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 »

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 »

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 »

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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 »