1-20 of 27 items from 2016 « Prev | Next »
Thanks to the Russo brothers; Swann, Ajax, Cochise, Rembrandt, and other members of “The Warriors” are coming out to play again. Let’s check it out.
In conjunction with Paramount TV and Hulu, Joe and Anthony Russo are doing a re-imagining of Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic ‘The Warriors’ with a 1 hour drama series which will be shown on Hulu. They plan to honor the movie while adding their own touch of grit, sex and violence to the story. Story writer for the series will be Frank Baldwin.
The film is an adaption of Sol Yurick’s novel, of the same name. Set in 1979 NYC it tells the tale of a Coney Island gang that must make it back to their home turf after being framed for the murder of Cyrus, leader of the largest gang in NYC. During the trip they have to avoid rival gangs hunting them for the death of Cyrus, »
- email@example.com (Rob Bayne)
Jason Statham is nothing if not consistent. Although he’s taken detours into blockbuster territory with Furious 7, showcased some strong comedy chops in Spy, and made the (love ’em or hate ’em) wholly singular Crank movies, Statham’s bread and butter has always been the modestly budgeted action movie. The continuously expanding Jason Statham library isn’t full of […]
- Jacob Hall
I’ll be completely honest with you, I’ve never seen a “Crank” film, I haven’t watched any film in “The Transporter” series, and I haven’t seen 2011’s Jason Statham-led remake of “The Mechanic.” Outside of Guy Ritchie or Paul Feig films, which always play up Statham’s underrated comic abilities, I’ve rarely seen a Statham film where […]
- The Playlist
Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair have joined the cast of the planned horror movie Mom And Dad which is being directed by Crank helmer Brian Taylor. Cage and Taylor previously worked together on the big-screen adaptation of the comic book Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Taylor is also writing the screenplay for the new movie, which The Tracking Board says revolves around a teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents (Blair and Cage) to turn violently on their own kids.
The website says that production on Mom and Dad is expected to start in Kentucky in July.
- Paul Heath
The premise of the film sees a teenage girl and her little brother having to survive a day when something mysterious causes her parents to turn on them. Cage is going to play the father, whilst Selma Blair has now joined the project to star opposite him.
Shooting on Mom And Dad begins next month. We'll keep you posted as and when »
Ah, The Statham. We're rather fond of the man, as regular readers may have realised by now. And his turn in Paul Feig's Spy as Rick Ford is firmly established already as one of our favourite all-time Statham roles. If you've not had the pleasure, then be assured that Spy is Statham comedy gold, a film he pretty much walks away with, every time he's allowed near the screen.
There had been talk about a sequel to Spy last year, and writer/director Paul Feig, in a new interview with Empire, has admitted that "that’s another world that I don’t want to walk away from. It’s the first thing I did that I set up to be a possible franchise and Melissa [McCarthy] is dying to do it. »
We check out the John Travolta films that have been bypassing cinemas over the past few years...
In the days leading up to writing this article, which will cover a recent period in which he’s made a bunch of films that have quickly drifted to DVD or VOD, I had to stop and ask myself a genuine question: how do I actually feel about John Travolta?
The answer that rose from the depths of my coal-black, hell-bound soul was weirdly surprising. Brushing aside his personal life – which is not worth getting into here – I found I had nothing but good feelings surrounding his work as an actor.
I grew up with Carrie, Grease, Look Who’s Talking and perhaps his best film, Brian De Palma’s Blow Out. I also grew up with some of his clunkers, like the Look Who’s Talking sequels and 80s concept comedy The Experts. He’s been acting since before I was born, so he’s always been in the background of my pop culture landscape – working solidly for more than 40 years.
Over those decades, his catalogue has defied explanation. He seems to unapologetically pick whatever he feels moved to be a part of regardless of criticism and, goddamn it, there’s something inherently admirable about that. Unlike, say, Bruce Willis, he doesn’t seem happy with doing just a couple of days work on a shoot in a smaller part; more often he will choose to be the star, or at least have equal-ish screen time – even if the project isn’t boasting a huge budget or a big name director. When Pulp Fiction thrust him back into the mainstream, he was still picking up stuff like Phenomenon and Michael in the following years.
