the_crazies_trailer_1

The first trailer for Breck Eisner‘s The Crazies was pretty good, but with one significant misstep: it made heavy use of the song ‘Mad World’, which for the next decade should be considered as owned lock, stock and barrel by Donnie Darko. That aside, the trailer had a fairly intriguing vibe.

This second trailer omits the song, thankfully, and is a bit more straightforward. It gets into a lot less plot, jumping in when things are already going off the rails in a small town. There’s more of a slasher vibe to this cut, which I’m guessing is a deliberate move to skew the film as something more simple than it actually is. Read More »

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Set Visit: The Crazies

The Crazies

Remakes get a bad rap amongst filmgoers, and understandably so. Instead of attempting to fulfill the potential hinted at in failed or dated movie projects, Hollywood has proven time and time again that the sole purpose of most remakes is to cash in on the success of the near faultless original films. Occasionally though, there’s a glimmer of hope. A quick glance at two of the best horror films the genre has to offer—The Thing and The Fly—clearly demonstrates that technological advances in filmmaking can be used to more effectively convey an older film’s story. While those films were remakes of ’50s cinema, we’ve also seen a vast of array of ’70s remakes—Dawn of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left—that have proven to be worthy modern takes on dated (albeit classic) material.

The Crazies, due out September 25, is the latest remake to attempt to join the ranks of those films. Based on the cult classic directed and co-written by George Romero, the film tells the story of a small town struck by insanity when an unknown toxin starts turning its happy, law-abiding citizens into mindless killing machines. Trying desperately to survive both the infected populace and the subsequent military response, the town’s Sherrif (Timothy Olyphant), his pregnant wife (Radha Mitchell), his deputy (Joe Anderson), and an assistant at the medical center (Danielle Panabaker) find themselves forced to band together if they ever intend on getting out of the town alive.

Last week I was granted the opportunity to visit the film’s set at Peach County High School in Georgia, where the crew was getting prepped for a lengthy night shoot. Once there, we first spent some time speaking to director Breck Eisner (Sahara), who explained his stance on remaking the film.

Honestly, any time you do a remake or a reimagining, and this is definitely more of a reimagining than a remake, you want to have target aspects of the movie that they didn’t have access to when they first made it. My theory on remaking movies or reimagining movies is that there should be something that they weren’t able to do the first time around. That you can do differently. So it’s not like just redoing Psycho or redoing a perfect movie, it’s redoing something that had limitations. One of big limitations for [George] Romero was obviously budget. I think he had 200 grand or 275 grand to make the entire movie. We’re obviously spending more money than that—it’s not a big budget movie, but we have better assets so we can represent the government as the scale of the force that it needs to be in a movie like this that is oppressive and realistic for us.

We spent the rest of the evening having the end of that comment proven to us, as we ventured next to a massive field on the outskirts of the high school. Read More »

 

“Man, you guys didn’t go see my Bigfoot movie.”

There’s this pair of shorts, the coolest shorts on Earth in my estimation, that I found on South Beach for $5. I think they’re from the ’70s. Every time I open a drawer to get some socks, I see the shorts and know that my day is going to be a-okay. Oddly, that’s sort of how I feel when I see actor Steve Zahn in a movie, any movie. Zahn has just been cast in The Perfect Getaway, a tourist thriller, from director David Twohy (The Chronicles of Riddick, The Arrival).

The film sort of recalls Forgetting Sarah Marshall stirred up with nasty serial killers, one of which will be played by Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Deadwood). Zahn will play one half of a newlywed couple honeymooning in Hawaii that comes upon two hikers with murder on their minds. Don’t get blood on the lei, guys, and can we get a cooler title that does not remind one of that Kim Basinger-Alec Baldwin flop remake?

Zahn was last on screen in the maligned Sasquatch-meets-Justin Long comedy Strange Wilderness, and has two festival-trekking flicks, Sunshine Cleaning (7.5) and The Great Buck Howard (7), ready for viewing.

Discuss: Was Steve Zahn’s performance in Rescue Dawn his best yet? Any fans out there of David Twohy’s The Arrival?

Stop-Loss Movie Poster

stoploss-poster2.jpg

MTV’s Movie Blog has posted the official one sheet for their satellite film branch’s Iraq War drama Stop-Loss. Starring Ryan Phillipe, Timothy Olyphant and Abbie Cornish, the film is also notable for lead roles played by Brick‘s Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum. One wonders if the movie will end up being remembered more for starring two guys from G.I. Joe (Gordon-Levitt is confirmed, Tatum is rumored) rather than for making an important statement about the struggles of modern day U.S. soldiers.

