met Your Mother is the hilarious story of five friends living in New York City and one man’s journey to find his true love.





New Girl - Season 1-2 [DVD]

An ensemble comedy centring on a free-spirited young woman, her three male roommates and her best friend, as they navigate modern relationships and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional – or strangely functional – family.

Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) is an offbeat and "adorkable" woman in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves into a loft with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn't.

Of her three new male roommates, Nick (Jake Johnson) is the most grounded. He had big plans for life, but somewhere along the way, he stopped caring and became a bartender. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) is a young professional who fancies himself a modern-day Casanova. Winston (Lamorne Morris) is an intensely competitive former athlete who has recently come to the realisation that he'll never play pro. Rounding out this group is Jess' childhood best friend, Cece (Hannah Simone), a deadpan, cynical model. She has the street smarts Jess lacks and spends a lot of time doling out no-nonsense relationship advice that only a professional model can give.



Modern Family - Season 1-4 [DVD]

The complete first four seasons of the Emmy Award-winning smash-hit mockumentary style comedy are included in this box set.

Boasting one of the best ensemble casts in all of television, the ground breaking Modern Family is a smart, fresh and laugh-out-loud funny look at what it means to be a family in today’s chaotic and constantly changing world. Hilarious stories, lovable characters and outrageous surprises are yours to own in this warm and witty series.









American Horror Story - Season 1-2 [Blu-ray]

A frightening seasonal anthology series brought to you by Ryan Murphy, the creator of Nip-Tuck. Each season of American Horror Story is conceived as a self-contained miniseries, following a disparate set of characters, settings and time periods in a twisted and uniquely terrifying journey through the core horror genre.

Season 1, American Horror Story: Murder House, revolves around the Harmons, psychiatrist Ben (Dylan McDermott), his wife Vivien (Connie Britton), and their teenage daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga), who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien has a miscarriage, and Ben has an affair. The Harmons move into a restored mansion and soon encounter the home's former residents, the Langdons: Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange), and her two children, Tate (Evan Peters) and Addie (Jamie Brewer), and the disfigured Larry Harvey (Denis O'Hare).

Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum sees the return of many Season 1 cast members and takes viewers into a Church-run haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Lange), a nun with a troubled past. This grisly tale begins in present day when Leo and Teresa, the unsuspecting newlyweds, choose to spend their honeymoon within the safe haven of a now-abandoned asylum. Or is it? 



Homeland - Season 1-2 [DVD]

Season 1: From Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, executive producers of 24, comes Homeland. Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA Agent battling her own demons becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Sgt Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a US soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for eight years was a set-up, and may be connected to an al-Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil.

Season 2: In the wake of Israeli air strikes against Iran, the Middle East threatens to erupt in fresh violence. A woman swims through the chaos towards the American embassy, trying to make contact. The abused wife of a Hezbollah commander, she carries information about an attack – retaliation against Israel’s ally, the US. But this would-be informant insists she will only speak to her one-time CIA handler: Carrie Mathison.





The Bible - TV Miniseries [DVD]

Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic television event is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

The Bible is narrated by Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth), and stars Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ, Roma Downey as Mary and a formidable UK cast including Jake Canuso (Benidorm), Louise Delamere (Waking the Dead), Kierston Wareing (Eastenders), Nonzo Anozie (Game of Thrones) and Peter Guinness (Centurion).








Family Guy - Season 1-12 [DVD]

Get in on the twisted fun watching this 34–disc set with more than 180 Family Guy episodes.

Join dimwitted (but big–hearted) Peter, his adoring wife Lois, silly siblings Chris and Meg, genius baby brother Stewie (the maniacal 1-year-old bent on world domination), and of course, Brian the dog – perhaps the only sane member of the family, even though he licks himself.




