Exclusive

The Sweeney

According to the press releases we’ve received about eOne Films’ upcoming crime thriller The Sweeney, we can tell you that it very well could be “a stylish, exhilarating action thriller proving sometimes you have to act like a criminal to catch a criminal.” Then again, that might be a little bit of marketing hyperbole. But we’re rooting for it, as it’s the kind of movie that sees the likes of Ray Winstone playing a tough, legendary detective and Damian Lewis playing his no-nonsense boss. It also stars Captain America dame Hayley Atwell, which is another mark in the plus column. Full of thick accents, car chases and what we can only expect to be a lot of turse language from the director of Outlaw and The Business, this one has us looking over iTunes to make sure it’s available for rent. And it is, as The Sweeney hits VOD platforms today, March 1. To celebrate, here’s an exclusive clip of Ray Winstone being Ray Winstone, along with some other shenanigans.

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Alex Karpovsky

You guys are fans of Alex Karpovsky, right? Oh, good, because we’ve got a double feature of exclusive clips from the writer/director/actor’s latest two films, the very funny Red Flag and the very unsettling Rubberneck, both of which are hitting the big screen in New York City today as part of a special engagement at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. What’s most impressive about these two features is how very different they are. In Red Flag, Karpovsky plays a familiar version of himself – no, really, the film is loosely based on his own experiences as a struggling filmmaker – as his character embarks on an ill-fated road trip to promote one of his films at some of the most random (and tiny) venues in America. When an old pal tags along, it seems like a good idea, until a big fan of Karpovsky’s (read: she’s a stalker) starts popping up everywhere, ultimately leading to one of the most awkwardly hilarious love triangles in recent memory. And if you like your love triangles slightly more dangerous, Rubberneck is the Karpovsky joint for you. In it, the multi-hyphenate plays the sort of guy we’re not used to seeing him as: an obsessive creep who cannot take a hint. After a one night stand with a co-worker, Karpovsky’s Paul can’t seem to let go of his desire, which causes some major problems when the object of his infatuation strikes up with yet another co-worker. No, really major. After the break, enjoy twice the Karpovsky bang for your post-reading buck, including the dry […]

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Sake Bomb

Premiering next month in the New Visions section at the SXSW Film Festival, Junya Sakino‘s Sake-Bomb takes the old road trip formula and adds in some extra-special ingredients – like unrequited love, mismatched family members, and cultural clashes. And you thought simply traveling to Disneyland with your family in a minivan was tough, amirite? The film centers on young Sebastian, “a bitter, self-hating wannabe Internet star from Los Angeles” (which is, incidentally, my favorite character description of the year so far), who has just been dropped by his lady love. He’s soon joined by his quiet Japanese cousin, Naoto, who needs Sebastian’s help to find his own ex-girlfriend in Northern California. Cue road trip, misunderstanding, and probably more than one breakdown (and not just of the vehicular variety). Sake-Bomb will have its world premiere at SXSW on Friday, March 8, with three additional screenings to follow later in the festival. Until then, enjoy our exclusive poster from the film, featuring both Sebastian and Naoto looking none too pleased with each other. Ah, family.

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Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. Photo credit: Phillip V. Caruso

It’s quite serious. That’s the one thing that FilmDistrict seems to want you to know based on these new images from Olympus Has Fallen, released exclusively to Film School Rejects this morning. It’s true, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this one. Among them: Antoine Fuqua is a director who has dealt in more quality than anything else, as evidence by his gritty turns with Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter, Training Day and Tears of the Sun; Aaron Eckhart‘s jaw structure, as seen in The Dark Knight, was clearly made to exist about a foot and a half above the Presidential podium; Gerard Butler plays a good redemption story, always delivers with a gun in his hands; and it’s got Morgan Freeman. On top of all that, it’s a movie about a siege of the White House, in which one man is the key to saving POTUS from some Asian-based threat. It’s also quite bloody and full of what the kids might call “mean mugging,” also known as serious people looking very serious.

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Resolution

You know that terrible, bumper-friendly saying, “friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies?” Well, turns out, it’s not entirely accurate – real friends help you detox from meth while rangy, money-hungry drug dealers try to knock down your door. Such is the plot of Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead‘s genre-bending Resolution. In the film, Mike (Peter Cilella) decides to stage an intervention for his methhead friend Chris (Vinny Curran), the kind of intervention that involves handcuffing his pal to a pipe in a dirty cabin while all sorts of weird things keep happening around them. Trust us, there is far more to this very surprising project than that little logline could ever let on. Do you think you know what’s going to happen next? Nope. You don’t. Check out a very special exclusive clip (and Reject-special introduction!) from Resolution after the break, one that will surely continue to lull you into a false sense of what to expect from this new feature.

