8 items from 2013
Welcome to The Best Movie You Never Saw, a column dedicated to examining films that have flown under the radar or gained traction throughout the years, earning them a place as a cult classic or underrated gem that was either before it.s time or has aged like a fine wine. This week we.ll be examining Johnny Handsome, a 1989 crime film that failed at the box office upon initial release, but has gained a significant following throughout the years and become well recognized for it.s noir »
- Paul Shirey
There is a bit of a controversy going on over in America (where else?) that besides the Obamacare controversy, Obama gun control controversy, Obama is black controversy, North Korea controversy, the Iraq invasion controversy, Lincoln didn’t win the Oscar controversy, music/video pirating controversy, the immigrant controversy, bank bail out controversy, drone controversy, oil pipeline controversy, Ray-j controversy, baseball doping controversy, legalized marijuana controversy and FBI spying on the internet controversy some people still have the energy to be indignant at Morgan Freeman’s Ama (Ask Me Anything) interview on Reddit recently, claiming that it seems the interview itself was a hoax and that was not the 70 year old award-winning actor but some PR shill pretending to be Morgan Freeman.
Reddit’s Ama format has become quite popular as of late for celebrities to try and reach or get back new fans that have tuned out of the usual »
- jay royston
As narrative, Bullet to the Head is amateurish. Villains awkwardly explain their plans for the benefit of the audience. Characterization is non-existent. Scenes are bridged by lame iMovie-style filter effects. Poorly Photoshopped stills are used to illustrate "backstory." The movie clunks along with no sense of dramatic tension or scope.
And yet in terms of how it handles light, movement, texture, and space, it's clearly the work of a master. Directing his first feature since Undisputed (2002), Walter Hill invests the film with all the hallmarks of his abstracted macho style: blunt comic-strip compositions; telephoto lenses that turn foreground objects into translucent smears on the frame; figures lit chiaroscuro against backdrops of neon; reflections rippling on water. Bullet in the Head may have a shaky sense of structure and plot, but it has a firm grip on action movie form.
Sylvester Stallone—looking more than a little like a gorilla taught »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Walter Hill's reputation as a masterly director of existential thrillers and westerns is secure, though apart from co-producing Prometheus, his important work this century has been for TV, notably the style-setting pilot for Deadwood and the western mini-series Broken Trail.
Based on a French graphic novel, Bullet to the Head takes him back to New Orleans and settings and themes he explored to greater effect in Hard Times, Southern Comfort and Johnny Handsome. It's a moderately entertaining buddy movie in which a Korean-American cop from New York joins forces with ageing hitman Sylvester Stallone to pursue some local cops, but Alessandro Camon's script is indifferent, and Stallone's characteristic combination of preening posturing and gruff self-pity makes him an unsuitable Hill hero. Over 30 years ago, Stallone passed on appearing in two of Hill's early masterworks, The Driver and 48 Hrs. Hill and his admirers should count themselves fortunate.
ThrillerSylvester StalloneAction and adventurePhilip French
- Philip French
Walter Hill's 1975 debut "Hard Times" was shot in New Orleans, albeit one dressed for a '30s setting. He returned for 1989's "Johnny Handsome," so this week's new released "Bullet To The Head" is his third visit -- and the first after Hurricane Katrina's devastation. The disaster inevitably changed the city's on-screen charge. In 2002, Louisiana passed new legislation entitling productions that spend a minimum of $300,000 in the state to a tax credit equivalent to 30% of their budget. The program's budgetary efficiency has been questioned, but states constantly steal production from each other through these tactics. (E.g., Louisiana's budgetary incentives stole work away from the until-then booming Texas industry.) In Katrina's wake, the state's tax incentives had the unexpected side effect of offering financial bait to record the devastation. The first filmmaker I recall taking up the challenge was »
- Vadim Rizov
Walter Hill needs no introduction. He’s written and directed some of the iconic and legendary films of the ‘80s and ‘90s — The Warriors, The Driver, 48 Hrs, Hard Times., Brewster’s Millions, The Drowning Pool. His fingerprints are on Alien and Aliens. He injected some fresh blood into the Western genre. You name it, he’s done it, and he’s inspired dozens of filmmakers and screenwriters, all of whom aim to use his hardboiled, gritty, and lean style.
Despite his successes – and films that are so beloved and recognized that they’re always on the verge of being remade – Hill’s output has slowed down. It’s a shame, as his films are exactly the kind of character driven, mature, and efficient action that moviegoers are craving. “A Bullet to the Head” is Hill’s first big screen production since 2002, and hopefully is a sign of a career resurgence »
- Elisabeth Rappe
If you're a movie fan, the name Walter Hill is synonymous with action classics like 48 Hours, The Warriors, Red Heat, Streets of Fire, and The Driver. Growing up, I must have watched a few of these over a dozen times, and if you had told my teenage self that one day I'd get to watch Hill direct up close, I'd never have believed you. But last year, when his new film Bullet to the Head was shooting in New Orleans, I got to visit the set along with a few other online reporters, and we saw up close the way the director likes to work. During a break in filming, we got to speak to him and he talked about collaborating with Sylvester Stallone, what drew him to this film, film versus digital, how things changed on set, how much they used the graphic novel as a template, and so much more. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
There's a sharp contrast between the colorful cartoon fish mural above the surface of an indoor Louisiana public pool and what's going on beneath the surface. At the deep end, Sylvester Stallone and Sung Kang dive into darkened waters for insert shots with an underwater camera for their new film, Bullet to the Head . In the scene, both men have just escaped from a hidden getaway house on the bayou and are swimming to safety. Bullet to the Head , the set of which ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to visit last year, marks the first theatrical film from director Walter Hill in over a decade. The man behind modern classics like 48 Hours and The Warriors , Hill previously shot in Louisiana for Hard Times , Southern Comfort and Johnny Handsome . "[New Orleans has] »
8 items from 2013
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