Gareth Evans

Hammer Girl in THE RAID 2

Editor’s note: Our review of The Raid 2 originally ran during this year’s Sundance film festival, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. Let’s just dispense with the hyperbole right now. Yes, The Raid 2 will in fact cure any and all ailments, make you irresistible to the opposite sex, give you the winning lottery numbers, do your math homework for you, wash the dishes, and happily go down on you without expecting the same in return. Or not. But even without all of that it should be more than enough that Gareth Evans‘ follow up to his 2011 action hit is without a doubt one of the most brilliantly executed, excitingly choreographed, bone-crunchingly fantastic action films your eyes have ever had the distinct pleasure of seeing and hearing.

read more...

The Raid 2 knife fight

Not to get all hyperbolic on your behind, but the best action movie in decades opens this week and you should probably go see it. Sure The Raid 2 features a mildly convoluted plot and runs an incredible 150 minutes long, but if you’re even slightly aroused by spectacularly choreographed, excitingly executed, and beautifully-shot action/fight scenes then this is the movie for you. There are 10-15 such scenes (I’ve seen it twice and still lose count as I lose myself in the cinematic spectacle) in the film, each of them worthy of being the “end fight” in most other movies, and I’m already excited to see it again this weekend. As part of the promotion for the film and to show the level of action that didn’t make the cut, director Gareth Evans has released a four minute gunfight scene that was cut from the film before its release. Check it out below in all its well-crafted and bloody glory, and rest assured that had it remained in the film it would have been the weakest action sequence of the bunch.

read more...

The Raid 2 knife fight

“Good, we got here early enough to stand under the awning.” It was 10:30pm on Monday evening, just after the first weekend of SXSW 2014. This was our second trip to the iconic Paramount Theater to see one particular movie, the festival favorite and highly anticipated Indonesian actioner The Raid 2. In total, this site’s chief critic Rob Hunter and I had, at that point, invested almost 5 of the past 24 hours in service of seeing Gareth Evans‘ follow-up to the breakout action hit of 2011. Sunday morning saw us rising at 7:00am, fueled by 3-hours of sleep, to head down to the Austin Convention Center to secure “express passes” for that evening’s screening. Said passes would allow us to get to the front of the line, where preferred seating was our reward. Two hours were spent standing in line, chatting up friends and neighbors, yawning. There was no way we were missing out on this one, despite the fact that Rob had already seen and reviewed The Raid 2 in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Later that evening, another hour was spent waiting in line to gain entry into the theater. Everything was coming together nicely. As festival programmer Jarod Neece took to the stage with unprecedented energy to introduce Evans and his film, I could feel that my most anticipated movie experience of 2014 was within reach. What happened next was somewhat unexpected…

read more...

trailer the raid 2 berandal

Oh, Gareth Evans, how you bring me pure joy. The Raid 2: Berandal is on its way, though not nearly quickly enough. March 28, 2014 feels lightyears away, but I take heart in the slow peeling back of the violent onion layers that are the most recent trailers for the sequel to 2011′s cult hit. The latest gives us yet another peek into the personal life of undercover police officer Rama, played by Indonesian superstar and pencak silat expert Iko Uwais, who in my mind is most certainly the heir apparent to Tony Jaa’s throne of martial arts beat ‘em ups.

read more...

trailer the raid 2 berandal

I normally wouldn’t watch a trailer in advance for a film I’m already excited about, but the last time I tried posting a teaser without actually looking at it things didn’t quite work out all that well. So this time I actually sat through all two minutes and thirty four seconds of the first full trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal. It is a thing of beauty. You should probably just go ahead and watch it now too.

read more...

teaser the raid 2 berandal

I have a simple rule regarding trailers. If I already know I’m interested in the film I try my best not to watch teasers or trailers for it. But if I’m on the fence or completely disinterested, then I’ll give it a view on the off chance it changes my opinion, does its job, and makes me want to see the movie. Which brings us to The Raid 2: Berandal. The first teaser has just dropped for it, and it’s below for your viewing pleasure (courtesy of Twitch). I won’t be watching it though because I’ve seen, loved, bought on Blu-ray, and re-watched a dozen times The Raid. Writer/director Gareth Evans returns along with star Iko Uwais with a direct sequel to that film, and that’s all I really need to know to get my ass into a seat when Sony Pictures Classics releases the film here next year. Well, that and the smile on Hammer Girl’s face in the poster above. For the rest of you though, check out the first teaser for The Raid 2: Berandal below. Just don’t tell me what you see.

read more...

