Screen Media Acquires Ana Lily Amirpour’s THE BAD BATCH

Screen Media Films has acquired the U.S. rights for Ana Lily Amirpour’s “The Bad Batch” in an all-night bidding session prior to its North American premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The news comes fresh off the movie’s Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, where it had its world premiere last week. A dystopian love story set in a Texas wasteland amongst a community of cannibals, the film stars Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi, Yolonda Ross, with cameos from Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, and Diego Luna. “The Bad Batch” is the highly anticipated follow-up to Amirpour’s acclaimed directorial debut, “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.”

Screen Media will release “The Bad Batch” in theaters in Q1 2017 and will also play at Fantastic Fest later this month.

“We’ve been impressed with Lily as a filmmaker ever since her first film and were blown away by her vision for ‘The Bad Batch.’ We couldn’t pass up the chance to work with her, Annapurna and VICE,” said Seth Needle, SVP Worldwide Acquisitions, at Screen Media Films.

“We couldn’t be more excited about Seth and Tom’s passion for Lily’s beautifully freaky vision,” added VICE’s executive creative director Danny Gabai. “She’s created a film that’s unlike anything else out there, and we can’t wait to get ‘The Bad Batch’ on the big screen so we can start making people’s brains hurt.”

“’The Bad Batch’ is truly a cinematic experience, which needs to be seen on the big screen,” said Ana Lily Amirpour. “It just won’t be the same on a small scale and I’m excited to release it with Screen Media who totally gets that.”

The deal was negotiated by Needle and Tom Yagielski, SVP, Domestic Distribution, at Screen Media, and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers, Annapurna Pictures and VICE Media.

“The Bad Batch” is written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, produced by Sina Sayyah and Danny Gabai, co-produced by Sammy Scher, executive produced by Megan Ellison, Eddy Moretti, and Shane Smith, with cinematography by Lyle Vincent, sound by Chris Terhune, editing by Alex O’Flinn, and production design by Brandon Tonner-Connolly. The production companies are Annapurna Pictures and VICE.

Special Screening of LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE to raise funds for 2016 Dia de los Muertos community event

Join friends and neighbors on September 21 for a special fundraiser screening of director Alfonso Arau’s sumptuous 1992 Mexican classic Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate), presented in support of Santa Ana’s Viva La Vida 2016 – Amor Eterno Dia de los Muertos Festival! There will be special food & drink options available, and exclusive Viva La Vida merchandise available for purchase, proceeds of which will be used to facilitate community murals and live art demonstrations that are planned for this year’s event. Come out for a fun filled night! Prizes will be raffled to lucky members of the audience!

Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Esquivel, this internationally popular romantic fable from Mexico centers on a young woman who discovers that her cooking has magical effects. The tale’s heroine, Tita, is the youngest of three daughters in a traditional Mexican family. Bound by tradition to remain unmarried while caring for her aging mother, Tita nevertheless falls in love with a handsome young man named Pedro. Pedro returns her affection, but he cannot overcome her family’s disapproval, and he instead marries Tita’s elder sister. The lovestruck young woman is brutally disappointed, and her sadness has such force that it infects her cooking: all who eat it her feel her heartbreak with the same intensity. This newly discovered power continues to manifest itself after the wedding, as Tita and Pedro, overcome by their denied love, embark on a secret affair.

Director Alfonso Arau, Esquivel’s husband at the time, presents the acts of love and cooking with the same glossy, sensual sheen. Indeed, despite occasional digressions into a magical realist tone, the film often takes on the gloss of Hollywood romance. This combination of traditional melodrama and exotic fairy tale proved extremely popular with audiences, particularly in the United States, where it became one of the highest grossing foreign language films at the time.

Tickets to this fundraising event are $10, and are available at The Frida Cinema’s box office, or online at www.thefridacinema.org.

Godzilla Stomps Across America This October – The Real Godzilla

The iconic science fiction monster Godzilla makes land fall in the U.S. and Canada this October with the North American theatrical release of “SHIN GODZILLA” from Toho Company, Ltd. Fans have been clamoring for news of the film’s theatrical dates ever since Funimation® Films made its surprise acquisition announcement in July at San Diego Comic Con 2016. And today, the company revealed that “SHIN GODZILLA” will roar into theaters for a limited engagement on October 11 – 18. The movie will screen in more than 440 theaters across the U.S. and Canada.  Tickets for “SHIN GODZILLA” will be available for pre‐purchase on the official film website beginning on September 9.

