Headshot review

Iko Uwais may not be a household name in the U.S. just yet, but among fans of a certain type of action movie he’s a superstar. The Indonesian actor and martial artist burst onto the scene with Merantau and had an even bigger breakthrough in The Raid. Headshot, from directors Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel (collectively known as the Mo brothers, though they are not actual brothers), has Uwais doing what he does best — kicking ass and taking names — with spectacularly entertaining results.  Read More »

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Headshot Trailer - Iko Uwais

Two of the very best action films of the past decade are undoubtedly The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal. The films deliver some of the most fast-paced, hard-hitting, perfectly choreographed action in recent memory, and while director Gareth Evans is responsible for bringing it all together, leading man Iko Uwais deserves plenty of credit for pulling off his own fight scenes and stunts. And now he’s back in what promises to be another brutal action flick, albeit with a derivative story.

Headshot is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, and the first trailer for the Indonesian action flick has just arrived online. If you loved the action in The Raid franchise, then you’ll definitely want to check this one out. Watch the Headshot trailer after the jump. Read More »

The Raid Star Wars

Three of the main actors from Gareth EvansThe Raid and The Raid 2 have roles in J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens. How did The Raid series star Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian (who played Mad Dog and Prakoso in the films) and Cecep Arif Rahman (who played “The Assassin” and fought in the kitchen finale of the sequel) make it into the new Star Wars film? I asked director J.J. Abrams for details and here is what he told me about The Raid stars in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Berg and Wahlberg Collaboration

The collaboration between actor/producer Mark Wahlberg and director/producer Peter Berg soldiers on following Entourage, Lone Survivor, and Ballers. Now Berg will make a film called Mile 22, an espionage thriller starring Wahlberg as a CIA agent stationed far from home, who has to deal with a whole variety of gun-toting enemies as he transports an informant out of town.

But the devil is in the details, and this new Berg and Wahlberg collaboration will also feature two versatile fighters: former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, and Iko Uwais of The Raid. Read More »

Star Wars Rebels Ezra Kanan

A fascinating answer to one of Star Wars Rebels‘ biggest questions headlines this latest edition of Star Wars Bits. In addition, below you can read about the following:

  • Billy Dee Williams might appear in Star Wars Episode VIII.
  • Iko Uwais has a “significant” role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • The rumor of a character name in The Force Awakens once again pops up.
  • Rumored titles of books tied to The Force Awakens have been revealed as well as the release plans.
  • Read a new excerpt to Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi.
  • Watch a clip from the Star Wars Rebels finale.
  • Dave Filoni breaks down season one of Star Wars Rebels and answers the big question, do Kanan and Ezra have to die?

Read More »

Ronda Rousey movie

It took Ronda Rousey all of fourteen seconds to defend her championship by winning her bantamweight title fight against Cat Zingano during UFC 184. Afterwards, it didn’t take Rousey much longer to sign for her next film. She’ll fight alongside The Raid star Iko Uwais in Mile 22, a buddy thriller that will hopefully only team up Rousey and Uwais after giving them a chance to show down in a scene or two.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The Raid Star Wars

This is an unexpected yet awesome piece of Star Wars news to kick off the year of The Force Awakens. Twitch is reporting that three of the main actors from Gareth Evans’ The Raid and The Raid 2 have roles in J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens. The actors in question are the lead actor Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian (who played Mad Dog and Prakoso in the films) and Cecep Arif Rahman, who played “The Assassin” and fought in the kitchen finale of the sequel (seen above right, with Uwais).

Nothing beyond that is known but /Film sources have hinted to us one of the film’s action sequences might have been choreographed by the team. Read more about The Raid Star Wars news below. Read More »

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The best memory I have about 2010 film Skyline is the possibility that it is actually Skyfall. Every time I see the word “Skyline” I think it’s the misprinted title of the infinitely superior James Bond movie. Then my mind resets to the 2010 Brothers Strause film starring Eric Balfour. “Oh, right, that’s a movie.”

Well, that movie – which was about an alien invasion seen from inside a Los Angeles skyrise – is getting a sequel called Beyond Skyline. Three new cast members actually have our interest piqued for the second story. The first is Frank Grillo, the bad-ass star of Captain America: The Winter Solider and The Purge: Anarchy. The others are Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, two of the stars of The Raid and The Raid 2. Read more about the Skyline sequel cast below. Read More »

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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 »