New Photo and Details on Star Wars: The Force Awakens Villain Kylo Ren

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Ever since he first pulled out his so-called “broadsaber” in the first teaser trailer, fans have been dying to know more about the primary villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was already revealed that his name is Kylo Ren and he is played by Adam Driver but now this month J.J. Abrams is finally starting to drip feed some additional information about the character. In particular, this week he has finally explained why the character does not bear the title “Darth”, and it’s really quite simple… he’s not a Sith. Here’s what Abrams had to say about it in this month’s issue of Empire Magazine:

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Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth Trailer Starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel

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After winning last year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with The Great Beauty, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is back this year with a star-studded ensemble drama that is likely to be his highest profile film yet. Youth stars Michael Caine as Fred, a retired composer and conductor who is on vacation with his best friend, a film director named Mick (Harvey Keitel). Mick is still working to complete his final film, while Fred’s daughter (Rachel Weisz) wants Fred to come out of retirement.

Based on the first trailer, the movie doesn’t seem to be overly reliant on plot, but rather seems more focused on exploring what it means to get older while still harboring artistic aspirations and a desire to leave a lasting legacy. There are also some hints of comedy although this certainly doesn’t tread into Grumpy Old Men territory. Paul Dano and Jane Fonda also co-star. Youth hits select theatres on Dec. 4th; check out the official trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Blade Reboot Will Probably Focus on Blade’s Daughter

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Over the past few years, we’ve seen Marvel regain the rights to some of the comic book properties that other studios weren’t able to turn into profitable movie franchises. Those properties include Daredevil, The Punisher, Ghost Rider and Blade, and although Marvel has already relaunched Daredevil as a Netflix TV series with The Punisher scheduled to appear in season 2, they still have not announced any plans for the other two. This week, however, there is an interesting rumour circulating about a potential fresh start for Blade. What’s more, it is possible that Wesley Snipes will still be involved. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: Aloha, Big Game, Citizenfour

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Cameron Crowe’s latest romantic comedy Aloha came and went pretty quickly this summer, but it is looking to find an audience on DVD and Blu-ray this week along with the Finnish action-comedy Big Game starring Samuel L. Jackson. Other smaller releases include Two Days, One Night starring Marion Cotillard, Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour and one of Albert Maysles’ final films, Iris. On the small screen, we have the fifth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, while noteworthy Blu-ray releases include Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, Sidney Lumet’s Daniel and The World According to Garp starring Robin Williams plus a handful of ’80s cult classics (Student Bodies, The Last Dragon, The Last American Virgin). What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #528: American Ultra, Straight Outta Compton and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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0:00 – Intro + A New Strain of Criterionitis
22:30 – Review: American Ultra
42:35 – Review: Straight Outta Compton
1:03:40 – Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
1:18:55 – Headlines: The Hateful Eight Trailer
1:28:40 – Other Stuff We Watched: True Detective: Season 2, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Bank Shot, Blue Velvet, One Spy Too Many, Lakeview Terrace, Nomads, Fort Tilden, Jaws, Seven, Two Days, One Night
2:24:50 – Junk Mail: Blu-rays We’d Like to Get Rid Of, The KoC’s Thoughts on Horror-Comedy, ’80s Movies That Should Have Had a Saturday Morning Cartoon
2:35:30 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:38:20 – Outro

Film Junk Podcast Episode #528: American Ultra, Straight Outta Compton, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

» Download the MP3 (74 MB)
» View the show notes
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Terminator Genisys Scores Fourth Highest Debut Ever in China

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After a disappointing run at the box office in the U.S., Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim was saved by brisk business in other parts of the world, eventually prompting Legendary Pictures to announce a sequel. At the time, fans rejoiced and all was right with the world. However, there is also an unfortunate flip side to the insane amount of money that Hollywood blockbusters are making overseas these days: sometimes movies that deserve to flop end up getting saved as well. This week we are hearing that Terminator Genisys has just opened big in China… so big, in fact, that it might convince Paramount to greenlight another sequel. Is it too much to ask for them to only release the sequel in China as well?