Back in October, we posted the trailer, which has the unfortunate soundtrack of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies (Hit the Floor),” but offers a new angle compared to recent war films: that of a young solider refusing a “stop-loss,” a real-life mandate that suddenly orders a soldier to once again return to battle after completing required deployments. Think of it like being told “no summer break” when you were in high school and multiply it times an inferno.

While the film, set for March 28, is directed by Boys Don’t Cry‘s respected Kimberly Peirce, the poster shares far too much similarity with MTV’s 1999 teen football-and-hormones drama Varsity Blues. Compare the two after the jump.

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Stop-Loss Movie Trailer

Stop-LossMTV has the trailer premiere for Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss. Ryan Phillippe returns to Texas after a tour in Iraq, but when he is ordered to return for another tour of duty, he refuses. The film co-stars Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant and Abbie Cornish.

While the America seems to be getting sick of the “Iraq War” series of movies, this one somehow seems more poignant than most.

Peirce’s last film, 1999′s Boys Don’t Cry was critically acclaimed, and even won an Academy Award for star Hilary Swank. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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New Hitman Movie Trailer

Hitman

In June, we posted the teaser trailer the big screen adaptation of the hit video game Hitman. I complained that it failed to impress me, and got almost 70 comments in agreement. The new trailer, which can be seen after the jump, impresses me a little more. The cinematography looks pretty impressive, but not much else. I thought the whole point in the game was to be sneaky, and remain quiet and undetected? The movie looks like it’s loud and full of explosions, flash and style but no substance (hey, sometimes this formula can result into a fun action flick, so we’ll have to see).

In the movie, Timothy Olyphant plays Agent 47, a professional assassin for hire, who is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Eastern Europe. hired by a group known as “The Agency” to kill targets for cash. Hitman is helmed by french director Xavier Gens. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on October 17th 2007.

Check out the trailer after the jump.
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New Hitman Photo Revealed

Hitman

USA Today has published a new photo (seen above) from Fox’s big screen adaptation of the popular Hitman video game. While I will admit that this film appears to have style, I’m still not interested in seeing it. The official plot synopsis follows:

Agent 47 (Olyphant) has been educated to become a professional assassin for hire. His most powerful weapons are his nerve and a resolute pride in his work.  47 is both the last two digits of the barcode tattooed on the nape of his neck, and his only name. The hunter becomes the hunted when 47 gets caught up in a political takeover.  Both Interpol and the Russian military chase the HITMAN across Eastern Europe as he tries to find out who set him up and why they’re trying to take him out of the game.  But the greatest threat to 47′s survival may be the stirrings of his conscience and the unfamiliar emotions aroused in him by a beautiful, damaged girl.

If the film’s movie trailer didn’t scare you away, here is star Timothy Olyphant to give you at least two reasons not to see the movie.

“I know people want you to be true to the game, but no one really wants to go pay for a movie to watch a video game,” Olyphant told USA Today. “And, look, it’s a movie. You’ve got to have the girl in it. I just hope the fans feel I’m the character they’re used to.”

Hitman stars Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Offei, Robert Knepper and Ulrich Thomsen. The film hits theaters on October 12.

Movie Review: Live Free or Die Hard

Live Free or Die Hard

I just got home from the press screening for Live Free or Die Hard (aka Die Hard 4.0, which woulda, coulda and shoulda been the film’s official title). With any sequel, everyone immediately asks how it compares to the previous films in the series. There really is no way to review a fourth film in a series on solid ground because you walk into it with hours (in this case six hours) of expectations. We go to a movie like this expecting to relive our cinematic, pop-culture childhood. Unfortunately it’s a promise which is almost never fulfilled. And you might be saying, “Why doesn’t he cut to the chase” or “just spit it out and tell us that you hated the movie!” But the truth is that I had a GREAT time. The problem is that I feel like I shouldn’t have. I now watch movies with a more critical eye. Hey, it’s become my job. That said, the stunts and action are non-stop but may-be too over-the-top for some, and the story is filled with gaps of logic. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention these two things. For some of you it might be a deal-breaker, but I have a feeling that most of you are probably like me, and are willing to sit back and enjoy the movie.

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