Everything You Need to Know About American Horror Story: Hotel

American Horror Story: Hotel has been receiving a lot of press this year, and for good reason: not only will the show be going back to its “horror roots,” the series will feature Lady Gaga in a prominent character role.

Like any season of American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy has been keeping many details and particulars under wraps. Thankfully, however, there are a number of facts and trivia we already know about the upcoming ‘Hotel’ season of the horror anthology. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about American Horror Story: Hotel.

American Horror Story: Hotel will “go to the Murder House” for at least one episode

In an interview about the upcoming season, creator Ryan Murphy revealed that the new season will “go to the Murder House for one episode.” Murphy declined to give any further information, but the statement has fans running wild with speculation. There are many ways that the new season might be connected to the first season’s infamous Murder house–perhaps a character could be related to someone who died at the House, or a character in ‘Hotel’ could decide to go on the Eternal Darkness Tour that stops by the home. And since Jessica Lange will be appearing in ‘Hotel’ in some capacity, fans have even speculated that Constance will make an appearance.

A Season 1 Character has been Confirmed for Returning

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Although Constance is not confirmed for returning, there is one season 1 character who is definitely making a comeback in Hotel: Marcy, played by Christine Estabrook. Marcy is the realtor who sold the house multiple times throughout the first season, and she will be the realtor who is advertising the Hotel Cortez.

Season 1 won’t be the only crossover for Hotel

In the last season, Freak Show, the series had its first crossover storyline when one of the ‘Freak Show’ characters was sent to the Asylum, where Sister Mary Eunice appeared to help them get adjusted. It was a bit surprising but not unheard of when Ryan Murphy announced that the show would have some crossover from season 1—but that’s not the only connection to previous seasons that ‘Hotel’ will have. Murphy and the show’s writers have revealed that “more and more” characters from previous seasons will be checking into the hotel this season. Time can only tell how prominent these previous character’s roles will be—or if they will simply be ‘wink and you miss it’ cameos.

There are two Big Bads

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American Horror Story isn’t afraid of the big bad wolf–or the big bad wolves. Hotel, like most seasons of the show, will feature more than one big bad antagonistic character. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Ryan Murphy revealed the names of the two big bads (or at least, the two that he’s revealed to fans!): The Ten Commandments Killer and the Addiction Demon. Since ‘Hotel’ will definitely be featuring supernatural characters, many fans believe the Addiction Demon will be an actual demon—or at least some type of otherworldly creature. Murphy described the Addiction Demon as being similar to the character of Rubber Man, except he is—at least he is not described—as being a ghost. And like Rubber Man, the Addiction Demon will be up to some terrible, awful deeds; his accessory of choice, according to the show’s creative time, is a deadly looking adult toy.

Fans think the Hotel might be Hell

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Fan speculations are always abound when it comes to American Horror Story, since the details are often murky and the show’s teasers give a lot of conflicting clues and ideas. But there are several reasons that fans believe the Hotel might be Hell, or at least some kind of afterlife destination similar to the “hells” created in the show’s third season, Coven.

The reason for this particular fan theory is that the series is apparently set in modern day, but many characters revealed so far are long dead–including Aileen Wuronos, who will be played by Lily Rabe, and the fictional architect who built the hotel in the 1930s, who will be played by Evan Peters. Peters’ character is described as “never leaving his room,” which may indicate that he is a ghost or, in the case of this fan theory, the soul of someone trapped in the hotel’s version of Hell.

Fans have also wondered if the previous season characters who “check in” to the hotel will be characters who have died.

There has been no confirmation from anyone on the show’s creative team about this speculation—other than simply saying “Fans will have to watch and see what happens.”

Ryan Murphy considers the season a return to the show’s “horror roots”

There’s no denying that every season of American Horror Story has had an element of creepiness or strangeness to it; even the quirky Coven season had zombies and murders—but only Murder House was the only season that was strictly ‘horror’ in style and tone. Murphy has stated that he wanted to bring the show back to its horror roots, and wrote “Hotel” with the first season’s style in mind. Of course, this doesn’t mean that other staples of the series—including the potential for aliens, strange subplots and quirky characters—won’t be making an appearance.

Real life murders and serial killers will appear

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There are several real life murder cases and even serial killers who are confirmed to appear in the upcoming season. This includes the previously mentioned Aileen Wuronos (Lily Rabe) as well as a fictionalized version of an unsolved murder case in California, where a woman was filmed behaving erratically on hotel cameras before her body was found in the hotel’s rooftop water tank sometime later. There is no word yet on whether or not these characters and cases will play out in the show—or whether they shall simply be a dark part of the hotel’s sordid past. Either way, Marcy has her work cut out for her!

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How Accurate is Netflix’s ‘Narcos’?

 

Netflix’s original series ‘Narcos’ is based on the true story of the rise of the Colombian drug trade, with a specific focus on kingpin Pablo Escobar and his circle. The series also focuses on several DEA agents who were key in taking town Esobar’s reign–though not without casualties on both sides.

Narcos has received mostly positive reviews from critics and Netflix users alike; one of the most common praises for the show is the fact that it doesn’t paint the storyline in black or white strokes, and isn’t afraid to point out that both Colombian and American officials (including DEA officials) did engage in actions that resulted in the deaths of innocent bystanders. There have been some criticisms of the series, namely some reviews which noted that the show’s narration can get a little tedious, even though it provides an interesting counterpoint between how the narrator (a DEA agent) perceives himself versus how he actually behaves. Despite a few minor quibbles here and there, however, the show was generally well received.

But was it accurate?

Any series based on real life people and real life events will have some discrepancies with what really happened; in some cases, inaccuracies are done for the sake of the story, in order to make plotlines more coherent and understandable for the viewer. Regardless of the reason, Narcos does have some elements of inaccuracy that may be noticeable to viewers who have an interest in the history of the Colombian drug trade. Let’s take a closer look at some of what Netflix’s Narcos got right—and wrong.

