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PRODUCT REVIEW: Polaroid Series 6 TV ★★★

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 16/10/2015 - 15:48

Review by Stuart O'Connor
Polaroid Series 6 4K HD Smart 3D LED 65in TV
UK RRP £699.99 (55in) and £1099 (65in)


If you have never experienced a big-screen television before, then prepare to be gobsmacked. because the first thing that you notice when you unbox the 65in Polaroid Series 6 TV is that it is BIG. It's too big for one person to handle, which means that it needs two people to set it up – for both the actual size of the thing, and the weight (it's about 22kg). But it's decently thin at just 38mm.

Once you screw the legs on and have the TV sitting on the platform of your choosing, the rest of the setup is pretty easy and straight-forward. Tuning in the 27,147 channels available these days (only about five of which you will ever actually watch) is automatic and fast, and once done, setting up a "favourites" list is a piece of cake thanks to a decent remote and an intuitive menu.

But like most of us, you probably won't be watching anything through the actual TV – you will probably be using a games console or a set-top box (although the TV does have built-in Freeview HD and Polaroid Smart Portal). And it would be best to do so, as the built-in TV tuner is pretty average – if watching through an Xbox One, for example, you will notice quite a difference in the picture quality. In the back of the set, connectivity consists of an aerial slot, four HDMI ports (better than many modern TVs, but still not really enough), three USB slots, AV inputs, a Scart socket, a digital optical audio port, a VGA PC input, a CI card slot and a LAN port for an ethernet connection – the TV can also go online via Wi-Fi. The set also features Bluetooth connectivity and comes with four pairs of quite comfortable 3D glasses.

One thing this TV is great at is 3D. Watching 3D films is a joy, with decent colour and brightness and very little ghosting (and any of that is more than likely down to the film itself and not the screen). The picture quality from Blu-ray is crisp and sharp, as you would expect from a 4K HD screen. Both sizes of the Polaroid Series 6 (it also comes in a 55in model) feature a 3840x2160 display, which again will deliver a clear, sharp image depending on the source material – there is not a lot of content being broadcast in 4K yet.

Where the screen falls down a little is with gaming. When there's not much action happening on the screen, the image is – as with films – excellent quality. But when there is a lot of movement going on, the TV seems to struggle to keep up with the action, which means the picture can get a little blocky – which is indicative of the processor struggling to keep up.

So if you are looking for a new 4K HD TV to mainly watch films etc on Blu-ray, and not for gaming, then the Polaroid Series 6 is worth a look. The range is available exclusively at Asda and is priced at £699 for the 55in and £1099 for the 65in. And if you can afford it, then bigger is certainly better.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 12/10/2015 - 21:21

Pan goes down the pan, while The Martian stays in high orbit

By Rich Matthews

Warner Bros failed to find any pixie dust magic at the domestic US box office with Joe Wright's $150m Peter Pan prequel, Pan, which opened to a disappointing $15.5m. And any hopes of an international salve, a la Terminator: Genysis, are already looking bleak, with an early global total of $26.5m, although the Hugh Jackman-starring VFX extravaganza still has to open in many key territories. Either way, nothing could get the origin story above third place, with Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-stranded-on-Mars space adventure The Martian staying on top with a small drop of 32 per cent on its debut for a weekend tally of $37m, an early domestic gross of $108.7m, and a worldwide total of $226.5m.

At number two, Adam Sandler's Sony animation sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 took $20.3m for a homegrown gross of $116.8m, cementing the toothy tale as a much-needed respite for Sandler's dwindling brand, clocking up $177m worldwide so far. At four, Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway continued to appeal to the older demographic in Nancy Meyers' The Intern ($8.7m, $49.6m US, $85.5m), while Hathaway's Devil Wears Prada cohort Emily Blunt continued kicking butt in Sicario at five ($7.4m, $26.7m, $36.3m). At six, The Scorch Trials ($5.3m, $70.6m, $219.5m) started to fall pretty far off the original Maze Runner's pace ($102.4m, $340.2m), but seventh place played host to yet another disappointment, with Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt as real-life twin towers tightrope walker Philippe Petit, expanding nationwide and only mustering $3.7m for a soft domestic tally of $6.4m. Rounding out the chart were Johnny Depp in a bald cap as Whitey Bulger in Black Mass at eight ($3.1m, $57.6m), Everest lacking stamina at nine ($3m, $38.2m, $142.3m), and M Night Shyamalan's old-people chiller The Visit at 10 ($2.4m, $61.1m, $80m).