“We are thrilled to bring ‘SHIN GODZILLA’ to theaters across North America this October,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and President of Funimation. “Toho established Godzilla as one of the most iconic monsters in science fiction history and we’re honored to now be a part of that history with the theatrical release of this new movie. Fans will not want to miss this limited theatrical event.“

Co‐directed by Hideaki Anno (creator of “Evangelion”) and Shinji Higuchi (director of Toho’s 2015 “Attack on Titan” live action movies), “SHIN GODZILLA” is the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho and represents a brand new chapter in the 62‐year history of this celebrated movie monster.  The film stars Hiroki Hasegawa and Satomi Ishihara – both also from the “Attack on Titan” live action movies – as well as Yutaka Takenouchi.

“Movie audiences can look forward to a great time watching ’SHIN GODZILLA’ this October,” said Mike DuBoise, EVP and COO of Funimation. “A larger than life monster like Godzilla has to “Shin Godzilla” Stomps Across North America This October be experienced on the big screen.  And we expect this movie to sellout in numerous theaters so we encourage fans to purchase tickets in advance.”

SHIN GODZILLA has been a big hit in Japan since its opening on July 29, 2016, which garnered a box office of ¥ 845,675,500 and total audience of 564,332 during its first three days.  To date in Japan, the movie has grossed ¥ 5,302,014,700 at the box office and 3,637,748 in total attendance.

BBC AMERICA BRINGS BACK TO LIFE DESTROYED DOCTOR WHO EPISODES

It’s one of the most celebrated Doctor Who adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.

Doctor Who- The Power of the Daleks, Daleks _ © BBC_BBC AMERICAAnnounced today, BBC AMERICA and BBC Worldwide have commissioned a brand new animation based on the program’s original audio recordings, surviving photographs and film clips that will be released 50 years after its only UK broadcast on BBC One. Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks premieres Saturday, November 12 on BBC AMERICA and will be available the following day to stream on the BBC AMERICA App and BBCAmerica.com.

Doctor Who- The Power of the Daleks, Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) _ © BBC_BBC AMERICAThe six-part adventure features the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of first Doctor, William Hartnell into second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks is produced and directed by Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.

Sarah Barnett, President of BBC AMERICA, commented, “50 years after its inception, Doctor Who continues to be a global phenomenon that perpetually reanimates itself – literally, right now.  “The Power of the Daleks” is the latest uniquely creative storytelling to spring from the extraordinary mythology of the Doctor Who world – there are only a handful of global franchises that have the depth to evolve in this kind of way. We are so proud to present this work to our BBCA Doctor Who fans, who we think will go crazy for this reverent yet shockingly reinvented “mash up”.”

Charles says, “The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honored to be a part of such an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, The Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.”

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says, “Charles and his team are remarkably talented and passionate about Doctor Who and we are thrilled that fans will soon be able to enjoy this rather sinister but wonderful, classic story.”

BBC AMERICA adds Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks to its Fall slate of original programming includingDavid Beckham: For the Love of the Game on September 20, new season of The Graham Norton Show in October, world premiere of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on October 22, The Living and the Dead on October 27, Undercover on November 17 and the Doctor Who Christmas Special in December.

Sci-Fi Parody ‘Unbelievable!!!’ Stars 50 Star Trek Cast Members and Premieres Tonight

The Sci-Fi Parody Adventure feature film “Unbelievable!!!!!” will have its World Premiere at a Sneak Peek Industry Screening in Hollywood. Red Carpet arrivals will begin at 6:15pm, and the screening will start at 7:30pm Wednesday, September 7, at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres at Hollywood & Highland, in Hollywood, CA, announced husband and wife filmmakers, Steven L. Fawcette and Angelique Fawcette today. The film was written and directed by Steven and produced by Angelique under their Archangel Films banner.
 
The star of the film, Kirk Stillwood, a puppet created by the Chiodo Brothers, who created all of the “Team America: World Police” puppets, will be in attendance at the screening and will do interviews on the Red Carpet. Kirk Stillwood is voiced by Kevin Carlson. The film also stars forty former “Star Trek” actors from all the “Trek” series and two movies!
 
