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“I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t write… no real talent. But I’m pretty, and I can make money off pretty.”
Amazon Studio’s The Neon Demon directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, is a sumptuous horror-thriller, set in the highly competitive and often vicious world of fashion modeling, where the term “eat their own” takes on a decidedly new meaning. When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will use any means necessary to get what she has. The film is co-written by Refn (Bronson, Drive, Only God Forgives, Valhalla Rising), Mary Laws (”Preacher”) and Polly Stenham; and stars Elle Fanning (Maleficent,Super 8), Karl Glusman (Love, Stonewall), Jena Malone (Inherent Vice, The Hunger Games series), Bella Heathcote (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dark Shadows), Abbey Lee (Gods of Egypt, Max Max: »
- Tom Stockman
Who doesn't love Tom Hardy? The man is an acting machine. From his breakout role in Bronson, to his recent role as Mad Max in Fury Road, where he not only filled the shoes of Mel Gibson, but he (arguably) even wore them better, Hardy always brings it. Hell, I'll be the first to admit I didn't like his Bane voice in The Dark Knight Rises, but damn if... Read More »
- Damion Damaske
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
Captain America: Civil War (Russos)
In seeking to create an expansive multi-film universe, Marvel has managed to both bless and curse each of its subsequent films. The blessing comes in the form of a character development that takes place over the course of films and phases instead of scenes and acts. Characters who we met eight years ago have grown and changed before our eyes, and »
- The Film Stage
Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and European pay-tv company Sky are partnering on a major original drama series, “Britannia,” the first co-production between the companies. The 10-part series has been written by Jez Butterworth, whose stage play “Jerusalem” won a Tony for Mark Rylance, and whose movie credits include “Spectre,” Johnny Depp’s “Black Mass” and Tom Cruise’s “Edge of Tomorrow.”
The series will star Kelly Reilly (“True Detective,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Bastille Day”), David Morrissey (“The Walking Dead,” “The Hollow Crown”), Zoe Wanamaker (“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” “My Family”) and Stanley Weber (“Outlander”).
The show is set in Ad 43 “as the Roman imperial army returns to crush the Celtic heart of Britannia — a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the powerful forces of the underworld,” according to a press statement. “Arch-rivals Kerra (Reilly) and Antedia (Wanamaker) must set their differences to one side in »
- Leo Barraclough
Two weekends ago, Nicolas Winding Refn’s glitzy surreal horror film “The Neon Demon” opened on 783 screens, and when the weekend was over the box-office tally was far scarier than anything in the movie. Presented as a “mainstream” crossover thriller, the film had grossed just $589,000, with a mind-bendingly low per-screen average of $752. When a movie that’s striving to be a work of art falls on its face commercially, there’s no shame in that failure. The history of cinema is dotted with great films that didn’t, at first blush, find their audience, and then become appreciated over time. Yet in this case, the failure may contain a lesson.
The reason that Amazon Studios shoved “The Neon Demon” into so many theaters in the first place is that the relatively young company was betting — reasonably, I would say — that the movie, on its gorgeously bloody Day-Glo surface, was studded »
- Owen Gleiberman
Nicolas Winding Refn’s provocative modern fable follows a young model into the dark, dangerous woods of the La fashion world
“Am I staring…?” This neon-noir fantasia from Nicolas Winding Refn, the Danish director of Drive, Bronson and the Pusher trilogy, is a modern fairytale of beauty as a beast, a horror-inflected, high-fashion fable replete with wicked witches and big bad wolves ready to devour a flaxen-haired youth in the wild woods of Los Angeles. Less Prêt-à-Porter with teeth than The Company of Wolves from hell and in heels, it offers a bloody chamber of symbolic provocations (lunar cycles, occultist trappings) cooked up by a film-maker taking weekly tarot readings from the Chilean surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky and driven by an intoxication with the superficiality of the photographic image.
