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Multimedia platforms killed the video star

Posted by Mark Brennan | Sat, 11/07/2015 - 10:44

By Mark Brennan

One of the best things about a movie geek becoming a father is thinking of all the many films you will inflict on your child that YOU loved as a child.

As a product of the early '80s, the many titles I will force upon my daughter’s eyeballs and ears will include The Goonies, Flight of the Navigator, Labyrinth, Transformers: The Movie, The Dark Crystal (I might wait until she’s a little older for that one) and E.T to name but a few. She’s only a few months old so I have to wait a few years, but there’s no harm in being ready and stockpiling Blu-rays now (that’s right, wife… everyone here agrees with me). It’s exciting to think about passing these gems down to the next generation. It’s exciting to have a flashback to being thrilled for the first time, and the chance to relive even a fraction of that child-like wonder through the eyes of a child I’ve miraculously created is a giddy prospect. After all, if I loved them then she will too… right?

This got me thinking about how SHE will experience the movies for herself as she grows up. One huge difference in her world to the one I grew up in will be the overwhelming abundance of entertainment content coming from every technological orifice the planet has to offer, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Satellite TV, streaming, downloading, tablets, PCs and smart phones saturate society now, and while I’m not enough of a curmudgeon to rue their rise, I do wonder if their prominence will keep my daughter from seeing the "event" of discovering one new movie.

Back in my day (he says out the corner of his mouth, hand on aching back), going to the cinema or renting a movie was massive. Massive. And the reason was that I was not inundated with content from anywhere else. While cinema may still be a marvel for today’s young viewers, it’s the sad fall of video rental that brings a movie melancholy to my nostalgic mind. Now that was an event. It was a trip, a journey. It was a "yes, we’re getting in the car to go to the video shop, a popcorn and Doritos filled Disneyland" kind of wonderful thing.

I remember heading to Ritz Video when I was really young, then later Blockbuster Video, and seeing row after row, shelf after shelf of films, all with their weird & wonderful cover art staring invitingly back at me. Which one would I chose? What adventures did each of them hold? Did it look scary? Did it look like it was boring love stuff? Did it look like one mum and dad would let me get away with (a question not needed when Nan took us to the shop, she was oblivious to anything we picked out – “Robocop please, Nan”)?

I had to spend a good amount of time checking and re-checking my shortlist, arms full of boxes. I had to get this right. I had to get this right because the film I chose would be IT. I couldn’t just stream or download something else. There was no satellite TV. I wouldn’t be taken back to pick something different. If I picked a stinker my night was ruined. I’d have to watch Casualty with mum and dad before going to bed feeling totally unfulfilled and cursing myself for picking Dune or Blade Runner (which both looked cool on the cover but were actually boring as shit*) instead of The Monster Squad or even Little Monsters. When we found a belter, though, we'd rewind it and watch again immediately.

Either way, it made finding my movie that much more exciting. Like putting a bet on a horse race or football match, I had a vested interest. As a movie fan in the iTunes era, I love having so much choice at my fingertips, literally at the touch of a button, but there is something about that journey out of the house and the "gamble" that I miss, even as an adult, and wonder if it’s something my daughter will miss out on entirely.

So what do I do? "Movie Night" will definitely be a thing in our house. Not just putting the telly on and getting something on demand, but taking her to HMV (nearest thing to a video shop, if it’s still around) or gathering all the films I’ve got and giving her a video shop of her own to peruse and choose. Maybe that will come close. Maybe she won’t care in the slightest and daddy should stop projecting. The good news, however, is that daddy has five or six years to figure it out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

* Now I’m grown up, I can see Blade Runner is actually not that bad...

