Brick Mansions

CA WINTER SOLDIER discs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Captain America: The Winter Soldier Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is still trying to fit in to the modern world while working for SHIELD on a regular basis. His latest mission leads to yet another conflict with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) over his and SHIELD’s priorities and methods in fighting the war on terror. Rogers thinks criminals should be punished after a crime has been committed, but Fury says they can’t afford to wait that long. The arrival on scene of a mysterious and legendary assassin, the Winter Soldier, shakes things up even further, and soon Captain America is fighting not only for the lives of millions but for his past, his integrity, and every core belief he holds dear. I usually reserve the “Pick of the Week” spot for a great title in need of more press, but hot damn do I love this flick. If you’ve followed my reviews here over the years you know I’m no easy mark for Marvel or other big movies, but there’s not a dull minute to be found here between the expertly crafted action sequences, plot revelations lifted equally out of the comic books and the New York Times, character moments and legitimately funny laughs. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is big, spectacular entertainment that manages to stay grounded even as the action turns to explosive spectacle. It’s the kind of summer […]

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Paul Walker in Brick Mansions

If you are an aspiring composer, a musician, or simply a music fan interested in how a song actually comes together before you see it on the big screen, we have a peak behind the curtain for you. Composer John Fulford specializes in creating music for productions and has worked on shows like Breaking Bad, Glee and Enlightened as well as indie films like The Sunset Limited, studio releases like American Reunion and, most recently, Brick Mansions. Fulford knows how to work within tight deadlines (thanks to the weekly schedule of TV) and this discipline of constantly creating has helped train his ear in recognizing track elements that would work perfect on screen. Fulford was looking to get some music on Shawn Ryan’s The Chicago Code and figured the best way to achieve that goal was to work with Chicago-based artists. That led him to the artist N.E.P.H.E.W. Fulford and NEP began working together and created the track, “Nephgroove.” Unfortunately the song did not end up being used on The Chicago Code, but when Brick Mansions was looking for some authentic rap, they were sent “Nephgroove” and, as Fulford puts it, “the rest is history.” In this video (as created by Louis Mayo @Viewbility), Fulford takes you through his process of writing the song and highlighting the elements that ultimately stood out to the producers.

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Relativity Media

Hollywood remakes of foreign films are here to stay because they perform a great service to illiterate and lazy Americans nationwide, but their track record is dubious at best. This is especially true for remakes of action films for two commonly recurring reasons. Hollywood can rarely compete with the action (usually due to pesky things like insurance), and they often over-think the script in an effort to make it “smarter.” Brick Mansions, the English language redo of the 2004 French hit District B13, thankfully makes no attempt to beef up the film’s intelligence — it’s more likely that they dumbed it down actually. But it will surprise no one that the action is subpar shenanigans created and destroyed entirely through rapid-fire editing. Damien (Paul Walker, replacing the far more limber and athletically talented Cyril Raffaelli) is a cop fighting the good fight in 2018 Detroit. The city previously walled off the less gentrified neighborhood of Brick Mansions in an effort to separate the urban riffraff from the more upstanding citizens, but when Damien is sent in on an undercover mission he discovers a truth far more explosive than the bomb he’s supposed to defuse. That’s right. Minorities are people too.

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Jump London

To some, the new film Brick Mansions is notable as one of the final projects starring recently-deceased actor Paul Walker. Others know of it as a remake of the French film District B13. Or, you might not be familiar with it at all, given the somewhat muted promotional push. Like the original, the movie acts as a showcase for parkour, the physical discipline of getting from one point to another as quickly as possible, often utilizing impressive acrobatic techniques. But if you want better examples of the sport in action, then it’s best to turn to a documentary. After all, the stunts in these nonfiction films aren’t performed by doubles and there’s no safety apparatuses in play. That’s much more in the true spirit of parkour. While Hollywood generally sees parkour as a means to an action scene end, there is in fact a philosophy behind it, and each of these docs get into that to one degree or another. Jump London, a 2003 film widely credited with causing an explosion in popularity for the sport in the UK, didn’t appeal to youth just because of the cool tricks. Its message of reclaiming locomotion in an era dominated by traffic jams pushes traceurs, the French practitioners of the form, as true free spirits. Seeing them bound around famous London landmarks is absolutely exhilarating. That theme is continued in the film’s 2005 sequel, Jump Britain, which follows the traceurs to new places all over the country. Watch Jump London in full, care of director Mike Christie, by clicking through below. He also uploaded the sequel here. READ MORE AT NONFICS

