Yes Yes YES! “John Wick: Chapter 2” Trailer

Tragically underseen at theatrical release time, John Wick has grown into somewhat of an internet phenomenon. That is, the 2016 equivalent of a “cult” film. Based on Box Office alone (about $40 mil domestic and another $40 mil foreign), I’m a little surprised to see a sequel emerge. I guess when you’re budget is only $20 mil and you quadruple that in sales, Hollywood is willing to give you a second shot. Ergo, this author is delighted!

The poster was released a handful of hours before this trailer was and I have to admit I wasn’t all that impressed – hence not mentioned in this post. But the trailer has me excited. It’s got that same dark look of a fictional city cast in an overnight blue color. The rules of the assassin’s society still seem to be in play and Wick is once again out for some serious blood justified.

I’m so happy it’s dropping in the middle of February when we I really need something like this to life my spirits and just give me some straight-up, yet well thought out (hopefully) action thriller. Starring thealways energetic and charismatic and passionate Kenau Reeves, is anyone else super excited for this?

Trailer: Sleepless


I feel like we already got our American street crime movie this year (not that we couldn’t always have more!) in one of 2016 best films, but tragically underseen, Triple 9. But this one has more neon, a Torreto-like muscle car, Jaimie Foxx and takes place in… Nevada(!?). It’s based off of a French film titled Nuit Blanche, which I’ve not seen but apparently is pretty highly regarded as a great crime thriller. So count me in for both!

I’m unfamilar with the director, Baran bo Odar, as he’s done the rest of his output in Germany. But I like what I’m seeing here and pretty excited for this actually. The film also stars David Harbour, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, T.I., Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Battista and Scoot McNairy.

Trailer: Patriots Day

Certainly a hit or miss director, and still kind of an auteur in his own right. A subdued Michael Bay. A smarter Michael Bay some may say. Others may say Michael Bay with a little help from Paul Greengrass. Whichever it is, Peter Berg is kind of making a niche for himself with these American Hero tragedies. While certainly in the realm of patriotic, they aren’t generally over-the-top ra-ra America stuff. It’s in there, but it’s much more subtle than say a Clint Eastwood might do it.

He takes “actiony” disasters and makes them watchable. More than watchable actually. Entertaining. Well written. Deepwater Horizon was probably the best “explosions and stuff” summer blockbuster we got – and it was released in September!

Having said all that, his newest film is actually called Patriots Day and features waving flags quite prominently. Although, I suppose that’s just the nature of the event that took place on April 15, 2013, in which two bombs rocked the Boston Marathon killing three and wounding scores more. The Boston Police were generally regarded as doing their job well and handling the situation as best as it could have been.

That’s probably because Mark Wahlberg was on duty that day…

The poster for Deepwater Horizon was really cool. And I think the one-sheet for this movie is pretty awesome as well. At first I thought it was just the American Flag in tatters, but upon closer inspection, it’s shoe laces. Well played marketing team!

Curtis Hanson: 1945 – 2016

Friend and lover of movies, director Curtis Hanson has passed on to the next plane of existence yesterday afternoon. According to reports from the Los Angeles Police Department, Hanson (71) died as the result of a heart attack.

Hanson is probably best known for his stylistic, neo-noir drama/thriller L.A. Confidential, which won him the Oscar for best writing as well as best supporting actress trophy for Kim Basinger. Not to mention its seven other nominations including best picture and best director.

The director’s last film was “Chasing Mavericks,” a biopic of surfer Jay Moriarity starring Gerard Butler, but Hanson had to leave that production toward the end of shooting in 2011 due to what was said at the time to be complications following his recent heart surgery. Michael Apted completed the film and the two shared credit on it.

His project just prior to “Chasing Mavericks” was the HBO film “Too Big to Fail” — about the efforts to save the U.S. economy from the abyss in 2008 — for which he received two Emmy nominations.

– Variety

For me personally, my first experience with the director was in 1992’s The Hand that Rocks the Cradle; which possibly hasn’t aged very well but at the time was a fairly hearty thriller that I believe audiences cheered for and was a commercial success – and indeed was nominated for a few awards itself. But of all his films, the one I would most certainly like to go to bat for is the 2000 dramedy Wonder Boys starring Michael Douglas.

It’s too bad we won’t get to see more from this director who was kind of an “every three years” kind of film maker. Which is often the sign of someone contemplative and caring about his craft. You will be missed by many sir. God speed.

Sunday Video Essay: The Marvel Symphonic Universe

Generally we try to stay positive and inspirational for our Sunday preaches. But today, I’m in charge instead of our usual poster, Kurt; so this is a little bit more of an affront to mediocre cinema. Also with our video essays they generally tend to be about, well, video. But this is more about audio.

But while this is somewhat of an assault on the scores for the Marvel Universe, it’s still very well put together and gets its point across about how important score can be in a film – even if it’s not totally recognizable or even noticeable at first glance. So enjoy… kinda.

Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

Check out these links:
Awesome Steve Buscemi poster
Paramount Now Streaming 175 Free Movies
Top Ten Takashi Miike films
Tiny figurines interacting with everyday objects
Why movies still matter
It’s Not Cool to Hate the Star Wars Prequels Anymore
Winona Ryder Forever: How the Gen-X Icon Kept Her Cool
The Strange Reason Nearly Every Film Ends by Saying It’s Fiction
How Children of Men took us through the looking glass
Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker

Would you like to know more…?

Gary King’s Unnerved Gets Trailer and Poster

unnerved-smallGary King (New York Lately, What’s Up Lovely, Death of the Dead) is one of our favorite indie directors around here. He’s supported us and we’ve supported his talent for years.

So we’re excited when he gets to the point of finalizing another feature film… especially when it’s a genre film releasing pretty close to all hallow’s eve. Unnerved builds the suspense for a couple after the mysterious death of their young son. 

SYNOPSIS: Whatever killed their son continues to haunt Mallory (Katie Morrison) and Frank (Mark DiConzo) no matter which place they go. While hiding out at a remote lake house, Mallory struggles to keep her sanity and save her marriage as the supernatural activity grows more powerful. Finally reaching their breaking point, they elicit the help of Eleanor (Elena Sanz), a local clairvoyant, to end the terror once and for all. But will it be too late?

I know this has been in production for a long time and I know Gary King is very passionate about his work and also borders on the perfectionist end of the spectrum. All of this to say I’m looking forward to seeing what Mr. King does with a horror film.

This one’s designed to be scary as hell folks — a throwback to films from the 70s and 80s.
– Gary King

While his influences are Almodovar and Altman and PT Anderson, I know his true early passions are Carpenter, DePalma and Friedkin. So it will be nice to see these influences come to life with a good dose of chills and thrills.

Check out the newly released trailer below. Also the poster above is a premiere as well. Enjoy.