Gina Carano

Gina Carano and Amaury Nolasco in IN THE BLOOD

Gina Carano found success as an MMA fighter, but my aversion to sweaty acronyms meant I first learned of her existence in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire. She plays a CIA (more my speed) agent framed by her own people, and the film is basically her kicking one Hollywood leading man’s ass after the next including Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas. It’s a combination of star power and a very frequent use of Carano’s impressive fighting abilities that makes the film so fun, but more than that, those elements helped deflect attention away from the sloppy script and her poor acting. Fast forward three years later and she’s finally found a follow-up leading role, but oddly and unfortunately, In the Blood has very little clue what to do with her. Ava (Carano) and Derek (Cam Gigandet) are newlyweds on their honeymoon in the Caribbean, and while his father (Treat Williams) has made his disapproval and mistrust of Ava clear Derek has chosen love over his dad’s concerns and worries. A local offers to show the couple a good time at a nightclub, but trouble arises in the form of a gangster named Big Biz (Danny Trejo) who forces Ava’s violent hand (and other hand and feet) into dishing out bone-crunching moves on the dance floor. Ava and Derek try to put the experience behind them the next day with some zip-line action, but a fall leaves him badly injured. Even worse? The EMTs kidnap him. Now Ava’s on a […]

read more...

Gina Carano in In The Blood

Ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano had dabbled in acting a bit before 2011, but it was Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire that really made her name in the world of action cinema. The director wasn’t the only recognizable name on the picture as he made sure to surround his star in the making with a cast that included Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender. It wasn’t a big hit by any means, and no one was impressed with Carano’s acting abilities, but action fans took note and looked forward to whatever Hollywood would offer her next. That whatever turned out to be a supporting role in Fast & Furious 6 and a guest spot on Fox’s Almost Human. If you saw Haywire then you know that’s a bullshit waste of an impressive talent right there. Fortunately, that dry-spell is coming to an end this year as Carano finally gets a second crack at a leading role filled with ass-kickery. Unfortunately, it’s in a movie that looks to be heading to VOD and/or the direct-to-DVD market. Check out the trailer for In the Blood below.

read more...

furious6-commentary1

After fourteen years, the Fast & Furious franchise has gone through quite a few changes. The first three films struggled with changing casts and somewhat unconnected storylines. However, after Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, director Justin Lin took the series in a very different direction. He brought back the original cast, then morphed the series from some street racing flicks to a bona fide action franchise complete with international villains and bigger-than-life action sequences. This second trilogy (!) in the series culminates with Fast & Furious 6, which was one of the highest grossing movies of 2013. Lin lends his voice to the commentary track on the film, which was recorded before the tragic death of Paul Walker. Similarly, the DVD and Blu-ray of the film were produced before this event, making a lot of the matter-of-fact comments in the film, the bonus features and the commentary naturally bittersweet. Still, there’s a lot to be learned from Lin’s commentary, which serves as a look back not only at the film, but the franchise as a whole with a great emphasis on the dynamic of those involved behind the scenes.

read more...

vinson

If producer Adi Shankar really intends on making an action movie that brings together all of the toughest females in the industry, eventually he’s going to have to come up with a better title for it than Adi Shankar’s Female Expendables Project, but for now that seems to be all we have to work with, so we shall do our best. Anyway, what are the details of this project? So far Shankar is said to have a script from writer Dutch Southern, casting confirmations from MMA athlete-turned-actress Gina Carano and Battlestar Galactica vet Katee Sackhoff, and now another signed deal with an up and coming actress who turned quite a few heads in theaters just this weekend. According to a report from Collider, Australian actress and You’re Next star Sharni Vinson is the latest name to sign on to kick ass while having lady parts in this still-untitled ripoff of Sylvester Stallone’s high-concept old man porn.

read more...

carano

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that hopes everyone had a great weekend thinking about Supermans and X-Mens, and are now ready to dig into some news about movies where nobody has lasers coming out of their eyes. Read on for news concerning Adrian Brody, Rose Byrne, Pacific Rim’s Charlie Hunnam, and Community’s Gillian Jacobs. Okay, so maybe let’s cover one extra bit of comic book movie news before we put that world to rest for a few days. It looks like Rob Liefeld’s old Image character Avengelyne is getting ready to come to the big screen. Heat Vision is reporting that the comic creator best known for his spot-on portrayal of human anatomy is teaming up with MMA fighter turned actress Gina Carano to make the deal happen. Liefeld will produce and Carano will star in this tale of a sword-wielding, thong-wearing fallen angel who comes to Earth in order to find and protect a new messiah. The timing seems to be right for this one, because that’s basically the same synopsis as every single genre movie the big studios have in production at the moment.

read more...

