Film Junk Take Two: Prometheus and Interstellar

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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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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Names Revealed

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Although the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already sparked an insane amount of discussion by offering very little actual content, Disney and Lucasfilm are continuing to dole out additional bits of information as time progresses. This week they have unveiled the names of the various characters seen in the trailer in a pretty creative way: with a series of mock collectible cards. J.J. Abrams, always one for creating unnecessary secrets, has also informed fans that the numbering of the cards is somehow significant. What do you think of these character names? Is there anything else to be learned here? Check out the rest of the cards after the jump.

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The Gunman Trailer Starring Sean Penn

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These days it seems like every aging Hollywood star needs a good action movie to remind people that they can still kick ass. That being said, Sean Penn is probably the last guy I expected to be starring in a movie like this. The Gunman finds him playing a former Special Forces soldier who is trying to leave that life behind, but when his employer refuses to accept his resignation, his girlfriend gets caught in the crossfire. Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken) and featuring a supporting cast that includes Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, and Ray Winstone, I can’t tell if Morel is moving up in the world or if Penn and his co-stars are slumming it. Either way, I think I’m willing to give it a shot. The Gunman hits theatres on March 20th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Inside Out Trailer #2

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Although the initial teaser trailer for Pixar’s Inside Out was mostly comprised of footage from previous Pixar films, this week they have released the first proper trailer which gives us a much better idea of what to expect. We already knew that the movie revolves around visualizing the emotions inside the mind of a young girl named Riley, but as this trailer shows, we also get glimpses into the minds of her parents as well. Although there’s a part of me that feels like this concept is a little obvious and not all that original, I trust Pixar to add enough clever twists to make it worthwhile. Plus the movie has an interesting comedy-oriented voice cast that includes Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black and it is also directed by Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.). Inside Out hits theatres on June 19th, 2015; check out the new trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Sony Leak Reveals Plans for a Spider-Man Comedy and 21 Jump Street / Men in Black Crossover

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that Sony Pictures was hit pretty hard by hackers a couple of weeks ago (allegedly a retaliation for the upcoming Seth Rogen / James Franco film The Interview), causing several movies to leak online and all kinds of internal memos and documents. While I haven’t had the time or inclination to read up on most of this stuff (you can read a quick summary here), there are a few interesting tidbits that have turned up with regards to the future of several major Sony franchises. One of them is The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, which we already know they are struggling with, and the other is the Men in Black series, which they are apparently looking to combine with something else. Because, hey, why not? In both cases, they are looking to enlist the help of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Hit the jump for more info.

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Birdman Leads the 2015 Golden Globe Nominations

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Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu’s Birdman continues to build awards season momentum with the unveiling of the nominees for the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards this morning. The film received 7 nominations including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Director, while in the Drama categories, Boyhood and The Imitation Game picked up 5 nominations apiece. Aside from surprises like Pride and Jennifer Aniston, one pleasant surprise is that Jake Gyllenhaal managed to get a nod for Best Actor in Nightcrawler. Joaquin Phoenix was also nominated for his performance in Inherent Vice although the movie itself was not.

On the TV side, Showtime’s The Affair picked up a handful of nominations in its first season as did Amazon’s new original series Transparent. True Detective and Fargo are also both up for several awards in the TV movie or mini-series categories. What do you think about this year’s Golden Globe nominations? The 72nd Golden Globes will air on NBC on Jan. 11th; check out the full list of nominees after the jump.

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Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer #2

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2015 is shaping up to be a pretty huge year in terms of blockbuster sequels and reboots, but in terms of what we’ve seen so far, one movie is clearly standing out head and shoulders above all the rest. George Miller’s long-awaited return to the Mad Max franchise looks to be absolutely bonkers, and after blowing us away with a Comic-Con trailer earlier this year, the second trailer for the film has just dropped. While this clearly will not have the mainstream appeal of a Marvel movie or Star Wars sequel, it’s pretty obvious that with sheer scale of the practical effects and insane stuntwork, there is nothing else like it hitting theatres in the near future. Mad Max: Fury Road stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and it hits theatres on May 15th. Feast your eyes on the new trailer after the jump.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Gets a Director, Will Feature Bebop and Rocksteady

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Although reviews for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot were not particularly kind, it went on to become one of the highest grossing movies of the year, earning $477 worldwide. Paramount was quick to announce a sequel immediately following the film’s huge opening weekend and they seem to be making it a priority. This week they have announced that Jonathan Liebesman will not be returning to the director’s chair and instead will be replaced by a slightly less experienced, but somewhat promising up and coming filmmaker. What’s more, it looks like some familiar characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series will probably be making an appearance in the next film as well. Hit the jump for more details.

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: Guardians of the Galaxy, Frank, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

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The biggest movie of the year arrives just in time for Christmas as Guardians of the Galaxy leads this week’s crop of DVD and Blu-ray releases. Other big titles hitting stores include family sequel Dolphin Tale 2 and the football drama When the Game Stands Tall while some of the more interesting indie releases include Frank starring Michael Fassbender, I Origins starring Michael Pitt, Dead Snow 2: Red Vs Dead and John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary starring Brendan Gleeson. The biggest TV releases include Season 2 of Under the Dome and Series 8 of Doctor Who, plus arriving on Blu-ray for the first time we have Todd Haynes’ Safe, Running Scared starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines, and the Cannon Films sequel to the Chuck Norris classic Invasion U.S.A., Avenging Force. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.

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San Andreas Trailer Starring Dwayne Johnson

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As we head into the last few weeks of December, all of the big 2015 blockbusters are rushing to get their first trailers out in time for the holidays. The latest to hit the web is San Andreas, an action-thriller starring Dwayne Johnson as a search and rescue helicopter pilot caught in the middle of the chaos when a magnitude 9 earthquake hits California. It may look like a Roland Emmerich movie, but it’s actually directed by Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore) which isn’t a huge selling point. Still, there’s something about the simplicity of a straight-up disaster movie that could be a nice change of pace amidst all the sci-fi and comic book movies next summer. San Andreas hits theatres on May 29th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #494: Tusk

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0:00 – Intro
12:05 – Review: Tusk
38:03 – Headlines: Bond 24 Title Announced, Suicide Squad Cast Announced, HBO Remastering The Wire, Chris Rock Says Comedy is Harder to Direct Than Drama, Terminator Genisys Trailer
1:04:21 – Prescribing Frank: Army of Shadows
1:25:29 – Other Stuff We Watched: Le Samourai, Foxcatcher, Homeland, Mike Tyson Mysteries
1:41:41 – Junk Mail: Justifying Nudity in Movies, Logging Stand Up Comedy Specials on Letterboxd, Buying Box Sets That Are (or Will Be) Incomplete, Blu-rays as Christmas Gifts
2:02:40 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray

Film Junk Podcast Episode #494: Tusk by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk Trailer Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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When it was announced back in January that Robert Zemeckis would be directing a feature film based on the story of Philippe Petit, the French wire walker who tried to walk between the Twin Towers in New York City back in 1974, there was some debate over whether or not the film would be redundant and unnecessary. Petit’s story was already brilliantly told in James Marsh’s Academy Award-winning documentary Man on Wire, but where Zemeckis is setting himself apart is through the use of 3D technology which will attempt to recreate the thrill of walking on a wire at that height. Although it’s hard to tell just how successful that will be by watching a 2D version of the trailer, I’m at least open to the idea. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt who looks the part, although we still have yet to hear his French accent sounds like. The Walk hits theatres on Oct. 2nd, 2015; check out the first trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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