Hanna opens on the blinding white tundra of Finland like a blank page before the beginning of a fairy tale, and that’s fitting for what the film ultimately delivers. It’s a coming of age story about a young heroine forced to grow up amidst the harsh outside world, and while it’s missing a bag of breadcrumbs it does feature several other elements of the genre including a literal entrance into the maw of a big, bad wolf and even an evil step-mother of sorts. It’s the Brothers Grimm set to the beats of The Chemical Brothers and is as sublime an entertainment as you’d hope to find in a pre-summer action movie. Young Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has lived in rural seclusion with a father Erik (Eric Bana) who’s been her sole source of knowledge. He’s trained her to be self sufficient, aware, and deadly with everything from guns to her bony white hands, and now that she’s turned sixteen the time has come for her to enter the real world. She’s not venturing out aimlessly though as her father has prepared her for a very specific mission. That quest will put her life in danger as well as those she meets along the way, but completing it is her only way to freedom. If only good old dad had thought to show his daughter a picture of her target…


Movie Watcher's Guide April 2011

We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. How will you know what to watch this month? Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of March, taking naps, playing tether-ball, and researching movies at the last minute to keep you informed about what’s coming out in April. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.



What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the hero you need right now; a way to get all the most interesting movie news without having to read through a bunch of padded articles. It’s quick, to the point and personable. An efficient killer of your will to waste time reading a thousand movie blogs before you go to bed. It’s also way into girl power, whatever that means. Hanna director Joe Wright, whose latest film is filled with the legitimate girl-power of a teen assassin played by Saoirse Ronan, has called out director Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, saying that the girl-power angle of the film was all “marketing bullshit.”



Late yesterday evening I received a text from my loving girlfriend. Just walking out of an advance screening of Joe Wright’s Hanna, she was ecstatic. Great action, emotional depth, and a killer score from The Chemical Brothers were the order of the night. I was instantly resentful of the experience she’d had, as I too wanted to see Hanna badly. But I adore my girlfriend, so the feelings faded quickly. Later on, I vowed not to miss my opportunity to see this movie. And I shall do so next Thursday night in Austin. Would you like to come along, as well? Here’s your chance.


Hanna Header

Because of his luck, Rob Hunter has already seen Hanna, and he had some positive things to say which he’ll expand on in review form as soon as the embargo on reviews gets lifted. It’s no surprise though. The film is about a teenage girl who is trained from childhood to be a killer, and to kill one specific person. The talent here is tremendous from Saoirse Ronan to Cate Blanchett to Eric Bana to director Joe Wright. Now, this featurette digs deeper into what Blanchett called “the most terrifying script [she’d] ever read in her life” by looking briefly at the action, the actors, and the motivations behind a young killer.



Damn. It’s been a tough world for movie marketers lately. Stars aren’t selling as strongly, companies are forced to crib from other designs if a movie is ultra popular, and there just aren’t that many pre-pubescent assassins out there to brag about. Hanna, the story of a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) trained to kill by her CIA father (Eric Bana), looks incredible. Now it’s got an incredible poster. Check it out for yourself:



Hope springs eternal. As we round the bases of another year, it’s important to let the average and outright crappy slough off and realize that we’re all standing on the precipice of another year of movies. The future stretches out before us full of possibilities. That cheesy trailer you saw last week could end up producing your favorite film of the year. That epic blockbuster you’ve been waiting for could be bigger than you ever imagined. There’s hope for everything, but there’s also expectation, which is why Rob Hunter, Neil Miller and Cole Abaius painstakingly put together our list of the 30 Most Anticipated Films of 2011. It’s the stuff we’re most looking forward to this year, put together when our hope and optimism is at its peak.



It’s best to go into this trailer with no expectations which explains the absence of an introduction. Also, I didn’t write one. But back to the trailer…



Hanna could best be described as what a David Lynch action film would be like, and that’s how director Joe Wright describes it himself. Immediately after seeing the surreal (and rather impressive) footage from Hanna that comparison immediately came to mind. Wright is best known for his epic period dramas, and from the looks of it, he’s bringing that epic scope into the action world in a new light. There was a fluent and dreamlike quality to what Wright showcased and from what he says below, especially when he mentions lots of long steady-cam takes, it sounds like Wright will deliver heavily on the action front. But Hanna actually isn’t an action film, or at least not completely. Instead, it’s better to be described as a twisted fairy tale. Hanna, the main protagonist, is a fourteen year old assassin and one of the only books she’s ever read is Grimm’s Fairy Tales, so we’re basically going to be seeing the world clearly through her eyes in a heightened way. There are the fairy tale archetypal characters involved and the world Wright seems to have created feels like a modern day fairy tale. And finally, if you want to read my full impression of the footage make sure to head over to my NY Comic-Con reaction piece. Here’s what director Joe Wright had to say about crafting action, the fairy tale nature of the story, and even a little bit about the Chemical Brothers scoring the film.



There wasn’t a whole lot feature film wise this year at New York Comic-Con, but the sheer quality of what was displayed nearly made up for that. Universal and Focus Features dominated the IGN Theater, partially helped by the fact they were the only one of the major studios showcasing their films. But thankfully, they came to impress and every film delivered. The three films that had panels and footage shown were: Joe Wright’s fantastical assassin oriented film Hanna, the much (currently) divisive prequel to The Thing, and of course the David Gordon Green comical pot filled epic Your Highness. Each film couldn’t be more different, but all of them still managed to play greatly, or at least well. The IGN theater wasn’t as chaos fueled as San Diego’s Hall H, so it’s a bit difficult to judge the general consensus, but each piece of footage seemed to receive a genuinely positive response. 



Watch out Chloe Mertz… you may have some competition when it comes to roles involving young girls, guns, and murder.



Concepts that will always stop me in my tracks: when a visually compelling director (in this case, Atonement’s Joe Wright) takes on a project that is being described as having shades of La Femme Nikita and the Bourne movies.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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.
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