“We wanted to create a unique and original film that sci-fi fans can watch again and again, celebrating their love for this iconic TV show. It is a Sci-Fi Parody Adventure, which uses none of ‘Star Trek’s’ intellectual property, with a cast of over forty former stars of the shows in a zany parody, along the lines of ‘Airplane!’ and ‘Mars Attacks!’,” said Steven L. Fawcette. “I hope the five exclamation points in the title “Unbelievable!!!!!” convey the film’s comedic sensibilities,” he added.
 
‘Unbelievable!!!!!” stars 40 actors who starred or guest-starred on one of the five “Star Trek” TV series, including Chase Masterson, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Nichelle Nichols, Robert Picardo, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Nana Visitor, Walter Koenig, Linda Park, Connor Trinneer, Manu Intiraymi, Dina Meyer, Olivia d’Abo, Julie Warner, Armin Shimerman, Jeffrey Combs, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Max Grodenchik, Casey Biggs, Brenda Bakke, Patti Yasutake, McKenzie Westmore, Anthony Montgomery, Vaughn Armstrong, Gary Graham, Steve Rankin, Michael Dante, Jack Donner, Michael Forest, Sean Kenney, Gary Lockwood, BarBara Luna, Beverly Washburn, Celeste Yarnall, Bobby Clark, Jasmine Anthony, Crystal Allen, Menina Fortunato, along with Gilbert Gottfried and Michael Madsen, and introducing Katarina Van Derham, Producer/Actress Angelique Fawcette, and Singer/Songwriter Emily L. Stanton.

“As an Independent Film Company, we at Archangel Films have worked tremendously hard on this film, and that work has been a gift. Working with the talented cast of 40 ‘Trek’ stars as well as two ‘Trek” — The Original Series iconic musical talents was an amazing experience,” said Angelique Fawcette.  “I hope that fans, who are used to seeing these actors in more dramatic roles, will have some fun and laughs watching the exploits of a Puppet hero and dozens of their favorite stars in our slapstick parody adventure,” she added.
In addition to the many recognizable faces in “Unbelievable!!!!!,” most “Star Trek” and sci-fi fans will recognize the name Gerald Fried from watching the TV credits roll by countless times. Fried, an Emmy-Award winning composer, scored the film. Fried was a composer for the original “Star Trek” and has written some of its most iconic musical themes, including “Amok Time’s” Fight Music. Fried won his Emmy for his Composition work on the 1970’s TV Series “Roots.”
Additionally, Tommy Morgan, was the Lead Bass Harmonia player on the film’s score. Morgan also worked on the original “Star Trek” series episode “Spectre of the Gun.” Multi -Grammy and Academy Award winner Dave Grusin is the Pianist on the score. Grusin is known for his work on “The Graduate”, “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “On Golden Pond” and “Tootsie.” Also joining the musical talent is Ross Garren who plays the Slider Harmonica.
“Unbelievable!!!!!” is a Sci-Fi Parody Adventure. The movie follows the crazy exploits of four astronauts (one is an animatronic marionette which resembles the character “Captain Kirk” from the 1960s TV show “Star Trek”) who travel to the Moon on a rescue mission to determine the fate of two NASA comrades who have not been heard from in several days. The individuals they find at the Lunar Base are not whom they appear to be and, through acts of trickery and deception, nearly succeed in killing our heroes. The four return to find that everyone on the planet has been transformed into a variant life-form. Aliens from Mars have conquered Earth and now seek to destroy the last remnants of humanity. The astronauts fight back and soon discover how to rid themselves of the alien threat.

Wildcard Announces NVIDIA Ansel Photography Contest

Studio Wildcard announced today its first NVIDIA Ansel Photography Contest. This weekly screenshot competition asks players to take in-game photographs from either ARK: Survival Evolved or its new desert themed expansion pack ARK: Scorched Earth using NVIDIA Ansel, and meet the category requirements listed below.

As announced last week, ARK: Survival Evolved and its Scorched Earth Expansion Pack now include support for NVIDIA Ansel — a revolutionary new way to capture in-game shots. Simply start the game with Ansel enabled and hit “Alt+F2” to start capturing your favorite shots!

