Hanks Spielberg Cold War

We’re back in a familiar position: scanning a set of potential projects for Steven Spielberg, trying to figure out which he’ll do next. There are a couple of possible options that have been kicking around for a while, such as the sci-fi action film Robopocalypse and the Spanish conquistador drama Montezuma. Just last week there was news that Spielberg is developing a religious drama called The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, from Lincoln and Munich writer Tony Kushner.

Now there’s a new project: an untitled true-life Cold War drama with Tom Hanks attached to star. Read More »

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Rover trailer

The Rover is set at a point just after society has crumbled, and those who remain are all keeping a tight hold on whatever shreds of their former lives still remain. One man abandons his brother (Robert Pattinson) while stealing a car from a dangerous man played by Guy Pearce. David Michod wrote and directed this follow-up to Animal Kingdom, and follows Pearce as he, with Pattinson in tow, attempts to regain his property. Watch the first full-length The Rover trailer below. Read More »

Borgman trailer

There are some wizards cutting trailers for Drafthouse Films, and this new Borgman trailer is quite good, and very chilling. The film is something of an enigma: a man fleeing a strange persecution turns up on the doorstep of a bourgeois family, and soon ingratiates himself into the family’s life, if not without a few difficulties along the way.

The story that follows is like the bastard child of Luis Buñuel and Micheal Haneke, with the influence of Dogtooth by Yorgos Lanthimos — an unusual, unsettling, and violent demolition of accepted social politics. This trailer captures the film’s spirit; watch below.  Read More »

Birth of the Lightsaber

Even if you’ve hit a saturation point with Star Wars, there’s a lot to be said for anything that documents the creation of the original trilogy. Those first three films developed and refined filmmaking techniques that continue to be influential. The lightsaber, for example, seems obvious at ubiquitous now, but it was a concept that hadn’t been seen on screen in the way Star Wars realized it back in 1977. Below, watch The Birth of the Lightsaber, the official featurette tracking the development of the fictional weapon. Read More »

raid-2-trailer-header-1b

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 »

Dayo Okeniyi Terminator Genesis

Not long ago there was chatter about John Boyega (Attack the Block) being eyed to join Terminator: Genesis. He would have played the son of Terminator 2 character Miles Dyson. But things have changed. Now Dayo Okeniyi, recently seen playing Thresh in The Hunger Games, will take the role. That firms up the major Terminator cast.

But there’s a second side to the story. One roadblock between Boyega and Terminator: Genesis was the possibility that he would appear in Star Wars Episode VII. He couldn’t do both. So can we take this info about Okeniyi’s casting to indicate that Boyega is locked for Star Wars, or at least getting closer?  Read More »

Clint Mansell's Noah Score

We’ve got two great scores for you to check out in full this week. One is a score you’ve probably been excited to hear: Clint Mansell‘s Noah score, marking one more collaboration between the composer and director Darren Aronofsky. The other is Mica Levi‘s great and at times unearthly score for Under the Skin, the Jonathan Glazer film starring Scarlett Johansson. They’re very different pieces, with Mansell’s score going appropriately big at times, but also more complimentary in the end than you might expect. Read More »

Justin Lin Directing ‘Times Square’

Justin Lin

The Fast and the Furious sequels director Justin Lin has a few different plans to potentially follow up his work on the car franchise, and now there’s a new option. Focus Features has picked up the Black List script Times Square to develop as a directing project for the director. Read More »

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