Film Junk Premium Podcast #41: Mission: Impossible

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join us as we revisit the previous films in the Mission: Impossible series leading up to the release of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Along the way we examine the franchise’s ties to the trajectory of Tom Cruise’s career and the various directors that he has worked with over the years. Topics of discussion include Tom Cruise performing his own stunts, John Woo’s so-called ballet of bullets, early on-screen depictions of the internet plus the various gadgets of the series and their real-world practicality. So is M:I 2 just a thinly-veiled rip-off of The Mask of Zorro? Is the introduction of Ethan Hunt’s wife in M:I 3 a brilliant move or a real bummer? Does the plot of the first movie actually make any sense? Grab the latest premium podcast below before it self-destructs.

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

Film Junk Poll: What is the Best Adam Sandler Movie?

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I might be asking for trouble with this week’s poll but I am genuinely curious as to how people feel about the filmography of Adam Sandler at this point in his career. It goes without saying that there are plenty of folks who would choose to dismiss all of his movies entirely, but there are also many of us who grew up watching him on SNL and still have a soft spot for some of his early comedies. His occasional forays into dramatic territory also changed some perceptions of him even if they didn’t really stick, and then there are the rest of his movies, which clearly still have their share of supporters considering that people still pay to see them. So what do you think is Adam Sandler’s best movie to date? Cast your vote in this week’s poll and then feel free to commence ranting in the comments below!

What is the Best Adam Sandler Movie?

 
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New to Theatres This Weekend: Southpaw, Pixels, Paper Towns

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It’s Ant-Man versus the Sandman at the box office this weekend as Adam Sandler’s video game action-comedy Pixels looks to take down Marvel’s latest superhero flick. Pixels does seem like it has the edge, but the overwhelmingly negative reviews won’t help and Ant-Man could have a second weekend surge due to strong word of mouth. Other major releases include the teen dramedy Paper Towns, which should benefit from the association with last year’s hit The Fault in Our Stars, and boxing drama Southpaw starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which is looking to build some early Oscar buzz but doesn’t seem to be getting it. In select theatres, we also have Mark Neveldine’s horror flick The Vatican Tapes, French dramedy Samba (from the directors of The Intouchables), and acclaimed German film Phoenix. What will you be watching this weekend?

Pixels Review

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Directed by: Chris Columbus
Written by: Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Brian Cox, Sean Bean

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It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out of my way to see an Adam Sandler movie at the theatre. I say that not to disparage his recent output, but to prove that there was once a time when I thought the man could be funny and charming. I was hoping that his latest film might be the one that wins me back, but sadly, it is undeniable proof that Adam Sandler isn’t even trying anymore.

In Pixels, Sandler plays a 1982 arcade game champion who has grown up to be a down-on-his-luck TV repair guy. Lucky for him, his buddy who sucked at video games grew up to be the President of the United States (Kevin James), so he gets to come hang at the White House anytime he wants. When aliens show up and attack Earth in the form of 8-bit video game characters, his gaming skills suddenly make him an unlikely military consultant. Together with his paranoid buddy Ludlow (Josh Gad) and arch-nemesis Eddie (Peter Dinklage), they must suit up and win a series of live-action video games in order to save the world from complete and total pixellation.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Trailer #2

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Although Josh Hutcherson supposedly “slipped up” and revealed on Conan earlier this month that there may be more Hunger Games movies in the works, as it stands right now, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is still the final installment in the series. The movie finds the rebellion against President Snow and The Capitol coming to a head, having now escalated to the point of full scale war. If you’re not already on board with the series I don’t know that this movie is going to change your mind, but it will definitely make a ton of money regardless. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 hits theatres on Nov. 20th; check out the full trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Simon Kinberg Takes on Logan’s Run Remake

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We’ve been hearing about the possibility of a Logan’s Run remake for over a decade now with directors such as Bryan Singer, Joseph Kosinski, Carl Erik Rinsch and Nicolas Winding Refn all attached at various points in development and Ryan Gosling once attached to star. Even with names like that involved, Warner Bros has been unable to get it off the ground. Now, just when you thought the project had been completely abandoned, Warners have brought in someone else to give it another shot. They are hoping that writer-producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes) will be the man to crack a new take on Logan’s Run. Hit the jump for more details.

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Movie Ticket Prices Reportedly Hit New Record High

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I’m sure this news will surprise absolutely no one, but it appears that movie ticket prices in the U.S. have continued to climb over the past year and have once again reached a new high. The proliferation of 3D and premium screenings has pushed the average ticket price to $8.61 during the second quarter of 2015. The previous record was $8.38, set in the second quarter of 2013. Back then, it seemed like people were much more vocal about the rising cost of seeing a movie, but many of those complaints have since died out. Are people suddenly getting more value for their money or have we have just learned to accept it?

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Mississippi Grind Trailer Starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn

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Although last year’s remake of The Gambler didn’t seem to go over well with critics, the truth is that most gambling movies live and die by their central performances. The opportunity is always there for compelling drama and tense situations, but there needs to be some humanity in the mix as well. Mississippi Grind looks to have that based on both the trailer as well as the early reviews coming out of Sundance, many of which praised stars Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn. The movie is also written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar), which to me makes it seem like a pretty safe bet indeed. Mississippi Grind premieres on DirecTV on August 13th before hitting select theatres on September 25th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Minecraft Movie Gets a New Director

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Late last year, Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) dropped out as director of the Minecraft movie, taking screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) with him. Apparently their approach wasn’t quite clicking with Mojang, developers of the hugely successful video game, so they decided to move on. Now this week Mojang has officially announced a new director for the project and it’s a pretty unexpected choice: Rob McElhenney, creator of the FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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Spectre Trailer #2

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A brand new trailer for the upcoming James Bond film Spectre debuted online last night, finally taking the veil off of many of the locations and big action sequences in the film. In addition to the snowy mountains of Austria, which we had previously seen, there is also a sequence during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City and a car chase through the streets of Rome. Of course, it’s not all just exotic locales and explosions; there are also beautiful women and an intriguing new car that comes equipped with a flamethrower. We still don’t know who Christoph Waltz is or what his connection to Bond might be, but I am looking forward to finding out. Spectre hits theatres on Nov. 6th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Sony Wins Bidding War for Emoji Animated Movie

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This one’s for all those people who complain that there are no original ideas in Hollywood anymore: Sony Pictures Animation has just picked up a pitch for a feature film based on emoji. Not to be confused with emoticons (the expression of emotions using ASCII characters), emoji are those smiley face images that have been taking over text messaging and social media around the world after originating in Japan. As ridiculous as this might sound, the story gets even sillier because Sony won the rights in a bidding war that involved two other studios. Considering that there are no intellectual property or ownership rights related to emoji (as far as I know), that pitch must have been pretty spectacular stuff. (Expect two more emoji animated films to be announced in the next few days.)

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: What We Do in the Shadows, Wild Horses, Tangerines

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It’s a pretty lacklustre week out there for DVD and Blu-ray releases, especially if you’re in Canada where the very funny vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows is already available. Other new arrivals include Robert Duvall’s Wild Horses and the Oscar-nominated Estonian film Tangerines plus the direct-to-video animated film Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery. Fortunately there is still an interesting assortment of older titles on Blu-ray this week including Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath, Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette and Kevin Spacey’s poorly received directorial debut Albino Alligator plus relatively obscure ’80s horror movie I, Madman and the ’90s action flick Showdown in Little Tokyo starring Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.

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