I can confidently say that I’ve never seen the man actively 'phone in' a performance and even when he’s overcooked it, there’s usually a decent reason. I mean, if you find yourself on the set of Face/Off going up against The Cage, you’re gonna need to fight fire with fire. Even in Battlefield Earth, he was at least trying.
But in the last half decade we’ve found ourselves in a deeper Travolta trough than we’ve ever been in before. His films aren’t quite cutting the mustard in the industry like they used to and, after a run of flops that have seen him drift back into television with an impressive turn as Robert Shapiro in The People V. O.J. Simpson, I find myself wondering 'will Travolta ever be big business again?'
So, I took a look at four of the films that Travolta’s worked on in the last few years - each of which has effectively gone straight to DVD (save for a few days in a cinema) - to see if anything’s slipped under our radar that needs a boost…
The Forger (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 7% IMDb Rating – 5.7/10
In The Forger, John Travolta is a man serving a prison sentence who makes a call to get out of it early so he can spend more time with his dying son. In exchange for help with bribing the judge to release him early, John’s expected to help forge a Monet for his erstwhile crime boss, played by Hell On Wheels’ Anson Mount.
As the film casually flits between the forge/heist story and the bonding relationship between John and his son, it’s a testament to director Philip Martin - who comes from a TV background where he’s learnt his trade by helping to bring Prime Suspect and Wallander crime stories to life – that it isn’t a complete disaster. In someone else’s hands, it very well could have been.
Instead, The Forger has a delicate touch and a lot of the shots are interesting and unexpected without being jarring. It flows very smoothly and there’s an undercurrent of genuine love stemming from Travolta’s performance. After losing his own son, making a film about losing a son might have been cathartic and definitely quite close to the bone. I don’t want to read too much into Travolta’s choices, because that way madness lies, but it does really come across as though he cared about this one.
The Forger’s family scenes - with Travolta’s son Tye Sheridan and father Christopher Plummer - play really well, and while the tone of these scenes doesn’t gel with the heist elements of the plot, there’s good stuff here.
Overall, there’s not quite enough substance to sail the whole thing smoothly down the river, but it’s not bad by any stretch and the reviews have been a little harsh on what is actually a perfectly average film. No, you won’t watch it again, but neither will you probably regret watching it in the first place.
Criminal Activities (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 47% IMDb Rating – 5.8/10
Hoo boy, that title. That’s the worst title. I can’t imagine anyone involved could have wanted it. It’s maybe the most generic title I’ve ever seen. It’s so bad that even when I picked up the DVD, looked at the cover and saw that Michael Pitt (Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire) and Dan Stevens (The Guest, The Guest, The Guest) were Travolta’s co-stars in this, I still felt like I was drowning in the beigeness of it.
The film itself - Jackie Earle Haley's directorial debut - is an unfortunate mess. The plot, such as it is, involves Michael, Dan and the rest of the lads from their childhood gang borrowing money from a mob boss (Travolta) to invest in some sure-fire stocks that immediately collapse, leaving them out of pocket and in John’s. To pay off the debt, he wants them to kidnap a guy, because that guy’s friend kidnapped someone else. It’s convoluted and makes little sense, due to the fact that there’s a big twist coming at the end which will clarify most, if not all of it.
The actors are doing wayyy too much in the film - directed by an actor who clearly wants the actors to have room to act - and therein lies the fundamental problem. Apart from a great turn by Edi Gathegi (Gone Baby Gone, X-Men: First Class, Crank) it’s impossible to point a finger at anyone else in the cast and say 'yep, you, good job' because there’s just too much going on.
The twist is actually decent, but everything leading up to it is a headache. Working on a low budget, most of the scenes are dialogue-heavy, arduous and reliant on excessive coverage – so what you end up with is a film where a load of dudes sit in a room together and shout and swear at each other a lot. I wanted to take that final twist aside, buy it a drink, hug it, and reassure it that it deserved better.
