Trailers

Trailer watch: Sabotage

It’s great to have Arnold Schwarzenegger churning out the movies again. Some of them have been pretty great (Expendables, The Last Stand), and some not so much (Escape Plan), but you know things are good when you hear one-liners like “I’m gonna destroy them”.

His latest, Sabotage, is about an elite group of DEA agents who become the target of the cartel after the disappearance of cartel money following a successful raid. The film got some heavy hitters involved including Terrence Howard, Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos and Olivia Williams.

Plus some funny haircuts and beards.

Sabotage opens April 11th, 2014.

Here’s the trailer:

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Trailers

Trailer watch: The Raid 2: Berandal

There’s been a lot of coverage around here lately for Indonesian films, well deserved too. One of the country’s most critically acclaimed exports was The Raid, a blistering action flick directed by Gareth Evans. Now comes The Raid 2: Berandal, the anticipated sequel to the film, picking up just two hours after the events of the first film.

The teaser is mesmerising, bloody, and downright hypnotic.

Official word on the film is as follows;

[quote]”Shot and set again in Indonesia, THE RAID 2: BERANDAL picks up two hours after the point where THE RAID left off, diving straight back into a world filled with corruption and violence. Evans again takes writing and directing duties on this significantly larger project. Lead actor Iko Uwais returns for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL , and is joined by new cast including Julie Estelle, Alex Abbad, Yayan Ruhian, Mathias Muchus, Tio Pakusadewo, Marsha Timothy, Cecep Arif Rahman, Matsuda Ryuhei, Endo Kenichi and Kitamura Kazuki.”[/quote]

Expect the carnage to hit cinemas in the first half of 2014.

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Trailers

Trailer watch: Jackie Chan stars in Police Story 2013

One of my earliest memories of watching Jackie Chan as a kid were his Police Story and Project A movies. While I was too young to fully comprehend just what was going on, I enjoyed both immensely as two different styles of the Jackie Chan filmography. While the latter was a great laugh, Police Story was Hong Kong action filmmaking at its finest.

Now, almost three decades since the original, Police Story 2013 sees Jackie Chan return to his darker, action roots in this remake. In this version, Chan plays a mainland China police officer investigating a kidnapping.

Police Story 2013 will showcase a new side of Chan, who cut his hair short in order to look more like a reliable and responsible mainland Chinese police officer. “My character this time is much calmer than those from before,” said Chan, “and I don’t make a single silly face in this movie.”

The film premiered early this year at the Beijing Film Festival and will open in China this December. No word yet on international release.

 

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Trailers

Trailer watch: Keanu Reeves in new 47 Ronin trailer

Looking like the Eastern-tinged rendition of 300 (except decidedly less crap), 47 Ronin stars Keanu Reeves as a member of a band of samurais (ronins) seeking revenge for the death and dishonour of their master at the hands of ruthless shogun. The story is a fictionalised account of the Japanese tale of the “forty-seven ronin“.

The film was originally set for release November 2012 but was initially pushed back to February of this year, before getting its final delay to December 25, 2013.

Costing an estimated $175 million to make, the film was shot in Budapest and the United Kingdom by relative newcomer and first time feature film director Carl Rinsch. It’s not a bad budget to work with for a first timer, whose previous directing credits were limited to three short films.

Pacific Rim star Rinko Kikuchi and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Pearl Harbor, Planet of the Apes) co-star alongside Reeves.

Check out the trailer below:

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Channeling his inner Passenger 57, Liam Neeson stars in this upcoming action/thriller pic set for release February 2014. Titled Non-Stop (oof), the film tells the story of an air marshall (Neeson) who mysteriously receives a text message saying passengers will start to die every 20 minutes if money isn’t wired into a mysterious account.

Remember those great 90s action flicks that featured the entire film in one moving location? Passenger 57, Under Siege (1 and 2!) and Charlie Sheen’s immortal entry The Chase (seriously, watch this trailer, they don’t make ’em like they used to)… well Non-Stop is Liam Neeson going all 90s…

…unless, there’s a twist! Which seems to have been given away by the film’s trailer. So perhaps there’s a little more to Non-Stop than we expect.

Film, Film Reviews

Film Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Few directors know how to throw a farewell party the way Michael Bay does. With this, the supposed final installment of the globe conquering Transformers series, he proves once again that there are few that truly understand the movie-going public as well as he does. Dark of the Moon is leaps and bounds above Revenge of the Fallen, narrowing the scope of the film while taking advantage of 3D and amplifying its excess and sonic poundage. Rarely will a film ever be this loud and unforgiving on the human senses, an audio/visual hammer with the subtlety of a brick to the skull. But that is what makes this film so ridiculously brilliant; it is what we, as a global movie-going audience, wants. If you don’t believe a word of the previous sentence, feel free to check the box office in a few days time.

