Welcome to the Punch

Films like Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake represent a very particular kind of British crime drama. They’re modern, they’re slick, they have memorable characters, and feature tons of twists and turns in the plot. Eran Creevy‘s Welcome to the Punch looks very much like that.

Produced by Ridley Scott, the film stars James McAvoy as a detective on the trail of a crime boss, played by Mark Strong. It was released in the UK last week and opens in the US theaters and on VOD next week. A trailer came out a few months back, but that since disappeared in favor of this latest one that shows a distinct visual style and plenty of action. Check it out after the jump, along with a few quotes from UK reviews. Read More »

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If you’ve hungered for a crime film with the particular flavor that the UK can provide, Welcome to the Punch might be your movie. From writer/director Eran Creevy (Shifty), the film casts James McAvoy and Mark Strong as a cop and criminal at odds with one another. Strong is the untouchable underworld figure, and McAvoy is the detective who doggedly trails him. That’s the beginning of the story, at least. There’s a lot of gunplay in this first trailer, but also enough to show us that the basic “cop versus bad guy” setup isn’t all this film is interested in. Read More »

Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley has been tapped to star as Jeff Buckley in a new biopic about the singer-songwriter. No, not that one — the other one. In true Hollywood fashion, there are currently two Buckley-based projects in the works: the one Jake Scott’s making with Buckley’s mother Mary Guibert as executive producer, and this one, directed by Daniel Algrant (Naked in New York). Scott’s film will be look at Buckley’s (tragically brief) life and career arc, whereas Algrant’s will focus on Buckley’s breakthrough performance at a 1991 tribute concert for his father, the late Tim Buckley. According to The Playlist, Algrant’s will also include a romance between Buckley and a working at the concert.

I really only know Badgley from Easy A and the handful of Gossip Girl episodes I’ve seen, and I can’t say he’s ever left a strong impression on me. (Well — I hated his Gossip Girl character, but that’s probably less his fault than the writers’.) So I can’t say whether this will be a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, there’s a chance he’ll be going up against fellow teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson, who’s still rumored to be circling the corresponding role in Scott’s movie. [24 Frames]

After the jump, rising star Andrea Riseborough wins the female lead in Welcome to the Punch, and Fairly Legal‘s Sarah Shahi signs on for Walter Hill’s next project.

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There’s a reason this article is illustrated with a ten-year old image of Nicole Kidman in The Others: she’s not quite a stranger to making low-budget chillers, and now she seems to be tapped for a new one. Saw and Insidious director James Wan is putting together a movie called Spectre, and a throwaway mention in a Variety report on Cannes sales mentions that Nicole Kidman  is in talks to star. We don’t know what the film is, but knowing James Wan’s general M.O. I’ll let you guess the basics. Nicole Kidman already has one thriller in the can for this year (Joel Schumacher’s Trespass, with Nic Cage) and may be Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker and/or Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful. But I’ll admit: fond memories of The Others make me hope this comes together.

After the break. Mark Strong gets ready to punch, and Amber Heard is in a film called Syrup. Read More »

James McAvoy Cast in ‘Welcome to the Punch’

One of the best rising stars of the moment is certainly James McAvoy, who, like his X-Men: First Class co-star Michael Fassbender, seems right at home in a film of just about any scale, and in stories as diverse as Atonement, Wanted and The Conspirator. If he’s in a movie, chances are we want to see it. That goes for the awkwardly-titled Welcome to the Punch, a new film from UK director Eran Creevy. The actor announced his participation in the film last night, and  will likely play a London detective who is pulled into a huge mess after the reappearance of a criminal he once sought. Read More »

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