Given that the Indonesian action gem The Raid: Redemption is already being processed and re-purposed into an American remake (for those who only like dudes punching/kicking/stabbing other dudes when those dudes are speaking English), it’s a relief to know that the original series is still pushing forward. If anyone’s going to drive an idea into the ground, it should be the folks who came up with that idea in the first place. And this first piece of teaser art (courtesy of Twitch) is here to remind us that writer/director Gareth Evans‘ second Raid film, The Raid 2: Berandal, will be upon us faster than you can dispatch four men in an elaborately choreographed machete fight. And as a teaser for a martial arts movie, it’s got everything you could possibly ask for. You’ve got a large group of people ready to beat on each other with instruments of death. You’ve got your instruments of death- canes, guns, bats and plenty of sharp objects. You’ve even got a couple of lounge chairs if things get too rough and a character or two needs to call time-out.

read more...

VHS2_still2_NA

Editor’s note: This review of V/H/S/2 originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was going under the title S-VHS. We’re re-running it now as the film hits VOD and a limited theatrical roll-out this Friday. Reactions were understandably mixed to last year’s horror anthology film V/H/S, but there was enough of a positive response to encourage the team to move forward on a new incarnation. No, it’s not time for Laserdisc yet (maybe next year), but in its place we have the forgotten future of video tape…  S-VHS. In addition to changing out most of the writers/directors from the first film (only Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard remain) they’ve also, wisely, shortened the experience by sticking to four shorts (plus wraparound) instead of five. This time the “story” that brings the shorts together involves a pair of inept private eyes investigating the disappearance of a college student. They break into his ratty house and decide their investigation would be best served watching the unlabeled videotapes strewn about the living room. The four stories that follow are a mixed bag quality-wise, but thankfully there are none as bad as the “dumbasses in the woods” segment from the first movie. The concept remains that everything we see was filmed entirely on personal cams to give a POV sensation. If they do share a theme with each other it’s more laughs/fewer scares — which I gotta say is kind of odd for a so-called horror movie.

read more...

vhs2-kelsy-abbot-television-screens

Are you confused by the wealth of horror talent that’s behind this week’s new release horror anthology release V/H/S/2? No one could blame you for such confusion – after all, we are in the middle of a kind of horror anthology renaissance (if you’re willing to call the wide release of three horror anthology films in just one year’s time – the two V/H/S films and The ABCs of Death – a renaissance, which we very much are, because our local theaters were so deprived of such a genre for so long and come on), so the sudden influx of so much hot, fresh horror into your terrified eyeballs might be a bit too much to not only stomach but also to remember in terms of resume listings. Just who did what? And what are they doing next? And why does that name sound so familiar? Let us guide you, thanks to an actual guide created for this specific reason. At the very least, it will give you something to reflect on while you scream in abject terror during the film itself (full disclosure: we screamed in abject terror during just one segment in V/H/S/2, and it’s absolutely the one that will make you scream in terror, too, at least if you’re afraid of homicidal cults, as any normal human being should be).

read more...

The Raid 2

Gareth Evans is already knee-deep in the blood and bullets of The Raid 2: Berandal, but even though we’ve already seen some set pics, it’s nice to see further evidence of the brutal violence to come. Especially when it involves a guy’s cheek ripped raw. The above image is directly from the director’s Twitter feed: Frame grab from yesterdays filming of a shoot out… not for kiddos #theraid2berandal twitter.com/ghuwevans/stat… — Gareth Evans (@ghuwevans) April 1, 2013 Evans is still keeping the plot a secret, but the sequel opens a mere two hours after the destruction of the original, and it’s an odds-on bet that the plot will only be as thick as it needs to be to set up a baker’s dozen fight sequences. After all, it’s not like it needs an intricate story or anything; it needs two sides fighting each other. And it needs more images like this (with make-up fx work from Kumalasari Tanara). Not for kiddos! No joke.

read more...