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Supporting Characters

For fans of Girls, Alex Karpovsky‘s confusion over text messages, emoticons, and just what the hell they mean when sent in the context of a romantic relationship was a source of great hilarity during the show’s second season premiere, as Karpovsky’s Ray demanded to know what a wrapped gift, a panda, and a gun meant when sent to him by a lady he has bedded. Yet, it turns out that was not quite the first time that The Karp (go with it) was confused by text messaging. In Daniel Schechter‘s Supporting Characters, Karpovsky plays one half of an editing team tasked with cleaning up a terrible film by a moronic director – but that’s the least of their worries, as both guys (Karpovsky’s co-star is played by co-writer Tarik Lowe, who is just smashing in the film) are also struggling with romantic issues. Karpovsky’s Nick is engaged, but drawn to said terrible film’s star, played by Arielle Kebbel, even though she’s just getting out of a stupid relationship, one marked by all sorts of “winky face emoticons.” I saw the film at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and enjoyed it quite a bit, writing that “the film is at its best when it’s not trying to expand on things too far, and its finest moments are little ones – a look that crosses over Nick’s face when he meets Jamie’s boyfriend, an offhand comment about lighting by an angry director of photography, a wordless shot that conveys the state of Nick and Amy’s relationship after a particularly […]

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The Kitchen

Featuring a very talented cast of comedic talents (including Compliance‘s Dreama Walker in a refreshingly breezy role), Ishai Setton‘s The Kitchen takes the party-where-everything-goes-wrong to a new level. It’s Jennifer’s (Laura Prepon) thirtieth birthday, and the last thing she wants to celebrate is her life, considering she’s saddled with a scheming ex-boyfriend (Bryan Greenberg), a sister who can’t manage to filter any of her thoughts and opinions (Walker), and a best friend who might be throwing her said party out of more than just the goodness of his heart (Matt Bush). Set entirely inside Jennifer’s kitchen, The Kitchen looks to be a clever, tightly-wound, and amusing comedy of manners (or, non-manners in some cases). In fact, our own dear leader Neil Miller loved the film when he saw it back in October at the Austin Film Festival, writing that the “entire film works on the economics of scale, in which a great deal of energy is created by leaving us, the audience, in one room of the house. We see characters and stories move in and out, leave and return and ultimately develop into a satisfying final act. It sounds frantic, and it can be at first, but it ultimately gives The Kitchen a good pulse.” He also wrote that “Prepon and her co-stars give this story of love, loss, unrequited love, party shenanigans and hurt feelings a great deal of charm and verve, reminiscent of  ’90s ensemble comedies like Empire Records. Clever and fun, The Kitchen sets itself apart from other indie comedies by […]

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Happy People

It’s not often that filmmaker Werner Herzog completes a project that actually includes the word “happy” in even its synopsis, let alone its title, but there’s apparently a first time for everything (after all, this is the guy who made no less than two films about death row in the span of a year). In his Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, Herzog and co-director Dmitry Vasyukov explore the indigenous people who live in the Siberian Taiga. Who knew people could be happy in Siberia, of all places? The documentary centers on the lifestyle of the people who live in the tiny village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei. Only three hundred or so Siberians live there, and Bakhtia is only reachable by helicopter or boat (one does not simply walk into Bakhtia). Of course, being so cut off from modern civilization has its pluses – mainly, that you don’t have to deal with stuff like telephones or the Internet – but good luck getting running water or medical aid up there in Bakhtia. Herzog and Vasyukov’s film tracks a year for the “happy people” of the village, and looks stunning while doing it. After the break, check out our exclusive poster premiere for Happy People. Point for the Bakhtia people? Everyone gets a sled dog!

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Red Dawn Poster

“A city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the Wolverines, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.” It’s hard not to feel like we’ve heard this one before. Then again, we have. But that was the first time Red Dawn was a movie. Now it’s another movie. And instead of Russians, we’re being invaded by Asians. Somewhere our own Rob Hunter is being questioned as an enemy sympathizer. Here though, we’ve got a fancy new exclusive clip for the release of Red Dawn, which invades your local cineplex on November 21. Just in time for that ultimate American invasion holiday, Thanksgiving.

