New to Theatres This Weekend: Fury, The Book of Life, Birdman

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It feels like awards season is officially underway this weekend as Brad Pitt rides a wave of Oscar buzz into theatres with David Ayer’s WWII flick Fury. Other major releases in theatres include the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated film The Book of Life and Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me, while Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children is now playing nationwide. In select theatres, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s highly anticipated dramedy Birdman finally arrives along with Camp X-Ray starring Kristen Stewart and what could potentially one of Studio Ghibli’s final animated films, The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Also, if you’re looking for something horror-related, The Town That Dreaded Sundown remake is now in limited release. What will you be watching this weekend?

Jamie Kennedy to Star in Tremors 5

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Believe it or not, next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Tremors, the cult classic monster movie about a small town in Nevada being terrorized by giant underground worms. The movie spawned three direct-to-video sequels over the years with the last one premiering back in 2004 on the Sci-Fi Channel. Although there have been rumours of a fifth Tremors movie for years now, just a couple of months ago we started to hear that a reboot might be happening instead. Well, this week the official word has come down and it looks like a new movie is indeed happening. The good news is that it looks to be a sequel rather than a reboot. The bad news? The sequel is going to co-star Jamie Kennedy.

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New on Netflix: Venus in Fur, Hours, Witching & Bitching

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There isn’t a whole lot to talk about in terms of new additions to Netflix Instant this week, but American viewers are getting Roman Polanski’s new movie Venus in Fur day and date with the DVD release so I guess that’s something. Other new titles arriving in the U.S. this week include The Debt starring Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington, Hours starring Paul Walker and the adaptation of Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down plus the horror-comedy Witching & Bitching by Alex de la Iglesia. There are also more ESPN 30 for 30 docs and the first (and last) season of The Tomorrow People. In Canada, we get Point Break, Rush Hour 2, Batman Forever and the first three seasons of Full House! Do you see anything worth checking out? Scope out the full list of new additions after the jump.

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Weekly Poll Results: Best Vampire Movie

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It was a close race, but in the end Tomas Alfredson’s Let The Right One In took the top spot in last week’s poll as the best vampire movie of all time with 15% of the votes. It’s not a huge surprise considering the critical acclaim for the movie, but it does feel a bit odd to see such a recent film upset so many established classics. Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula was a close second, followed by a tie between Interview with the Vampire and The Lost Boys. The original Nosferatu came in at #5 alongside another recent entry, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. Way down at the bottom of the list, John Badham’s Dracula starring Frank Langella got the short of the stake, along with the Fright Night remake and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Surely the TV show would have been a different story! Do you agree with these results?

1. Let The Right One In — 15%
2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula — 14%
3. Interview with the Vampire — 8%
3. The Lost Boys — 8%
5. Nosferatu (1922) — 6%
5. Only Lovers Left Alive — 6%
7. Dracula (1931) — 5%
8. Blade II — 5%
8. Fright Night (1985) — 5%
10. From Dusk Till Dawn — 4%
11. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) — 3%
12. Thirst — 3%
13. Near Dark — 3%
14. Let Me In — 2%
14. Vampyr — 2%
14. Shadow of the Vampire — 2%
17. Horror of Dracula (1958) — 2%
18. Vampire’s Kiss — 1%
18. Twilight — 1%
20. The Fearless Vampire Killer — 1%
20. Cronos — 1%
20. The Hunger — 1%
20. Blacula — 1%
24. 30 Days of Night — 0%
24. Vampires — 0%
26. Dracula (1979) — 0%
26. Fright Night (2011) — 0%
26. Buffy the Vampire Slayer — 0%

Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea Trailer Starring Chris Hemsworth

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We’ve been hearing for years now that Universal Pictures has been working on a blockbuster movie based on Herman Melville’s classic tale Moby-Dick with Timur Bekmambetov attached to direct. Although that movie seems to be stuck in development hell, it looks like Warner Brothers and Ron Howard will inadvertently beat them to the punch by bringing out a movie based on the true story that served as inspiration for Melville’s novel.

Chris Hemsworth plays Owen Chase, the first mate on the whaling ship Essex, which was attacked by a sperm whale in the southern Pacific Ocean in 1820, stranding several of the crew members for months at sea. The cast also includes Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Michelle Fairley and Ben Whishaw as Herman Melville himself. In the Heart of the Sea hits theatres on March 13th, 2015; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Neil Patrick Harris to Host the 87th Academy Awards

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After several years of generally pretty pitiful and/or lame hosting jobs at the Oscars, next year the Academy is looking to turn things around with a safe but solid choice for the 87th Academy Awards. Neil Patrick Harris is reportedly getting the nod to host next year’s ceremony after hosting The Tony Awards for three years in a row and then jumping to the Emmys last year. He will follow up recent jobs by Ellen, Seth MacFarlane, Billy Crystal and the unlikely duo of James Franco and Anne Hathaway, who arguably set the bar about as low as it can go. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will be returning as producers for the third straight year.