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Small-Screen Jabber 11-17 July

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Sat, 11/07/2015 - 08:32

By Louise Bolotin

Sadie Jones has written the screenplay for her own coming-of-age novel The Outcast (Sun, BBC1, 9pm). Set in a somewhat rose-tinted version of the immediate post-war period, ten-year-old Lewis loses his adored mother in tragic circumstances and his emotionally cold father – a virtual stranger after being absent fighting the war for most of Lewis’ childhood – blames his son. Indeed, his father wastes no time remarrying and as Lewis grows into a teenager, he has a mental breakdown and starts to self-harm. With his family unable to cope, in that perfect, 1950s middle class way – all stiff upper lip and denial – Lewis’ life descends into a nightmare. There are fine performances from Greg Wise (left) and Hattie Morahan, plus George Mackay as the teenage Lewis. Jessica Brown Findlay as the stepmother is less assured, but it’s a pleasing slab of not-too-demanding Sunday night viewing.

My documentary of the week is Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners (Wed, BBC2, 9pm), a searing two-part investigation into the compensation slave owners received when the trade was finally abolished. That compensation, for the “value” of their now-lost “property”, was a staggering £17 billion in today’s money, divvied up among an even more staggering 46,000 slave owners. The stories behind those eye-watering figures are both banal and astonishing, illustrating how entrenched slave labour was at every level of British society. David Olugusa’s brilliant documentary uncovers the details tucked away in ledgers and diaries. Ireland’s Wild River: the Mighty Shannon (Thurs, BBC2, 8pm) follows Ireland’s longest waterway from its rise in Shannon Pot to its estuary at Limerick. Part of the Natural World strand, the focus is on the huge array of wildlife living on or around the river. The cinematography is stunning and the footage of kingfishers alone makes it worth watching.

T in the Park (Sat/Sun, BBC3, from 8pm) continues. Headline acts over the week include Jessie J, the Script, the Libertines, Paloma Faith, Jamie T, the Prodigy and High Flying Birds. First Night of the Proms (Fri, BBC2, 8pm) launches the annual season from the Royal Albert Hall and there’s a distinctly Scandinavian flavour to it, what with it being the 150th anniversaries of Finnish composers Sibelius and Carl Nielsen. Both feature in this concert, which is conducted by Finn Sakari Oramo, one of last year’s stars. There’s an eclectic programme – apart from the Finns there are pieces by Mozart and Gary Carpenter, and a closing rendition of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. You’ve Got a Friend: the Carole King Story (Fri, BBC4, 8pm) is a repeat, but too good not to draw your attention to. King tells her own story in this documentary from her early days as a gifted singer-songwriter, half of the legendary Goffin-King team with her then-husband Gerry Goffin, through to solo stardom and reinvention as an environmental activist. Her output of hits in the 60s and 70s was astonishing, her ability to convey emotion uncontested – she wrote for the Shirelles, Bobby Vee, Little Eva, the Drifters and Aretha Franklin, to name a tiny few. Features home movies, previously unseen archive film and contributions from her daughter Sherry, Lou Adler and, Carole Bayer Sager among others.

Location will forever be associated with books by the assorted Brontë sisters – Tony Robinson goes Walking Through History (Sat, C4, 7pm) to learn why the Yorkshire Moors and their home village of Haworth were so important to their literary legacy.

Letting the train take the strain, Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure (Sun, ITV, 9pm) starts in Hong Kong and over the next three weeks she travels 6,400 miles along the Trans-Siberian railway to Moscow, where she worked as a model in the 60s. Lumley fought hard for the right of Gurkha soldiers to live in the UK, so she’s highly critical of China as she passes through it – political-Lumley is rather pleasing as her strong views bring a much-needed edge to the celebrity travelogue genre. Also out east is Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen: Cracking China (Mon, BBC2, 9pm) – after a bad spell in the business world, the flamboyant designer decides to move into China and target the newly emerging middle classes there for his lingerie line and homeware designs. Mexico is in his sights too. Cut through the extravagant appearance, campness and cutting comments, and what you have is actually a rather interesting insight into the difficulties of doing business in foreign countries.  