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King Kelly

King Kelly is a divisive movie, and it has an uphill battle to fight in order to win viewers. Why? Two reasons… first, it’s shot (almost) entirely on iPhones. And second, the title character is the most unlikeable creature to hit the screen since Honey Boo-boo. That uphill battle is one worth fighting though because it’s a movie worth seeing. Louisa Krause plays Kelly, a selfish, narcissistic, oblivious young woman who earns her money by way of a webcam sex show. She treats those around her as tools toward making it big with no thought given to their feelings or situations, she rarely shuts up and she’s a magnet for trouble involving missing drugs, threatening dealers and one highly unstable fan. Thankfully she’s also funny and more than a little sexy. It’s an admittedly tough sell that needs some nuance to persuade viewers to spare their time and money for the privilege of giving attention to a truly obnoxious character whose only desire is for more attention. And while the characters may appear blatantly and deceptively dumb the movie itself is actually a pretty smart critique of modern day America’s tastes. I found a lot to love when I reviewed it at this year’s SXSW, but unfortunately the latest trailer doesn’t quite get any of that across. Check it out after the jump. But please note that it’s very Not Safe for Work (NSFW).

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Joseph Diamond in Miami Connection

Yes, you read that right. Putting aside the fact that Miami Connection was made in 1987. Discarding the notion that traditional Academy voters (prudes) might think it to be of a quality that is far below that of precious Oscar. And completely ignoring the part where the “martial arts rock bands vs. motorcycle ninjas” genre doesn’t quite fit in with any of the Golden Globes categories (because that shit is highly dramatic and comedic, ya dig?). All of that aside, the folks at Drafthouse Films are still spending money (what we can only envision is about $35) on a For Your Consideration campaign for the upcoming re-release of Miami Connection. We’re proud to be a part of it with this exclusive look at the FYC ad for Joseph Diamond as Best Supporting Actor. It’s a fistful of awards potential, that’s what it is. To talk about why Diamond is a shoe-in for Best Supporting nods throughout awards season, we consulted our own motorcycle ninjas expert Michael Treveloni. “The emotional complexity helmed by Joseph Diamand is a rare glimpse into the maw of perfection,” explains our pundit. “Like a table saw wobbling on unsteady legs, the threat of violence is there, but it is his control that keeps the cuts from being unkind. With deft execution, Diamand breathes life into the role of Jack, unfolding the character like a two thousand thread-count sheet we’ve all secretly experienced. When he loves. We love. When he is hurt. We are hurt. When he sings… we listen. […]

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Come with me on a journey for a moment, back to when you were a youngin’ on the playground. There was a particular technique that seems to have been popular with just about every five year old around, in which the stronger of the two kids grabs the arm of his (or her, if the story is really embarrassing) opponent, hits them with their own arm and says, “Stop hitting yourself! Why do you keep hitting yourself?” It was a humiliation technique, meant to send the other kid running. And more times than not, it worked like a charm. In this clip from Dragon, the latest martial arts import from Radius TWC, we see the legendary Donnie Yen using a similar tactic on a foe. Allow me to set the scene: Takeshi Kaneshiro (Red Cliff, House of Flying Daggers) plays an investigator who has come to a rural village to look into a scruff between a local papermaker (Yen) and two ruffians who came to rob the general store. The simple papermaker remains, while the two wanted criminals, trained killers in their own right, lie dead on the ground. We see Kaneshiro’s character as he’s recounting what he believes happened in the general store, complete with some wicked fight choreography courtesy of star/action director Yen. See for yourself in this exclusive clip below.

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A Liar

Everybody knows the name Monty Python, but most people can’t name the individual members of the legendary British comedians. For the record they’re John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman. And yes, I forgot Terry Jones at first, too. Like most comedy troupes formed in 1960s England, Monty Python isn’t as whole as they once were. No, don’t go Googling to see if Terry Jones is still alive. He is. I checked. But Graham Chapman is not. He died twenty three years ago from throat cancer, but audio recordings he made in 1986 meant to be narration for his autobiography have been put to celebratory use in the new, factually loose, humorous but sadness tinged animated film, A Liar’s Autobiography. Three directors, multiple animators and several members of Python came together to create this loving tribute to a very special dead man. (It focuses on his life before he died of course.) Check below for four more images from the new film, and be sure to tune into EPIX on November 2nd for the film’s premiere.

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Rob Corddry in Butter

Jim Field Smith’s Butter has been sitting on the shelf for some time now. The film had a secret premiere at Telluride last year (over a year ago), where it was met with a fairly positive response. Now, as it’s finally coming out on VOD and in theaters, it’s being greeted with more of a decidedly mixed response. Whether you come out liking Butter or not, you will, at the very least, come away impressed by Rob Corddry. Here we see Corddry playing the straight man role, something we’re not all that used to from him. Along with Hugh Jackman, he steals the film. With the film’s theatrical release today, we’ve been given an exclusive character poster featuring Corddry himself. Check out Corddry’s innocent, childlike grin after the jump:

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Vulgaria

The Hong Kong import Vulgaria does live up to its name. It sure does deliver its otherwise tender story of a man trying to get ahead and stay connected with his daughter through a divorce with a filthy sensibility. As Rob Hunter explained in his review, “The crassness is all delivered via fast, funny and profane dialogue that more often than not plays into the story.” It’s a movie that includes an awkward moment with at least one mule, but it’s got heart! That said, there isn’t much of the ‘heart’ in this exclusive clip we’ve wrestled away from the folks at China Lion Entertainment. It does, however, explain how a film producer is like the hair in between your legs. And it’s distressingly funny. 

