Last year around Valentine’s Day, Netflix released the first season of their original series Love starring Gillian Jacobs And Paul Rust. Now this year they have another dark and relatively unromantic comedy up their sleeve that both celebrates and mocks the holiday. Co-written by and starring Bob Odenkirk, Girlfriend’s Day revolves around a once prolific greeting card writer who has fallen on hard times. When the greeting card companies invent a new holiday called Girlfriend’s Day, however, he is determined to seize the opportunity and enters a cutthroat competition to create the perfect card. The movie is directed by Michael Paul Stephenson (Best Worst Movie, American Scream) and co-stars Amber Tamblyn, Natasha Lyonne, Ed Begley Jr., Stacy Keach, June Diane Raphael, and Andy Richter. Girlfriend’s Day premieres on Netflix on Feb. 14th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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0:00 – Intro
15:00 – Review: Patriots Day
55:20 – Other Stuff We Watched: Operation Avalanche, Eddie the Eagle, The Accountant, Live By Night, The Girl with All the Gifts, Don’t Think Twice, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)
1:44:30 – Junk Mail: Assigned Seating Horror Story, Aging Wine, Winter-Themed Movies, Directors Who Star in Their Own Movies, U.K. Criterion Releases, Letterboxd Year in Review, Demo Discs for Surround Sound Systems
2:29:50 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:32:30 – Outro
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One of the genre movies that made a big impression on the festival circuit last year was Julia Ducournau’s Raw. The movie had a lot of buzz coming out of Cannes where it won a FIPRESCI Prize and it was a runner up for the Midnight Madness award at TIFF (where it also supposedly made someone pass out… always a nice reputation to have). Now Focus Features is bringing it to select theatres and they have released a pretty fantastic first trailer. The story revolves around a 16-year-old girl in her first year at veterinary school who is forced to undergo a strange hazing ritual. As a strict vegetarian she is conflicted upon being pressured to eat rabbit kidneys, but soon finds herself undergoing a transformation that gives her an insatiable craving for flesh. Based on that synopsis alone, I’m sure you can see how it might earn a spot alongside such extreme French horror classics as Inside and Martyrs. Raw hits select theatres on March 10th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Outside of his smaller collaborations with David O. Russell, it’s been a while since Robert De Niro has done any particularly noteworthy dramatic work on screen. However, that could be changing this year with the new indie dramedy The Comedian and an upcoming HBO movie called The Wizard of Lies (not to mention an impending reunion with Martin Scorsese called The Irishman). The Wizard of Lies finds De Niro playing Bernie Madoff, the former stockbrocker and investment advisor who is known for operating a Ponzi scheme that became the largest example of financial fraud in U.S. history. Directed by Barry Levinson, who previously directed the HBO movie You Don’t Know Jack and last worked with De Niro on What Just Happened, the movie also stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Madoff’s wife Ruth. The first teaser trailer has now arrived online and it certainly feels a little flashier and edgier than expected (the Marilyn Manson soundtrack doesn’t hurt either). The Wizard of Lies premieres on HBO in May; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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After the unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher at the end of 2016, it didn’t take long for Star Wars fans to start speculating about what it might mean for the future of their favourite movie franchise. According to Variety, Fisher had already finished filming Star Wars: Episode VIII, but she was also slated to appear in Episode IX as well. Since that movie won’t start shooting until 2018, they will obviously have to figure out how to handle her death by then. Based on certain technical achievements seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the obvious assumption has been that they may try to incorporate General Leia Organa using CG. However, Disney and Lucasfilm have recently issued a statement that makes their stance on that relatively clear:
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Although Hidden Figures did end up dethroning Rogue One by a narrow margin last weekend, this time around it wasn’t particularly close as the historical drama stayed on top of the box office for the second week in a row with an estimated $20.5 million. La La Land shot up to second place after its Golden Globes win, earning $14.5 million, followed by Sing with $13.8 million. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fell to fourth place, while horror flick The Bye Bye Man was the top grossing new release, opening in fifth. Elsewhere Peter Berg’s Patriots Day came in slightly below expectations, while Sleepless and Monster Trucks were also disappointments (the latter was already expected to lose $115 million for Paramount). Sadly, Ben Affleck’s Live By Night ended up being the biggest disappointment of all, however, finishing outside the top 10 with just $5.4 million despite playing in over 2800 theatres. It looks like this will be his first real misfire as a director.