It’s finals weekend at Wimbledon (Sat/Sun, BBC1/BBC2, from 1pm). Although Andy Murray was knocked out in the semi-finals, his brother Jamie is in the men’s doubles final – he’ll be on court Saturday after Serena Williams takes on Garbine Muguruza in the women’s singles. On Sunday, the men’s singles showdown is Novak Djokovic versus Roger Federer. The 144th Open tees off at St Andrews (from Thurs, BBC2, 9am) – Rory McIlroy will be looking to repeat his victory of last year, at golf’s oldest major championship.

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Small-Screen Jabber 4-10 July

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Sat, 04/07/2015 - 09:50

By Louise Bolotin

On the anniversary of the 7/7 London Tube bombings, A Song for Jenny (Sun, BBC1, 9pm) dramatises the true story of one grief-stricken family. Emily Watson plays C of E vicar Julie Nicholson, whose daughter Jenny was murdered that day at Edgeware Road and who struggles to come to terms with what happened. She questions her faith but refuses to be broken. Watson delivers a heart-rending performance, nuanced with layers of emotion, in this desperately sad but ultimately uplifting tale of the human spirit.

The BBC’s Lyse Doucet has spent months in Gaza reporting the news. Her film Children of the Gaza War (Wed, BBC2, 9pm) pulls no punches – she lets the kids speak about losing family in Israeli airstrikes, having their homes destroyed and what their difficult daily lives are like. For balance, Doucet also interviews Israelis affected by Hamas attacks. The ever-worsening conflict has young victims on both sides of the border. The Autistic Gardener (Wed, C4, 8pm) is a lovely four-parter about the appropriately named Alan Gardner, a Chelsea Flower Show medallist with pink hair and tattoos. He believes his autism is the key to his success and to prove it, he mentors five “weirdly wired people” – keen would-be gardeners who lie on the autistic spectrum. As they make over people’s gardens, it’s clear that neuro-diverse people have many talents and can shine with the right support.

It’s Smiths Night on Sky, kicking off with an all-too-brief half-hour documentary of the lifespan – Discovering: the Smiths (Sat, Sky Arts, 6.30pm), then followed by a feature-length anniversary concert, Morrissey: 25 Live (Sat, Sky Arts, 7pm), to mark his25 years as a solo artist. Amy Winehouse: the Day She Came to Dingle (Sat, BBC4, 10.40pm) is a repeat well worth watching – at the height of her fame, Winehouse travelled to Dingle in the remote south-west of Ireland to play at the town’s annual music festival. There, with a stripped-back band, she played some of her biggest hits in front a tiny audience in a church in an intimate yet powerful performance. Winehouse was at the top of her game then and shows why she was such a great artist. T in the Park kicks off at the end of the week (Fri, BBC3, 9pm). On the Friday bill are Kasabian, Sam Smith and Rudimental.

Legendary drummer Ginger Baker is profiled in Imagine... Beware of Mr Baker (Tues, BBC1, 10.35pm). Baker rose to fame in 60s group Cream and Blind Faith but also played with John Lydon’s post-punk Public Image Limited. In the tradition of genius but self-destructive drummers, Baker is up there with Keith Moon and John Bonham, battling his addictions but also troubled and bitter. At 75, he’s not mellowed – he assaults film-maker Jay Bulger, who made this warts and all documentary, and contributions from Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood portray him as difficult and antisocial. With a turbulent private life – four wives, bad investments, wild spending and near-bankruptcy, plus a trail of damaged friendships - Baker doesn’t come over as likeable, but Bulger’s film is compelling.