Film_Teddybear_613411a

One of the things I love about the latest Fast and Furious movie (whatever it’s called, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 6 or my own title, “Planes, Tanks and Automobiles”) is its casting. Not only is the ensemble made up mostly of hyphenate professionals who weren’t originally actors (including a wrestler, a bodybuilder, a former Miss Israel, a couple music artists, a couple martial artists), but a few of them are rather fresh faces to film, new to the franchise and surely on the rise in their movie careers. As much as I look forward to seeing what each does next, I’m also excited to have a new reason to spotlight the fairly recent breakthrough performances that likely got them this gig. In addition to using the opportunity to recommend those films, none of which has been seen by nearly as many people as will see a Fast and Furious movie, I’ve compiled a broader list of movies to now watch after seeing Fast & Furious 6. It’s partly a way to note some of its forebears and possible influences without going my usual negative route of criticizing this as a derivative work. It’s obviously imitative to a degree yet it’s also highly original in some of its stunts and their execution. Besides, just as in music we should accept and appreciate derivatives for their potential to lead fans backward to their (often better) predecessors. Of course, there are some reminiscent predecessors I’d rather not choose to recommend (Cars 2, […]

read more...

Cate Blanchett

What is Casting Couch? It’s a round-up of Hollywood casting news, not one of those porn videos where a 19-year-old gets exploited in a grimy-looking office. Move along, perv. Now that we’ve got all of those live action Snow White movies out of the way, it makes sense that we would move down the fairy tale lineup and start seeing a rash of new Cinderella projects popping up. And, if Disney has their way, their Mark Romanek-directed Cinderella script from The Devil Wears Prada scribe Aline Brosh McKenna will be the hit that starts the trend. They’re trying to get casting for the film off on the right foot with the acquisition of a big name, as Deadline reports that the House of Mouse is in serious negotiations with Cate Blanchett to come on board to play a character called Lady Tremaine, known in some circles as the wicked stepmother. Given her experience playing a creepy elf in the Lord of the Rings movies, this seems like something of a perfect fit.

read more...

Gina Carano in Haywire

According to Variety, Gina Carano has signed onto an untitled, script-less movie that was borne entirely from the middleweight success of two action flicks. Whether or not the “Female Expendables” concept-turned-movie ever gets made, we’re in a unique position to watch a strange film animal being nurtured in the wild. Granted, producer Adi Shankar is no slouch despite being new to the game. He’s got his name (and his company 1984 Private Defense Contractors) on action from The Grey to Killing Them Softly to the new Dredd. It’s merely that this entire project is a movie poster without a movie. It’s the very definition of piggybacking on a trend. Plus, it has a long way to go to assemble a solid group of female action stars. Carano is a good, and obvious, start, but the road is long even from here. Especially considering that the hook/gimmick of The Expendables was that it brought together a handful of “classic” stars with a handful of rising action talent. Ensuring they can do the same without the Y-chromosome will prove to be a serious challenge.

read more...

It should be news to no one that a sixth film in the Fast & the Furious franchise is heading into production. The last film, Fast Five, is the highest grossing installment in the series, and regardless of the film’s quality that’s one hell of a feat. Happily, under the guiding hand of director Justin Lin, Fast Five actually managed to be a damn entertaining movie. (Stupid, but entertaining.) Lin is returning to helm the sixth film, and many of the usual suspects are along for the ride including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Fast Five‘s MVP Dwayne Johnson. Previously announced newcomers include the charisma-free Luke Evans (Death Race 2) and Haywire‘s kick-ass leading lady Gina Carano. It’s assumed that both will be playing for the bad guys. If that assumption is correct, they’ve just found themselves a third team member.

read more...

