Film Junk Podcast Episode #591: Allied

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0:00 – Intro: Black Friday Hauls
40:10 – Review: Allied
1:07:00 – Headlines: Silence Trailer
1:11:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: Kubo and the Two Strings, Author: The JT Leroy Story, Swingers, Eye of the Needle
1:43:35 – Junk Mail: Biggest Box Office Bombs We Saw in Theatres, Blind Spots in Cinema, Movies That Caused a Sexual Awakening in Viewers, Director-Based Premium Podcasts, Sean’s Rage Issues
2:15:00 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:17:30 – Outro

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Mad Shelia Trailer: China’s Mad Max Rip-Off

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If you have a thing for low budget knockoffs of Hollywood blockbusters (and in particular, low budget knockoffs produced in other countries) then you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for this cult classic in the making. Heavily inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road, Mad Shelia is a new series of post-apocalyptic films being produced for Chinese VOD service TenCent Video that revolves around Xi Liya, a bounty hunter who wanders the desert disguised as a man. The first installment, Mad Shelia: Virgin Road, is already available, but it will be followed by the sequel Mad Shelia: Revenge of the Road in 2017. Considering that the original Mad Max spawned all kinds of rip-offs throughout the ’80s, this seems rather fitting. It’s unclear if these will ever get distribution in North America, but for now you can check out the trailer after the jump and get a taste of Shelia’s madness.

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Kevin Smith Leaves Buckaroo Banzai TV Series

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Last we heard, Kevin Smith was apparently deep in development on a Buckaroo Banzai TV series for Amazon based on the cult classic sci-fi film by W. D. Richter and Earl Mac Rauch. The idea was to remake the original movie over one season and then follow it up with the sequel that fans have been dying to see ever since it was promised in the film’s end credits: Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League. Unfortunately, it looks as though this project is now in limbo because MGM has decided to sue the creators of Buckaroo Banzai, who believe that they still own the rights to the property. Smith has ended his involvement as a result. Here’s what he had to say about the situation:

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Nocturnal Animals Review

Nocturnal Animals
Directed by: Tom Ford
Written by: Tom Ford (screenplay), Austin Wright (novel)
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher

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Statements like “Hitchcock meets David Lynch” or “Coen Brothers mixed with Nicholas Winding Refn” could come off as nothing but meaningless hyperbole, but these could not be more applicable to Tom Ford’s second feature Nocturnal Animals. His marriage of vibrant imagery with dramatic storytelling prove to be his greatest feat in this ambitious film of lustful vengeance. It’s a hypnotic spell Ford casts upon us, one where we can’t help but succumb to its dark temptations and cruel behaviors.

As we enter the disturbingly perfect world of art gallery owner Susan (Amy Adams) and the inhabitants she identifies with, the hollow beauty is indeed very reminiscent of Refn’s The Neon Demon from earlier this year. But while the luxuries seem endless, Susan feels unfulfilled, highlighted by the arising issues with husband Hatten (Armie Hammer). After he leaves for a business trip, Susan begins reading a manuscript of the new novel titled “Nocturnal Animals” by her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) who dedicated the book to her. Isolated in a picturesque empty house, Susan dives into the story which becomes the second narrative of the film.

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Moana is Mighty, Bad Santa 2 Bombs

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Disney’s Moana couldn’t quite catch Frozen but it had a fantastic start nonetheless, opening to the tune of $55.5 million ($81.1 million over five days). That’s the second best Thanksgiving debut ever and it’s the third best opening for Walt Disney Animation Studios, behind only Zootopia and Big Hero 6. In second place, Fantastic Beasts held pretty strong in its second weekend, pulling in $45.1 million over three days followed by Marvel’s Doctor Strange with $13.4 million. Robert Zemeckis’ Allied opened in fourth with a somewhat mediocre $13 million and Arrival rounded out the top 5. Meanwhile Bad Santa 2 opened in a distant eighth place with a dreadful $6.1 million, proving that they missed the window on this long overdue sequel. The weekend’s other wide release, Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply sadly earned just $1.57 million, making it the sixth worst opening ever for a movie playing in over 2000 theatres. Don’t call it a comeback?

1. Moana — $55.5M
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — $45.1M
3. Doctor Strange — $13.4M
4. Allied — $13M
5. Arrival — $11.3M
6. Trolls — $10.3M
7. Almost Christmas — $7.6M
8. Bad Santa 2 — $6.1M
9. Hacksaw Ridge — $5.5M
10. The Edge of Seventeen — $3.0M

2017 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

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The nominations for the 2017 Independent Spirit Award were announced earlier this week in Los Angeles, sending the Oscar prognosticators scrambling to recalculate their odds-on favourites. While there isn’t always a huge overlap between the Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards, the last few years have at least given the illusion of a strong correlation. This year Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey led the pack with 6 nominations apiece, but it’s interesting to note that Moonlight won the Robert Altman Award for best ensemble cast, just like last year’s Best Picture winner, Spotlight.