Lewis Hamilton is the bookies’ favourite to win the British Grand Prix (Sun, BBC1, 12.15pm, also on SS1 & SSF1). If he takes the crown at Silverstone, he’ll be the first Brit to do so two years running since David Coulthard’s 1999-2000 feat. It’s also Week Two of Wimbledon (daily, BBC1/2, from 11.30am). With no British women left in the draw, it’s up to Andy Murray and James Ward to keep flying the flag. Murray is playing superbly so far and fingers crossed Ward can win his third round match today (Sat 4th) against Vasek Pospisil. Watch out too for Dustin Brown, the dreadlocked German who crushed Nadal in the third round. This week it’s also time for Test Cricket: The Ashes (from Wed, Sky Sports Ashes, 10am, and highlights on Channel 5 at 7pm) live from Cardiff.

Best of the rest
There is live coverage of the ceremony to commemorate 7/7: the London Bombings Remembered (Tues, BBC1, 10.30am) on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 52 people and injured hundreds more. The service takes place at St Paul’s Cathedral and David Dimbleby anchors the coverage.

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Small-Screen Jabber 27 June – 3 July

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Sat, 27/06/2015 - 07:50

By Louise Bolotin

If you’ve seen the film Outbreak, then you’ve got a pointer to the plot of Cordon (Sat, BBC4, 9pm), a so-so Belgian thriller about the discovery of a patient carrying a deadly contagious virus. It charts what happens next as Antwerp gets sealed off. It’s not bad as BBC4 foreign language dramas go, it’s just that Outbreak was so much better – 10 episodes is too long and much is too obvious. In Flemish with subtitles. A better choice is Odyssey (Sun, BBC2, 9.15pm), a thriller starring Anna Friel that has touches of Homeland about it. She plays a special ops officer who is apparently killed in a drone strike in Mali but is on the run after uncovering evidence that an American corporate is funding jihadists. The proof is on her flash drive and she needs to find her way home to hand it over.  

It’s the 10th anniversary of the London Tube bombings and The 7/7Bombing: Survivors’ Stories (Tues, ITV, 9pm) reflects on the dreadful events of that day in which 52 people died and hundreds more were injured. The survivors, emergency rescue staff and families of the victims share their stories and talk about they have recovered from the trauma. Dark, sad and deeply moving. Apparently, 80% of crime in Britain is committed by a mere 20% of offenders. Career Criminals (Thurs, C4,10pm) looks at why reoffenders keep breaking the law and see prison as a hazard of “ the job”.

Glastonbury (Sat/Sun, BBC2/BBC3/BBC4, from 4.30pm) over the weekend. Among the performances being shown on terrestrial are The Who, Patti Smith, Paul Weller, FFS, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Paloma Faith, Suede and the legend that is Burt Bacharach (don’t mock – I saw him live last year and he stormed it). More artists on the red button too, including the Waterboys. Discovering Iron Maiden (Sat, Sky Arts, 6.30pm) is a short bio of the metallers and their ever-changing lineup, as a taster for a showing of their two-hour live concert Rock in Rio. The birth of modern music is examined in Rock ‘n’ Roll America, a terrific three-part series on what is arguably the US’s most important musical era. The opening episode looks at how the sounds of black music – vocal harmonies, blues and jazz – formed the basics of rock and roll in the 1950s. With contributions from Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Everly, Little Richard, Tom Jones, Wanda Jackson, Pat Boone and many more.

The director who made two of the 1970s best cult, yet mainstream, films – Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth – finally gets a overview in Arena: Nicolas Roeg – It’s About Time (Sun, BBC4, 10pm). This probing profile mimics his technique of non-linear storytelling as it explores his lengthy career and output. Also in the spotlight this week is controversial artist Jeff Koons, in Imagine (Tues, BBC1, 10.35pm). Alan Yentob looks at Koons’ work, which veers from the playful and amusing to dark and disturbing, and interviews him. Dan Cruickshank’s Civilisation Under Attack (Tues, BBC4, 9pm) investigates a different side of Isis – their underreported destruction of ancient sites of architectural and cultural importance in Syria and Iraq for being “un-Islamic”. As well as blowing up excavations, many artefacts are being sold by Isis to fund their terrorism.

