Ben Wheatley tends to make ultra-violent, ultra-strange movies that you can’t quite pin down. With Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, he appears to be trying something different. The trailer sells Wheatley’s latest as a wacky comedy of errors, but don’t be surprised if there’s more than meets the eye. In the film, a man rents a house in order to celebrate New Years with his extended family. The celebration doesn’t appear to go smoothly.
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“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” That’s the iconic opening line of Daphne du Maurier‘s 1938 novel Rebecca, a gothic thriller which largely takes place in an English estate called Manderley. The book has been adapted several times over the years (Orson Welles once starred in a radio version), but its most famous adaptation is the 1940 movie that stands as the only film Alfred Hitchcock directed which won Best Picture at the Oscars.
Hollywood has been trying to get another version made for years, and now director Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Free Fire) is the latest to take on the challenge. Learn more about the Rebecca Netflix adaptation below. Read More »
It’s the tried and true experiment: stick a dysfunctional family in a big house for a day and see what happens. When done well, it can be a like a cathartic claustrophobic symphony. But Ben Wheatley‘s Happy New Year, Colin Burstead doesn’t pack a punch.
This particular story of family dysfunction is set in the grand Cumberland House in Dorset, also referred to by its characters as a castle, Burstead Hall and “fucking Downton Abbey.” It’s not exactly a bottle episode, because we do see glimpses of Colin (Neil Maskell), his Mum Sandy (Doon Mackichan) and his sister’s Gini’s houses (Hayley Squires), but not enough to get a sense of how differently they all live. With such a large ensemble and diversity of personalities, Happy New Year fails to flesh them out.
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Over the past few years, Ben Wheatley has proven himself to be one of the most exciting — and efficient — British directors working today, pumping out new movies on the regular. But after the release of High Rise in 2016 and Free Fire a year later, Wheatley went quiet. That is, until an inconspicuous Instagram post revealed that Wheatley was midway through shooting a new project tentatively titled Colin You Anus.
But now, we know the actual title of Wheatley’s new film. The secret Wheatley film has been revealed to be titled Happy New Year, Colin Burstead through the BFI London Film Festival’s announcement of its competition slate. And that’s how you make noise in the crowded film festival season.
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Marvel Studios is keeping things very close to the vest when it comes to their plans beyond Avengers 4. We know of a few projects that have been given the go-ahead already – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, another Spider-Man sequel, etc. – but now a new rumor has us wondering if the studio is planning something bizarre as well.
Rumor has it that Ben Wheatley, the director of movies like Kill List, Free Fire, and Sightseers, has been offered the director’s chair on a new Marvel Studios film. Take this with a huge grain of salt for now, but we dive into the possibilities of this Ben Wheatley Marvel rumor below. Read More »
David, Devindra and Jeff remember the work of Jonathan Demme, get psyched for the comeback of M. Night Shyamalan, and discuss what it’s like to have a Ratatouille moment. In the After Dark, Dave and Jeff discuss the art of Las Vegas magic. Be sure to check out Hans Zimmer’s Coachella set.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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There’s more than meets the eye with some of the characters in Free Fire. They can reveal shades of humanity you wouldn’t immediately expect at the start of Ben Wheatley‘s action-comedy. Some characters, on the other hand, like Vernon (Sharlto Copley), can be chalked up to “what you see is what you get.”
That’s not the case with Justine, played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson (Room), who is calmer than most during Wheatley’s 85-minute shootout. Justine tries to keep others from losing their heads as hers remains firmly planted on her shoulders.
Wheatley’s movie is contained and set mostly in one location, but it still leaves you with a sense of who the characters are outside of the abandoned warehouse. We recently sat down with Larson and discussed what sort of person Justine is outside of the film, what it’s like shooting in chronological order, and more. Spoilers for the film lie ahead.
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The distinction between heroes and villains isn’t as clear in Free Fire as most action movies. And it’s partly because co-writer/director Ben Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump give all their characters lives outside of the shootout – lives you want to see them find a way to escape back to. Out of the ensemble, some eggs are more rotten than others, but for the most part, Free Fire is a movie in which we’re rooting the characters to find a solution, not kill each other.
Over the span of 85 minutes – a glorious runtime in this day and age – not one of the characters rings as false in Free Fire. Their pain feels real because they feel real. Jump and Wheatley rarely give these characters any breaks, either. The writers bring a heavy dose of physical comedy to the film to go along with some brutal carnage.
We recently sat down with Wheatley, the director behind Kill List and High-Rise, for a brief conversation about his new movie.
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If you’re lucky, this weekend brings the action shoot’em up flick Free Fire to a theater near you. It’s the latest film from High Rise and Sightseers director Ben Wheatley. But don’t worry if you think the filmmaker’s work is a little too weird or twisted for your tastes, because this is easily his most accessible film yet.
Free Fire follows a black market arms deal gone wrong in 1970s Boston as an IRA buyer (Cillian Murphy) and a South African gun runner (Sharlto Copley) end up in a gun fight in the middle of an abandoned warehouse, with both their sides exchanging shots, trying to get the money and attempting to make it out alive. It’s relentlessly brutal, but it’s also extremely funny, as evidenced by a new clip from the movie that will probably make District 9 fans grin a bit.
Watch the Free Fire clip below. Read More »
If there’s one character who stays calm in most of Free Fire, it’s Ord. The American criminal is as well-composed as his swanky gray jacket and black turtleneck. Rarely is Ord the character shouting and screaming in director Ben Wheatley‘s (High-Rise) new, 85-minute-long shoot ’em up..
Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump don’t waste a second of Free Fire‘s runtime, which couldn’t come at a more right time before some bloated action movies arrive this summer. The film is as lively as some of its characters, most of whom you’d like to see make it out of the warehouse. Especially Ord.
We recently discussed the role with actor Armie Hammer, who also told us a bit about the character’s backstory, working with Wheatley, and more.
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