As April arrives, several great movie and TV titles will flee Netflix. So here’s your last chance to catch them on the streaming service (until they return). In April, say goodbye to one of Ron Howard’s best movies, one of Christopher Nolan’s best movies, one of the best Batman movies, and more! These are the TV shows and movies leaving Netflix in March 2018. Read More »
(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: not only is James Wan’s Death Sentence a good movie, but it’s also the only Death Wish remake we need.)
There’s a new Death Wish movie hitting screens this week, and while I’ll walk into it the same way I approach every film – hoping for greatness – it’s difficult to actually be all that optimistic. Not only has this remake been made redundant by four decades’ worth of movies about white men getting revenge with guns, but its journey towards production has seen a handful of interesting choices sidelined in favor of bland mediocrity. Instead of the once-rumored Benicio Del Toro for the lead, we now have Bruce Willis’ disinterested corpse. Instead of the Israeli filmmakers behind Big Bad Wolves announced for the director’s chair in early 2016, we now get the not-so subtle talents of Eli Roth. Instead of a fresh and interesting revenge tale, we’re getting what appears to be another empty and generic action film. (Seriously, watch the trailer.) It’s all made even more unfortunate by the realization that the only Death Wish remake we needed already came and went with nothing but empty theater seats and a 20% score on Rotten Tomatoes left behind.
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I’m not a huge horror film guy, but I probably see more than your average film geek. I’ll be the first to admit that I had little interest in The Conjuring as I usually don’t like possession stories. The idea of someone becoming possessed by someone else has always been a movie storyline pet peeve for me, likely tainted for me by comic book storylines I read as a kid where the superhero somehow becomes controlled by the bad guy. While I was in San Francisco covering the Pacific Rim junket, I was presented with the opportunity to talk to director James Wan. I’ve been a fan of Wan since seeing the first Saw film at Sundance in 2004. That interview is why I ended up seeing The Conjuring in San Francisco and… I’m very glad I did.
The Conjuring is creepy as hell, a well made horror film — a throwback in many ways to the horror films of my childhood. Wan is a master of his craft, and I’m excited to see what he’ll be able to do once Hollywood lets him play in other genres (I really enjoyed his 2007 thriller Death Sentence which was virtually unseen in theaters).
After the jump you can read my interview with James Wan. We talk about The Conturing‘s connection to AMITYVILLE, the importance of the period setting of the film, the struggle with creating a horrific story while trying to stay true to the true story, the Perron family’s reaction to the movie, delving into some of the filmmaking techniques employed in this film including the sound and an early tracking shot, and I tried to get him to talk about his upcoming gig directing Fast & Furious 7.
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“Everyone thinks they’re right in a War, but everyone still dies in the end,” Detective Wallis tells Nick Hume in Death Sentence.
I’ve always found vigilante stories fascinating. To me, it’s one of the big appeals of Batman (and how Christopher Nolan is handling the character. However, I must admit, while I was excited to see Death Sentence, I was expecting very little. The trailers made the story look ridiculous (which, it very well may be, but while you’re watching to film, you don’t notice as much).
James Wan is also a very interesting case in terms of directors. He burst onto the scene with SAW at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. It was a horror film which gave birth to three sequels and a lot of imitators, much in the way both Scream and The Ring introduced a new era of horror films. But his follow-up, Dead Silence, was virtually unseen, and much less critically acclaimed. Death Sentence is a return to form. He takes the vigilante movie genre and adds a couple new twists, and delivers on the brutal violence you would expect from the guy who made SAW.
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Fox Atomic wants everyone to know that just because their big brother (20th Century Fox) has pulled out, doesn’t mean that Fox’s genre division won’t have a presence at this week’s San Diego Comic Con. Check out the press release below.
Fox Atomic Announces Presence at San Diego Comic-Con 2007
LOS ANGELES, July 23 — Fox Atomic announced today its
plans for the upcoming Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, CA
on July 26-29. The initiatives planned will include signings and giveaways
on behalf of the Fox Atomic graphic novels The Nightmare Factory (retails
9/07), 28 Days Later: The Aftermath, and The Hills Have Eyes: The
Beginning; an online sweepstakes to win the 1969 Ford Mustang from the film
Death Sentence (8/31), starring Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, and Kelly
Preston, and directed by James Wan (Saw); and a contest at the Fox Atomic
booth where fans enter to win a Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by the
cast of The Rocker, which stars Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate.
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The marketing department at 20th Century Fox have created a San Deigo Comic-Con exclusive poster for the Kevin Bacon thriller Death Sentence. It’s a huge improvement over the red blob they previously released. We posted the trailer for the film last week. James Wan’s (SAW) new movie follows John Hume (Bacon), a local business manager of Boston, a peaceful, calm and very caring man with the perfect family and life. But all that changes one night when his eldest son is murdered during a hold-up. Transformed by grief, Hume eventually turns to violence, revenge, and vigilantism. He vows to kill each perpetrator on the streets who was involved in the murder of his son, while at the same time the gang vows their own revenge agenda. Check out the full comic con exclusive poster after the jump. We’ve also included the original one-sheet for comparison.
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20th Century Fox has released the new trailer for James Wan’s (SAW) Death Sentence. The film stars Kevin Bacon as John Hume, a local business manager of Boston, a peaceful, calm and very caring man with the perfect family and life. But all that changes one night when his eldest son is murdered during a hold-up. Transformed by grief, Hume eventually turns to violence, revenge, and vigilantism. He vows to kill each perpetrator on the streets who was involved in the murder of his son, while at the same time the gang vows their own revenge agenda. There is a lack of vigilante movies in Hollywood today, and this looks interesting. Wan exploded onto the scene with SAW, and hasn’t done too much since. So I’m really excited to see what else he can do. We’ve been invited to a special breakfast with Wan in a couple weeks, so look for a report on that later. The film hits theaters on August 31st. Check out the trailer after the jump.
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