Winners will be announced each Friday during ARK’s regular “Community Crunch” blog post with the initial batch of winners announced Friday, September 9. Each winner (3) will receive $100 each. Want to enter? ARK-Ansel screenshot entries should be e-mailed to anselcontest@studiowildcard.com.

Have a look at the stunning high-res ARK/Ansel-created image HERE: images.nvidia.com/ansel/SuperResolution/ARK-SuperResolution1/ARK__Survival_Evolved_HighRes_2016_09_01_-_14_38_36_55.html

Three Categories

  • Super Resolution: These should be taken at 8x Super Resolution. Players can optionally use Depth of Field effects accessible in Spectator mode by pressing the [Delete] key.
  • Panoramic 360 Stereoscopic 3D: These should be taken at 4x Super Resolution,  in 360 Stereoscopic 3D mode. We will crop them to 2D for web display, while also providing the 3D version for viewing within VR display. Check out your 360 Stereo results on your HMD or on your Android Phone with NVIDIA VR Viewer
  • Freeform: Any settings, whacky and creative use of Ansel filters are encouraged. Adding humorous titles/captions in Photoshop is also acceptable for this category!

Ansel is a revolutionary new way to capture in-game shots.  Compose a shot from any position, adjust with post-process filters, capture HDR images in high fidelity formats, and share the screenshots in 360 via a smartphone, PC or VR headset. Learn more about these features in the Ansel Technology page and the NVIDIA blog.

Indie Thriller ‘The Scarapist’ Available Now on Video on Demand

Following its successful festival run, limited release in Landmark Theatres and screening at the 2016 Berlinale European Film Market (EFM), award-winning indie thriller “The Scarapist”™ is now available on Video on Demand (VOD) in select markets on platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo and more. A DVD release is scheduled for later this year. Visit http://www.scarapist.com for details.

“The Scarapist”™ is based on a shocking and horrifying true story of therapist abuse.

Audience and critical response has been overwhelming. Due to the traumatic nature of its content, and the authentic emotional landscape and real-life situations represented, the filmmakers have added the following trigger warning: “This film, based on a true story, depicts actual events, and has been known to cause disturbances and even psychotic reactions. Viewer discretion is advised.”

Co-directed by Jeanne Marie Spicuzza, who also penned the screenplay, and Synthian Sharp, “The Scarapist”™ stars Spicuzza,Katy Colloton of TV Land’s “Teachers” and R. Michael Gull. Spicuzza, David Spicuzza and Marjorie Spicuzza are executive producers, with Shari Hamrick as consulting producer. Visit “The Scarapist”™ on Twitter and Instagram @TheScarapist and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheScarapist/ for announcements, updates, special offers and more.

Star Trek Beyond – Movie Review

The new Kirk and crew must figure out the secret of the evil Krall before he destroys the Federation.

Release Date: July 29, 2016
Writer: Simon Pegg
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba

The film picks up with Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise already three years into its five-year mission. Kirk is growing weary of one diplomatic mission after another and is considering retiring from the monotony of space travel. Spock (Zachary Quinto), on the other hand, has his thoughts focused on the remaining members of his species. After receiving bad news from New Vulcan, Spock is also considering retiring to help with the proliferation of his people.

The setting of Star Trek Beyond is the massive space station, known as Yorktown. Created inside a protective sphere, this space “city” holds millions of people from a vast variety of alien races, which comprise the current Federation of Planet.

Trouble stirs when an alien ship approaches the space station and its captain requests the help of the Enterprise to rescue its crew abandoned on the other side of the nearby nebula. With Federation approval, the Kirk and crew agree with assist with the rescue and upon arrival, the crew finds itself in the middle of a sneak attack from the villain Krall (Idris Elba). Forced to abandon ship, the Enterprise crew is separated. They must find away to regroup, figure out who Krall is and how to return to the Yorktown and warn them of Krall’s plans.

Star Trek Beyond gets the crew of the Enterprise beyond its origins highlighted in the first two films. It shows the new crew of the Enterprise fully engaged in the original mission of the series of seeking out new worlds and civilizations. Star Trek Beyond’s main plot is an attack on that mission. It starts with Captain Kirk trying to broker peace between two warring species and ends with Krall trying to put an end to the growing expansion of the Federation.

