1-20 of 52 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
It's safe to say I was not a fan of "The Purge." James DeMonaco, who wrote and directed the first film, is back to do both jobs again this time, and I think he's made leaps and bounds in terms of making use of his big idea. My biggest problem with the original film was that the scale of the story being told was a financial consideration, not a creative one, and it felt like it wasted the basic idea of a governmental decision to sanction 12 hours per year where anyone can kill anyone for any reason. Now, what you think of that idea will go a long way to your overall reaction to "The Purge: Anarchy," but what is clear is that DeMonaco set out to make pretty much the opposite of the first film, telling a story that allows us to get a glimpse at the Purge as a whole. »
- Drew McWeeny
The Chilean film Hidden in the Woods gained a bit of noteriaty upon its release a couple years back. It was described as "The bastard child of a Ruggero Deodato/Sam Peckinpah/Gaspar Noé pile-up gestated in the loins of Roberta Findlay" and "a deranged frenzy". An English language remake was quickly put into the works, actually being announced a few weeks prior to the original’s North American premiere at Fantasia Fest 2012. That film was produced by Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc, with Biehn also taking a lead role. Following in the footsteps of such directors as Michael Haneke and Takashi Shimizu, Patricio Valladares once again took the director’s chair.
The plot has remained unchanged. Hidden in the Woods tells the story of Two sisters, who have been raised in isolation, subjected to the torment of their abusive, drug dealing father. When they finally decide to report him to the police, »
- Chris Connors
2012's The Raid came with a flurry of fanfare following a series of festival screenings touting it as a masterpiece of action cinema. Written and directed by Gareth Evans the film no doubt featured some impressive action choreography, but the story was non-existent to the point of boredom. That said, to say my expectations for The Raid 2 were limited is an understatement. When I saw it runs two-and-a-half hours my interest dwindled even more, expecting to see it, if ever, on Blu-ray. Well, I did and I'm very glad I did, proving expectations can sometimes cause you to miss something great. The immediate comparison here is to say The Raid 2 is to The Raid what Infernal Affairs 2 is to Infernal Affairs, but that's to give The Raid too much credit. The comparison to Infernal Affairs 2 alone, however, is apt. The two films follow somewhat similar storylines, »
- Brad Brevet
The line-up for this year's Film4 FrightFest in London has just been announced – and boy, is it a doozy! Sporting a record-breaking 38 UK/European premieres and 11 world premieres, this August is going to be an exciting time in the genre calendar.
Check it all out right here, including lots of new images!
This year Film4 FrightFest will be moving from its previous home at Leicester Square's Empire Cinema to the nearby Vue Cinema (also on Leicester Square), prompting an ingenious reshuffle of the screening arrangements.
All main screen films will be presented at different times across three different screens, with two extra screens reserved for single-slot screenings of the various films hitting this year's Discovery Screens.
Here's the full list of goodies:
Main Screens (5, 6, 7)
Thursday Aug 21
Opening Night Film - The Guest (UK Premiere)
- Gareth Jones
Film4 FrightFest 2014, returning for its 15th year, unveils its biggest line-up ever. From Thurs 21 August to Monday 25 August, the UK’s leading event for genre fans will be at the Vue West End, Leicester Square, to present sixty-four films plus twenty shorts across five screens. There are sixteen countries representing five continents with a record-breaking thirty-eight UK or European premieres and eleven world premieres.
Are you ready for a monstrous and memorable mayhem of killer claws, cannibalism, cult classics, murderous musicals, chiller thrillers, graphic novel action and sick celluloid masterpieces? Then prepare yourself for the biggest, strongest and most eclectic must-see programme in Film4 FrightFest’s history.