Raid 2 - BTS 4

We’re not alone in having a certain affinity for the work of Gareth Evans, director of Merantau and The Raid: Redemption. The Welsh director who makes his living in Indonesia, where he has spent years crafting his own brand of brutal martial arts films, just speaks to us on that most special of levels. His films are pure adrenaline shot right into one of those thick veins in your arm. And he’s making more of these films, much to the excitement of everyone who has seen either of his first two films. In a new press release this week, PT Merantau Films and XYZ Films announced the start of production on The Raid 2 (Indonesian title The Raid 2: Berandal). If that’s not enough, there are also pictures from the set that we’re more than happy to share.

read more...

S-VHS

What the hell is that? And that, horror fans, is the best way to leave your audience salivating for more when it comes to premiering a first trailer for the newest entry in your burgeoning horror anthology film franchise. Over at ShockTillYouDrop, the first trailer for S-VHS has popped up mere days before the film premieres at this week’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s a slim little number, but it kicks off with a slice of what I’m guessing might be my favorite section from the new film – a child’s birthday party at what looks to be a family’s cabin in the woods, interrupted by something that likes to screech like a combination banshee and T.Rex. Banshrex. T.Shee. Either way, I can’t wait to meet it. This time around, the directing talent behind the anthology film includes Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, and Jason Eisener, so yes, there’s probably going to be something here for everyone. I saw and reviewed the first VHS at last year’s Sundance and flipped for it (and screamed and cried and tried to hide in my sweater and scarf to no avail), so my hopes are quite high for this next entry. Ready to see some of what the next chapter in the VHS franchise holds? Take a look at the first trailer for S-VHS after the break. Have your sweaters and scarves at the ready.

read more...

hr_Alvin_and_the_Chipmunks-_The_Squeakuel_1

What is Casting Couch? It’s the movie news column that’s easing into Christmas with a cup of coffee and some casting reports. Let’s take this one step at a time. Marvel Studios is on such a roll now that any movie they make that ties directly into their upcoming Avengers 2 is going to be a big deal—even if it’s based off of a comic book that nobody’s ever heard of like Guardians of the Galaxy. So, the competition among young actors to get cast as the Guardians’ leader, Star-Lord, is pretty fierce. According to Variety, that competition has been narrowed down to two guys. The trade reports that Jim Sturgess is the sole survivor of the original crop of five actors the studio screen tested for the role, and Zachary Levi impressed so much playing the smaller role of Fandral in Thor 2, that Marvel is looking to give him a larger role in their universe by maybe making him the half-human, half-alien leader of this ragtag crew. Who would you find more believable commanding a gun-toting space-raccoon?

read more...

SVHS Movie

As we all know, S-VHS stands for Super VHS, so either the filmmaking team behind V/H/S has gotten marketing savvy and is dipping into the comic book genre, or they’re sticking with cleverness over craven name-recognition by picking S-VHS as the name of their sequel. See if you can spot any capes in this first image – which comes from the segment from Gareth Evans (The Raid) and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre). No? No capes? Just a creepy blood-covered man wearing an adult diaper from the POV of someone wielding what looks like a used paper towel roll? Well, fine then. The project will also see short installments from Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch), directing with his producer partner Greg Hale; Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun); Adam Wingard (who directed the wrap-around for V/H/S); and writer Simon Barrett directing for the first time. Rumor has it that all the filmmakers will dress like this guy for the red carpet premiere.  [Twitch]

read more...

VHS Horror Movie

Recent horror release V/H/S was kind of a mixed bag, but that’s to be expected from anthology films that combine shorts from different filmmakers into a loosely connected whole. Regardless of which segments were your favorites, or which you thought didn’t work, it’s still pretty cool that V/H/S took little known filmmakers like the guys from Radio Silence and let them present their work alongside much-loved directors like Ti West and Joe Swanberg. So, good news for horror fans and horror creators alike, V/H/S/2 is already in the works, and it’s already signed up some top notch directors.

read more...

