Almost a decade after we first started hearing about a big screen version of Stephen King’s Cell, the movie is finally about to arrive on VOD. Eli Roth was once attached to direct, but ultimately we ended up with Paranormal Activity 2 director Tod “Kip” Williams at the helm and John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles. The story revolves around an artist (Cusack) who is trying to reunite with his son after a signal broadcast across cell phone networks turns everyone into violent zombies. I know there are a lot of horror fans out there who love this book, but as you can probably tell from the trailer, it seems to be a relatively low budget affair. What do you think, will this be worth the wait? Cell hits VOD on June 10th followed by a limited theatrical release on July 8th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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If you’re a Netflix subscriber and you’ve been starting to feel like movies (and, in particular, older movies) are getting neglected in favour of TV and stand up comedy specials, you’re not alone. Even with all the competing streaming services that are out there right now, it feels like the available movie content is somehow dwindling. Fortunately, the folks at Turner Classic Movies and Criterion are in the process of stepping up to try and fill that void. Later this year they will launch FilmStruck, a new subscription-based streaming movie service that will focus on movies and only movies, from major studio films to independent, art house and international cinema. Unfortunately, this also means that the Criterion Collection will be leaving Hulu Plus at the end of November. Hit the jump for more info on how the new service will work and what they plan to offer.
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Although Oliver Stone’s upcoming Edward Snowden biopic was delayed a couple of times last year, it seems to be back on track for a September release this year. And let’s face it, a September release makes a lot more sense than a Christmas or summer one. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the now world famous whistleblower who leaked classified NSA documents to expose their illegal surveillance program (among other things). While opinions are obviously divided on whether he should be considered a hero or a traitor, it looks like Stone is aiming to present this as more of a suspense thriller than anything. That’s probably a smart approach, although it is unlikely to match the intense immediacy of the documentary Citizenfour. Snowden co-stars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage, Scott Eastwood and Timothy Olyphant, and it hits theatres on Sept. 16th. Check out the new trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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It may not be the most exciting week for new releases on DVD and Blu-ray, but there is at least an Oscar winner on the list and some interesting catalogue stuff as well. The holiday-themed horror-comedy Krampus is perhaps the biggest title out on home video along with Ride Along 2 starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart and the western Jane Got a Gun starring Natalie Portman, which came and went from theatres pretty quickly. We also have the Hungarian drama Son of Saul, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and the astronaut documentary The Last Man on the Moon. On Blu-ray, we’ve got Roman Polanski’s What?, Robert Zemeckis’s Death Becomes Her, and John Milius’s Dillinger plus Criterion releases of Phoenix and Brief Encounter. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the list of noteworthy new releases after the jump.
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Over the past few years, Warner Brothers and DC have been teaming up to create animated features based on some of the most respected Batman graphic novels of all time. The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, and Batman and Son are among the titles that have already been adapted and now Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s notorious 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke is next in line. The movie features the return of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, but more importantly, it has supposedly received an R-rating, which is a first for a DC Animated movie as far as I know. While that would seem to ensure a faithful representation of the story, it will be interesting to see how they expand this out to feature length since the original comic is fairly short. Batman: The Killing Joke does not yet have a release date but is expected to hit DVD and Blu-ray this summer; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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0:00 – Intro
23:10 – Review: Hush
46:30 – Headlines: Jason Bourne Trailer
51:40 – Other Stuff We Watched: Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Tickled, Credit for Murder, LoveTrue, Nuts!, Wizard Mode, Cameraperson, Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Horace and Pete
2:12:10 – Junk Mail: Book Adaptations, Logging Short Films on Letterboxd, Manifesto Rules for Criterion UK Releases, Dr. Strangelove Criterion vs. Steelbook
2:33:20 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:39:30 – Outro
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It was another big weekend for Disney’s The Jungle Book, which dropped just 41% from its opening weekend and added another $60 million to its total. It is already the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year domestically and should have another week of smooth sailing before the summer blockbusters arrive. On the other hand, The Huntsman: Winter’s War received a much chillier reception from audiences, debuting in a distant second place with a lacklustre $20 million. That’s almost $40 million less than its predecessor made back in 2012 and certainly not what Universal had in mind for this follow-up despite its reduced budget. In third place, Barbershop: The Next Cut took in another $10 million while Zootopia and The Boss rounded out the top 5. Elsewhere, A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks opened just out of the top 10 with $1.2 million from 400 screens.
