20 items from 2016
Criminal director Ariel Vroman is being lined up to head-up a reboot of the Sylvester Stallone ‘Rambo’ movies. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news over the weekend that Vroman, who also directed the respectable Michael Shannon-led crime movie The Iceman, will helm Rambo: New Blood for Nu Image/Millennium Films.
Stallone is not involved in the new movie, which will be written by Brooks McLaren and would see a younger actor inhabit the role. The trade says that the makers are looking for a character akin to James Bond.
There have been four ‘Rambo’ movies to date, the first of which was 1982’s First Blood, which followed former Green Beret John Rambo as he is pursued into the mountains surrounding a small town by a tyrannical sheriff and his deputies, forcing him to survive using his combat skills. Three films that followed, the last of which was John Rambo, »
- Paul Heath
The Rambo franchise is coming back with some new blood! Unfortunately, it looks like the old blood is getting left behind this time around. Nu Image and Millennium Films are reportedly working on a fifth entry in the Rambo series, titled Rambo: New Blood. The movie may be paying a bit of homage to First Blood in name, but star Sylvester Stallone won't be back this time around.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news and confirmed that the studio is now treating Rambo as more of a "James Bond" type franchise. That seems to imply they will occasionally revamp the series with a new actor as long as it is bringing in money at the box office. Rambo: New Blood will be the first attempt at this. No specific plot details for the movie were revealed in this initial report.
Since Ross and Rachel reunited one last time, David Schwimmer hasn’t been eagerly snapping up parts like the rest of his (ahem) friends. Matt LeBlanc has starred in two series since “Friends” ended, and he’s set for a third this fall. Matthew Perry has headlined four TV shows since he last played Chandler, including three separate sitcoms on three of the four major networks (Fox, you’re next). And we all know Jennifer Aniston’s been busy.
But Schwimmer has been a bit more selective. The theatrically-trained Northwestern graduate branched out into directing (from TV shows like “Joey” and “The Tracy Morgan Show” to features like “Run, Fatboy, Run”), all while accepting small but memorable guest spots (“30 Rock,” LeBlanc’s “Episodes”) and supporting roles (“The Iceman,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson”). One could say he diversified his brand, but Schwimmer doesn’t think of it that way. To him, »
- Ben Travers
Next month sees the arrival of the Netflix’s drama Stranger Things, a much-anticipated supernatural chiller about a missing boy, which pays homage to everything from Twin Peaks to Poltergeist and has been described by Us critics as “looking like the show Steven Spielberg and Stephen King never made”.
It also marks the next, and perhaps most important, stage in Winona Ryder’s return to Hollywood’s spotlight. Now 44, Ryder has spent the past few years slowly rebuilding her career since it imploded in the early years of this century with a conviction for grand theft, shoplifting and vandalism amid rumours of prescription drug addiction. (She was subsequently sentenced to three years probation and ordered to undergo drug counselling.) Since then Ryder has taken a low-key approach to her career. »
- Sarah Hughes
Tough, unanswerable human questions frame spectacular, innovative action sequences that are like superhero ballets. This series just keeps getting better. I’m “biast” (pro): love the Marvel movies
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
What is the best way to deploy vastly superior abilities against less capable but nevertheless still very dangerous bad guys? How best to minimize collateral damage — of both the human and the infrastructure kind — when those vastly superior abilities are put to their use? What happens when people of good conscience, all of whom genuinely want nothing more than to increase net happiness and general well-being in the world, disagree over the answers to these questions? And who should get the final say: politicians sitting at desks thousands of miles away from the fields of battle, or the soldiers fighting those battles?
There’s a recent »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The movie is inspired by Garcia’s short, “Predileção,” about a low-level criminal who meets a legendary thief during a brief jail stint. Together, they hatch a plan and assemble an international team for an elaborate bank robbery.
Bleiberg Entertainment is handling the worldwide sales of the film and will introduce the project to buyers in Cannes.
“Nate is an incredibly talented storyteller and filmmaker,” Singer said. “It’s a fast-paced, twisting script with worldwide appeal.”
Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” was sold to Fox Searchlight at Sundance for a record $17.5 million. He wrote, produced, directed and »
- Dave McNary
When you think of how best to describe Criminal, the new body swap action thriller starring Kevin Costner, it wouldn't be by that name. As a title, Criminal is so hopelessly vague that it could apply to anything from Goodfellas to Les Misérables. The premise of this one isn't anywhere near that bland, but the film is not a whole lot better than it sounds either.
