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2:30 PM on 02.18.2014

Need for Speed screening free in 100 theaters tomorrow

Do you have a need? Maybe for speed? Although the upcoming Need for Speed movie isn't opening until March 14th, it's screening for free in 100 cities tomorrow night. Whether or not you're looking forward to Not Fast &...

Nick Valdez

12:00 PM on 02.10.2014

Transporter series getting rebooted with a new trilogy

With all of the reboots and sequels going around these days, it was only a matter of time that we rebooted a series whose last installment hit less than six years ago. But since that's at least twenty years in Internet time, ...

Nick Valdez

8:00 PM on 12.23.2013

Listen all of y'all it's the second trailer for Sabotage

End of Watch was my favorite film of 2012. This second trailer for David Ayer's Sabotage (formerly titled Ten reflecting the ten million stolen from their drug bust), however, doesn't look like the excellent follow up I was ...

Nick Valdez

CIFF Review: Burn it Up Djassa photo
CIFF Review: Burn it Up Djassa
by Geoff Henao

Burn It Up Djassa tells the story of an Abidjan ghetto and one young man whose embrace of the ghetto ultimately led to his demise. Tony is a young cigarette seller who finds luck gambling in the ghetto. Despite his policeman older brother's attempts to keep him employed and off the streets, Tony finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed in the life, resulting in a series of events that has ramifications on their entire family.

The film was shot on a really low budget, but director Lonesome Solo and his crew do their best to hide this. Sometimes, it's thematically obvious, such as a film break device where a member of the ghetto summarizes what happens in the next scenes as a psuedo-narrator/transitioning device. Other times, it's painfully displayed in the lack of special effects, such as guns not firing or a body being hit by a bullet having no outward appearance of such.

Burn It Up Djassa is a valiant effort and shows what can be done on a miniscule budget. It shows a piece of life from a country (West Africa's Ivory Coast) that, to my knowledge, hasn't been used in film much, if at all. Yet, the universal understanding of living in the ghetto seen in the film makes it not feel so alien... it also doesn't hurt that Tony wears a Michael Jordan jersey through the bulk of the film. 

[Flixist will be attending the 49th Chicago International Film Festival over the next two weeks. Be sure to follow along as we bring you coverage from the longest-running competitive international film festival in the country. You can easily keep track of the coverage here.]

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11:00 AM on 09.30.2013

First teaser for The Nut Job is just so darn nutty

The Nut Job is a heist film in which a group of woodland creatures (featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Maya Rudolph and Katherine Heigl) want to steal a whole host of nuts. The trailer may seem a bit lackluste...

Nick Valdez

8:00 AM on 09.17.2013

Lucas Black joins Fast & Furious 7, 8 and 9

Lucas Black, who played Sean (the main character) in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, has now signed on as a regular cast member in the next three Fast & Furious movies. Lucas Black returning to the series is a...

Nick Valdez

NRH's Weekly Analysis: Scarface & Heisenberg photo
NRH's Weekly Analysis: Scarface & Heisenberg
by Nathan Hardisty

Scarface doesn't exactly breathe quantum physics theory now does it? It is practically eighties tragedy incorporated complete with synth and cocaine. When I think of Scarface I do think of the setting, the slow dismantlement of Tony Montana's world and the crushing blow of his own creed. He lost the game because he refused to let his last morsel of humanity be swallowed whole by the dark. Yet Tony Montana, by the point he lies dead in his Mansion pool, has changed so much that it bids the question of whether or not we're looking at the same Cuban immigrant or an entirely different person; the violent, coke-a-doodle-doo druglord.

I'm going to apply some pop science to a fairly classic film to try an unearth the truth behind Tony Montana. To what extent does he exactly change in this tragedy of wealth, decay and disturbing reality? Scarface is a display of the corruption of mankind and yet it also unflinchingly dives into darkness when it needs to. We might laugh at Tony's drunkenness but I doubt there's smiles when he's shooting his friends and crying out.

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8:00 PM on 08.30.2013

Kurt Russell in talks for Fast & Furious 7

While we haven't covered it on here, there have been some major casting additions to the seventh film in the Fast & Furious franchise (which could possibly be a 70s revenge thriller). First UFC fighter Ronda Rousey joins ...

Nick Valdez

8:00 AM on 08.21.2013

Second trailer for Getaway gets away with nothing

If Ethan Hawke is the thunder and Selena Gomez is the lightning, does everything come naturally in this second trailer for Getaway? Is their team up meant to be? Regardless of whether or not it actually is, this second trail...

Nick Valdez

11:00 AM on 08.09.2013

Now You See Me conjures up a sequel

You know, Now You See Me wasn't a horrible film, but I didn't think it was as great as all that. I, however, am in the minority (your wish is coming true, Sean) as the movie was one of the surprise hits of the ...

Matthew Razak

12:00 PM on 08.01.2013

David Yates is close to directing a Scarface reboot

Scarface is a double classic already with Howard Hawks' original being a sterling example of pre-code gangster films and Brian DePalma's version perfectly capturing the grandeur of its updated setting. Why the studios wa...

Matthew Razak

12:08 PM on 07.31.2013

American Hustle gets all up in the 70s in first trailer

David O. Russell is back and this time the movie looks a bit more interesting than his overrated Silver Linings Playbook. This is definitely the O. Russel that I recognize, with plenty of drama, style and personality crammed...

