Film Junk Podcast Episode #597: Split and The Founder

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0:00 – Intro
8:30 – Review: Split
28:40 – Review: The Founder
55:15 – Feature: Most Anticipated Movies of 2017
1:09:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: The Park is Mine, Moonlight, On Dangerous Ground, Certain Women, Magnolia
1:26:50 – Feature: Assigned Seating Debate with Matt Gamble
2:19:50 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:24:50 – Outro
2:30:20 – Spoiler Discussion: Split

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La La Land Leads the 2017 Oscar Nominations

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The 2017 Oscar nominations were announced this morning from Los Angeles via live stream and it looks like Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is poised to dominate, picking up record-tying total of 14 nominations (the same number as both James Cameron’s Titanic and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve). However, this won’t be another #OscarsSoWhite situation as the diverse line-up of nominees included such films as Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight (the latter of which received 8 nominations). Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival also surprised with a total of 8 nods, although Amy Adams did not get recognized in the Best Actress category. Her role in Nocturnal Animals may have split the votes, but Ruth Negga managed to sneak in for Loving instead. Other than that, there weren’t a ton of surprises. Check out this year’s Oscar nominations after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Film Junk Poll: What is the Best M. Night Shyamalan Film?

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It’s been interesting to watch the twists and turns of M. Night Shyamalan’s career over the past decade or so as he made his slow decent into silliness and self-indulgence, followed by his recent reinvention and return to form. Clearly he is a director with tremendous talent and plenty of ideas, but his execution varies wildly. At the end of the day you have to give him credit for continuing to create mostly original stories. Now that his filmography has grown to a decent size, it seems like a good time to look back and discuss his greatest successes. No doubt some people still romanticize his early films while others may feel that they haven’t aged well and prefer his newer material instead. What do you think is M. Night Shyamalan’s strongest film to date? Cast your vote in this week’s poll and then sound off in the comments below.

What is the Best M. Night Shyamalan Movie?

 
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Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal Trailer Starring Anne Hathaway

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Although Nacho Vigalondo’s last few films have been somewhat hit or miss, I am happy to say that I had a great time with his latest film Colossal at TIFF last year. It is one of those movies that you immediately want to run out of the theatre and tell everyone about, but at the same time, you don’t want to overhype it or spoil it for anyone. Part of the fun of the movie is the discovery of the premise, which is why I’m a little hesitant to post the first official trailer for the film. Not that it gives away any huge spoilers or anything, but I think it works best if you go in cold. For now, let me just say that the movie stars Anne Hathaway as a party girl who wakes up one day to find that a giant monster is wreaking havoc across the world in Seoul, Korea. If you want a little hint of where it goes from there, by all means continue on. Colossal hits select theatres on April 7th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Star Wars: Episode VIII Gets an Official Title

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After director Rian Johnson teased fans earlier this month with the knowledge that the next Star Wars movie already had a title (and, in fact, had been given one ever since the first draft of the script was completed), Disney and Lucasfilm have finally let the rest of the world in on the secret. The official title of Episode VIII is… Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Let the speculation begin as to who that Last Jedi might be. We still don’t know much about the plot of the movie, but there have been rumours going around that the movie will reveal a great deal of Rey’s back story. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper) and it hits theatres on December 15th, 2017. What do you think of the official title?

Monday Morning Box Office Report: Split is a Hit

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It would appear that M. Night Shyamalan’s comeback is complete after he delivered a pretty huge box office hit over the weekend with Split. The movie opened to approximately $40 million, which is the fourth best January debut ever and it’s even better when you consider that the movie had a budget of just $10 million. This is Shyamalan’s biggest opening since The Last Airbender in 2010, although that movie was based on a pre-existing property; if you ignore that, it’s his best since The Village back in 2004. Split essentially doubled the opening numbers for the second place film, Vin Diesel’s xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which cost over four times as much to make. In third place, Hidden Figures pulled in another $16 million while Sing and La La Land rounded out the top 5. Elsewhere, The Founder managed to sneak into the top 10 after expanding to over 1000 screens. Sadly, Martin Scorsese’s Silence struggled following its own expansion, earning just $1.15 million from over 1500 screens and bringing its domestic total to just over $5 million.