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Resident Evil: Damnation

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! Wait, did you think there was just one Resident Evil film coming out this year? How wrong you were, little raccoon! Later this month, we’ll be hit with another Resident Evil film, but this one is an all-CG feature that doesn’t require the talents of either Milla Jovovich or Paul W.S. Anderson. Strange, right? Next week sees the release of Makota Kamiya‘s Resident Evil: Damnation, another totally CG outing from the director of 2008′s Resident Evil: Degeneration that returns to the (bloody) adventures of United States Special Agent Leon S. Kennedy, now tasked with sneaking into a foreign country to see just what is up with their use of Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) during a war. Guess what, their B.O.W.s are not being used for fun. To get you pumped for this all-new Resident Evil animated battle royale, we’re giving away two (2) prize packs from Resident Evil: Damnation to two (that is 2) lucky winners. Each prize pack includes: a watch, stickers, a t-shirt, a theatrically-sized poster, and a Resident Evil: Damnation figurine. Additionally, one prize pack will come with a Resident Evil: Damnation DVD and one will come with a Resident Evil: Damnation Blu-ray (the choice is up to us!). To win one (1) prize pack from Makoto Kamiya’s Resident Evil: Damnation, all you have to do is jump down into the comments section and let us know what your favorite film from the Resident Evil franchise is and why. Please […]

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Doctored

It’s not often that a factoid contained in a press release really jumps out and grabs you, but a note on Bobby Sheehan‘s upcoming documentary Doctored is certainly worthy of a major double-take. Did you know that, although the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world’s population, we consume over 50% of all the world’s pharmaceutical drugs? Whoa, right? It’s that incredibly fact that’s at the heart of Sheehan’s compelling and often surprising film. Doctored centers on the chiropractic profession, “labeled as quacks and cultists,” and the long struggle chiropractors have faced at the hands of businesses and organizations like the AMA. The film illuminates “historical events such as the Wilk vs. American Medical Association case in which the AMA was found guilty of an illegal conspiracy to ‘contain and eliminate’ the chiropractic profession.” Talk about doctored. The film includes interviews with surgeons, MD’s, DC’s, DO’s, high-profile patients like Olympic Gold Medalist Picabo Street, and NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton, along with everyday patients looking for a different way to care for their bodies. After the break, check out the first poster for Doctored. It gets up close and personal.

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Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

In Ryan O’Nan‘s Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, a singer/songwriter teams up with a musical revolutionary in what looks like a quirky bromance complete with some solid music. Spoiler alert: they probably end up beating the best. It stars O’Nan, who also wrote the screenplay, alongside Michael Weston (House M.D.) and Arielle Kebbel (John Tucker Must Die). You can check out the trailer here, but we’ve got a clip that gives an excellent view to the kind of awkward, interpersonal comedy on display. In it, Kyle (Jason Ritter) breaks up the band and agrees to disagree with O’Nan’s Alex. Oscilloscope picked up the movie, so it’ll be in theaters today (9/21). Be on the look out, and see the clip for yourself:

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Everyone knows martial arts movies are awesome, but we can also probably agree that the influx of period films have gotten out of hand. The past few years have seen the genre stagnate a bit with every release seemingly featuring ancient warlords scuffling in ancient China. Hell, we lost the great Donnie Yen to period pieces, and he hasn’t fought in the present day since 2007′s fantastic Flash Point. This trend doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. But just because period films are the new normal that doesn’t meant they all have to be the same. And Tai Chi Zero appears to be just the film to prove it. It’s a period piece, but it infuses the world with steam punk and style to create something pretty unique and spectacular-looking. Check out the exclusive poster premiere below along with the latest trailer, and then hightail your ass to Austin for this weekend’s screening of Tai Chi Zero at Fantastic Fest.

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Brawler

In Brawler, two brothers face a devastating personal betrayal and gear up to fight to the death. Based on actual events, the story takes place, where else, on a river boat that features a mob-run fight club. This clip features Bryan Batt (from Mad Men) as Fat Chucky, delivering a bit of friendly advice to brother Bobby Fontaine (played by Marc Senter). Check it out for yourself:

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