No other new release cracked the top 10, although Danny Boyle's film of Aaron Sorkin's interpretation of Apple firebrand Steve Jobs set an amazing $130,250 screen average from only four theatres, boding well for the awards-bait drama when it widens its release in upcoming weeks.

Next weekend is chocka-block, with Steven Spielberg sending Tom Hanks to postwar Cold War antics in Bridge of Spies, Guillermo del Toro getting his scares from Tom "Loki" Hiddlestone in Crimson Peak, and Jack Black getting all Halloweeny in Goosebumps.

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Win a copy of The Avengers: The Complete Series 6 on Blu-ray

Posted by Competitions | Thu, 08/10/2015 - 18:25

To mark the release of the complete sixth series of The Avengers on Blu-ray for the first time, we have a box set to give away.

John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his new secret agent partner Tara King (Linda Thorson) embark on a string of crime solving adventures in the final series of the original cult British TV series The Avengers. This box set includes the complete and uuncut Series 6, on Blu-ray for the first time with a wealth of special features.

A poignant series, not only was this the final instalment of the much-loved crime caper, Linda Thorson also replaced Diana Rigg as John Steed’s new sidekick, Tara King. Tara differed from Steed’s previous partners as she was a fully fledged member of the organisation, while the others had all been amateurs. There were also subtle hints to romance between Steed and King, which was never suggested with his previous partners.

Sure to prompt much nostalgia, make sure to grab your copy of The Avengers: The Complete Series 6 box set when it is released this autumn.

For a chance to win, just follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text: Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win The Avengers: The Complete Series 6 on Blu-ray.

For an extra entry, go and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday October 25, 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 | Mon, 05/10/2015 - 05:10

Ridley Scott's The Martian launches Matt Damon back on top

By Rich Matthews

America was seeing red this weekend. Specifically, red Mars dust as Matt Damon's stranded astronaut came closely to grabbing the all-time October opening record with $55m, in the end falling just $800,000 shy of reigning champ, the similarly celestial Gravity, which opened to $55.8m in 2013. That does put it ahead of Matt Damon's most recent off-world appearance in Christopher Nolan's portentous Interstellar (which, like The Martian, co-starred Jessica Chastain). Scott's engaging adaptation of Andy Weir's bestseller (scripted by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cabin In The Woods and Daredevil scribe Drew Goddard), also soared internationally to the tune of $45.2m from 49 territories, which puts its worldwide opening at $100.2m, in the process setting a new watermarks for both Scott and Damon in the UK. Whether the discovery of water on mars in real life was either luck or judgement remains to be seen...

Just falling outside the top 10, Robert Zemeckis' dramatic IMAX recreation of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between New York's twin towers starring Joseph Gordon Levitt fell below expectations, with $1.6m (and a five-day tally of $2m) from 365 IMAX theatres (and 83 premium large format screens), which is about a million shy of predictions. The Walk goes nationwide on 9 October.

From two to 10, Adam Sandler animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 showed more bite ($33m, $90.5m US, $150.3m worldwide), Denis Villeneuve's critical darling Sicario starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin expanded its release to secure third ($12.1m, $15.1m, $25.1m), Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway's strictly professional workplace relationship for Nancy Meyers' The Intern ($11.6m, $36.5m, $72.1m) placed fourth, young adult sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ($7.7m, $63.2m, $211m) was fifth, Johnny Depp as mobster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass ($6m, $52.5m) muscled into sixth, large format spectacle Everest ($5.5m, $33.2m, $136.5m) lost some grip at seven, M Night Shyamalan's scare grandparents spooked at eight in The Visit ($4m, $57m, $114.6m), Christian flick War Room ($2.8m, $60.5m) was ninth, and Sony thriller The Perfect Guy ($2.4m, $52.6m) rounded out the chart.

Next week Hugh Jackman gets revisionist in Joe Wright's epic (and critically mauled) CGI Neverland fantasy Pan, while Danny Boyle casts Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in New York and Los Angeles.

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Win a copy of Little Accidents on DVD

Posted by Competitions | Tue, 29/09/2015 - 12:01

When a teenage boy goes missing in a small town already devastated by a fatal mining accident, three strangers find themselves drawn together in a tangle of secrets, lies, and the collective grief of the community.