From the opening night turbo-driven thrill-ride The Guest to the UK premiere of the closing night mesmeric sci-fi fantasy The Signal, FrightFest has netted the latest works from genre big-hitters such as Eli Roth (The Green Inferno), Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins (Show »
- Phil Wheat
Hey, all you Sci-Fi fans, this one’s for you — or better yet, these two are for you! The Redford Theatre is happy to present a Drive-in-style double feature with two of the best loved science fiction films from the 1950s: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “War of the Worlds.” The night will include a vintage intermission program, complete with dancing hot dogs, a minutes-to-showtime countdown and 1950s movie trailers.
“War of the Worlds” stars Gene Barry (of "Bat Masterson” and "Burke’s Law” fame) and Ann Robinson in her only starring role for Paramount. (She also appeared on our screen two weeks ago in a small role as a showgirl in “Imitation of Life.") A few familiar names appeared here in small roles. Sir Cedric Hardwicke provided the voice for the commentary/narration. Les Tremayne (General Mann) was best known for his estimated 30,000 radio broadcasts. (He also appeared »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Chicago – The Criterion Collection has added “Riot in Cell Block 11” (1954) to their stellar Blu-ray family, and the transfer is absolutely gorgeous, especially if you’re an admirer of the stark cinematography of the late black & white film era. Although dated, it still packs a gritty wallop.
Directed by Don Siegel – best known for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956) and “Dirty Harry” (1971) – this prison riot film is framed as a cautionary tale regarding the conditions of prisons in the mid-1950s. Packed with noir beauty, the tick-tick-tick of the tensions in the film underscore the use of shadow and light. Shot in Folsom Prison in California, Siegel makes great use of the weird perspectives of long hallways and old timey prison walls. Some of the corny dialogue and hey-you-mugs interplay is silly in the modern era, but I’m sure the adventurous folks who saw this at the time were transfixed. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
As the Cannes Film Festival continues to unspool along the French Riviera, multiplexes and arthouses are holding down the fort stateside with a hefty slate of well-received -- and, in some cases, long-awaited -- new releases. (Trailers below.) Overstuffed with stars, from Michael Fassbender and Hugh Jackman to James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is garnering raves across the board from critics and Marvel fans alike. Will the film prevail in spite of director Bryan Singer's media troubles? But if time-traveling mutants aren't your thing, Jim Mickle's especially good throwback thriller "Cold in July" arrives in limited release. Set in small-potatoes East Texas in the 80s, this southern-friend revenge film -- starring the unlikely triad of Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson and Sam Shepard -- boasts committed performances all around, with plenty of stylistic hat-tips to John Carpenter and Sam Peckinpah to wet your genre whistle. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
A review of tonight's "Fargo" coming up just as soon as God tells me not to park here... "Fargo" the movie is often held up as the best thing the Coen brothers have ever done, and certainly the best balance of their silly "Lebowski"/"Ladykillers"/"Burn After Reading" side and their much darker "Blood Simple"/"No Country For Old Men" side. With "Fargo" the series, Noah Hawley and his various directors (here, Colin Bucksey doing outstanding work) have worked very hard to maintain that balance, though as a 10-part weekly TV show, they get to lean on different ends of the tonal spectrum in any given week. "Buridan's Ass" is fascinating in that respect, in that emotionally, it's by far the darkest episode yet — with the violent deaths of Don, Mr. Numbers, Semenko and Dmitri Milos, and the possible death of Molly — yet so much of that darkness takes place »
- Alan Sepinwall
Revenge has motivated characters in stories since humans first started telling them. From the vengeful gods of ancient mythology onwards, acts of retribution – often violent in the extreme – have been a staple ingredient of a narrative which, as we all know, is best served cold.