There’s been plenty of buzz about potential casting in the sixth Fast and Furious film (seriously, the sixth film), which we’re just going to refer to as Fast Six until someone tells us otherwise, but it’s been hard to quantify any of it without knowing the plot that these new characters would fit into. Fortunately, today we’re gifted with some confirmed casting (beyond, of course, the core crew who are all expected to return) and the first bit of real plot information for the film. As had been rumored last week, Luke Evans is in final negotiations to play the bad guy in Fast Six – not necessarily a villain (though that’s what been widely reported), but at least a dude audiences will likely be rooting against. The news comes from Variety, who detail his character by expounding a bit more on the film’s plot – it will “involve the crew heading overseas to work on a heist job. Evans would play the leader of another crew trying to pull the same job.” See! Not a bad guy! He’s just like Paul Walker! Or Vin Diesel! Maybe we’ll end up liking him! It’s happened before!

read more...

Gina Carano in Haywire

Gina Carano’s claim to fame is that she can stomp people into the ground while, simultaneously, looking fabulous. So far she’s used these seemingly at odds traits to build a promising little career in entertainment, originally by being the first MMA athlete to bring real mainstream attention to the female fight game, and lately by transitioning her physical skills to the acting world. We got our first look at how Carano will fare on the big screen earlier this year in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, where the budding actress proved (in a starring role) not only that she could be just as alluring and magnetic as the biggest actresses working in Hollywood today, but also that there was a certain action magic to be had when your lead actress is able to perform all of her own fight scenes, probably better than any stuntwoman would be able to. Carano’s character in that film was overly stoic, however, and everything she was asked to do there seemed to be crafted to emphasize her natural looks and physical skills, and to de-emphasize any real emoting or serious acting that her inexperience might not yet be able to handle. That approach isn’t going to be able to last forever though, and now that Carano is signing up for a couple new roles, we might start seeing for the first time what she really has to offer as an actress.

read more...

Gina Carano in Haywire

When you think of the typical action hero, the image that immediately leaps to mind is undoubtedly that of a bloody, bandana-clad dude with a massive gun, or a rouge tough guy cop, or perhaps a macho kung-fu master. In other words…males. While action is a genre long dominated by men, there have been a few notable (read: 100% ass-kicking) action heroines that have left their own indelible mark: Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. To that list, we must now certainly add Gina Carano, star of Steven Soderbergh’s recent action thriller Haywire. Gina however had the advantage of being a certified badass long before throwing her first punch on screen. She is a longtime student of Muay Thai, a former champion MMA fighter, and was in fact involved in some of the first sanctioned female fights in MMA history. With knockout after knockout Carano, an undeniable knockout herself, proved that beauty and strength were far from mutually exclusive. Her work in Haywire, coupled with her successful MMA career, inspired the head honchos at ActionFest to create a new award for which she will be the first recipient. The Chick Norris Best Female Action Star Award, playfully adapted from the name of fest founder (and action legend in his own right) Chuck Norris, celebrates the contribution women have made and continue to make to action cinema. We got a chance to talk to Gina about the award, about Haywire, and, oddly, […]

read more...

In 2009, Steven Soderbergh took Sasha Grey, a non-actress (unless you consider receiving a load to be emotional construction), and turned her into an indie darling for a brief moment. She’s since turned the opportunity into several other film roles including one in the upcoming and all-too-appropriate Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story. In 2012, Soderbergh pulled the same trick by casting MMA fighter Gina Carano in Haywire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress is positioning herself for even more action by signing on for John Stockwell‘s In The Blood. Essentially, the movie is Taken with a female lead whose husband is kidnapped and much ass needs to be kicked to bring him back safely. However, it’ll be startling to see the husband dancing in a metal bikini for potential Arab buyers. Let’s hope she saves him before it gets to that. Stockwell’s previous work includes Into the Blue and Blue Crush so it’s nice to see him not working blue here, but in all seriousness, Carano needs to take a full course in acting lessons before launching herself into more projects. Getting away with blandness in action is one thing, but it won’t help if the only thing she’s good for is slamming her foot into people’s faces.

read more...

The absolute worst thing you could say about Steven Soderbergh’s latest film is that its lead, Gina Carano, is consistently out-acted by Channing Tatum. On its surface and for obvious reasons that’s a pretty damning statement. But when viewed as a whole performer instead of just an actress you quickly realize that Carano has a very particular set of other skills. Skills she has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make her a nightmare for people like Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and other male stars with recognizably pretty faces. A nightmare for them, but entertaining as hell for the rest of us.

read more...

Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his favorite Jedi robe, grabs his lightsaber and heads out to see the latest George Lucas movie…and boy does he look stupid. After realizing that Red Tails has nothing to do with the color of creatures’ backsides in the Tattooine cantina, he then dresses in his favorite “Team Jacob” tee shirt to see the latest vampire/werewolf movie. Again, he looks ridiculous. Finally, he sulks into a movie theater showing the new Steven Soderbergh film, falls in love with new action star Gina Carano and is happy.

read more...

Aural Fixation - Large

Audiences have been eagerly awaiting the release of soon-to-be retired (or so was once widely claimed) Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, Haywire, after advanced screenings confirmed what the trailer suggested – a literally kick-ass time at the movies. Starring a Hollywood unknown, Gina Carano is known more for her mixed martial arts skills and those skills are put to the test on the big screen as she goes up against a powerful boys club comprised of the likes of Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender. Playing a black ops solider betrayed by her company, Carano is forced to not only figure out why she was double crossed, but do so while trying to keep herself from being killed in the process (and leaving an impressive body count of her own in her wake.) Soderbergh turned to composer David Holmes to create the musical landscape for a film that is not only action-packed, but also dramatic, thrilling, emotional, even funny at times and overall – fun. But what made this film such a fun time at the movies? Many factors of course (the story, the actors, the direction), but the element that seemed to keep this idea of playfulness running throughout was provided by the score, and almost subconsciously so. Holmes is no stranger to scoring a film that flips the script every other scene and forces the audience to not only try and keep up with the action, but unravel the truth behind the story as well. He […]

read more...

The Walking Dead

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly hand-in-hand stroll down Newsworthy Lane, with a stop at the Noteworthy Café for a bite to eat. Then we’ll head back to my place and I’ll show you my signature move, the Well-Researched Scoop (I have two sources that will confirm its quality on the record). What do you say, baby? We begin this evening with part of a new midseason poster for The Walking Dead. Which brings to mind the question of the hour: Is anyone still exciting about this show? Sure, it has the occasional zombie and it was nice to see Glen “make a friend,” but beyond that, it’s become tired, has it not?

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that would like you to know that you should not be afraid, for there is far more news in tonight’s edition than the title above might suggest. The title is just a tease to whet your appetite for destruction. Today marked the first official day of shooting on Skyfall, the new James Bond film. The photo above was tweeted out by @007, the official James Bond twitter account, revealing the board for the first shot. In related news: Roger Deakins is shooting this movie? Awesome.

read more...

Moving away from the feature-length hand sanitizer commercial that was this year’s Contagion, director Steven Soderbergh returns to the screen with another one of his trademark all-star cast outings, but one with significantly more ass-kicking delivered at the hands (and feet) of a particularly-picked leading lady. In Haywire, Soderbergh lets loose cinematic newcomer Gina Carano, a real-life MMA fighter who can more than hold her own with the boys club that rounds out the film’s cast (including Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton). Packaged as a double-crossing spy thriller, Haywire is big on impressive and crowd-pleasing fight scenes, but the film fizzles when it comes to delivering a particularly clever story for all those flying fists to play out against. The meat of Haywire’s plot is just a standard double-cross story that’s pumped up with the sort of stylistic flash and flair that Soderbergh can deliver handily. Carano plays a highly skilled ex-Marine who now works in the “private sector” on black ops jobs that involves messy endeavors like extraction and assassination. Carano’s Mallory Kane is very good at her job, good enough that she’s often a special request (an “essential element”) for a number of her company’s various contracts, a fact that irks her boss and ex-flame Kenneth (McGregor). Mallory is dispatched for an extraction job in Barcelona that goes well enough, but her performance there directly leads into her next job, a gig that’s ostensibly presented as glorified babysitting, done in […]

read more...

Steven Soderbergh is perhaps the most versatile director working today. He hates to be pinned down, he enjoys non-actors acting, and he revels in action as much as dialogue. With Haywire it seems he gets to combine a lot of his creative interests into one throat-crushing experience. The trailer has hit, and it feels like every story ever told about an agent that’s the best of the best of the best being taken out back by her government. Of course, when it all goes wrong, she wants to know why and seek revenge. Beat by beat, it’s been told a hundred times, but Soderbergh is also a storyteller with tricks up his sleeve, and as for pure action, Gina Carano looks like she’ll pull everyone’s kidneys out through the hole she rips in their shoulders. Check out the trailer for yourself:

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
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