Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell‘s 2011 creeper Insidious was a box office success, even though the general consensus was that the second half sucked. But since it made a profit, a sequel was only natural. The filmmaking duo have fallen into the trappings of sequels before with the Saw franchise that they started, but for Insidious: Chapter 2 they decided to take the reigns themselves. The result is a mixed bag of cheap jump scares and effective atmosphere that makes you wonder, was this a story that really needed to be told? Now Insidious: Chapter 2 is available on a solid Sony Blu-ray. Hit the jump for my review of the package.
The seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise has been surrounded by an air of uncertainty for the past few weeks following the unfortunate passing of star Paul Walker. Speculation has run rampant with regards to how Universal would move forward with Fast & Furious 7 after Walker’s death, given that the film was in the middle of production when the actor passed. The studio officially pushed the James Wan-directed pic’s release date from this coming July to April 2015, and now it appears that all parties involved have settled on how to move forward with the pic: Walker’s character will be “retired” in Fast & Furious 7. Hit the jump for more.
Filming on Fast & Furious 7 was halfway finished when Paul Walker died last night in a car crash. The actor, who starred in all but one of the Fast & Furious movies, had not completed his work on the upcoming sequel. Naturally, production has been delayed not only to give Walker’s friends, family, and co-workers time to grieve. However, the production is delayed indefinitely as Universal Studios, the producers, and director James Wan try to figure out how to proceed without one of the movie’s lead actors. According to The Wrap, shooting, which included scenes with Walker, was scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta following the holiday break. The production was then scheduled to go to Abu Dhabi to continue filming. That plan now seems highly unlikely as are any plans regarding the future of Fast & Furious 7.
Hit the jump for more.
Horror movies are the ultimate test of directorial skill. It’s not the words that make it scary, it’s the camera, the performance, and how things are revealed. And watching The Conjuring it’s obvious that James Wan is a remarkable talent, and it’s great that he’s moved into the big time as his next project is Fast and Furious 7. He’s got it. The Conjuring follows two families. The Warrens (Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson) are ghost hunters who uncover real and fake hauntings, while the Perrons (headed by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) are an ordinary family whose new house is haunted. The two cross paths in this supposed true story. My review of The Conjuring on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Last week, Collider was invited to sit down with Paul Walker for a lengthy interview, to discuss his remarkable work in the dramatic thriller Hours, about a father (played by Walker) who struggles to keep his infant daughter alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. While we will run the portion of the interview where he talked about that film and his experience making it, closer to its December 13th theatrical release, we did want to share what he had to say about Fast & Furious 7.
Due out in the summer of 2014, Fast & Furious 7 has a new director in James Wan (The Conjuring), which not only made Walker nervous, but made him question whether to actually return for another film, at all. During this exclusive interview with Collider, he talked about what sold him on James Wan, as a director, what he was like to work with on set, how what he’s doing with the film has a definite look that’s all his own, and how the entire cast embraced him. He also talked about how the studio is hoping for a Fast & Furious 8, 9 and 10, but that there will definitely at least be an eighth film. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The stinger during the credits of Fast & Furious 6 revealed Jason Statham would play the villain of the next movie. Naturally, a Fast & Furious villain needs a cool car, although it would be kind of fun if Statham’s character refused to use a vehicle, and the heroes were absolutely stymied by this fact. But a confident British actor like Statham needs a sweet ride, and he’s got one of the sweetest. A new set photo from director James Wan reveals that the villain will be cruising around in an Aston Martin. Will it come with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from James Bond’s Aston Martins? I hope so.
Hit the jump to check out the set photo. The film also stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Tony Jaa, Djimon Hounson, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Lucas Black, and Dwayne Johnson. Fast & Furious 7 opens July 11, 2014.
After scaring up 2013’s highest single-day horror opening on Friday the 13th, Insidious Chapter Two went on to claim an estimated $41 million from 3,049 locations this weekend. That’s a new record for a live-action September release (only Hotel Transylvania opened higher) and ranks as one of the top openings ever in the supernatural horror genre.
The Family was the weekend’s only other new release. Unlike Insidious 2, which nearly doubled its pre-release projection, Luc Besson’s gangster came in on par with its more modest target.
|| Insidious Chapter Two
|| The Family
|| Lee Daniels’ The Butler
|| We’re The Millers
|| Instructions Not Included
|| One Direction: This Is Us
|| Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Having played in limited release since August, director James Ponsoldt‘s high school drama The Spectacular Now finally made its way to my Midwestern neck of the woods this weekend and I jumped at the chance to see it last night. Although it elicited fewer laughs than I expected, the film levied an emotional punch that I’m still shaking off today. As has been noted by many before me, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley‘s performances are fantastic and their chemistry is palpable from beginning to end (one scene in which Woodley’s Aimee describes her dreams of a perfect marriage stands out to me in particular). Moreover, Kyle Chandler‘s turn as Teller’s estranged father is as powerful as it is short-lived. If you have the slightest interest in the coming-of-age genre, and this film is playing nearby, take the time to see it. Few in the genre capture the nuance of high-school love and personal demons as honestly as The Spectacular Now.
