1-20 of 46 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Along with a U.K. poster and French trailer, Lionsgate has released the first Wild Card image online, and it could easily be from just about any other Jason Statham action-thriller. That's how much his movies blend together, although this one is particularly amusing in that his character's name is Nick Wild. That puts it one step above his previous action films that could have been improved by naming the characters Jerry Mechanic, Howard Homefront, Billy Safe, Jack Blitz, and so forth. In Wild Card, Nick Wild (hoo-boy) is a Las Vegas bodyguard with a gambling addiction and lethal skills, but when he beats a mob boss' son in an act of revenge, he must fight against the criminal underworld. That sounds painfully generic, but here's where it gets interesting: the film pairs Simon West—director of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Mechanic, and Stolen among other crappy movies (excluding Con Air)—and William Goldman, »
- Matt Goldberg
Despite the lottery-esque sounding odds, the U.S Dramatic Competition section which produces the finest American indie specimens such as Frozen River, Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station and Whiplash is fairly consistent in terms of quality. Last year’s crop of sixteen have almost all had their theatrical releases with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter being the last one out of the gates (pegged with an early 2015 release). Last week we individually looked at our top 80 Sundance Film Fest Predictions (you’ll find 30 other titles worth considering in our intro) and below, we’ve split the list into narrative and non-fiction film items and have both identified and color-coded our picks in an AtoZ cheat sheet. You’ll find 2015′s answer to Whiplash located somewhere in the stack below. Click on the individual titles below, for the film’s profile. »
- Eric Lavallee
It’s got a heavyweight studio sounding title (perhaps it has to do with Gary Fleder’s 2013 number about folk getting stuck in the crosshairs), but in reality, Homefront is micro-budgeted (raised some funds via Kickstarter) microscopic parodical treatment of wartime family dysfunction. Helmers Fidel Ruiz-Healy and Tyler Walker have been cutting their teeth and learning their craft via several smaller gigs (one cred includes John Magary’s The Mend) and it got me curious when it was included as part of selected works shown at Poland’s Us in Progress this past October. If well packaged, this would definitely be a needle in a haystack selection.
Gist: Douglas and Caroline live in a secluded house in the country with their parents Cindy and James. Years have passed since a new World War reached American soil yet the family continues their daily routine. As the war gets closer and supplies begin to dwindle, »
- Eric Lavallee
Made for a modest $20m or so, 2010's Skyline ended up looking more impressive that the far more expensive Battle: L.A. in that year's face off between two alien invasion movies. A solid hit, there had been talk of a sequel to Skyline for some time, but as it turns out, we're getting a spin-off instead.
And Beyond Skyline has now made some interesting casting signings. Namely, Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, the two stars of The Raid. Furthermore, the pair will not only star in the movie, but they will also be choreographing the fights in it as well. »
Earlier this month, the Olympus Has Fallen sequel lost its director, Fredrik Bond, with just weeks before the film started shooting. Thankfully though Millennium and Gerard Butler have found a replacement in Scandinavian director Babak Najafi. He directed the Snabba cash sequel Easy Money II: Hard to Kill, but London Has Fallen will be his English-language debut.
As soon as Bond left London, the studio and Butler started looking for a new director to take over. But the actor wasn't liking the directing prospects so much so that he considered leaving the project entirely. Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and Gary Fleder (Homefront, Runaway Jury) were considered, but Najafi led the race.
Written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, and Christian Gudegast. The Olympus sequel picks up in London, where the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances. His funeral is a must-attend event for leaders of the Western world. »
- Laura Frances
Just as Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer enjoyed a robust opening weekend at the box office (it claimed the #1 spot), the sequel to the director’s Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, was having some trouble. The latter’s helmsman, Fredrik Bond (Charlie Countryman), quit only a week or so ago, ahead of when filming is scheduled to begin at the end of this forthcoming October. However, it looks as though Bond’s replacement has already been found.
THR is reporting that Babak Najafi is in talks to call the shots on London Has Fallen, after such filmmakers as Gary Fleder (Homefront) and Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) were considered for the job in the wake of Bond’s departure. The Iranian-Swedish director’s previous work includes the sequel Easy ...