The vengeance motive is certainly one which hands the structure to you on a plate – someone performs an act of injustice against someone else, who then takes the law into their own hands and opts for an eye for an eye rather than the courts of justice. Blue Ruin, on release in cinemas this week, is a classic example of this basic set-up – a lean, effective and sometimes very bloody revenge thriller in which vagrant Dwight (Macon Blair) returns to his childhood home town to kill the man who murdered his parents, unleashing a wave of tit for tat reciprocal violence which escalates out of control. »
- Andrew Dilks
Today on Trailers from Hell, director Joe Dante talks up 1954's prison-based drama "Riot in Cell Block 11," starring Neville Brand and Frank Faylen. An intelligent, well-acted “message” melodrama hides behind that hard-nosed title. Directed by Don Siegel at his most primal, the film’s violence erupts in compelling contrast to the quiet intelligence of the screenplay by Richard Collins ("My Gun is Quick"). Its empathetic attitude is due in some part to veteran producer Walter Wanger whose recent stint in the slammer moved him to advocate for improved prison conditions. Starring Neville Brand as the firebrand who instigates the protests and, as “Crazy Mike Carnie”, real-life ex-con Leo Gordon, who Siegel described as “the scariest man I have ever met ” but went on to a long career as a dependable character actor. This was the beginning of Siegel’s longtime friendship with Sam Peckinpah who served as dialog director »
- Trailers From Hell
An intelligent, well-acted “message” melodrama hides behind that hard-nosed title. Directed by Don Siegel at his most primal, the film’s violence erupts in compelling contrast to the quiet intelligence of the screenplay by Richard Collins (My Gun is Quick). Its empathetic attitude is due in some part to veteran producer Walter Wanger whose recent stint in the slammer moved him to advocate for improved prison conditions. Starring Neville Brand as the firebrand who instigates the protests and, as “Crazy Mike Carnie”, real-life ex-con Leo Gordon, who Siegel described as “the scariest man I have ever met ” but went on to a long career as a dependable character actor. This was the beginning of Siegel’s longtime friendship with Sam Peckinpah who served as dialog director on this and several other Siegel films including Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The post Riot in Cell Block 11 appeared first on Trailers From Hell. »
- TFH Team
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Roy Scheider co-stars in this thriller about four men from disparate backgrounds who, for various reasons, are forced to hide in a small village in South America. When a nearby oil well explodes, four of them must transport nitroglycerin through dangerous terrain in the hopes of extinguishing the fire.
Why We're In: William Friedkin's film met all sorts of bad luck upon release, from its box office competition (a little film called "Star Wars") to misleading marketing that confused audiences expecting a second helping of "The Exorcist." Although the Blu-ray doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, the quality of the transfer will sate all cinephiles who've been dying to add this cult favorite to their collection.
Rt for a chance 2 win #Sorcerer on BluRay - autographed by Oscar winning director @WilliamFriedkin! Rules: http://t.co/XWD2Vf »
- Jenni Miller
"Junkfood Cinema: For Whom The Thunder Rolls" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source.
This week, Cargill and I call down the thunder. Specifically, we discuss one of our absolute favorite exploitation revenge films from the 1970s: Rolling Thunder. Written by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) pens this incredibly subversive Vietnam War parable about a man pushed back into a life of violence when his triumphant return form a Pow camp is interrupted by a thieving group of good ol’ boys/murders. Cargill and I chat about the baser satisfactions of this revenge movie, as well as the legitimately brilliant performances from »
- Brian Salisbury
Writer/director Jim Mickle rocked the indie genre film world last year with his domestic horror film "We Are What We Are," and now he has done it again with his throwback thriller "Cold in July," starring Michael C. Hall. Watch the official trailer below. It's 1989 and in the balmy, unforgiving land of Texas, Richard Dane (Hall) becomes a small town hero after shooting a petty burglar. But his so-called act of heroism yields some dark and dangerous consequences when the burglar's father (played by Sam Shepard), who has a haunted past of his own, rolls into town with an appetite for revenge. Mickle and scribe Nick Damici -- who also cowrote "We Are What We Are," about the mundane life of a family of cannibals -- adapted the film from Joe R. Lansdale's grizzly 1989 mystery novel. Based on this tense trailer alone, Mickle's seems to be harking back »
- Ryan Lattanzio
In the mid-1970s, there were few American filmmakers riding as high as William Friedkin. The French Connection swept the 1971 Academy Awards, nabbing Friedkin a Best Director statuette. The Exorcist, released two years later, broke box office records to become one of the top grossing films of all time. Boasting creative power and freedom that most directors could only dream about, Friedkin opted to film an updated version of French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic The Wages of Fear (1953).