Little Accidents, out now on DVD and ddigital download, stars Elizabeth Banks, Josh Lucas and Boyd Holbrook, andd thanks to Praslin Pictures we have THREE copies of the DVD to give away.

Reeling from the disappearance of her son, Diana (Banks) finds herself drifting away from her husband (Lucas), a mining company executive whose role in the accident has made her family the prime target for the town’s anger. When she forms a dangerous bond with the sole survivor of the disaster (Holbrook), truths will be uncovered that threaten to tear apart the few remaining threads holding the town together in this intense drama from writer-director Sara Colangelo.

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

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win Little Accidents on DVD.

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

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday October 11, 2015. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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Small-Screen Jabber 26 September – 2 October

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Sat, 26/09/2015 - 10:44

By Louise Bolotin

Drama
The BBC’s ongoing season of feature-length adaptations of classic novels turns its attentions this week to Laurie Lee’s childhood autobiography Cider with Rosie (Sun, BBC1, 8.30pm). Archie Cox plays the young Loll, coming of age in the aftermath of World War One in an idyllic Gloucestershire village. The country air helps grow from a sickly child into a strapping teenager who soon becomes distracted by the alluring charms of his precocious neighbour Rosie. As dappled in sunlight as last Sunday’s The Go-Between, it’s disappointingly patchy rather than challenging – how it looks doesn’t make up for it being a rather unadventurous version. Timothy Spall lends his voice as the older Laurie, and the cast includes Jessica Hynes as a rather scary schoolmarm plus Samantha Morton as Loll’s mother. However, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis (left), the talented offspring of her talented parents Lorraine Ashbourne and Andy Serkis, is the one to watch as she effortlessly steals the scene with her every appearance.

Your box-set binge: Pride and Prejudice (Sat, Drama, from noon, or Sun from 10.25am) – all six episodes of Andrew Motion’s classic adaptation of Jane Austen’s defining work. Starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, in case you need reminding who takes a dip in his clothes.

Factual
The Ku Klux Klan may have had their heyday but they’ve not gone away. Oh no. The vile racists are as active as ever recruiting and committing crimes. Dan Murdoch’s film KKK: the Fight for White Supremacy (Mon, BBC3, 9pm) is uncomfortable but essential viewing. His camera follows a Klan chapter as they engage in an actual murder – last June – when a member shoots nine black people during a church service. Shocking as the killing is, it’s the everyday banality of their actions that Murdoch captures that horrify most – the casual racist chanting, their insistence they are peaceful protesters. On a lighter note, Sex Diaries: Webcam Couples (Mon, C4, 10pm) lifts the lid on amateur porn as film-maker Charlie Russell tracks ordinary people who choose to share their sex lives online. Don’t expect titillation – there isn’t any despite the pixellated flesh, but you’ll be drawn in wanting to understand why, just why?

Talking of flesh, Body Donors (Tues, Channel 5, 9pm) explores why people choose to leave their bodies to science for research. Two donors discuss their reasons behind their choice, in an unflinching examination of how some choose to confront their mortality. Rob Leech made a terrific film a couple of years ago, My Brother the Terrorist, in which he tried to understand why his brother converted to Islam then got drawn into extremism. In Welcome to the Mosque (Wed, BBC2, 8pm) he returns to his brother’s former masjid to see how life is for the thousands of ordinary east Londoners who worship there daily and asks some tough questions about issues such as gender segregation.

Music
Silence informs the work of acclaimed Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, so it’s fitting that the focus of Arvo Pärt/Robert Wilson: the Lost Paradise (Sun, BBC4, 7pm) is stillness. For theatre director Wilson, stillness informs his own staging, which uses light to invoke it. The pair collaborate in this documentary to examine three of Pärt’s most important works and how they speak to the soul, before a beautifully understated performance of Adam’s Passion in an old Soviet naval yard lit and choreographed by Wilson. It seems impossible now to engage people with a big cause without a celebrity fundraiser/awareness gig, and so it is for the UN’s new Global Goals to eradicate poverty. The Global Citizen Festival Concert (Mon, BBC1, 10.35pm), of which these are the highlights from Saturday’s live event, features a somewhat predictable lineup that includes Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Pearl Jam and Beyoncé, but thankfully not U2. Coldplay’s Chris Martin curated the bill and film director Richard Curtis produced it.