1. Split — $40.2M
2. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage — $20M
3. Hidden Figures — $16.3M
4. Sing — $9M
5. La La Land — $8.4M
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — $7M
7. Monster Trucks — $7M
8. Patriots Day — $6M
9. The Founder — $3.8M
10. Sleepless — $3.7M

Split Review

Split
Written and Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Betty Buckley, Sebastian Arcelus, Brad William Henke

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What does success look like for M. Night Shyamalan in 2017? With The Visit, the excessively maligned director seemed to acknowledge a need to scale back the lofty ambition that tanked his two highest budget, least interesting efforts (namely The Last Airbender and After Earth) but Split fails to further that momentum. Despite an ace performance by James McAvoy, the film fizzles just when M. Night seemed poised to rekindle a spark of his early genius. At this point, another smash on the scale of The Sixth Sense might be too much to hope for. Heck, I’d settle for a Signs.

Split, despite its PG-13 rating, ventures into darker territory than previous Shyamalan fare, and the director struggles to balance the emotional maturity the premise deserves with the endearing, lighthearted humor he’s made his hallmark. The plot revolves around the kidnapping of three teenage girls by Kevin Wendell Crumb, a psychopath with multiple personality disorder (a committedly unhinged McAvoy). His victims include birthday-girl Claire (Haley Lu Richardson, The Edge of Seventeen), best friend Marcia (Jessica Sula, TV’s Recovery Road), and cool-headed outcast Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch).

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Tim Miller to Direct New Terminator Reboot, James Cameron to Produce

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Ever since Terminator Genisys failed to crack $100 million domestically back in 2015, the future of the Terminator franchise on the big screen has been somewhat uncertain. The movie ultimately ended up making $440 worldwide and Skydance Productions claimed that they were moving forward with more films but last year Emilia Clarke appeared to confirm that she would not be returning. Now this week we have our first concrete news about the next Terminator film and, believe it or not, there is some interesting talent involved. In particular, there is one familiar face here that just might be enough to bring back fans who thought they were otherwise done with this series. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

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Sandy Wexler Teaser Trailer: Adam Sandler Heads Back to the ’90s

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If you weren’t a fan of The Ridiculous 6 or The Do-Over, Adam Sandler’s first two original movies for Netflix, there’s probably a pretty good chance that you won’t be a fan of the next one either. That being said, it does have a couple of things going for it: the movie takes place in the ’90s, an era when Sandler was at the height of his popularity, which could prove to be creatively inspiring for him. It also finds him poking fun at Hollywood, which hasn’t happened very often previously (if at all). Sandler plays a fictional talent manager named Sandy Wexler who falls in love with one of his clients. Directed by Steven Brill (The Do-Over), the movie co-stars Jennifer Hudson, Rob Schneider, Kevin James, Arsenio Hall, Terry Crews and Lamorne Morris. Sandy Wexler hits Netflix on April 14th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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The Discovery Trailer: A New Sci-Fi Movie from the Director of The One I Love

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It would appear that Netflix has a head start on many of the other distributors at Sundance this year, having already acquired the rights to a handful of big movies that are playing at this year’s festival. One of those movies is an intriguing new project from Charlie McDowell (son of Malcolm McDowell) who previously directed the indie romantic sci-fi dramedy The One I Love. His new movie The Discovery takes place in a world where the existence of an afterlife has been scientifically confirmed and people are committing suicide at an alarming rate in order to reach it. With a cast that includes Robert Redford, Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons and Riley Keough, it looks like an interesting and thoughtful mash-up of Flatliners, The Leftovers and Black Mirror. The Discovery makes its world premiere tonight in Park City but for the rest of us it will arrive on Netflix on March 31st. Check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Split, The Founder,

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It’s another pretty busy weekend for new releases by January standards, and based on the Thursday night previews, at least a couple of those new releases have the potential to do some decent business. The two biggest releases find Vin Diesel resurrecting a ridiculous ’90s action franchise with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and M. Night Shyamalan looking to continue his comeback with the new thriller Split starring James McAvoy. Other movies in wide release include McDonald’s mogul biopic The Founder starring Michael Keaton, Mike Mills’ dramedy 20th Century Women, and faith-based film The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. In select theatres, we also have Christopher Smith’s Detour starring Tye Sheridan, Trespass Against Us starring Michael Fassbender, and the Studio Ghibli animated co-production The Red Turtle. What will you be watching this weekend?

Logan Trailer #2

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With the release date now just a couple of months out, 20th Century Fox have released the second (and apparently final) trailer for James Mangold’s Logan starring Hugh Jackman in his farewell performance as Wolverine. This one seemingly proves that the movie will live up to its R-rating with some brutal action, which becomes even more clear if you watch the extra bloody red band version. We also get to see a lot more of X-23 here and she is certainly not afraid to make use of her own claws when the need arises. Perhaps the biggest surprise all, however, is the fact that the X-Men comics actually exist within this universe. Weird. Logan hits theatres on March 3rd; check out the new trailer(s) after the jump and let us know what you think.

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