The Simpsons - Season 16 [DVD]

The Simpsons reside in the town of Springfield. Homer works as a safety inspector at the local nuclear power plant; Marge tries to keep the peace in her family; Bart is the mischievous 10-year-old hellion; 8-year-old Lisa is the intelligent, saxophone-playing vegetarian member of the family; and baby Maggie conveys emotions via pacifier sucks. Viewers also have come to know and love the rich, and sometimes quirky, universe of characters who inhabit Springfield.

In the milestone 350th episode, Homer befriends beer-loving barfly and roofer Ray Magini, guest-voiced by Ray Romano. After discovering a shared passion for sandwiches and the Three Stooges, Homer and Ray become inseparable friends. However, Marge believes Ray is a figment of Homer’s imagination and enlists the help of Dr. Hibbert to literally “shock” Ray Magini out of Homer’s system. Famed author and scientist Stephen Hawking also makes a return guest voice appearance as himself.





The Wolverine [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy]

Enjoy This stand-alone epic-action adventure set in modern day Japan reveals the untold story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character from the X-Men universe, and evolves the character saga to new levels of depth, intensity and visceral action.

Out of his depth in an unknown world he faces a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle than will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than ever before.




The Croods [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy]

From the makers of Shrek and Madagascar comes The Croods. Join the first modern family as they embark on the journey of a lifetime across a spectacular and unforgettable landscape.

When their cave is destroyed, everything the Croods have ever known is rocked by seismic shifts and generational clashes as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures, and their world is changed forever. If they don’t evolve, they’ll be history.








Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters [Blu-ray + UV Copy

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is the eagerly-anticipated sequel to the 2010 hit, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. And for the first time ever, available in 3D too.

It continues the adventures of Percy Jackson and his friends, as they look for the golden fleece, in order to save Camp Half-Blood's magical borders from sinister foes. Based on the popular book franchise.






The Heat [Blu-ray + UV Copy]

Uptight and straight-laced, FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is a methodical investigator with a reputation for excellence – and hyper-arrogance. Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), one of Boston P.D.’s “finest,” is foul-mouthed and has a very short fuse, and uses her gut instinct and street smarts to catch the most elusive criminals.

Neither has ever had a partner, or a friend for that matter. When these two wildly incompatible law officers join forces to bring down a ruthless drug lord, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies. From Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids.






Die Hard: Legacy Collection

All five films from the popular Die Hard franchise.

Die Hard (1988)
On Christmas Eve, New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) in Los Angeles, where she works. They are attending a party at Holly's high-rise office block when terrorists, led by the suave Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) break in, taking everyone hostage. McClane manages to evade capture, however, and sets out to rescue his wife and the other prisoners. It is not long before he is running barefoot over shattered glass in a sweaty vest, muttering 'Yippy kay aye' as he dispatches the baddies with bullets and a certain earthy wit.

Die Hard 2 (1990)
Los Angeles cop John McClane is set to meet up with wife Holly on Christmas Eve, this time at Dulles airport in Washington DC. However, when terrorists take over the airport in an attempt to rescue dictator Esperanza (Franco Nero) from his incoming flight, it is up to McClane to restore order and ensure that Holly's plane lands safely. Get that sweaty vest out, and put some shoes on this time.

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
John McClane becomes involved in a twisted game of Simon Says when an evil terrorist (Jeremy Irons) sends him dashing all over the city in an effort to find a series of explosive devices. Teaming up with electrician Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson), McClane soon discovers that the bombs are an elaborate ruse intended to provide cover for a billion dollar bank job.

Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
Die Hard 4.0 finds McClane routinely asked to bring in a computer hacker, Matt Farrell (Justin Long) for questioning. In transit, events overtake them as they witness a full-scale cyber attack on the country's infrastructure led by mystery attacker Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Oliphant), who plans to systematically shut down or destroy the nation's major networks over three days. With time running out, McClane and his hacker friend have to stop the mastermind before it's too late.

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane, for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after travelling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes.



Prometheus to Alien: The Evolution

Take the ultimate journey with the Prometheus To Alien: The Evolution Box Set. It all begins in Prometheus, as Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace search for the origins of mankind and encounter the mysterious "Engineers," capable of destroying all life on Earth.

