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Special Mention: Battle Royale
Written and directed by Kinji Fukasaku
The concept of The Hunger Games owes much to Koushun Takami’s cult novel Battle Royale, adapted for the cinema in 2000 by Kinji Fukasaku. The film is set in a dystopian alternate-universe, in Japan, with the nation utterly collapsed, leaving 15 percent unemployed and 800,000 students boycotting school. The government passes something called the Millennium Educational Reform Act, which apparently provides for a class of ninth-graders to be chosen each year and pitted against one another on a remote island for 3 days. Each student is given a bag with a randomly selected weapon and a few rations of food and water, and sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred fight to the death. With 48 contestants, only one will go home alive. Yes, this has been often cited as the original Hunger Games; whether or not Suzanne Collins borrowed heavily »
- Ricky Fernandes
Muse was imprisoned for broadcasting from a pirate radio station which dissented against then dictator Manuel Noriega. He was the first American rescued from prison by the U.S. Delta Force.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Having made their initial mark in the horror genre with The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Quarantine, Devil and As Above So Below, writing-directing team Drew and John Erick Dowdle recently moved into action with the thriller No Escape. Sticking with the latter for the time being, their next film will be Six Minutes To Freedom, based on the real-life adventures of Kurt Muse.Muse got into trouble in Panama in the late '80s for running a pirate radio station broadcasting dissent against Manuel Noriega. He was imprisoned in the notorious Panamanian jail Carcel Modelo, and was liberated when the Us invaded Panama to oust Noriega in December, 1989. His rescue was dubbed Operation Acid Gambit and carried out by the Us Delta Force led by Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin. We've possibly got part of that wrong.A small story of escape in a wider context of violent revolution is exactly what »
Dowdle is writing the script with brother Drew Dowdle from the John Gilstrap book of the same name. Producers are MadRiver Pictures topper Marc Butan, Drew Dowdle, Sam Franco and Laura Bickford with Ed Fee executive producing.
Muse had been imprisoned for broadcasting from a pirate radio station that dissented against Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. He was the first American rescued from prison by the U.S. Delta Force.
The Dowdle brothers wrote, directed and produced “No Escape,” starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan. The siblings’ other credits include “As Above, So Below” for Legendary Pictures and Universal, “Devil” for Universal and “Quarantine” for Screen Gems.
- Dave McNary
Updated: Predictions at the bottom of this post have been updated as final theater counts have arrived. The text of today's forecast article has not been edited and the early predictions are listed at the bottom of this article for comparison. It has been slow-going at the box office as of late. This past four-day, Labor Day weekend haul came in at just $85.7 million for the top twelve, the worst Labor Day weekend result since 2004 where films such as Paparazzi, Wicker Park, Vanity Fair and The Cookout all cracked the top ten. Remember them? Things actually got worse the following weekend back in 2004, and it looks as if this year won't be any different, despite the efforts of new releases such as M. Night Shyamalan's micro-budget horror The Visit and Screen Gems' The Perfect Guy, led by Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut and "True Blood" star Rutina Wesley. »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
See Also: New poster for FrightFest horror The Hallow
When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland with his wife and infant child to survey an area of forest believed to be hallowed ground by superstitious locals, his actions unwittingly disturb a horde of demonic creatures who prey upon the lost. Alone and deep within the darkness of the remote wilderness, he must now fight back to protect his family against the ancient forces’ relentless attacks.
See Also: 10 best films of Film4 FrightFest 2015
The Hallow is set for release in the UK on November 13th, with a cast that includes Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Bojana Novakovic (Devil), Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones) and Michael Smiley (Kill List).
- Tom Beasley
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the original thriller “The Visit” from “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs” director M. Night Shyamalan and “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious” producer Jason Blum!
“The Visit,” which opens on Sept. 11, 2015 and is rated “PG-13,” stars Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Kathryn Hahn, Peter McRobbie, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Patch Darragh and Jorge Cordova from writer and director M. Night Shyamalan.
To win your free passes to “The Visit” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
Preferably, use your »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Chicago – Filmmakers brothers are ubiquitous, as siblings grow up with the love of the movies and turn it into a career when adults. Director John Erick Dowdle and his writing partner, brother Drew, has had a successful run with films like “Devil” and last year’s “As Above, So Below.” Their latest film, “No Escape,” explores geopolitics and the increasing potential for government breakdown.
