Film Junk Podcast Episode #475: Lucy

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0:00 – Intro
15:24 – Review: Lucy
57:11 – Headlines: First Look at Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman, Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer
1:07:59 – Trivia
1:28:07 – Other Stuff We Watched: Southern Comfort, Gravity, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, The Purge: Anarchy, Inside Pixar, Inside Lego, Turtle Power, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Out of Sight, The Place Beyond the Pines
1:50:49 – Junk Mail: Are 4K TVs Truly An Improvement?, Most Complication / Convoluted Movies, TV Binge Watching vs. Weekly Installments
2:04:34 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray

Film Junk Podcast Episode #475: Lucy by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Lucy Outlabors Hercules

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Moviegoers appear to have fully embraced Scarlett Johansson’s transformation into an action star as her latest film Lucy pulled in a solid $44 million to top the box office over the weekend. That is easily the biggest opening weekend ever for a Luc Besson film and one of the best starts for a female-led action flick. It is all the more impressive considering that it went head to head with Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson. The Brett Ratner film earned just $29 million, which is definitely a bit of a disappointment for Paramount considering that it cost $100 million to produce. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dropped to third place, while The Purge: Anarchy and Planes: Fire and Rescue rounded out the top 5. Surprisingly, Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man also cracked the top 10, earning $2.7 million on just 361 screens.

1. Lucy — $44M
2. Hercules — $29M
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — $16.4M
4. The Purge: Anarchy — $9.9M
5. Planes: Fire & Rescue — $9.3M
6. Sex Tape — $6M
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction — $4.6M
8. And So It Goes — $4.6M
9. Tammy — $3.4M
10. A Most Wanted Man — $2.7M

Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer

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After seeing so many shoddy remakes, reboots, prequels and sequels that have failed to live up to expectations in recent years, here’s one that looks like it might actually deliver the goods. George Miller is finally returning to the Mad Max franchise after a 30 year later wait, and despite all of the production delays and complications, he seems to have pulled off the impossible. The first footage from the film was unveiled at Comic-Con yesterday where it was met with rave reviews and now the first official trailer has been released online as well. It looks, in a word, exhilarating. Mad Max: Fury Road hits theatres on May 15, 2015; check out the first trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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First Official Image of Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

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The Warner Brothers Comic-Con panel took place earlier today in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center and from what I hear they blew the roof off the place with teaser trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. While they don’t appear to have plans to release any of that footage online right now, they did give us at least one thing to pore over: the very first official image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. This, along with a new image of Ben Affleck as Batman that was released earlier in the week, is the extent of the promotional material for the film that was shown at Comic-Con.

While it’s hard to tell if the Wonder Woman image is a complete indication of the visual style of the film, I think it sums up at least one big difference between the DC and Marvel films. Marvel is keeping things colourful and cartoony, while DC is just draining all of the fun and vibrancy right out of the comics. That works for Batman, but I’m not so sure about Superman and Wonder Woman. What do you think of Wonder Woman’s new look? Check out a bigger version of the image along with the new Batman photo after the jump.

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Kevin Smith’s Tusk Trailer

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As promised, Kevin Smith unveiled the first trailer for his upcoming horror flick Tusk at Comic-Con this week and it clearly looks like a bit of a departure for him. (Whether that’s good or bad still remains to be seen.) The first in what is now being referred to as his “True North Trilogy”, the movie was inspired by an episode of the SModcast where they discussed a strange classified ad from someone seeking a roommate who would dress up as a walrus. The ad later proved to be a hoax, but Smith let his imagination run wild, taking it in a disturbing Human Centipede-style direction. Shot for just $2 million, the production values resemble a YouTube short, but the movie stars Justin Long, Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodríguez and (apparently) Johnny Depp. Tusk hits theatres on Sept. 19th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Joaquin Phoenix in Talks to Play Doctor Strange?

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Heading into Comic-Con this week, the one big announcement that everyone has been expecting is the casting of the lead role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige recently said that the final details were being ironed out and that if the contract was signed in time, the announcement would be made at Marvel’s panel on Saturday. Previous rumours had hinted that Benedict Cumberbatch was still a heavy favourite for the role, and with Cumberbatch supposedly at Comic-Con solely to promote The Penguins of Madagascar, it seemed even more likely that he still had something up his sleeve. However, yesterday he continued to deny it, and now we’re getting reports that another unlikely candidate has stepped up in his place: Joaquin Phoenix. Yep, you heard that right.