Then Sigourney Weaver battles the most terrifying creatures in cinematic history in all four thrilling Alien films – Alien, Aliens, Alien³ and Alien Resurrection. Packed with nonstop action and excitement, this stellar sci-fi collection lets you explore the darkest corners of the universe ... and the deepest recesses of your imagination.



We hope that this Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Gift Guide has given you some handy tips on what to get your loved ones (and maybe even yourself?) for Christmas. And to help you make Christmas that little bit merrier, the lovely Santa's Little Helpers at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have given us FOUR Blu-rays – THREE 3D movies and one TV Box Set — to give away to THREE lucky readers:

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Scrat’s nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he’s been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences – a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid. In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

American Horror Story - Season 1-2
A frightening seasonal anthology series brought to you by Ryan Murphy, the creator of Nip-Tuck. Each season of American Horror Story is conceived as a self-contained miniseries, following a disparate set of characters, settings and time periods in a twisted and uniquely terrifying journey through the core horror genre.

The Croods
From the makers of Shrek and Madagascar comes The Croods. Join the first modern family as they embark on the journey of a lifetime across a spectacular and unforgettable landscape. When their cave is destroyed, everything the Croods have ever known is rocked by seismic shifts and generational clashes as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures, and their world is changed forever. If they don’t evolve, they’ll be history.

Life Of Pi
Based on the critically acclaimed, best-selling book, Ang Lee brings one boy’s spectacular journey to the big screen in the book that was considered unfilmable. A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor ... a fearsome Bengal tiger.

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question:

Who wrote the novel Life Of Pi?

a) John Grisham
b) Yann Martel
c) Nora Roberts

d) Stephen King

As this competition is so good, we're going to give an extra entry for those who LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page (but don't forget to also email us with the answer to the question above – and please don't post the answer on the Facebook page).

Send your answer (plus your name, address, phone number and which particular box set you would like to win) to sj.competitions@yahoo.co.uk, with Fox Christmas in the subject line. And please make sure you read our terms & conditions before entering. The competition will close at NOON on Friday December 20, 2013. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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Taking Out the (Trailer) Trash

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 11/12/2013 - 22:25

By Norman Quarrinton

Trailers can sometimes spoil a film, but most of the time they fill you with a sense of anticipation, excitement and awe. So here is this week's roundup of what is coming soon to a cinema near you ...


Paul WS Anderson is back, and by the looks of it, so are the tedious slow-mo fight scenes that he is ever so fond of. Hooray. To be fair, though, this is a volcano movie, and we haven't had one of those for ages. Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) plays a slave who becomes a gladiator, who becomes a hero during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Looks like there's a love story in there too somewhere. If you're a fan of horses and large clouds of smoke, this trailer's for you. Emily Browning and Jared Harris also star.
UK & US Release: February 21

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I really wanted to like The Amazing Spider-Man. But I didn't. I hated it. Remember that bit with the cranes? What was that all about? Who thought that would be a good idea? Terrible. Just terrible. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were great though, so I'm prepared to give the franchise another chance. There's a whole bunch of clues and fanboy pleasing easter eggs in this trailer, but the most shocking thing it reveals is that the movie's title doesn't have a sub-heading. I personally think The Amazing Spider-Man: 2 Many Bad Guys would have been a great title.
UK Release: April 18
US Release: May 2

The Legend of Hercules

If the Pompeii trailer didn't quench your thirst for slow-motion action scenes, then you should definitely check this bad boy out. Otherwise, don't bother. This movie looks pants. Kellan Lutz plays Hercules, and Hercules is mad about stuff so he goes somewhere and becomes a slave which makes him even more mad, so then he starts smashing shit up. My Dad will love it.
US Release: January 10
UK Release: August 8


Pacific Rim without the robots. PASS. Just kidding, this actually looks very promising. British director Gareth Edwards is helming this reboot of the classic monster movie franchise and if you saw his 2010 film Monsters, you'll know he's the right man for the job. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen play a couple in this movie, but they play siblings in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Gross.
UK & US Release: May 16

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Showbiz Simon Says ...