Zawe Ashton stars in Not Safe for Work (Tues, C4, 10pm), a comic drama about the relocating of the civil service outside London as a result of budget cuts. Katherine has been forced to follow her job to Northampton, where she’s assigned to immigration policy. More satire than sitcom, with over-long 50-minute episodes that would work better at 30 minutes, it nonetheless holds promise.

If you’re old enough to remember it, then The 80s: Best of Bad TV (Sat, Channel 5, 10pm) is a cringe-worthy reminder of some of the atrocities that passed for entertainment 30 years ago. Viewers under 30 will be glad they missed the dreadful American soaps and chat shows that were the norm then. The last-ever Top Gear (Sun, BBC2, 8pm) with that lineup finally gets aired – it’s a 75-minute special featuring the segments already shot before Clarkson’s downfall. RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (Mon, BBC2, 9.30pm) previews this year’s event, with Monty Don and Rachel de Thame heading the coverage.

Break out the strawberries and cream for it’s Wimbledon fortnight (starts Mon, BBC1/BBC2, from 11.30am). After last week’s blistering title-grab at Queen’s, in which he saw off Kevin Anderson as if he was brushing a fly aside, Andy Murray (above) is a serious contender to lift the trophy at SW19 this year. To date in 2015, he’s in better shape than his 2013 win. Sue Barker anchors the coverage.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 07/06/2015 - 20:44

Melissa McCarthy's Spy hits the mark while Entourage fizzles

By Rich Matthews

The female-driven demographic won the box office yet again this weekend, with Paul "Bridesmaids" Feig following up his last hit team-up with Melissa McCarthy, The Heat co-starring Sandra Bullock, with the all-star Spy.

Starring alongside Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and Jude Law, the Ghostbuster-in-waiting McCarthy saw off early showings for HBO movie spin-off Entourage (fourth with $10.4m, $17.8m since Wednesday) and horror threequel Insidious Chapter 3 ($23m, $37.3m worldwide) at, appropriately three. While Spy's $30m opening lagged behind The Heat's just-shy-of-$40m bow, it was enough to knock The Rock of the top, although Dwayne Johnson's earthquake actioner San Andreas didn't topple in its sophomore frame, grossing $26.4m ($92.2m domestic, $152.2m global) to hold on at two.

Globally, the exceptionally well-reviewed Spy took in a healthy $86.5m, earmarking it to be yet another R-rated comedy blockbuster for Feig and McCarthy, whose next picture together is the aforementioned mentioned Ghostbusters reboot. The top five was rounded out by Tom Hardy's Mel Gibson shoe-filler, Mad Max: Fury Road ($8m, $130.8m, $307.8m).

Then, from six to 10, Elizabeth Banks' directorial debut Pitch Perfect 2 ($7.7m, $161m, $250m) continues to a capella laugh its way to the, erm bank, Disney/Brad Bird's misguided but laudable George Clooney sci-fi Tomorrowland ($7m, $76.2m, $169.7m), Marvel and Joss Whedon's superhero fest Avengers: Age of Ultron ($6.2m, $438m, $1.35bn) finally passed Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 to become the fifth biggest film of all time (although it looks increasingly unlikely to match this year's Furious 7 as the fourth of all, some $160m away), Cameron Crowe's iffy Hawaiian flop Aloha ($3.3m $16m), and PG-13 horror remake Poltergeist ($2.9m, $44.5m, $52.8m).

Next weekend? Jurassic World. In the immortal words of the great Stan Lee – nuff said.

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Win a copy of Thunderbird 6 or Thunderbirds Are Go on Blu-ray

Posted by Competitions | Mon, 01/06/2015 - 09:22

TexMade in 1966, and set 100 years in the future, Thunderbirds Are Go was the original Thunderbirds movie, and it's out now on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK - alongside the cult 1968 movie Thunderbird 6, also on Blu-ray for the first time. And thanks to Fabulous Films and Fremantle Media Enterprises, we have THREE copies of each film on Blu-ray to give away.

