The Best of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

For ten days each January, in the snowy town of Park City, Utah, the year in independent cinema is set. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival was true to that promise and provided attendees with a slew of films that are sure to be not only among the year’s best, but in the hunt for awards come Oscar time next year.

Along with Peter Sciretta, I was once again deep in the trenches of Park City –  battling bus schedules, lack of sleep, snow, slush and more – to see as many movies as possible to try and get an idea of what the rest of 2012 holds. And it’s looking good.

We all know that the next few months hold an unprecedented offering of big budget blockbusters but companies like Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, IFC, Magnolia and more all bolstered their upcoming release schedules by purchasing some of the best films of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The official awards have been handed out, but what were our favorites?

After the jump read about the best films of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Read More »

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The Raid had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September and Peter touted it as the best action film he’s seen in years. Gareth Evans‘ Indonesian smash ‘em up has now moved south for its United States Premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festvial and it more than lives up to the hype.

Following a group of police who attempt to penetrate an impenetrable 15-story apartment building run by a powerful drug lord, The Raid is filled with the kind of insane gun battles, martial arts and stunts you’d expect from a $100 million dollar Hollywood blockbuster. The difference is this cost $1.1 million and is about 100 times cooler. It’ll be released by Sony Pictures Classics in March but, now, watch a video blog review featuring myself and Jordan Raup from The Film Stage where we react to the film, its new score, discuss its minor flaws and question an American remake.

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One of the biggest films to get buzz at this year’s Toronto Film Festival was The Raid, an Indonesian action film by Gareth Evans that features a SWAT team trapped in and trying to escape from an apartment block run by a drug lord. The attraction of the film is a non-stop barrage of action with loads of stunt work, gunplay and martial arts.

Peter called The Raid “the best action film I’ve seen in years,” and a remake has already been announced from Screen Gems. Don’t worry, though, as Sony Pictures classics will release the original version that wowed Pete and other festival audiences in Spring 2012.

To help make the wait a little more difficult to bear, here’s a new trailer out of Indonesia. There are more people getting punched, shot, and thrown against and through walls in this two-minute trailer than you’ll find in most action features. Read More »

Coming out of this year’s Toronto Film Festival, several films enjoyed massive buzz. You’re Next was one, God Bless America was another, Sleepless Night a third. But the one most with most heat was The Raid. Peter called this Indonesian action film about a SWAT team who attempts to infiltrate an apartment building controlled by a drug dealer “the best action film I’ve seen in years” and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions quickly gobbled up the rights. (Actually, the rights were bought at Cannes before the film was done.) With those rights, Screen Gems has been developing an America remake with no mention of when we might get to see the original.

Thanks to Sony Pictures Classics, we’ll now get a chance to see it this Spring. Read more after the jump. Read More »

It’s a great irony: genre films tend to be the first movies that get picked up for remakes after festival success, but they’re also the films that tend to earn a fanbase that is particularly vocal in opposition to remakes.

One of the big successes of the Midnight Madness genre program at TIFF this year was Indonesian film, The Raid, directed by Gareth Evans. The film is about a SWAT team that raids a mob den in a tenement building; the team is trapped and has to fight its way through, or out. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought North American distro rights for the film during Cannes this year, and now the remake rights have gone to Screen Gems. Read More »

The 2011 edition of the most insane and disturbing film festival imaginable, Fantastic Fest, begins on Thursday. For a week straight some of the most violent, disgusting and frightening films from across the world will descend on the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, Texas and while we’ve already told you what films we’re most excited for, there’s only one man who knows about them all: Tim League. League is not only the CEO of the Drafthouse, he’s the co-creator of Fantastic Fest and its Creative Director, meaning almost every film and event that’s schedule has to go through his unique filter.

After the jump is our interview with League in which he discusses some of this year’s wild parties, five films he think we’ll all be talking about after the festival, why Universal’s The Thing and Toronto Midnight Madness winner The Raid (most likely) won’t be screening, his frightening fight with Knuckle star James Quinn McDonagh, the expansion of the Alamo and Mondo brands and much more. Read More »


When I walked into the theater today to see Gareth Evans‘ The Raid, I knew nothing about the film. I had heard some positive buzz coming out of the film’s midnight madness premiere last night at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, but that that was it. I had no expectations, and no idea how hard my ass was going to get kicked by this Indonesian action movie. This is the best action film I’ve seen in years.

Read more of my spoiler free thoughts and watch the red band movie trailer now, embedded after the jump. Trust me, you want to see this.

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