The Libertines top the bill on Later Live...with Jools Holland (Tues, BBC2, 10pm), which also features Pink Floyd’s guitarist Roger Waters showcasing tracks from his latest solo album. Check out the Ukrainian folky quartet DakhaBraka and their sublime vocals. My pick of the week is Music for Misfits: the Story of Indie (Fri, BBC4, 10pm) – an all too brief look at the genre that took its name from the explosion of independent record labels in the late 1970s. Mark Radcliffe uncovers the origins of a largely guitar-based sound in this three-parter, and how the labels became the focus for a scene in a number of cities around the UK. This year’s BBC Music John Peel Lecture (Fri, BBC4, 11pm) is delivered by Brian Eno. He’ll have to step into the massive shoes of Iggy Pop, who delivered a mesmerising treatise last year on paying the artist (find it online if you can as it’s umissable). Eno’s theme is the ecology of culture and how its different parts interconnect to bring innovators, creators and institutions together.

Comedy
Deep joy – Have I Got News For You (Fri, BBC1, 9pm) is back with a landmark 50th series. What a shame it reboots too late for last week’s #piggate but one can hope they’ll find a way to work it into the jokes. It’s a fair bet they’ll turn their laser wit on Jeremy Corbyn though. Jeremy Clarkson hosts, in his first appearance on the BBC since they terminated his Top Gear contract. There’s a trend for writers and presenters to excavate their childhoods for sitcom material. Hot on the heels of Danny Baker and Caitlin Moran, Emma Kennedy mines her memoir of an unusual childhood in The Kennedys (Fri, BBC1, 9.30pm) and doesn’t even bother to change the family name. It’s set on an unremarkable Stevenage council estate in the 1970s, which seems to the decade du jour for period drama right now. Lucy Hutchinson plays the young Emma, while Katherine Parker delights as her mother Brenda – resplendent in the opening episode in a floor-length gown and hosting a dinner party reminiscent of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party but without Demis Roussos.

Sport
The Rugby World Cup (Sat/Sun, ITV, from 2pm) continues its relentless progression towards the championship tie, with two triple bills of matches over the weekend. On Saturday, Italy v Canada kicks off at 2.30pm, followed by South Africa v Samoa. The best being saved until last, England go head to head with Wales at 7.17pm. On Sunday, Australia take on Uruguay, followed by Scotland v the USA, with the early evening match being Ireland v Romania. John Inverdale anchors the coverage.

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Win a copy of Extinction on DVD

Posted by Competitions | Wed, 23/09/2015 - 12:11

Zombie apocalypse thriller Extinction is out now on DVD, and thanks to Sony Home Entertainment, we have THREE copies to give away.

For nine years, Patrick (Matthew Fox), Jack (Jeffrey Donovan) and his daughter Lu (Quinn McColgan) have outlasted the zombie apocalypse by shutting themselves off in the snowbound town of Harmony. The monsters have seemingly disappeared, with no sign of other survivors, but the constant fear of the unknown is starting to take a toll on this makeshift family.

When Patrick goes scavenging for food, he discovers the undead have returned and evolved into something terrifying, beyond imagination. Will the last breath of the human race survive a second zombie apocalypse?

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

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win Extinction on DVD.

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

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday October 4, 2015. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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Small-Screen Jabber 19-25 September

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Sat, 19/09/2015 - 11:15

By Louise Bolotin

Drama
Quick – reverse the polarity! Peter Capaldi (left) returns as the 12th doctor in Doctor Who (Sat, BBC1, 7.40pm). Michelle Gomez is set to feature heavily in this series as Missy, back from the dead – that was a stroke of genius previously to switch the Master’s gender – and Jenna Coleman as Clara is on board for most of it too. So, what’s in store? Some very creative and different styles of storytelling, including one episode shot Blair Witch style with “found footage” and a single-hander with just the Doctor – intriguing! Of the 12 episodes, most will be two-parters, suggesting lots of major cliff-hangers. Plus lots of Daleks, the Zygons are being revived and we’ll get some Vikings too. The opener sees the Doctor in hiding with only one day left to live, while the cosmos is about to crack wide open... Period dramas go head to head on Sunday. The fabulously soapy (and hideously addictive) Downton Abbey (Sun, ITV, 9pm) returns for the last ever series. The action has moved forward to 1925, on the eve of the General Strike and big upheavals in society. In the opener, Lady Mary’s past is about to catch up with her – is her illicit virginity-losing tryst with the deceased Turkish diplomatic about to hit the gossip columns? (Or am I throwing in red herrings?). Meanwhile Lady Edith has life-changing decisions to make now she’s inherited her lover’s media empire. Then there’s also the loose ends to be tied up over the next eight weeks – will Bates and Anna get their happily ever after, will Carson and Mrs Hughes marry and who really killed the rapist valet?

