Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Gareth Evans is one of the most gifted action directors working today. I cannot imagine what it would be like to shrug off The Raid or The Raid 2, but I feel sorry for anyone who can muster that reaction. Here is a filmmaker whose bravery behind the camera is matched only by the fearlessness of the actors, martial artists and stuntmen he places in front of it.
Anyway, Evans got bored and decided to make a short film. Okay, that’s a serious simplification of Gareth’s latest piece of action mayhem, but the Welsh director did just throw together an action packed short about three dueling warriors with a legit skeleton crew that’s more impressive than most big budget action movies.
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Time and time again, you’ve heard that 2014 was a great year for movies. And it was. But as I looked back at the about 150 films I saw released in 2014, I saw a pattern. There were, in fact, lots of great movies in 2014, and in the next few pages you’ll read about a bunch of them. But I honestly feel like when I picked my favorites, the films I felt were the best released this year, they all were on an even playing field. In a way, I could’ve just given you the ten best movies I’ve seen this year in alphabetical order and called it a day. But where’s the fun in that? The fun part is sitting down and making the hard decisions about what is truly the best. So, below, read my top ten movies of 2014.
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For the next few weeks, you’re going to be hearing a lot about how great a year for movies 2014 was. That’s true, but this is not that list — this isn’t our “best of 2014.” As it is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, we’ve come up with a list of movies from 2014 we should be thankful for. These are all good films, but each of them has something unique about them. Something that makes us thankful they exist.
So what does that mean? Well some of these films should probably not exist. Others should probably not have been good. And a few contained surprises, stories or topics that are simply miraculous for one reason or another. We’ll explain each below as we unveil the 15 films to be thankful for this year. Read More »
A couple cool video game/movie tie ins are flying around the news, so it was time for an edition of Video Game Bits.
With The Raid 2 hitting theaters everywhere this week, a retro-style online fighting game is making the rounds allowing you to kick ass, Rama style. Second, a new video teases Marvel superheroes like The Avengers are coming to the popular video game/toy collecting trend, Disney Infinity. And finally, a crowdfunded project called Megafoot, which is for a movie that’ll pit Bigfoot against a cyborg version of himself, has released a unique and awesome perk where contributors can get an exclusive 8-bit Nintendo cartridge tied into the movie. Read about all of this 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 »
Posted on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by Angie Han
The Raid was packed wall-to-wall with gory, glorious action, and The Raid 2 promises to up the ante even further. A new clip from the movie offers just a sample of the insanity we can look forward to, as Rama (Iko Uwais) tries to fight himself out of a car during a car chase.
But even with a running time of 150 minutes there were a few scenes that director Gareth Evans apparently just didn’t have room for. One The Raid 2 deleted scene, featuring a bloody shootout between rival gangs, has just hit the web. Watch both the scene that made it in and the one that didn’t after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2014 by Angie Han
After the jump, get the latest updates on all the sequels you’re looking forward to, along with some you’re probably not.
- Divergent is officially getting a sequel, Insurgent
- Find out when Terminator: Genesis starts shooting
- Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 is opening next spring
- Veronica Mars director addresses sequel speculation
- Blair Witch co-director talks about a potential sequel
- Listen to an energetic tune from the Raid 2 soundtrack
- Sophia Myles shows up in a new Transformers 4 still
- Linkin Park is contributing to Transformers 4
- See a new BTS image from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- Here’s a new pic of Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
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Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
The theme of the newest The Raid 2 trailer might well be that old schoolyard maxim: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” There’s no dialogue, just a percussive score, lots of shouts, and the glorious sounds of breaking glass and crunching bone. Check it out after the jump.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by Angie Han
Whether you like family-friendly animated adventures or hard-R action thrillers, someone out there is trying to make a sequel for you. After the jump:
- Kristen Bell would do Frozen 2 “in a heartbeat”
- Sullivan Stapleton really wants there to be another 300
- Jean Claude Van Damme would like to be in Expendables 4
- The Raid 3 won’t get going “for a couple of years”
- Fast & Furious 7 is heading to Abu Dhabi to shoot
- Leigh Whannell doesn’t know anything about Saw 8
- … but does have a few details to share about Insidious 3
- Transformers 4 reveals a bunch of (human) character posters
- The GNN staff goes wild in a deleted scene from Anchorman 2
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This Raid 2 featurette is 10 minutes of awesome. Just like Gareth Evans‘ action epic is longer than average (148 minutes), this behind the scenes video mimics that size and scope. It has a nice chunk of footage and insight into how the filmmaking team made one of the best action movies, well, ever.
Also, the featurette gives a better idea of the plot of The Raid 2, which involves Rama (Iko Uwais) going undercover to infiltrate the ultimate bad guys behind the first Raid. It’s a must watch for anyone anticipating one of the most badass, jaw-dropping, violent and exciting action films you’ll ever see. Check out The Raid 2 featurette below. Read More »