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 11/12/2013 - 21:27

By Simon Thompson

There might not be a script yet, but the World War Z sequel has got a director. The job has gone to Juan Antonio Bayona – he’s previously helmed The Impossible and The Orphanage. Marc Forster’s original, based on the novel by Max Brooks, took $540 million worldwide. Brad Pitt will return in the lead role. Although the director has been named, no writers are attached to the project at this stage and there’s no release date so it is very early days.

★ Rosemary's Baby: The TV Show – it’s a thing. NBC has greenlit the four-hour miniseries which will be an adaptation of the 1967 best-selling novel by Ira Levin. The US TV network isn’t wasting any time on getting started as production is due to get under way in Paris in January. James Wong, best known for his penmanship on American Horror Story, will write the screenplay while Oscar and Emmy nominated Agnieszka Holland will direct.

★ Tom Cruise will return as Jack Reacher. After the original made $218 million worldwide on a budget of $60 million, Paramount has confirmed it is moving forward with a sequel. It’ll be based on that will be based on Lee Child's recent novel, Never Go Back. No word yet on a writer or a director, but there are claims that the studio will try to release the film before the fifth Mission: Impossible movie – that has a release date pencilled in for December 2015.

★ Andrew Garfield’s Spider-days might be numbered. He’s only contracted for three movies and hasn’t decided if he wants to swing on back for a fourth. He’s told Yahoo Movies: "I’m under contract for another one after this… as far as a fourth one? That's not anything to do with me. But yeah, I think what we’re doing here is we've established the world. And now we get to really play inside that world." Sony Pictures will release The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in May 2014 and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 in May 2016.

★ Bette Midler has signed up to play Mae West in an upcoming biopic from HBO. It is based on West's 1959 autobiography, Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It. She died in 1980 following a successful career on stage and screen spanning seven decades. It’ll focus on her early years on stage in Gotham, while facing legal issues for her risqué show Sex. William Friedkin will direct it and the script’s being turned out by Harvey Fierstein, but there’s no word on when it’ll air.

A fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie is on and it’ll see Eddie Murphy return as Axel Foley. Brett Ratner is on board to direct it. 2013 saw a TV spin-off go get dropped after just a pilot episode – Murphy was due to make regular cameos – but it was going to focus on his son, played by Tropic Thunder’s Brandon T Jackson. The new movie will reportedly see Axel return to his Detroit roots. The new movie is part of a deal between Jerry Bruckheimer and Paramount Pictures another sequel, Top Gun 2, is also moving forward. Tom Cruise is onboard the project that stalled following the death of Tony Scott in 2012.

A fifth Terminator movie is on the way, Terminator: Genesis, but it’s been confirmed a new new Terminator TV series is also happening. The show will follow a critical moment from the first Terminator film but where the film's story goes one way, the upcoming series will take the same moment in a completely different direction. According to reports, as the rebooted film trilogy and the new TV series progress, the two narratives will intersect with each other in surprising and dramatic ways. No word yet on an air date for the show; however, the fifth Terminator movie will hit cinemas in July 2015.

★ Californication’s been cancelled. The Showtime original series will end after the upcoming seventh season. The 12-episode final run will kick off in the US on April 2014. Rob Lowe is confirmed to be return as eccentric actor Eddie Nero in at least one episode with Roger Howarth, Heather Graham and Mary Lynn Rajskub all guest starring at some point in the final season. Showtime's president of entertainment David Nevins said: “With its unique blend of lyricism and excess, Californication has been one of our groundbreaking signature series. We will always be indebted to Tom Kapinos for leading the creative charge on this memorable comedy, and to David Duchovny for making us root for an unapologetic hedonist like Hank Moody.” Spank you very much.... and good night!

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