Meanwhile, the BBC has adapted LP Hartley’s The Go-Between (Sun, BBC1, 9pm) into another feature-length drama (like An Inspector Calls and Lady Chatterley). Set in 1900, this coming of age tale of love, lust, deceit and betrayal is seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy, Leo. His crush on Marian, a friend’s older sister, is heightened as he discovers her secret affair with a local farmer in a classic upstairs-downstairs liaison and agrees to be the courier for their messages. But disaster lies ahead as secrets are exposed, an engagement is nearly called off and there is a shocking death. It looks lush – all ethereal frocks, sunshine bathing everything and gorgeous stately homes. I’d pick this and watch on Downton on catchup. Anna Maxwell Martin stars as a vicar in Midwinter of the Spirit (Wed, ITV, 9pm). Police struggling to solve a gruesome murder – a crucifixion – turn to Merrily Watkins for help, for she is also learning to be an exorcist, guided by mentor Huw (an increasingly dishevelled-looking David Threlfall) and used to being around evil. But guess what, it’s not long before she realises her life is under threat – she’s caught a really nasty infection after visiting a man in hospital, a dying man the nurses claim is, guess what, evil... This three-parter delivers heaps of shocking plot twists – no coasting here, it’s an edge-of-the sofa gripper and Maxwell Martin shines as the gracious and very human vicar.

Factual
We’ve had broadcast news for 60 years and And Here is The News (Tues, ITV, 10.40pm) is a delightful hour’s worth of unashamed nostalgia, unearthing the newsreaders who’ve made their mark bringing us the daily digest of what’s happening in the world. There’s some marvellous archive clips of Kenneth Kendall and Richard Baker pioneering the anchorage in 1955, while a huge array of more recent newsreaders discuss their experiences in front of the camera and behind the scenes – Jons Snow and Suchet, Angela Rippon, Julie Etchingham, Sandy Gall et al. The UN is currently investigating Britain for the growing inequality over the last five years, because one of their goals is eliminating poverty. Don’t Panic: How to End Poverty in 15 Years (Wed, BBC2, 8pm) looks at the issue globally, because a shocking billion people survive on less than $1.25 a day. Professor Hans Rosling, a master of data analysis, unravels the stats and presents some personal tales from people in developing countries to illustrate how poverty stunts opportunity. He also uses the data to present possible solutions to ending such hardship. The Secret Rules of Modern Living (Thurs, BBC4, 9pm) investigates how algorithms affect every aspect our lives, not just helping search engines filter results – from decorating your home via online dating to organ transplants. Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy presents this highly entertaining look at how algorithms – tiny chunks of maths – make light of complexity. Just about enough time has passed for an overview of a massacre in January that shocked the world. Charlie Hebdo: 3 Days That Shook Paris (Thurs, More4, 10pm) is a sobering account of those events and contains heartbreaking testimony from those caught up – witnesses, widows and passers-by.

Music
Tuesday’s double bill kicks off with The Naked Choir with Gareth Malone (Tues, BBC2, 9pm), who challenges half a dozen choirs from around the UK to get to grips with a song of his choice. Each choir has just three weeks to arrange it and learn it before they convene for a gala concert in which a winner will be picked. Malone’s previous outings have unearthed some fantastic talent while illustrating why singing is a powerful liberation for the soul. Later Live...with Jools Holland (Tues, 10pm) features Welsh rockers the Stereophonics showcasing tracks from their new album. Roisin Murphy, who fronted Moloko many moons ago, is also airing new songs, her first in seven years. Folkie Richard Thompson, indie group the Maccabees and Jamie Woon complete the lineup.

