10 items from 2016
An intelligent marketing campaign and button-pressing subject matter ensures that Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot continues to one of the most buzzworthy shows lining USA Network’s slate, and that’s even factoring in the at times shaky sophomore season. But USA is cooking up several other exciting properties beyond the firewalls of Elliot Alderson’s shoddy abode.
Case in point: The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie has become attached to Damnation, a period drama rooted in the America heartland during the 1930s. The outlet goes on to reveal that Mackenzie has boarded the project to helm the show’s pilot episode, before switching gears to produce the remainder of the season. THR didn’t disclose how many installments USA Network has mapped out, but we’ll keep you posted as more news emerges.
Mackenzie, meanwhile, stands as a fine candidate to help get Damnation off the ground. »
- Michael Briers
Ryan Lambie Sep 6, 2016
A blend of western and heist thriller, Hell Or High Water has one foot in the present and one in the past. Its rugged atmosphere recalls classic thrillers and dramas of the 1970s, yet its setting - among shuttered towns of a post-recession east Texas - is unmistakably modern. Its big skies and Stetsons recall classic westerns, yet its story, brilliantly written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) feels like a eulogy for a vanishing way of life.
Even the casting feels like a nod to both 70s and contemporary cinema. There are plenty of parallels between Hell Or High Water and Michael Cimino's 1974 thriller Thunderbolt And Lightfoot, not least the casting of Jeff Bridges. In Cimino's film, Bridges stole just about every scene as a live-wire outlaw »
Opening in cinemas this Friday is quite simply one of the best crime movies of the year. David Mackenzie (Young Adam, Starred Up) returns to direct a western/ road movie/ social drama set in the heart of modern-day Texas.
A story about the collision of the Old and New West, two brothers — Toby (Chris Pine), a straight-living, divorced father trying to make a better life for his son; and Tanner (Ben Foster), a short-tempered ex-con with a loose trigger finger — come together to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land. The hold-ups are part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that powerful forces beyond their control have stolen from under their feet. Vengeance seems to be theirs until they find themselves in the cross-hairs of a relentless, foul-mouthed Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last triumph on the eve of his retirement. »
- Paul Heath
Ryan Lambie Published Date Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 06:18
No movie exists within a vacuum, and even the most outlandish-looking genre film still carries a distorted reflection of the here-and-now. Captain America: Civil War and Batman V Superman may be fantastical superhero movies, but they also feel right for a year where political and ideological division is, seemingly, everywhere.
Hell Or High Water, directed by Starred Up and Young Adam’s David Mackenzie, is a dusty Texan thriller charged with modern relevance. Playing on the images and trappings of western, road trip and heist genres, it’s another movie - alongside The Place Beyond The Pines and Out Of The Furnace - set against the backdrop of an America riven by the last decade’s financial crisis. Entire towns seem to stand empty. The nodding donkeys, once the sign of a healthy oil industry, no longer nod. Ranchers coral their skinny »
by Eric Blume
With their new film, director David Mackenzie (Young Adam, Starred Up) and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) make one thing abundantly clear: they really, really hate banks. Hell or High Water is a sort of southwest answer to The Big Short, a tale of rural Texas poor on a Robin Hood mission.
Sheridan’s script was the winner of the 2012 Black List prize for best unproduced screenplay, a fact which feels surprising during the cliché friendly first half hour. Brothers Toby and Tanner Howard are characters we’ve seen many times before, with a sibling dynamic that’s not new either. Tanner (Ben Foster) is the wild bro released from prison, complete with a violent streak and true-blue redneck energy. Toby (Chris Pine) is the tender brother, a taciturn and emotionally bruised man trying to make things right. Together, they start robbing small Texas banks to secure money to save the family farm. »
- Eric Blume
Critics be damned, but Warner Bros.’ latest D.C. Comics offering, “Suicide Squad,” will again prevail at the box office this weekend, against three new wide releases: “Sausage Party” (Sony), “Pete’s Dragon” (Buena Vista) and “Florence Foster Jenkins” (Paramount). However, it’s unclear whether “Sausage” or “Dragon” will come in second place.
Also up for debate is how much, if any, improvement we’ll see from the same weekend in 2015, when “Straight Outta Compton” dominated a Top Ten that totaled $130 million. Assuming “Suicide” doesn’t replicate the 69% second weekend collapse of “Batman v Superman” (that would place it around $40 million), and the new openings do expected business, $140 million or more is likely.
While holding the top spot for two weekends is always a nice bragging right, the real fate of “Suicide” lies in determining the profit it can eke out against a production and marketing budget of more than $300 million. »
- Tom Brueggemann
For many years, British filmmaker David Mackenzie’s work had received most of its acclaim on the film festival circuit, whether it was his period drama Young Adam or the thriller Hallam Foe or the prison film Starred Up. These films had Mackenzie working with some of the finest actors in the United Kingdom, many of them early in their careers.
Mackenzie’s upcoming film Hell or High Water may finally get him attention on these shores. It’s a modern-day take on a Western starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster as Toby and Tanner, two brothers committing a crime spree, robbing small banks across Western Texas in order to save their mother’s farm. Hot on their heels is Jeff Bridges’ Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton, who is ready to retire but decides to solve this one last case with his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham).
Many Australian filmmakers have played within the Western genre, »
- Edward Douglas
Our Hell Or High Water review is from the Cannes Film Festival, 2016.
Hell Or High Water review
David MacKenzie is gradually developing himself as being one of the most various, most exciting film-makers working today. After starting out with the likes of Young Adam with Ewan McGregor in 2003, before going on to the romantic drama Hallam Foe and then the hard-hitting Starred-Up in 2014, MacKenzie has dropped something quite different on Cannes with Hell and High Water, which plays in Un Certain Regard.
The film, set deep in the heart of west-Texas, revolves around two bungling bank robber brothers Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster), who must, over the course of a few days, get together around $40,000 to pay off debts relating to the estate of their late mother. »
- Paul Heath
The movie, directed by David Mackenzie, will open Aug. 12 in limited release, expand on Aug. 19 and go wide on Aug. 26.
The film will premiere later this month in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.
Pine and Foster portray brothers — a divorced dad and an ex-con — who embark on a daring bank robbery spree to save their family farm in New Mexico. Bridges plays a Texas ranger in pursuit.
The project was previously titled “Comancheria. »
- Dave McNary
Film directors trying to express themselves in East Germany had a tough row to hoe, yet quite a few of them dared to stray beyond the confines of social realism. The Defa Film Library has two new releases from 1966 that were banned and shelved before they could be finished -- and weren't seen until they were patched together in 1990. When You're Older, Dear Adam DVD Defa Film Library 1966-1990 / Color / 2:35 / 74 min. / Wenn du groß bist, lieber Adam / Street Date April, 2016 / Available from the Defa Umass Film Library / 29.95 (separate release) Starring: Stephan Jahnke, Gerry Wolff, Manfred Krug, Daisy Granados, Rolf Römer, Hanns Anselm Perten, Wolfgang Greese, Günther Simon. Cinematography Helmut Grewald Film Editor Monika Schindler Original Music Kurt Zander Written by Egon Günther, Helga Schütz Produced by Defa Directed by Egon Günther Berlin Around the Corner DVD Defa Film Library 1966-90 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 83 min. / Berlin um die ecke / Street Date April, »
- Glenn Erickson
10 items from 2016
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