12 items from 2013
Writer-director Steven Knight’s sophomore feature, “Locke,” is basically just Tom Hardy driving a car while making a bunch of phone calls, and yet this ingeniously executed study in cinematic minimalism has depth, beauty and poise. A finely tuned showcase for Hardy’s exceptional acting skills, Bluetooth-enabled dashboard displays and the dynamic range of the Red Epic camera, the pic tracks a dark night of the soul for a construction-site manager en route from Birmingham to London. But if the disappointing performance of pics like “Buried” is any indication, one-handers are a tough sell theatrically, and “Locke” will need fine marketing calibration to click with audiences.
Apart from an annoyed truck driver just glimpsed for a second at the beginning, the bearded visage of Ivan Locke (Hardy) is the only human face seen throughout the film’s brisk 84-minute running time. At first it’s hard to read his near-inscrutable expressions, »
- Leslie Felperin
Although it has some problems, Dead Man Down is a decent action/revenge flick and features solid performances from Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace. The film is weighed down by a slow pace and editing problems, but the ending action sequence is worth the wait. Written by J.H. Wyman and directed by Niels Arden Oplev (2009's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the film sees Farrell and Rapace joined by Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard and Isabelle Huppert. It features great cinematography from Paul Cameron (Total Recall and Man on a Ledge) - who makes the most of the film's noir style pacing and fills it with a heavy gloom that matches the gritty story. Dead Man Down is set »
- Patrick Luce
Before I get to the new releases and release dates, today marks the first day of Barnes & Noble's 50% off Criterion Collection sale. Click here to check it out and if you're looking for some inspiration, here's a top 15 I did last year. Spring Breakers There seems to be an overall sense of "you've got to see this" with Spring Breakers just so you can be part of the conversation. Well, it's a lot easier to do so now that it's on DVD and Blu-ray, but I won't be recommending you buy it. It's an interesting little piece of psychedelia, but that's about it.
Dead Man Down Decent movie and pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a thriller of this sort had it gone straight to DVD or maybe a little better than that. As I wrote in my review: Dead Man Down feels like something Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, »
- Brad Brevet
The Movie: Dead Man Down (2013) Studio: FilmDistrict Director: Niels Arden Oplev Starring: Colin Farrell as Victor, Noomi Rapace as Beatrice, Terrence Howard as Alphonse, Dominic Cooper as Darcy, Isabelle Huppert as Valentine Louzon, Franky G as Luco and F. Murray Abraham as Gregor Screenwriters: J.H. Wyman RottenTomatoes: 39% MetaCritic: 42/100 Snippet from My Review: (read my full review here) Dead Man Down feels like something Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional) would have directed back in the mid-'90s, though the look is more modernized with a polished sheen and a penchant for slow-mo explosions and blue filters, which cinematographer Paul Cameron (Man on a Ledge, Total Recall) seems to excel in as of late. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but director Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) does manage to cut the expository moments to a minimum, allowing the film to rise above what could have »
- Brad Brevet
Dead Man Down feels like something Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional) would have directed back in the mid-'90s, though the look is more modernized with a polished sheen and a penchant for slow-mo explosions and blue filters, which cinematographer Paul Cameron (Man on a Ledge, Total Recall) seems to excel in as of late. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but director Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) does manage to cut the expository moments to a minimum, allowing the film to rise above what could have easily become a direct-to-video feature and turns it into something I don't mind recommending you give a chance. Written by "Fringe" writer J.H. Wyman, at its heart Dead Man Down is a revenge feature as Victor (Colin Farrell), a Hungarian immigrant, has devised a plan to get back at the crime lord (Terrence Howard) responsible for the »
- Brad Brevet
Dead Man Down, the English language debut of original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev, opens in theaters today, starting March 8th. In the film, Colin Farrell plays Victor, a hitman blackmailed into a revenge plot against his former mob boss. To gain the upperhand, Victor is forced to take an Albanian man hostage. Robert Vataj plays this poor, tortured soul, and stayed in character, blindfolded and unfed, for the duration of his time on set.
We recently caught up with Robert, who made a name for himself with his memorable role in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, to talk about the experience of being strapped to a chair by Colin Farrell for a three day stretch.