I’m afraid to say there’s not much here to recommend, which is ironic given that it’s had the most positive reviews of the bunch.
I Am Wrath (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 13% IMDb Rating – 5.2/10
I Am Wrath is the worst film of these four by a long chalk.
Here, John stars as a man who decides payback is needed when his wife (Rebecca de Mornay) is killed before his eyes. That’s really all there is, plot-wise. See, it turns out he’s a man with a very particular set of skills and yada yada yada off he goes.
The script - written by Paul 'nope, nothing you’ve heard of' Sloan - is so very, very bad. I am going to tell you how bad it is, so you don’t think I’m just whistlin’ Dixie here:
During his wife’s funeral, John tells the priest that he’s an atheist after the priest gives him a bible in his time of need. Later, Travolta flings this bible across the room angrily. He then stops, pulls a full Joey Tribbiani 'smell-the-fart', slowly approaches the discarded bible, picks it up and reads a line about wrath with the dumbest revelatory expression on his face as the music builds. He sees this as a sign that he should become wrath, despite his earlier insistence that he thinks religion is total garbage.
Later, when asked who he is, Travolta looks determinedly into a mirror and says “I am wrath” – he said the name of the movie you guys! Holy shit. Honestly, I could not believe how hackneyed the whole thing was, not to mention bizarre - the film regularly abandons its serious 'violence begets violence' tone whenever John’s Bff Christopher Meloni turns up, suddenly becoming a jokey buddy comedy.
This was hard to get through. Please avoid it at all costs, for there is nothing here to keep you warm at night.
Killing Season (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 11% IMDb Rating – 5.4/10
De Niro and Travolta – together at last?
Well, the opening sequence gives us a bit of background on the reason we’re all here. Something bad happened during the Bosnian War that will bring our two main dudes together for some serious vengeance. The sequence is sepia, because past, and ohhhhh god, here comes the present…
It’s at this point that we discover that John is going to attempt an Eastern European accent. It is Not Good. It is not John Malkovich in Rounders, but it is Not Good and we are stuck with it for the duration.
His facial hair during this first scene is also completely ridiculous. I can’t adequately describe how bonkers it is, but try to imagine a werewolf that can only grow stubble carefully shaving a circle into its face. It’s a relief to find that they decided to tone this down for the rest of the film - he looks more like he’s wearing a black chinstrap from then on.
Despite the accent and the questionable chin beard, it’s a lot easier to buy Travolta as a man on a mission of vengeance during Killing Season than it was during I Am Wrath. He’s obviously jazzed to be working with De Niro and he’s knuckled down to bounce off him, keeping it low-key and making an effort not to overdo it.
As a result of this equilibrium, we also get a glimpse of a pre-Meet The Parents De Niro - which is very much welcomed, sweet lord - and the two men head into the second act ready to take each other on, hunt each other down and resolve those Bosnian sins of the past in the most violent way possible.
The script - by proposed Tomb Raider reboot scribe Evan Daugherty - occasionally stumbles, but is solid enough. The direction is fine. It’s fine. It’s probably Mark Steven Johnson’s best film (but when his other major films are Daredevil and Ghost Rider, that’s not exactly a gush) and as the two leads hunt and trap each other, a lot of Predator love oozes out of the frame. Unfortunately, this is not Predator, but you could do worse on an evening than to sit through this instead (if you don’t own Predator).
…Oh my god you guys. We should totally watch Predator right now.
Until next time, and until the next rebirth of Mr Travolta, I bid you adieu.
Next time: the straight to DVD movies of John Cusack
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.
See related Bruce Willis: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies DVD & Bluray Feature Movies Kirsten Howard John Travolta 14 Jun 2016 - 05:16 The Forger I Am Wrath Criminal Activities Killing Season »
Celebrating its world premiere this weekend at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival is the graphic novel adaptation Officer Downe, which was written by Joe Casey (who also wrote the source material) and directed by M. Shawn Crahan, (also known to fans worldwide as “Clown” from Slipknot). The film stars Kim Coates as the titular character: a badass cop unable to die and Los Angeles’ last form of protection from a corrupt future world.