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A Most Wanted Man Review

A Most Wanted Man
Directed By: Anton Corbijn
Written by: Andrew Bovell (screenplay), John Le Carre (novel)
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bruhl, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin

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The world has changed a lot since the Cold War, but maybe not as much as we think. Legendary British author John Le Carre has been penning some of the most realistic portrayals of espionage since the ’60s, drawing from his own experiences working for both MI5 and MI6. Described as the “anti-James Bond”, his stories often focus on the mundane details of the business, dealing in shades of grey rather than clear cut heroes and villains. This is essentially the same vision that he brings to a post-9/11 world in A Most Wanted Man.

After the acclaim for Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Le Carre’s books are seemingly back in demand on screen, but the contemporary setting makes this one all the more relevant. Set in Hamburg, Germany, the very same port city where Mohammed Atta planned the 9/11 attacks, it illustrates the painstaking effort and endless compromise required to stay vigilant against terrorism. The fact that it also happens to feature one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances is merely icing on the cake.

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Halo: Nightfall Trailer

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At this point, I think we’re all getting sick of seeing Halo short films and webisodes when what we really want is a big budget feature film. Still, when big names like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg get involved, it’s at least enough to warrant a look. Halo: Nightfall is the upcoming digital series that will take place between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians and it is produced by Ridley Scott (which you can probably tell based on the fact that it is ripping its visual style directly from Prometheus). Spielberg is also producing a separate Halo TV series but we still have yet to see anything from that. Halo: Nightfall will be included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which arrives in stores on Nov. 11th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Red Band Trailer

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It appears that things have been pretty quiet at Comic-Con so far as most of the big panels (ie. Warner Brothers and Marvel) aren’t happening until Saturday. However, yesterday Paramount had the chance to plug a handful of their upcoming releases including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Interstellar and Project Almanac, not to mention The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The feather in their cap was the very first trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2! Okay, not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

To be fair though, I liked the first Hot Tub Time Machine quite a bit and this time they are going ahead into the future… the year 2024, to be exact. The sequel has the original cast returning minus John Cusack but in his place they have added Adam Scott, apparently playing the same character apparently playing his son (not a bad trade off in my opinion). Hot Tub Time Machine 2 hits theatres on Dec. 25th; check out the first trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Hercules, Lucy, A Most Wanted Man

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Brett Ratner’s Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson is the second film this year to feature the mythical Greek hero, and while it should be an improvement on Renny Harlin’s earlier film, something tells me that it may disappoint at the box office. Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson is tough competition and seems more likely to come out on top, bringing director Luc Besson back to his ’90s blockbuster heyday. The other film in wide release is Rob Reiner’s latest comedy, And So It Goes starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. In select theatres, keep an eye out for Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas starring Anna Kendrick. What will you be watching this weekend?

Young Ones Trailer: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller Starring Michael Shannon and Elle Fanning

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s brother Jake made his directorial debut back in 2007 with a movie called The Good Sleep, which premiered at Sundance but failed to make much of a splash. Now he’s back with his sophomore effort, the post-apocalyptic sci-fi western Young Ones. Michael Shannon plays a man who is determined to defend his farm and his children (Elle Fanning, Kodi Smit-McPhee) from bandits, but his daughter’s boyfriend (Nicholas Hoult) wants the land for himself. The movie looks more than a little similar to David Michod’s The Rover but perhaps with a few more obvious science-fiction elements. Young Ones hits select theatres on Oct. 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Weekly Poll Results: Best Stanley Kubrick Film

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I was pretty convinced that The Shining would win last week’s poll based on its cultural cachet and crazy cult following but lo and behold… the groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey pulled off a decisive victory with 31% of the votes. Perhaps everyone else made the same assumption about The Shining and decided to compensate for it (not that 2001 doesn’t deserve it). Either way, you can’t go wrong with most of these options and The Shining still ended up in second place followed by A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket. I was a bit surprised that Eyes Wide Shut placed as high as it did, and also that The Killing was so low, but I don’t think anyone will be shocked to see Kubrick’s first two films at the bottom of the list. Do you agree with these results?

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey — 31%
2. The Shining — 21%
3. A Clockwork Orange — 14%
4. Dr. Strangelove — 10%
5. Full Metal Jacket — 8%
6. Eyes Wide Shut — 5%
7. Barry Lyndon — 4%
8. Paths of Glory — 2%
9. Spartacus — 2%
10. The Killing — 1%
11. Lolita — 1%
12. Fear and Desire — 0%
12. Killer’s Kiss — 0%

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