Certain real-life figures are absent or heavily modified

Many of the characters on the show are directly based on real people, same names and all. However, there are certain real-life figures who are completely missing from the story or who have been so altered in the show that they no longer resemble their real life counterparts. Case in point: Maria Escobar, Pablos’ young wife who was naturally a large part of his life. In the show, Maria is never given a name or a focal point; in fact, she has been semi-replaced by the character of Elissa.

Some of the characters in the show are in fact heavily modified versions of real life figures. Names, genders, ages, and even character traits are so altered that they are more likely completely new characters than any real life personality. Fans have speculated if the show’s writers decided to obscure the real identities of certain characters in order to give them privacy or to avoid making accusations against certain people that could get the show in legal trouble, but this has not been officially confirmed.

Cocaine smuggling really did change the underground drug landscape

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The rise of Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine’ rings had a serious and significant effect on both Colombia and the United States, particularly states like Florida which were a ‘hotspot’ for cocaine secretly imported from Colombia. Cocaine, unlike other drugs which were popular at the time Escobar began to smuggle in earnest, was much more actively addictive which caused people to want more and spend more on cocaine.

Some of the government actions are muddled

Although real life DEA agents worked as consultants on the series, some of the actions of the US government during their battle against Escobar are muddled for security and privacy reasons. Because of that, there are certain events and characters which are not as clear as they might be if the story wasn’t based on real life events.

Escobar really did use ‘everyday’ people to smuggle

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When most people think about drug smuggling, they think of shady characters lurking in alleyways—but Escobar (and indeed, many modern drug rings) used everyday people who were not likely to be searched or singled out by customs agents for his illegal importing.

In the show, and in real life, men and women were instructed to swallow sealed bags of cocaine which they had to hold in until they met with their rendezvous partner across the border. And, as the show depicted, there were cases where the bags of cocaine ripped or tore open while they were inside a person’s body—in most of these incidents, the person died from the overload of cocaine in their system.

The show doesn’t end with Escobar’s death

Narcos has been one of Netflix’s most anticipated shows, and many viewers assumed that the series would be a one-season special which ended with Escobar’s shooting death on a rooftop. The show’s relatively fast pace in the first few episodes contributed to this disbelief. However, as viewers who reached the end of the first season have noted, the series did not end with this death—and Netflix has announced that they will be producing a second season of Narcos which is expected to air in 2016.

Most fans are pleased with Netflix’s decision, because it allows the series to explore Escobar’s rise and fall, as well as the effects of the Colombian drug trade on both Colombia and the United States, more fully.

Pablo Escobar was a divisive figure

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As the series accurately portrays, Pablo Escobar was—and is—a divisive figure in both America and Colombia. The most notable example of this division is in Colombia, where Escobar’s drug trade resulted in violence as rival smugglers and officials threatened everyone from Escobar’s inner circle to the people working to create the cocaine; the effects of the drug trade can still be seen today. Despite this, Escobar also used a significant amount of the money received from the drug trade to build housing for low income families, some of whom still live in affordable housing because of Escobar.

Like any historical figure or event, the real life events which inspired Narcos are not black and white. As Netflix prepares to create a second season of the show, let’s hope that they manage to match their compelling, realistic and above all fascinating look at the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar.

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Rings. Be scared

Although it was initially called The Ring 3D the title has been changed to Rings. The supernatural psychological horror movie was written by David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes, and Akiva Goldsman. It was directed by F. Javier Gutierrez and produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The executive producer is Guillermo del Toro. Sharone Mier was the cinematographer and the distributing company for the film is Paramount Pictures. Production companies include Image Nation, Parkes+Macdonald, Vertigo Entertainment, and BenderSpink. The country of the film is the United States and the language is English. The budget for the film was $33 million.

Principal photography began in Atlanta on March, 23rd, 2015. Last year Paramount was discussing the making of a third draft of the screenplay with Akiva Goldsman. The previous drafts had been done by Jacob Aaron Estes and David Loucka. An Instragram photo posted by Gutiérrez in November revealed that Rings was the acting title of the movie. Matilda Luts came unto the cast in January, 16th, 2015 as the leading role. In March 20th of this year Alex Roe was cast and a week later on March 27th Aimee Teegarden was cast. On April 1st, 2015, Johnny Galecki signed unto the film. It was agreed that he would play the role of a professor and mentor named Gabriel.

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Rings follows The Ring and The Ring Two, as the third movie in the series. The Ring series is based on a Japanese horror film by the name of Ringu. The very original source of these films doesn’t come from any movie at all, but a trilogy of books which was written by Koji Suzuki. It was initially published in 1991 and set in modern-day Japan. In 1995 Ring: Kanzenban was released, a Japanese film. The Japanese-produced television series, Ring: The Final Chapter was released in 1999. In 1998 Ringu or Ring was released, the Japanese-version of the film. Not long after Ringu there were several remakes. One of the remakes was called The Ring Virus, which was based in South Korea, and the other, The Ring, is the American version.

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The title, “Ring” has many different meanings throughout the books and movies. In the books Ring was the first novel, followed by Spiral and Loop, signifying a cycle wherein the “supernatural virus” which spreads via the tape goes in circles. The name also represents a well where the girl was buried and the fact that the phone “rings” immediately after an individual watches the tape.

Rings is part of the American series. The first film, simply called The Ring, was released in 2002. This film became one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time due to the fact that it had a budget of $48 million but grossed more than $249 million. Another interesting fact about The Ring is that it paved the way for other “J-films” (movies that are Japanese-made or inspired) and was the first American remake of a Japanese horror classic. Others to follow include The Grudge, One Missed Call, Pulse, and Dark Water.