In Thunderbirds Are Go, former astronaut and billionaire industrialist John Tracy decides to use his wealth to help the world by creating International Rescue, a secret force of super vehicles designed by in-house genius Brains and manned by his sons, each a superb athlete and trained expert in their fields.

Creator Gerry Anderson decided to base the plot of the movie on the American-Soviet Space Race, in particular the 1960s contest to land astronauts on the Moon, but adapted this story for the futuristic Thunderbirds universe by changing the destination to Mars. When the mission hits trouble, it is up to International Rescue to save the day.

Thunderbird 6 sees Skyship One, a futuristic airship on the frontline of International Rescue’s crime control, hijacked by terrorists - and only a battered old Tiger Moth plane can help them save the day.

For a chance to win, just follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text:

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win Thunderbird 6 or Thunderbirds Are Go on Blu-ray.

For an extra entry, just pop over and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday Juune 28, 2015. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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Fox Home Entertainment Launches 'Movie of the Day' App

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 27/05/2015 - 16:39

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Launches Movie of the Day App for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch Giving Consumers Daily Deals on Their Favourite Films on iTunes

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today debuted the all-new Movie of the Day app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, giving movie lovers everywhere the opportunity to purchase their favourite Fox films on Digital HD through daily flash sales.  The Movie of the Day app’s user friendly interface gives consumers a 24-hour window to buy a brand new movie each and every day at a discounted price of up to 70% off and add it to their iTunes library.  Launching today in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France, fans can get great deals on films from some of the biggest franchises on Digital HD as they become available through the app including Alien, Die Hard, Planet of the Apes, Rio, The Sound of Music, X-Men and more.  The Movie of the Day app is available only on the App Store.  

The Movie of the Day app is loaded with content, allowing fans to easily view video clips, read the synopsis, see cast and crew information and even read reviews of each film.  Once ready to purchase a film, users simply click once in the app using their iTunes account and the film is added to their iTunes library.  Fans can even choose to share the experience through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing friends the opportunity to see the latest flash sale and download the app themselves.  The app will offer all types of films for sale each day, from indie to blockbuster, romantic comedy to horror.

“The Movie of the Day app is a super convenient way for consumers to access the movies they love at the touch of a button,” said Mary Daily, President and Chief Marketing Officer, Worldwide Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “The app gives movie lovers access to an amazing array of movies every day at a great price.”

Available for download for free in the app store, the Movie of the Day app will kick off the daily flash sales today with the megahit X-Men: First Class, available for purchase on Digital HD for £5.99. Each and every day a new or classic movie will be available for purchase for a low price. The app is powered by the storefront management tools built by Premiere Digital.

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Win a copy of Whiplash on Blu-ray

Posted by Competitions | Wed, 27/05/2015 - 11:21

The compelling and critically acclaimed drama Whiplash arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on June 1 And thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we have THREE copies of Whiplash on Blu-ray to give away.

From writer/director Damien Chazelle, this Sony Pictures Classics film follows the journey of a young jazz musician with a passion for drumming and dreams of greatness. Andrew Neiman, played by Miles Teller, is a determined 19-year-old student. His music teacher, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), sees Andrew’s raw talent, but will accept nothing less than perfection. Paul Reiser stars as Andrew’s father and Melissa Benoist is Andrew’s love interest, Nicole.

Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing) and won three (Best Supporting Actor, Editing, Sound Mixing).

SYNOPSIS: Andrew Neiman (Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher (Simmons), an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability — and his sanity.

For a chance to win, just follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text:

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win Whiplash on Blu-ray.

For an extra entry, just pop over and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday June 14, 2015. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 26/05/2015 - 16:32

Tomorrowland not so magical at number one

By Rich Matthews

It may have taken the top spot at the domestic US box office this weekend, but Disney's Tomorrowland – a wide-eyed fantasy tribute to Walt Disney's ideals for a better society directed by The Incredibles' Brad Bird – has posted one of the softest Memorial Day weekend openings ever recorded.