Click to continue reading ‘London Has Fallen’ Eyes New Director
- Sandy Schaefer
Despite the proverbial suggestion of the title, bad things mostly happen to less-than-upstanding citizens in “Good People,” a capable crime caper that nonetheless disappoints, considering the flavorful talent involved. With off-kilter Danish genre specialist Henrik Ruben Genz (“Terribly Happy”) making his English-language debut from a script by “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” writer Kelly Masterson, it’d be reasonable to expect a few more blackened twists in the tale of a hard-up Yank couple (James Franco and Kate Hudson) dragged into the Cockney underworld after pocketing a stash of dirty money from their deceased tenant. Both stars are in agreeable if uncharacteristically muted form, doing little to distinguish Genz’s pic from any amount of formula-following filler in the same B-movie ballpark; commercially, “VOD People” is the more apt moniker for this multi-platform release.
If nothing else, “Good People” serves as a relatively novel entry in Franco’s »
- Guy Lodge
The plot centers on a crew of electrical lineman, who work high above the ground to fix the electrical grid and struggle to maintain their relationships with the women they love. Their lives are put in immediate danger when a storm tears through the area.
Here's what Marro Films CEO Marvin Peart had to say in a statement.
"The last film made in and around the lineman industry was in 1937, Slim the Lineman, and starred Henry Fonda. It's an honor and a career highlight to tell this modern-day story about these unsung heroes. With John Travolta, »
The Expendables 3 is debuting this weekend in 40 territories including Russia, the UK, Mexico and Australia — and features a powerhouse ensemble that includes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer and Kellan Lutz.
Together, the cast outweighs the sum of its parts, but the parts are actually quite interesting when looked at in terms of international box-office drawing power, especially in mega markets like China, Korea, Russia, Brazil, and parts of Western Europe. Below, I’ve broken out numbers for some of the individual stars across those markets with a nifty slideshow that covers their last three major titles outside the franchise in these key territories.* The first Expendables film did about $274M worldwide, with $171M from overseas. In an unusual turn of events for a sequel, the franchise’s second film saw its earnings drop in the U. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
How do you rank perfection? Duncan has a go, as he lists the top 25 Jason Statham films...
For regular Den Of Geek readers, it will come as little surprise to see this list come round. We've chosen our favourite Statham films before, but such is the productivity of the great man, it was decided that a mere top ten was no longer large enough to contain his ever growing body of work. Last time I mentioned updating this piece to the man himself back in 2012 due to his insane workload, he cracked up and responded, “My productivity is overwhelming! 'Have a fucking day off!'”
Since this list has now expanded to encompass 25 of his movies, it seemed only right to include multiple sequels, with his big trio of action franchises all spawning some thoroughly entertaining fare worthy of mention, though I’ve tried to exclude the personal bias that »
Doubles down on the first film’s angry approach to class, inequality, and violence, and once again reflects an image of America that is ugly but only slightly distorted. I’m “biast” (pro): loved the first film
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Last year, The Purge astonished me with one of the most daring speculative conceits to come out of a Hollywood studio in maybe forever, or certainly since the dystopic sci-fi of the 1970s. In a near-future America under what appears to be a religious dictatorship called the New Founding Fathers, all crime including murder is permitted — nay, encouraged — one night a year for a 12-hour period called the Purge. Vague religious justifications about “cleansing” smash up against the American “right” to be armed to the teeth and defend oneself against all threats, perceived or actual, with hints »
- MaryAnn Johanson
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s in theaters
The Congress: a hugely ambitious film reminiscent of The Matrix and the works of Terry Gilliam while also carving out its own apocalyptic sci-fi space [my review] [iTunes Us]
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
Snowpiercer: hauntingly grim, full of appalling ironies and awful truths; most definitely not the feel-good movie of the summer [my review] [iTunes Us]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Noah: a Biblical action disaster fantasy epic that is completely bonkers, endlessly entertaining, and actually religious in that inspiring-and-instructional way that you don’t need to take as literal truth to see the wisdom of [my review] [iTunes Us] On My Way (Elle s’en va): beautifully observant meander through the difficulties and discoveries of wise but still confused advanced age, led by a gorgeous, vital, 70-odd Catherine Deneuve [my review] [iTunes Us] Teenage: snappy »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The 3rd July 2013 saw the release of Disney's The Lone Ranger, its larger-than-life western starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Its theatrical debut marked the end of a lengthy and difficult production, stories from which had been hungrily served up by the media - the previous summer was dominated by news stories of its spiralling budget, which was thought to have crossed $250m. Nevertheless, the 2013 blockbuster season should, in theory, have marked a fresh start for Disney, as it spent a reported $150m on marketing The Lone Ranger. But the House of Mouse hadn't counted on the popularity of another film launched on that exact same day in July: Universal's animated sequel, Despicable Me 2.
