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Below you will find our favorite films of the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival, as well as an index of our coverage.Top Picksfernando F. CROCE1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)2. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)3. Western (Valeska Grisebach)4. Ex Libris (Frederick Wiseman)5. Faces Places (Agnès Varda, Jr)6. Manhunt (John Woo)7. Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont)8. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler)9. The Day After (Hong Sang-soo)10. Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani)Kelley DONG1. Rose Gold (Sarah Cwynar), Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (Dani Restack, Sheilah Wilson Restack)3. Good Luck (Ben Russell)4. Manhunt (John Woo)5. The Third Murder (Hirokazu Kore-eda), Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu)Daniel KASMAN1. Ex Libris (Frederick Wiseman)2. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)3. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)4. Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (Dani Restack, Sheilah Wilson Restack)5. I Love You, Daddy (Louis C.K.)6. Rose Gold (Sarah Cwynar)7. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler)8. below-above (André »
Caro Danny,I share your admiration for First Reformed, certainly one of the best films I’ve seen at this year’s Tiff and Paul Schrader’s most concentrated work in ages. From the very first shot—an adagio dolly-in on a severely framed chapel—we’re in familiar territory for the veteran filmmaker, yet in the presence of a fierce new lucidity. “Even a pastor needs pastoring,” someone tells the ecclesiastical protagonist (Ethan Hawke, harrowed like one of Beckett’s aged photographs), but his midnight-of-the-soul juncture is something he must sort through alone. Contemplating the paltry church attendance from the pulpit, grimacing at other people’s earthy jokes, and growing agitated at the planet’s ecological ruination, he struggles with a cancerous body and a nauseous soul. Still, the feeling is not one of hopelessness, due to the priest’s stirrings of resolve and desire and also to Schrader’s stylistic vehemence, »
There's an argument that crops up - and I generally side with it - when talking about violence in films. And that's that the unrealistic way it's portrayed - be it a brick being thrown at someone in Home Alone 2 or a bullet being sprayed in a Marvel film - creates an unrealistic perception as to the damage real-life violence can do. That if you're going to show a bullet hitting someone, show just what it can do. I'm still haunted, for instance, by the damage that one solitary bullet does in John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood, some 25 years after I first watched it.
See related The Croods 2 has been cancelled
I think that writer-director S. Craig Zahler is a subscriber to this theory. In his debut feature, the micro-budget, »
I’m not the biggest fan of Vince Vaughn. I find his film choices a little boring and his humor too frat boyish. It’s important for me to acknowledge this because my opinion of Vaughn initially made me disinterested in S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 (hereafter referred to as Brawl). Thankfully Vaughn is […] »
- Joe Lipsett
Brawl In Cell Block 99 is the new film from S. Craig Zahler, the man who delivered the truly awesome western/ horror Bone Tomahawk a couple of years back. Knowing that should give you a rough idea of what’s in store for you in this gritty drama starring Vince Vaughn, which still manages to shock with its dark subject matter and bloody violence.
Vince Vaughn plays Bradley, a former boxer who we first meet at his place of work, a local garage where he is about to get laid off. To make things worse, he returns home early to learn that his wife Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter) has been having a three-month affair with another man. »
- Paul Heath
At Tiff, one of the movies I was most keen to see was Brawl In Cell Block 99 (review Here), for many reasons, one of which was that I loved director S. Craig Zahler’s last film, Bone Tomahawk, but also because one of my childhood heroes, Don Johnson, has a starring role. You can read my review here, but suffice to say I loved it, and when I was offered the opportunity to sit down with Johnson, as well as star... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
For a little over an hour, “Brawl in Cell Block 99” is a slow-burn crime drama that just so happens to star Vince Vaughn as a ridiculous muscle mass. After that first hour, Vaughn’s outrageous physical appearance makes more sense: The movie devolves into a series of gruesome showdowns, with bloody punches and bones crunching, as writer-director S. Craig Zahler throws nuance to the wind and trades it for a grotesque, ludicrous prison fight movie that’s certainly one of the more uncharacteristic projects in Vaughn’s prolific career.