Arts
Escher’s marvellously complex paintings and drawings of seemingly impossible architecture are explored in The Art of the Impossible: MC Escher and Me (Sun, BBC4, 8.30pm) by renowned cosmologist Professor Sir Roger Penrose. A long-time fan of the Dutch Escher’s mathematically inspired graphics, they actually shared a lengthy creative collaboration in which the artist himself took inspiration from Penrose’s own scientific work and then the professor used the art to explore new ideas and theories. It’s a bit meta as a result, but on the eve of a major Escher retrospective, Penrose’s personal explication sheds fascinating light on those masterpieces.

Entertainment
Actor Jane Asher is better known for her cakes, so she’s a good choice for presenter of Best Bakes Ever (Mon-Fri, BBC2, 3pm). Clearly, the weekly slice of Bake Off every Wednesday isn’t enough. Asher’s role is to curate a daily selection of classic cakes and bakes by some of TV’s top cooks – think Nigella, Hairy Bakers and, yes, Mary Berry. The 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (Mon, Sky Living, 8am live and 9pm for highlights) celebrate the best of TV. Unsurprising Breaking Bad is nominated for a slew of gongs but the BBC’s Wolf Hall may well walk away with a trophy or too as well. Top British stars Emma Thompson, David Oyelowo and Ricky Gervais are among the best actor nominees. Andy Samburg is your host in LA. Piers Morgan’s Life Stories ((Fri, ITV, 9pm) often veers towards sycophancy but the veteran journalist does occasionally coax interesting revelations from his celebrity guests. So this week’s quarry, John Lydon – best known as ex Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten – is likely to be an interesting fount of disclosures. About to turn 60, he’ll be discussing the childhood meningitis that shaped his adult life and how Sid Vicious’ death affected him. But Lydon is a wily, intelligent fox and may outwit Morgan – miss at your peril.

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Trailers of the Week

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 15/09/2015 - 12:46

By Stuart O'Connor

Each week, the Screenjabber inbox gets overloaded with emails containing new film trailers, or clips of films or upcoming Blu-ray/DVD/VoD releases. Here are a few of those trailers and clips that caught our eye this week ...

Creed Trailer


The Program Trailer


Marvel's Jessica Jones Trailer


Cooties Trailer


Keith Richards: Under the Influence Trailer


99 Homes Trailer


Room Trailer


Demolition Trailer

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 14/09/2015 - 10:55

The Perfect Guy proves preferable to The Visit – but only just

By Rich Matthews

The Hollywood Reporter notes that The Perfect Guy's $26.7m means that this is the fifth weekend in a row that a movie focusing on African-Americans has topped the US box office. They don't really draw any more conclusions than that, especially when one of them could be as much to with its religious content (War Room at three with $7.4m and $39.1m domestic gross) and another could be rap and hip-hop fans (Straight Outta Compton biopic on NWA, taking its biggest tumble to six with $4m, $155.7m US, $180.7m global) as anything else, but Hollywood does like to find any trend it can, not matter how slim, so you could see August and September following a similar pattern next year too.

Anyway, that meant that the return to spooky shocks for The Sixth Sense's washed up mastermind, M Night Shyamalan, was relegated to second place, but by a narrow margin of $1.1m ($25.6m US, $29.5m global). The self-funded PG-13 grandparents comedy chiller The Visit has given Shyamalan his best reviews in years and certainly this launch for the $5m horror is something of a triumph given the low budget. Horror does tend to have steep drop offs, however, so it's doubtful that M Night will see a return to his early career blockbuster grosses.

With Compton tumbling to sixth, Robert Redford/Nick Nolte Bill Bryson adaptation A Walk In The Woods ($4.7m, $19.9m US) trudged along at fourth, while Tom Cruise nimbly hopped above Ice Cube and co at fifth with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($4.1m, $188.1m, $517.5m worldwide).

On the other side of Compton, there's still No Escape ($2.8m, $24.1m) for Owen Wilson at seven, The Transporter Refueled ran out of gas at eight ($2.7m, $13.3m, $23.3m), another new Christian drama, 90 Minutes in Heaven ($2.1m) this time starring former Jedi Hayden Christensen and ex-Lois Lane Kate Bosworth, and Mexican animation Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos ($1.9m, $6.6m) closing out the chart at 10.

Next weekend Johnny Depp loses some hair but gets some of the best reviews of his career by taking Black Mass, the Maze Runner enters The Scorch Trials and IMAX drama Everest starts its climb on a limited release.

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