/Filmcast Ep. 399 – The Top 10 Films of 2016

top10

DavidDevindra and Jeff discuss the top 10 films of 2016. What were the biggest movie trends of the year? Which movies broke through the noise? Which movies disappointed? Tune in to find out.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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hardcore henry review

DavidDevindra, and Jeff discuss the amazing debut season of American Crime Story, get turned off by the bro-ish antics of Everybody Wants Some, praise the uncomfortableness of The Invitation, and discuss their further thoughts on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as the Rogue One teaser. Be sure to read Monica Castillo’s review of Everybody Wants Some, how Karyn Kusama made a comeback, and see behind-the-scenes footage from Hardcore Henry.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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hardcore henry behind-the-scenes

When I interviewed Hardcore Henry director Ilya Naishuller at SXSW last month, we spent a fair amount of time talking about how shooting this film was a total pain in the ass. But that’s what you get when you set out to make a first-person perspective action movie – you get a lot of hard days and long nights and migraine headaches. And while I have mixed feelings on Hardcore Henry, the film is impressively assembled and utterly unlike anything you’ve seen before and the process of how it was shot is genuinely fascinating. Hell, a documentary about the making of the movie would be as compelling as an actual action film.

And while no such documentary exists (yet), a music video comprised entirely of footage from the film’s shoot has arrived online and it’s an incredibly entertaining, if slightly nerve-wracking, watch.

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Hardcore Henry Alamo Drafthouse PSA

In one week, you’ll be able to experience an action movie in from the point of view of the hero as Hardcore Henry turns the big screen into your own cinematic video game. But before then, the cinephiles at the Alamo Drafthouse want to make sure you’re still being courteous by avoiding talking and texting in the movie theater. However, if you happen to forget the rules, Henry and his friend Jimmy (Sharlto Copley) aren’t going to let you get away with it. In fact, they’ll beat the hell out of you.

Watch the Hardcore Henry Alamo Drafthouse PSA after the jump. Read More »

Everything We Saw at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival

sxsw 2016 reviews

Few film festivals offer the breadth and variety of SXSW and this year was no exception. During my eight days there, I saw gentle comedies, brutal horror movies, fascinating dramas produced on shoestring budgets, inventive documentaries and even an R-rated animated film about talking food. It was one helluva week.

Here is everything that I watched, including the (often very good!) movies that didn’t get full reviews.

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hardcore henry director

I had many conflicting thoughts about Hardcore Henry, one of the most impressively made movies to ever leave me unsure of what I just watched. But there is one thing I can say for sure: director Ilya Naishuller is a guy we should be keeping an eye on. No matter what you think of his ultra-violent, incredibly silly action film, there is no doubt that it is an impressive technical achievement. I can safely say that Naishuller, his crew, and his death-defying stuntmen have created a movie that is unlike anything I have seen before.

And it turns out that making a bombastic shoot-’em-up that utilizes video game language to tell the story entirely from the first person point-of-view of the lead character is a huge pain in the ass. I sat down with Naishuller the day after Hardcore Henry’s SXSW screening to talk about the difficulties in making a movie like this, his influences, and how video games are changing cinema.

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hardcore henry review

Hardcore Henry is less of a movie and more of a 95-minute assault on good taste, a bloody theme park ride in filmic clothing, and/or the gruesome collision of the video gaming and cinematic languages. It’s a singular experience that’s truly unlike any other movie, and for some viewers, it will still be, understandably, one film of its kind too many. But Hardcore Henry isn’t lazy and it isn’t half-assed and it is in no way derivative – for better and worse, it is an ambitious undertaking that accomplishes exactly what it set out to accomplish and there’s something admirable about it.

It’s impressively made, but entirely juvenile. Admittedly exciting, but casually cruel. Formally astonishing, but kind of skin-crawling on more than a few issues. Yeah, Hardcore Henry is going to elicit strong reactions and if you’ll allow me to break out the dreaded first person, I have no idea what to make of it.

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2016 SXSW Preview: 10 Things We’re Excited to See

2016 sxsw preview

Year after year, SXSW proves itself to be one of the best film festivals in the world, offering an astonishing variety of programming that appeals to every taste. Emotional arthouse dramas? Yep. An always stellar documentary line-up? You betcha. An insane midnight program that offers a look at bonkers movies from all over the world? Of course. Gigantic premieres and previews for upcoming studio releases and high anticipated TV shows? Take a guess.

So when we decided to limit our 2016 SXSW preview to only ten titles, we knew we were leaving dozens of fascinating movies on the cutting room floor. But that’s the joy of any film festival – you go in with certain expectations, only to stumble over a whole slate of great films you never saw coming. /Film will be in attendance at SXSW, bringing you news and reviews straight from the fest, but here are the screenings we’re looking forward to seeing the most.

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hardcore henry trailer

Hardcore Henry looks like a lot of things, but it sure as hell doesn’t look boring. Director Ilya Naishuller has done something genuinely unique – he’s made an action film shot entirely from the first person perspective, essentially adapting the first person shooter genre without actually adapting a video game. Here is a film that speaks the language of video games. As directors who grew up with video games start to make films, this is going to become more commonplace. This is the kind of thing that’s here to stay.

The new Hardcore Henry trailer doesn’t make it clear is this is a good thing or a bad thing yet, but it certainly looks impressive. And insane. And preposterous. And maybe really good. Or maybe really bad. Who knows?

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hardcore henry trailer

I’m fascinated by how the language of video games has begun to leak into filmmaking. As gaming has become more commonplace and mainstream, a new generation of directors raised with controllers in their hands have begun to blend the mediums. And you don’t just see this in big, dumb action movies – the stylistically ambitious drama Son of Saul bears a distinctive video game thumbprint, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

But Hardcore Henry wears its video game influences on its sleeve in a huge way and it is very much a big, dumb action movie, albeit one of the more ambitious big, dumb action movies to come around in quite some time. A new trailer for this insane exercise in mayhem has arrived and it teases a movie that looks to be, for better and worse, unlike anything we’ve seen before.

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