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In The Ring, after four teenagers die under rather bizarre circumstances Rachel Keller, a journalist and aunt to one of the teenagers, decides to dig a little deeper into the mystery. All of the friends died on the same day at the same time. The story primarily revolves around an urban legend which is also the alleged reason that the teenagers died in the first place. There is a deadly tape made by a girl named Samara Morgan and her mother, Anna Morgan. After viewing this tape, one has only seven days left to live and her son Aidan also becomes in danger. Rachel Keller finds this tape, watches it, and shortly after she gets a phone call and a voice says “seven days.” She works tirelessly to unravel the puzzle and find a way to spare her life and break the curse.

Obviously, being that the first movie did so well, there was a second movie, The Ring Two. This movie was released several years later in 2005. It had a budget of $50 million and grossed $161.5 million which isn’t bad. The film did have some negative responses but how much it earned is proof that it wasn’t exactly a failure.

The Ring Two follows up with the same characters, Rachel Keller and her son Aidan. This time the new victims are teenagers Jake and Emily, but Emily covers her eyes as they watch the tape, leading Jake to be the only one hunted seven days later. Six months after Rachel and Aidan have evaded the curse and move to a small town they are again at odds with death. Now that the curse has been reactivated Rachel must again do some investigating in the hopes of saving her son.

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There has been quite a bit of confusion throughout the Internet as to what the movie, Rings, will actually be about. It had been thought that Rings was a prequel to the other films but this is not the case, at least according to the film’s director, who is a fairly reliable source, considering. In fact, Rings is set 13 years after the events take place in the first movie, The Ring. At this point very little is known about the movie as the release date is so far off. Only a general idea about the film and what is known from the previous two movies is available at this time. There are no reviews of any sort, thus there is no way of knowing if Rings will be liked and how it will be compared to the other films. It is not yet known, either, if Rings will fair well financially as The Ring series has thus far. All that is left to do is wait and see how things fair when November rolls around and the movie is at last released to the general public. There is certainly a lot of anticipation, and why wouldn’t there be when the previous two movies made history, moreorless, in their own regard?

 

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All-star cast this Christmas with ‘The Night Before’

The Christmas comedy film, The Night Before, was directed by Jonathan Levine and produced by James Weaver, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg. It was written by Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Jonathan Levine, and Ariel Shaffir. Brandon Trost was the cinematographer and Zene Baker did editing for the film. Music was by Miles Hankins and Marco Beltrami. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures and the production companies are Point Grey Pictures and Good Universe. The film was made in the US and the spoken language is English.

On February 10th, 2014 it was said that Jonathan Levine would be given the opportunity to direct his own script meanwhile Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Gordon would come together once again in The Night Before. On August 11th, 2014 principal photography began in New York City. Anthony Mackie joined the production on May 13th. Jillian Bell joined the film on August 7th and on August 8th Lizzy Caplan came on board. Principal photography began in New York City on August 11th, 2014. Filming took place at 112th street and Broadway in New York City on August 14th. About a week later on August 22nd Rogen was seen just outside a Church in Manhattan during the filming scenes. Some shots were taken of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on Januray 5th, 2015. Although initially The Night Before was scheduled to be released on December 11th of this year Sony decided to move up the date to November 25th, 2015, which is where it remains at this time.

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The cast for The Night Before consists of Lizzy Caplan as Diana, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Ethan, Seth Rogen as Isaac, Anthony Mackie as Chris, Liz Celeste as a mother with her baby, Helene Yorke as Cindy, Aaron Hill as Tommy Owens, Natalie Knepp as coat check girl, Miley Cyrus, Michael Shannon, Mindy Kaling, Lorraine Toussaint, Kanye West, Jillian Bell, Theodora Woolley as a woman, Dennise Renae Larson as Xmas dancer, Marija Skangale as snow globe dancer, Nicole Fiore as exotic dancer, Hannah Townsend as Tommy’s hot girl, Aly Mang as party attendee & pro athlete girlfriend, April Szykerluk as affronted church goer, Baron Davis as himself, Brooke Liddell as Cindy’s daughter, Mikaella Ashley as guest, Kiley Liddell as Cindy’s daughter, and Janel Smietana as Xmas party attendee.

A lot of the attraction about the film is resting on Seth Rogen. This makes sense, considering he is actually Jewish but appearing in a Christmas film. He has played many various roles, including a spy in North Korea, a superhero, and a survivor of the apocalypse. Rogen has been a comedian since the beginning, starting his career in his teens with a stand-up comedy routine. In 1998 he won the Vancouver Amateur Comedy Contest and he is a native of Vancouver Canada. In his early career he had a couple of roles in some small TV shows such as Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. He got a job as a writer for the last season of Da Ali G Show and did a fairly decent job. Slowly he began making more progress as an actor, filmmaker, and comedian. In time Rogen got involved in projects like The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People, Superbad, The Interview, Pineapple Express, Horton Hears a Who!, Kung Fu Panda, Paul, and Monsters vs. Aliens. Now, clad in an ugly Christmas sweater, Rogen will be a part of The Night Before.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt will also be part of the film and is a fellow actor and filmmaker set to be starring in The Night Before. He was a child star who appeared in movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, Angels in the Outfield, A River Runs Through It, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. For a short time Gordon- Levitt took a break from acting to go to college but he dropped out and returned to Hollywood. He has, since then, been in a variety of well-known movies, such as Inception, Lincoln, 500 Days of Summer, The Dark Knight Rises, G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, Looper, and others.

The third star in The Night Before is Anthony Mackie who was born in New Orleans and went to acting school. He has performed in Broadway plays, Off-Broadway plays, feature films, and television series. Some of the plays he has been in include Drowning Crow, McReele, A Soldier’s Play, and Talk. He has also been in 8 Mile, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker, half Nelson, Notorious, A Behanding in Spokane, The Ajdustment Bureau, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant Man.

Ethan, one of the trio of buddies, had lost in parents one tragic Christmas Eve. Ever since that time he and his two friends, Chris and Isaac, spend the painful day together. After fourteen years, however, it appears that the long-held tradition may be coming to an end. Chris has become a famous professional athlete with little time on his hands and Isaac has a baby on the way. Because it seems it will be the last year the friends will be able to uphold the tradition, the three decide to make it count. With plenty of drugs, including cocaine and hallucinogenics, the three have an adventure that includes a lot of shenanigans, among which is going to a Church while tripping on drugs and vomiting.

