THE RAID 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 135 days ago

the-raid-2-blu-ray-review

Coming back for a sequel, Gareth Evans’ follow up to The Raid, The Raid: Berandal is a much bigger film in every respect.  It’s scope (2.35:1) instead of flat (1.85:1), it’s a full fifty minutes longer, and it features some of the craziest and greatest stunt sequences in the history of cinema.  But also with that two and a half hour running time comes some bloat, which may have been unavoidable with the scope of the film.  Iko Uwais returns as Rama, who this time goes undercover to take the most powerful bosses in the business, but to do so he most put a lot of his life on the line.  My The Raid 2 Blu-ray review follows after the jump. 

Enter Our Giveaway and Win a Poster For THE RAID 2 Signed by Director Gareth Evans and Star Iko Uwais

by     Posted 163 days ago

the-raid-2-signed-poster-giveaway

The Raid 2 solidified director Gareth Evans’ status as one of the most formidable action directors of our time.  His set pieces are so inventive, labored over and thrilling he makes most filmmakers look downright lazy in comparison.  If you haven’t seen the film you should fix that immediately (read Matt’s review if you need more incentive).  Either way you’re going to want to win a The Raid 2 signed poster, right?  It’s a full sized one-sheet featuring the autographs of Evans and the film’s star Iko Uwais.  Hit the jump to find out how to get your hands on it.

THE RAID 2 Review

by     Posted 268 days ago

the-raid-2-slice

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The Raid 2 opens today in limited release.]

When Gareth EvansThe Raid premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, audiences were floored. It was as if someone had smacked us in the face about 800 times, and showed us that the action being churned out by Hollywood wasn’t half as effective as it could be. No amount of CGI could ever pack the punch of a perfectly choreographed, perfectly shot, and perfectly edited fight scene. The original’s barebones plot allowed the movie to mainline the action and get the adrenaline pumping. It also created high expectations for The Raid 2. Whereas the first movie was mean and lean, the sequel is epic and explosive with a twisting crime drama serving as the backdrop for some of the best action scenes you’ll ever see. The violence is brutal; the set pieces are brilliant; and the movie hits so hard that your grandchildren will have bruises.

Iko Uwais Throws Down Inside a Car in New Clip from THE RAID 2

by     Posted 270 days ago

the-raid-2-iko-uwais

If you’ve ever wanted to see the thrill of a car chase sequence combined with hard-hitting martial arts hand-to-hand combat, today is your lucky day.  Sony Pictures Classics has released a new clip from director Gareth Evans’ action sequel The Raid 2, and it highlights a scene in which star Iko Uwais lays the smack down inside a car while the car itself squares off against other cars on the road.  The scene is emblematic of The Raid 2 as a whole, as critical response has praised Evans for upping the ante with inventive and hardcore action sequences.

Hit the jump to watch the new clip, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Arifin PutraTio PakusadewoOka AntaraJulie EstelleRyuhei MatsudaKenichi Endo, and Kazuki Kitamura.  The Raid 2 opens in theaters on March 28th.

International Trailer for GODZILLA Showcases New Footage and More Destruction

by     Posted 278 days ago

godzilla-bryan-cranston

A new international trailer for director Gareth Evans’ highly anticipated Godzilla has landed online, and it’s quite excellent.  Plenty of new footage can be gleaned from this trailer, as we see much more of the titular creature’s immense amount of destruction and also get a better look at the film’s human characters.  This pic continues to look fantastic, and I’m incredibly eager to see the full feature on a ginormous IMAX screen in a couple of months.

Hit the jump to watch the new international trailer.  The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, and David StrathairnGodzilla opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 16th.

9 New Images from THE RAID 2 Starring Iko Uwais

by     Posted 300 days ago

the-raid-2-iko-uwais

On the heels of the news that Screen Gems is moving right along with an American remake of the Indonesian actioner The Raid, Sony Pictures Classics has released a batch of new images from director Gareth Evans’ action-packed sequel The Raid 2.  The film picks up directly after the events of the first pic, as rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) must go undercover in the criminal underworld to protect his wife and infant son after his raid of a gangster-ridden high-rise has attracted the attention of some very bad and very powerful people.  Matt saw the film at the Sundance Film Festival and was a big fan, praising the epic scale and set pieces in his review.

