As a filmmaker, Peter Berg is in love with the process of things. He fills his films, even Battleship, with meticulous, methodical sequences, like a helicopter refueling early on in his latest tale of real-life disaster and heroism, Deepwater Horizon. An affection and even tenderness washes over what amounts to little more than a mechanical interaction between man and machine.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Since debuting at Cannes, Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden has gradually made the rounds. We’ve heard it’s sexy and thrilling and gorgeous, but as it hits the fall festival circuit and more people have seen it, we’ve also heard tell that it’s funny, not usually a quality we anticipate from the director behind Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Maybe it’s because I’m looking for it, but that comes across in this new French trailer.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Losing a pet is traumatic. For those of us who will never have kids, it’s as close to losing a child as we’ll ever get. It sent John Wick on kill-crazy rampage in the movie of the same name. But, like for all of us, the time comes to move on, and in the first image John Wick: Chapter Two, it looks like the former-assassin-turned-unretired-dog-avenger has done just that.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
I’m always game for a new Scott Adkins movie. And I’m always game for a new Marko Zaror movie. Put them together, like in the upcoming period actioner Savage Dog, and I start salivating like, well, a hungry dog. Currently in production, a new marketing poster for the film appeared on the airwaves. Check it out below.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Though his Hollywood debut, the Arnold Schwarzenegger-fronted actioner The Last Stand, didn’t go quite as well as planned (flawed to be sure, I still dig it more than most), South Korean director Kim Jee-woon has done little more than churn out one hit after another for more than a decade. His genre-crossing run started with A Tale of Two Sisters and rolled right through masterpieces like A Bittersweet Life, The Good, the Bad, the Weird, and I Saw the Devil.
Friday, September 23, 2016
UPDATE: According to director Daniel Zirilli's Facebook page, the film is called Affinity. That doesn't really tell us much, but it's nice to know.
ORIGINAL POST: Along with a small handful of others, Marko Zaror stands at the top of the current heap when it comes to gritty, bone-breaking, face-kicking action movies. And he’s got another suitably badass project in the works and lined up to shoot this November.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Studio westerns are a Hollywood staple, though one that has largely fallen by the wayside in recent times. Reworkings and narrative modernizations of the formula are more common—just look at this year’s Hell or High Water for an excellent example—but a straight-up old school western is something of a rarity. But that’s precisely what Antoine Fuqua’s star-spangled The Magnificent Seven delivers, though in bloodless, PG-13 fashion. It doesn’t bring anything new to the formula, but it doesn’t try to, and that’s fine.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
For a movie with a huge budget, two of the biggest stars in the world, a prominent director, and a prime holiday release, we’ve heard relatively little from Passengers. At least up until now, as the dramatic sci-fi romance delivered its first trailer.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Without breaking any new ground, You’re Next brought a freshness and crackling energy to the well-worn realm of home invasion horror. The Guest similarly infused the mysterious-stranger-comes-to-town narrative with a verve and life it hasn’t had in years (it also made my Top 25 Movies of the 21st Century So Far list). So to see a movie as uninspired and derivative, as pointless and unnecessary as Blair Witch from a filmmaking team as exciting as Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, is disappointing to say the least.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I’ve long maintained that Hard Target, while not John Woo’s best American movie, is the most reminiscent of his legendary Hong Kong work—the most similar in size, scope, and scale. It makes sense, coming as it did, just a year after his bullet opera masterpiece Hard Boiled, the capper on an epic six-year run that included A Better Tomorrow 2, The Killer, Just Heroes, Bullet in the Head, through Once a Thief.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire doesn’t hit theaters until 2017, but it’s making the rounds on the fall film festival circuit, and the first reactions just hit after it debuted last night at the Toronto International Film Festival. And to keep the hype train rolling (though I don’t need anything more than “new Ben Wheatley movie” for a Pavlovian response to kick in), a red band trailer showed up as well. (Oh, and there’s a trippy new poster, too.)
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
So, I finally saw Star Trek Beyond this weekend (just a wee bit late, I know). While I’m too lazy to write a real review—and who the hell cares this far after the fact—it’s a damn fine time. Not the best movie of the summer by far, it’s still in the upper echelon as far as big-budget studio blockbusters go—though that’s admittedly not the highest bar this year.
Never fuck with an amnesiac. One, it makes you a total dick, and two, movies have taught us that they are all secret badasses just waiting to dismantle you for crossing them and the ones they love. That’s more or less what we get in the first teaser trailer for the Iko Uwais-starring Headshot from the Mo Brothers. And is looks exactly as brutal and ruthless as I hoped.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The Expendables movies are great in theory, but the execution leaves much to be desired. But that’s not going to stop action movies from getting as many badasses in a room at the same time as possible. And a new film called Makeshift Squad just collected a number of the world’s preeminent movie martial artists: Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, and Angelababy. So, yeah, this is the movie constantly playing in my mind.
Did I jump the gun a bit putting Ana Lily Amirpour’s black-and-white, pseudo-western, Iranian vampire indie A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night on my Top 25 Movies of the Century So Far list? Probably. But I love the shit out of that movie. And I am, understandably, excited for her follow up, The Bad Batch. It just debuted at Venice (with an appearance at both Fantastic Fest and the Toronto International Film Festival on the horizon), and we’ve got two new clips to gawk at and salivate over.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Al Leong was a mainstay of my youth. Showing up in the likes of Die Hard, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Big Trouble in Little China, and countless other movies that defined my life (not to mention TV shows like Magnum P.I., Airwolf, The Equalizer, The Fall Guy, and on and on and on), he was a ubiquitous presence. As the latest trailer for documentary Henchman: The Al Leong Story says, “In the ‘80s, there was one man who set the standard for all henchmen to come…” and they’re not wrong. Take a look after the jump.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Whatever he wants to do, I will watch Iko Uwais do it. Fortunately for me, at least as far as movies go, that usually involves him kicking the crap out of people. And I support that. The latest cinematic endeavor for The Raid star, the hyper-violent revenge yarn Headshot, helmed by the Mo Brothers (Macabre, Killers), makes its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next week, and in advance of that, there’s a badass new poster to gawk at.