With that ringing endorsement behind me, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of Insidious: Chapter 2 interviews, Adam keeping his finger on the pulse of awards season with his recurring Oscar Beat feature, news that Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling are teaming up for a new film series inspired by Harry Potter, a new installment of Cinemath that takes a look at the history of movie ticket prices, and a recap of our robust TIFF 2013 coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Opening in theaters this weekend is James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2. The follow-up to the 2011 surprise hit picks up exactly where the first left off with the Lambert family thrust into a world of psychics, demons and ghosts. Insidious put an entirely original spin on the haunted house subgenre with its unique third act, and Chapter 2 digs deeper into that universe traveling further into the, well, Further and answering any last lingering fan questions. Insidious: Chapter 2 stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, and Ty Simpkins.
A few weeks ago at a Los Angeles press day I sat down for an exclusive interview with Wan. He talked about gaining confidence as a filmmaker, why he wanted to make an Insidious sequel, taking a break from the horror genre, his approach to Fast & Furious 7, future plans with Leigh Whannell and the genre he most wants to do next. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Director James Wan and I have a disagreement on the meaning of the word “malevolent.” His new film, The Conjuring, features an opening crawl that says the events we’re about to see are based on the true story of the most malevolent case in the files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The case is so sinister that it’s been kept secret until now. With this kind of billing, I expect something truly horrific and upsetting. But for Wan, “malevolent” is the equivalent of demons pulling supernatural tricks on a helpless family. The film features excellent performances and thoughtful cinematography that evokes the time period of the story, but Wan’s definition of horror continues to rely on stale spooky images. His strongest asset is the Warrens, but the malevolence on display becomes redundant and annoying until the third act when Wan is finally able to tap in to true terror.
Director James Wan’s (Insidious) horror film The Conjuring opens this weekend. The film is based on the story of the Perron family who inhabited a haunted Rhode Island farmhouse in the 1970s. Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston play the Perrons, and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren, who encounter the most horrifying case of their career. I found the movie to be extremely well done, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out. For more on the film, watch some clips.
At the recent San Francisco press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with James Wan. He talked about juggling three projects at once (The Conjuring, Insidious 2 and Fast and Furious 7), the editing process, deleted scenes, the test screenings, and more. In addition, I got updates on Insidious 2 and Fast and the Furious 7. Hit the jump to watch.
Director James Wan’s upcoming horror film The Conjuring comes with some pretty high expectations when it opens in theaters this weekend. Originally scheduled for release this past January, Warner Bros. moved the film to a prime summer release date after test screenings went through the roof. Early reviews have been incredibly positive for the film, and now it appears that a sequel is already being developed ahead of what is expected to be a solid box office run. The film is based on the true story of the husband and wife paranormal investigator duo of Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), and the idea now is to build a possible series of films around the team’s investigations. Hit the jump for more.
With his next horror film The Conjuring set to scare audiences this weekend, director James Wan is already gearing up for his next big adventure. Wan was confirmed for the seventh installment in the Fast and Furious franchise a couple of months back, and started designing the film’s action sequences a month or so ago. While the action sequences from Fast & Furious 6 are going to be tough to beat, at least we now know what tone Wan is going for with the next film. It should make a lot more sense to those of you who stuck around to watch the end-credits scene. Hit the jump to see what Wan has in mind.
Warner Bros. has released six clips from director James Wan’s (Insidious) upcoming horror film The Conjuring. The film is based on the story of the Perron family who inhabited a haunted Rhode Island farmhouse in the 1970s. Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston play the Perrons, and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play a husband and wife team of psychic investigators who encounter the most horrifying case of their career. Buzz has been high for this one, and these new clips promise a truly frightening moviegoing experience.
Hit the jump to watch the clips, and if you missed any of Dave’s set visit coverage be sure to check out 30 Things to Know and his interviews with Wan, Livingston, Wilson, and Taylor. The Conjuring opens on July 19th.
Well said, Matt Goldberg. In the opening sentences of his review of The Heat (linked after the jump), our Managing Editor/resident film reviewer dropped some serious truth regarding female lead films, their often unfair characterization as “the female [insert hit movie here]“, and how ridiculous it is that it has taken this long to get our better halves at the forefront of a genre that has been around for years. I say this not because I feel like Matt needs my approval and/or defense, but because it’s thoughtful writing like this that makes me both a proud contributor and eternal fan of the site.
All high-fiving aside, this week’s Top 5 includes White House Down interviews with Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, and more, Dave’s The Conjuring set visit recap, The Heat interviews with Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, and director Paul Feig, Jim Carrey‘s announcement that he won’t be promoting Kick-Ass 2, and interviews from the 2013 Saturn Awards red carpet with the likes of Joss Whedon and Shane Black. A brief recap and link to each makes its home after the jump.