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Minority Report Movie

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Paul Walker in Brick Mansions

The first Brick Mansions trailer from February was focused on the action elements presented in this American remake of the French film District B13. This second, full trailer wants you to know a bit more about the story. In one of his final and most physical roles, Paul Walker plays a detective looking to avenge the death of his father by entering into a neighborhood so dangerous it has been quarantined from the rest of society. Inside, he uses an unlikely ally to take on a vicious drug kingpin played by RZA, who is looking pretty villainy. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s awesome to see Walker get into the physical stuff of the Parkour-energized film alongside French star David Belle, who was a central figure in the original film. This trailer also comes complete with a pretty slick rendition of Ben E. King song, “Stand by Me.”

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Brick Mansions

Brick Mansions was the final film Paul Walker completed before his death this past November. For that reason alone, it’s bound to draw attention — it’s an opportunity for the actor’s fans to grieve and to get one last fully-finished look at Walker doing what Walker did best: driving souped-up muscle cars, elbowing dudes in the face, and being around things that may or may not (but almost always do) explode. Which Brick Mansions is certainly stuffed full of. But seeing as the film is a remake of the 2004 parkour flick District B13, there’s probably a substantial amount of dudes-running-up-walls as well. Walker plays an undercover cop in a dystopian future Detroit (a dead ringer for our dystopian present Detroit) who must infiltrate a tenement building to disarm a dangerous warhead being held inside. Accompanying Walker on his quest are RZA and David Belle, the latter being the star of the original District B13 and the actual founder of Parkour.

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Paul Walker

Paul Walker’s last movie, Brick Mansions, is scheduled for an April 25, 2015 release according to Relativity Media. Earth to Echo, Relativity’s sci-fi adventure collaboration with Disney was originally pegged to this date, but has now been rescheduled for a July 2, 2014 arrival in theaters. Brick Mansions features Walker and Wu-Tang Clan founding member RZA, along with Parkour dynamo David Belle and Catalina Denis. An English-language remake of EuropaCorp’s French actioner Banlieue 13 (District B13), the story follows Walker as an undercover police officer who ventures into the dystopian urban wilds of a future Detroit, tasked with the mission of disarming a neutron bomb set to detonate in a tenement named Brick Mansions.

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aboutlastnight1

You’ve seen our preview of our most anticipated movies of 2014. Now put away those expectations for a bit and be patient, because it’s homework time. As you may know, each weekend I offer some recommendations for movies, both well-known and obscure, to see after you’ve watched that latest hot new release. I’ll be continuing this feature into the new year, so you can look forward to adding more to your backlog queue with titles tied to everything from The Legend of Hercules to Night at the Museum 3. First, though, I want to get a jump on some of the most obvious movies of the past related to the upcoming movies of the near future. These are primarily the original works receiving remakes in the first half of 2014 — or older works based on the same stories. And as usual, some are more popular and familiar than others. Couldn’t you just skip the old versions and go blindly into the new as if it’s a fresh property? Of course, and you can keep on listening to cover songs, too. And always see the movie instead of reading a book. However, if you’re interested in knowing your history and also being able to judge something with proper awareness of what came before, whether you want to make comparisons or not, read ahead and prepare yourself for the next six months of moviegoing.

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The American remake of District B13 that we’ve all been clamoring for may be one step closer to reality. Per Deadline Jump River, Paul Walker is in talks to join the remake currently titled Brick Mansions. The script, co-written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), sticks fairly close to the source material with a nuclear device falling into the hands of a notorious gangster/drug dealer in a dangerous part of inner city Chicago. An undercover detective (Walker) teams up with a local (David Belle) to infiltrate the neighborhood and deactivate the bomb. Parkour ensues. We won’t bother listing the varied reasons why this is a bad idea, well, except for one. I’m no Walker hater. The guy is fine for what he is, but one short rooftop chase in Fast Five doesn’t really automatically qualify him for a parkour film. Granted Belle, who co-starred in both of the French District B13 films, will be the one doing the majority of the stunts, but you know they’re going to have Walker join in the fun… which ultimately means stunt doubles and green screen. If the film does well I think I speak for all of us when I say the sequel should head to Chicago’s Cabrini Green where the parkour boys are called in to neutralize Candyman.

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