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Nearly a year ago - back in November of 2015 - we were smacked upside the head by the trailer for Andrey Kravchuk's Viking, a new historical epic from the producers of the international hit Night Watch movies. Thought that trailer was very much an early tease, meant to attract attention more than a year before the actual release date of the film, it was already packed to the gills with absolutely astounding footage that did a lot more than just whet the appetite. It left us positively ravenous. History is a symptom of our disease. From the time of heavy swords and dark laws of blood, when the pressure of great chaos gave rise to heroes. From the Dark Ages came the story that...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
MaryAnn’s quick take…
It’s not great. It’s not terrible. It is bland manufactured entertainment product. It’s fine. Hollywood is not creatively bankrupt. Everything is fine. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s fine. Everything is fine. This new Ben-Hur is fine. It’s not great. It’s not terrible. It is a piece of bland manufactured entertainment product. It exists. It’s fine.
It’s not great. It’s not terrible. It’s fine. Hollywood is not creatively bankrupt. Everything is fine.
It’s fine that major Hollywood studios that insist they are businesses first sunk $100 million into producing a movie that no one was demanding, and many more tens of millions in advertising and marketing trying to convince audiences they wanted to see it. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Up until somewhat recently, all of the movie reviews on this site used the five-star grading system. The college newspaper I wrote for also used the star system, and I used to enjoy the economy of language at play there. If you want the tiniest snapshot of an opinion on a film, one just needs to see how many stars were given, and if you wanted to know more, or why, you could just read the review in full. Still, after a number of years, I found myself overthinking everything, second guessing my snap judgment star ratings, because, if I gave this movie this rating, it subsequently would mean I liked it more/less than X amount of movies I gave this other rating to, and on and on it'd go. If we still had the star system in play here, I honestly don't know what I'd give Ben-Hur. I »
When you watch the 1959 “Ben-Hur,” a studio classic so big and stodgy and literal that even the dialogue seems square-jawed, there’s something that tugs you right through the endless talk about high ideals and the birth of Christianity — and no, it’s not just the promise that after three hours, you’re going to get to see the chariot race to end all chariot races. It’s the presence of an actor who’s like an oak tree among twigs. As the title stud-slave, Charlton Heston projects a strength that’s brawny but internal — sturdiness resolved into muscle. Even his soul is clenched. He’s like a Hollywood glamour god sculpted by Michelangelo. You’d think that this sort of gladiatorial hero worship would have gone out of style, but, of course, you’d be wrong. It’s alive and kicking in a movie like “Gladiator,” where Russell Crowe »
- Owen Gleiberman
“I was like ‘Oh my gosh! F—k, I cursed,’” laughed Diane Kruger at the New York City premiere of her film “Disorder” at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Tuesday night. The German actress was referring to her appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” a few days before where she dropped the F-bomb while imitating a German accent. “I was delirious,” she joked.
Kruger alongside writer-director Alice Winocour was celebrating the American open of “Disorder (Maryland),” which bowed at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. The psychological thriller follows a former soldier (Matthias Schoenaerts) suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who is hired to protect a wealthy businessman’s trophy wife (Kruger) and son.