1. The Jungle Book — $60.8M
2. The Huntsman: Winter’s War — $20.1M
3. Barbershop: The Next Cut — $10.8M
4. Zootopia — $6.6M
5. The Boss — $6.1M
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — $5.5M
7. Criminal — $3.1M
8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 — $2.1M
9. Compadres — $1.4M
10. Eye in the Sky — $1.2M
We’ve known for a few years now that Sony has been working on a Jumanji remake, much to the chagrin of Robin Williams fans. Back in January they finally hired a director for the project but we still had no idea who might be starring in the new version of the family adventure comedy. Then earlier this month we started hearing strange rumblings that the studio wanted Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart to star in the film together, fresh off their well-received hosting gig for the MTV Movie Awards. Now Johnson has officially confirmed his involvement, although at this point we still don’t know what Kevin Hart’s status is. Johnson made the announcement via Instagram earlier today:
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These days it seems like every well-known director is getting their own retrospective documentary. In the past few years alone there have been new docs about Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Robert Altman, John Milius, Sidney Lumet and Roger Corman (I’m sure I’m missing a few others), and now this year we’re getting an entire film dedicated to the man responsible for such classics as Scarface, Carrie and The Untouchables. What’s interesting about this one, however, is the fact that Brian De Palma is still alive and kicking, and the movie is constructed almost entirely out of new interviews with him conducted by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow. De Palma premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year and it will be playing at Hot Docs in Toronto next month as well. After that, A24 will release it in select theatres on June 10th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Although we heard last week that Michael Keaton was in talks to play a villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming, sadly it seems that the negotiations didn’t pan out and he will not be appearing in the film after all. But before you get too disappointed, we have some additional casting news for the movie that should make up for it. Kevin Feige previously hinted that some well-known Marvel characters would likely show up in Spider-Man’s next solo movie and apparently he wasn’t kidding. Rather than roping in some second or third string superheroes, they’ve gone straight for one of The Avengers’ biggest names: Iron Man. Hit the jump for the full scoop.
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If you’ve been wondering how Roland Emmerich can possibly hope to up the ante for an Independence Day sequel, the new trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence goes a long way to helping answer that question. For starters, they apparently have an alien ship that is the size of the Atlantic Ocean and some sort of gravity weapon that rips buildings out of the ground. But putting aside all of the giant FX sequences, I will admit that for the first time I’m getting excited to see familiar faces like Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner back together alongside newcomers like Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe and Jessie Usher. It’s also nice to see that the movie is somewhat self-aware as well… they do indeed like to get the landmarks. Overall, I think I’m starting to come around on this one. Independence Day: Resurgence hits theatres on June 24th; check out the brand new Earth Day trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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With Disney’s The Jungle Book expected to continue to dominate the box office this weekend, there is just one new movie in wide release that could pose any kind of threat: The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Although Snow White and the Huntsman did just fine back in 2012, that was partially thanks to the star power of Kristen Stewart. Without her in the lead (and without Snow White in the title), this sequel / prequel probably won’t fare as well and the poor reviews aren’t helping matters. Playing on a few hundred screens each, we also have A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks and Elvis & Nixon starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey. If none of those movies interest you, look for the Danish comedy Men & Chicken starring Mads Mikkelsen, the horror anthology Holidays or the controversial Nina Simone biopic Nina in select theatres. What will you be watching this weekend?