2016 Film Junk Readers’ Choice Awards: Voting is Now Open!

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It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is just a few weeks away, but apparently it’s time to start looking back on 2016 in an attempt to put it all into perspective. We’re currently in the process of building our individual lists for best movies of the year, but we like to get the Film Junk readers and listeners involved as well. Just as we do every year, we have come up with a list of nominees broken up across several different (and all but completely arbitrary) genres and now we are turning it over to you to decide the winners. You also get a couple of write-in votes for best movie of the year and biggest disappointment (in order to be eligible, movies should have been released theatrically in the U.S. in 2016). We’ll reveal the winners shortly after Jan. 1st, at which point our own lists will hopefully be ready as well. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and cast your votes for the 2016 Film Junk Readers’ Choice Awards starting right now!

Fast 8 Officially Titled The Fate of the Furious

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Although the full trailer isn’t coming until Sunday, Universal Pictures has released a short teaser for the eighth installment in the Fast & Furious series today revealing a brand new title: The Fate of the Furious. I guess at some point you have to stop simply numbering these movies or else it becomes difficult to tell them all apart. The movie also starts a new chapter in the series with a mysterious woman (played by Charlize Theron) luring Dom back into the world of crime. The official plot synopsis states that the team is then forced to “crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage… and to bring home the man who made them a family.” What do you think of the new title? Check out the short teaser after the jump and stay tuned for the full trailer on Sunday.

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War for the Planet of the Apes Trailer

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After Rupert Wyatt successfully rebooted the Planet of the Apes franchise with Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves took the ball and ran with it, delivering a solid sequel with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Now Reeves is back for the third installment, War for the Planet of the Apes, which may or may not be a conclusion of sorts (I’m guessing it won’t) that is loosely analogous to the 1973 film Battle for the Planet of the Apes. As the title implies, this movie features an all out war between apes and humans with the human army being led by a “ruthless” Colonel (played by Woody Harrelson). Based on the first trailer, it looks like the action will be a cross between a modern war movie and a western (it is being shot in 65mm with plenty of snowy mountain landscapes). War for the Planet of the Apes hits theatres on July 14th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Office Christmas Party, The Bounce Back, La La Land

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It’s another relatively quiet weekend when it comes to major theatrical releases as some of this year’s Oscar contenders are continuing to roll out in dribs and drabs. The only new movie in wide release is the R-rated comedy Office Christmas Party starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller and Kate McKinnon. Romantic comedy The Bounce Back starring Shemar Moore and Nadine Velazquez is also debuting on 600+ screens, while the Jessica Chastain political drama Miss Sloane is expanding to over 1500. In select theatres, we also have La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone plus the crime drama Frank & Lola starring Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots. What will you be watching this weekend?

Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer

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Hot on the heels of its premiere during Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming is now online for all to see. The movie stars Tom Holland and follows the events of Captain America: Civil War where Spider-Man was officially welcomed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The trailer definitely makes a point of showing off a more comedic approach to the character and prominently features Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, continuing his role as a mentor to Peter Parker. It also features a brief glimpse of Michael Keaton as Vulture, but let’s be honest… the only thing anyone seems to be talking about is the fact that Spidey’s costume has wings! Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theatres on July 7th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Apple in Talks with Studios for iTunes Rentals While Movies are Still in Theatres

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Over the past couple of years we’ve seen the theatrical release window for major studio films shrink from four months down to three (or even less in some cases) as studios try to adapt to a changing market and shifting consumer habits. Many smaller films already debut on VOD day and date with their theatrical release, and we’ve been hearing about a couple of attempts to make major theatrical releases available at home as well. It seems that it is no longer a question of if, but rather when it will happen. This week we have an intriguing report that Apple is determined to be the one to win this race and they are already deep in talks with a handful of studios to make it happen. Hit the jump to find out what we know.

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Sight & Sound’s Top 20 Films of 2016

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It’s that time of year again and the first wave of 2016 Best Of lists are starting to surface online. The British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound Magazine is usually one of the first ones to publish their list and this year is no different. As always, their Top 20 mostly consists of smaller art house selections with a few mainstream titles sprinkled in and this year their top choice is the German film Toni Erdmann, directed by Maren Ade. Several other acclaimed indie dramas are high on the list including Moonlight, Manchester By the Sea, American Honey and Paterson, while La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone sneaked in near the bottom. For more info, check out the full write-up over on the BFI website. What do you think of these picks? Check out Sight & Sound’s Top 20 Films of 2016 after the jump.

