You can’t talk about the last ten years of movies without talking about Crank: High Voltage, right? The gonzo action pic was one of the most fascinating sequels from recent years, basically taking structure of the first movie but ramping everything up to 200. Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine‘s action movie never holds back, never quiets down, and never stops throwing everything in the kitchen sink. No hijinks or action beat is too silly or wild or grotesque. It is, without question, the pinnacle of Neveldine/Taylor’s filmmaking career together.
Ten years after Crank: High Voltage showed audiences a whole new world, Taylor remains incredibly proud of the movie. It’s only grown crazier over the years, too. How many action movies look and sound like this these days? Not many. The “love it or hate it” experience revels in itself, and it plays by no other movie’s rules than its own. Crank: High Voltage is just an explosion of grim and ridiculous creativity.
To celebrate the film turning ten years old this year, Brian Taylor recently spoke to us about the film.
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Watchmen showed audiences another side of actor Tim Blake Nelson. As Wade Tillman (a.k.a. Looking Glass), Nelson is more imposing than ever before. The reserved cop, to put it mildly, doesn’t need to beat anybody to a pulp to prove or illustrate his immense strength. Look no further than the interrogation scene to see a man in complete control of his surroundings, body, and power.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Nelson’s casting imbued an authenticity to Wade and the setting of Damon Lindelof‘s magnum opus. As a storyteller himself, having directed written and directed several films, including the thinking man’s stoner pic, Leaves of Grass, Nelson is as much in awe of Watchmen‘s storytelling as the rest of us. After the series concluded with answers as exciting as the questions, we spoke to Nelson about his experience working on and watching the show, acting opposite of Regina King, and similarities between Minority Report and Watchmen.
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On the November 29, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson is joined by /Film managing editor Jacob Hall to present Jacob’s interview with Rian Johnson, the writer/director of the new murder mystery Knives Out. Read More »
On the November 28, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson introduces an interview from Jack Giroux, /Film’s interviewer-at-large, with Anthony and Joe Russo, the producers of the Chadwick Boseman action thriller 21 Bridges. Read More »
Todd Haynes refuses to give the audience what they want. There are no easy answers or satisfying catharsis in Dark Waters, the Carol director’s true-life legal thriller about a lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) who unearths a decades-long chemical cover-up by one of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations. Instead Dark Waters offers something much more challenging and complex: the drive to keep fighting.
Dark Waters is based on the true story of Robert Bilott, a corporate environmental defense attorney whose firm represented the very chemical company that he would end up waging an 18-year legal battle against. Based on the 2016 New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare,” it sounds like a cut-and-dry legal drama: one that ends with the hero taking down the big corporation, and “the world itself has been solved,” Haynes said, remarking on what we all thought Dark Waters would be when we saw the trailer. But Haynes bucks the expectations that come with the inspirational true-life story and draws more heavily from the paranoid thriller genre — citing films like Silkwood, The Insider, and The Parallax view as inspirations for Dark Waters.
“What I really love about films…[is] they retain that sense of complexity, of an ambiguous process where there is not a single way forward,” Haynes said in an interview with /Film ahead of the release of Dark Waters.
But Ruffalo’s Rob Bilott does move forward. And that is what Haynes found so humanizing about this environmental film about the wide-reaching catastrophic consequences of a corporation whose disposal of toxic chemicals went unregulated for years (and is still unregulated).
“The more the walls of your world start to close in, the more fearful one becomes, the more destabilized, the more cut off from those communities…the sort of psychic cost that all of the subjects go through, I find to be so human,” Haynes said. “And to me that is ultimately more inspiring because that speaks to the complexity of real life.”
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On the November 8, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson is joined by /Film managing editor Jacob Hall, who presents an interview with Doctor Sleep writer/director Mike Flanagan. Read More »
We all know the name Jai Courtney. The Australian actor first broke out on the Starz series Spartacus and later landed roles in a string of high-profile movies like Suicide Squad, Terminator: Genisys and Jack Reacher. Between those movies, he’s gravitated towards more grounded roles in dramas like Felony, The Water Diviner, and Unbroken. He himself says it’s the intimate dramas that are more to his taste.
Movies like director Henry Alex Rubin’s Semper Fi are right up his alley. It’s a family drama that deals with the military, PTSD, and brotherhood, with a third act turn towards a prison break thriller. It’s a movie going for naturalism, not spectacle, and it’s another look at what Courtney is capable of given a strong role.
Recently, we spoke to the actor about what attracts him to certain roles, drama school in Australia, and what kept him going when he first moved to Los Angeles.
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On the November 1, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson presents an oral history of Avengers: Endgame’s epic final battle. Read More »
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On the September 16, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film weekend editor Brad Oman and senior writer Ben Pearson to discuss the latest film and tv news, including Funko movie, Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow, and The Infinity Saga. In Our Feature Presentation, we talk with Joker director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix.
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On the September 6, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson is joined by /Film managing editor Jacob Hall to talk about Jacob’s visit to the set of Doctor Sleep. Then, you’ll hear Ben’s interview with It: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti. Read More »