Winocour said she was inspired by the stories of soldiers, but was personally drawn to Ptsd because of her own struggle with the disease. “I also have experienced Ptsd myself — giving birth to my daughter and almost dying of it, »
- Sade Spence
4 August 2016 6:30 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Walking into the home office of Timur Bekmambetov, the filmmaker behind Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the upcoming Ben-Hur (Aug. 19), one wouldn't expect to find a shrine to Walt Disney. After all, the Kazakhstan-born filmmaker first made his mark with the creepy, visually inventive R-rated horror fantasy Night Watch, which became Russia's highest-grossing film in 2004. He followed that with the sequel Day Watch (which topped its predecessor) before his first American film — 2008's Angelina Jolie vehicle Wanted — earned $341.4 million worldwide. But today, the director-producer lives in Disney's former
- Rebecca Ford
Earlier this week, I published my rave review of HBO's new miniseries The Night Of, and I'm going to put it into the weekly review rotation for its run, starting with thoughts on the first episode, coming up just as soon as I can name two Yankees headed for the Hall of Fame... "Am I really here?" -Naz Because "The Beach" has been available for a few weeks through HBO's On Demand and streaming services, I've gotten to see the early reactions to it, which tend to break down along three paths: 1)That was unbearable to watch because I felt so bad for Naz as his night out went so horribly awry; 2)That was unbearable to watch because Naz acted like such a complete idiot at every turn; 3)Even though I felt bad for Naz, and/or couldn't believe how stupid he kept being, I was riveted by the whole thing. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Drawing favorable comparisons to the Night Watch series, Emilis Velyvis’ monster-filled flick Guardians of the Night (Nochnye Strazhi) is headed to Russia on August 25th. Though we don’t yet have a Stateside date, the brand spankin’ new Russian release trailer… Continue Reading →
The post Russian Guardians of the Night Trailer Is a Real Monster Mash appeared first on Dread Central. »
- John Squires
Recent years have brought us numerous remakes no one ever asked for, but Hollywood have really out done itself with Timur Bekmembetov’s (Night Watch, Wanted) Ben-Hur, already brought to the screen in fantastic fashion twice in 1925 and 1959 (the version we all know with Charlton Heston). The first trailer for this remake really showed what a director with an eye for crazy visuals like Bekmembetov could bring to the tale, and now a second trailer lifts the lid on the story, and good god it is awful. First off, it stuffs way too much into just under three minutes, with the super serious tone leading to some unintentional laughs on more than one occasion. Secondly, couldn’t they have picked a different song? I have no idea what they are aiming for with it, but they didn’t hit their mark. Instead, it makes the whole affair look behind cheesy. Check it out below, if you feel you need to. Released: 19th August (U.S.)/ 26th August (Irl/U.K.) »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
There aint nothing undead that can't be made undeader. That appears to be the guiding principal behind Emilis Velyvis' Guardians Of The Night, a bit of Underworld meets Night Watch action-horror out of Russia. The story is familiar enough - a courier stumbles across the reality of supernatural creatures hidden in plain sight in Moscow and is recruited by the organization tasked with keeping them under control - so it's really all about execution. And Velyvis - who, as an interesting side note, actually had a bit part as an actor in Brad Anderson's Transsiberian - seems pretty solid on that front. We ran a first teaser for this one back in April and it has now been followed by a full trailer, with English...
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Game Of Thrones season 6 is truly living up to the show's reputation for bloody murder. Major spoilers ahead..
This review contains spoilers.
The motto of this show has been the same since the very beginning. When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Sometimes, just when it seems like winning is right around the corner, it turns out to be a nasty case of death instead. Westeros is a land where good, honorable people die terrible deaths, and also a land where despicable people die terrible deaths as well. Generally, everyone dies a terrible death. Valar morghulis.
Once upon a time, during the War of Five Kings, Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahyde) was considered an actual king. Sure, he only ruled the Iron Islands, and through them the northern seas, but still, that's a kingdom, albeit a nautically-based one. Now, the three Baratheon combatants are dead, »
Now, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in Russian copyright law but if I were one of the producers of upcoming action fantasy Guardians Of The Night (Nochnye Strazhi) I might consider having my lawyer on speed dial. The story of a young courier who stumbles upon a hidden underworld of supernatural creatures and is recruited into the agency responsible for keeping the peace between the supernatural and human worlds, the similarities between this and Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch are many and obvious. Not least of which is that the Russian title is actually close enough to Bekmambetov's film (and the source novel by Sergei Lukyanenko) that the literal translations to English are exactly the same. Regardless: Vampires in Russia! Take a...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
You're dangling off a van driving at an ungodly speed down a three-lane Moscow highway; suddenly, you hear a raucous, jarring thump. With all the violent jostling, it’s impossible to tell if it was a bump in the road or a tire crushing a stuntman's head. You look everywhere for clues; it's only once the Russian daredevil, previously lying prostrate in the middle of hectic traffic, flashes the thumbs up and yells, "Did you get?! Did you get?!" that you realize no one has died. Not yet, at least. »
Courtesy of Stx Entertainment
In the action thriller Hardcore Henry, a man wakes up in a high-tech lab and is told by a woman in a lab coat he has been brought back to life as a human-robot hybrid. He can’t remember anything but she tells him his name is Henry and she is his wife, slipping a wedding ring on his finger. But as she is preparing to restore his ability to speak, the lab is attacked. Shortly, Henry is running for his life in Moscow and hoping to rescue his wife from the attackers who have taken her.
