This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: The Expendables 3, The November Man, What If

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We’ve got a pair of geriatric action flicks clawing their way onto store shelves this week as The Expendables 3 and The November Man duke it out atop this week’s list of major DVD and Blu-ray releases. Other noteworthy titles include YA franchise non-starter The Giver starring Jeff Bridges, well-received rom-com What If starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, and holiday comedy A Merry Friggin’ Christmas starring the late Robin Williams. Lars Von Trier’s Extended Director’s Cut of Nymphomaniac is also out this week along with new Blu-ray releases that include the Criterion box set Les Blank: Always for Pleasure, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura, and Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye and Thieves Like Us, plus the memorable rock doc Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of DVD and Blu-ray releases after the jump.

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Birdman Leads the 30th Independent Spirit Award Nominations

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The 30th Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced earlier today from Los Angeles, officially kicking off awards season as per usual. Leading the way with six nominations was Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which continues to build strong Oscar buzz. Other multiple nominees include Boyhood, Nightcrawler and Selma, all of which earned five nods apiece. Movies budgeted over $20 million are not eligible for the Spirit Awards, and this year that includes The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice and Foxcatcher (although the two latter films still received some recognition). Do you agree with this year’s nominations? Check out the full list of Spirit Award nominees after the jump.

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Jurassic World Full Trailer

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Well, what do you know… Universal decided to open the gates to Jurassic World just a little earlier than anticipated. The full trailer has arrived online and it looks like it should at least be an improvement on Jurassic Park 3. The movie takes 22 years after the original film where they have created a fully functional theme park that is completely safe… until they decide to genetically engineer a dinosaur species of their own.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays one of the scientists behind the new genetically modified dinos, while Chris Pratt is a park employee who doesn’t agree with what they have done. Directed by Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed), the movie also stars Judy Greer, Jake Johnson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Omar Sy and BD Wong. Jurassic World hits theatres on June 12th, 2015; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Stallone Hints at The Expendables 4, Says PG-13 Rating Was a Mistake

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With The Expendables 3 hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week, Sylvester Stallone has been fielding some questions about the film and trying to answer for its failure. Although many initially blamed piracy for the movie’s poor box office performance (just $39 million domestically), Stallone has chosen not to hide behind that particular excuse. Instead, he has now acknowledged that the decision to go for a PG-13 rating is probably what hurt them the most. Granted, it’s easy to apologize for it afterward, but he really does seem to be regretting it. Then again, maybe he’s just trying to sell the new Unrated Cut that is included on the DVD and Bluray. Here’s what he had to say about the idea that The Expendables 3 should have been rated R in the first place:

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #492: Wish I Was Here

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0:00 – Intro
10:00 – Review: Wish I Was Here
39:45 – Headlines: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Premiering in Select Theatres
47:30 – Other Stuff We Watched: Atari: Game Over, Snowpiercer, Regarding Henry, Video Games: The Movie, Raw Force, Burn After Reading, The President’s Analyst, Listen Up Philip
1:35:35 – Junk Mail: Watching Movies for the First Time on TV, Letterboxd Police, Year End Lists + Steelbooks, The Addams Family
2:02:00 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:04:00 – Outro

Film Junk Podcast Episode #492: Wish I Was Here by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

» Download the MP3 (58 MB)
» View the show notes
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Oscar Isaac to Play Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

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We’ve got even more villainous casting news to report this week as Bryan Singer has reportedly nailed down an actor to play the titular antagonist in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. In case you weren’t aware, that would be En Sabah Nur (“The First One”) aka Apocalypse, a powerful mutant discovered during ancient Egyptian times who eventually enhanced himself with advanced alien technology to achieve immortality. He emerged at various points throughout human history to test his theory that only the strongest should survive. Clearly he will be the biggest threat that the X-Men have faced on screen yet, so who should play this formidable and intimidating foe? How about Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac?

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Christoph Waltz Rumoured to Be Playing Blofeld in Bond 24

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When it was revealed earlier this month that Christoph Waltz had supposedly joined the cast of the next James Bond film, there was some debate over whether or not he would be a villain in the movie, even though that did seem to be the most likely scenario. Now this week we are hearing that it is very much the case and that he may actually be playing one of the most famous Bond villains of all: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. This would seem to make sense, considering that MGM recently re-acquired the screen rights to the character from the estate of Thunderball producer Kevin McClory. However, nothing official has been announced as of yet, and we don’t even know that Christoph Waltz has actually signed on. Is there any truth to this rumour?