Seemingly flowing from the same vein of Euro-trash action films that Liam Neeson opened up with Taken, the film is driven by what CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) knows, or rather what he knew, before a deal in London with a hacker known as the Dutchman (Michael Pitt) went awry and he was tortured to death by Spanish anarchist Xavier Heimdahl, (Jordi Mollà.)
His handler, Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman), needs »
Kevin Costner is in a strange place in his career, though his odd choices have managed some wins in the last few years, and Criminal is either the result of an overly powerful actor being too interested in a film’s theory, or an actor who just has a bucket list of roles he’s checking off.
Costner plays Jericho Stewart, a special breed of psychopath who fits in well for an experimental medical procedure that hopes to transfer memories from one person to another. CIA operative, Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is the only person who knows where he stashed “The Dutchman” (Michael Pitt), but Pope gets killed before he can tell anyone, and the CIA is scrambling now, because if the Dutchman falls into the wrong hands, he can hand over the U.S. military arsenal.
After Jericho undergoes the procedure, more than Pope’s memories infiltrate his brain. »
- Marc Eastman
See Also: Read our review of Criminal here
The new action thriller is set in London and stars Kevin Costner as a notorious criminal named Jericho, who feels no emotion. But when the CIA’s top man Bill Pope (played by Ryan Reynolds) is killed, they make the decision to transfer Bill’s memories into Jericho’s mind so that they can continue to track terrorists known as the Spanish Anarchist and The Dutchman before its too late.
Vromen originally »
- Scott J. Davis
Brainless brain-transplant action flick – complete with Piers Morgan cameo
In last year’s dopey dud Self/less, a dying Ben Kingsley had his mind transplanted into the body of Ryan Reynolds. Now, a dying Reynolds has his mind transplanted into the body of Kevin Costner in their fantastically stupid thriller from The Iceman director Ariel Vromen. “They messed with my brain…” complains Costner’s damaged-goods criminal in the opening voiceover, before setting off on a face-punching tour of Merrie London, replete with gorblimey cabbies, disposable coppers, and people who say “Oi, that’s bang out of order!” while Kevin kicks their heads in. He’s been brainsplanted because of some nuclear nonsense involving a “Spanish anarchist” and a hacker called “the Dutchman” (yes, really), but all this thinking is making Kevin’s head hurt. And ours too. Gary Oldman is the CIA chief who Shouts Every Line in a wobbly American accent, »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
If the Razzies institute a “Worst Nicolas Cage Movie That Doesn’t Star Nicolas Cage” award this year, Ariel Vromen’s Criminal will be a 2:1 favorite. Fugitive-on-the-run action teases an energetic 90s vibe, but as generic thrills take over, an uber-serious agenda reveals a more serious core. Could people actually believe they were making a high-class experience, here?
What’s essentially a reverse Self/Less scenario follows one of 2016’s most dimwitted plotlines, which isn’t helped by a strive to attain some semblance of straight-laced integrity. Vromen has handled loaded casts before, chilling audiences with The Iceman, but Criminal’s inexcusable waste of such a stacked, Mt. Olympus-sized cast suggests quite the opposite. You want to know what the real crime here is? Pretty much everything.
The film opens with Reynold’s CIA Agent character, Bill Pope, refusing to give up the location of a man codenamed ” The »
- Matt Donato
Following on from The Iceman, Israeli filmmaker Ariel Vromen has now turned his attentions to the world of fiction, with the action thriller Criminal. We had the pleasure to sit down with the director to ask about whether projects of this nature have less pressure given the fictional nature, and what it was like collaborating with
- Stefan Pape
In U.K. cinemas this week is the action thriller Criminal, a movie that has potentially one of the best movie casts of the year.
Kevin Costner leads the cast, which also includes Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Pitt, Alice Eve, Gary Oldman and many more. The film is brought to the screen by director Ariel Vromen, who helmed the brilliant The Iceman a couple of years back. We caught up with him on his recent visit to London to talk about his new film.
Criminal follows a CIA operative (Reynolds), whose memories and skills are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous death-row inmate (Costner) in a last-ditch effort to stop an international terrorist plot. The film hits cinemas from Friday 15th April, 2016.
Check out our interview below.
Criminal debuts in U.K. and U.S. cinemas from Friday 15th April, 2016.