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Little Shop of Horrors Remake Gets a Director

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It should come as no surprise that we’ve now reached the point in Hollywood where movie studios are starting to remake remakes. The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur are both recent examples from this year and we also recently heard about a new version of Nosferatu that is currently in development. Now this week it looks like the folks at Warner Brothers are finally getting ready to move forward with a new version of Little Shop of Horrors, something they have been threatening to do for a while now. I suppose it’s fair to say that there are certain classic tales that will always just keep coming back around, but in this case, it sounds like they are drawing pretty heavily from the 1986 musical version that was directed by Frank Oz. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

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Baywatch Trailer Starring Dwayne Johnson

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At this point I think it’s safe to say that pretty much everything Dwayne Johnson touches turns to gold, even when common sense might dictate otherwise. And it looks like that trend is going to continue into 2017 with Baywatch, a feature film based on the cheesy ’90s TV show about lifeguards that was really just an excuse to ogle women in bathing suits. Johnson is taking this property and turning it into a buddy action-comedy in the vein of 21 Jump Street with Zac Efron playing his partner. Yes, there are some beautiful women in the cast (Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rohrbach), but you almost wouldn’t know it from the trailer. Apparently it’s just another budding bromance, albeit with inevitable cameos from David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Baywatch is directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and it hits theatres on May 19th; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: Jason Bourne, The Secret Life of Pets, Goodfellas 4K

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This week’s crop of DVD and Blu-ray releases includes Something for Everyone… and by that I mean, literally, the 1970 film Something for Everyone starring Angela Lansbury and Michael York. It also includes a couple of pretty huge releases in Jason Bourne and The Secret Life of Pets, plus we also have a handful of back catalogue 4K titles as well. Mike Birbiglia’s latest indie comedy Don’t Think Twice hits stores this week along with Ordinary World starring Billie Joe Armstrong, Phantasm: Remastered and Don Coscarelli’s final installment in the Phantasm series, Phantasm: Ravager. On Blu-ray we also have a 30th Anniversary Edition of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, New Zealand post-apocalyptic cult classic The Quiet Earth, the Mad Max High-Octane Collection and a couple of Bruce Lee films: The Chinese Connection and Fists of Fury. We’ve also got Goodfellas in 4K along with Ben Affleck’s Argo and The Town. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of noteworthy new releases after the jump.

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Film Junk Premium Podcast #55: Robert Zemeckis

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If you ain’t got a good sense of humor, you’re better off dead! Despite having previously covered the Back to the Future Trilogy, we figured that the release of Allied was a good enough excuse to revisit some of the other significant entries in Robert Zemeckis’ filmography, specifically: Romancing the Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Contact and Cast Away. Topics of discussion include Zemeckis’ impressive use of groundbreaking special effects, his sometimes questionable choices of music, his continued exploration of nostalgia and his knack for permeating pop culture. So is Contact a hard sci-fi masterpiece or just a cheesy ’90s blockbuster? What does the feather in Forrest Gump represent? Do the rules for toons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? actually make any sense? Spend your precious telescope time listening for little green men and download this month’s premium podcast below.

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

The Circle Trailer Starring Emma Watson

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Here’s the first trailer for what just might be one of my most anticipated movies of next year: James Ponsoldt’s The Circle. Based on the novel by Dave Eggers, the movie takes place in the near future where a tech company called The Circle strives to make the world a better place by building a social network and technology that allows everyone to publicly share every little detail about their life. Emma Watson stars as Mae, an enthusiastic new recruit who is eager to drink the company kool-aid until she meets Kalden (John Boyega), a mysterious man who keeps showing up around the company campus, encouraging her to question things. The trailer makes it look like a feature-length Black Mirror episode (which sounds about right) and the movie also co-stars Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Bill Paxton and Patton Oswalt. The Circle hits theatres on April 28th; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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