Owen Wilson and Lake Bell are Jack and Annie, Americans traveling with two children who go to an unnamed Asian land for Jack’s work. He represents a corporation whose activities with the government cause an uprising, and the family suddenly finds themselves in the midst of a street war. Coming to their aid is a mysterious British expatriate, portrayed with a maniacal verve by Pierce Brosnan. The family must find a way to escape the country, as foreigners are being rounded up for execution.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
As the days get darker and the cold winds of Autumn approach, it’s time to look ahead at the upcoming movies set to hit cinemas this Fall.
The huge slate includes the return of the Jedis, the rebirth of Frankenstein and a new age of Good Dinosaurs. These movies will take audiences to a Galaxy Far, Far Away, on a voyage to Mars and to the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest.
Here’s our list of the 2015 Fall movies that we can’t wait to see!
The Visit (Sept 11)
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable) and producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious series) welcome you to Universal Pictures’ The Visit. Shyamalan returns to his roots with the terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. »
- Movie Geeks
No Escape is an insane, no holds barred thrill ride that is certainly dividing audiences as we enter the final box office weekend of the summer. American businessman Jack Dwyer, wife Annie and their two young daughters arrive in Southeast Asia to begin a new life. As his company plans to improve the region's water quality, the family quickly learns that they're right in the middle of a political uprising. Armed rebels attack the hotel where they're staying, ordered to kill any foreigners that they encounter. Amid utter chaos, Jack must find a way to save himself and his loved ones from the violence erupting all around them.
On the surface, No Escape plays as tense action-thriller. Owen Wilson stars as the failed entrepreneur who relocates with his wife (Lake Bell) and their two young daughters to Southeast Asia after begrudgingly accepting a middle management job. What unfolds is a »
There are only three rules when you come to Grandma’s house:
1) Eat as much as you want.
2) Have a great time.
3) Don’t ever leave your room after 9:30 p.m.
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable) and producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious series) welcome you to Universal Pictures’ The Visit.
Shyamalan returns to his roots with the terrifying story of Becca (Olivia Dejonge of The Sisterhood of Night) and her brother, Tyler (Ed Oxenbould of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), who are sent to their Nana (Tony Award winner Deanna Dunagan of TV’s Unforgettable) and Pop Pop’s (Peter McRobbie of Lincoln) remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip.
Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of ever getting back home to »
- Movie Geeks
American in Peril: Dowdle Bros. Play on Base Fears with Survival Drama
It’s unfortunate so many superficial elements are working against the objective consideration of No Escape, beginning with its potentially problematic casting of an unwavering comic star as the lead in what promises to be a pulse-pounding thriller. Add to this a flurry of uneasy marketing elements, including dreadfully cheesy poster art, corny taglines, borrowing a title from a likeable 90’s sci-fi flick starring Ray Liotta, and the potential of this latest effort from the Dowdle Bros. (Quarantine; As Above, So Below) promises the making of an undeniable turkey.
Despite all of these unfavorable buzz-killing aspects, the film manages to be an unfathomable rarity in that it manages to overcome all of these red-flag detractions as an uncomfortably tense survival thriller. Though not without a certain amount of quibbling in reference to its sometimes problematic ‘truths’, such as »
- Nicholas Bell
If J.A. Bayona’s survival epic “The Impossible” seemed a bit callous in suggesting that the chief victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were those well-to-do Westerners who chose the wrong week for a Thai holiday, it still looks like a model of human compassion and ethnic sensitivity next to “No Escape.” This latest thriller from director/co-writer John Erick Dowdle (“Devil,” “As Above, So Below”) is a technically accomplished, morally rank slab of cultural exploitation about an American family caught up in a violent uprising in an anonymous Southeast Asian country — one whose dark-skinned natives are on hand to kill and be killed, but who could otherwise scarcely be of less dramatic concern or interest to those behind the camera. Grittily propulsive filmmaking and solid performances from Owen Wilson and Lake Bell aside, there’s no escaping the movie’s hand-wringing manipulations and pandering sense of privilege — which might, »
- Justin Chang
Enjoyably intense, if you can get past the cultural narcissism that Western corporate colonialism only matters when it impacts a nice white American family. I’m “biast” (pro): like Owen Wilson and Lake Bell
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If you took No Escape for a light action movie, something like a flick in which Liam Neeson would beat up villainous cartoon foreigners in a exotic land of generous film-production tax credits, you are forgiven. It’s certainly the way the film has been marketed. Plus it stars Owen Wilson and Lake Bell, comic actors known for lighthearted snark and offhand insouciance. I figured Wilson was making a preemptive bid for aging into Gray Action Hero; it seems an unlikely move for him, but they are the new hotness, after all; see: Neeson. Or maybe Pierce Brosnan, whom we are also promised here, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Part of the escapist fun of horror movies is how they can employ death as the ultimate equalizer. Though billed as an action thriller, No Escape presents a disturbing “What If” scenario in which defining social constructs suddenly mean nothing. Instead of egalitarian xenomorphs relentlessly tearing through any and all humans they encounter, No Escape’s threat is something more tangibly upsetting to Western audiences: a situation where your income, race, nationality, or parenthood don’t keep you safe from violence. It’s a pointed premise that No Escape does almost nothing with.