The result, 1977’s Sorcerer, became one of the most notorious box office bombs of the decade. Its dark, unrelenting tale of four desperate, disparate men (Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou) who undertake a suicide mission by driving truckloads of nitroglycerine across the rugged South American jungle wasn’t what the changing tide of audience tastes were buying then, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
(The Criterion Collection)
Two Gems From The 50s
Two new releases from The Criterion Collection spotlight low-budget filmmaking in the 1950s—American and European—and couldn’t be more stylistically and thematically diverse. And yet, there is a personal stamp on the pictures that is very similar. Both films also tackle social problems with brutal frankness and feature anti-heroes as protagonists.
Riot in Cell Block 11 was produced by longtime Hollywood independent producer Walter Wanger (he was also responsible for two earlier Criterion releases, Stagecoach and Foreign Correspondent) as a hard-hitting, gritty, realistic picture depicting the inequities and maltreatment prisoners receive in American prisons. Wanger had a personal reason to make a film like that. He had barely missed spending some time in one. He’d caught his wife with another man, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
So, last week I watched the Keanu Reeves abomination that was 47 Ronin and this week I took it upon myself to watch the 1941 original, The 47 Ronin, available on Hulu Plus and it's rather astonishing the differences between the two. Of course, the original doesn't have magic, monsters or the Reeves character and those are the immediate differences, but what's even more fascinating is to compare the way the two films approach the story and what is considered important. The first difference is in the approach to the story. Even though the '41 film runs 223, versus the 118 minutes that make up the 2013 remake, it wastes no time getting started. A little on screen text and immediately we see Lord Asano attack the court official Kira Yoshinaka. Due to the injection of Reeves' character into the remake it takes forever to get to this moment and by that time it's already »
- Brad Brevet
Chicago – When traveling on a Nicolas Cage trip, it’s best to buckle up. Director David Gordon Green collaborated with Cage on the new film, “Joe,” and actor Tye Sheridan (“Tree of Life,” “Mud”) was Cage’s teenage co-star. Cage portrays the title character, a reformed hellraiser who can’t help but have sympathy for a lost soul.
Sheridan portrays Gary, a itinerant teen whose family life is pretty much destroyed. His father Wade (Gary Poulter) is an unapologetic drunk, and Gary turns to Joe to both get some employment and some guidance. The result from David Gordon Green (“George Washington,” “Snow Angels”) is a gritty story of accidental mentorship, contained in a simmering context that only Nicolas Cage can generate.
Photo credit: Roseside Attractions
Both Green and Tye Sheridan came to Chicago for a press tour, and talked »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Mary Anderson dead at 96; also featured in Alfred Hitchcock thriller ‘Lifeboat’ Mary Anderson, an actress featured in both Gone with the Wind and Alfred Hitchcock’s adventure thriller Lifeboat, died following a series of small strokes on Sunday, April 6, 2014, while under hospice care in Toluca Lake/Burbank, northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Anderson, the widow of multiple Oscar-winning cinematographer Leon Shamroy, had turned 96 on April 3. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1918, Mary Anderson was reportedly discovered by director George Cukor, at the time looking for an actress to play Scarlett O’Hara in David O. Selznick’s film version of Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller Gone with the Wind. Instead of Scarlett, eventually played by Vivien Leigh, Anderson was cast in the small role of Maybelle Merriwether — most of which reportedly ended up on the cutting-room floor. Cukor was later fired from the project; his replacement, Victor Fleming, »
- Andre Soares
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