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Nicolas Winding Refn has turned into a total cinematic enigma. If his earlier films such as “Drive,” “Pusher,” and “Bronson” had critics on his side, his last two features have split the cinematic world in half and left many audience members in total and utter puzzlement. Refn followed up “Drive,” his greatest critical and commercial […]
- Jordan Ruimy
The Neon Demon, 2016.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.
When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
Style over substance – the go-to phrase poured over Nicolas Winding Refn’s most recent works as the director showcased his grandiose artistic endeavours while perhaps never giving his written work quite so much love and affection. With The Neon Demon however those fears can be laid to rest, as this is his richest and most compelling work since Bronson. From the mesmerising opening moments, as colours twinkle and cascade across the credits, you are summoned into his new whirlwind of lucid images and blushing textures that hypnotises you and never let’s go, »
- Scott J. Davis
Idris Elba is a busy guy. Between a recent spate of voice-acting roles (“Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book,” “Finding Dory”), a role in this month’s “Star Trek Beyond” and unending rumors about his potential to be the next Bond, he’s apparently found time in his schedule to get behind the camera. Elba will make his directorial debut with “Yardie,” an adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel of the same name.
The book follows a cocaine courier (what a job title) named D tasked with delivering a kilo from Jamaica to London in the 1980s. Like so many fictional characters before him, he considers it a good idea go behind his employer’s back and sell the product himself. No casting news has been announced, though it’s possible Elba could do the honors himself; “Bronson” co-writer »
- Michael Nordine
Ryan Lambie Published Date Friday, July 1, 2016 - 06:38
“When a film makes you gag, and you leave the cinema feeling kinda weird, then that’s a sign that it’s working.” Director and Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox was talking about David Cronenberg’s debut feature Shivers when he said those words in the 1990s, but he could have just as easily been talking about Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon.
This is the film, you may recall, that left people wailing and yelling at the screen when it made its debut in Cannes earlier this year. It isn’t difficult to imagine Refn standing off to one side somewhere and smiling at such a seething reaction, because his films are engineered to provoke and prod. You might not like Refn’s movies - which include Bronson, Valhalla Rising, Drive (his most commercial film yet) and 2013‘s Only God Forgives, »
Nicolas Winding Refn‘s name appears many times in The Neon Demon, in both the opening and closing credits. But even if his name weren’t mentioned, nobody would mistake this darkly funny horror movie as anything but a Refn film. This time around, however, the director behind Only God Forgives, Drive, and Bronson tells a story from a woman’s perspective — which […]
- Jack Giroux
Yet when asked if he would have any interest in making a superhero film, the Danish director told Business Insider "God, I would love to make one, it would probably be great fun. I just don't know when it's going to happen. I very much enjoy my freedom creatively, but I also would love to make one of those big Hollywood films that costs a lot of money and has a lot of people running around with cell phones and all that insanity".
When asked which superhero tale he would like to adapt for the big screen, »
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and when that eye belongs to Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, it's a trait to both admire and fear. His breakthrough film, Bronson (2008), featured Tom Hardy's celebrity super-prisoner cavorting violently through visually stunning sets; in Drive (2011), Ryan Gosling curb-stomps an enforcer's head in an immaculately-lit elevator; and Only God Forgives (2013) embeds its stabbings and brutal assaults in a eye-popping version of Bangkok at midnight. And the attraction/repulsion idea of beauty itself is at the center of his latest work The Neon Demon, »
There are, in every generation of filmmakers, certain archetypes that repeat themselves over and over. For example, every generation has its playful prankster, the talented visual artists who are delighted by their own ability to take beautiful pictures of horrible things. I’ll be the first to admit that I am drawn to filmmakers who use cinema as a way of pushing buttons, and I am a fan of the outrageous and the extreme. When I saw De Palma, the new documentary about Brian De Palma and his filmography, it sent me scrambling to watch a number of his older films again. They are so familiar at this point, so well-worn, that it surprised me to see how new they still feel when I took a step back. The next day, I went to a screening of the latest film from Nicolas Winding Refn, and the back-to-back timing of the two films made me laugh. »
- Drew McWeeny
After an auspicious start with small-scale gangster pulp (the “Pusher” trilogy) and stylish portraits of brutal men (“Bronson,” “Valhalla Rising”), Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn has turned to the world of wispy ingénue models in Los Angeles for his latest, “The Neon Demon.” His first all-female exploration of humankind’s latent awfulness is no less exquisitely realized or captivatingly violent. It’s also significantly shallower, however, as a pointed commentary on the cutthroat world of fiercely protected beauty and ephemeral hotness. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the cascade of formal, brazen imagery, the way you would a lush, »
- Robert Abele
“The Pusher Trilogy.” “Bronson.” “Valhalla Rising.” “Drive.” “Only God Forgives.” Even if you’re not entirely caught up on Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s entire oeuvre, you’re probably still aware of the infamous receptions many of them have received. You may have been scarred by the screams and punches of “Bronson” or turned off by the comically absurd violence of “Only God Forgives,” but that’s likely the reaction the director wants you to have. After all, this is the same director who, upon shooting a take of “The Neon Demon,” would call out: “Violence, motherfuckers!”
