Odds are, if the insanely excellent action film The Raid: Redemption isn’t yet playing in a theater near you, that’ll change on Friday. Sony Pictures Classics is opening the film in almost 700 theaters this week enabling fans from all over to see a film that reminds us what action films can be.

Directed by Gareth Evans, The Raid: Redemption is a non-stop roller coaster of chaos following an elite squad of police who enter a drug dealer’s sky rise strong hold. Adding to the visceral feel of the movie are the live-action stunts performed on set and, in this /Film exclusive featurette, Evans and his co-composers Mike Shinoda discuss one of the most memorable. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

Enthusiasm for Gareth Evans‘ film The Raid, about a police assault on a tenement building held and fortified by a drug/crime lord, shows no sign of abating. The film has been earning fans in droves since premiering at TIFF last year. It just played SXSW where it converted more fans.

The Raid opens in the US as The Raid: Redemption, on March 23. (Some markets will have to wait a week or two; Atlanta, for example, gets it on April 6.) But we’ve known that Evans has at least one sequel in mind, and at SXSW he talked a bit about his plans, expanding what we already knew. Read More »

For action film fans, there’s a healthy amount of excitement for Gareth Evans‘ movie The Raid: Redemption (or simply The Raid in many territories), which will be released on March 23 in the US. Last week we saw the first domestic trailer for the film, and got word of that title change, as well as confirmation that the film’s new US title is meant to lay the ground for a small series of movies.

Now we’ve got a 13-minute behind the scenes featurette which goes into detail about the training that went into making the film, and the general approach to creating the action scenes that power the movie. Watch that, and read comments from the director about the US title change, after the break. Read More »

Earlier today we showed you the first Sony Pictures Classics trailer for Gareth Evans‘ award-winning action film The Raid. But there was a slight twist: in the US, the first film will go out under the title The Raid: Redemption.

We know that Evans plans to shoot a sequel to The Raid later this year, and that he has envisioned a trilogy of films set in the same world. Popular speculation earlier today was that the US title change is to help set up a title pattern for the trilogy. That is in fact the case. Read More »

It is great that Sony Pictures Classics is releasing festival action fave The Raid, and doing so without making us wait a couple years. (You know The Weinstein Company would hold this one until 2015 or something similarly ridiculous.) So I can’t even give too much thought to the fact that the company has slightly retitled the movie.

When you get a chance to see The Raid in the US on March 23, it will be called The Raid: Redemption. And…OK, sure. Why not? I can conceive of a few different reasons to add the extra word to the film’s title, but as this trailer shows, that should be the only thing different about the Stateside release. Read More »

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Last night we talked about plans for two films to follow The Raid, that being Gareth Evansattention-getting Indonesian action film that has been kicking the asses of audiences up and down the festival circuit. The film follows the efforts of an elite police task force charged with cleaning out a building in Jakarta controlled by a drug lord, who runs it as sort of a safe house for criminals.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions pre-bought the rights to Berandal, the film Evans will make that will act as sequel to The Raid, and that film should shoot at the end of this year. (Originally the plan was to shoot the sequel this month, but things have been pushed to the end of 2012.)

But there’s also the pesky matter of the remake of The Raid. Screen Gems ended up with the remake rights when SPWA bought all rights to the film after a Cannes presentation last year. Now the company has hired Brad Ingelsby (The Low Dweller) to write the remake. Read More »

Welsh director Gareth Evans became one of the new action filmmakers to watch when his film The Raid, filmed in Indonesia and featuring some seriously bone-crunching, face-shooting conflict as cops invade a building controlled by a drug lord, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. At TIFF and other festivals The Raid has wowed audiences; Peter and Germain both have nothing but praise for the film.

Evans has talked about wanting to make a sequel, and now says that he envisions a trilogy of films that starts with The Raid, with the second chapter possible called Berandal. Read More »

Attendees of South by Southwest 2012 are in for a treat. 130 feature films will screen at the Austin, Texas festival taking place March 9-17. Among them are 65 World Premieres, 17 North American Premieres and 10 U.S. Premieres. The organization already announced Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods would open the festival (the movie is phenomenal) and today the majority of the remaining line up has been revealed. One of the highlights is the unbelievably smart and hilarious 21 Jump Street, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. Both of those are World Premieres.

Other highlights include The Hunter, Killer Joe, The Babymakers, frankie goes boom, God Bless America, The Imposter, The Raid, Bernie and Casa de mi Padre just to name a few.

After the jump, read descriptions of all the films that have been announced so far. Read More »

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 »

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.

Read More »