Just one more week till Christmas, but if you’re doing some last minute shopping, there are a handful of DVD and Blu-ray releases this week that might be worth picking up for the movie or TV fan in your life. The biggest titles hitting stores are the newly rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the YA adaptation The Maze Runner, but looking beyond that we also have Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, The Skeleton Twins starring Amy Poehler and Bill Hader, and This is Where I Leave You starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey. In terms of TV releases, Arrested Development: Season 4 is finally arriving on DVD for non-Netflix subscribers and/or completists along with FX’s ’80s-set spy drama The Americans: Season 2 (neither are on Blu-ray though… what gives?). If that’s not enough, we’ve also got the Criterion Blu-ray release of Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman and the Scream Factory special edition of Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.
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Update: Variety is reporting that Seth Rogen and James Franco have also cancelled all of their upcoming media appearances for the film as well. Yikes.
Whoa… shit just got real. After enduring a couple of weeks’ worth of leaked internal documents and embarrassing e-mails at the hands of anonymous hackers, I think it’s safe to say that the worst is yet to come for Sony Pictures. Over the weekend, the hackers posted a message to the internet promising a Christmas gift to the world that would release even more stolen data. They also invited Sony employees to contact them directly in order to have their information protected, although it seems hard to believe that they would show mercy at this point. Either way, they have followed it up with a new message today that could put even people outside of Sony at risk. They have issued a vague threat implying that any theatres screening the upcoming Sony comedy The Interview could come under attack. Here’s what message says:
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0:00 – Intro
6:30 – Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings
42:15 – Headlines: Sony Gets Hacked, The Walk Trailer
1:01:50 – Other Stuff We Watched: The Addams Family, Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, Whiplash, Life Itself, Korengal, Hickey & Boggs, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Mirror, All That Jazz, The Overnighters
1:29:25 – Junk Mail: Best and Worst Movies of the First Half of the Decade, Directors That You Only Sort Of Like, Best Boutique Blu-ray Distributors, The Process of Determining Star Ratings, Vote Down App for Moviegoers, Favourite Albums of 2014
1:53:00 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
1:57:30 – Outro
Film Junk Podcast Episode #495: Exodus: Gods and Kings by Filmjunk on Mixcloud
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Following up on the news that Terrence Malick’s next film Knight of Cups will be premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, the first trailer for the film has also arrived online. Up until now, we knew very little about this project aside from the fact that it was one of a handful of projects that Malick was working on simultaneously. While there still is no real plot synopsis to speak of, the story clearly finds Christian Bale playing a celebrity of some sort who struggles with a life of excess. Much like To the Wonder, there are plenty of breathy voiceovers here, but also some pretty flashy and bombastic visuals to go with it. Knight of Cups also stars Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer, Imogen Poots Armin Mueller-Stahl and Ben Kingsley, and it is expected to hit theatres sometime in 2015. Check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Update: Based on this tweet, it looks like Duncan Jones has already taken himself out of contention in favour of original material.
Earlier this month it was being reported that Roberto Orci would no longer be directing the next Star Trek movie and that Edgar Wright was being eyed as a possibility to replace him. While Roberto Orci has since confirmed that he has stepped down (via the comments section of Trek Movie), he is claiming that he will still be very involved. So does this mean that the new director will not have much in the way of creative input? While we have heard nothing more about Edgar Wright since the original report, there is a movement afoot to get Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: First Contact) back on the bridge. That seems somewhat unlikely, however, and now this week a new director shortlist has surfaced. The five directors supposedly under consideration are as follows:
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As the recent Sony hack has just proved, cyber-attacks are a very real threat, especially if you happen to be a government or corporation. Based on that alone, Michael Mann’s next film Blackhat does seem like it will at least be timely and relevant, but of course, it’s also a Hollywood movie and hacking does not make for very exciting cinema. So that’s why we’re getting an action star like Chris Hemsworth headlining the film, which comes across more like a Bourne movie than a truly accurate exploration of the subject matter. But on the bright side, it is a new Michael Mann movie and it does look tense and visually pleasing so there’s that to look forward to. Blackhat hits theatres on Jan. 16th; check out the new trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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It has become a familiar refrain as of late: another blockbuster tops the box office but fails to meet expectations. Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings easily dispensed with reigning champion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 in its opening weekend, but earned just $24 million — significantly less than what Noah made back in March, and also less than what Son of God made, believe it or not. Exodus has made $74 million worldwide thus far, but still has a ways to go before it can recoup its $140 million budget. Perhaps audiences only wanted to sit through one two and a half hour movie this month and they decided to save themselves for The Hobbit instead. Meanwhile Mockingjay dropped to second and Penguins of Madagascar fell to third. Chris Rock’s Top Five opened in fourth place, earning $7.2 million on less than 1000 screens while Wild also managed to sneak into the top 10 after an expansion. Overall box office was much lower than usual for this time of year, but the final installment of The Hobbit should change that next weekend.