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Needless to say, the movie is not for anyone. It will definitely contain plenty of shock-humor, which some people find cheap and devoid of genuine talent. There are others, of course, who appreciate such films. It has been toned-down somewhat, allegedly, but it is nevertheless rated R and it isn’t something you will want to watch in front of the whole family and especially not the children. There are, as of yet, no critical responses or reviews about The Night Before, being that it has not yet been released to the public. When it comes out in November we will be able to see how well the film does, but it has the potential to do favorably.

 

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Sicario

On June 30th, 2015, filming for the crime-thriller Sicario began in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The film was produced by Molly Smith, Edward McDonnell, Thad Luckinbill, and Basil Iwanyk. It was written by Taylor Sheridan and edited by Joe Walker. Cinematography was done by Roger Deakins and music is by Johann Johannsson. It was distributed by Lionsgate and the production companies for Sicario are Black Label Media and Thunder Road Pictures. The languages are English and Spanish and the budget was $30 million. Running time was 121 minutes. There was a limited release on September 18th and on October 2nd it will be released nationwide. In April of 2014 Emily Blunt signed unto the film and not long afterwards Benicio del Toro followed her. In May Josh Brolin joined the cast along with Jon Bernthal and the cinematographer. Johann Johannsson was hired in August of 2014.

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Other than Emily Blunt, the movie also stars Benicio del Toro (as Alejandro), Josh Brolin (as Matt Graver), Victor Garber (as Jennings), John Bernthal (as Ted), Daniel Kaluuya (as Reggie Wayne), Maximiliano Hernandez (as Silvo), and Jeffrey Donovan (as Steve Forsing); the highlight being on the first three starring roles mentioned.

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The film, being directed by Denis Villenueve, takes place along the Mexico-United States border with FBI agent Kate Macer (played by Emily Blunt) as she joins a Joint Task Force that has the sole responsibility of tracking down an anonymous drug lord. The movie sets the stage when dead bodies are found in the wall of an ordinary house in Arizona, and, of course, the ones behind it are the Mexican Drug Cartel. The start of the movie alone is riddled with anxiety and suspense to such a loud degree that some people have questioned whether or not the remainder its suspense. It takes an emotional angle on the results of violence and it also delves into the value of human life and the opposing forces of vengeance.

Kate is among comrades that are primarily men and must face unfortunate depravity throughout her journey. Most of the story tends to be seen from her perspective. She is assisted by a rather mysterious man named Matt Graver. He is rather scandalous and shady and says that he works for the Defense Department. Kate and her partner have suspicions that he is probably CIA, however. Many characters in the film seem to have abundant ulterior motives in addition to identities. Graver convinces Kate she should help him in his operation and that he could use her particular expertise. Although she certainly has some doubts Kate is nevertheless rather ignorant about the real matters going on behind the scene and thus decides to help him.

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The title of the film begins to come in focus with the introduction of another character named Alejandro. Alejandro is one of Graver’s wingmen and also, like Graver, rather dark and mysterious. Alejandro is known as the “sicario” which is a slang term for hitman. Things are beginning to become a little more clear with this information in light of the name of the movie itself. It also appears that Alejandro was once a Mexican prosecutor, or so he claims. He has the complete appearance of being one who is ruthless and unafraid of death. The significance of “sicario” is not revealed until later in the film, so in order to really get the full taste and feel of everything, one must hold out until the very end to understand the plot and title as they come full circle.

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A lot of things are being said about Sicario, both good and bad at this point. Many of those who have glimpsed the film are calling it a great action piece where every bullet and action sequence has consequence. It is, according to some, one purposeful, suspenseful event after the next. One review says that the film is “nail-biting” like many other legendary films, comparing it to Fast and the Furious. Emily Blunt is, of course, another very big and important attraction in the film. She is a famous actress who has been in many movies that have been sensations for their times. Those who have seen the film claim that she does an excellent job in the piece and that she mesmerizing to see in the movie.

Drug-war movies are rather common and some people shrug it off as just another movie in an endless list. It has, in this regard, been compared negatively to the movie Traffic. The other reason that some people have been attacking Sicario is how it portrays Mexico. Obviously, right now, immigration is a very hot topic in the real world of politics. The film delves right into the subject of the drug cartel. It is clear, however, that the filmmakers behind Sicario understood this issue and did make some attempt— albeit, possibly weak—to solve or avoid it. The Mexican-so-called “villain” is minor and there are clear attempts to make him more humanized. Few people deny the film’s intensity, suspense, and nonstop thrill.

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IMDb gives Sicario 7.9 stars and Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 88%. So far things are looking pretty decent for Sicario, if not really good. Of course, it hasn’t been released to the general public at this point, so there will be a lot of new opinions pouring in once that happens. Many reviews strongly stand by the excitement locked in Sicario, reaffirming the statements over and over that the film will make your heart race. Good things are also continuously being said not only about Blunt but about Kate too. It has been said that she gets right into the core and essence of her character, perfectly portraying both her courage and vulnerability. Positive words have also been said about Benicio Del Toro and his role as Alejandro. Some critics claim that Sicario is just another violent movie without any further substance, calling it “numbing” or “movie crack.” Soon more observations will be available.

 

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Steve Jobs

The upcoming movie called Steve Jobs was written by Aaron Sorkin. Aaron put the screenplay together using the biography, Steve Jobs, written by a man named Walter Isaacson. Sorkin also conducted interviews which went into the development of the screenplay. The biographical drama is based on the man Steve Jobs known most well for being the co-founder of Apple. It was directed by Danny Boyle and produced by Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon, Guymon Casady, Danny Boyle, and Christian Colson. Adwin H. Kuchler is responsible for cinematography and Elliot Graham did editing. The music is by Daniel Pemberton. Production companies include Cloud Eight Films, Decibel Films, Mark Gordon Company, Scott Rudin Productions, and Legendary Pictures. It was distributed by Universal Pictures. The running time is 122 minutes and the budget was $30 million.

