This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: Seventh Son, The Loft, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

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We’re definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel this week when it comes to new arrivals on DVD and Blu-ray as the only major release hitting stores is the poorly reviewed Jeff Bridges fantasy flick Seventh Son. Other titles include The Loft, a remake of a Belgian thriller starring Karl Urban and James Marsden, as well as Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Spike Lee’s crowdfunded horror flick, and the documentary Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles. Catalogue titles on Blu-ray include three new Criterion releases (a pair of Costa-Gavras films and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Merchant of Four Seasons) plus a couple of Cannon Films cult classics (Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja) and the grueling underground gore flick Cannibal Ferox. Will you be picking up anything this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.

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Cary Fukunaga Drops Out of Stephen King’s It Remake

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Just as the Poltergeist remake has proven that there is still a market for scary clowns on the big screen, New Line was preparing to head into production on a remake of another ’80s clown-themed horror flick. Unfortunately for them, the project just hit a major snag. Director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) has been attached to helm a new version of Stephen King’s It for a while now, but with just three weeks to go before the movie was scheduled to start shooting, Fukunaga has reportedly dropped out of the project. The movie has been postponed indefinitely and at the moment it is unclear if they are planning to find a replacement or simply scrap the whole thing. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #516: Tomorrowland and Poltergeist

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0:00 – Intro / Bilingual Blu-ray Blues
25:00 – Review: Tomorrowland
49:45 – Review: Poltergeist
1:13:25 – Other Stuff We Watched: Good Kill, Night Game, 12:01, Pitch Perfect, Secret Beyond the Door, Hot Pursuit
1:50:00 – Random Discussion: Star Ratings and Top 10 Lists
2:13:35 – Junk Mail: Buying Used Blu-rays, Diverse Casts for Blockbusters, Blu-ray Player Dilemma, Rate Bait Revisited
2:40:30 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:42:58 – Outro
2:45:10 – Spoiler Discussion: Tomorrowland

Film Junk Podcast Episode #516: Tomorrowland and Poltergeist by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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First Photos from Ridley Scott’s The Martian Starring Matt Damon

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If you loved Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, you’ll be happy to know that we’re getting another Ridley Scott sci-fi movie before the end of this year. On the other hand, if you weren’t a fan of Prometheus, you’ll be happy to know that the movie in question is not a Prometheus sequel. The Martian is based on the self-published novel by Andy Weir and it stars Matt Damon as an astronaut who is stranded on Mars, fighting for his life against the elements. It’s a space survival thriller sort of akin to Gravity (Ridley Scott describes it as a “21st century Robinson Crusoe”) and this week the first photos have surfaced online courtesy of Empire and EW. The Martian hits theatres on Nov. 25th; check out the images after the jump and see what you think.

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Fox’s Scream Queens Trailer

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If you are a fan of both Glee and American Horror Story, you might want to keep an eye out for Ryan Murphy’s latest show when it debuts this fall since it almost seems to be a combination of both concepts. Scream Queens is a horror anthology series that revolves around a college sorority house forced to accept any new pledges, even the social outcasts. But when the initiation test leads to tragic accident, all of the girls soon find themselves being stalked by a mysterious killer who is seeking vengeance for something that happened 20 years ago. Scream Queens stars Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Breslin and Nick Jonas (among others) and it premieres on Fox in September; check out the official trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Jay Baruchel to Direct Goon Sequel, Seann William Scott Will Return

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A couple of years ago, it was announced that the brutal and hilarious hockey comedy Goon would be getting a sequel. Jay Baruchel and Jesse Chabot were in the process of penning the script and it looked like Michael Dowse would be returning to the director’s chair. This month, however, we have learned that someone else will be at the helm. After the recent success of his rom-com What If (aka The F Word), Dowse now has bigger fish to fry as he is directing a Vince Vaughn comedy called The Politician. So instead, directing duties for Goon 2 have fallen to the next logical choice: Jay Baruchel. Hit the jump for more details.

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Tomorrowland Tops Pitch Perfect 2

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Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland rocketed to the top of the box office over the Memorial Day weekend, but overall the box office numbers were way down for what is usually a very busy summer weekend. The last time no movie cracked $40 million over this time frame was way back in 1995. Tomorrowland earned just $32 million over three days ($40.7 million for the four day long weekend), which is definitely not great news for a movie that cost $190 million to make. Pitch Perfect 2 just barely missed repeating in first place, taking second with another $30.35 million, while Mad Max: Fury Road fell to third with a respectable $23.88 million, dropping only 47%. The Poltergeist remake opened in fourth with $23 million, while The Avengers: Age of Ultron rounded out the top 5. Mad Max: Fury Road still has another couple weeks to build on the strong buzz before Jurassic World hits theatres, although it will also depend on how audiences respond to The Rock’s earthquake movie San Andreas.

