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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When your film credits include the Crank movies, Gamer, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Mom and Dad, it’s hard to imagine getting any crazier than director Brian Taylor already has. But the first season of Taylor’s Syfy series Happy! featured kidnapped children, a three-headed dog, a killer Santa Claus, and the alcoholic corrupt cop as the good guy.
Based on the comic by Grant Morrison, Happy! is back for a second season and Taylor promises it’s 10 times crazier. Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) has retired from the force and is trying to get sober. He’s getting to know his daughter Hailey (Bryce Lorenzo), and her former imaginary friend Happy (Patton Oswalt) is now Nick’s. There’s also exploding nuns and desecration of chocolate Easter bunnies.
Taylor spoke with /Film by phone about the new season of Happy!, his upcoming Brave New World series for USA, and why he won’t do a safe, studio friendly Crank 3. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 by Ben Pearson
Aldous Huxley‘s 1932 classic novel Brave New World has been adapted into TV movies twice before, but now the dystopian story is becoming a full-blown series on the USA Network.
Despite the project initially being developed back in 2015 over at Syfy, USA has now given the Brave New World TV show a straight-to-series order. Universal Content Productions will co-produce the series with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Read on to learn more about who’s involved in the new show.
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Brian Taylor‘s high-adrenaline style of filmmaking probably couldn’t find a better actor to pair with than Nicolas Cage. Cage, who’s described his seemingly unhinged performances as punk rock, gets the chance to let loose again in his second collaboration with Taylor, Mom and Dad. Cage is the dad and Selma Blair is the mom, and both actors bring a lunacy and realness to Taylor’s original story about parents losing control of themselves and attacking their children.
Taylor is the co-director of the unforgettable Crank films and Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance, which also starred Cage. But Mom and Dad is his first feature without his frequent collaborator, Mark Neveldine. However, the pitch dark outrageousness Taylor brought to those movies is still infused in his latest film, as well as his new TV show, Syfy’s Happy! We recently discussed both projects with Taylor. And yes, we talk about Nicolas Cage a lot.
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Note: This Mom and Dad review is as spoiler-free as possible, but some minor spoilers do pop up.
At this point in his career, Nicolas Cage has become meme-ified to the point where it’s hard to know where the real Cage ends and his pop-eyed, shrill-screaming on-screen persona begins. This isn’t to call Cage a bad actor – indeed, he’s a phenomenal actor, and capable of turning in subtle, quiet performances (see: Bringing Out the Dead). But here, in the early 21st century, it’s safe to say that when audiences seek out a Nicolas Cage movie, they’re looking for Cage at his Cage-iest. They want the actor to be literally bouncing off the walls.
Folks will get that, and more, when they watch Brian Taylor’s frenetic, manic horror-comedy Mom and Dad. Taylor, who was one-half of the directors who birthed the loony Crank series, brings the thudding cuts and wild edits of that aforementioned series to Mom and Dad; whether or not this is the type of film that needs such things is another question, however.
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Nicolas Cage looks to be at his Nicolas Cage-iest in the high-energy Mom and Dad trailer. The jet-black horror-comedy stars Cage and Selma Blair as a pair of suburban parents who are suddenly seized with an unstoppable urge to murder their children. This feeling has likely come over many suburban parents, but Cage and Blair decide to actually act on their urges, with potentially bloody results. Watch the Mom and Dad trailer below.
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Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 by Fred Topel
Just in time for Christmas comes a raunchy, bloody show from one of the creators of Crank. Happy!, based on the comic from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, stars Christopher Meloni as Nick Sax, a disgraced cop who has a near death experience that allows him to see “Happy,” a blu-furred, flying horse creature. Voiced by Patton Oswalt, Happy is the imaginary friend of a kidnapped girl and only Sax can help save her.
Brian Taylor wrote and directed the Crank movies, Gamer and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance with his partner Mark Neveldine before the duo split up for solo projects. Taylor spoke with /Film by phone about Happy! There are some spoilers for episodes one and two in this interview, but many are so crazy you still won’t believe them. Taylor promises there’s so much crazy to come and these are only the beginning. Happy! premieres December 6 on Syfy.
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No matter how you feel about the films of Brian Taylor — a high-voltage assortment that includes Crank, Gamer, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — they all, at first glance, inspire a shared singular question: how the fuck did this get made?
Seriously. Just look at what these movies are about:
- To avoid dying, a British hitman must keep adrenaline coursing through his body.
- In a future where kids can control humans as if they were video game characters, a wrongly imprisoned death row convict seeks freedom.
- Years after making a deal with the Devil, a hell-on-wheels monster known as “The Ghost Rider” must save a young boy (and, ultimately, the world).
To many, these films are considered “guilty pleasures.” Yet interestingly enough, they come from an unexpectedly honest place: a desire to provide viewers with an alternative to the four-quadrant, check-the-boxes, CGI-everything Hollywood Machine.
This underlying, upend-the-system ethos was just one the many things I learned during my conversation with Taylor. But by no means was it the most interesting. Not compared to hearing about his wild and crazy “maniac” days, the strange legacy of Gamer and what it’s really like to work with the iconic and eccentric enigma that is Nicolas Cage. Read More »
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We’ve been hearing about a possible Crank sequel for over seven years now. The 3D boom of the early 2000s should have alone made it worthwhile to have a Crank 3-D in production. At one point the story was going to have Chelios track down Osama Bin Laden as the plot for Crank 3, but as the filmmakers once put it, “that got fucked up.”
So what is the status of Crank 3? Mark Neveldine provides a status update and also talks about the insane filmmaker duo’s dream remake of The Warriors. Read about it, after the jump.
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OK, so while the idea of the guys behind Crank making a Ghost Rider film seemed like a good idea on paper, it didn’t quite work out that way. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance has a few good sequences, sure, but most of it is fairly dire.
But there is a bit more entertainment to be had from the production. A set of deleted scenes and behind the scenes clips gives us a bit more footage of Nicolas Cage as he plays a man in the throes of demonic possession. The best part is that some of this material has unfinished effects, so we get to see the kooky light rig and makeup that Cage wore on set as he played Ghost Rider. Read More »