The George Clooney/Britt Robertson sci-fi vehicle took in $41.7m, placing 22nd in the Memorial Day openers, ranking behind 2013's animated effort Epic's $42.8m and marginally ahead of 2010's clunker Prince of Persia: Sands of Time's $37.8m. Last year saw X-Men: Days Of Future Past launch to a suitably huge $90+m, so this year the holiday weekend was down anywhere between 15 and 19 per cent (depending on final numbers for the four days).

It's a blip in Disney's otherwise rock-solid 2015 slate, and probably a hit it can actually afford to take – even if the film looks unlikely to recoup much beyond its $180m. It even underperformed on the international stage with a weak $26.7m from just more than half of the territories, making an overall worldwide tally just shy of $70m. Hardly the hoped-for Pirates of the Caribbean effect, the last Disney megahit franchise based on a Disneyland ride, but is more in line with 2013's Disney megaturkey The Lone Ranger.

In comparison, close on Tomorrowland's heels, Pitch Perfect 2 continued to hit the high notes, grossing $38.5m in its second weekend for an outstanding domestic total of $126m for Universal. Internationally it also continued to overperform, with a global gross of $190m. But let's not pretend it's all bad news for the Mouse House, with Avengers: Age Of Ultron still knocking robotic heads as it crossed the $400m at home at fifth, making it the first movie to do since November 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen. With an international tally heading north of $860m, Ultron has now passed stablemate Iron Man 3 to become the 7th biggest grosser of all time with $1.26bn, thanks in part to nabbing more than $200m in China. The year's overall leader remains Furious 7, which is now only $30m off the third biggest ever grosser, The Avengers' $1.5bn, but Ultron is likely to catch Vin Diesel's Paul Walker memorial car flick by the time summer is out.

Also still revving engines, Warner Bros' squeals'n'wheels post apocalyptic "sequel" Mad Max: Fury Road grossed $32.1m at home, plus $38.2m abroad for a worldwide gross of $220m. Which meant that the other new release of the week, MGM and Fox's remake of Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic spookflick, Poltergeist, directed by Ghost House's Gil Kenan and starring Sam Rockwell, could only scare up enough coin to place fourth, with $22.6m Friday to Sunday, which was actually above expectations.

With final numbers for the four days not yet posted, the rest of the chart saw The Age of Adaline at six ($15m Mon-Sun; $39.9m domestic), Hot Pursuit at seven ($3.6m, $29.1m), Furious 7 at eight ($2.2m; $347.7m; $1.5bn), Far From the Madding Crowd at nine ($2.2m; $6m; $12.1m) and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 at 10 ($1.9m; $66.4m, $99.5m).

Next weekend The Rock is back for his second summer shake, launching LA / San Francisco quake flick San Andreas, alongside Cameron Crowe's Hawaii-set dramedy Aloha (which is gathering some controversy for "whitewashing" the diversity of the island). Then on 3 June, the swinging playas of Entourage make their big-screen bow.

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Win an Insidious: Chapter 3 merchandise pack

Posted by Competitions | Mon, 25/05/2015 - 12:56

Next week sees Insidious: Chapter 3 hit the big screen. To mark the release of Leigh Whannell’s first film as director, we’ve got hold of some great goodies to give away to FIVE lucky readers.

The prize on offer is a special Insidious: Chapter 3 set containing a ‘Specs & Tucker’ ghost hunting kit, a ‘Spectral Sightings’ agency T-shirt, a ghost detector device, a head torch, and a light-up pen. We have five of the sets to give away, and you just need to answer the below question to be in with a chance of winning.

The terrifying horror franchise returns with Insidious: Chapter 3. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

For a chance to win, just follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text:

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win an Insidious: Chapter 3 merchandise pack.

For an extra entry, just pop over and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday June 7, 2015. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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