1. Tomorrowland — $32.16M
2. Pitch Perfect 2 — $30.35M
3. Mad Max: Fury Road — $23.88M
4. Poltergeist — $23M
5. The Avengers: Age of Ultron — $20.9M
6. Hot Pursuit — $3.47M
7. Far from the Madding Crowd — $2.28M
8. Furious 7 — $2.12M
9. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $1.8M
10. Home — $1.68M

Open Forum Friday: Are Sci-Fi and Comic Book Movies Causing the Infantilization of Culture?

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It’s been a while since we’ve had an Open Forum Friday, but this week there has been an interesting little discussion percolating throughout the blogosphere that seemed like it was worth continuing here. The discussion has to do with the “infantilization of culture” and the way that blockbuster movies are being marketed to adults and kids as if they are essentially the same audience. It is certainly not the first time the topic has been brought up with regards to the insane popularity of comic book movies and escapist fiction on the big screen. However, what is interesting is where the debate originated this time: from none other than Simon Pegg, one of the very people who has helped usher in this new era of fandom and geek culture.

It turns out that Pegg recently made some comments in an interview with Radio Times where he stated that the focus on big screen spectacle has led to a “dumbing down” of sorts, lamenting the loss of the big political dramas of the ’70s that used to be touchstones of popular culture before Jaws and Star Wars changed everything. While that might sound hypocritical coming from one of the biggest Star Wars fans around, he clarified these statements further in a thoughtful essay on his website. He explains that he still loves science-fiction and fantasy and does not think they are childish, simply that the commercialization of these genres may ultimately be delivering a lot of empty calories. So what do you think? Does he have a point or is Simon Pegg biting the hand that feeds him nere? Are all of today’s blockbusters just kid’s stuff or are there still thoughtful and political films being made? Is the infantilization of pop culture a reality or are things just the same way they have always been? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

A Very Murray Christmas Teaser Trailer

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Hey, remember last year when we heard that Sofia Coppola was working on a Bill Murray Christmas special and it kinda seemed to good to be true? Well, it turns out it’s actually happening and now Netflix has picked it up for release this December. Written by Coppola, Murray and Mitch Glazer (who co-wrote Scrooged), it is described as an homage to the classic variety show format with Murray waiting for his friends to arrive for a TV show during a terrible snowstorm in New York City. A Very Murray Christmas features guest stars such as George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Julie White, Dimitri Dimitrov, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix, Frederic Moulin, Rashida Jones and Miley Cyrus. Check out the first teaser trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Tomorrowland Review

Tomorrowland
Directed by: Brad Bird
Written by: Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof (screenplay), Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen (story)
Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Thomas Robinson

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What if there was a place where all the geniuses and dreamers of the world could come together to create everything they’ve ever wanted to create, free from red tape and bureaucratic nonsense? Would we get the ultimate utopia or would it just be a complete mess of half-baked ideas and conflicting pursuits? Ironically, Disney’s Tomorrowland provides unintentional proof that perhaps the latter might be the case, even as it doggedly attempts to convince us of the former.

Within Hollywood, director Brad Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindelof are geniuses and dreamers of the highest order, and when it was announced that they were coming together to make a top secret sci-fi movie for Disney, the project seemed to have limitless potential. To their credit, the movie they have produced is indeed a unique one in the blockbuster landscape, full of optimism and hope. Unfortunately, most of its ideas are either unclear or far too simplistic to apply in the real world, and the result is an uneven family retro-futuristic adventure that eventually just gets old.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Tomorrowland, Poltergeist, The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)

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It should be an interesting little skirmish at the box office this weekend as Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland and Gil Kenan’s Poltergeist remake take on the red hot Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road (not to mention The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is still doing some solid business). Tomorrowland has the Disney brand behind it and should probably bring out plenty of families although the reviews have been extremely mixed. Poltergeist isn’t doing any better critically but you can’t underestimate a horror movie these days — especially one that is PG-13. In select theatres, we also have the conclusion to Tom Six’s demented horror trilogy The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) (which is also out on VOD), Aloft starring Jennifer Connelly, and When Marnie Was There, the most recent and possibly final film to be produced by Studio Ghibli. What will you be watching this weekend?

Cooties Trailer Starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson

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Although many of us have long since burned out on zombie movies, that hasn’t stopped people from continuing to make them. And hey you know what? Every now and then, they still manage to come up with clever new twists on the genre. Cooties is an upcoming horror-comedy written by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) and Ian Brennan (Glee) that re-imagines the zombie virus as an infection that only seems to affect kids. When the students of an elementary school start to go feral, the teachers must band together to save the day. With a cast that includes Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill and Jack McBrayer, this looks like it might have potential even though first-time directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion are complete unknowns. Cooties hits theatres on Sept. 18th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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