The endless stream of edgy R-rated comedies continues next year with Bad Words, a movie that finds Jason Bateman playing a grown man who uses a loophole to enter a national spelling bee and sets out to destroy the competition. As dastardly as that sounds, he isn’t completely heartless as he also befriends a young competitor named Chaitanya and takes him under his crooked wing. Based on the 2011 Black List script by Andrew Dodge, this clearly wants to play in the same sandbox as something like Bad Santa, although that is easier said than done.
The somewhat surprising thing about this project is that it also marks Jason Bateman’s directorial debut. He normally plays naive, straight-laced characters so this is clearly an opportunity for him to try something new… perhaps getting behind the camera was the only way to make it happen. Either way, it looks like it’s trying a bit too hard, but it did receive some positive reviews at TIFF earlier this year. Bad Words hits theatres on March 21st; check out the first red band trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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If you’ve been reading Film Junk for a while now, you may be familiar with a fun little tradition that we have around here. Every year we like to give you guys an opportunity to have a say in picking some of the best movies of the year. Just to make it a little more interesting, we break up some of the year’s best films into a number of different categories and then let you decide on the winners. It makes for some interesting discussion and also gives a little bit of insight into the general consensus picks for the year.
This time around, we expanded each category to six choices and we also gave you the freedom to create write-in votes for Best and Worst Movie of the Year. The criteria for picking our nominees in each category was based partially on our own opinions while also keeping each category competitive. We also tried to stick mainly to movies that received a U.S. release this year and in particular ones that we felt were accessible to most people. The winners will be revealed as part of our year end podcast at the end of the month. Now go ahead and cast your votes for the 2013 Film Junk Reader’s Choice Awards!
Fox is determined to keep the spotlight focused on them this week as more details are starting to come out about the upcoming X-Men sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse. Last week Sony released the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 while Warner Brothers revealed the casting of Wonder Woman, and yet somehow X-Men: Apocalypse is generating more excitement than both of those news stories. It’s kind of sad that a movie due in 2016 is getting all the attention, but I suppose it’s more a reflection of the lack of confidence that fans have in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Batman vs. Superman. Either way, we now know who will direct X-Men: Apocalypse and we have a clearer view of how it will tie in to X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hit the jump for more details.
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Back when Disney acquired Lucasfilm last year, there was some brief mention of Indiana Jones as part of the deal but it was understandably overshadowed by the announcement of a new Star Wars movie. Now Disney is doubling back to tie up some loose ends with regards to Indy and the fact that Paramount (up until now) retained the distribution rights to any future films in the series. At the end of the day on Friday, it was announced that Disney and Paramount has come to an agreement over the distribution and marketing of the Indiana Jones franchise. This would seem to clear all major obstacles that were standing in the way of a new adventure… but does that mean we’ll actually see a fifth Indiana Jones movie in the near future or does the Mouse House have other plans?
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After two weeks at the top, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire finally fell to Disney’s Frozen, which continues to build on positive reviews by bringing out families in droves. The animated film has earned $134 million so far, but is looking like it could also end up as one of the highest grossing movies of 2013 by year end. Unfortunately, the weekend’s only new movie in wide release, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, had a much chillier reception from audiences, opening to a disastrous $5.3 million. Even the star power of Christian Bale couldn’t get mainstream audiences interested in what looked like a grim, low key crime drama. Elsewhere Thor: The Dark World fell to #4 and Delivery Man rounded out the top 5. Next weekend, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is going to heat things up all over again.
1. Frozen — $31.6M
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — $27M
3. Out of the Furnace — $5.3M
4. Thor: The Dark World — $4.74M
5. Delivery Man — $3.77M
6. Homefront — $3.38M
7. The Book Thief — $2.7M
8. The Best Man Holiday — $2.67M
9. Philomena — $2.28M
10. Dallas Buyers Club — $1.46M
As the casting rumours continue for the upcoming Terminator reboot (the latest word is that the Sarah Connor role will go to either Emilia Clarke or Brie Larson), Fox, Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures have made a surprising announcement about their plans for the franchise. They are aiming to bring The Terminator to the small screen as well. We already saw the movies adapted for TV a few years back with The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which essentially continued the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and then created a whole new timeline. In this case, however, the new TV show will tie into the rebooted movie trilogy, acting as a companion to the big screen story. What remains unclear is whether the TV show will feature the same characters and cast, although something tells me we won’t be seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger slumming it on TV just yet.
