When I walked into the theater today to see Gareth Evans‘ The Raid, I knew nothing about the film. I had heard some positive buzz coming out of the film’s midnight madness premiere last night at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, but that that was it. I had no expectations, and no idea how hard my ass was going to get kicked by this Indonesian action movie. This is the best action film I’ve seen in years.
Read more of my spoiler free thoughts and watch the red band movie trailer now, embedded after the jump. Trust me, you want to see this.
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Luc Besson‘s latest film makes quite a break from what we’ve come to expect from the writer/director/producer thanks to a decade of making mostly cheap, visceral action films. The Lady stars Michelle Yeoh as Burmese revolutionary leader Aung San Suu Kyi — this is a real-life story of political oppression and resistance. The first teaser trailer, which shows Yeoh in character taking the stage in front of a throng of wildly cheering supporters, has just dropped. Along with it comes the film’s first poster, designed by Shepard Fairey, based on his design featuring the real Aung San Suu Kyi. See both below. Read More »
Despite gaining attention in The Mummy and making the occasional appearance in something like Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, Rachel Weisz has developed a talent for sidestepping most big studio movies in favor of more focused, and more adult fare. Her film The Whistleblower is just opening now, and she’s got three films appearing in the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
One is Fernando Meirelles’ 360 (see some images here); another is Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea; and a third film, Page Eight, was just announced for the fest yesterday. We’ll concentrate on that last picture for now — it’s a spy thriller from The Reader screenwriter David Hare, in which Weisz plays a political activist and Bill Nighy is an MI5 agent concerned with just what she knows and intents. Check out a teaser trailer below. Read More »
The last time we checked in with Extraterrestrial, the new film from the director of the acclaimed Timecrimes, we had a couple new images, and those had followed on the heels of two really fun posters. (One of which is captured in part above.) Now we’ve got those two images in better quality along with a couple more.
Why should this flick, from Nacho Vigalondo, be on your radar? Those who’ve seen Timecrimes (which, yes, is still the object of a US remake effort) will know right off; for those who haven’t, let’s just say that it is an alien invasion love story. If it displays even part of the warped but adroit skill of Timecrimes, it will be worth prioritizing. Check out the images below. Read More »
One of the more appealing TIFF premieres is 360, from director Fernando Meirelles (City of God). We’ve covered the film a bit in the past year and change as it cast Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster and more, but things have been a bit quiet since then.
The film is written by Peter Morgan based on Arthur Schnitzler‘s play Reigen. (Also adapted by Max Ophuls as La Ronde; a Schnitzler story was also the source for Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.) The play is an erotic drama that features a number of couples, with one half of the couple from one scene appearing as half the couple in the next, and so forth. (So the couples would be essentially: AB, BC, CD, DA.)
With the film about to premiere at the festival, we’ve got some new images, which you can see below. Read More »
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Warning: this isn’t going to be quite the ideal easygoing Friday afternoon post. But when new info arrives on the latest documentary from Werner Herzog we’ve got to run with it, even if the subject matter is pretty dire. Specifically, Into the Abyss is a film about several death row inmates in the Texas prison system: three men convicted of murder, including one man who killed his girlfriend and her two mentally handicapped sons, and a woman convicted of kidnapping and murder. Werner Herzog talks to these people as well as to their families and victims, and by the looks of the three clips below, the result may be his most intense film in some time. Read More »
British documentarian Nick Broomfield has been on the film scene for years, and has made a few notable contributions such as the Spalding Gray movie Monster in a Box. But since the 1998 film Kurt and Courtney his documentary exposés have been characterized by sensationalism more than anything else. It’s as if the emerging influence of Michael Moore took root and helped mutate his style in just the wrong direction.
His latest film is Sarah Palin – You Betcha!, which is now scheduled to play as part of the Toronto International Film Festival documentary program. A teaser — really just a clip from the film — is now available, and you can see the Michael Moore influence in glowing neon. Read More »
Today the Toronto International Film Festival announced many new films, including the full feature documentary slate and the Midnight Madness picks. The latter is the suite of ten films that represents the festival’s genre offerings; the program is one of the best at any festival, period.
I was thrilled to see that one of the 2011 Midnight Madness offerings is God Bless America, the new film from Bobcat Goldthwait. His last picture, World’s Greatest Dad, is one of the best and most bleak comedies of the past few years. It can be so savage that it almost edges out of the comedy realm and into the lands of pure discomfort; that’s one of several reasons I love it. That movie has balls. I’m hoping for nothing less from God Bless America, in which a middle-aged guy and a young girl go on a killing spree inspired by hatred for the garbage glut of MTV ‘reality’ shows. Read More »
If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.
Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »