Our latest premium podcast is a fond look back at the ’80s and one of the directors that helped define it with a decade of mostly family-friendly genre films: Joe Dante. Our discussion starts with his werewolf film The Howling before moving on to the Spielberg-produced blockbuster Gremlins, followed by the underrated sci-fi adventure Innerspace, cult classic horror-comedy The ‘Burbs and, last but not least, the completely unhinged sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Along the way we cover essential topics such as the feasibility of the Gremlins rules, the common trope of scatterbrained inventors in ’80s movies, political undertones in Dante’s films and the recurring cast members he frequently works with. Are Gremlins from Earth or do they have alien DNA? Is Corey Feldman a national treasure or just an annoying lame-o? Does every Joe Dante movie have a connection to Superman 3? With this month’s premium podcast comes much responsibility and we cannot sell it at any price… except maybe a minimum donation of $1. Grab it now via the link below!
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With The Hunger Games concluding later this year, everyone in Hollywood is scrambling to find another major YA franchise to take its place. Although The Divergent Series has done okay for Lionsgate, those movies have not reached moviegoers outside of their primary demographic in the same way that Twilight or Harry Potter did. Could Sony have the next big thing on their hands with The 5th Wave starring Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Carrie)?
Based on the book series by Rick Yancey, it takes place in a world where aliens have decimated Earth after four waves of attacks on the human population. The fifth and final wave is about to start using a full-on invasion to take out the remaining survivors. The movie is directed by J. Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) and co-stars Liev Schreiber, Maika Monroe, Nick Robinson, Maria Bello, Maggie Siff and Ron Livingston. The 5th Wave hits theatres on Jan. 29th, 2016; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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It’s a lovely day for DVD and Blu-ray releases as the sci-fi action masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road rolls onto store shelves this week along with the brand new Mad Max Anthology. Other major releases include the Andrew Niccol drone thriller Good Kill starring Ethan Hawke, dark comedy The D Train starring Jack Black and James Marsden, and Boulevard starring Robin Williams. Some additional movies that may be of interest to genre fans include the survival thriller Backcountry, the new John McNaughton horror flick The Harvest starring Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton, and the documentary Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World. On the small screen, we also have the first season of the new animated series Star Wars Rebels, but when it comes back catalogue titles, the line-up is completely barren. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.
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Following up an Oscar win for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne is about to deliver another transformative performance in The Danish Girl. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables), the movie is based on the true story of Danish artists Lili Elbe (nee Einar Wegener) and Gerda Wegener, the former of which became one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery back in 1930. Redmayne plays Einar / Lili while Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) is capping off a big year of her own by playing Gerda. Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead), Amber Heard and Ben Whishaw also co-star. The Danish Girl hits select theatres on Nov. 27th; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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0:00 – Intro
3:50 – Review: Cop Car
26:25 – Headlines: R.I.P. Wes Craven, George Miller to Direct Man of Steel Sequel?
35:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: Matinee, No Escape, Explorers, Small Soldiers, Documentary Now!, Narcos
59:05 – Junk Mail: Is Silence of the Lambs a Sequel?, Best Drunken Performances, Guilty Pleasures / Bad Movies That We Love, David O. Russell vs. Alexander Payne, More Letterboxd Statistics, Jay’s Faith of the Heart Cover
1:29:15 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray / Outro
Film Junk Podcast Episode #529: Cop Car by Filmjunk on Mixcloud
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After a year long delay resulting from a dispute with its original distributor, Eli Roth’s cannibal movie The Green Inferno is finally getting a release on September 25th. As it turns out, that is just two weeks before Roth’s next film Knock Knock will also hit theatres, and now we’re starting to see the marketing gear up for both. Knock Knock stars Keanu Reeves as a happily married man who is home alone one night when two young women knock on his door looking for help. Little does he know, letting them in will lead to “a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse.” Knock Knock hits select theatres and VOD on Oct. 9th; check out the new trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Aside from the occasional theatrical release like the Left Behind remake and the Dreamworks animated film The Croods, Nicolas Cage has been on amazing run of low budget VOD thrillers over the past few years. His next film, Pay the Ghost, (which, let’s be honest, should be retitled “Pay the Bills”) finds Cage playing a professor whose son mysteriously goes missing at a carnival on Halloween. While it starts off looking like the set-up for yet another Taken clone, the trailer eventually hints at some supernatural elements as well. Directed by Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex), the movie also co-stars Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead). Pay the Ghost hits select theatres and VOD on Sept. 23rd; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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Before we get to see Will Smith suit up as part of the Suicide Squad next year, he will be making a run for some potential awards in December with the upcoming drama Concussion. Directed by Peter Landesman (Parkland) and executive produced by Ridley Scott, the movie is based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist who tried to raise awareness about the risk of brain trauma in pro football… something the NFL did not want to acknowledge. The subject was previously explored in Steve James’ documentary Head Games, but this looks like a compelling David vs. Goliath story in the vein of The Insider or Erin Brockovich. Concussion hits theatres on Dec. 25th; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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The last weekend in August proved to be even slower than usual, allowing Straight Outta Compton to hold on to the #1 spot for the third straight week. The N.W.A. biopic also managed to surpass Walk the Line as the highest grossing musical biopic of all time with a domestic total of $134 million. Straight Outta Compton did have a bit of a challenge from the faith-based drama War Room, however, which came in second with a surprising $11 million — more than Fireproof and Courageous made in their first weekend. Meanwhile Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was neck in neck with newcomer No Escape for third place while Sinister 2 rounded out the top 5. As for the Zac Efron movie We Are Your Friends, it completely tanked, opening at #12 with just $1.8 million.
1. Straight Outta Compton — $13.24M
2. War Room — $11M
3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — $8.3M
4. No Escape — $8.29M
5. Sinister 2 — $4.65M
6. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — $4.41M
7. Hitman: Agent 47 — $3.85M
8. The Gift — $3.13M
9. Jurassic World — $3.12M
10. Ant-Man — $3.05M
We caught this unfortunate news last night as we were recording this week’s podcast and it definitely came as a shock. One of the most influential and successful names in horror over the past few decades, writer / director / producer Wes Craven passed away on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He died as a result of a battle with brain cancer, a diagnosis that had not been made public up until now. From Freddy Krueger to Ghostface, he had been responsible for some of the most well-known horror icons in recent memory and most definitely left his mark on cinema and popular culture. He was 76 years old.
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Now that the summer movie season is coming to an end, it’s time to take a look back and assess the damage. Every summer seems to follow a familiar pattern where we start off filled with naive excitement and by the end we are feeling either duped and/or burnt out. This year there were certainly a handful of big budget crowdpleasers including Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Straight Outta Compton, but almost everything else ranged from mediocre to appalling. Whether the overall quality was any worse than previous years remains to be seen, but let’s talk about some of those misfires. What was your biggest disappointment of the summer? Cast your vote in this week’s poll and then sound off in the comments below.
Stephen Daldry’s last couple of films may have skewed a little too far into the realm of Oscar bait (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Reader) but his latest film is being billed as a return to the joyful energy of his directorial debut, Billy Elliot. It also kind of looks like a cross between two Danny Boyle films: Slumdog Millionaire and Millions. The story revolves around three Brazilian kids who discover a wallet in a garbage dump and soon find themselves being pursued by the police. The three leads are newcomers, but the supporting cast includes Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen and Wagner Moura (Elite Squad). Trash hits select theatres on Oct. 9th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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