1. Exodus: Gods and Kings — $24.5M
2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 — $13.2M
3. Penguins of Madagascar — $7.3M
4. Top Five — $7.21M
5. Big Hero 6 — $6.15M
6. Interstellar — $5.5M
7. Horrible Bosses 2 — $4.63M
8. Dumb and Dumber To — $2.76M
9. The Theory of Everything — $2.53M
10. Wild — $1.55M
It’s that time of year again! As many of you are no doubt aware, every December we give Film Junk readers the opportunity to vote on the best movies of the year and then we tally the results and argue about it. It’s something of a holiday tradition here. The way it works is that we provide you with a list of nominees divided up into dubious categories by genre. In order to be considered for inclusion, movies had to receive a U.S. theatrical release during this calendar year. Beyond that, we tried to organize the categories in a way that would provide maximum drama and excitement. However, even if you’re not happy with the options we have provided, you also have write-in votes for Best and Worst Movies of the Year so be sure to use them wisely! The winners will be announced sometime around Jan. 1st. Now go ahead and cast your votes for the 2014 Film Junk Reader’s Choice Awards!
Netflix launches their most expensive original series to date this week as the first season of Marco Polo arrives in all regions. But if a big budget historical epic doesn’t interest you, U.S. customers can also binge on the third season of American Horror Story and the first season of the acclaimed U.K. series Broadchurch. Noteworthy films that have been added to Netflix Instant this week include The Wolf of Wall Street, Drive Hard, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and a handful of sequels including Anchorman 2, A Haunted House 2 and Sharknado 2: The Second One. Meanwhile, Canadians get the found footage horror movie Afflicted while both regions get Sebastian Junger’s Restrepo follow-up Korengal. Will you be adding anything to your queue this week? Check out the full list of new additions after the jump.
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I have to admit, I kinda thought the whole parkour thing was pretty much over after broke through to the mainstream in Casino Royale, but apparently it’s making a bit of a resurgence in Hollywood right now. Brick Mansions, the U.S. remake of District B13, hit theatres earlier this year and now we’ve got the first trailer for another parkour flick starring Taylor Lautner that will arrive sometime in the near future. The movie is called Tracers (“traceur” is the French term for a practitioner of parkour) and it finds Lautner playing a bicycle messenger who ditches his bike after crashing into a beautiful stranger (Marie Avgeropoulos) and getting pulled into the world of free-running. Taylor Lautner still hasn’t done a whole lot since Twilight, but are audiences willing to embrace him as an action star? Tracers is expected to hit theatres in 2015; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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Ridley Scott’s biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings should finally put an end to Mockingjay‘s reign at the box office this weekend as the holiday rush is officially underway. The Christian Bale / Joel Edgerton flick has been the subject of controversy but that shouldn’t stop it from doing at least as well as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. The weekend’s other major release is the Chris Rock comedy Top Five, which appears to be getting stellar reviews. Meanwhile, in limited release we also have P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice, which is playing on just five screens to start before expanding around Christmas. What will you be watching this weekend?
Watching movies and teasing out their greatness is fun. Our new Take Two column introduces the next level of film appreciation while making it easier to come up with sharp opinions and comments that kill. Here’s the way it works: we arbitrarily (very arbitrarily) pair two movies. (Veteran commenters will immediately recognize their first chance to criticize). The movies will have similarities and differences. We call them out to make interesting points, reveal classic director’s moves, and expose takeaways that will have you thinking. When you’re finished, the two films will be totally refreshed. And you may have even changed your mind about which one works better for you.
Our first Take Two is Prometheus (Ridley Scott) and Interstellar (Christopher Nolan). Simply viewed, they are both about galactic journeys. One is a quest for knowledge and the other, for survival. Common SF tropes of course, but with these two directors at the top of their game, it’s fun to see how they bring them to life (or not).
Warning: Light spoilers ahead. However, if you haven’t seen these movies by now, you’re probably in the wrong seat.
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