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The Primary Instinct Trailer: Stephen Tobolowsky Showcases His Storytelling Skills

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Most people know Stephen Tobolowsky as the guy who played Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, but outside of his acting career, he has also been regaling people with stories for years now through The Tobolowsky Files, a podcast created in partnership with /Filmcast host David Chen. After doing several live performances, the duo decided to turn to Kickstarter for The Primary Instinct, a 73-minute documentary / concert film featuring some of Tobolowsky’s tales and an exploration of the act of storytelling itself. The movie has been playing at festivals throughout the year but will finally be available to the general public next month. The Primary Instinct hits VOD on Sept. 22nd; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Nintendo Considering More Movies Based on Video Games

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With a Hitman reboot hitting theatres this past weekend and making even less money than its predecessor, it seems like a strange time for Nintendo to come out and say that they want to make more movies based on their own video game properties. Ever since the notorious 1993 film Super Mario Bros bombed at the box office, the Japanese company has been extremely reluctant to license out their characters to Hollywood studios. And let’s face it, based on the terrible track record of video game adaptations up until now, so far it has seemed like they made the right decision. Recently, however, they allowed both Disney and Sony to use some of their characters for Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels, and now they seem to be considering something even bigger for the near future. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto had this to say on the subject:

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The Final Girls Trailer: Another Meta Horror-Comedy

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Although there have been plenty of great self-aware horror satires in recent years, there is always room for one more (assuming it is genuinely clever and not just another tired retread). Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls seems to fall into that category based on the positive reviews coming out of SXSW this year. Not to be confused with the similarly-titled Final Girl starring Abigail Breslin, this movie stars Taissa Farmiga (The Bling Ring), Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Adam DeVine (Workaholics) and Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley). It is a send-up of the camp slasher genre and seems to involve plenty of fourth wall breaking, for better or worse. The Final Girls hits select theatres and VOD on Oct. 9th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Vin Diesel Confirms xXx Sequel is Actually Happening

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Well, I think we can now say with some authority that Vin Diesel’s comeback is officially complete. Sure, he may have already brought the Fast & Furious franchise back from the edge of direct-to-DVD hell to become one of the highest grossing movie franchises of all time. But now he is about to top it all off with one of the most unlikely resurrections in cinematic history. That’s right, Xander Cage is back, baby! Vin Diesel confirmed this week that xXx 3 is actually happening and scheduled to start production by the end of the year. Here’s what he had to say on Instagram:

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Straight Outta Compton Wins Two Straight

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It was a pretty dismal weekend for new releases at the box office as both first and second place went to holdovers from previous weeks. Straight Outta Compton took the top spot once again, dropping 56% to make another $26 million, while Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation remained in second place, bringing its current total to over $430 million worldwide. Meanwhile Sinister 2 opened in third place with just $10 million and Hitman: Agent 47 brought in only $8 million, which is significantly less than the $13.1 million earned by the previous Hitman. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. rounded out the top 5 as American Ultra went up in smoke in sixth place with a pitiful $5.5 million. Apparently the stoner Bourne concept was not particularly enticing and neither were its two stars.

1. Straight Outta Compton — $26.76M
2. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — $11.7M
3. Sinister 2 — $10.63M
4. Hitman: Agent 47 — $8.2M
5. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — $7.42M
6. American Ultra — $5.5M
7. The Gift — $4.3M
8. Ant-Man — $4.09M
9. Minions — $3.71M
10. Fantastic Four — $3.65M

Open Forum Friday: Should Movie Theatres Increase Security Measures?

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The topic of movie theatre security is once again on the minds of American moviegoers and theatre owners following attacks in both Lafayette, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee this summer. It was three years ago that James Holmes shot and killed 12 people during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado and at the time nothing was done to prevent a similar attack from happening again. This time around, however, there seems to be increased pressure to enhance security with some people even calling for the addition of metal detectors or armed guards. What remains somewhat unclear, however, is if this is actually something the average moviegoer wants and whether they would be willing to pay for it.

This week Regal Cinemas have announced that they will start checking bags on the way into the theatre. Other chains have yet to follow suit, but you can bet they will be watching to see how people react. It’s a small step toward improving safety, but the last thing they want to do is make going to to movies more expensive or inconvenient than it already is. What do you think? Should movie theatres start implementing the same precautions as concerts and sporting events? Would you be annoyed about extra bag checks or is that a good compromise? Do you feel safe when you go to the movies or are there major changes needed? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.