The Films of Andrew Dominik: CHOPPER

by     Posted 35 days ago

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[Although this film is 14 years old, I recognize the possibility that many of you haven’t seen it.  Therefore, there are some slight spoilers below. ]

As promised in last week’s introduction to this brief series of articles, today I take a look at director Andrew Dominik’s debut film Chopper, which was released in 2000.  Based on From The Inside, the autobiography of Mark Brandon Read (aka “Chopper”), the film achieves something quite rare in that it manages to be unflinchingly brutal, warm, and funny in equal measure.  A lot of crime films, especially after Pulp Fiction, have aspired to meld tones like this. But most of them have failed, in large measure because of their self-consciousness.  Chopper isn’t self-conscious.  It doesn’t achieve its alchemy by laying a grouping of desired ingredients out on the table and willing them to collide.  The film is one hundred percent the result of an authentic interest in its subject.  Dominik is so true to his reading of Read’s life that the film reads as an extension of his personality, not a genre checklist.  In particular, there are three moments in the film’s first half that define it as a singular work, and those are what I’ll primarily be focusing on in this piece.

Samuel L. Jackson to Lead BLACK PHANTOM, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon Team for BIG LITTLE LIES, Casey Affleck Set in FINEST HOURS, and Trio Join SCRIPTURE

by     Posted 44 days ago

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We’ve got a number of casting stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace Jamie Foxx in the action comedy The Black Phantom.
  • Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are teaming up to develop to star in the dark comedy Big Little Lies.
  • Casey Affleck is in talks to join Disney’s period Coast Guard rescue film The Finest Hours.
  • Eric Bana, Theo James, and Jack Reynor are in negotiations to join director Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of The Secret Scripture.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting news.

Eric Bana Talks DELIVER US FROM EVIL, the Origins of the Script, Exorcism Movies, Why He Can’t do a TV Series in America, and More

by     Posted 69 days ago

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Now in theaters, is Deliver Us From Evil, a supernatural crime thriller that writer/director Scott Derrickson describes, “Serpico meets The Exorcist.”  While this may seem like the most unlikely pairing since Abbot and Costello first encountered The Wolfman, it’s actually a pretty good assessment of the film’s tone and style.  The Jerry Bruckheimer production tells the very-loosely-based-on-fact story of Ralph Sarchie, (Eric Bana) a hardboiled Police Sargent from the Bronx who, – with the help of a knife-wielding partner (Joel McHale) and the guidance of a Priest (Edgar Ramirez) carrying a dark past of his own – slowly discovers that the perp in his latest murder investigation just might be Satan himself.  As the walls close in and the bodies pile up, Sarchie and his cohorts race against time to find the culprit and protect his own family (Oliver Munn).

Recently, Collider sat down with Eric Bana to discuss his role as Sarchie.  During the conversation, he talked about what made this script stand out from other exorcism-centric films, the origins of the script, finding himself in a literal lion’s den, why he can’t do a TV series in America, and more.  Hit the jump to watch the full interview, and be sure to check out our previous Deliver Us from Evil interviews with Derrickson, Bruckheimer, Munn, McHale, and Ramirez.

Eric Bana Talks DELIVER US FROM EVIL, Working with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Shooting in the Bronx, and the Expected Gag Reel with Joel McHale

by     Posted 109 days ago

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Deliver Us From Evil is a paranormal thriller inspired by real-life cases recorded in a book by former NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie.  Eric Bana plays Sarchie, originally a skeptic, who encounters a priest (Edgar Ramirez) who convinces him that an inexplicable case is actually caused by demons and other paranormal forces.  They come into contact with other-worldly entities and unforeseen complications trying to solve the crime.  The film also stars Joel McHale, Olivia Munn, Chris Coy and Sean HarrisClick here to watch the trailer.

When our group of reporters arrived in the Bronx late on a Friday night in June of last year, we were ushered into a holding area to wait for our interviews … in the utterly creepy sanctuary of a dilapidated church.  The production could not have picked a creepier place for us to wait, although it set the mood perfectly for the film.  When Bana joined us, he came in dressed in his police uniform, his bullet-proof vest looking tight over an even tighter t-shirt, showing off his hulking muscles.  (See what I did there?) Bana spoke with us about what drew him to the project, the gag reel that we are sure to see on the DVD of the film, working with Bruckheimer nearly 15 years after Black Hawk Down and how shooting in the Bronx lent a helpful authenticity to shooting.  Hit the jump to read the interview.