1. Hidden Figures — $20.5M
2. La La Land — $14.5M
3. Sing — $13.8M
4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — $13.8M
5. The Bye Bye Man — $13.4M
6. Patriots Day — $12.0M
7. Monster Trucks — $10.5M
8. Sleepless — $8.5M
9. Underworld: Blood Wars — $5.8M
10. Passengers — $5.6M
One of the big acquisitions from Sundance last year was a movie called Sleight, which was picked up jointly by Blumhouse and WWE Studios and now they are finally bringing it to theatres this spring. Described as “Chronicle meets Iron Man“, the movie revolves around a young street magician living in Los Angeles who starts selling drugs in order to make ends meet. Eventually he finds himself in over his head and his sister is kidnapped, forcing him to use more than just his sleight of hand skills in order to save her. Helmed by music video director J.D. Dillard, this certainly looks like it has the potential to be a breakout hit. Sleight hits theatres on April 7th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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It would appear that 2017 has just claimed one of its first major celebrity deaths from the world of cinema. According to William Friedkin (via Twitter), writer / director William Peter Blatty, the man who wrote The Exorcist passed away yesterday. Details surrounding his death were not immediately available, but he had just celebrated his 89th birthday a few days ago. The Exorcist wasn’t the only work he was known for. Blatty also directed a couple of well-regarded films himself in addition to contributing to the screenplays for several other significant films throughout the course of his career. Hit the jump for details.
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Between the expansion of several awards hopefuls and the arrival of some predictably questionable January titles, there are quite a few movies hitting theatres this weekend. Ben Affleck’s gangster drama Live By Night is finally in wide release (although the negative reviews seem to explain why it was held back), meanwhile Peter Berg’s Patriots Day is also expanding along with Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which is now playing on over 700 screens. Other major releases include the ridiculous family adventure comedy Monster Trucks starring Lucas Till, horror flick The Bye Bye Man, and action-thriller Sleepless starring Jamie Foxx. If that’s not enough, The Comedian starring Robert DeNiro is also debuting in select theatres. What will you be watching this weekend?
We revealed our individual top 10 lists on the latest Film Junk Podcast earlier this week, but if you’re looking for a quick breakdown of our favourite and least favourite movies of 2016 for future reference, well, here they are. There were three movies that made all of our lists, which I believe is one less than last year, although overall it did feel like there was a lot more variety between us. At the very least, we hope that these lists will provide you with some decent recommendations for future viewing. For a more in-depth discussion of our choices, you’ll have to go and listen to the podcast. What are your favourite movies of 2016?
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Update: The Film Stage has discovered that the mystery film in question is actually a short film called Toru that is premiering at Sundance this month.
With Bad Robot’s God Particle now seemingly confirmed as a new Cloverfield movie, we’re all in need of a new mystery to mull over and indie distributor A24 seems willing to oblige. Yesterday they got people talking by releasing a new teaser trailer for a currently unknown movie without providing any additional information. The video is untitled, although it was reportedly uploaded with the initial title “TOR TSR WITNESS”, and the description reads simply, “In our near future.” It certainly seems to be a science-fiction film, and considering that A24 brought us such films as Ex Machina and Under the Skin, that’s more than enough to get me excited. The only upcoming A24 film that might fit the description is Woodshock, the directorial debut of Rodarte fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (the plot synopsis: “A woman falls deeper into paranoia after taking a deadly drug.”) What do you think this movie might be about? Check out the mysterious trailer after the jump.
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Buddy cop movies are back! Between 21 Jump Street, The Nice Guys, Central Intelligence, The Heat and Ride Along, we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of the genre as of late, and it looks like that’s going to continue into 2017. Michael Pena actually has another buddy cop movie getting a U.S. release this year (War on Everyone), but here he is co-starring with Dax Shepard in CHiPs, based loosely on the late ’70s / early ’80s TV show starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox. This one is clearly following the 21 Jump Street formula and leans heavily toward the comedy side of things, playing up the bromance and homoerotic undertones between two California Highway Patrol partners. The movie is written and directed by Shepard, who previously did the 2012 action comedy Hit and Run, and it co-stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Bell, Adam Brody and Justin Chatwin. CHiPs hits theatres on March 24th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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