Star Trek movies have succeeded when the film are not 2-hour episodes, but more an action adventure with high stakes. They work when the consequences of failure are dire. For Star Trek Beyond, they’ve succeeded in finding the balance and creating a high-stakes, high-adventure, 2-hour episode. Writer Simon Pegg uses the attack on the Enterprise to split the crew up and force the volatile pairings of Kirk/Chekhov/Scotty, McCoy/Spock and Uhura/Sulu to grow, develop and work together to overcome their impossible situation.

The strength of the successful Star Trek movies, including this one, have always been the crew. When most of the film focuses solely Shatner or Stewart, it fails because, as fans, we love the individual members and want to see everyone get their fair chance at saving the universe.

Star Trek Beyond also succeeds because the story is clever, the action makes sense for the most part and the nostalgic reasons we love Star Trek are also there. I also like that we’re finally engaged in the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Star Trek is a good film and should appeal to casual fans and Trekkies alike. There are only two moments that fell flat. The first is the opening sequence when Kirk is brokering peace between two alien cultures. The moment is basically a comedic gag and played solely for laughs. Yes, it was funny, but that is the wrong tone to start a Star Trek film. It presents the movie as a comedy right off the bat, when film is clearly meant to be more than light fun.

The second moment is the first attack on the Enterprise by Krall. The segment just went on too long. Director Justin Lin tells a great story here, but the entire attack segment just won’t end. The action sequence feels like it goes on forever and you have to let audiences breathe once in a while.

Overall, Star Trek Beyond has found a place on the mantle of Star Trek movies. What’s missing is a sense of importance that the best Star Trek movies have to the Star Trek universe. Star Trek Beyond is fun but not profound.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Video Game – E3 Preview

Ubisoft is producing the next South Park video game. It’s a turn-based superhero game called, “The Fractured But Whole.” You play members of Coon and Friends.

The game is available on all platforms and comes out December 6, 2016. Recruit up to 13 members of Coon and Friends to your cause, including Mysterion, The Human Kite, and the infamous Coon himself. Combine your special powers with the heroes from Coon and Friends to eliminate anyone that gets in your way and defeat the dark power that has spread its evil tentacles over South Park.

At E3, I had the opportunity to visit the Coon and Friends Museum.

Star Trek Beyond World Premiere at Comic Con San Diego

Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot and director Justin Lin today announced that the world premiere of “STAR TREK BEYOND” will play in the immersive IMAX® format at Comic-Con International: San Diego, in partnership with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and IMAX Corporation, on Wednesday, July 20, at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.

The red carpet event at San Diego Comic-Con, which marks the first-ever open-air IMAX world premiere, will feature special appearances by Lin and the “STAR TREK BEYOND” filmmakers and cast, as well as a live concert performance of Academy Award®-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s film score by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Lin made the announcement at the STAR TREK FAN EVENT, where all fans in attendance were invited.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the premiere of the film together with the fans at Comic-Con and excited for everyone there to experience Michael Giacchino’s incredible score played live,” said Lin.

Added David Glanzer, spokesperson for Comic-Con International: “We are both privileged and excited that Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Bad Robot have chosen to honor fans by having the world premiere of the next chapter of Star Trek at Comic-Con this summer.”

“What better way to show appreciation for the constant support of IMAX fans worldwide than by partnering with our friends at Paramount, Skydance, Bad Robot and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra on this ultimate Comic-Con world premiere,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment.

As a special event for this year’s Comic-Con attendees, fans will have the chance to attend the world premiere of “STAR TREK BEYOND.” Details about ticket distribution will be announced prior to the 2016 convention.

“STAR TREK BEYOND,” the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin (“The Fast and the Furious” franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew. In “Beyond,” the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. From Paramount Pictures and Skydance,

“STAR TREK BEYOND” is a Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark, Perfect Storm Entertainment production. The film stars John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin and Idris Elba. Directed by Justin Lin, the third film in the franchise series is produced by J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Lindsey Weber, and Justin Lin; and executive produced by Jeffrey Chernov, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Tommy Harper.

Based upon “Star Trek” created by Gene Roddenberry, the screenplay is written by Simon Pegg & Doug Jung. The IMAX® release of “STAR TREK BEYOND” will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

“STAR TREK BEYOND” opens in theaters and IMAX® beginning July 22, 2016.

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