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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The ADD-infused style that suited writers/directors Neveldine/Taylor so well on the Crank films doesn’t quite work to their benefit in Gamer, a futuristic sci-fi action flick which exposes their shortcomings as filmmakers. The film is a mess, blundering through one set piece to the next, with little sense of what the film as a whole is trying to achieve. There’s something to be said for energy and enthusiasm though, of which they clearly have plenty. The movie remains watchable even when you’re not exactly sure what it is that you’re watching. The mindlessness of the action is balanced against a scathing, cynical depiction of what the world has become, and that angle provides the film with just enough to help separate it from the hordes of other futuristic sci-fi actioners that it so clearly evokes. Also, it has Rocky Balboa’s son playing a character named Rick Rape, and a musical number featuring Michael C. Hall. So, yeah… it has that going for it.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – An audio commentary with writers/directors Neveldine/Taylor and actors Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman, and Terry Crews, an Inside the Game multi-part making-of documentary, a First Person Shooter: The Evolution of Red featurette, and a never-before-seen theatrical trailer cut by the filmmakers. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as an I-Con Mode interactive feature, Gamer Cheat Codes (interactive specialized scene-specific audio and video commentary accessible throughout the film), and a digital copy of the film.
|BEST DVD PRICE
|Amazon – $16.99
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
|Amazon – $22.99
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Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 by David Chen
In this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley reflect on the prospect of a fifth Rambo film, assess the merits of Mike Judge’s Extract and Robert Siegel’s Big Fan, and try to dissect the Boondock Saints phenomenon. Special guest Jordan Hoffman joins us from UGO Movieblog.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Shane Acker’s 9.
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Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (featured right to left above, respectively) first made a name for themselves in 2006 with their adrenaline-rush of an indie action flick, the low-budget Crank. Three years later, they solidified their reputation as unstoppable forces of pure insanity with its sequel, Crank: High Voltage. Today though, they bring us their first non-Crank-related directorial effort, the Gerard Butler vehicle Gamer, which also co-stars Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall.
I had a chance to chat with Neveldine/Taylor (as they’re so often credited in their films) a couple of months back at Comic-Con, which they were at to promote their latest helping of blood-splattered delirium.
You can read the full exclusive interview with Neveldine and Taylor after the jump.
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In this special episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley are joined by writer/director Rian Johnson to review JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek film. They also wonder what the hell director Nicholas Winding Refn thinks about Keanu Reeves, reflect on the promise of Bradley Cooper, and get excited about Neveldine/Taylor’s Gamer. Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom will be in NY/LA beginning on May 15th and will open in select cities beginning May 22nd.
Have any questions/comments/complaints/suggestions? Want to sponsor or advertise with the /Filmcast? You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Sunday night at slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Angels and Demons.
To hear the entire episode, you can download it here, or play it now in your browser:
To hear just the segment where Rian Johnson reviews Star Trek with us, you can download it here or play it now in your browser:
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Lionsgate has premiered the official U.S. trailer for Gamer on XBox Live (is this the first movie to ever premiere a trailer on a video game console? Possibly) The trailer has found its way online. Gamer (previously titled Game) is the new film from Crank madmen, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
The story takes us to the sci-fi future world where prisoners do battle in a real life video game. A test screening was held in October, and you can read our Early Buzz report for the full scoop. It looks like a fun crazy-concept sci-fi film from the 1980’s. Watch the trailer embedded after the jump, remember to hit the HQ button to see high quality video, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[Dave’s note: I believe the song used in the trailer is Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams,” a song originally made popular by Eurythmics. Not the first song I would think of to use, but I think it’s employed to great effect!]
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Once upon a time this film was simply called Game, which sounded too much like The Game. Then in it became Citizen Game, too close perhaps to Citizen Kane (ahem) but now it has been retitled again and, hopefully, for the last time.
Neveldine/Taylor’s next action adventure smash ’em up is now going to be called Gamer. Unless, of course, somebody decides that title sounds too much like Gamers or Gamerz, those twin terrors of post-Clerks RPG nerd dramedy.
See the new poster after the jump.
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