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A few months ago the big news broke that Disney had chosen not to renew Jerry Bruckheimer’s first-look deal, ending a nearly twenty-year partnership between the studio and mega-producer. Although many people blamed this decision on the failure of The Lone Ranger, the truth is that Disney has been slowly morphing into a different company over the past few years, becoming much more dependent on their Marvel and Star Wars brands. Unlike Disney, Bruckheimer also seemed to have an interest in returning to more adult-oriented fare, or as he put it, “films like Black Hawk Down, Enemy of the State, Beverly Hills Cop, and The Rock.” Well, it looks like he will get to do exactly that as this week it has been announced that he will be returning to Paramount Pictures where his first project will be a new Beverly Hills Cop movie. More details after the jump.
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There are a handful of spy shows on TV at the moment including Homeland, The Americans and Covert Affairs, and although AMC was quick to cancel their first foray into this territory a few years back (Rubicon), they’re about to give it another shot with a new series called Turn. What makes this one a bit different is that the show is set during the American Revolutionary War, focusing on a group known as The Culper Ring (aka “America’s First Spy Ring”). It looks like it has potential although I think I’m a little more interested in their other upcoming show, an ’80s personal computer industry drama called Halt and Catch Fire. Turn will premiere in spring 2014; check out the first trailer after the jump.
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For over a decade now, the folks at TIFF have been bringing attention to the best in Canadian cinema by setting up an annual theatrical event known as Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival. They select the ten best feature films of the year (along with the ten best shorts) and screen them at a few major theatres across the country. This year’s top 10 consists of quite a few films from Quebec filmmakers including Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle, which is Canada’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. However, there are also a couple of movies featuring big name stars including Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Dowse’s The F Word starring Daniel Radcliffe. How do you feel about this year’s picks? Check out the full top 10 list after the jump.
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In this day and age, movies that once would have gone direct-to-DVD are getting slightly more respect thanks to the wonders of VOD. That’s good news for Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to be starring in his fair share of these lately. His latest VOD film, Reasonable Doubt looks like a decent enough thriller, it’s just that there’s nothing that really stands out about it either.
Helmed by first-time director Peter P. Croudins, the movie stars Dominic Cooper as a district attorney who commits a fatal hit and run. In an attempt to cover it up, he tries to pin the crime on a suspected killer (Samuel L. Jackson). It all leads to a cat and mouse game that feels familiar but may or may not have a few twists to offer. Reasonable Doubt hits select theatres and VOD on Jan. 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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After the relatively lukewarm reviews for Monsters University, it was looking like 2013 could be another year where someone else swoops in to steal the Oscar for Best Animated Film from Pixar. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any other studios have really stepped up as potential contenders, with the exception of Disney’s own animation studio for Frozen, which many are now calling the frontrunner. Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises is also a possibility but there is some concern that Academy voters will view the subject matter as too controversial.
Either way, the 41st annual Annie Award nominations have been unveiled this week, and while they don’t always serve as a good predictor for the Oscars, they at least get the discussion started. Both Monsters University and Frozen lead this year’s nominees with 10 apiece, while The Croods and Despicable Me 2 aren’t far behind with 9 each. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the appearance of two GKIDS productions in the Best Animated Feature category: A Letter to Momo and Ernest & Celestine. Could either of these films have a shot at Oscar recognition? Check out the full list of nominees after the jump and see what you think.
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It’s the calm before the storm this weekend as there is just one major release hitting theatres before the flood of December blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls is unleashed. That major release is Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, which seems to be getting mixed reviews despite some decent performances from Christian Bale and Casey Affleck (among others). Elsewhere, The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is also opening this weekend but don’t get too excited… it’s only playing on 4 screens at the moment. Other movies in limited release include the sci-fi thriller The Last Days on Mars starring Liev Schreiber, crime drama Swerve starring Jason Clarke and the Latino Christmas movie A Miracle in Spanish Harlem. What will you be watching this weekend?