Dark of the Moon reaches far deeper into the Transformers mythology bringing the world of Cybertron closer to Earth than ever before. It back tracks to the human space race of the 1960s to set the tone of the film, giving Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s (who makes a cameo appearance) moon landing a more sinister undertone. Humanity is once again at peril as it stands between the Autobots and Decepticons’ never ending galactic battle for supremacy. Yet in Dark of the Moon, we find that there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to the role of humans in the historical context of this great fight. It almost circumvents the plot of Revenge of the Fallen, but this progression of the Transformers history seems much better (or maybe Revenge just sucked so much that they hoped to simply sweep it under the rug) as soon as you throw out any sense of plausibility (but what’s plausible about Transformers anyway?)

Shia LaBeouf continues to do a lot of running and yelling and kicking as Sam, struggling for a job after the events of the first two movies, stumbles into employment thanks to his new squeeze, the rather well shot (God bless Michael Bay and the way he shoots lingerie models) Rosie Huntington-Whitely. And for all the hullabaloo, she is genuinely better than Megan Fox, a far less irritating caricature and a better actress. We are given some genuinely funny moments as his struggles for employment crosses paths with the likes of a slightly underused John Malkovich, an as-expected Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk. The cast in general (which includes Frances McDormand and Patrick Dempsey) is far more rounded, having jettisoned the annoying Ramon Rodriguez and keeping the role of Sam’s parents to a minimum, which gives the film a solid human presence amongst the sentient destruction. Most of them do the best they can with the lines they’re fed, that while isn’t quite Aaron Sorkin, is better than “I’ll drive, you shoot”.

Writer Ehren Kruger does the film its biggest service by limiting the film’s landscape to but a few destinations. While we traveled to the far reaches of the Earth in Revenge of the Fallen, we are most restricted to only a few (setting the film’s final set piece within the city confines of Chicago), avoiding the travel fatigue we got in the second.

With these parts in place, Michael Bay gives the film its much-needed finality. It is unlikely that another film in our lifetime will showcase the kind of visual magnificence displayed in Dark of the Moon (unless Bay signs on for Transformers 4). A highway chase scene featuring Decepticons gunning after the Autobots is particularly mesmerizing; turning the frenzied blur we’ve seen in the previous two films into a refined, almost beautiful piece of futuristic roller derby. And there are nuances and subtleties that lacked before- the perfectly timed musical accompaniment to a scene for instance (when Sam is driving into Chicago)- that adds a rare moment of tranquility. For fans of the history, Leonard Nimoy returns to voice Sentinel Prime (the first time Nimoy returns to this universe since he voiced Galvatron in the original animated film), while the likes of Shockwave, with his newly added aura of destruction, will surely please diehards.

Critics enjoy savaging Michael Bay because he doesn’t bring the same kind of sensibilities to the art of filmmaking a Godard, a Fellini or an Orson Welles does. Yet they all had their trademarks that earned them their distinction; Godard with his Nouvelle Vague jump cuts, Fellini with his elegant imagery and Welles with his all-around innovation. And Bay, like them, has his cannon for generation now: explosive, A.D.D. ridden, sex-infused, glossy storytelling of excess proportions. You cannot compare Dark of the Moon to À bout de soufflé, but you can compare their connection to the cultural and global landscape of their time. As much as critics will pound and holler about the merits of Terrence Malick’s latest film and how we should go see that instead of Rosie Huntington-Whitely in her underwear, their gracious calls for cinematic justice will fall on deaf ears. Why? Because Michael Bay and Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the way we are now (and really, what the hell do you want from a movie about giant robots? Optimus Prime wandering the streets of Paris smoking cigarettes?) The collective applause by the audience through the film (and at its conclusion) will attest to that.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon isn’t perfect, and its conclusion rather abrupt, but as a send-off for this franchise (for now?), you couldn’t possibly ask for a bigger, more ridiculously explosive final chapter.

[rating=3]

 

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Josh Duhammel, Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Patrick Dempsey
Website: transformersmovie.com

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Film, Trailers, Videos

Trailer watch: Jason Statham in ‘The Mechanic’

The brand new trailer for director Simon West’s remake of The Mechanic has made its explosive debut.

The film, starring Jason Statham, is a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film of the same name and follows the story of an assassin avenging the death of his close friend and mentor (Donald Sutherland). Things get complicated when the son of his friend enters the fray.

The characters in the Simon West (Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) version bares the same names as the original, but the plot of the original has received a tweak (you’ll have to watch the original).

As a long time fan of Charles Bronson,  it is good to see that the person filling one of the most badass shoes in film history is a serious badass himself. Few could ever take the mantle of Mr. Bronson, Jason Statham is one of them.

The Mechanic co-stars Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland, and is due in cinemas January 28, 2011.

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