If you got the chance to catch Gareth Evans’s Indonesian martial arts film, The Raid: Redemption, at any point over the last year, or even happened to read any reviews of it, then you know that it was pretty much the most butt-kickingly bad-ass movie that’s come around in a long time, and action fans the world over must be keeping themselves up at night wondering what awesome project Evans is going to add his stylish flare to next. Good news: we don’t have to wait for the info any longer. Deadline Tual is reporting that Universal has acquired a drama called Breaking the Bank in the hopes of using it as a directing vehicle for the filmmaker. Originally developed by Darren Aronofsky and most recently written by Kerry Williamson, Breaking the Bank is based on the life of former MMA fighter Lee Murray, who went from choking people out for money to masterminding the biggest cash heist in history back in 2006. The details of Murray’s life that the film’s script co-opts are said to come from both Howard Sounes’ book “Heist: The True Story of the World’s Biggest Cash Robbery” and a Sports Illustrated article written by L. Jon Wertheim called, funnily enough, “Breaking the Bank.”

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movies and television and things that are said about movies and television. Sometimes it’s full of news. Sometimes it’s weird. It’s always worth reading. We begin tonight with a fact that should be well known to readers of this column. If not, you’re not paying attention, and you should feel shame. I enjoy reading the work of Pajiba’s Joanna Robinson more than I enjoy reading my own work. Which is a lot to say, as I find myself to be downright brilliant. That said, the supremely talented Ms. Robinson has written a list all about 5 Kickass Female Characters You Wouldn’t Want to Meet in a Dark Alley – including Thor‘s Sif, as played by Jaimie Alexander and seen above. The only problem is that I want to meet all of these women in a dark alley. But not in a combative manner. Unless they’re into that sort of thing. What can I say? I’m flexible.

read more...

Merantau

In this week’s edition of our new favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, otherwise known as Scenes We Love, we celebrate the fact that ActionFest is happening this weekend. And while coverage of that event will be streaming in from our BBQ-fed dynamic duo of Brian Salisbury and Luke Mullen over the next few days, we thought it appropriate to get your week kicked into gear with a bit of action that, if you haven’t seen the movie it’s from, will leave you in a bit of bone-crunching awe. Long before director Gareth Evans was asked to bring his breakout hit The Raid: Redemption to this year’s ActionFest, his debut action feature Merantau was there winning the festival’s inaugural award for Best Film. Starring Iko Uwais, Merantau delivered unto the world the splendor of Silat Harimau and told the simple story of a country boy who comes to the big city and takes down a major sex trafficking ring run. And the film’s final scene — a thirty-odd minute fight scene that will take the air right out of your lungs — is still one of the most impressively choreographed sequences we’ve seen in a long, long time. So impressive that it’s our action-oriented beloved scene this week. Well, the first two and a half minutes of it, at least. Consider that: this mayhem continues well beyond what you see here.

read more...

As someone who lives and breathes for the genre, I think it’s fair to say that action movies have gone soft. Well, that is, American, big studio action films have gone soft. The fight sequences are mostly shot in tight close-up with a volley of cuts that dilute all semblance of impact. Thankfully, foreign filmmakers are still bloodying their knuckles and breaking their backs to bring us action films that leave us as bruised and fighting for air as the sundry characters lying demolished on the floor by the time credits roll. One such actionteur is Welsh director Gareth Evans. That’s right, one of the burgeoning authorities on martial arts action films is from Wales. In 2009, Evans brought us Merantau, the heroic tale of a young man on a journey of self-discovery…who kicks plenty o’ ass along the way. Filmed in Indonesia, with a local cast, the film utilizes the fighting style Silat, indigenous to the island nation. But if we thought we’d seen the full extent of Evans’ talent with Merantau, we were so very, very wrong. This week, Evans will unleash his latest film The Raid upon unsuspecting audiences nationwide. I when I say it will be unleashed, I mean that the intensity and relentless pacing of its violent fight sequences will have you reevaluating the value of human life. The Raid, after garnering huge buzz during Toronto and Sundance, has now been picked up by Sony for both theatrical distribution and remake rights. It’s also been […]

read more...

If you’ve been rocking back and forth with anticipation for The Raid: Redemption, your wait is almost over. It hits theaters this weekend (alongside another certain highly-anticipated movie), and to whet your appetite, we talk with writer/director Gareth Evans who dissects an action scene for us. Plus, Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter join us for the Movie News Pop Quiz and to share their favorites from SXSW that will be coming to your neck of the woods. Download Episode #126

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3