Whenever you mention the Sundance Film Festival there is a certain type of film that immediately comes to mind: a coming of age indie dramedy about a social misfit, sometimes set in the past, but usually replete with an ironic sense of humour. Michael Tully’s Ping Pong Summer definitely seems to fit that bill, potentially following in the footsteps of such films as Adventureland and The Way, Way Back. The catch is that this one revolves around a ping pong tournament that takes place at the local arcade and Susan Sarandon is the cool mentor that takes the kid under her wing. Go figure.
The movie is set in 1985 and it seems to capture the fashion, the music and the slang of the era with a certain level of success. However, it also seems like it’s trying to be more quirky than heartfelt… the main character is named Rad Miracle, after all. Still, with a supporting cast that also includes Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris and Judah Friedlander, I’m sure there is an audience out there for this flick. Ping Pong Summer hits select theatres and iTunes on June 6th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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It’s been over a year since we learned that J.J. Abrams would be jumping ship from his recently rebooted Star Trek franchise to direct Star Wars: Episode VII for Disney. In that time, Paramount still has not named a replacement to take the helm of the next Star Trek film. At one point Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) was rumoured to be their top choice, but last we heard he had dropped out of the project. Now this week it looks like the sole remaining member of the Star Trek creative team is making a bid to sit in the captain’s chair himself. Word on the street is that Roberto Orci wants to make Star Trek 3 his directorial debut and Paramount is mostly on board with the idea.
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It’s a pretty barebones week for new releases on DVD and Blu-ray, but the good news is that there are a handful of solid catalogue titles worth checking out. Without a single new studio film hitting store shelves this week, the only noteworthy title making its home video debut is the Israeli thriller Big Bad Wolves. Beyond that, we also have the Tyler Perry play Madea’s Neighbors From Hell and a couple of documentaries: The Trials of Muhammad Ali and Bettie Page Reveals All. The highlights of the week are all on Blu-ray and include a newly remastered version of William Friedkin’s long forgotten Sorcerer, a Criterion release of Don Siegel’s Riot in Cell Block 11, Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker, Joseph Kahn’s cult classic biker flick Torque, and both the original Get Carter starring Michael Caine and the remake starring Sylvester Stallone. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.
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The dream is dead, folks… David Fincher will not be directing Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs biopic. We learned last week that he had officially dropped out of the project after Sony refused to meet his hefty demands which reportedly included a $10 million fee up front and a large amount of control over the marketing of the movie. He also wanted Christian Bale for the lead role, although it is unclear if Bale was even interested. While some thought that Fincher might re-enter negotiations, Sony has shut down that possibility by going straight to another A-list director instead. Danny Boyle is now their top choice to direct the movie, and he supposedly wants Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jobs.
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As the world continues to wait and wonder which movie he will choose for his follow-up to Lincoln, Steven Spielberg seems content to wander around attaching himself to as many projects as humanly possible. Late last week there were reports that he would produce and possibly direct religious drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which would reteam him with Lincoln and Munich writer Tony Kushner. Now this week we are hearing that he is setting his sights on an untitled Cold War spy thriller with Tom Hanks instead. Throw in a potential West Side Story remake, period epic Montezuma, and the long-gestating Robopocalypse, and his next gig behind the camera is still anyone’s guess. But hey, spy movies are hot right now… and who wouldn’t want to see him work with Tom Hanks again?
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With funny women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Lena Dunham breaking down barriers on TV and in movies right now, it feels like there are some doors being opened for up and coming female comedians. Jenny Slate is among those on the verge of breaking out, having spent a season on SNL with additional appearances on such shows as Bored to Death, Parks and Recreation and Hello Ladies. Now she is headlining her first feature film and it could very well be the thing to turns her into a star.