New Trailer for DELIVER US FROM EVIL Starring Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, and Edgar Ramirez

by     Posted 128 days ago

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Screen Gems has released a new Deliver Us from Evil trailer for director Scott Derrickson’s (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) new supernatural thriller.  The film stars Eric Bana as a New York Detective Ralph Sarchie, who teams up with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez) to investigate a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes.  This trailer focuses more on how the investigation affects Sarchie’s family, and how demonic possessions appear to be spreading like an epidemic.  It looks kind of silly, especially when you have a detective asking a woman he believes to be mentally ill, “What’s wrong witchu?”  Very compassionate.

Hit the jump to watch the new Deliver Us from Evil trailer.  The film also stars Olivia MunnJoel McHale, and Sean Harris.  Deliver Us from Evil opens July 2nd.

WonderCon: DELIVER US FROM EVIL Panel Recap Featuring Jerry Bruckheimer, Scott Derrickson, Eric Bana, Joel McHale, Olivia Munn, and Edgar Ramirez

by     Posted 152 days ago

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At WonderCon, Sony Pictures previewed a new trailer for their upcoming ‘based-on-a-true-story’ release Deliver Us From Evil.  Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and stars Joel McHale (Community), Olivia Munn (Attack of the Show!), Edgar Ramirez (Domino) and Eric Bana (Munich) were on hand to discuss the real life exorcism the film is based on, whether the cast believes it to be true and just what separates exorcism films from other genre films.  For a full recap of the Deliver Us From Evil footage shown and bullet point highlights from the Q&A, hit the jump.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL International Trailer Starring Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, and Joel McHale

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Screen Gems and Sony Pictures have released a new Deliver Us From Evil international trailer.  The film stars Eric Bana as a New York police officer who teams up with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez) to investigate a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes.  It’s a fun premise: cop-drama-meets-exorcism-movie and mixing the two together could provide fresh life for both genres.  You also have a strong cast featuring not only Bana and Ramirez, but also Sean Harris (Prometheus), Olivia Munn, and Joel McHale even though the last two are known more for comedy than horror.  My only concern after watching this trailer is that putting these two genres may result in more clichés than exciting entertainment.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Deliver Us from Evil opens July 2nd.

First Trailer for Supernatural Thriller DELIVER US FROM EVIL Starring Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, and Olivia Munn [Updated with International Trailer]

by     Posted 196 days ago

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Screen Gems has released the first trailer for director Scott Derrickson’s (Sinister) supernatural thriller Deliver Us from Evil.  The film stars Eric Bana as a New York police officer who teams up with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez) to investigate a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes.  It’s tough to make a genuinely scary horror film, but Derrickson very much succeeded with last year’s Sinister and this trailer shows the director’s penchant for building tension.  Though the trailer is pretty light on plot, it does a nice job of conveying the mood and tone of the pic, and I’m hoping the full feature offers a solid story hook.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, and Sean HarrisDeliver Us from Evil opens July 2nd.

Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana Talk LONE SURVIVOR, Working with Real Navy SEALs, and More

by     Posted 264 days ago

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It’s tough enough to perform in a film loaded with heart, military logistics, and action, but in Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana were also tasked with delivering an authentic and admirable representation of real Navy SEALs who lost their lives in the hills of Afghanistan during a devastating mid-mission attack.

With the film now playing in limited release and its January 10th nationwide expansion approaching, all four actors sat down for a press conference in New York City to talk about working with the sole survivor of the real-life ambush, Marcus Luttrell, the connections they built with members of the SEAL community, the pressure to honor their sacrifice, and more. Hit the jump for the full discussion.

12 New Images from LONE SURVIVOR Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, and Emile Hirsch

by     Posted 287 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released some new images from director Peter Berg’s (The Kingdom) adaptation of the non-fiction book Lone Survivor.  The film tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.  The film has drawn positive responses from early screenings, and Berg has more than proven himself to be a skilled action director.  Hopefully the dramatic character interplay is on point here as well.

