S. Craig Zahler has made a name for himself through chaotic nihilism. He specializes in what he has personally described as “hybrid movies” – films that blend several different genres into bloody, angry, sometimes funny stories that defy traditional classification. With Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99, Zahler has already developed a cult following. Fans who are willing to subscribe to his particular brand of madness. I can’t say I’m one of them.
Up until now, I’ve found Zahler’s work too unappealing to latch onto. Even when he’s going full schlock, as he did with his script for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, he never quite sticks the landing in my mind. But with his latest brutalist opus, Dragged Across Concrete, the writer and director may have finally hit his stride. Here is a nasty, nihilistic nightmare deliberately designed to provoke. It does its job – and then some.
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With only three movies, writer/director S. Craig Zahler has established quite a voice for himself. The Brawl in Cell Block 99 director’s first three films are wholly uncompromising and polarize audiences in a time when so many filmmakers default to playing it safe. Few people are walking out of Zahler’s violent pictures shrugging their shoulders without a strong opinion, that’s for certain.
Zahler’s latest and most accomplished movie, Dragged Across Concrete, stars Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson in an epic crime movie that depicts extreme violence and racism without ever moralizing horrific words and actions that already speak for themselves. Zahler – a director with a strong distaste for message movies – lets the terrible actions do the talking. He’s not afraid to challenge an audience, for good or bad. When we recently spoke with the critically acclaimed director, we asked him about the varying reactions to his work and more.
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Director S. Craig Zahler revels in telling nasty, brutal stories. He burst on the scene with the ultra-violent western Bone Tomahawk and followed that up with Brawl in Cell Block 99, a deeply unpleasant, unabashedly gory prison movie two years later. Now he’s back with Dragged Across Concrete, a movie whose title may telegraph what the audience could feel like after watching it.
Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn play cops who get caught in a video of police brutality and subsequently plunge into the criminal underworld. Sound skuzzy enough for you? Read More »
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the cult favorite comedy Office Space. The movie bombed spectacularly at the box office with just under $11 million made in its entire domestic run. That was barely enough to cover the film’s budget. But against all odds, the movie found a big audience on home video and cable and has since become one of the most quoted and beloved comedies of the ’90s.
Since this year is a milestone anniversary for Office Space, writer/director Mike Judge, cast members Ron Livingston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole and some key crew members sat down for an oral history of the film to discuss how it came together, who nearly starred in the movie, why Madonna finds Michael Bolton sexy and much more. Find out everything we learned from the Office Space oral history below. Read More »
(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)
The end of the year is upon us. What better way to kick 2017 to the curb and usher in 2018 than by watching a whole bunch of movies? Blow off your dumb New Year’s Eve party – who wants to be social? Instead, hunker down under some blankets as the icy, cold wind howls outside and take in the following films until the mess that was 2017 is finally over once and for all.
This latest edition of Now Stream This features a Vertigo-like mystery, an end-of-the-world fable, a hypnotic blend of documentary and narrative storytelling, puppets having sex, a grindhouse throwback, and more! Here are the best movies streaming right now! Let’s get streaming, folks – and have a happy New Year.
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Much like S. Craig Zahler‘s previous film, Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99 will be a divisive movie. Some will love it, some will hate it, but nobody is going to walk away feeling “meh” about it.
The film is anchored by Vince Vaughn‘s career-best performance as Bradley Thomas, an imposing hulk of a guy with a talent for bringing the pain. Bradley isn’t just a brute, though. The man has a moral compass that he has to obey, even if that means putting himself, his pregnant wife and the life they’ve built together at risk. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t unleash an ass-kicking when he has to. There is some brutal violence in this movie that would make even the most die hard fan of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky nod in approval.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 is definitely not for the squeamish, but the film has lots of character and dramatic complexity layered within the very pulpy premise of a bone-breaker having to do some brutal things for the sake of his family.
I was able to sit down with writer/director S. Craig Zahler and Vince Vaughn to discuss that complexity as well as building the character of Bradley (don’t call him Brad) Thomas. Both men had no trouble going into detail about the world and character-building going on in this totally insane film.
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Posted on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
S. Craig Zahler‘s Brawl in Cell Block 99 may be one of the most violent movies ever made. It’s easy to imagine scenes from its gore-soaked final act becoming YouTube shock fodder in the years ahead, moments that people spring on unsuspecting friends to get a reaction. That may sound like catnip for seasoned genre film fans, audiences who are numb to cinematic violence and feel like they’ve seen everything, but even those with the most hardened nerves may find themselves lightheaded. It’s that gross. It’s that unsparing. It’s that effective.
But it also comes at the end of a bad movie. Albeit, a bad movie that curious viewers should definitely check out for themselves because Brawl in Cell Block 99 is too weird to ignore, too audacious to write off, and too damn interesting to stop thinking about. But yes, it is bad.
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Vince Vaughn looks like a force to be reckoned with and just an absolute beast in Brawl in Cell Block 99. Vaughn is a big guy with a towering presence, so he looks more than suitable to play the role of a former boxer trying to survive prison in writer and director S. Craig Zahler‘s (Bone Tomahawk) new crime film. Zahler might be showing a whole new side of Vaughn, whose performance looks incredibly promising.
Below, watch the Brawl in Cell Block 99 trailer.
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It’s a little hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story hit theaters. The goofy comedy had Vince Vaughn attempting to raise $50,000 to pay the mortgage for his gym, all while a blowhard gym owner played by Ben Stiller is trying to take it over in order to turn it into another link in the corporate Globo-Gym chain.
Now some of the cast, including Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, are reuniting for a charity dodgeball tournament through the popular fundraising platform Omaze. For those who donate, they’ll have a chance at playing in the dodgeball tournament, and they get to choose which team they’ll be playing for, Average Joe’s or Globo-Gym. We’ll let the Dodgeball cast explain the finer details in the amusing Dodgeball charity campaign video after the jump. Read More »
Sad news came yesterday when we heard that legendary comedian Don Rickles had passed away. In recent years, Rickles had become known as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in pretty much every piece of Toy Story multimedia. But his true legacy lies in stand-up comedy as one of the most gifted insult comics to ever take the stage. Rickles was so good that audiences were never really sure if he was only joking, often turned off by his brash sense of humor, which kept him from becoming a huge star of film and TV.
Don Rickles once had a short-lived NBC program that only lasted a season, but that didn’t stop AARP Studios from giving him his own show called Dinner with Don, where he sat down for a meal with some of today’s biggest names in film and television. In honor of the late comedian, AARP wanted to showcase the charm and endless wit of Don Rickles by teasing the TV series.
Watch the Dinner with Don trailer below. Read More »