The post Exclusive Interview: Director Ariel Vromen »
- Paul Heath
Ariel Vromen, writer and director of the superb The Iceman, the Michael Shannon movie that debuted in cinemas a couple of years back, unites the ultimate movie cast for his follow-up, Criminal. Here’s The Hollywood News’ Criminal review by Paul Heath.
Kevin Costner leads as the character of Jerico Stewart, a death-row inmate who has been singled out as the only man who can save the planet from nuclear disaster. Jerico is apparently the only vessel who can use the brain power of fallen C.I.A. agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) to find out the whereabouts of a hacker who has the power to launch nuclear weapons. Obviously the C.I.A. aren’t the only ones who are after him, and it »
- Paul Heath
Ariel Vromen is a very talented filmmaker. From his slow burn examination of Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman, to his latest, he continues to delve into some very dark territory. Criminal is part crime drama and part sci-fi, and it's very compelling. It also features one hell of a great cast. You have Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Alice Eve, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman, just to name a few.... Read More »
Kevin Costner‘s newest bid for Liam Neeson-style late-career action significance proves to be one of his most solid. He’s the central figure in “Criminal,” a mind-meld espionage yarn featuring the 61-year-old as Jerico, a violent psychopath implanted with a dead CIA spy’s valuable memories. Though the movie around him swerves from outright silly to mindfully pulse-pounding — often recalling the more cleanly ludicrous action era dominated by producer Jerry Bruckheimer — it’s the old school hardass pleasures Costner provides that give this thriller from director Ariel Vromen (“The Iceman”) its bruising bona fides. It takes a lot of initial expository. »
- Robert Abele
Our buddy Phoebe Winter got to sit down with acting legend Kevin Costner for his movie Criminal ahead of its release. Criminal has a stonking cast which includes Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Gal Gadot (Women Woman), Ryan Reynolds, Alice Eve, Michael Pitt, Scott Adkins and Antje Traue. It’s directed by Ariel Vromen who has worked on The Iceman with
- David Sztypuljak
We find Michael Shannon in a reflective kind of mood. In the corner of a plush London hotel room, he fixes himself a cup of coffee before settling down into a tub chair, sipping thoughtfully at his brew between questions.
You can see why Shannon would be cast as General Zod in Man Of Steel, or the real-life contract killer Richard Kiklinski in The Iceman. He has the cool, charismatic, terse toughness of a golden-era Hollywood actor like James Cagney.
Midnight Special, Shannon's fourth collaboration with Take Shelter and Mud director Jeff Nichols, is a change of pace and genre for both actor and filmmaker. It's a sci-fi drama about a father [Shannon] on the run with his gifted son, Alton [Jaeden Lieberher], as they're pursued across »
Let’s Be Bad Cops: McDonagh’s U.S. Visit an Overworked Episode
Director John Michael McDonagh makes his first foray to the Us with third feature, War on Everyone. Brother of writer/director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges; Seven Psychopaths), he exudes a similar sense of bleak, misanthropic comedy mixed up in shaggy genre thrills, and his first feature, the celebrated The Guard (2011) remains the most financially successful independent Irish film of all time. McDonagh reteamed with Brendan Gleeson on his second feature, the equally idiosyncratic and enjoyable Cavalry (2014). But even though McDonagh isn’t crossing a language barrier, something tenuous seems lost in this trip to New Mexico wherein two affably crooked cops are determined to ruthlessly exploit the criminals they’re supposed to be arresting. This pronouncedly off-kilter motley crew of characters bears a similar resemblance to McDonagh’s past troubled social landscapes, but his deliberate refusal of »
- Nicholas Bell
In case The Change-Up and Self/less didn’t fill your quotient of Ryan Reynolds body-swapping movies, this spring brings yet another. While the Deadpool actor is mostly left out of the marketing materials for Criminal, it is his character’s mind and skills that get transplanted into that of Kevin Costner‘s character of a death row inmate.
Ahead of an April release, we now have the first trailer for the film which also features Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve, and Gal Gadot. Coming from Ariel Vromen, who gave us The Iceman a few years back, the trailer sells a fairly run-of-the-mill high-concept actioner, but with a strong cast, hopefully it’ll be one that’s worthwhile. Check out the trailer and poster below.
Criminal opens on April 15th, 2016.
- Jordan Raup
20 items from 2016
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