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On July 1st, 2015, the official full trailer was released. Early this month, on September 5th, 2015, the film premiered at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival. On October 9th, 2015, the film will have a limited release in Los Angeles and New York. At last, on October 23rd, 2015, it will be released nationwide.

The work for the film began taking shape in October of 2011 which was when Sony Pictures acquired the rights. Sony Pictures chose Aaron Sorkin and this choice was confirmed the following year in May, 2012. Sorkin was receiving the assistance of another co-founder of Apple named Steve Wozniak in order to make sure the script would be accurate. It was revealed at a later point that the film would cover 16 years of Steve Job’s life within the space of several 30-minute long scenes. Although a lot of the dialog is fictional, Sorkin did speak with many real individuals who play key roles in the film, such as John Sculley, Joanna Hoffman, Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and Chrisann Brennan. Last year, in November of 2014, Sony Pictures decided to drop Steve Jobs, but the movie was picked up by Universal Pictures not long afterwards.

Many very well-known actors have been considered for the role, some were even temporarily assigned to the portrayal of Steve Jobs, but it took some time before the lead role was finally nailed down. Ashton Kutcher starred in another piece which centered around Jobs which was released in 2013. Initially George Clooney and Noah Wyle were some of the first to be considered for the movie. David Fincher began to work on the film for a short time and during this period he chose Christian Bale, but later he left the project and Christian Bale was no longer so certain. After David Fincher left Danny Boyle stepped in to choose the actor for lead role, and he was considering several big names, but initially his choice was Leonardo DiCaprio. After DiCaprio left the scene other actors were being considered, such as Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, and Bale. For a while it was looking like Christian Bale would once again be on the project but things didn’t go as planned and he left. Finally, after many different actors, the role was given to Michael Fassbender. Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman were also rumored at one point to be acting in the film but things never ended up that way.

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Pincipal photography began where Jobs grew up in Los Altos California on January 16th, 2015. A few other scenes were also shot around the San Fransisco Bay Area. On January 23-24 production moved to Berkeley, and a few days after that it moved to the Flint Center, De Anza College. About a month later in late February filming took place at the Civic Center, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, and the Opera House. At last filming ended with a shoot at the San Fransisco Bay Area on April 10th, 2015.

The cast of the film includes: Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Sarah Snook as Andrea Cunningham, Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, Perla Haney-Jardine as Lisa Jobs at 19, Ripley Sobo as Lisa Jobs at 9, Makenzie Moss as Lisa Jobs at 5, John Ortiz as Joel Pforzheimer, Vanessa Ross as Elizabeth Ramos, Adam Sharipo as Avie Tevanian, Jackie Dallas as Flint Stage Manager, Alice Aoki and as VIP shareholder.

Steve Jobs is going to be an intense, even somewhat brutal look at the man, as the writers and producers have tried to capture the real Jobs. From the brilliant to the ugly the film will capture the “iconic visionary” as well as the more ruthless, even cruel and sometimes called heartless individual who set the gears of Apple in motion. The effort to make the character as realistic as possible is not done through a comprehensive look into Job’s life and actions, but through a structure of the relevant information about him.

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The story begins with a 29-year-old Steve Jobs in 1984 where he is about to unveil the original Macintosh. The scene is set in chaos and the air is heavy with anticipation and anxiety as Andy Hertzfeld tries to get the computer to speak to the audience. Jobs is very angry and frustrated by the current situation and he has other thoughts weighing on his mind as well. Personal matters spring up with the scandal of Christann Brennan, Job’s ex girlfriend, and the five-year-old daughter who he denies is his. Throughout the film many aspect of Steve Jobs become evident, his persistence and ruthlessness, his criticism, his callousness and narcissism.

Because the movie has not yet had it’s national release it is difficult to know for certain if the film will be liked or not, but thus far things look good. On just a few reviews Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 90% and IMDb gives it 6.4/10 stars. While some people are excited that Steve Jobs gets another chance after being portrayed as Ashton Kutcher others are not very happy that there is yet another film about him.

 

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The Last Witch Hunter

 

Due to be released on October 23, 2015, The Last Witch Hunter is a tale of a man on a mission. The action film, directed by Breck Eisner, has a huge supernatural component that is going to be an interesting watch. Nearing Halloween, the theme of the movie seems perfect, which may serve as one of the major reasons for the movie’s success.

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Plot

The story of the movie revolves around the witch hunter, Kaulder. It plays on the superstition that the idea of witches is not just a part of legend, but a very real part of reality. They live and breathe among us. What we do not see is that the evil creatures are capable of making the world suffer through death, and misery, and take it to its eventual downfall. The tribe of warriors called The Witch Hunters has been at war with the witches across the world throughout the time. Kaulder, one of the bravest of the witch hunters, is able to eliminate the Queen of the witches as well as her subjects. However, just before dying, the queen plays her final move by making Kaulder immortal. This cruel trick separates Kaulder from his wife and child, whom he loves dearly, in the afterlife. Since then, Kaulder has spent decades, centuries, and millennia, hunting witches across the globe with the help of a Catholic priest, Father Dolan. He misses his family, but he cannot do anything about it.

What he does not know is that the Queen Witch has actually been resurrected by one of his worst enemies, a witch named Belial. They plan to bring the queen’s reign back. Now, all that stands between the complete wipeout of the human race and the witch, is Kaulder. He also has to do the unthinkable, which is partnering with another witch, Chloe, to get to his goal. She is surprisingly a good-hearted witch. He is also joined in his quest by the priest, who is also the 37th Dolan.