We’ve been fascinated by Refn’s insane quotes and anecdotes from interviews, so below we have assembled a collection of some of our favorites.
Fair warning: You may find some of these incredulous. Or disgusting.
Last month, »
- Russell Goldman and Sarah Colvin
2016 marks the twenty-year anniversary of Nicolas Winding Refn’s emergence as a feature writer/director. His 1996 debut, the street-level Danish crime film “Pusher,” led to a string of other gritty stories of marginalized malcontents, including two “Pusher” sequels. In the two decades since, particularly following the 2008 film “Bronson,” Refn has developed into a provocateur […]
- Russ Fischer
Chicago – The contemplation of beauty gets a little more truth in a new film by Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive”) entitled “The Neon Demon.” It features Elle Fanning as Jesse, a naive girl who wants to break into the world of modeling, and does so in an unexpected way. The symbolic film has both strange drama and touches of horror.
Director Nicholas Winding Refn has been a known cinema force since his breakthrough with “Drive” in 2011. The Danish born filmmaker began his career in his native Denmark with the film (and subsequent trilogy) “Pusher” (1996). He built his reputation film-by-film, as the John Turturro starring “Fear X” (2003) next got him noticed. The Sundance Film Festival gave praise to “Bronson” (2008), nominating the film for the Grand Jury Prize. The breakthrough film “Drive” came three years later, and garnered two Oscar nominations. “The Neon Demon” is Refn’s tenth feature film.
Elle Fanning and »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
My, what a treat it’d be to spend even five nanoseconds in the mind of Nicolas Winding Refn. Neon strobes, vile torture, cannibalistic corpse-kissing nymphos – Refn’s style blends sinister sleaze with posh, club-centric pop artistry that glows a vibrant, sadistic hue. We all knew The Neon Demon would submerge Los Angeles’ modeling scene in a dead-sexy taste of dog-eat-dog warfare, but with such little storytelling? Even for Refn? Don’t get me wrong, he’s the master of style over substance – and that’s coming from an Only God Forgives apologist – yet his latest piece of work comes off as egotistically narrow-minded.
If you need to be reminded how important that whole “substance” thing is, here’s a perfect example.
Elle Fanning stars as Refn’s muse, a not-quite-legal midwestern beauty with dreams of becoming runway model royalty. As soon as she arrives in town, Fanning’s supple »
- Matt Donato
Brazilian film debuted in Competiton at Cannes.
Mendonca Filho’s story of a strong-willed homeowner’s battle against unscrupulous real estate developers was awarded the top prize at the closing night of the 63rd Sff on Sunday.
Jury president and UK producer Simon Field said Aquarius, which premiered in Competition at Cannes last month, is “a compelling and relevant statement about contemporary Brazil, and the power of an individual standing up for what she believes.”
“Mendonça Filho has created a film that is both political and personal – witty, sexy and playful. A film of effortless verve and intelligence,” he said.
“At the heart of the film is Sonia Braga’s astonishing and brave performance of a fearless character, resisting pressures from her family, and the corporate »
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