Bodied Trailer

Joseph Kahn‘s Bodied chronicles the misadventures of a white battle rapper, Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy) who struggles with finding where to draw the line in terms of speech. The film is offensive, hilarious, and a ton of fun, winning a slew of awards during its run on the film festival circuit. Bodied landed on YouTube Premium last fall and today it’s out on iTunes and Blu-Ray.

I had a chance to chat with Joseph about what he thinks about the value of battle rap is for our society, as well as the challenges he encountered getting Bodied out into the world. Hit the jump to read excerpts of our conversation, which have been edited and condensed for clarity. You can also listen to the whole conversation in podcast form below.
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Joseph Kahn is a legendary music video director, having created music videos for artists such as Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and (most recently) Ava Max. But his recent film, Bodied, may be his most provocative work. In Bodied, a graduate student named Adam (Calum Worthy) realizes he has a talent for battle rapping, but discovers that his words inside the ring may have consequences beyond what he’d originally imagined.

Kahn is one of the most talented visual stylists of our age, so I was pleased to have the chance to chat with him recently about how he thinks about his filmmaking technique. We recorded a video broadcast in which he breaks down the opening sequence of Bodied shot by shot. Check out our talk after the jump. You can watch Bodied right now on YouTube Premium, or buy it on Blu-Ray or iTunes VOD.
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Joseph Kahn is a prolific commercial and music video director, but he has only made three feature films. His first, Torque, was The Fast and the Furious on motorcycles, but he made it a spoof of The Fast and the Furious, and people expecting a straight Fast and the Furious weren’t on board. He made Detention independently, but the teen slasher comedy with time travel was a tough sell for distributors, even as a Josh Hutcherson vehicle.

On the surface, Bodied would be Kahn’s most commercial film. It’s about a college kid, Adam (Callum Worthy), who enters the world of battle rap an underdog, and becomes a champion. But there’s more to Bodied than a hero’s journey. The film takes Adam to task for being a white kid infiltrating a multi-cultural world. Though fellow rapper Behn Grymm (Jackie Long) tells him anything goes in battle rap, Adam does face consequences for his raps.

Kahn spoke with /Film in Los Angeles this month. He filmed Bodied in 2016 and it played festivals in 2017, so the film is entering an even more volatile powderkeg of a world than he imagined in 2018. Some mild spoilers follow in this thematic discussion, so if you’re already sold, read this after you see Bodied in theaters November 2 or on YouTube Premium November 28.

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Bodied Trailer

Fantastic Fest is still in full swing over in Austin, Texas, and there are plenty of movies that will be worth checking out once they hit theaters for general audiences to see. But in the meantime, one of last year’s most buzzed about entries at Fantastic Fest 2017 is finally getting released.

Bodied is a battle rap movie executive produced by Eminem where no one is safe from the sharp tongue of brutal rhymes that come from skilled lyricists that would make Shakespeare cry. A new trailer has finally arrived for the movie that is coming to theaters and YouTube later this year, and it packs quite a punch. Read More »

Justice League Dark Concept Art

While the union of the Justice League only just happened on the big screen for the first time last month, their darker, fantasy counterparts from Justice League Dark have been in development for years. The project has gone through several directors, including Guillermo del Toro a little while back and most recently Edge of Tomorrow helmer Doug Liman, but it’s currently without a director as a new script from Housebound scribe Gerard Johnstone is being written right now. However, as we wait to see what happens with the DC Comics property, we can imagine what it might have been like if another filmmaker ended up getting hired for the job.

Joseph Kahn is best known for directing music videos for the likes of Taylor Swift, Eminem, Katy Perry and Britney Spears. More recently he directed the acclaimed rap battle indie film Bodied, but at one point, Kahn was in the running to director Justice League Dark, and he recently revealed some of the concept art that was part of his pitch.

Check out the Justice League Dark concept art revealed by Joseph Kahn below. Read More »

bodied review

Bodied is not the movie I thought it was going to be when I walked into the Fantastic Fest screening. Joseph Kahn‘s previous feature, Detention, is one of those so-crazy-I-can’t-believe-it-exists kind of movies and I think that’s what was in my brain when I sat down to watch his new one.

The premise of Bodied is simple: a young fan is mentored by his idol and his nurtured talent shines. You’ve seen this story before, especially in movies about sports or martial arts, but never quite in this way. Battle Rap is the forum here, not a stadium or a dojo.

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Bodied Trailer

This sounds like a big year for Eminem. Not only does the rapper have a new album that might hit shelves before the end of the year, but he produced an outstanding new HBO documentary series called The Defiant Ones that looked at the careers of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which paved the way for the young man named Marshall Mathers to become one of the biggest rap sensations of all time. But that’s not all Eminem has going on this year.

Bodied is a new indie heading to the Toronto International Film Festival that is produced by Eminem and said to focus on the world of rap battling. But unlike the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile, this movie is a satirical look at rap battling instead of just being one part of the story about a young, aspiring Detroit rapper just trying to get by. The Bodied trailer has debuted online before the film plays at TIFF next month and you can watch it below. Read More »

Joseph Kahn's Power Rangers Short Film

David, Devindra, and Jeff review Will Smith’s latest and are joined by Joseph Kahn to discuss the making of his new short film, Power/Rangers. Be sure to catch Joseph’s last film, Detention, on Amazon or iTunes.

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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Power Rangers making of

The short film Power/Rangers, directed by Joseph Kahn, has become a huge talking point over the past week. Posted for free online, the unauthorized vision of the Power Rangers TV show was quickly targeted by Saban Brands, owner of the Power Rangers license, for copyright violation. Pulled from Vimeo and YouTube before eventually being reinstated with slightly new opening credits and disclaimers, the very adult-oriented short is back online. And now you can see some Power Rangers making of footage, courtesy of the producers. Read More »

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Power Rangers short film

UPDATE: The copyright debate over Power/Rangers has been settled and the film is back on YouTube and Vimeo. Click there to see both. Original story follows with the update after.

One of the biggest movie stories this week was the release of Power/Rangers, a professionally made, R-rated fan film based on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Directed by Joseph Kahn (Torque) and produced by Adi Shankar (Dredd), the Power Rangers short film put a dark, kinetic spin on the ’90s cartoon. Fans seemed to enjoy it but two groups who didn’t like the short were Saban Brands, the company who owns the Rangers, and members of the original cast.

Below, read about the copyright claim, the reactions of the original Rangers and find out how you can watch the Power Rangers short film now. Read More »