The story of the movie is not all that novel – a great warrior with a troubled past and unconventional partnerships that help him get through his biggest challenge. Direction, however, could definitely set the movie apart. The trailer of the movie is also loaded with a lot of action and animation with some of the scenes being visually exhilarating. Other than that, what is interesting is the sparkling star cast of the movie. It is definitely high on acting prowess as well as star power. The main characters in the movie are played by the likes of Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie and Olafur Darri Olafsson, among others.

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Cast

The lead role of The Last Witch Hunter is played by Vin Diesel. The actor, who has just been out of the hugely successful Furious 7. He has a completely new look in the movie too. He is now an axe-wielding, bearded, medieval warrior. Vin Diesel, for a change, has hair! Vin Diesel is a well-known actor, who is best known for his work in the Fast and the Furious series, The Riddick movies, and so on. He has been touted as one of the best action heroes of the current times and has also won a multitude of awards to back his talents.

One of the biggest names in the star cast of The Last Witch Hunter has to be Michael Caine. The British actor has an illustrious career filled with performance that are known to floor the audiences. He has played the roles of memorable characters in a series of exceptional movies that have rendered him a cinematic icon. From playing Alfred Pennyworth in the Dark Knight Series by Christopher Nolan, the professor in Inception, a magician in Prestige, to the scientist who plans it all in Interstellar, he has played it all. Michael Caine plays the role of the knowledgeable Father Dolan, who helps Vin Diesel in his mission to ward off the last of the witches. The movie does get a huge boost with his fans, who will definitely be looking forward to watching him after his brief absence from the industry.

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Then there is the other superstar on the list, Elijah Wood, who plays the role of a Dolan, who accompanies Kaulder through his fight against the Queen Witch. Best known for his role in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit series, Elijah is no stranger to the genre of fantasy fiction. As Frodo Baggins, he has proved his acting prowess and this movie is definitely going to benefit from his cult following.

The role of Chloe is played by Rose Leslie. The actress shot to fame after her appearance as Ygritte on the cult TV series, The Game of Thrones. She has also been seen as Gwen Dawson in the ITV Drama, Downtown Abbey. The actress has done her fair share of TV shows and movies before. She has also won the British Academy Scotland New Talents Awards for her performance in the movie, New Town.

The other important characters in the movie are played by Julie Engelbrecht as the Queen Witch, Academy Award winner, Olafur Darri Olafsson as Belial, Rena Owen, Isaach De Bankole, Lotte Verbeek, Kurt Angle, and others.

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Production

The movie is being produced by Mark Canton, Bernie Goldman and Vin Diesel himself. The idea for the film has been in the works since 2012. Then, it was set to be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and written by Cory Goodman. However, with time, the script went through various changes by D.W. Harper and then Melissa Wallack. The direction of the project also changed hands and ginally went to Breck Eisner. The movie also got delayed because of a shift in the schedule of Furious 7 on account of the sudden demise of Paul Walker. The shooting of the movie finally began in the September of 2014 in Pittsburgh. After posting several pictures of the movie’s shooting on his social media account, in June, 2015, Vin Diesel also confirmed the making of a sequel. As he stated, “So the studio apparently is so excited by The Last Witch Hunter – The Axe and Cross franchise… that they are already commencing on the next one. The first one doesn’t hit theaters until October 23rd, yet they want me to commit and already block out time to film it.” This shows that the makers have complete faith in the success of the movie.

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The Last Witch Hunter’s Final Words. Redundant? nah.

The Last Witch Hunter has all the essentials in place. It has got the timing right, it has a great cast and the trailer has created enough buzz for people to want to watch it. Though the story is not that innovative, it remains to be seen how Breck Eisner presents it, and puts to use a stupendous group of actors to churn out a successful supernatural fiesta for his viewers.

 

 

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The Martian

In 2011 Andy Weir wrote a novel called The Martian, and that book was adapted by Drew Goddard into a screenplay. The American science fiction film was released at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th of this year. From September 24th-October 2nd the film will screen at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. On September 30th the film will be released to the UK and finally on October 2nd it will be released in theaters in the United States. The initial release for The Martian was going to be in November on the 25th of this year, but the film switched dates with another movie called Victor Frankenstein. The Martian will be screened in 3D and 2D.

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The film was directed by Ridley Scott and produced by Mark Huffman, Aditya Stood, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott, and Simon Kinberg. The music is by Harry Gregson-Williams and the cinematography by Dariusz Wolski. It was edited by Pietro Scalia. Production companies include Kinberg Genre and Scott Free Productions. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox. The budget for the film was $108 million and the running time is 141 minutes.
Simon Kinberg started developing The Martian in March of 2013. In November, 2014, filming for the project began. This lasted around 70 days. There were about 20 sets which were each built on a soundstage located in Budapest, Hungary. This stage is among the largest on earth. Some filming was also done in Jordan. Wadi Rum, Jordan, was also used for several other movies which took place on Mars including The Last Days On Mars, Red Planet, and Mission to Mars. 15 suits were made by six people to be used in the film. The movie used the space program for advice and guidance so that it would be accurate as far as the science and technology behind it go.

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According to the Los Angeles Times the movie, The Martian, will be to publicize a human mission to Mars by the scientific community including NASA. Ed Fin, who works as director at the Arizona State University said that “What this story does really well is imagine a near future scenario that doesn’t push too far of where we are today technically.” Another man named Jim Erickson who works for NASA said that The Martian would show the general public the good and the bad of traveling to Mars. Andy Wier did his best to depict Watney, the main character, in a realistic fashion. In some ways he resembles Robinson Crusoe because they were both stranded in a strange new environment alone, but the biggest distinction between the two is the fact that Watney had to monitor his own behavior through the means of mission cameras. Wier did not want Watney to come off as depressed and lonely and some of his personal humor can be seen in the film. Wier did make sure, however, to make it visually obvious that Watney was completely isolated and in a very dangerous and alien habitat.
NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino was involved in the marketing of The Martian. Through an universe video diary shared on Twitter Massimino was able to show a clip of some of the characters from the film. An official trailer was released on June 8th. Good things were said about the trailer as many people thought that it did a good job of showcasing the movie. Jimmy Kimmel, the host of a late night talk show, did a parody of the original trailer called The Mastronaut: Emission to Mars. In August a couple other videos were released, one of which was another viral video, this time featuring interviews with the crew members. A second trailer was released and at the end of August, and yet another viral video was released, this time presented as a special episode of StarTalk.

