Thanks to Anthony Maurizio and PWInsider.com for the following notes from WWE Studios’ screening of Blood Brothers starring John Cena this week:
“I attended the test screening in Port Chester, NY last night of John Cena’s new film “Blood Brothers” from WWE Studios, and was selected to be part of a focus group afterward.
The movie was a surprisingly well-done, fast-paced film, not too over-the-top on senseless action and not too brutally drawn-out. Cena’s acting is once again akin to his backstage WWE promos, where he tries hard but you get the occasional reminder that he is indeed acting. Not an award-winning performance, but not horrible either.
Ethan Embry as Cena’s brother was a high point of the film, one of the most featured roles the guy had since “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Vegas Vacation”. Still a funny dude, and a good actor. Amy Smart played the sister trying to reunite the three brothers.
The focus group after was in the first couple theater rows, and the area was rigged with tape recorders for WWE Studios to listen to. A theater ambassador was asking questions about the movie and our opinions. It got a generally-positive response, even from the girls in the group. Some of the items discussed were changing the title (as the “Blood Brothers” title hints at towards a horror genre tone to some audience demographics), the comparison of the movie to “Four Brothers”, Cena’s acting ability, Amy Smart’s acting (which others attempted to bury but I applauded her for her performance), and it’s comparison to other WWE films.
There were some weird responses in the focus group like not enough bloodshed in the movie, it being too “family-friendly”, people claiming vital scenes that were integral to the movie’s story progression were unnecessary.
I went on a little bit of a tirade commending Suburban Commando and Mr. Nanny as my favorite films ever featuring a wrestling star, and generated a reaction. And when asked what other superstars should be in a WWE film, I randomly ranted and raved about Macho Man Randy Savage deserving a WWE film role and got a positive reaction out of the group and moderator. I figured bringing up those items would be a big frown or a look of frustration on the face of Executive Producer Vincent K. McMahon. Haha.”