Bill Paxton 1955-2017

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Amidst all of the awards season madness this weekend, there was also some sad and unexpected news to report. Bill Paxton, best known for his roles in Twister, Aliens, Apollo 13 and the HBO series Big Love (among others), passed away due to complications from surgery. Having just listened to his recent appearance on WTF, this totally caught me off guard. He was currently starring in the CBS series Training Day (he had completed work on all 13 episodes of the first season) and it would appear that his final role will be in the upcoming film The Circle. He was 61 years old.

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Full List of 2017 Academy Award Winners

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In what has got to be the craziest ending to an Oscar ceremony ever, Moonlight did indeed follow up its Independent Spirit Awards win by taking home Best Picture tonight… but only after La La Land had been incorrectly announced as the winner! Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had apparently been handed the envelope for the wrong category, resulting in absolute pandemonium on stage. Surely that will be the only thing anyone is talking about tomorrow, but most of the other categories went off as expected with Casey Affleck and Emma Stone taking the two main acting awards and Damien Chazelle winning Best Director. The only other big surprise was the fact that Suicide Squad actually won an Academy Award. Did you watch the Oscars this year, and if so, what did you think? Check out the full list of nominees and winners after the jump.

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Reminder: Last Chance to Join the Film Junk Oscar Pool!

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Just in case you missed it, I wanted to remind everyone that we’ve got a little Oscar pool going and you’ve still got time to join. The winner will get a mystery Film Junk prize pack (disclaimer: may not actually contain anything of value). Also, for those who have already signed up, please double check that you did not miss any steps because you may need to click on a link in the e-mail that you receive from Falsk and then enter your picks again. Full details and instructions can be found in our previous post. Either way, whether or not you are participating in the pool, the chatroom will be ready and waiting whenever people start joining… to make things easier, I have embedded it after the jump. See you tonight!

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2017 Independent Spirit Award Winners

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The 2017 Independent Spirit Awards were handed out in Santa Monica tonight, perhaps giving us a sneak peek at what will go down at the Oscars tomorrow. Over the past five years, four of the Best Film winners at the Spirit Awards went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and if that trend continues, Moonlight could very well upset La La Land (which wasn’t eligible for the Spirit Awards). Barry Jenkins’ film took home all five of the major Spirit Awards it had been nominated for plus the Robert Altman Award as well. Meanwhile in the acting categories, Casey Affleck and Isabelle Huppert may have slightly increased their own odds of winning Oscars. Check out the full list of Independent Spirit Award nominees and winners after the jump.

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Nightwing Movie in the Works at Warner Brothers

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Although Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were two of the biggest movies of 2016, both movies were critical disappointments and raised some doubts about the quality of future DC movies on the big screen. The general feeling last year was that Warner Brothers would have to regroup a bit and take a little more care with their upcoming films moving forward. However, that hasn’t really stopped them from putting more and more comic book movies into development. In particular, Batman’s corner of the DC universe is continuing to expand with The Batman, Gotham City Sirens and now a Nightwing movie is in the works too. Hit the jump for more details.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Get Out, Collide, Rock Dog

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At first glance, it doesn’t seem like The Lego Batman Movie has any significant challengers this weekend at the box office. However, Jordan Peele’s horror flick Get Out seems to be getting fantastic reviews and could be poised to become the second low budget horror flick to break out this year after M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. Other movies in wide release include the long delayed action-thriller Collide starring Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones and the Chinese-American animated co-production Rock Dog. In select theatres, we also have Bitter Harvest, a Canadian drama about the Ukrainian genocide of the 1930s, and the Oscar-nominated animated film My Life as a Zucchini. What will you be watching this weekend?

Matt Reeves Will Direct The Batman After All

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Earlier this month, it was looking like Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) would definitely be taking over the director’s chair on The Batman, but then last week he unexpectedly dropped out of discussions with Warner Brothers. It is possible that it was merely a negotiation tactic or perhaps there was a disagreement and cooler heads ended up prevailing, but either way the folks at Warner Brothers have now turned around and officially confirmed Reeves as the director. However, there still seem to be some conspiracy theories floating around out there about Ben Affleck’s involvement (or lack thereof). Here’s what the official press release has to say about the announcement:

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Next X-Men Movie Might Be the Dark Phoenix Saga, Simon Kinberg Looking to Direct

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Last we heard, 20th Century Fox was still mulling over the future of the X-Men movie franchise in the wake of X-Men: Apocalypse, potentially considering another soft reboot of some sort. In the meantime, they’ve been busy setting up several spin-offs and TV shows with Legion currently airing on FX and Bryan Singer set to direct the pilot for another X-Men-related TV series. But then earlier this month, Sophie Turner was interviewed on the red carpet at the BAFTAs where she said they were going to be shooting the next X-Men movie soon. At the time it was unclear if she was referring to the New Mutants movie which is expected to start production in May, but it would appear that she was talking about the true X-Men: Apocalypse sequel after all. Hit the jump for the latest scoop.

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Power Rangers Trailer #3

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I have to admit, I haven’t been paying much attention to the marketing for the upcoming Power Rangers movie because I’m slightly outside the target demographic on this one and it just hasn’t really piqued my interest. That being said, I am somewhat curious to find out whether fans of the original show have any interest in this either. It continues to look like a pretty generic CG-fest in my opinion, but nostalgia can always be a powerful draw. The latest (and potentially final) trailer for the film shows off our best look yet at Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, plus Goldar and Alpha 5 (the latter voiced by Bill Hader). Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) and hits theatres on March 24th; check out the new trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Watch the Alien: Covenant Prologue Online Right Now

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So this is kind of a cool idea. Instead of releasing another new trailer for Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox have decided to give us a five-minute short film that acts as a lead-in to the movie. I guess it’s kind of like releasing the first five minutes of the movie ahead of time, but in this case it won’t actually be in the movie. Directed by Ridley Scott’s son Luke, the short is titled “Prologue: Last Supper” and it introduces us to the crew of the ship and their mission while also hinting that something sinister is in store. Alien: Covenant hits theatres on May 19th; check out the prologue after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Film Junk’s 2017 Oscar Pool and Annual Live Chat Details

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Update: There has been some confusion over the steps required to enter. Once you receive the e-mail from Falsk, you need to click the link and then fill out your predictions a second time to officially enter the Film Junk Oscar pool. Sorry!

With all the preparations going on for episode 600, we almost forgot that the Academy Awards are happening this weekend. Although the Oscars are usually long, boring and mostly off base, it’s still a fun time to come together with movie fans and celebrate our love of cinema together. So to help enhance the experience, we’ll be holding our annual Oscar pool and live chat once again this year. Falsk has graciously offered to help set everything up and she has provided more details after the jump.

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J.J. Abrams and Stephen King Announce a Castle Rock TV Series

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With big screen versions of The Dark Tower, It and Gerald’s Game coming in 2017, it was already shaping up to be a great year for Stephen King fans. Now this month there is another, potentially even bigger announcement to get excited about: a TV series that brings together much of Stephen King’s work into one connected universe. Throughout his career a large number of his stories have been set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, and now that will serve as the basis for a Hulu original series to be produced by J.J. Abrams. Here’s an overview of how the project is being described:

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