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The most recent big space films were Interstellar and Gravity, and from the appearance of the trailers there are high hopes that The Martian may even put the other movies in its shadow. Another thing that many people are talking about is the fact that Matt Damon also played a stranded astronaut in the movie Interstellar, but right now that is somewhat besides the point. What ultimately sets The Martian apart from other similar sci-fi movies is the fact that it isn’t going to be sci-fi. It is going to be based on a project that NASA is currently working on to make a reality. Scientific fact is going to be a strong theme in the film.

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Mark Watney becomes stranded on Mars after his crew must evacuate the planet without him. They must leave him for dead and have no way to know if he might survive. He cannot communicate back home and he is also in a habitat which is only designed to be sustainable for 30 days long. What’s worse is there isn’t another crew coming for four years. Pitted against the odds Watney decides to do everything he can to last until the next crew comes. While stranded on the planet Watney must figure out the basics in order to live, finding solutions to problems like oxygen, food, and transportation. Watney must rely heavily on scientific knowledge in order to endure and much of the facts and information the film contains are very realistic.
Thus far a few select individuals have seen the film and there are some reviews floating around out there. This is just the public’s very first taste of what The Martian has in store, and the nation as a whole has yet to see what they think. Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb both give fairly favorable ratings. Rotten Tomatoes has an approval rating of 97% and IMDb gives it 8.6 stars. Not many negative things are being said about the film, for the most part all is quite good. The biggest complaint, by this point, is the lack of emotional connection or investment in the main characters. While the audience does, of course, care for Watney’s safety, the emotional element is not as deep as it could—and maybe should— be.

 

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Goosebumps: The Upcoming Movie Based On The Book Series by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps is an upcoming movie based on the book series of the same name. R.L. Stine, who created the children’s horror series, is set to have a cameo. The film is due to be released on October 16th, and will star Dylan Minnette, Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Amy Ruan, Jillian Bell and Avery Jones. The film is being released by Columbia Pictures.

Plot

A young boy moves into a new neighborhood. Befriending the girl who lives next door, he soon learns that her father is R.L. Stine, writer of the Goosebumps series of children’s horror stories. What the boy will soon find is that the truth is stranger than fiction, and the inspiration for R.L. Stine’s horror stories is not so much imagination as it is the ghosts and monsters that live in his basement. The boy and his new friend accidentally release those monsters – and in doing so, they put the whole town at risk. They team up with R.L. Stine in order to combat the creepy ghouls in the live 3D/Animation action movie.

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Cast

 Jack Black is set to play the role of R. L. Stine, the creator of the Goosebumps franchise. He is known for his roles in High Fidelity, Shallow Hal, School of Rock, King Kong, Nacho Libre, Tropic Thunder, The Holiday, Bernie and the Kung Fu Panda films, as well as being the lead singer of comedy rock group Tenacious D.

Dylan Minnette is set to play the role of Zach Cooper the new neighbor of R. L. Stine. He is best known for his roles as Clay Norman in Saving Grace, Jack Shephard’s son David in Lost, Rex Britten in the NBC drama Awake, and Anthony in the comedy film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Odeya Rush is set to play the role of Hannah Stine, the daughter of R. L. Stine. She is best known for her role in the 2014 film, The Giver, but has also had roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, The Odd Life Of Timothy Green and We Are What We Are.

Amy Ryan is set to play the role of Zach’s mother. Ryan has numerous films and television series to her name.  On television, she has starred as Beadie Russell in HBO’s The Wire (2002–08), Holly Flax in NBC’s The Office (2008–11) and Adele Brousse in HBO’s In Treatment (2010). She has won several awards for her work in film, including Uncle Varna, A Streetcar Named Desire and Gone Baby Gone, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Ryan Lee will appear in an undisclosed role. He is best known for his roles as Warren in the show Trophy Wife and as Cary in the 2011 film Super 8.

Jillian Bell will appear in an undisclosed role. She is best known for her recurring roles as Jillian Belk on Workaholics and Dixie on the final season of Eastbound & Down, as well as her appearance in the 2014 film 22 Jump Street.

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Avery Jones is set to play the role of the voice of Slappy the Dummy, a living dummy who appeared in previous goosebumps tales: Night of the Living Dummy, Night of the Living Dummy II, Night of the Living Dummy III, Bride of the Living Dummy, Slappy’s Nightmare, Revenge of the Living Dummy, Slappy New Year, and Son of Slappy.

Ken Marino is set to play the role of Coach Carr. Marino is best known for being a cast member on MTV’s The State as well as having starred in shows such as Party Down, Marry Me, Burning Love, and Children’s Hospital.

Halston Sage will appear in an undisclosed role. Haiston is an American actress, well known for her roles as Grace on the Nickelodeon TV series How to Rock, Amber on the NBC primetime series Crisis and Lacey in Paper Towns.

Steven Krueger is set to play the role of Davidson. To this point, he is best known for his casting as Joshua Rosza in the Vampire Diaries spin-off show, The Originals.

  1. Roger Mitchell will appear in an undisclosed role.

Timothy Simons will appear in an undisclosed role. is an American actor best known for his role as Jonah Ryan on the HBO television series Veep, He has also had acting roles in the films Inherent Vice and The Interview, which were both released in 2014.

Amanda Lund will appear in an undisclosed role.

  1. L. Stine will have a cameo/undisclosed role. Stine is the creator of the Goosebumps book series. Considered the Stephen King of children’s literature, he has written over 400 books, making him one of the most prolific and best-selling authors in history.