Was he allowed to take breaks? Did he eat? Was he ever able to eventually become friends with Colin? »
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Written by J.H. Wyman
It’s hard to tell exactly when Dead Man Down topples over totally into an overwhelming sense of self-seriousness, to pinpoint which of Colin Farrell’s many soulful looks into the grim abyss of New York City is the one that pushes this movie into overheated melodrama. Perhaps it’s odd to criticize a film about how revenge eats away at the soul for being too dark and dour, but Dead Man Down is barely able to maintain a sense of vitality throughout because of its wallowing nature. In spite of some random bits of stylistic flair and a few decent performers, this movie is too sluggish to make an impact.
Farrell plays Victor, a low-level criminal in an enterprise headed by Alphonse (Terrence Howard). After one of Alphonse’s close associates gets killed by a mystery man who leaves behind strange, »
- Josh Spiegel
Suspending disbelief is a part of watching most any action film, where bullets fly like birds and mayhem explodes as easily as a shaken soda can. But even in such a contrived movie world, it's asking far too much for us to accept that Noomi Rapace would be hounded as a "monster" for a little scaring around her left eye.
It's just one of the many silly leaps of logic taken in the lifeless "Dead Man Down," a film that brings together two lost souls bent on vengeance. Colin Farrell stars as a brooding gangster, Victor, who's infiltrated the brutal gang of Alphonse (Terrence Howard) to avenge the deaths of his wife and daughter. He's joined in revenge by Rapace's Beatrice, who spies him across from a neighboring high-rise, and blackmails him into killing the drunk driver that crashed into her.
I've had pimples worse than the marks left on Beatrice's face, »
Director Niels Arden Oplev (the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film) reunites with Noomi Rapace for the action thriller Dead Man Down, opening in theaters on March 8, 2013. Colin Farrell stars as a man seeking revenge for the murder of his family, while Rapace plays a woman who knows his secrets and uses them to get her own revenge. And in my exclusive interview with Dead Man Down's director, he talks about the chemistry between Rapace and Farrell, why this particular project appealed to him, and the collaborative process on the set.
Noomi Rapace is gorgeous on screen - the camera just loves her. What is it about her that makes her presence on screen so dynamic?
Dead Man Down sort of came out of nowhere and FilmDistrict is certainly performing a strong online push for the film, which stars Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper. The film reteams Rapace with director Niels Arden Oplev who led her through the original Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that put her on the map and she stars alongside Farrell as one of two strangers whose mutual desire for revenge draws them together and triggers an escalating trail of mayhem. I've discussed the plot further in previous posts, which also feature the trailer, but I figured with this one I would go with the more vague, studio supplied script. Dead Man Down serves as Oplev's English-language debut and will hit theaters on March 8. Check out the five additional new images below. If you're wondering, the cinematography was done by Paul Cameron whose previous »
- Brad Brevet
Keanu Reeves may be best known for his starring roles in The Matrix, Speed and Point Break, but this week he's stepping behind the camera to produce and present Side by Side, a fascinating documentary that delves into the filmmaking process and looks at how digital has overtaken the photochemical process.
Reeves and writer/director Christopher Kenneally have assembled a who's who of filmmaking talent - from directors such as James Cameron and Lars von Trier, to studio heads and tech pioneers working designing the latest HD cameras - in order to tell their story. Digital Spy got on the phone with Reeve to discuss Side by Side, his directorial debut Man of Tai Chi and the potential for a 3D re-release of The Matrix...
Which was the first film you worked on where you saw that digital technology was clipping at the heels of the traditional photochemical process?
English-language "Dead Man Down," from "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" director Niels Arden Oplev, stars his leading lady Noomi Rapace, Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard (FilmDistrict, March 8). The trailer showcases this uber-stylish thriller packed with one-liners (the script is by "Fringe" exec producer J.H. Wyman) and dazzling Arri Alexa cinematography from Paul Cameron, Asc ("Man on Fire," "Gone in Sixty Seconds"). Let's hope this turns out better than Cameron and Farrell's good-looking but inert last collaboration, remake "Total Recall." Watch the trailer below: »
- Sophia Savage
12 items from 2013
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