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Paul Schrader’s Dying of the Light Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage

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These days it seems like the only Nicolas Cage movies worth seeing are the ones that team him up with interesting directors, and although Dying of the Light may look like just another budget VOD thriller, it also happens to be written and directed by Paul Schrader and produced by Nicolas Winding Refn. Granted, Schrader’s recent directorial output hasn’t exactly been stellar (ie. The Canyons), but he did write screenplays for several Scorsese classics including Bringing Out the Dead which also starred Cage. The plot revolves around a veteran C.I.A. agent (Cage) who is being forced to retire due to the onset of dementia (!), but he goes rogue when his long-time nemesis comes out of hiding. Dying of the Light hits select theatres and VOD on Dec. 5th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Warner Brothers Unveils Full Slate of DC Universe Movies Including The Flash Starring Ezra Miller

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Earlier this year, Warner Brothers announced that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would be moving to March 25th, 2016 and at the same time they laid out release dates for nine other untitled DC movies through to 2020. Although there were plenty of hints being dropped about what these movies might be, Warner Brothers remained pretty tight-lipped about their plans for the DC Universe even at Comic-Con. Now finally this week Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed their full line-up of upcoming DC movies at an investors meeting. While some of these projects were already known to be pretty likely (ie. Suicide Squad, Shazam, Aquaman), most had yet to be confirmed. As it stands right now, their upcoming release schedule is as follows:

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HBO Go Standalone Streaming Service Coming in 2015

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Huge news for cord cutters this week as HBO is finally getting ready to sever their ties with cable TV and go head to head with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in a digital only world. For years now, HBO subscribers have been asking for the ability to subscribe to HBO Go, their online streaming service, without having a cable TV subscription. However, HBO’s parent company Time Warner has been reluctant to offer a standalone service, due to the fact that they have beneficial partnerships with cable giants like Comcast where they help to support many other channels through pay TV bundles. This week, however, they have announced that they are getting ready to take the plunge in 2015. Here’s the full press release:

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #486: Horns

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0:00 – Intro
13:45 – Review: Horns
36:40 – Headlines: Twin Peaks to Return in 2016, Tomorrowland Trailer
51:30 – Prescribing Frank: Stroszek
1:05:25 – Other Stuff We Watched: Nosferatu The Vampyre, Hotel Transylvania, American Movie, The Wages of Fear, Blue Velvet, Juggernaut, The Judge, Cold In July, What If, Hollywoodland, Edge of Tomorrow, The Great Gatsby
2:08:00 – Junk Mail: Why Does Jay Hate Animated Movies?, Logging Short Films on Letterboxd, Manifesto Sorting Dilemma, Chilling Horror Films, Disney Movie Club
2:33:40 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:39:05 – Outro

Film Junk Podcast Episode #486: Horns by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

» Download the MP3 (75 MB)
» View the show notes
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Sam Raimi to Direct Love May Fail, From the Writer of Silver Linings Playbook

raimi

A couple of years back, I put together a list of the top 10 greatest living directors without an Academy Award nomination. Among the directors mentioned was Sam Raimi, who, like many on the list, had never really been in Oscar contention up until now because his career has been dedicated to genre movies and popcorn flicks. That’s not to say that he isn’t capable of doing something more; in fact, quite the opposite. I think he has proven himself to be a pretty versatile filmmaker over the years and now it appears that he is trying to go outside the box for his next film. Earlier this year we heard he was developing a military drama called The Outpost, and now this week he is reportedly circling a new dramedy from the writer of Silver Linings Playbook.

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Sofia Coppola to Direct Bill Murray Christmas Special

billmurrayxmas

If you’re one of those people who watches Scrooged multiple times every holiday season (and we all know at least one), you might be interested in this next bit of oddball news. It seems that Bill Murray is in the process of developing a brand new Christmas-themed project, although in this case it is intended for the small screen rather than the big screen. Murray recently revealed that he is planning a made-for-TV Christmas special where he will belt out several classic Christmas carols. The songs won’t be performed live, however, and instead the collaboration will find him reteaming with Lost in Translation director Sofia Coppola. Here’s what he had to say about it:

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