 

Production

Originally, the Goosebumps film was discussed as far back as 1998. Tim Burton, the director of Edward Scissorhands, Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas was the proposed director – and the reason for the detour from Goosebumps small screen routes was that the story that the producers wanted to tell was too large to do for television. However, this film never materialised.

The rights to Goosebumps as a movie were purchased again in 2008, this time by Columbia Pictures, who are responsible for this release.

Jack Black was cast in late 2013, and met with R.L. Stine, who was sceptical about a film doing justice to the story series. Various castings occurred between Black’s signing on to do the role and the beginning of filming.

Filming began in April 2014. This was done in combination with the 3D work – and the majority of filming took place in May 2014 in Madison, Georgia.

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At Comic Con 2015, various details were given out regarding the movie. In particular, attention was given to the fact that Slappy The Dummy and other fan favourites from the book series would be making a return. The film is set to be a mixture of horror and comedy, as the director believes that that captures the best spirit of the movie series.

 

 

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Jem And The Holograms

Jem and the Holograms is a film that is set to be released on October 23rd, 2015. It is about a girl, Jem, and her band, The Holograms. Jem And The Holograms has been written by Ryan Landels, and directed by John M. Chu. It stars Aubrey Peeoples, Isabella Rice, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, Aurora Perrineau and Juliette Lewis. It is a musical fantasy film, based on a line of toys. Previously, the storyline for the toys had been an animated TV series.

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Plot

The story follows a group of girls: Jem, or Jerrica Benton, who is a singer, Kimber Benton, a songwriter and keyboardist, Aja, a lead guitarist, and Shana, a bass guitar player, who all form a band. They then set off on a quest to become global icons and live the rock star dream.

Cast

Aubrey Peeples will play the role of Jerrica Benton/Jem, who is the lead singer of the band. Peeples is an American actress and singer. She is known for her role as Layla Grant in the ABC drama series Nashville.

Isabella Rice will play the role of young Jem/Jerrica. is an American child actress, best known for her role of young Alison DiLaurentis in the series Pretty Little Liars and Sarah Compton in True Blood.

Stefanie Scott will play the role of Kimber Benton, Jerrica Benton/Jem’s the songwriter, keyboardist and main creative force of the band as well as Jerrica/Jem Benton’s younger sister. Scott is best known for her roles as Lexi Reed on Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm, Dana Tressler in the film Flipped, for which she won a 2011 Young Artist Award, and Quinn Brenner in the film Insidious: Chapter 3.

Hayley Kiyoko will play the role of Aja Leith, the right hand woman, and lead guitarist, of the band of  Jerrica/Jem. She is best known for playing Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, as well as Stella Yamada in the Disney Channel film Lemonade Mouth. In February 2015 she also became a professional musician, after she released her debut solo EP.

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She is currently portraying the role of Raven Ramirez in CSI: Cyber and has a starring role on the spin-off web-series of The Fosters.

Aurora Perrineau will play the role of Shana Elmsford, the bass guitarist for the band

Wynter Perrineau will play the role of young Shana.

Juliette Lewis will play the role of Erica Raymond. Lewis  gained fame as an actress for her role in Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of the thriller Cape Fear, which earned her nominations for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. After this, she also landed major roles in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Natural Born Killers, Strange Days, The Evening Star, Kalifornia, From Dusk till Dawn, and The Other Sister.

Ryan Guzman will play the role of Rio Pacheco, Jerrica/Jem’s love interest as well as the road manager and engineer of the band. Guzman is best known for portraying Sean Asa in the fourth and fifth installments of the Step Up series and Noah Sandborn in The Boy Next Door. He will also have a role in the upcoming reboot series, Heroes Reborn.

Molly Ringwald will play the role of Aunt Bailey, Jerrica and Kimber’s aunt/adoptive mother, as well as also the adoptive mother to Aja and Shana. Ringwald is an actress and singer who has had success in multiple decades after becoming a teen icon. Her work includes: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986), which helped Ringwald became a teen icon. She had later starring roles in The Pick-up Artist (1987), and For Keeps (1988). She starred in many films in the 1990s, most notably Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992) and The Stand (1994).

Nathan Moore will play the role of Zipper, the main antagonist of Jem And The Holograms.

Barnaby Carpenter will play the role of Emmet Benton, Jerrica and Kimber’s deceased father.

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Nicholas Braun will play the role of Brad. He has previously appeared in movies such as The Perks Of Becoming a Wallflower.

Voice actresses from the TV series Jem Samantha Newark (Jerrica/Jem’s speaking voice) and Britta Phillips (Jerrica/Jem’s singing voice) will have cameo appearances.

 

Production

GI Joe and Transformers are both franchises owned by Hasbro – the toy making company. Both of these films had movie tie-ins that were created in the 21st Century. Both of these series were commercially successful – in particular, Transformers was a movie that spanned a massive franchise of films (four have been released to date) that took in a combined box office of billions of dollars – several of them are in the highest earning films ever.

It was this success that led to Hasbro signing a six film deal with universal Pictures in order to transform some of their other lines of toys into film franchises as well.

On the 20th of March, 2014, it was announced that there would be a feature length, live action film based on the Jem series of toys, entitled Jem and the Holograms. Jon M.  Chu was announced as the director.

Notably, the original television series creator will not be involved – though they have given the benefit of the doubt, as well as voiced support, for the creative vision that John M. Chu is planning to implement.

Photography and filming for Jem and the Holograms began on the 22nd of April 2014. Shooting took place in Los Angeles and Van Nuys, and the filming of Jem And The Holograms concluded on May 24th 2014.

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Casting

The majority of the main cast were announced in April 2014: including Aubrey Peeples as Jem, Stefanie Scott as Kimber, Hayley Kioki as aja, and Aurora Perrineau as Shana. Ryan Guzman was cast as Rio at the very end of that month, on 30th April 2014. Juliette Lewis became an official cat member on the 19th May, and she was followed on May 20th 2014 by Molly Ringwald.

 

 

 

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