For the first 20 minutes, all is perfectly wrong with No Escape’s blending of garden-variety xenophobia with the paranoid fear that society could unravel in a heartbeat. Devil and As Above, So Below director John Erick Dowdle (who co-writes No Escape with brother Drew) puts his genre chops to terrific use in the opening sequence, an icy »
- Sam Woolf
In less than one month, M. Night Shyamalan’s taking us to grandma and grandpa's house with no return trip guaranteed in The Visit. Ahead of the film's September 11th release from Universal Pictures, eleven fresh photos and three creepy clips have been unveiled.
"Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable) and producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious series) welcome you to Universal Pictures’ The Visit. Shyamalan returns to his roots with the terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.
- Derek Anderson
M. Night Shyamalan returns to his roots with the terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip called The Visit, and in true M. Night form, things don’t necessarily go as planned. Last week, I got the chance to sit down with Shymalan in a small round table discussion about working outside of the film system. Check it out below.
A single mother sends her two young children to visit their grandparents on a remote Pennsylvania farm for a week-long trip, but the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in deeply disturbing activity, and the youngsters’ chances of getting back home look less and less likely with every minute that passes.
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable) and producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious series) welcome you to Universal Pictures’ The Visit. »
- Melissa Howland
In what’s become the best, and craziest, show this summer, Fox’s Wayward Pines has become must-see TV.
The intense episodes play out more like a movie and the soundtrack is haunting and other-worldly.
Lakeshore Records has announced it will release the Wayward Pines – Original Television Soundtrack digitally on July 17 and on CD July 24, 2015. The album features the show’s original score by Charlie Clouser (Saw, Numb3rs).
“The main direction I received was that the score should help with the feeling that ‘something is not right’ in the town of Wayward Pines,” said Clouser. “For a while, we don’t know if Matt Dillon’s character is hallucinating, or maybe still in a coma and just dreaming, so the score needed to lean toward a ‘malfunctioning’ feel – that meant using sounds that are a little ‘out of whack’. As the series progresses, the score starts to get more and »
- Michelle McCue
Entertainment One just released an international trailer for its upcoming "No Escape" action thriller, starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan. Check it out below. Plot: The story centers on an American businessman (Wilson) as he and his family settle into their new home in Southeast Asia. Suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a violent political uprising, they must frantically look for a safe escape as rebels mercilessly attack the city. The new movie is directed by John Erick Dowdle (Devil) and written by his brother, Drew Downdle. It's set to hit theaters on September 2nd. Trailer: »
You sit comfortably at home and watch the headlines roll in from abroad, showing violent clashes in some distant part of the world, as the populace rises up against those in power. Then you turn it off, adjust the air conditioning, and get ready for a rerun of "The Big Bang Theory." And maybe that's how life would've gone for Jack (Owen Wilson) and Annie (Lake Bell) normally, but things are far from usual for the parents in "No Escape." John Erick Dowdle ("Quarantine," "Devil") is behind this one which tells the story of an American who is relocated for work to an anonymous Asian country, where his family will becomes caught up in a violent uprising. Their very lives are put in danger and suddenly, the wholesome American dad, will have to tap into his inner Liam Neeson. This latest UK trailer wants you to know it's from the »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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