If you’re a fan of movies about heists gone wrong, you might be interested in the latest film from Swedish director Daniel Alfredson, who previously helmed both of the sequels to the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The film is based on the true story of the 1983 kidnapping of Dutch beer magnate Alfred “Freddy” Heineken by a handful of small-time crooks in broad daylight. Anthony Hopkins plays Heineken while the primary kidnappers are played by Sam Worthington, Jim Sturgess and Ryan Kwanten. As you can probably guess, this has VOD written all over it, although whether or not it is VOD trash remains to be seen. Kidnapping Mr. Heineken hits select theatres and VOD on March 6th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Just as Sony has announced that Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest film Grimsby is getting pushed back to 2016, his former partner in crime Larry Charles has a new project that will hopefully be arriving before the end of the year. This week The Weinstein Company has announced that Nicolas Cage will star in a satirical comedy directed by Charles called Army of One. Based loosely on the true story told in a GQ article of the same name, Cage will play a man who attempts to sneak into Pakistan and Afghanistan armed with a sword in order to single-handledly kill Osama Bin Laden. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Bob Weinstein had this to say about the announcement:
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With Richard Linklater’s Boyhood looking like the current favourite to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards next month, an interesting counterpoint to his film is also about to arrive on U.S. shores. Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood premiered at Cannes last year where it earned rave reviews of its own and plenty of praise for its powerful coming of age story. The movie revolves around a young girl living in the suburbs of Paris who attempts to escape an abusive family life after meeting a new group of friends. However, peer pressure eventually leads her down a dangerous path as she pursues true freedom and independence. Girlhood hits select theatres on Jan. 30th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Well that didn’t take long. Just a couple of days after learning that Frank Darabont had dropped out as director of The Huntsman due to creative differences, Universal has already chosen a replacement. While he may not have the same level of name recognition as Darabont, he was an important part of the creative team on Snow White and the Huntsman and was likely already going to be taking part in this so-called spin-off/sequel/prequel as well. That’s right, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, the second unit director and visual effects supervisor on the original film, will be taking the reins on The Huntsman. This will be his directorial debut.
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This week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases offer a chance to catch up on a few 2014 movies that you might have missed in theatres, but there aren’t too many older catalogue releases to dig into. The two biggest titles hitting stores today are Luc Besson’s sci-fi action flick Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and The Conjuring horror spin-off Annabelle, but other noteworthy releases include Laika’s latest stop-motion animated film The Boxtrolls, Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem and The Drop starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini. The only major TV release is the fourth season of Little House on the Prairie (on Baby Blu, of course), and this week Criterion is also issuing HD versions of both Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg and Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.
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Although Blackhat starring Chris Hemsworth was lambasted by critics and fizzled at the box office, it still gives us a great excuse to step back and discuss Michael Mann’s entire filmography. His last few films have been a bit divisive to say the least, and for some people his entire foray into digital filmmaking has been a disaster. But you can’t deny that this guy has directed some highly influential and memorable classics, whether you’re talking about his early crime flicks or some of his Oscar-nominated dramas. So what do you think is the best Michael Mann movie? Cast your vote in this week’s poll and then sound off in the comments below.
If Toy Story was re-envisioned as a sports drama, it might look a little something like Underdogs, the Argentinian animated film from director Juan José Campanella (yes, the Oscar-winning director of The Secret in their Eyes). The story revolves around a foosball player named Jake (Matthew Morrison) who defeats the village bully Ace (Nicholas Hoult), only to have him return years later as a professional soccer star hellbent on crushing his hometown. Fortunately for Jake, he gets a little help from a team of toy foosball players brought to life by a single tear (no, really). Underdogs was released under the title Metegol in other parts of the world, but The Weinstein Company will bring it to U.S. theatres on April 10th. Check out the domestic trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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0:00 – Intro
4:00 – Headlines: New 3DS XL Announced, Wii Games Coming to Wii-U Virtual Console, Amiibos, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars Goes Cross Buy, Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Nintendo Sleep Sensor
26:40 – Interview: Citizens of Earth
1:38:45– Hot Button: Day One Patches
2:01:33 – Games We Played: The Swapper, Resident Evil 4, Star Trek, Beyond: Two Souls, Killzone Shadow Fall, Sunset Overdrive, Dance Central Spotlight, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Rollers of the Realm, Mayday! Deep Space, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, Xeodrifter, Strider
2:30:15 – Upcoming Releases
2:33:35 – Outro
Game Junk Podcast Episode #22: Citizens of Earth by Filmjunk on Mixcloud
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When Frank Darabont signed on to direct Universal’s The Huntsman last year, a lot of people seemed to be surprised. There was a belief that the man who gave us The Shawshank Redemption should have better things to do than direct the sequel to a somewhat generic fantasy blockbuster like Snow White and the Huntsman. Well, it is unclear if he actually does have something better on his plate at the moment, but it would appear that he has dropped out of the project anyway. We don’t yet know who will replace him, but we do know that Emily Blunt is on the verge of the joining the cast. Is there still hope for this project?
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Amazon continues to nip at the heels of Netflix this week as they push forward with even more plans for original content. They made huge strides over the past year with their TV projects, having just won a Golden Globe for Transparent and announcing an untitled Woody Allen TV series in development. Now they are ready to follow Netflix onto the big screen as well. This week they have named producer Ted Hope as the head of creative development on Amazon Original Movies, which will both acquire and produce original films. Amazon Studios VP Roy Price had this to say:
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As the second season of The Fall arrives on Netflix in the U.S., rumours are continuing to swirl this week about Gillian Anderson possibly returning to the TV show that started her career. The last time she and David Duchovny were on screen together as Mulder and Scully was for the 2008 movie The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which was a disappointment both critically and commercially. Still, although there has been talk of a third X-Files film, Fox now seems to be eager to take things in a different direction. They want to bring The X-Files back to TV and that may be closer to happening than you think. Hit the jump for more details.
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A perfect storm of events came together to allow Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper to earn an astounding $90 million over the weekend. Somehow the star power of Bradley Cooper, the reliability of Clint Eastwood as a director, and the prestige of a handful of Oscar nominations helped put it in the same league as most of last year’s biggest blockbusters. That is easily the biggest January opening ever (Ride Along held the previous record with just $41.5 million) and it very nearly topped The Matrix Reloaded as the biggest R-rated debut ever. In second place, The Wedding Ringer earned $21 million followed by Paddington with $19.29 million. Taken 3 and Selma rounded out the top 5. Sadly, Michael Mann’s Blackhat crashed and burned with just $4 million.
1. American Sniper — $90.21M
2. The Wedding Ringer — $21.00M
3. Paddington — $19.29M
4. Taken 3 — $14.05M
5. Selma — $8.30M
6. The Imitation Game — $7.19M
7. Into the Woods — $6.54M
8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — $4.86M
9. Unbroken — $4.27M
10. Blackhat — $4.03M