James McTeigue

Bloodsport

First Stallone, now Van Damme, it seems today was the day to reboot the films of 80s action stars. The latest is Bloodsport, the 1988 action film that served as Jean-Claude Van Damme‘s first major starring role (outside of his turn as ‘Gay Karate Man’ in Monaco Forever). Variety reports that James McTeigue, of V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin, will be directing the upcoming remake.

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Aural Fixation - Large

At only twenty-eight years old, Spanish-born Lucas Vidal has not only over come a battle with cancer, mastered the ability to write orchestrations, instrument by instrument (all by hand), and honed his ping pong skills against director James McTeigue, he is also beginning to make a name for himself here in the states starting with his score for the upcoming film, The Raven. I had the opportunity to sit down with Vidal in his studio in Santa Monica and see just how this up-and-coming composer brought his ideas from the page to the screen.

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Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid longing for the good old days, when movies about historic figures were about those historic figures and not the slapdash way they might be jammed into a straightforward genre piece. That’s clearly a passé way of thinking in the age of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but sometimes old-school is the way to go. The life of Edgar Allan Poe was fascinating and mysterious enough to warrant a new movie about it, to be sure. You could call it The Raven and cast John Cusack as your lead. Amusingly enough, there is indeed a movie opening in theaters this weekend called The Raven and it does star Cusack as Poe. Unfortunately, it’s basically a waste of time, forgoing the opportunity to tell the poet’s extraordinary story for a mundane detective narrative that recasts him as Sherlock Holmes (the one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created, not Guy Ritchie).

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“I will send you to hell!” You know, I’m not quite sure The Raven is going to be an accurate bio pic of Edgar Allan Poe. The Se7en-esque murder mystery aside, why isn’t Poe acting like a big alcoholic in this portrait of his final days? Where’s the binge drinking? Where’s a mean drunk? Sadly, an intoxicated John Cusack is nowhere to be found.

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Ness/Capone, as you’ve probably guessed, is a film about Eliot Ness’ hunting of famed gangster Al Capone during the Prohibition era of the 1920s. The story of Ness and Capone has been told plenty of times before, perhaps most notably in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, but Ness/Capone is said to present its own little twist on the material. The script, written by Grant Pierce Myers, was good enough to make the 2010 Black List of best, unproduced scripts, and it’s said to look at the lives of Ness and Capone with more shades of gray than we’ve seen from the story so far. Rather than Ness being the hero and Capone the villain, Ness/Capone is a more complicated look at the rivals, and it paints Ness as an adrenaline junkie who became addicted to the chase and the infamy that his dealings with Capone brought him. He’s big into bullying bad guys, bedding dames, and showing off for the press. Deadline Lincolnwood is reporting that this unproduced script won’t be able to be called as much for long, as Relativity Media is currently negotiating with director James McTeigue to helm the project and get things moving. McTeigue is best known for stylish actioners like V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin, so he should be an appropriate choice for this more kinetic, action-packed look at the life of Ness.

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Speed Racer is the young, hotshot kid that’s going to shake up the world of racing. With the help of his loving family and hot girlfriend (?), he’ll be able to stop the stock scheme of some villain and change the face of race car driving forever. Will Speed find the will to defeat some evil corporate schmuck? Since this is intended to be a kid’s movie, yes, you bet he will! Why We Love It: Dick Tracy + Sin City + The Matrix + The Wizard of Oz + Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory + Wall Street (yes, that Wall Street) + whatever visually eye-titillating movie you can think of = Speed Racer. This film is totally “cool beans,” and that, while featuring flavors of those movies listed, is its own colorfully bombastic beast.

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Movie Drinking Games

With the success of the Matrix movies and V for Vendetta, James McTeigue has now brought an onslaught of CGI blood and mayhem to the ninja genre with Ninja Assassin. Starring pop star Rain as an often-shirtless ninja assassin, this movie has the most self-explanatory title since A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell. You may or may not have liked it in the theaters, but this game will definitely make you happier while you watch it.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr heads out to the movies this week, giving his take on Old Dogs and Ninja Assassin

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ff-mcteigueinterview

Since Ninja Assassin comes out on Wednesday to slice your turkey for you, I thought you might want to re-read my interview with its director. Sadly for you, it’s on video.

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ff-ninjaassassin

An orphan named Raizo, raised and trained by an ancient ninja clan, cuts a bunch of heads off while an investigator from Europol, Mika tracks down the group in connection with several high-ranking assassinations.

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conan-directors

Conan has cleaved Brett Ratner in two and is now in search of a new director. Devin Faraci over at CHUD has gotten inside word on the four men in the running.

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Rain, Naomie Harris and James McTeigue at Comic-Con for Ninja Assassin

Dark Castle unleashes trailers for Ninja Assassin and The Hills Run Red on the unwitting masses at Comic-Con, sending horror fans and teenage Korean-Pop-Singing fans into paroxysms of joy. At the same time.

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Pop Star Rain trains to become a Ninja Assassin

A wise dude once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” But in Hollywood, the saying goes “If at first you don’t succeed, produce.”

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Collin Chou

If Chou isn’t referring to Ninja Assassin, the Wachowski Brothers may have another martial arts trick up their sleeve for audiences to look forward to.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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