Vaughn has never been the most obvious choice to anchor a silent tough guy role; despite his physique, he’s maintained the air of a smarmy jock who doesn’t age. “Cell Block 99” doesn’t suggest a paradigm shift for the actor, but it’s a curious alternative that delivers on the level of pure grindhouse shocks that eventually become its gruesome raison d’être. »
- Eric Kohn
Plot: A former boxer (Vince Vaughn) turned drug runner, is forced to infiltrate a maximum security prison. Review: Director S. Craig Zahler is quickly establishing himself as the most exciting pulp-infused voice to come along since Quentin Tarantino. His 2015 western, Bone Tomahawk, came out of nowhere, bypassing traditional fests like Tiff to premiere at Fantastic Fest, dropping on VOD soon after, where it became... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 replicates the structure and mutations of his first film, Bone Tomahawk, a realistic Western that expands into a gorefest with inflections of Mad Max. Likewise, Brawl begins as a fairly low-key thriller (minus the part in which Vince Vaughn dismantles nearly half a car with his bare hands) that continuously ratchets up the bloodiness in uncreasingly unreal settings. Zahler’s definitely a gore enthusiast, which isn’t really my thing: it doesn’t particularly bother me, but I’d just as soon not deal with it. But, like Jeremy Saulnier, gore is what enables what I’ve liked about his work: Tomahawk […] »
- Vadim Rizov
Sometimes, you have to smash things to bits before life can get better. But then life only gets better for a while before it gets much, much worse. More smashing is required, some resolution gained. Then, well, hmmm, that seems to be the thesis of S. Craig Zahler's gritty, deliberate, and ultimately, gruesome tale of masculinity descending deeper and deeper into hell; prisons inside of prisons. Brawl In Cellblock 99 (hereafter Brawl) with a remarkable mano-a-auto bit of demolition, in which beefy and tattoed Vince Vaughn, playing ex-boxer (and addict) Bradley Thomas, takes out his rage on his wife's car after he loses his job and finds out she is having an affair. This is not your ordinary break a window and throw away the...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
For a large chunk of Vince Vaughn’s career, I was critical of the actor for continuing to play the same character. While there were outliers like Domestic Disturbance and Psycho, more often than not he would play a variation on his role from Swingers—the fast-talking wise-ass who isn’t quite as savvy as he thinks he is. However, Vaughn has been branching out lately. He made a surprising turn in the second season of True Detective, but he’s taken his work to the next level with his lead role in S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl … »
- Matt Goldberg
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vince Vaughn, Dario Argento, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Edgar Wright, Tommy Wiseau and Paul Williams are spotlighted in the films of the 2017 Beyond Fest, which kicks off late this month. Billed as the biggest genre festival in Los Angeles, the slate features 23 west coast premieres and 32 events, including opening night’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 (featuring Vaughn as a former boxer turned drug-runner, directed by S. Craig Zahler) and closing night’s The K… »
Beyond Fest, the highest-attended genre film festival in the Us, is excited to announce its full slate of 2017 programming featuring 32 events and 23 West Coast premieres of cinematic excess. Co-presented by Shudder, Beyond Fest returns to Hollywood’s famed Egyptian Theatre for 12 days of movies, music and mayhem spanning Friday, September 29th - Tuesday, October 10th to generate funds for the nonprofit 501c3 American Cinematheque. With a diverse slate that includes films from all corners of the globe Beyond Fest is proud to open with Brawl in Cell Block 99 with director S. Craig Zahler returning … »
- Dave Trumbore
Over the years, I’ve consumed my share of vintage grindhouse flicks (revenge, car chase, blaxploitation, cannibal, you name it), but I confess that I never thought much about them until Quentin Tarantino came along and began to talk them up as if they were the second coming of cinema. Curious, I took a grindhouse-movie plunge to try to find out what it was that turned the scurrilous trash of the ’70s into Quentin’s cinematic sanctuary. I think I finally saw the light. Yes, the movies had sleaze, grit, wild violence, tawdry sex, an off-the-books aura of semi-scandalous transgression (all things I approve of). But what I now also saw is that they had a very perverse sort of conviction. The characters didn’t just commit sordid, reckless, and ugly acts; it’s as if the low budgets and air of extremity scraped away everything but their ability to mean it. You »
- Owen Gleiberman
This is not an action movie. Even though it has some very gritty, brutal action scenes, it is more of a thriller (or drama) than anything. That said, action fans should take an interest in this one anyway. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is the latest film from director S. Craig Zahler, of Bone Tomahawk previously, and he once again proves his prowess at delivering totally gnarly moments of violence. Zahler's Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a slow burn drama about a man and his wife, and the lengths he goes to protect her and raise a family safely in a nice house. It's kind of, sort of criticizing the American dream in a subtle way, but also glorifying a hero made of muscles who only says exactly what is necessary and never anything else. He is so fucking badass. This stars Vince Vaughn as Bradley Thomas, a man »
- Alex Billington
The book that will someday be written detailing the evolution of the cinematic head-stomp will be divided, rather like the most unfortunate victim of “Bone Tomahawk,” into two halves: before S. Craig Zahler‘s ‘Tomahawk’ follow-up, “Brawl in Cell Block 99,” and after. And by rights it deserves to be a similar marker in the career of star Vince Vaughn, who plays protagonist Bradley — occasional stompee, but more often stomper of said heads.
Continue reading ‘Brawl In Cell Block 99’ Is A Bloody, Meaty, Gruesome Blast [Venice Review] at The Playlist. »
- Jessica Kiang
2 September 2017 4:30 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
S. Craig Zahler burst onto the scene in 2015 with the bracing genre fusion Bone Tomahawk, a wildly idiosyncratic horror western that lavished as much attention on its flavorful characters and dialogue as on the blood-curdling cannibal violence of its genuinely startling climax. The writer-director sticks with the slow-burn approach, along with the gleeful ransacking of genre tropes, in his follow-up prison thriller, Brawl in Cell Block 99, even if the earlier work's off-kilter humor is largely missing. Still, the movie reinvents Vince Vaughn as a human demolition machine who's also a devoted family man, and it should find favor »
- David Rooney
In today’s film news roundup, Vision Films has bought romantic comedy “Off the Menu,” Fantastic Fest expands to satellite locations, and IndieFlix announces “Angst: Breaking the Stigma Around Anxiety.”
“Off the Menu” stars Dania Ramirez, Santino Fontana, Makenzie Moss, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jen Lilley, and Kristen Dalton. Ramirez plays a chef in a New Mexico town who falls for an arrogant but lovable heir to a fast-food chain, portrayed by Fontana.
“Off the Menu” was filmed in Taos, N.M., with a crew that was over 50% female and Hispanic, qualifying the production for the SAG diversity agreement. Jay Silverman directed from a Jennifer Goldson screenplay. Producers are Bethany Cerrona and William Newman for Jay Silverman Productions.
- Dave McNary
Last year S. Craig Zahler established himself as a genre filmmaker to watch with his directorial debut, the brutal cannibal western Bone Tomahawk. Now this year he is following that up with a gritty prison thriller called Brawl in Cell Block 99. Vince Vaughn follows up his True Detective performance with another darker role, playing […] »
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 […]
The post ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’ Trailer: Vince Vaughn Goes to Prison appeared first on /Film. »
- Jack Giroux
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