The Lone Ranger, a film with an »
A meditative contemplation of the boredom of overprivileged, under-aspiring, shallow, spoiled kids. As you’ve been dying to see. 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)
I can’t wait for the day when James Franco finally comes out of the performance-art closet and reveals that almost everything he’s done in the past, oh, ten years or so has been part of an intricate ongoing practical joke to yank celebrity culture and our knee-jerk worship of those who are famous. His turn as the charlatan man behind the curtain in Oz the Great and Powerful was a big clue, I think. He’s waiting for someone — anyone — to debunk the smoke and mirrors of the fame that allows him to churn out increasingly ridiculous pontifical junk. And no one does. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Escape to Victory didn't set the world alight on its initial release in 1981, but as the decades have ticked on the film has firmly cemented itself as a cult favourite among fans of film and football.
Now, this potent mix of The Great Escape and underdog sports tale is in line for a remake with Edge of Tomorrow's Doug Liman at the helm. Liman will surely play it straight in the redo, but the original film featured a glorious mix of big movie stars of the day (Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine), ageing football icons who'd taken a paycheque in the Us (Pelé) and Ipswich Town players (hey, they were big in the '80s!).
With that in mind, Digital Spy has picked a brand new Victory 2014 starting XI ready for 90 minutes of life-or-death football. Fyi, we're playing 4-4-2 - the Nazis might overrun us in midfield but we're old school! »
There's no doubt James Franco has been super busy lately. Last year alone, Franco appeared in the films Homefront, Oz: The Great and Powerful, This is The End, Lovelace, As I Lay Dying, Child of God and Palo Alto. This year he's not much less busy with Third Person on the way, and now we have the trailer for a new crime drama called Good People starring Franco and Kate Hudson (who also has Wish I Was Here this summer too). The film follows a down-on-their-luck couple in serious debt who stumble upon a huge stack of cash in the apartment of the now deceased tenant living below them. It seems to solve their financial problems and fix their lives at first, until they start getting chased by those who want the cash back. Watch! Here's the first trailer for Henrik Genz's Good People, originally from Apple: Good People »
- Ethan Anderton
James Franco Not Pursuing Teenagers
In early April, screen shots of a flirty conversation between Franco and a 17-year-old girl, Lucy Clode, who met Franco outside of his Broadway play Of Mice and Men, went viral. In the text messages, Clode clearly states her age, and Franco still invites her to meet him at a hotel in New York City. After the messages went viral, Franco was forced to address the issue and publicly apologized on Live with Kelly and Michael, saying that he is just a man trying to navigate dating in the age of social media.
“I guess, you know, I’m embarassed, and I guess I’m just a model of, you know, how social media is tricky. »
Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” shot to the top of both national home video sales charts for the week ended April 13, ending a three-week stay at the top for Walt Disney’s “Frozen.”
“Frozen” slipped to No. 2 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall disc sales, DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart. Nielsen data shows that consumers bought about twice as many copies of the “Hobbit” sequel as they did of “Frozen” during the week, with Blu-ray fans snapping up more than three times as many copies.
Two other new releases made it into the First Alert top 10. The Weinstein Co.’s “August: Osage County,” distributed by Anchor Bay, debuted at No. 4 (No. 9, Blu-ray), a good showing for a dark comedy about strong-willed women that only made $37.7 million in theaters. And Warner’s “Grudge Match, »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Frozen has sold more than half a million DVDs and Blu-rays in just two days.
The Oscar-winning Disney animation is on course to become the fastest-selling DVD and Blu-ray of 2014 so far in the UK, according to The Official Charts Company.
It has already beaten this year's previous fastest seller The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which shifted 457,000 copies in seven days.
The Frozen soundtrack has also become the best-selling compilation of 2014 so far, with sales of 177,000 this year.
Watch 'Let It Go' from Frozen below: »
In recent years, there have been quite a few attempts at bringing the magic of 80s and 90s action movies back to the big screen, most notably by the big names who owe their success to the era. So it's surprising to find that Gary Fleder's crime thriller Homefront might be the best effort out of the lot. Perhaps it's due in part to the strength of Chuck Logan's novel, which was adapted by Sylvester Stallone and moved from the frozen falls of Minnesota to the bayou of Louisiana. And while frontman Jason Statham turns in one of the best performances of his career, the entire film is buoyed by an excellent supporting cast that turns in surprisingly reserved performances, including James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and newcomer Izabela Vidovic. Sadly, the Blu-ray is rather bare when it comes to extras, but the feature itself is worth another look. »
- Dave Trumbore
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