The last of the big summer comic book movies arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week, and Fox is hoping that the promise of an unrated extended cut might get you even more interested. Aside from The Wolverine, the other major releases include The Smurfs 2 and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Fortunately, we also have a handful of intriguing indie titles such as Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, Jonathan Levine’s long-delayed thriller All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and a documentary about the Beatles’ secretary called Good Ol’ Freda. New to Blu-ray this week, we have Robert Altman’s Nashville, The Octagon starring Chuck Norris, Serpico starring Al Pacino and The Rutles Anthology. What will you be buying or renting this week? Check out the full list of new releases after the jump.
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After scoring the lead role in Tim Burton’s hugely successful Alice in Wonderland back in 2010, Mia Wasikowska went on to refocus her career on much smaller, more intimate projects including Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, Gus Van Sant’s Restless, and Park Chan-wook’s Stoker. Now this week we have the first official trailer for another interesting drama that she is starring in, an Australian film called Tracks. It has received mostly positive reviews on the festival circuit, and if you ask me, it looks to be beautiful, thrilling and inspiring.
Directed by John Curran (The Painted Veil), the movie is based on the true story of Robyn Davidson, who at the age of 27 crossed the Australian outback by foot with a dog and four camels. Adam Driver (Girls) also plays photographer Rick Smolan who meets up with her at pre-arranged stops along the way. Tracks is scheduled to theatres in Australia on March 6th, 2014, but it does not yet have a U.S. release date. Check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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0:00 – Intro
13:00 – Review: Oldboy
47:35 – Headlines: R.I.P. Paul Walker, Spike Lee Snubs Oldboy Poster Designer, Animal Abuse Cover Up in Hollywood, Muppets Most Wanted Trailer
1:29:15 – Other Stuff We Watched: Homefront, Saturn 3, Citizen Ruth, The Goonies, Scrooged, Tank Girl, Executive Action, JFK: The Smoking Gun, Parkland, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Funny Farm, Say Anything, Getting On, La Notte, Vengeance Trilogy, Day of the Animals
2:37:40 – Junk Mail: Missing Scenes from Movies, Directors Fallen on Hard Times That Should Get Another Shot, Favourite Final Shots, How to Get Your Friends to Stop Talking and Texting During Movies
2:56:10 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:59:50 – Outro
Film Junk Podcast Episode #444: Oldboy by Filmjunk on Mixcloud
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In a clever little bit of viral marketing for the upcoming movie Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Will Ferrell actually appeared on TV in character as Ron Burgundy for an entire newscast this past Saturday. He co-anchored the 6:00 news on CBS affiliate KXMB in North Dakota alongside Amber Schatz, who managed to keep a straight face at least part of the time. From there, Will Ferrell also went on to make a surprise appearance in Winnipeg at the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, also known as the Roar of the Rings. For Canadians, it was quite amusing to see him play off long-time TSN sportscaster Vic Rauter. While some feared that he might make a mockery of the glorious sport of curling, let’s face it, curling deserves to be mocked. Check out both videos after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Audiences gorged themselves on movies over the Thanksgiving weekend, helping the two biggest releases to set new records even though most of the other new releases suffered as a result. In its second weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire set a new five-day record for Thanksgiving, taking in $110 million which destroys the $82.4 million earned by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 2001. Disney’s Frozen also gave Catching Fire a run for its money, pulling in $93 million over the five-day period and $66.7 million over the three-day weekend. That’s still the best opening weekend for a new release on Thanksgiving, even though it came in second. Elsewhere, Thor: The Dark World and The Best Man Holiday fell to #3 and #4, while Homefront opened in fifth. The biggest losers were Black Nativity and Spike Lee’s Oldboy, the latter of which made just $1.25 million over five days. Granted, it only opened on 580 screens, but at this point it will be lucky to make back a tenth of its $30 million budget.