Obvious Child premiered at Sundance earlier this year where it was labelled the anti-Knocked Up. The story finds her accidentally getting pregnant after a one-night stand with a nice young professional named Max (Jake Lacy). She quickly decides that she will have an abortion, but the hard part comes when she has to tell Max the truth. Clearly this sounds like a gutsy film that is bound to spark controversy, but if you can make people laugh about a touchy subject, you’ve accomplished something special. Obvious Child hits select theatres on June 6th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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It’s been a few months now since the script for Quentin Tarantino’s next film The Hateful Eight leaked online, prompting Tarantino to take legal action and put the project on hold indefinitely. Since then, it seems that the story has remained close to his heart and he may be having second thoughts about shelving it. Over the weekend, the Ace Hotel in L.A. held a live reading of the film’s script with Tarantino himself on stage essentially directing his dream cast. While he did not announce anything official with regards to making the movie, he did reveal that he is currently working on a third draft of the script. Does this mean we’ll be seeing The Hateful Eight on screen sooner rather than later?
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A little over a year ago, we learned that Blumhouse Productions was moving forward with a sequel to the 2012 low budget horror hit Sinister. The original film made almost $80 million worldwide on a minimal $3 million budget and the thinking was that they could easily turn this into a franchise like Paranormal Activity and Insidious. At the time, director Scott Derrickson and writer C. Robert Cargill were in the process of writing the script but it was unclear if Derrickson would return to direct. Now this week we can confirm that he will not be directing and instead he will pass the baton to Irish filmmaker Ciaran Foy (Citadel). Here’s what Derrickson had to say about Foy’s work:
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As expected, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained in full control of the box office over Easter weekend as the movie earned $26 million in its third weekend and is now approaching $600 million worldwide. It should still have one more weekend of dominance before the summer blockbusters take over. Rio 2 remained in second place with another solid performance although it just barely edged out the religious film Heaven is for Real, which had a surprisingly strong debut. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence, which crashed and burned, earning just $11 million on a $100 million budget. Is Johnny Depp’s star power fading or is he just making bad career decisions? A Haunted House 2 rounded out the top 5.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier — $26.6M
2. Rio 2 — $22.5M
3. Heaven Is for Real — $21.5M
4. Transcendence — $11.2M
5. A Haunted House 2 — $9.1M
6. Draft Day — $5.9M
7. Divergent — $5.8M
8. Oculus — $5.2M
9. Noah — $5M
10. God’s Not Dead — $4.8M
0:00 – Intro
7:30 – News: Facebook Acquires Oculus VR, Sony Unveils Project Morpheus, Unreal and Crytek Engines Go Cheap, Irrational Games Shutting Down, Video Game Prices Increase in Canada
47:00 – Games We Played: Titanfall, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Ryse: Son of Rome, Peggle 2, Towerfall Ascension, Outlast, Infamous: Second Son, Bioshock Infinite, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Lone Survivor, Thomas Was Alone, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Broken Age: Part 1, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Skylanders Swap Force, Onimusha 3: Demon Siege, College Hoops 2K8, Lego Marvel Superheroes, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Jazzpunk, Strider, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Tearaway, Rayman Legends, South Park: The Stick of Truth
2:42:25 – Upcoming Releases
2:44:40 – Outro
Game Junk Podcast Episode #19: Titanfall, Infamous: Second Son and South Park: The Stick of Truth by Filmjunk on Mixcloud
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Happy Easter folks! Due to some unfortunate scheduling issues, we will not be recording a new episode of the Film Junk Podcast this week. Since we don’t skip a show very often, I thought it would be best to give everyone a heads up. The good news is that there will be a new Game Junk podcast up shortly and also possibly a new Ball Junk coming later this week. In the meantime, chow down on some chocolate and check out a re-run or a premium, and we’ll be back before you know it. We’re going to do our best to review both Transcendence and The Raid 2 next week so you’ve got that to look forward to.
Although Clint Eastwood’s directorial output has seemingly been on the decline for the past little while, Jersey Boys looks like an interesting project that could put him back on track. He might seem like a strange choice to direct a musical, but this is a rags to riches period piece that also happens to involve the mob. Plus, to be fair, Eastwood did previously star in at least one musical himself: the 1969 western Paint Your Wagon.
Based on the popular Broadway musical, Jersey Boys tells the true story of Frankie Valli and the ’60s doo-wop group the Four Seasons. While the cast is made up of mostly unknowns, Christopher Walken turns up as the notorious loan shark Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo. Could this end up being a surprise summer hit? Jersey Boys hits theatres on June 20th; check out the first trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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