the handmaiden review

Park Chan-wook has spent much of his career being compared to the great Alfred Hitchock and The Handmaiden isn’t going to stop that. But there’s something to be said for a modern filmmaker being constantly placed side-by-side with one of the greatest directors of all time and there’s something more to be said when that director was known for his range and his willingness to take risks. Yes, Park’s films are Hitchockian in that they’re technically precise thrillers, but they’re also Hitchcockian because they muddle elements of horror and black comedy into the mix. And with The Handmaiden, Park proves that he can also match Mr. Hitchock in another category – he too is gloriously perverted.

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taboo teaser trailer

Tom Hardy and Steven Knight are inseparable these days. The actor starred in Knight’s fantastic drama Locke and co-starred in the Knight-created series Peaky Blinders, and now the two of them are working on a new miniseries for BBC One and FX. Hardy stars in Knight’s Ridley Scott-produced drama Taboo, which takes place in 1814. We’ve already seen a trailer for the miniseries, but FX is starting to air promos for it.

Below, watch the Taboo TV spot.

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The Equalizer 2 director

Denzel Washington is starring in the first sequel of his career with The Equalizer 2. Washington was doing just great without a franchise, but he found a potentially good one in Sony’s remake of the 1980s CBS television show. Months before The Equalizer came out, the studio got the ball rolling on a follow-up film, tapping the original film’s screenwriter Richard Wenk to pen the sequel. Initially, it wasn’t known if director Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent Seven) would come back to the director’s chair, but Fuqua is indeed returning for The Equalizer 2.

Below, learn more about The Equalizer 2 director.

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Incorporated trailer

Last year we told you that longtime BFFs Matt Damon and Ben Affleck would be teaming up again on a futuristic spy thriller series called Incorporated for Syfy. The first Incorporated trailer has hit the web, and you can get your first look at the upcoming Damon/Affleck-produced Syfy series after the jump.
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operation avalanche interview

Operation Avalanche is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2016. What begins as a wickedly funny conspiracy theory comedy about a team of CIA agents who fake the moon landing in 1969 slowly shifts into a thrilling, paranoia-fueled thriller, shot and edited to look like a long-lost documentary secretly assembled by the man in charge of the project. The making of the film is just as fascinating as the final product: co-writer/director/star Matt Johnson and producer Matthew Miller not only had to create a convincing ’60 setting on a small budget, they had to do it without much help from anyone who could have made it easy. This is the kind of production that involved everyone literally sneaking into NASA as part of a fake tour group to shoot chunks of the movie. Really.

I sat down with Johnson and Miller and they spilled the nitty-gritty details. What’s it like to bump heads with Stanley Kubrick’s estate? How to film a low-budget car chase inspired by Children of Men? How, exactly, do you define “illegal” when it comes to guerrilla filmmaking? They were more than happy to share.

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‘L.A. Confidential’ Director Curtis Hanson Dead at 71

curtis hanson dead

Academy Award winning filmmaker Curtis Hanson, whose credits include masterpieces like L.A. Confidential, hits like 8 Mile, and under-seen gems like Wonder Boys, passed away yesterday from natural causes in his Los Angeles home. He was 71 years old.

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The Whole Truth trailer

Keanu Reeves has been killing it lately in a variety of offbeat projects, from John Wick to The Neon Demon. He even acquitted himself quite nicely in The Bad Batch, which is more than we can say for either of that film’s actual leads. Now this fall he’ll return to more straightforwardly dramatic fare with The Whole Truth, the new legal thriller from Frozen River director Courtney Hunt.

Written by Nicholas Kazan, The Whole Truth centers on a shocking murder trial. A teenage boy (Gabriel Basso) has been charged with murdering his father (Jim Belushi), and his mother (Renée Zellweger) hires defense attorney Richard Ramsay (Reeves) to defend her. The case seems straightforward at first. The boy has confessed to the crime, and all physical evidence seems to back him up. But as the trial moves forward, Richard’s colleague (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) begins to suspect that not all is as it appears. Watch The Whole Truth trailer below.  Read More »

scarface remake

It’s hard to get too worked up about Antoine Fuqua remaking Scarface. After all, Brian DePalma’s 1983 crime classic is a remake of Howard Hawks’ 1932 crime classic and, aside from the plot revolving around the rise and fall of a dangerous criminal, they couldn’t be more different from one another. Honestly, if someone wants to make a new Scarface ever 30 years or so to reflect the changing landscape of crime in America, I’d say just go for it. As long as each new filmmaker brings something new to the template, why not?

And from the sound of things, Fuqua’s film will align itself with what troubles us in 2016, using elements from the real world to explain the motivation of a new drug empire.

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elle trailer

Paul Verhoeven has a unique talent for getting a rise out of audiences. RoboCop is a goofy action movie…that is also about the inner rot eating away at American culture. Starship Troopers is a wild science fiction action movie…that is also a vicious parody of fascism and military propaganda. Basic Instinct is a sexy psychological thriller…that leaves you feeling disgusted with yourself on just about every level. And Showgirls is…well, it’s Showgirls.

Excluding 2012’s crowdsourced experiment Tricked, Elle is Verhoeven’s first feature film since 2006’s exceptional World War II drama Black Book and it certainly looks like he’s up to his old tricks. Here’s a thriller that looks standard on the outside, but promises all kinds of provocative nastiness on the inside. The trailer and the talent involved is more than enough to grab my interest, but I’ll be honest: I’m dreading this movie as much as I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Watch the Elle trailer after the jump.

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