It takes a lot to be innovative in the action film genre. Most times studios will look at adding a complex story with nuanced characters to the exploding buildings and intricate death traps to seem like they’re adding a new wrinkle to a played out style of film.
But the new film Hardcore Henry, from Russian musician / filmmaker Ilya Naishuller, looks to jump on a different kind of bend – the first person POV action film. And while the action flick boasts some decent special effects and a couple of jaw-dropping action sequences it’s paper-thin plot leaves a bit to be desired.
The film puts you in the shoes of Henry, a man who wakes up missing a few limbs and all memory of who he was. After getting his arm and leg reattached our protagonist begins to learn the circumstances of his situation – mainly that his wife is working for Akan, a psychopath who wants an army of soldiers like Henry. In an ill-advised escape Henry’s wife is caught prompting the cyborg to try and get her back.
With the help of Jimmy (Shalto Copley), a chameleon of a man who has his own motivations for stopping Akan, Henry wages a one man war in an attempt to get back his wife and regain the life he once had (even if he would be living it as a half-man, half-robot super soldier).
Ilya Naishuller, who wrote and directed the film, does a respectable job for a first time feature film debut. The first-person POV angle is sure to wow many people, but I felt like it was akin to sitting there watching your best friend who is really good at video games play in a non-stop marathon. There were times when the action was intense and the fight scenes were just straight up balls-to-the-wall but you were kind of wishing you’d get a turn at the controller for a little bit.
While the film employed about a dozen stuntmen to capture Henry’s movements (including Naishuller himself), the real star of the film is Sharlto Copley. I can’t say too much without giving away major plot points (or the crux of what story there is) but he has a lot of balls in the air and he juggles them with deft skill. This might be his best performance since District 9.
Hardcore Henry is a decent enough popcorn action flick – even if it’s plot has less depth than a bottle cap and is predictable at points. Still, Copley’s performance is really worth watching and the action sequences will have you wondering if your watching a stuntman or the latest offering from XBOX or Playstation.
Kingsman: The Secret Service was a real breath of fresh air to the spy genre. It told a compelling story, started a universe that felt fleshed out and fully realized by the film’s end AND managed to pass the torch from the old guard to the new in one two-hour installment.
One of the best sequences of the film was the church fight. It was a crazy brawl that ended with the death of master spy Harry Hart, played by Colin Firth. It was sad to see Firth get sent packing before any future installments as his relationship with Taron Egerton’s Eggsy was a highlight of the film and I would have liked to see it explored more in the future.
Well it looks like I might get my wish. The newest poster for Kingsman: The Golden Circle was dropped on Twitter and it would seem that a return is in the works:
I hope this wasn’t a major plot point the filmmakers were trying to keep under wraps!
So when the Kingsman go across the pond to meet up with their American counterparts will Harry Hart once again join up to fight the good fight? It seems so.
Sources for The Hollywood Reporter also confirmed that Colin Firth would be back but didn’t say in what capacity. It could be in flashbacks or as an evil twin (which would be a great throwback nod). They could even just wave the death away (did the Kingsman ever really see the body?) and have him come back to help out in the nick of time.
We’ll have to wait a bit before we find out how Firth will be involved when the Kingsman team-up with the Statesman in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. What is certain is that the film is slated to drop on June 16, 2017.
We've got one more video to share with you for the sci-fi thriller The Phoenix Incident. This one focuses on Ryan Stone, who in addition to Jacob Reynolds and Mitch Adams disappeared in 1997 during the during a massive UFO sighting that took place in 1997 in Phoenix AZ.
Blurring the line between fiction and reality, the fact based, sci-fi thriller revolves around a military conspiracy and the controversial missing person’s case surrounding the infamous 1997 event. With the support of the victims’ families, along with classified military documentation, cockpit recordings, Air Force pilot interviews, actual FLIR footage, and first-hand recovered video evidence, The Phoenix Incident exposes the military’s engagement with extraterrestrial contact, and the collateral damage of 4 civilians.
The movie was written and directed by Keith Arem (Call of Duty, Titanfall, Saints Row, Tony Hawk Pro Skater).
The Phoenix Incident will be released in select U.S. cities and on VOD on April 8th.