1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — $74.5M
2. Frozen — $66.7M
3. Thor: The Dark World — $11.1M
4. The Best Man Holiday — $8.49M
5. Homefront — $6.97M
6. Delivery Man — $6.93M
7. The Book Thief — $4.85M
8. Black Nativity — $3.88M
9. Philomena — $3.79M
10. Last Vegas — $2.79M
Details are still coming in but it appears that actor Paul Walker passed away earlier today in California. The circumstances surrounding his death are unfortunate and have led some to believe this is a hoax, but the news has since been confirmed via sources close to the actor and also on his social media pages. He was in Santa Clarita participating in a car show to benefit the Philippines typhoon relief effort and had supposedly been taking some friends for a ride in his new Porsche GT. During one of these rides, he lost control of the car and it struck a light post, causing the whole vehicle to go up in flames. A witness who tried to put the fire out recognized Walker in the vehicle. He was 40 years old. Here is the official statement from his Facebook page:
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With so many movies being based on popular book series as of late, we’ve been seeing a lot of the same kinds of discussions popping up time and time again. Did they get the characters right? Did it capture the spirit of the novel? Did they change the dialogue? How could they cut out my favourite scene?? Adapting a book for the big screen almost always requires a compromise, which could explain why people are often disappointed with the result. Still, even with something as universally praised as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, fans seem to do the most nitpicking. You hear people say it all the time, but is it always just a given that the book is better than the movie?
One of the biggest problems with adapting a book is that you have to live up to people’s imaginations; readers fill in the blanks in their mind and interpretations can vary wildly. Books also have no restriction as to how long they can be, whereas movies are usually limited to three hours max. On the flip side, maybe it is just a case of the first experience with a story usually being the preferred medium. How many people would say the novelization of a movie is better? Still, I do think there are some movies that improve on a mediocre book. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jurassic Park, and Children of Men all come to mind. What do you think? Is the written word always superior to a visual medium like film? Is it always better to read the book before seeing the movie? What movies are better than their source material? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.
Well, you asked for it, you got it! Back in September, when we first started hearing reports that Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street might not make its November release date, the main reason given was that Scorsese’s first cut of the movie was approximately three hours in length and needed to be significantly reduced. At the time, a lot of fans didn’t quite understand why the movie needed to be trimmed, calling for the full three-hour cut to be released as is. Universal ultimately gave Scorsese more time to re-edit the film and rescheduled the movie for Christmas Day, but now we’re being told that the final movie will still be three hours long. So did he actually make any major cuts or did the studio simply give him more leeway on the running time?
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I’m generally not a big fan of contemporary Shakespeare adaptations, especially ones that try too hard to make the material hip and cool by adding guns, rapid fire editing and a modern soundtrack (among other things). So after hearing that this big screen version of Cymbeline pits dirty cops against drug-dealing bikers, I knew it probably wasn’t for me. Still, the benefit of adapting Shakespeare is that you can usually attract a pretty solid cast, and this particular movie stars Ethan Hawke, Dakota Johnson, Milla Jovovich, Penn Badgley, Anton Yelchin, Ed Harris, John Leguizamo and Bill Pullman (director Michael Almereyda previously teamed with Ethan Hawke for Hamlet back in 2000). Cymbeline does not have a U.S. distributor or release date yet, but for now you can check out the trailer after the jump.
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It’s that time of year again! The Best of 2013 lists are slowly starting to come out of the woodwork, and getting a head start on the proceedings this year we have two very respected journals for film criticism: the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine and the iconic French journal Cahiers du Cinema. There is actually a fair bit of overlap between both lists with Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake, Jia Zhang Ke’s A Touch of Sin and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour all getting nods. There are also a few surprises including Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which apparently did not get released in France until this year. Still, there are bound to be a few movies here that weren’t on your radar previously. Check out both lists after the jump and let us know what you think.
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As we anxiously (?) await the next wave of video game to movie adaptations including Duncan Jones’ Warcraft, Scott Derrickson’s Deus Ex and an Assassin’s Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender, we are forced to confront the possibility that maybe, just maybe, some of these movies might not suck. Obviously it is far more dependent on the creative team than the source material, but in theory, any of these games could be a decent starting point for a blockbuster movie franchise. Sony has also been slowly developing feature films based on several of their video game properties including Gran Turismo, Shadow of the Colossus and Uncharted. Now this week we have news that yet another Sony game might be making the jump to the big screen. Could Naughty Dog’s Playstation 3 hit The Last of Us also be coming to theatres?
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is obviously still the movie to beat this Thanksgiving weekend as it looks to build on one of the biggest opening weekends of all time. However, positive reviews could help propel Disney’s Frozen to a strong debut while Black Nativity will start to capitalize on the holiday crowds as well. The other major release hitting theatres is Homefront starring Jason Statham and James Franco, which feels like it probably should have been a January release instead. Spike Lee’s Oldboy is also out this weekend, although at the last minute FilmDistrict decided to pull it back to just 500 screens. Oscar hopefuls The Book Thief and Philomena are also expanding nationwide. What will you be watching this weekend?