Hit the jump to check out the new images.  The film also stars Arifin Putra, Tio Pakusadewo, Oka Antara, Julie Estelle, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kenichi Endo, and Kazuki KitamuraThe Raid 2 opens in theaters on March 28th.

Gareth Evans Talks THE RAID 2, Deleted Scenes, the Budget, the MPAA, John Woo, THE RAID 3, IRON FIST, Future Projects, Hollywood, and More at Sundance

by     Posted 327 days ago

gareth-evans-the-raid-2-interview-sliceOne of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2.   Picking up right where the first film left off, the sequel follows Rama (Iko Uwais) as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and uncover the corruption in his own police force.   Loaded with some of the best action sequences I’ve ever seen, The Raid 2 is truly a must-see movie.  Thankfully, with a March 28th release date, you won’t have to wait too long to check it out (although it might be trimmed down a bit because of the extreme violence).  The film also stars Julie EstelleAlex AbbadMarsha TimothyArifin Putra, Mathias MuchusTio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif Rahman.

The morning after the world premiere, I landed an extended video interview with Evans.  During our wide-ranging conversation (which is spoiler free), he talked about the pressure to raise the bar with the sequel, his writing process, the length of the shoot (132 days), the size of the budget ($4.5 million), deleted scenes, if he’ll release an extended cut on Blu-ray, how the MPAA might react to the film, how close the Sundance cut will be to the final version released in theaters, the status and subject of The Raid 3, his thoughts on the Marvel superhero Iron Fist, if he’s interested in directing it, future projects, his favorite John Woo movie, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of Gareth Evans, I promise you will love this interview.  Hit the jump to watch.

TOP 5: Sundance 2014, THE RAID 2 Trailer, Quentin Tarantino’s THE HATEFUL EIGHT, New Trailer/Promo for Disney’s MALEFICENT, STAR WARS News

by     Posted 330 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

If you’ve yet to check out writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, what are you waiting for? The film hit shelves on Blu-ray/DVD on January 14th, rendering the “it’s not playing anywhere near me” excuse invalid. I had the opportunity to watch it last weekend and I was blown away. Much has been made of Brie Larson‘s performance and for good reason: it’s terrific. She’s not alone in that regard, though. The turns by Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield are nothing short of excellent and, in particular, a scene between Stanfield and John Gallagher Jr. in which Stanfield’s character, Marcus, bares his emotional scars via an original rap verse is equal parts heartbreaking and jaw-dropping. Watching Short Term 12 is an emotional roller coaster. You’ll laugh, cry, feel anger, love, hope, and despair. You’ll catch a glimpse of just how lonely a life can be and, at the same time, appreciate how opening ourselves up to the possibility of trust and love is a powerful decision that doesn’t come easily for all of us.

My Blu-ray/DVD recommendation of the week in the books, this week’s Top 5 highlights all of our Sundance 2014 coverage to date, a new trailer for The Raid 2 (including Matt’s Sundance review), Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight script leak, a new trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, and a variety of news from the Star Wars: Episode VII camp. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

New Trailer for Gareth Evans’ THE RAID 2

by     Posted 334 days ago

the-raid-2

Sony Pictures Classics has released new trailer for The Raid 2 ahead of tonight’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.  The sequel picks up right where the first film left off and follows Rama (Iko Uwais) as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and uncover the corruption in his own police force.  The sheer scale on display in this trailer makes the first film seem like a micro-budget mumblecore drama, as director Gareth Evans looks to have ramped things up considerably for the follow-up.  There’s a subway fight, a car fight, a warehouse fight, and a car chase all in this one trailer, and the film’s 148-minute runtime ensures that there is still plenty more to come.  The action, unsurprisingly, is insane, and I’m sure the Sundance crowd will be going nuts later this evening.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and check back late tonight or tomorrow for Matt’s review from Sundance.  The film also stars Julie Estelle (Macabre), Alex Abbad (Merantau), Marsha Timothy (The Forbidden Door), Mathias MuchusTio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif Rahman.  The Raid 2 opens in wide release on March 28th.

TOP 5: Our Favorite Movies of 2013, New Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, First Trailer for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL, Cinemath

by     Posted 351 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.

Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth EvansThe Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

THE RAID 2: BERANDAL Writer-Director Gareth Evans Comments on the Sequel, THE RAID 3, Action Sequences, VFX Work and Deleted Scenes on Blu-ray

by     Posted 355 days ago

gareth-evans-the-raid-2-3

While receiving positive reactions to the recently released trailer for his upcoming film The Raid 2: Berandal, writer-director Gareth Evans took to Twitter to further comment on the action-packed sequel.  In addition to talking about the film’s timeline and where it and The Raid 3 take place in the series, Evans revealed some of the statistics behind the scenes of the epic action sequences and the progress of the VFX process.  Evans even mentioned, briefly, some of the content that will be available on the eventual Blu-ray/DVD.

Starring Iko Uwais (The Raid), Julie Estelle (Macabre), Alex Abbad (Merantau), Marsha Timothy (The Forbidden Door), Mathias MuchusTio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif RahmanThe Raid 2: Berandal opens March 28, 2014.  Hit the jump to see what Evans had to say.

V/H/S/2 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 162 days ago

vhs-2-kelsy-abbott-slice

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. V/H/S/2 opens today in limited release.]

The horror anthology sequel V/H/S/2 is a mixed bag, both in terms of the horror shorts it presents and the identity the franchise is trying to acquire. Arriving a year after its predecessor, it’s clear that V/H/S/2 is meant to be the first of what should be an ongoing series where fan-favorite indie directors step behind the camera to deliver a horror short. The sequel attempts to reduce the flabbier aspects of the original, but it also feels more standardized and therefore less exciting. Additionally, two of the four shorts come across as underdeveloped or rushed. But the ones that work are worth the price of admission, and make the strongest case for the existence of a V/H/S franchise.

Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto Talk V/H/S/2, Working as a Directorial Team, Future Collaborations, THE RAID 2, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 188 days ago

gareth-evans-timo-tjahjanto-vhs-2-slice

When it comes to Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto I’m a new, but passionate fan.  Last year Evans gave us The Raid: Redemption, a feature-length action masterpiece of balls-out violence and ass-kicking badassery.  Earlier this year Tjahjanto contributed the standout segment “L for Libido” to the horror anthology The ABC’s of Death, and managed to create horror landscape so perverse and captivating that when the short film’s few minutes were up I was, at the same time, glad it was over and dying to see more.  For V/H/S/2 Evans and Tjahjanto teamed up to give us “Safe Haven”, an epic slaughter grounded in a fascinating mythology that combines Evans’s visceral cinematic style with Tjanhanjto’s eye for twisted terrors.  For me, David Bruckner’s “Amateur Night” was the prize winner of the first V/H/S, and this time around it’s “Safe Haven” that stands as the absolute apex of the film’s achievements.

Last week I jumped on the phone for an interview with Evans and Tjahjanto.  We discussed their first time working as co-directors, the difficulty of staying within the time constraints, playing with the found footage format, the possibility of turning “Safe Haven” in to a feature film, Tjahjanto’s upcoming film The Night Comes for Us, and more. I also got a quick update on The Raid: Berandal.  V/H/S/2 also features segments by Jason EisenerAdam Wingard, Simon BarrettEduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale. Check out the full interview after the Jump.  Please be aware that there are some spoilers. 

Director Gareth Evans Talks THE RAID 2; Says Film Could Be Released Early Next Year

by     Posted 1 year, 198 days ago

raid-2-sequel-images-slice

Director Gareth Evans’ martial arts action film The Raid impressed critics and audiences alike when it hit theaters last year, making the low-budget Indonesian film one of the more exciting success stories of 2012.  The fight sequences were masterfully crafted and performed by Evans’ cast, and the director quickly got to work on a sequel that he promised would be larger in scope.  Production on The Raid 2 is finally winding down, and we spoke with Evans last night to discuss his work on V/H/S/2, and the filmmaker provided a bit of an update on the film and revealed that he hopes to have it in theaters by early next year.  Hit the jump for more.

SXSW 2013: V/H/S/2 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 281 days ago

vhs-2-kelsy-abbott-slice

The horror anthology sequel V/H/S/2 is a mixed bag, both in terms of the horror shorts it presents and the identity the franchise is trying to acquire.  Arriving a year after its predecessor, it’s clear that V/H/S/2 is meant to be the first of what should be an ongoing series where fan-favorite indie directors step behind the camera to deliver a horror short.  The sequel attempts to reduce the flabbier aspects of the original, but it also feels more standardized and therefore less exciting.  Additionally, two of the four shorts come across as underdeveloped or rushed.  But the ones that work are worth the price of admission, and make the strongest case for the existence of a V/H/S franchise.

Click Here