Traditionally, when a movie wins either the Grand Jury and Audience Dramatic Awards at Sundance, it’s meant for big things. Then there are some really special films that win both. Precious and Fruitvale Station are two recent examples. This year’s Sundance opener Whiplash is another.
Directed by Damien Chazelle, Whiplash tells the dramatic story of Andrew (Miles Teller), a highly ambitious young drummer who finds himself under the wing of the most demanding, intimidating and influential music teacher in the country. That’s Terence Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons. Those dueling passions sets up a battle of the wills as Andrew tries to prove himself for Fletcher, hoping he doesn’t have to face the frightening truth that he’s just not good enough.
You can read Russ’s Sundance review here, but in lieu of a trailer for the October 10 release, the first Whiplash clip has now made it online. In it, you’ll get a sense of the film’s incredible tension and powerful performances. Read More »
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Bennett Miller has directed two movies and both have been nominated for Best Picture. He’ll go for the three-peat this year with Foxcatcher. The true story starring Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell was originally scheduled for release last December, but was delayed. Now Sony Pictures Classic and Annapurna have set the film for a November 14 release following a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by David Chen
The teaser trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal was one of the most impressive teasers I’ve ever seen, a meticulously constructed series of attention-grabbing moments. The sound design was ominous, the shots were spectacularly violent, and the editing was expertly executed. Sometimes, directors don’t have much say over how their films are marketed, but I just had this feeling that director Gareth Evans had a hand in how this teaser turned out. It felt like so much thought had been put into it.
Ever since I saw the teaser, I’ve been really curious to know how Evans conceived of it. I finally had the chance to chat with Evans extensively last night, and the material from that conversation will be used for a couple of upcoming video essays. First up: How Evans created The Raid 2: Berandal teaser trailer. Check it out his trailer commentary after the jump.
The Raid 2: Berandal is out in theaters now.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Angie Han
If Valentine’s Day (or Love Actually, or New Year’s Eve, or He’s Just Not That Into You) were reimagined as a brooding drama instead of a fluffy comedy, it might look kind of like Paul Haggis‘ Third Person. The drama follows three intersecting tales, each featuring a couple at a crossroads.
In Paris, a recently separated novelist (Liam Neeson) and a clever journalist (Olivia Wilde) are engaging in an affair. Over in Rome, an American businessman (Adrien Brody) is maybe being duped by a beautiful local (Moran Atias). And across the Atlantic, two exes (Mila Kunis and James Franco, giving us the Oz the Great and Powerful reunion we didn’t ask for) are battling over parental custody in New York City.
The first Third Person trailer has just hit the web, and you can check it out after the jump.
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Editor’s Note: The following review was originally published on January 22nd 2014 after the film’s premiere at Sundance. The review is being republished as the film is being released in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, and expanding in the coming weeks.
In the case of an action movie like The Raid, I can’t fault anyone who wants to set plot aside and simply enjoy the action. With The Raid 2, that approach becomes impossible. Writer/director/editor Gareth Evans puts lofty goals fully on display in this sequel, which expands in every direction relative to the original. The action is bigger and more diverse, the story is more complex, and more emphasis is placed on dramatic performances even as the film’s physical demands intensify. Where the first was a tightly controlled action film that jettisoned all but the skeleton of a plot, this sequel is a huge crime tale featuring several criminal organizations competing for power, the police trying to catch up, and one young cop caught squarely in the middle.
Premiering the film at Sundance in a prime slot is a strange experiment of sorts. The Raid 2 isn’t a thing for general audiences; this is a hardcore genre movie. The swirl of Evans’ dramatic ambitions are punctuated by ultra-violent choreography, like a machine-gun snare drum tracked into a piece of classical music. It’s a tricky balancing act. The Raid 2 navigates the test awkwardly at best, because the story never connects as solidly as do the film’s thousand punches. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
The theme of the newest The Raid 2 trailer might well be that old schoolyard maxim: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” There’s no dialogue, just a percussive score, lots of shouts, and the glorious sounds of breaking glass and crunching bone. Check it out after the jump.
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This Raid 2 featurette is 10 minutes of awesome. Just like Gareth Evans‘ action epic is longer than average (148 minutes), this behind the scenes video mimics that size and scope. It has a nice chunk of footage and insight into how the filmmaking team made one of the best action movies, well, ever.
Also, the featurette gives a better idea of the plot of The Raid 2, which involves Rama (Iko Uwais) going undercover to infiltrate the ultimate bad guys behind the first Raid. It’s a must watch for anyone anticipating one of the most badass, jaw-dropping, violent and exciting action films you’ll ever see. Check out The Raid 2 featurette below. Read More »
The Raid 2 is one of the best action films ever made. If you live in Los Angeles, you can see it for free next week. /Film is teaming up with Collider to give away 15 pairs of tickets to a special advanced screening of the film March 13 in Hollywood. As a bonus, writer/director Gareth Evans will follow the presentation of his bad-ass action epic with a Q&A. Below, find out how you can get tickets. Read More »
The passing of Harold Ramis once again shined a well-deserved light on his absolutely remarkable career. Yet, despite the innumerable classics Ramis wrote and directed, he’s best known for playing Egon, one of the three Ghostbusters. (He also co-wrote those films.) His passing brought up questions about the long rumored Ghostbusters III, which Ramis had signed off on and was scheduled to appear in. Sources close to Sony Pictures, where the film is in development, report the film is still coming, and will only need minor script changes to account for Ramis’ passing. Read More »