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer to Play Exclusively in Select Theatres This Friday

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Update: The full list of theatres has been expanded to include 30 theatres, including two in Canada. Also the trailer will start playing in theatres worldwide in December.

In addition to the impending release of the first trailer for Jurassic World, there is another big trailer expected to be unveiled later this week. According to reports, the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will premiere this Friday, however, it looks as though the trailer will not debut online… at least not initially. Instead, Disney and Lucasfilm are trying to recreate the pandemonium surrounding the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode I. Back in 1998, moviegoers packed into screenings of Meet Joe Black just to watch two minutes of footage from the first of the prequels. This time around, there will be even fewer screenings available, as the trailer will be playing in just nine thirty theatres across the U.S. North America. The participating theatres are as follows:

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Jurassic World First Look Teaser

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I really hate posting teasers for trailers, but I know everyone is dying to see footage from Jurassic World, so here you go. The full trailer will be premiering this week during Thursday Night Football on NBC, but for now you can get a brief glimpse of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters, plus the dinos and also the park itself (the movie takes place on the original Isla Nublar). Oh, and apparently they have bubble cars now too. If that’s not enough, you can also explore the new viral website that launched last week to glean some additional info about the film. Does this look like everything you’d hoped it would be? Jurassic World hits theatres on June 12, 2015; check out the short teaser after the jump and see what you think.

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Mockingjay is the Biggest Debut of 2014 But Still a Disappointment

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It’s no surprise that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 wiped out the competition over the weekend, easily notching the biggest opening so far this year. The film pulled in an estimated $123 million, a fair bit more than Transformers: Age of Extinction which earned $100 million back in July. Still, it’s being seen as a slight disappointment by many as that is still about 20% less than the previous two Hunger Games movies made. While some are pointing to the lack of IMAX screens (which are still occupied by Interstellar), it’s possible that the decision to divide the final installment into two parts has soured some audience members. Either way, that’s still the 15th best opening weekend ever and it’s certainly nothing to sneeze at. Elsewhere, Dumb and Dumber To fell all the way from first to fourth while Big Hero 6 and Interstellar remained in second and third respectively.

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 — $123M
2. Big Hero 6 — $20M
3. Interstellar — $15.1M
4. Dumb and Dumber To — $13.82M
5. Gone Girl — $2.82M
6. Beyond the Lights — $2.63M
7. St. Vincent — $2.35M
8. Fury — $1.9M
9. Birdman — $1.86M
10. The Theory of Everything — $1.5M

New on Netflix: Sabotage, The Ides of March, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1

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There may not be a ton of new movies and TV shows on Netflix Instant this week, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find something here that’s worth a look. The biggest titles added in the U.S. include David Ayer’s Sabotage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dream House starring Daniel Craig, and the first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. However, looking beyond that we also have Joe Berlinger’s latest documentary Whitey: U.S.A. v. James J. Bulger, Pawel Pawlikowski’s acclaimed drama Ida and the silent classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari plus Leos Carax’s first film Boy Meets Girl and a documentary about Carax called Mr. X. In Canada, we get George Clooney’s The Ides of March, Blue Ruin, Fading Gigolo and Samsara, while both regions get the third season of the Netflix original series Lilyhammer. Will you be watching anything on Netflix this week? Check out the full list of new additions after the jump.

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Strange Magic Trailer: George Lucas Makes an Animated Musical

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Although one might assume that Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm meant that George Lucas was looking to retire from filmmaking altogether, that does not appear to be the case. He has been hinting for years that he wants to start making more experimental art films, but he just can’t seem to help himself when it comes to fantasy / sci-fi blockbusters. His latest project is a CG animated film called Strange Magic, a fairy tale of sorts that involves goblins, fairies, elves, imps and many other mythical creatures. But here’s the weird part: it’s also a musical.

Lucas came up with the story (which is loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and served as executive producer, but the project is being directed by Gary Rydstrom, a sound designer who directed a few shorts including Pixar’s Lifted. Rydstrom compares the movie to Labyrinth, but if you ask me it looks a lot more like the recent Fox animated film Epic. The voice cast includes Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Stormare, Alfred Molina and Maya Rudolph, all of whom are called upon to sing versions of well-known pop songs. Strange Magic hits theatres on Jan. 23rd; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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