Hit the jump to check out the new images.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Ali Suliman, and Rohan ChandLone Survivor opens in limited release on December 27th before going wide on January 10th.

New Trailer for LONE SURVIVOR Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, and Ben Foster

by     Posted 315 days ago

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Universal has released a new trailer for Peter Berg‘s drama Lone Survivor.  The film is based on a true story, and centers on four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.   This is a much better trailer than the first one because even though there’s a much heavier emphasis on the action, this is a case where the action sells the drama.  These four SEALs were fighting for the lives, and Berg looks like he’s nailed the intensity without being exploitative.  The only moments in the trailer that give me pause are the pull quotes from Bill Simmons, Pete Hammond, and Peter Travers—three guys whose opinions I couldn’t trust less.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric BanaLone Survivor opens in limited release on December 27th and goes wide on January 10, 2014.

Eric Bana Talks CLOSED CIRCUIT, Working in London Locations, Today’s Privacy Issues, LONE SURVIVOR, and BEWARE THE NIGHT

by     Posted 1 year, 21 days ago

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The international suspense thriller Closed Circuit tells the story of two ex-lovers, Martin Rose (Eric Bana) and Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), who are bound together on the defense team for a high-profile terrorism case that turns out to be such a far-reaching conspiracy that it places both of their lives in jeopardy.  From director John Crowley, the film also stars Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Riz Ahmed, Anne-Marie Duff and Julia Stiles.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Eric Bana talked about how much of a page-turner this script was, how much fun he had working with his co-star Rebecca Hall, training for the rowing scenes, working in and around London in real locations, and the lack of privacy we all have now.  He also talked about what made him want to do Lone Survivor with director Peter Berg, and what drew him to the horror thriller Beware the Night, from Scott Derrickson (Sinister).  Check out what he had to say after the jump. 

CLOSED CIRCUIT Review

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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Sometimes a film perfectly fits into current events.  The filmmakers can perhaps glean the zeitgeist, but there’s no way of knowing that the release of the finished product will coincide with the day’s headlines.  John Crowley‘s Closed Circuit could clearly see the privacy-versus-security argument through the Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV) that dominate London.  Someone is always watching, and that’s supposed to lower crime, but it can also be seen as a way of seeing every citizen as a potential criminal or victim.  Crowley and screenwriter Steven Knight couldn’t have known that someone like Edward Snowden would come forward and reveal a massive surveillance program being conducted by the NSA and CIA.  They also couldn’t know that the partner of the journalist who assisted Snowden would be detained at the airport by British authorities several months later.  With Closed Circuit, Crowley hasn’t just made a tense, mature thriller, but one where the story’s immediacy is felt throughout.

Watch 5 Clips from John Crowley’s CLOSED CIRCUIT Starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall

by     Posted 1 year, 34 days ago

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Today, we’re bringing you five clips from Focus Features’ new thriller, Closed CircuitJohn Crowley (Boy A) directs Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall as “two ex-lovers, Martin and Claudia, [who] find their loyalties tested and their lives at risk when they are joined together on the defense team in a terrorism trial.”  The plot works in aspects of a legal drama along with MI-6 and terrorist cell elements, drawing its title from the closed-circuit cameras blanketing London.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Riz Ahmed, Jim Broadbent, Kenneth Cranham, Anne-Marie Duff, Ciarán Hinds, and Julia Stiles.  Closed Circuit opens August 28th.

First Trailer, Poster, and Images for Peter Berg’s LONE SURVIVOR Starring Mark Wahlberg

by     Posted 1 year, 50 days ago

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Universal Pictures have released the first trailer, poster, and images for Peter Berg‘s adaptation of the non-fiction book Lone Survivor.  The film tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.  Berg is a wildly uneven director, but I have so much good will towards him for The Rundown and The Kingdom that I want him to succeed.  Unfortunately, this trailer makes the film look like a military recruitment ad of the worst kind.  The best way to respect the troops is to paint them honestly, and I fear that honesty is absent from Berg’s picture.  I hope this trailer is misleading and Berg hasn’t made Act of Valor but with real actors.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer, poster, and images.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Eric BanaLone Survivor will open for an awards-qualifying limited release on December 27th before going wide on January 10th.

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