Manchester by the Sea also received five nods, although Kenneth Lonergan was overlooked in the directing category, while Jackie received four. A24 is apparently killing it this year when it comes to independent film, having earned a total of 16 nominations between all of their various films. The winners will be announced on February 25th, the night before the Oscars, as per usual. What do you think of the Spirit Award nominations? Check out the full list of nominees after the jump.

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Alien: Covenant Gets a Poster and a New Release Date

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We’ve got some exciting news for Alien fans this week as Fox has announced that Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant, will arrive in theatres even sooner than expected. The movie was originally set to be released on Aug. 4th, 2017, but now it will be terrifying audiences a full three months earlier on May 9th. Along with the new release date, they have also released the first official poster for the movie which makes it clear that this will be much more in line with previous Alien movies. It would seem that the crew of the Covenant will be facing creatures that strongly resemble the classic Xenomorph (this variation is rumoured to be called a “Neomorph”). Are you looking forward to Alien: Covenant? Check out the new poster after the jump.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Moana, Allied, Bad Santa 2

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Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in the U.S.! Disney is poised to once again dominate the box office this weekend with the release of Moana, which is looking like it could top Frozen with the biggest Thanksgiving debut ever. Other new releases hitting theatres this weekend include the long overdue Bad Santa 2 starring Billy Bob Thornton, WWII romantic thriller Allied starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, and Warren Beatty’s first film in 18 years, Rules Don’t Apply. Jeff Nichols’ Loving and Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals are also expanding this weekend, and in select theatres, we have potential Oscar contenders Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain and Lion starring Dev Patel. What will you be watching this weekend?

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Trailer

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With hockey season currently in full swing, eOne Films has released the first trailer for the upcoming Goon sequel, Goon: Last of the Enforcers. Seann William Scott returns as Doug “The Thug” Glatt along with most of the other cast members including Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Marc-André Grondin and Kim Coates. This time around Jay Baruchel is both behind the camera and in front of it, making his directorial debut in addition to reprising his role as Doug’s best bud Pat. The plot apparently revolves around a league lockout although you wouldn’t know it from the trailer, which is content to focus on the R-rated humour. Here’s hoping that this is one sequel that can stand and deliver. Goon: Last of the Enforcers hits theatres on March 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: Kubo and the Two Strings, Hell or High Water, War Dogs

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A couple of the year’s best reviewed movies arrive on DVD and Blu-ray this week along with some choice genre back catalogue titles. Kubo and the Two Strings and Hell or High Water are both currently sitting right near the top of Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 movies of 2016 list and should find a wider audience now that they are available on home video. Other major releases include War Dogs starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, Mechanic Resurrection starring Jason Statham and Hands of Stone starring Edgar Ramirez. Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers is also available for purchase this week along with Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. On Blu-ray, we’ve got Criterion releases for One-Eyed Jacks and The Squid and the Whale, Shout! Factory releases of Rabid and To Live and Die in L.A., and an Arrow re-issue of ’80s cult classic C.H.U.D.. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the list of noteworthy new releases after the jump.

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Highlander Reboot Gets John Wick Director

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Man, these John Wick guys are everywhere. Just a couple of days after David Leitch was officially confirmed for Deadpool 2, Chad Stahelski, his directing partner on the first John Wick, has landed a pretty big studio gig of his own. Just like Leitch, Stahelski is a former stuntman turned director who was forced to tackle John Wick: Chapter 2 on his own after Leitch left to direct The Coldest City starring Charlize Theron. Lionsgate must be happy with his work on that project because now he is reportedly moving on to helm their long-gestating reboot of the Highlander franchise. Chad Stahelski had this to say about the announcement:

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Martin Scorsese’s Silence Trailer

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At long last, the first trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Silence has arrived online and is also expected to be playing in theatres this weekend with Allied. Based on the book by Shusaku Endo, the story revolves around a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan in order to track down his mentor, who is rumoured to have denounced his religion. Andrew Garfield follows up Hacksaw Ridge with another intense, spiritual role, starring alongside Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciaran Hinds. This doesn’t seem likely to be a commercial hit on the level of The Wolf of Wall Street, but it does seem like Scorsese could be in the running for another Oscar next year. Silence hits select theatres on December 23rd before going wide sometime in January; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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