Alicia Vikander Joins Assassin's Creed

The news here is that uber-talented Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander will headline the cast of Freakshift, a monster movie that was originally announced back in 2012. The other way to look at that news is that director Ben Wheatley, one of the most inventive and thrilling people making movies on the planet at the moment, has landed a high-profile leading lady for his next genre outing. With Wheatley feeling like he’s on the verge of a genuine mainstream breakthrough and Vikander’s star rapidly on the rise, this feels like the perfect combination of talent for a movie that sounds very promising.

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Free Fire Trailer

This year has already brought us the brutal gunplay of John Wick: Chapter 2, but there’s another shootout on the way this spring.

Free Fire is the latest film from director Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Sightseers, Kill List), and it looks like his most accessible, too. Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Noah Taylor, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley and Jack Reynor all find themselves in a grimy warehouse with a weapons deal gone wrong, resulting in a feature-length shootout that is just as hilarious as it is energetic and wild.

Watch the new Free Fire trailer below to see what we’re talking about, but beware that there’s some NSFW language in this one. Read More »

the batman director

Yesterday, Ben Affleck stepped down from directing The Batman. One day, someone is going to write a book explaining exactly what was going on behind-the-scenes at Warner Bros. that led to this revolving door of filmmakers on all of their projects. We’ll surely know someday. But not today.

So today is a day of speculation. As Matt Reeves and Mat Ross emerge as apparent frontrunners, it’s time to do that thing where we make a list of people who should direct the next Batman movie. Some of these names are totally plausible. Some are wishful thinking. Others are here just because the thought of them directing a big-budget superhero movie makes me giggle uncontrollably. Most of all, this an excuse for us to just goof off and daydream while Warner Bros. figures everything out.

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Hard Boiled Movie

Tom Hiddleston is already one of the key parts of the Marvel cinematic universe with his role as Thor’s villainous brother Loki. But if all goes well, he’ll be starring in in another comic book adaptation soon enough.

Warner Bros. is in talks to snag the rights to Frank Miller and Geof Darrow‘s comic book Hard Boiled, and it’s hoped to be a vehicle for Tom Hiddleston to lead. Furthermore, the adaptation will reteam Hiddleston with a director he’s worked with before. Read More »

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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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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high-rise posters

High-Rise started dividing audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. I was lucky enough to see Ben Wheatley‘s (Kill Listadaptation of J.G. Ballard‘s novel a few short weeks later at Fantastic Fest, where it was embraced more warmly by festivalgoers. High-Rise is far from a movie for everyone, and it’s better for it.

Watch the latest High-Rise trailer below.

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High-Rise trailer

Tom Hiddleston is one of the few Marvel stars sitting out this summer’s Captain America: Civil War, but he might have something even better up his sleeve. This spring brings the release of Ben Wheatley‘s High-Rise, in which he plays a doctor named Robert Laing who moves into a high-end apartment building. He’s seduced by the easy luxury of life in the tower, which seemingly has everything a young man could need.

But tension and unease are brewing between the classes, and a charismatic provocateur named Wilder (Luke Evans) is fanning the flames of revolution. Full-fledged chaos breaks out, and Laing finds himself swept up as well. Watch the latest High-Rise trailer after the jump.  Read More »

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high-rise trailer

When I wrote about the new poster for Ben Wheatley‘s High-Rise a few days ago, I wondered how StudioCanal and Magnet were going to sell this mesmerizing, strange, and frequently brutal satire. Now that a trailer has arrived, it’s time to start answering that question.

The new High-Rise trailer is light on character and story, but heavy on mood, putting the film’s stifling atmosphere and slick visuals at the forefront. The best thing that can be said about this preview, which you can watch below, is that is does a fantastic job of capturing what this difficult sell of a movie actually feels like.

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