6 items from 2017
It premiered last fall during Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section, but this spring, Ben Wheatley‘s shoot-em-up Free Fire will finally unload into theaters. In between its U.S. release in mid-April, the Martin Scorsese-produced actioner hit the U.K. in March and Japan in late April, and now a pair of new trailers have arrived for both. While each are brief, the one from Japan makes it appear as wild as the latest Sion Sono feature, so consider us sold. If one wants more of a taste, a variety of posters — including the snap of a new Mondo print from Rook Films — have all debuted ahead of the film’s U.S. premiere at SXSW today.
- Leonard Pearce
“John Wick” wasn’t designed for a sequel. It began with someone killing John Wick’s dog, and ended with the vengeance-bent uber-assassin stealing a new best friend from an animal shelter, after dropping 76 (or more) dead bodies along the way. The movie, which launched the directorial career of Keanu Reeve’s stunt double in “The Matrix,” Chad Stahelski, succeeded not on the strength of its story, but on the elegance of its action, and while it reaches at times to justify its own existence, “John Wick: Chapter 2” boasts a reunion with “Matrix” co-star Laurence Fishburne and two major improvements on the original: First, no animals were harmed in the making of the film. And secondly, the human body count is significantly higher.
If the latter detail offends your humanistic sensibilities, then this isn’t the franchise for you. Even for “Grand Theft Auto” junkies and those at the other end of the spectrum, »
- Peter Debruge
It was a squeaker, but Universal’s “Split” has edged past Paramount’s “Rings” to narrowly claim victory at the domestic box office. The low-budget thriller retained its first place position for the third consecutive weekend, earning $14.6 million. So far, “Split,” the story of a man with multiple personalities, has made $98.7 million stateside, while costing just $9 million, making it very profitable indeed. The film stars James McAvoy, was directed by “The Sixth Sense’s” M. Night Shyamalan, and produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, the maker of “Sinister” and “Paranormal Activity.”
“It’s a darn good movie,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “It’s very satisfying for audiences. People seek out quality.”
It was a quiet weekend for Hollywood. After all, most of America’s attention has shifted away from the multiplexes to the coming battle between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. The »
- Brent Lang
Author: Zehra Phelan
Wheatley, whose films such as Sightseers and High-Rise have won critical acclaim will join the tour, appearing for special Q&A’s with appearances from the cast at select screenings – but of course, that all remains hush-hush right now. Be prepared as any member of the tremendous cast, including Sharlto Copley (Hardcore Henry), Armie Hammer (Nocturnal Animals), the new Captain Marvel, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders, Anthropoid), Jack Reynor (Sing Street), Babou Ceesay (Eye in the Sky), Enzo Cilenti (Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy), Sam Riley (Maleficent), Michael Smiley (The Lobster) and Noah Taylor (Submarine).
Why not have a read through the cities below to see if you can spot your hometown, »
- Zehra Phelan
Like the varying voices who shape James McAvoy’s performance(s) in Split, my mind is filled with conflicting opinions about M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller. McAvoy’s numerous appearances make for a transfixing theatrical experience, while devotion to parbaked themes and collegiate merit make for a jumbled, messy commentary on trauma. Shyamalan plays towards empowering the victim, but loses control of sci-fi terror in doing so. Anya Taylor-Joy proves to be the new genre “It” girl, there’s strength in numbers and we certainly need to talk about Kevin (McAvoy’s true character) – so why the feelings of indifference?
Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) suffers from a severe case of multiple personalities, twenty-three of whom reside inside his singular body. It’s one of these inhabitants who decides to kidnap three teenage girls with ceremonial intent. Casey (Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) are in the »
- Matt Donato
All caught up with our top 50 films of 2016? It’s now time to look to the new year, and, ahead of our 100 most-anticipated films, we’re highlighting 50 titles we’ve enjoyed on the festival circuit this last year (and beyond) that will likely see a release in 2016. While the first batch have confirmed dates all the way through the summer, we’ve also included a handful that are awaiting a date and some we’re hopeful will get a release by year’s end pending acquisition. U.S. distributors: take note!
Staying Vertical (Alain Guiraudie; Jan. 20)
Those only familiar with Alain Guiraudie’s sublime Stranger By the Lake, which finally brought the gifted French director to a (relatively) wider audience following a laureled Un Certain Regard premiere in 2013, will likely find themselves confounded by its follow-up, Staying Vertical. With his first entry in Cannes’ main competition, Guiraudie returns to the »
- The Film Stage
6 items from 2017
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