THE RAID 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 20 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 48 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 153 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 155 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.

Before You Watch This New Trailer for THE RAID 2, Make Sure You Have Health Insurance

by     Posted 161 days ago

the-raid-2-trailer-slice

The new trailer for writer-director Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 doesn’t need any words; the message comes across loud and clear through kicks, punches, and hammer swings.  It’s a brutal piece of work that teases just enough of the action to get adrenaline junkies salivating, without scaring off those of weaker constitutions by showing blood and gore.  The first trailer was good, but this cut really sells it.  (If you need more convincing, check out Matt’s Sundance review here.)

Starring Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle (Macabre), Alex Abbad (Merantau), Marsha Timothy (The Forbidden Door), Mathias MuchusTio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif RahmanThe Raid 2 opens in wide release on March 28th.  Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.

9 New Images from THE RAID 2 Starring Iko Uwais

by     Posted 185 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.

First Poster for Gareth Evans’ THE RAID 2: BERANDAL Offers up a Mosaic of Violence

by     Posted 190 days ago

the-raid-2-poster-slice

The Raid 2 is a big film both in terms of action and in plot, so perhaps it’s fitting that the new poster for it is packed with images from the movie.  For those unfamiliar with the plot of the sequel, it 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 uncover the corruption in his own police force.  There’s also a lot of intrigue amongst the crime factions as the look to consolidate power.  You may notice that my review is quoted at the top of the poster, but I wanted to provide the full quote for clarity: “Like the first movie, the story is serviceable enough to get to the action scenes, and taken solely on the basis of the individual set pieces, The Raid 2 is one of the greatest action movies ever made.”

Hit the jump to check out the poster for The Raid 2: Berandal, and click here for Steve’s lengthy interview with director Gareth Evans.  The film opens on March 28th.

Sundance 2014: THE RAID 2 Review

by     Posted 218 days ago

the-raid-2-slice

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.

New Trailer for Gareth Evans’ THE RAID 2

by     Posted 219 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.

Teaser Trailer for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL

by     Posted 295 days ago

the-raid-2-berandal-teaser-poster-slice

The teaser trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal has gone online, and one thing is for certain: walls ain’t got nothing on Rama (Iko Uwais).  Filming took 100 days, but the brief trailer shows there’s a whole new mess of trouble.  Director Gareth Evans has said the new film picks up two hours after the first one ended, but the teaser trailer raises the question of why Rama has landed in prison.  While is incarceration may be a mystery, there’s no doubt that his fists of fury haven’t lost a beat.  Evans says the sequel will have over an hour of action, and as you’ll see, this is just a brief taste of the madness to come.

Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer, and click here for Steve’s interview with Evans from Sundance 2011.  The film also stars  Julie Estelle (Macabre), Alex Abbad (Merantau), Marsha Timothy (The Forbidden Door), Mathias Muchus, Tio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif Rahman.  The Raid 2: Berandal is due out next year.

International Trailer for Keanu Reeves MAN OF TAI CHI Features New Footage

by     Posted 1 year, 77 days ago

Universal has released a new international trailer for Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, and it’s loaded with new footage.  The film follows the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him.  Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais.  Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame).  While the trailer definitely gives away a lot of the film, I don’t think anyone is going to see Man of Tai Chi for the story.  All that matters are the fight scenes and with Reeves previously saying it’s got “18 fights and roughly 40 minutes of fighting time,” I’m sold.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  Currently Man of Tai Chi doesn’t have a release date, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and then open soon after.

First Trailer for Keanu Reeves’s Kung Fu Directorial Debut MAN OF TAI CHI

by     Posted 1 year, 130 days ago

man of tai chi keanu reeves

Last weekend we treated you to the first poster and pics for kung fu epic Man of Tai Chi. Today we’ve got the first trailer. The Mandarin-Cantonese-English production is the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves. It tracks the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). To sum up, this one’s boasting all kinds of ass-kicking cred, which will be on full display in a staggering 40 minutes of fight sequences.

As you’d expect, the trailer is jam-packed with kicking, punching, chopping and all-around carnage. Hit the jump to check it out.

First Images from THE RAID 2 Which Officially Began Production Today and Will Shoot for Over 100 Days

by     Posted 1 year, 209 days ago

raid-2-sequel-images-slice

Production has officially started on writer/director Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 in Indonesia and we’ve got the first images from the sequel to share with you.  Picking up where The Raid/The Raid: Redemption left off, Rama (Iko Uwais) leaves the high-rise behind in order to infiltrate a Jakarta crime syndicate with the intentions of protecting his family and unearthing the corruption within his police force.  The sequel also stars Tio Pakusadewo, Putra Arifin Scheunamann, Julie Estelle, Alex Abbad and Roy Marten, and will shoot for the next 100-odd days.  Check out Steve’s interview with Evans in which he talks about the sequel, then hit the jump to see the first official images and read the full press release for The Raid 2.

THE RAID: REDEMPTION Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 7 days ago

the-raid-redemption-poster-slice

So many modern action movies are CGI and superhero spectacles. Yes, there’s action sequences, but they rarely involve real contact. And what’s great about The Raid (or as it was dumbly retitled for America The Raid: Redemption) is that when punches are thrown, they connect. You get the visceral thrill of watching people who know how to fight fight well. Director Gareth Evans gives you so many great bone-crunching moments of gleeful violence, the likes of which we haven’t seen much of since the rise of Hong Kong cinema in the 1980’s and 90’s. Our review of the Blu-ray of The Raid follows after the jump.

New Character Image for Hammer Girl from THE RAID: REDEMPTION Sequel, BERANDAL

by     Posted 2 years, 13 days ago

the-raid-2-sequel-berendal-hammer-girl-slice

We knew that Iwo Ukais, star of director Gareth Evans’ The Raid, was set to return for the sequel, Berandal, but now we have our first look a a new character.  Evans tweeted an image of Alicia, aka “Hammer Girl,” recently, but no other information on her character has been released.  It’s not clear which side Hammer Girl will be on when Berandal hits screens.  If you haven’t seen the original film, you’re in luck: The Raid: Redemption is now available in an unrated version on Blu-ray and DVD.  Hit the jump to see the image of Hammer Girl and for more on The Raid and Berandal, including an interview with Evans himself.

Click Here