Surely by now, you already know the deal with Captain America: Civil War. Two teams of heroes, led by Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, respectively, go head to head in an ideological battle over the nature of superheroes and the fallout they've been responsible for in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel UK has released a new featurette that puts Scarlett Johansson, Emily VanCamp, and Elizabeth Olsen front and center as they talk about their roles in the movie. I hope VanCamp has more to do here than she did in The Winter Soldier; that was a nice introduction to Agent 13, but let's hope this footage in which she fights Bucky is just the tip of the iceberg for her character in Civil War.
Captain America: Civil War arrives in theaters on May 6th.
The Warp Zone has created a humorous video that imagines what it might be like if Star Wars characters interacted on Facebook. There are a couple of low points (the done-to-death "Obi-Wan tells Luke they need to talk about Leia" joke, and straight-up jacking South Park's foul-mouthed version of Mickey Mouse), but it's mostly entertaining and worth a watch if you're looking for a few chuckles.
Even if you’re like me and have become quite skeptical as the years have come and gone, you can’t help that lingering suspicion that there may be more to reality than we usually comprehend. People you haven’t thought of in years can call you up moments after you’ve randomly thought of them. Notable events in life can initially manifest as premonitions in our sleep long before they actually take place. Certain places in the world can instill an unmistakable sense of dread and foreboding that can be tied to a disturbing occurrence in that location’s history.
James Cawley’sHaunted Travelsinvites you on a tour across many locations where multiple encounters of unexplainable paranormal events have taken place.
From underground human trafficking tunnels in the Pacific Northwest, an 1800s-era penitentiary where a murder-suicide unfolded (among many other atrocities), to the bizarre and unsettling atmosphere of The Clown Motel built on a graveyard, renowned host Ben Hansen (SyFy’s Fact or Fake: Paranormal Files, UFOs Declassified) will take you on a tour through some of the world’s creepiest locations made popular by truly disturbing occurrences for those who are brave, curious, and possibly crazy enough to venture along. Haunted Travels is your travel guide to the most creepy, paranormally-infested places around the world.
If you check out some of the cinematography from director and DP James Cawley, who I’ve come to highly respect over the years for his attention to detail and technique, it comes as no surprise to me that he is officially endorsed by Zeiss, Tiffen, and Steadicam. For years, I’ve seen some of the most captivating nature footage from his catalogue of work, so now that he’s involved in a documentary about seriously spooky locations, my hopes are very high.
I’ll be transparent with you: yes, I’m doing the music. You will hear my music in the promotional trailer in the Kickstarter. When I was hit up for the possibility of working on this, my immediate reaction was a giant “HELL YES!” because I knew this was something with immense potential to rock. The project has been developing in a beautifully creepy way over the last months and I think fans of supernatural, paranormal, and horror documentaries that peer into the darkest dimensions of curiosity and fear will get a kick out of it!
The first Neighbors ended up being a surprise hit for Universal, so they put a sequel into development almost immediately. They got Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron to return, and instead of facing off again, they're joining forces to take down a larger threat: the sorority that moves into the former frat house next door.
Comedy Central has just released a new red-band trailer for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and ComingSoon has unveiled a new poster (above). Check it out and let us know if you're going to go see this when it comes out on May 20th.
Earlier this morning, we wrote about how Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju had joined the cast of F. Gary Gray'sFast 8. At the time, I mentioned that Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron was may join the movie as a villain — something that's been rumored for a little while now — but there still wasn't any confirmation of that yet.
Looks like someone did some digging, because now Variety has officially confirmed that Theron will definitely be in the film. This will be a reunion for her and Gray, who worked together on the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. Theron obviously has experience behind the wheel, with her work in that movie and her recent turn as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. Her exact role is still being kept under wraps, but it's expected to be a villain that's new to the franchise. I wonder if she'll be working with or against Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw? Two main villains might be a way to up the ante without taking the stunts too much farther than what they've already done — this franchise is constantly walking the line of jumping the shark, but I think they've been able to stay just on this side of it so far.
Production on the sequel is set to kick off next month, and the movie is aiming to be the first studio film to shoot in Cuba, which has reopened relations with the U.S. under President Obama. Vin Diesel, Tyrese, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson, and Michelle Rodriguez are all reprising their roles, and Fast 8 hits theaters on April 14, 2017.