The A-Team

Read part one of our Joe Carnahan interview here, in which we primarily discussed Stretch and Death Wish.

Below is the second part of our interview with director Joe Carnahan. The director recently won the the Mendez Award at the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown and took the occasion to offer both updates on his career and thoughts about the current state of Hollywood.

In this section, we talk about potential alternative distribution models for Stretch, what’s going on with his Mark Millar comic book adaptation Nemesis, his admiration for Steven Soderbergh, his hatred of the foreign sales model and the dark side of the Hollywood business model. Read More »

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With the arrival of December, awards season is in full swing, and usually that just means limited releases of some big new films, to establish them as Oscar contenders. And so a film like Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty will open in New York and LA on December 21, but won’t go wide until January 11.

But we also see the occasional re-release, meant to remind Academy voters that films are worth considering for awards. And so December 7 sees two films re-opening, the better to angle for Oscar. Open Road is doing a nationwide re-release of David Ayer‘s End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as LA cops. And as the following tweet shows, Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey is getting a two-week run at two LA-area theaters:

Granted, Carnahan’s film, starring Liam Neeson as one of a team of roughnecks stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, has been on DVD for months; you can even stream it on Netflix right now. But it’s a solid film, and I’m happy to see it get a small shot at awards recognition.

/Filmcast Ep. 174 – The Grey

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam chat about this year’s Oscar nominations and point out how Warner Brothers continues to try and screw over its customers.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. There won’t be any live broadcast next week on account of the Super Bowl, but we will be reviewing Chronicle.

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‘The Grey’ Review: Faith and Death in a Frozen Hell

In another time, The Grey would have been considered a b-movie, but it would have been the best sort of b-movie: one made with a clever craftman’s skill, pulsing with an insistent tension and featuring familiar characters that grow beyond stock types as they reveal their true personalities.

The temptation now is to simply refer to The Grey as an action movie. The film is about a man named Ottway (Liam Neeson) who, with a crew of roughnecks on their way back to civilization from a remote oil field job, crash lands in the Alaskan wilderness, where a pack of wolves stalks the survivors to the last man.

As directed by Joe Carnahan, however, The Grey is also the antithesis of the action-movie template. Most action films exist explicitly to reject death — consider “death-defying stunts,” that clichéd huckster’s pitch  — and in doing so define an existence in which reality and death are marginalized by the expression of a blind, inextinguishable will to live.

Carnahan’s last film, The A-Team, was very much cut from that broad action-movie mold. This one, however, could not be further removed from The A-Team‘s bluster and bravado. Here, Carnahan employs a fine-tuned instinct for revealing character through action, and directs with a feeling of stability atypical to most action movies. But amid this movie’s thrilling beats he places scenes characterized by serene compassion. The Grey is an exiting movie that captures the roughnecks’ walk through an icy valley of the shadow of death. It is also a film that accepts human fragility, and suggests that finding faith is a natural step in facing our inevitable end. Read More »

/Film Talks To Joe Carnahan About ‘The Grey’

January movies are usually terrible. It’s a time studios generally reserve for films that are either not good enough to compete during awards seasons or not exciting enough to play during the summer. Every once in a while, though, a really great one slips through the cracks and that happens this month with Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey. In a way, though, it does fit the January mold though because it’s not quite an awards film, but too heady for the summer. Plus it’ll make you feel really cold.

The Grey follows Liam Neeson and a group of blue collar workers whose plane crashes over Alaska. They’re then forced to survive in the freezing wilderness along with a pack of vicious wolves. The film blends elements of action, horror, drama and even romance in an all-together satisfying and bad-ass package. I mean, did you not see the trailer with Neeson fighting wolves with broken bottles on his hands?

/Film spoke to the film’s writer/director Joe Carnahan about the origins of that scene (hint: Wolverine) as well as parallels between the film and Neeson’s real-life tragedy, working with a small, up and coming distributor and how online media is changing the way filmmakers make movies. Read about it all after the jump. Read More »

Joe Carnahan‘s new film The Grey opens this week, and the movie is a return to the early promise of Carnahan’s movie Narc, which was released in 2004. The Grey is a solid little movie that combines familiar characters with tense action and survival situations, and it should do pretty well with audiences. And if the movie does click with the public, we might see it back in theaters late this year, the better to position it for possible awards. Read More »

‘The Grey’ Red-Band Trailer

Joe Carnahan‘s adventure/survival film The Grey opens this week, and a new red-band trailer has shown up to promote the movie in the final days before the movie hits. You probably know most of the basic info about the movie: Liam Neeson plays one of a group of roughnecks heading back to civilization from a remote Alaskan job who has to confront a hungry and vicious pack of wolves when a plane crash strands the men in the middle of nowhere.

The film became internet-famous for the teaser trailer’s shot of Liam Neeson taping broken bottles to his knuckles in preparation for a battle with one of the wolves, but there’s more to the movie than that. I liked The Grey quite a lot — it is a solid, satisfying B-movie that has just enough subtext to overcome the fact that the attacking wolves are, well, a little dodgy.

This red-band trailer will give you a taste of the film’s full spectrum of intensity and violence. Check it out below. Read More »

Where can you be the among the first audiences ever to see The Cabin in the Woods, The Grey, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the first trailers for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and G.I. Joe Retaliation as well as huge upcoming titles like The Adventures of Tintin, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol all in one sitting, all for one ticket price, with the best film audience imaginable? Butt-Numb-A-Thon, of course.

For movie fans, Butt-Numb-A-Thon is the biggest and most rewarding test of film going stamina out there today. Now in its thirteenth year, this annual film festival celebrating the birthday of Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles is 24 straight hours of new and vintage films played to a hand-picked audience of fans who had to jump through all sorts of hoops to attend. Homework assignments, applications, embarrassing photos. Butt-Numb-A-Thon is not only a marathon of film watching, it’s a decathlon of film passion.

This year’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon, dubbed Butt-Numb-A-Thon Thirteen Wolf, featured an almost staggering amount of new movies, some incredible vintage films and surprises galore. Both Peter and I were lucky enough to have our applications accepted and you can read a full recap and more after the jump. Read More »

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