Free Fire review

The third-act shootout is a staple of a certain kind of film, but in Ben Wheatley‘s Free Fire it’s essentially the entire movie. Against all odds, it works. Wheatley stages a never-ending knock-down-drag-out fight, trapping one woman and about a dozen men in an abandoned warehouse and then inviting us to sit back and watch as the bullets and the jokes ricochet off one another. The result is a furiously entertaining exercise that left me buzzing with energy long after I’d left the theater.  Read More »

free fire trailer

The impending arrival of new Ben Wheatley movie is always a cause for celebration. The genius (yes, I’ll break out the “G” word) behind films like Kill List, Sightseers, and High-Rise has been a favorite of mine for years, leaping between genres while maintaining his signature dark comedy and unflinching ability to sell genuine pain and terror. His new film, Free Fire, is built around a premise that is simultaneously old school and high concept: two groups of criminals in 1970s Boston arrange an arms deal in an old warehouse, things go south, guns are drawn…and they proceed to engage in a gun battle that plays out over the course of the entire movie, mostly in real time.

The first Free Fire trailer has arrived (in bloody, NSFW red band form!) and you can check it out below.

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The Birth of a Nation

Any way you slice it, The Birth of a Nation was one of the biggest success stories to come out of Sundance this year. The film got scooped up by Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million — a new Sundance record — and it walked away with the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. By all accounts, the energy at the film’s premiere was electric. By the time I got to see it at the press screening the next day, word had spread and the lines to get in were some of the longest I saw at the entire festival.

So what’s all the fuss about? What is it about the movie that has everyone so hyped up, director and star Nate Parker being anointed as the Next Big Thing, and critics predicting awards nominations a full year ahead of schedule? Well, you’ll get to see for yourself this fall when the film hits theaters. But to give you a little taste in the meantime, here’s a new The Birth of a Nation trailer.
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free fire image

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ben Wheatley is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today and I look forward to each of his movies like a kid looks forward to Christmas. I named Kill List one of my fifteen favorite movies of all time. I think High-Rise, which is currently available on VOD and hits theaters this week, is an astonishing (if divisive) achievement. I have a Sightseers poster on my office wall. I’m in the tank for the man.

So yes, I’m very much looking forward to his next film, Free Fire, which is finished and awaiting a release date as we speak. In the meantime, we can enjoy the first image from the movie, which shows off the awesome ensemble in some colorful duds.

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Birth of a Nation

Of all the films that played at Sundance this year, perhaps none got more hype than Nate Parker‘s The Birth of a Nation. Not only did it get spectacular reviews, it scored the biggest Sundance deal ever, with Fox Searchlight forking over $17.5 million. The distributor promptly set Birth of a Nation for a fall release, right at the start of awards-movie season, and now it’s getting a head start on the marketing by dropping the very first promo.

Parker stars in his own directorial debut as Nat Turner, a devoutly religious slave who becomes a traveling preacher — and, eventually, the leader of the bloodiest slave rebellion in American history. Armie Hammer plays Nat’s owner, and Penelope Ann MillerJackie Earle Haley, and Aja Naomi King also star. Watch the Birth of a Nation trailer after the jump.  Read More »

The Birth of a Nation

In his debut feature as a director, Nate Parker attempts to do no less than reclaim American history in the name of the slaves who had their own lives and their own stories ripped away from them. This re-appropriation starts with the title — The Birth of a Nation is stolen from D.W. Griffith’s racist epic — and continues with an opening epigraph. “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just,” reads the quote from Thomas Jefferson, famously a slave owner, “that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

Parker himself stars as Nat Turner, a Virginia slave who in 1831 led the deadliest slave rebellion in American history. By the end, about 60 whites had been killed — and a hundred or more blacks had been slaughtered in retaliation. The Birth of a Nation is the sorrowful, righteously angry chronicle of how Nat, a kind, charismatic, and devout preacher, came to spark a bloody uprising.

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sundance 2016 line-up

Yes, its that time of year again. The Sundance Institute has revealed the 65 feature films which will make up the U.S. & World Cinema Competition as well as the out-of-competition NEXT slate of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Hit the jump to see the Sundance 2016 line-up and get excited about next year’s independent films today!

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Armie Hammer joining Nocturnal Animals

After becoming a 1960s Russian spy in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. earlier this year, Armie Hammer joining Nocturnal Animals, a dramatic tale of a story within a story that is the next film from A Single Man director Tom Ford.

Focus Features is behind the production based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, and Hammer has a key role in the that focuses on a woman (Amy Adams) who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. And then things take an interesting turn. Read More »

Batman v Superman Social Network

Just recently we featured a quick little edit of some footage from the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer where Bruce Wayne witnesses the final battle from the end of Man of Steel. But now the DC Comics superhero match-up gets a whole new face…literally.

YouTube user and TV writer David Elmaleh has created a mash-up of Batman v. Superman and The Social Network, which features the DC Comics cinematic universe’s new Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) in the lead role. The battle for Facebook between Mark Zuckerberg and The Winklevoss twins has never been so epic, and the David Fincher movie looks like a true battle for the ages.

Watch the Batman v Superman Social Network trailer mash-up after the jump! Read More »

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Man From UNCLE trailer

It’s really a shame that Man of Steel didn’t give Henry Cavill much room to show off his charm, because as the new trailer for Guy Ritchie‘s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. shows, he’s got it in spades. The big-screen remake of the ’60s series stars Cavill as CIA agent Napoleon Solo, who’s forced to team with KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) to, I don’t know, save the world or something.

The specifics of the plot aren’t important. The key thing is that it offers Cavill and Hammer an excuse to engage in snarky banter, wear sharp suits, drive cool cars, and blow up shiny things. Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, and Hugh Grant also star. Watch the new The Man From UNCLE trailer, and check out a new poster, after the jump.

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