David, Devindra and Jeff remember the work of Jonathan Demme, get psyched for the comeback of M. Night Shyamalan, and discuss what it’s like to have a Ratatouille moment. In the After Dark, Dave and Jeff discuss the art of Las Vegas magic. Be sure to check out Hans Zimmer’s Coachella set.
Posted on Monday, April 24th, 2017 by Jack Giroux
There’s more than meets the eye with some of the characters in Free Fire. They can reveal shades of humanity you wouldn’t immediately expect at the start of Ben Wheatley‘s action-comedy. Some characters, on the other hand, like Vernon (Sharlto Copley), can be chalked up to “what you see is what you get.”
That’s not the case with Justine, played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson (Room), who is calmer than most during Wheatley’s 85-minute shootout. Justine tries to keep others from losing their heads as hers remains firmly planted on her shoulders.
Wheatley’s movie is contained and set mostly in one location, but it still leaves you with a sense of who the characters are outside of the abandoned warehouse. We recently sat down with Larson and discussed what sort of person Justine is outside of the film, what it’s like shooting in chronological order, and more. Spoilers for the film lie ahead.
Posted on Friday, April 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux
The distinction between heroes and villains isn’t as clear in Free Fire as most action movies. And it’s partly because co-writer/director Ben Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump give all their characters lives outside of the shootout – lives you want to see them find a way to escape back to. Out of the ensemble, some eggs are more rotten than others, but for the most part, Free Fire is a movie in which we’re rooting the characters to find a solution, not kill each other.
Over the span of 85 minutes – a glorious runtime in this day and age – not one of the characters rings as false in Free Fire. Their pain feels real because they feel real. Jump and Wheatley rarely give these characters any breaks, either. The writers bring a heavy dose of physical comedy to the film to go along with some brutal carnage.
We recently sat down with Wheatley, the director behind Kill List and High-Rise, for a brief conversation about his new movie.
Posted on Friday, April 21st, 2017 by Ethan Anderton
If you’re lucky, this weekend brings the action shoot’em up flick Free Fire to a theater near you. It’s the latest film from High Rise and Sightseers director Ben Wheatley. But don’t worry if you think the filmmaker’s work is a little too weird or twisted for your tastes, because this is easily his most accessible film yet.
Free Fire follows a black market arms deal gone wrong in 1970s Boston as an IRA buyer (Cillian Murphy) and a South African gun runner (Sharlto Copley) end up in a gun fight in the middle of an abandoned warehouse, with both their sides exchanging shots, trying to get the money and attempting to make it out alive. It’s relentlessly brutal, but it’s also extremely funny, as evidenced by a new clip from the movie that will probably make District 9 fans grin a bit.
Watch the Free Fire clip below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
The 2017 SXSW Film Festival is over, and it was an exceptional year for an always exceptional film festival. It’s rare to attend a movie fest and leave every single screening with something to talk about, but even the movies that I didn’t love have stuck with me in some way or another. This year’s line-up was a lot of things, but boring was certainly not one of them.
So let’s recap everything we saw. Let’s run down the best films and the best performances, the movies that almost worked and the movies that barely missed the mark, the bad movies you should see for yourself and the bad movies you really have to see.
Posted on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 by Ethan Anderton
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 »
Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
Ah, January. A time for reflecting on the year that passed and the year that lies ahead. And more specifically, a time for finishing up those top 10 lists and writing most anticipated movie lists covering the next 12 months. Here are my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2017.
Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Angie Han
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 »
Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
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.
Posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
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.