Matthew Razak

Brutal, badass first trailer for Donnie Yen's Special ID photo
Brutal, badass first trailer for Donnie Yen's Special ID
by Hubert Vigilla

Martial arts superstar Donnie Yen has been keeping busy. He's got The Monkey King and Iceman 3D coming out soonish, there's the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel shooting next year, and there's still talk about Ip Man 3D. On top of all that, there's Special ID, a gritty crime thriller that looks absolutely badass.

Just feast your eyes on this first trailer for Special ID. Rather than rely on cheesy effects shots, thumping music, and too much BWAAAM, Special ID makes an impact through crazy-ass stuntwork and a nice mix of silence and sound. The film will feature fights with Ken Lo (Drunken Master II) and Andy On (The Lost Bladesman, New Police Story), but the highlight will be a battle between Yen and Colin Chou. Yen and Chou's previous one-on-one in Flash Point is easily one of Donnie Yen's best fights.

A teaser poster for Special ID is in the gallery. Special ID will open in China in October. We'll keep you posted on any international release plans.

[via Twitch]

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10:00 AM on 06.10.2013

Trailer: The Frozen Ground

Nic Cage is a detective tracking a serial killer played by John Cusack. In order to find him he enlists the help of one of Cusack's almost victims, the stripper Vanessa Hudgens. Apparently this is based off some sort of true...

Nick Valdez

Review: Violet & Daisy photo
Review: Violet & Daisy
by Hubert Vigilla

There was a point in the mid-to-late 1990s when a bunch of lesser filmmakers tried to make movies like Quentin Tarantino. It was the style of Tarantino -- the pop-culture savvy, the soul music, the violence, the coolness, the ironic detachment -- without any of the understanding of what Tarantino was actually doing. I liken it to kids putting on glasses and thinking they're clever just because of the stupid glasses.

Violet & Daisy fits right into that Tarantino-wannabe milieu, though it also borrows a lot from The Professional and those early, energetic films of Robert Rodriguez. It's 14 years late to the 90s, however, which makes the entire movie especially inept. Violet & Daisy is one of those special films that annoyed me to no end because it thinks it's so clever and seems to pat itself on the back the entire time. An unlikable smugness just plain pervades the entire film.

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12:00 PM on 06.06.2013

Trailer: Runner Runner

Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck can pretty much do whatever the hell they want in Hollywood. Timberlake is insanely popular after the release of his new album and Affleck couldn't be hotter after Argo. Runner Runner i...

Matthew Razak

11:00 AM on 06.05.2013

Trailer: The Family

In Luc Besson's The Family, Robert DeNiro returns to one of his best forms - a mobster trying to stay out of trouble, and failing. The movie centers around DeNiro's character and his tough-as-nails family; his wife played by...

Liz Rugg

BFF Review: Black Out photo
BFF Review: Black Out
by Hubert Vigilla

Two things struck me when the opening credits of Black Out came on: 1) there was a lot of style and flash in a good way, and 2) the festival's digital copy was low res. As the text appeared, so did fuzzy squares and breaks in the image. This would happen throughout the film, and at times it reminded me of watching a low-quality full screen YouTube video.

I was afraid this visual noise would be too distracting, but it's a testament to director Arne Toonen that Black Out held my interest despite this. Even though it's filled with nods to Quentin Tarantino and early Guy Ritchie, Black Out has an energetic, madcap personality of its own that's defined by a goofy comic velocity.

[For the next two weeks, we will be covering the 2013 Brooklyn Film Festival, which runs from May 31st to June 9th. Check back with us for reviews of features, documentaries, and shorts playing at the fest. For more information and a full schedule, visit brooklynfilmfestival.org.]

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4:00 PM on 05.14.2013

Crime is happening in new Robocop set photos

I normally don't like talking about set photos since things normally look a lot better in post production, but for these Robocop reboot images I'll make an exception (it's probably because that Max guy isn't a thing anym...

Nick Valdez

Tribeca Capsule Review: Northwest photo
Tribeca Capsule Review: Northwest
by Hubert Vigilla

In some ways Northwest could be written off as another movie about how crime doesn't pay. There's an escalation of criminal activity, there's the brief taste of a modest sweet life, there's the tragic inflation of egos, and there's a sense that the lives of our protagonists were doomed from the start. Things were going to be bad for this poor Danish family regardless, so the events of the film just accelerated the process of inevitable bad ends.

And yet Northwest transcends the trap of being just another crime film. There's something raw to what happens in every scene, from the performances to the look of the film. The handheld photography situates the viewer right in the muck of what's going on, which made me think about episodes of Cops, or like these people were being tailed by an invisible news crew.

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 17-28 in New York City. Check with us daily for reviews, interviews, features, and news from the festival. For all of our coverage, go here.]

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10:00 AM on 04.12.2013

Trailer: Now You See Me

Now You See Me is basically the story of David Copperfield...if Copperfield robbed banks and used extravagant technology (although we really don't know too much about him now, do we?). A group of street magicians suddenly ga...

Nick Valdez

9:00 AM on 04.11.2013

Flixistentialism 14 - Snail

On this week's episode of Flixistentialism ... we come up with rap names, we fantasize about what we would do in the universe of the upcoming movie The Purge (AKA Crime Day), we rate girls in terms of pizza and Geoff unveils how he "does" sex like a snail.

Andres Bolivar