I feel like we’re in between golden ages for martial arts films out of China. While a few good ones have hit in the past decade, the output of pre-changeover Hong Kong dwindled down to the point where there were only occasional memorable fight films. And now the world of martial arts moviemaking is stuck between the eras where practical and very well-practiced wire techniques have been augmented with CG. That CG is, all too often, not very good. Eventually there will be a point where the old fight style and the new CG really work together, and we might get a new golden age of martial arts films. But for now, we’re in between ages.
And so it goes with The Sorcerer and the White Snake, a film starring Jet Li as “an herbalist who falls in love with a thousand-year-old White Snake disguised as a woman.” There’s some great-looking stuff in this trailer, but most of the CG looks cheap and not at all a part of the same existence of the human characters. The film is over a year old — it played Venice in 2011 — but this trailer has been cut slightly for American audiences. Which is to say, there is what sounds like a period Chinese approximation of Inception horns. And even that doesn’t end up sounding very good.
Fans of Jet Li and director Ching Siu-Tung (House of Flying Daggers fight choreographer) will want to check it out regardless. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2012 by Angie Han
Whether you prefer your horror films to look like stop-motion animations, classic slasher flicks, sci-fi epics, or weird fantasies with cat-ladies slithering about, The ABCs of Death has got you covered. Like a cinematic version of Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies, each letter in the horror anthology’s alphabet corresponds to a different way to die, as represented by one of 26 different directors.
Magnet has just released a gory new trailer, which you can see after the jump. Be warned, though, that this one really lives up to its red-bandiness, so the video after the jump is certainly NSFW.
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Fred Cavaye‘s 2010 French action film Point Blank (not to be confused with the 1967 film starring Lee Marvin) features a male nurse forced to break a murderer out of prison to save his pregnant, kidnapped wife. If that sounds like a taut, interesting premise to you, maybe you should be a film producer. Not only is the idea being remade in Korea, now Mark Wahlberg‘s Leverage is teaming with Working Title to remake it in English too. Read more after the jump, including where to watch the original. Read More »
The horror anthology is alive and ready for round two. V/H/S 2, a sequel to this year’s horror hit V/H/S, has just been announced. The film will retain the same producing team (including the people behind Bloody Disgusting) and at least one of the original directors (You’re Next director Adam Wingard), but most of the creative roster is brand new.
At the top of the new list is Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid, who’ll co-direct a segment with Timo Tjahjanto. Also directing for the film is Eduardo Sanchez, a co-director of The Blair Witch Project, who’ll co-direct his V/H/S segment with producing partner Gregg Hale. They’re joined by Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun) and Simon Barrett, Wingard’s writing partner who’ll be making his directorial debut. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Terrence Malick‘s new film To the Wonder played Venice and TIFF this month, to middling reviews that occasionally seemed uninterested in viewing the film as anything other than a minor “in-between” film from the director. Featuring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem, the movie is a small romantic drama; not the sort of thing to inspire mad box office success in times such as these. But Magnolia Pictures has taken the plunge with Malick, acquiring To the Wonder for a 2013 release. But how many people will get to see the film on the big screen? Read More »
The horror anthology film V/H/S teams up a good handful of film talents: Radio Silence, Adam Wingard (You’re Next, A Horrible Way to Die), Simon Barrett(You’re Next, Dead Birds), Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers), David Bruckner (The Signal), Joe Swanberg (Silver Bullets), and Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), with each of the group contributing a creepy low-fi horror story to the collection.
We’ve seen one red-band trailer for the film, which showed off a good bit of violence, but now there is a more tame green-band trailer. It’s still edges towards the intense side of the trailer tone spectrum, but it probably won’t get you fired if you sneak a look at work. Read More »
A cornerstone story aspect of the thriller, codified on film by Alfred Hitchcock, is fear of persecution. Hitch was famously afraid of police, and a constant element in his films was the horror of being pursued and/or persecuted for an infraction real or imagined. The Law — the “capital-L” version — can seem like an unfathomable force that guides our behavior, and the persuasive power of that force can make one feel incredibly vulnerable.
The power of that particular perception of Law is at the heart of Compliance, too. The indie became notorious at Sundance this past January for expanding on real-life stories in which an anonymous caller impersonated police officers and talked business managers into strip-searching and violating employees. The instigating factor would be a reported infraction of the law, with the caller reasoning that the fastest way to deal with the situation was for the manager to do some of the work of the cops before officers were able to arrive. Inevitably, the caller would push the situation deep into scary territory, and those on the other end of the line would comply.
The real-life stories are chilling, in part because it is horrifying to consider that anyone would follow the instructions of someone who purports to be a law officer without attempting to verify the caller’s identity. Compliance seems to exploit that horrifying behavior quite well, and now you can get a glimpse of just how weird things get in a new trailer for the movie. Read More »
Even before a pullquote hits comparing Julie Delpy‘s film 2 Days in New York to vintage Woody Allen, this new trailer for the film will have led you to the inescapable conclusion that Delpy is really working to channel Allen’s old tendencies. This one follows Delpy’s previous film 2 Days in Paris, which did have it’s own Allen-esque feel as it also inverted some of the spirit of Delpy’s films with Richard Linklater (Before Sunset and Before Sunrise.) But the New York setting for this one pushes that Allen tone forward even more. And with Chris Rock playing a version of what would have been the Woody role in years past, that’s actually something kinda fun.
The film peers into the relationship between characters played by Rock and Delpy, and what happens when her weirdo French family comes to visit them in NYC. There doesn’t seem to be anything surprising or particularly provocative about the shenanigans that ensue, but the film does look like a genial good time. Read More »
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