Daily Dead caught up with Coates prior to the film’s premiere to hear more about his experiences taking on the lead role for Officer Downe, collaborating with Crahan on the film, why the world needs more badass movies, and the virtues of playing an immortal character. »
- Heather Wixson
Directed by first-time feature filmmaker M. Shawn Crahan (who is also known to millions of fans as Clown from the hugely popular band Slipknot), Officer Downe recently premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival. Written by Joe Casey (who also penned the graphic novel), Officer Downe stars Kim Coates in the titular role as an immortal cop fighting to make Los Angeles a safer place in the not-too-distant future.
Daily Dead recently had the opportunity to speak with Crahan about his first time in the director’s chair for Officer Downe and heard more about his approach to the material, why Coates was the perfect choice to embody the film’s hero, how Mark Neveldine has continued to mentor him, and more.
Great to speak with you today, Shawn. I was really excited to see that you were going to be directing. I was super bummed as a fan to »
- Heather Wixson
Back in February, producer Mark Neveldine (half of Crank's Neveldine/Taylor directing duo) stated that his upcoming comic book adaption of Officer Downe is “better than any Marvel movie or DC movie ever made.” While some people may think that's a bold claim, I would argue those studios are releasing some pretty generic, watered down cinema, so it's entirely possible he's just calling it how he sees it.
For my money, Officer Downe is already a winner when it casts Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates in the lead and holds a super R rating. This first clip from the flick certainly gives us a great taste of the madness to come.
Based on the gr [Continued ...] »
The 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday, June 1st, and this year’s Nightfall lineup looks to be yet another strong selection of genre films set to thrill festival-goers night after night.
For those of you in the southern California area, the 2016 Laff runs through Thursday, June 9th and is calling the ArcLight Culver City Cinema home this year. Here’s a look at what we’re anticipating once the Laff begins later this week, and for more information on the festival, please visit:
Full disclosure: Abattoir was edited by my significant other, so I am certainly biased, but my enthusiasm for the film comes from my excitement to see Bousman return to the hardboiled world of horror after working on The Devil’s Carnival musicals and his comedy-infused segment in last year’s Tales of Halloween anthology. »
- Heather Wixson
Whenever we interview anyone for Den of Geek, we try to throw in a curveball of a final question by asking them, “What’s your favourite Jason Statham movie?” Obviously, there are plenty to choose from, but to date, the most common answer is Crank. Simon Pegg loves it. James McAvoy loves it. Rupert Grint loves it. The list goes on, and for good reason: it’s bonkers, and brilliant, and almost completely unique.
The contrivance that kickstarts Crank’s action is a great one: hitman Chev Chelios (The Statham, naturally) has been poisoned by a rival gangster, injected with a synthetic compound that blocks his adrenaline receptors. To stay alive, he’ll need to jack himself up with as many stimulants as possible. »
The legendary screen hardman uses his full range of acting in this bizarre phone ad
LG’s new G5 phone is a curious bit of kit: essentially a workaday-looking smartphone, but one that features a weird slidey thing at the bottom to remove, and quite likely lose, your battery. LG have branded this design kink as modular and “transformative”, so who better to get across this sense of transformation than Jason Statham, the hyper-versatile actor known for playing a chiselled hard man in Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, a chiselled hard man in the Transporter series, and a chiselled hard man in Crank and its even crankier sequel Crank: High Voltage?