The twist with this high-octane thriller is that it is shot in first-person point-of-view, where the audience sees through Henry’s eyes as he battles to stay alive using his considerable skills. Since he cannot speak, the viewer is completely immersed in his role, which is shot like a »
- Cate Marquis
For years, video games have stolen characters, imagery and set pieces from cinema (I’m looking’ at you Dead Space!); with this week’s Hardcore Henry, the film industry is striking back. Director Ilya Nashuller and producer Timur Bekmambetov (auteur of the awesome Night Watch series) team up to create the first action flick shot entirely with a subjective camera. So, does it work? And will gamers, used to controlling said camera, approve?
The film starts off with a bang when Henry (played by…us?) is woken up by his scientist lover Estelle (Haley Bennett) to realize he has no memory. It’s quickly deduced that he’ll have to regain his identity (which includes his voice; Henry is virtually speechless for much of the movie) and take down a warlord who plans to bio-engineer soldiers. If you’re even a casual gamer, all of this will feel oddly familiar. »
- Earthworm Jim
Ever since Game of Thrones' Jon Snow was repeatedly stabbed by members of the Night Watch in the Season 5 finale in a bloody coup as they screamed "for the Watch!," fans have speculated how the show favorite could possibly be revived. Would he lead the army of White Walkers? Would he be resurrected by Melisandre's powers?
Whatever the conspiracy theory, nearly everyone was in agreement that the role played by Kit Harrington, one of the few remaining favorites of the series quick to kill off characters, would be missed. »
Opening this Friday, April 8 is one of the more innovative action films you’re likely to see anytime soon when Hardcore Henry opens nationwide.
It’s the directorial debut by Ilya Naishuller, a Russian punk rocker-turned-filmmaker who caught the eye of Russia’s most successful filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) with the music video for his band Biting Elbows, and the two of them set out to create something similar for the big screen. (You can watch Ilya’s original video here, but Warning: it’s not really safe for work or for young kids.)
The Hardcore Henry of the title is a man who died but was brought back to life by his wife (Haley Bennett), who is then promptly kidnapped by a powerful warlord named Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) who sends his army of mercenaries to stop Henry from getting her back. Then there’s the mysterious Jimmy (Sharlto Copley »
- Edward Douglas
It’s been a few years since we last heard about Dusk Watch. For a variety of reasons, we still haven’t seen the third installment in the Russian series, despite previous installments Night Watch and Day Watch being considerable box office hits overseas. Director Timur Bekmambetov is a rather busy man these days, but he hasn’t forgotten about Dusk Watch, and he says it will […]
The post Director Timur Bekmambetov Says ‘Dusk Watch’ Will Happen at Some Point appeared first on /Film. »
- Jack Giroux
'Ben-Hur' 2016 with Jack Huston: Chariot race to the death. 'Ben-Hur' 2016 trailer: 'Gladiator' meets 'Fast Seven' meets 'Star Wars' meets… Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have released the trailer for their 2016 Ben-Hur remake (or reboot or readaptation) – a.k.a. Fast and Furious A.D., as one wag called it in an online comment. Instead of grandiose spectacle featuring at its core a “human” story with Christian overtones, this chariot-and-sandals epic is being sold as Gladiator meets Fast Seven meets Spartacus: Blood and Sand meets Star Wars – with Morgan Freeman's Sheik Ilderim as the Roman Empire's dreadlocked version of Alec Guinness' Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. Say what you will, the trailer-makers sure know their target audience. And that's not the same crowd that would go check out what's usually referred to in the U.S. media as “faith” (i.e., Christian) movies. One assumes that particular audience segment will be getting »
- Andre Soares
Language comes up a lot when talking to Timur Bekmambetov, director of Wanted and Night Watch and producer of Unfriended and 9. But we're not talking about the language barrier between his Russian tongue and English. It's the barrier between what he sees in his head and what the language of cinema will allow him to do. That cinematic language barrier has never been more apparent than with Bekmambetov's newest film as a producer, Hardcore Henry. This already notorious action movie shatters the traditional language of cinema. While the first person perspective is certainly not new to movies, what separates Hardcore Henry from others is writer-director Ilya Naishuller made it entirely from a first person perspective. The cameramen were basically extreme sports...
- Peter Hall
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