Continue reading »
- Gwilym Mumford
The Horror Channel is set to broadcast no less than eight horror premieres next month, including the UK TV premiere of 'The Vatican Tapes'. The movie is a dynamic, unusual and thrilling exorcism shocker by 'Crank' director Mark Neveldine, and it will air on Friday 13th May at 9pm. Also receiving their first appearances on the Horror Channel are the grotesque Irish comedy horror 'Stitches', starring Ross Noble and Tom Shankland's chilling and taboo-shattering 'The Children. There is also a UK TV premiere of Ian Clark's stark and scary 'The Facility'. You can check out the rest of May's premieres below. »
Action veteran Jason Statham may have ducked out of a role in Camille Delamarre’s franchise revival of the Transporter series, allowing newcomer Ed Skrein to take point at the head of the balls-to-the-wall – and ultimately disappointing – actioner. But for Mechanic: Resurrection, the British actor returns as Arthur Bishop with today’s first image teasing trouble in paradise.
Also on board for Resurrection is Jessica Alba, and we understand that the movie filmed on location in Bangkok, Thailand. Barrelling down on a late summer release date, Summit Entertainment’s sequel/reboot/revival sees Statham back in the role of “the Mechanic when someone from his past forces him back into the business. Bishop has to complete an impossible list of assassinations of the most dangerous men in the world.”
As far as synopses go, that’s about as vague and generic as you’ll see for an upcoming action movie, »
- Michael Briers
Batman V Superman, Scott Pilgrim, Hardcore Henry and more show the growing influence of videogames on film....
For a while now, 'it's like watching somebody else play a video game' has been a nifty shorthand for film critics. Even though the popularity of playthrough videos, from YouTube to dedicated networks like Twitch, means that a lot of us might now be watching other people play the video games, we understand the implication whether we agree with it or not.
It's the same reason why there has arguably never been a great movie based directly on a video game, as these tend to transplant story and character elements into a big screen medium at the expense of the personal player experience, whereby you can actually inhabit and control a character. »
Want a quality action film, but you only have an hour and a half? Step this way...
Looking back over the genre, action films definitely haven’t suffered from the trend to make everything longer. They’ve always been pretty long, regularly clocking in at over two hours. Perhaps because of all the slo-mo? But while the sweet spot for action classics seems to be the 100-110 minute mark, there are those that have cut the genre right down to basics, and succeeded all the more for it.
Below is my pick of 25 great action films 90 minutes or under. Even more so than other genres, action crosses many other films - picking a pure ‘action’ flick is all but impossible. So below I’ve chosen films that retain action sequences as their main narrative device, and keep the action at the heart of the movie, rather than as a extra. »
This one got away from me.
The cast of the television show Impractical Jokers (Sal Volcano, Joe Gatto, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn and James ‘Murr’ Murray) were in London for their first ever live UK performances and Den of Geek had managed to grab a little time with them ahead of the shows. In our excitement over what we expected would be a fun interview we had failed to consider the possible difficulties.
It turns out that interviewing four comedians at the same time is hard work. Typing up my recording afterwards was like trying to transcribe a riot. If a regular interview is like fishing (it’s not) then interviewing the Impractical Jokers was like attempting to lasso four octopuses with the same piece of rope. »
In the works at Armory Films, Cassian Elwes and Xyz Films, The Wrap has learned that the project is currently being shopped to international distributors at Berlin Film Festival, with Taylor (Crank) eyeing a production start in the summer.
As for Cage’s involvement, he’s on board to play a human, funny and wholly scary father, and is one of the many parents to ignite 24 hours of mass panic after turning violent on his children. But The Purge this is not. While on paper Mom and Dad shares many of the psychological and thriller tenets of the genre, Taylor’s feature will chronicle the story of a teenage girl and her younger brother – both yet to be cast – as they desperately try to survive the night.
In a statement released alongside Cage’s casting, »
- Michael Briers
Oscar winner Nicolas Cage has signed on to star in the upcoming horror-thriller “Mom and Dad” from “Crank” writer-director Brian Taylor, it was announced Friday. “Mom and Dad” follows a teenage girl and her little brother who must survive a wild 24 hours, during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids. The film will be produced by Tim Zajaros and Christopher Lemole of Armory Films, while Cassian Elwes and Jere Hausfater will serve as executive producers. This will be the second film for Armory and Elwes and their newly-minted Zeal Media. Xyz Films. »
- Jeff Sneider
1-20 of 27 items from 2016 « Prev | Next »
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners