Joe Carnahan

Blumhouse

Joe Carnahan has carved out an eclectic career for himself as a director. Three years ago he made his best film to date with the emotional and tense dram, The Grey. That film followed The A-Team and Smokin’ Aces, movies that are best described as fun. One was an unabashedly over-the-top popcorn the movie, the other a wacky R-rated shoot’m up, and the voice that gave us those two films has now returned with Stretch. Happily though, this is a more consistent and successful blend of sorrow and anarchy. Kevin Stretch (Patrick Wilson) moved to Los Angeles with the dreams of becoming an actor, but instead found himself behind the wheel of a stretch limousine. After overcoming his substance abuse and gambling problem, Stretch is at his lowest point — he has zero money to his name, a job he’s unhappy with, an ex-girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker) he can’t get over and the ghost of his old pal Karl (Ed Helms) haunting him. The only bright spot in his life is his friendship with a co-worker named Charlie (Jessica Alba). To make matters worse, he has to come up with $6,000 in one day to payoff a gambling debt. To achieve the seemingly impossible, he agrees to drive around “eccentric” billionaire Roger Karos (Chris Pine), a whizkid known for his antics and, better yet, his generous tips. Set mostly over one night, this wicked step-sister to Martin Scorsese’s After Hours ultimately yields promise, even if the start of the film doesn’t.

read more...

Chris Pine in Stretch

With Joe Carnahan‘s latest film, Stretch, Blumhouse is hoping to do for action what the production company has done for horror: make a project with low risk, high reward. Their movies cost peanuts compared to most major releases. If they make a hit, it’s a major success. If they put out a bomb, nobody is going to the poorhouse. It’s a great business model that’s mostly been used for horror movies. They’ve stepped outside of their wheelhouse every now and then, to mixed results. For example, Catherine Hardwicke’s Plush was a melodramatic rock ‘n’ roll sex thriller that, despite being Hardwicke’s most fun movie in a years, went unnoticed. Hopefully that won’t be the case for Stretch. The film was originally going to be released by Universal back in March, but they dropped the picture two months before its scheduled debut. The studio was unwilling dish out the money necessary to advertise it. Carnahan, to a degree, empathizes with their decision. “To hear $25-40m [to market it], okay, I guess that makes sense,” he told Slashfilm. “I don’t know why we’re still marketing films that way. Do you know what I mean? It seems like that’s the only way. But like for everything you need, you can’t just be ‘it’s only this way.’ But again, I get it. It’s Universal. It’s a studio. They have a way of doing things. I respect that.”

read more...

Carnahan

Joe Carnahan is a director whose work has improved at such a rapid pace, pretty much everyone was caught by surprise when his 2012 survival thriller The Grey ended up being as good as it was. Even fans who were enthusiastic about his previous work like Smokin’ Aces and A-Team weren’t ready for what a deep and affecting meditation on mortality and the mercilessness of nature that movie ended up being. And the studio suits certainly didn’t know what they had on their hands with The Grey. Despite the fact that it was good enough to end up on a whole bunch of critics’ end of the year lists for 2012, they released it in January when the crap that they’re not optimistic about generally gets dumped, and they mis-marketed it as some sort of exploitation film where Liam Neeson boxes a pack of wolves. Just imagine the awards potential it could have had if it was released in the fall and was effectively marketed as the powerful drama it proved itself to be. What’s the point of bringing all of this up? Well, it looks like Carnahan’s followup to The Grey—a  movie called Stretch that’s said to be a darkly comedic thriller—is also experiencing some problems thanks to the studio people who are supposed to be supporting it. So many problems that, at the moment, there isn’t even a solid plan to put it out anymore.

read more...

The Grey

As was rumored last week, Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey will be getting a brief and limited theatrical re-release later this week in order to allow the Liam-Neeson-punches-wolves-and-stuff-and-also-you-cry extravaganza to get a late-breaking awards season push. Why anyone would not already have Neeson down as a lock for Best Wolf-Punching Performance of the Year is unknown, but hey, attention spans are short in Hollywood. Caranhan confirmed the news via his Twitter, tweeting out: “Guys, December 7th ‘THE GREY’ begins a two week run at the Laemmle Santa Monica theatre & the Laemmle Town Center, Encino. GET THE WORD OUT!” As our pals over at /Film note, the film is already on both DVD and Netflix (it was released nearly a year ago, after all), but if you’re not interested in seeing Liam Neeson fight a wolf with his bare hands and broken bottles on the big screen, I’m not sure what you could possibly be interested in. Also, now you can see The Grey and Flight in theaters back-to-back for one hell of a double feature, one that will guarantee you won’t want to fly anywhere, possibly ever again.

read more...

End of Watch

On the heels of two Independent Spirit Awards nominations for actor Michael Pena (for Best Supporting Male) and cinematographer Roman Vasyanov (for Best Cinematography, naturally), Open Road Films has just announced that they will re-release End of Watch into theaters on December 7th. Yes, this is what a late-breaking awards season push looks like, and it’s a damn fine way for audiences to catch up one of the year’s best underseen gems. But End of Watch might not be the only awards contender that Open Road has on their hands, nor the only one they might re-release for a late-year push. Earlier this week, The Grey director Joe Carnahan tweeted: “Not official yet but @OpenRoadFilms looks like its going to re-release @TheGreyMovie in December for an awards qualifying run. Stay tuned.” While we haven’t heard any other news since about this possibility since Carnahan’s tweet, with the official news that End of Watch is coming back to screens, it seems even more likely that Open Road would roll out a similar strategy for their other best film of the year.

read more...

Undying Love

What do you do when you’ve made a movie about killing wolves? You follow-it up with one about killing vampires, of course. According to Deadline Hollywood, Joe Carnahan has proven he’s neither on Team Edward nor Team Jacob by negotiating to direct Undying Love over at Warners. Taken from the Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman graphic novel, the story follows a badass who falls in love with a vampire, but has to badass his way to the monstrous heart of Hong Kong to go all badass on her creator – who happens to be protected by a ton of mobsters. Probably badasses. It legitimately sounds like the kind of movie that has everything – romance, action, adventure, danger, thrills, spills, exotic locales, vampire mobsters, interspecies sex, and true love. Usually with news like this, the big question of whether the world needs another vampire story jumps to the forefront, but you know what? It’s Carnahan, so who cares? It’s clear the world could use more crazy Carnahan action movies, so even if they involve a fading fad, this should be welcomed with open arms. Now here’s hoping that Warners doesn’t try to put him on a leash.

read more...

Today is a sad day for fans of manly movies about manly things, as it turns out two very different but very promising-sounding gritty crime movies have been put on the shelf. First up is Fox’s reboot of Marvel’s Daredevil character. Remember how Fox only has until October 10 to get a new Daredevil movie shooting before they lose the rights back to Marvel? The story is that they have a script that they like, which adapts Frank Miller’s fairly dark “Born Again” storyline from the comics, and they want Joe Carnahan to direct it, but they’re not really sure if they can get things developed before time runs out. Rumor had it that Marvel was willing to do some dealing to give Fox the time extension they would need to make the movie possible, but a new development is making it look like Fox refused to play ball and are likely to let the rights to the character lapse. The bad news comes from Joe Carnahan himself, who recently took to his Twitter account (as spied by ComingSoon) to tell his fans, “Think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids.” He then followed with, “We shall see. Time is NOT on anyone’s side.” The deal on the table was that Marvel wanted the rights back for a couple of its Fantastic Four characters in order to give Fox the extension that they need. Looks like the studio decided that maintaining their […]

read more...

Ever since Marvel Comics created its own movie studio and started making its own movies, much ado has been made about the other studios holding rights to some of their characters. How long does Sony have the rights to Spider-Man? Will Marvel ever get to make an X-Men movie, seeing as they’re already tied up elsewhere? While those properties seem to be staying in their current homes, at least for the foreseeable future, there’s one character out there who actually is close to making a jump back home to the House of Ideas: Daredevil. Recently, Fox was trying to get together a reboot of the character’s adventures on film under the watch of director David Slade, but a few weeks ago he dropped out of the project. That’s bad news for Fox, because if they don’t manage to find a new director and get a Daredevil movie in front of cameras before October 10, then film rights for the character will revert back to Marvel, and all of their efforts to reboot the property with a more gritty, Frank Miller-inspired take on the material will be in vain. In the same report that announced Slade’s departure from the new Daredevil film also came the news that Fox had lined up a director for another of its Marvel-born properties, The Fantastic Four. Chronicle helmer Josh Trank is now in control of rebooting that franchise. But a report that came out of Variety today could have consequences for both his upcoming Fantastic […]

read more...

Joe Carnahan’s Liam Neeson vs. wolves thriller The Grey isn’t just one of the most well-regarded releases of this year so far, it’s also a grizzled, badass guy’s film the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while. So you would think Hollywood should be lining up to help Carnahan slip into his next tough guy-themed project as soon as possible. And thankfully, they are. Twitch has word that Carnahan has been given the go-ahead by 20th Century Fox to start work on a passion project he’s been trying to develop for a while called Continue. It’s an action-centric take on the story trope of a protagonist having to re-live the same events over and over again; kind of like a Groundhog Day with guns, or that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the same attack keeps happening, but not in space. Carnahan’s story is about a former soldier who has to keep reliving the day where assassins came to kill him for unknown reasons. Days like that are the worst.

read more...

Joe Carnahan

The first reaction of anyone coming out of The Grey probably won’t be, “I bet the director of The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces, and that BMW short Ticker made this!” Joe Carnahan prefers it to be that way. The director’s fifth feature film isn’t a full-blown action romp, but is instead a thrilling meditation on life, death, and survival. (Check out our review here.) Similar to Carnahan’s breakout feature, Narc, The Grey shows all the trappings of a true personal project — the kind of story that a filmmaker had to tell. And, after speaking with Carnahan for 25 minutes, that was clearly the case. From White Jazz to Killing Pablo, when the personable man finds a story that comes from his core, he’s got to get it made. Here’s what Joe Carnahan had to say about the life and death themes of The Grey, writing and portraying real men, and why he never wants to become a “one for them, one for me” filmmaker:

read more...

Internationally loved cologne salesman, Charles Bronson, was already a massive star by the time he made Death Wish, but it’s his role as Paul Kersey that might be his most famous simply because he owns it completely. Sure he’s rugged and charismatic in The Dirty Dozen, he’s surprisingly vulnerable in The Great Escape, but in the Death Wish movies he’s in command and the streets bow down to him. So maybe a remake is in order? According to the LA Times, that’s the thinking of MGM and Paramount, and the partnership wants Joe Carnahan to clean up from fighting wolves for The Grey and come help them out with it. It must be tough coming out of bankruptcy, but MGM really has nothing except remake concepts going for them. That’s pretty damned sad. Of course, the big question with a remake like this (beyond the fact that remakes aren’t doing good business currently) is how to re-create something that tapped into a social feeling in the 1970s. The same heat just isn’t there, there is no grand panic in society of rising crime rates and a feeling of helplessness in the face of a bewildered law enforcement culture. In fact, police are so good at doing their jobs now, they even find time to pepper spray people in the face at random. So who becomes the villain here? And even better, who could possibly replace Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey? Jason Statham did the job recently for The Mechanic, but […]

read more...

Aural Fixation - Large

Getting lost in the freezing cold wilderness with little to no hope of survival is frightening enough, but when the threat of a killer pack of wolves start descending on a group of blue collar workers who just survived a plane crash, the stakes are set even higher. Composer Marc Streitenfeld creates a sonic landscape that is both moving and terrifying, perfectly mirroring the snowy landscape that surrounds these men as they try to survive the elements. The heavy use of strings and piano are faint enough to keep from overpowering the already intense scenes and performances that make up The Grey, but are still powerful enough to support those moments and help add to the emotional weight of each actor’s striking performances. The Grey also makes an interesting choice in choosing not to turn up the volume or throw in a ton more instrumentation, even when those on screen are running and fighting for their lives. Streitenfeld instead scales back to allow those more natural sounds (and the sound of those ferocious wolves) to take over.

read more...

Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr tapes some alcohol bottles to his knuckles and gets ready to brawl with wolves. Unfortunately, he first drinks all the booze in the bottles and ends up passing out in the snow. When he wakes up, he brushes himself off and heads downtown to climb on the ledge of a tall building. The police are called to try and save him, but Kevin ends up jumping when he learns that Katherine Heigl is brought in to talk him down. Fortunately, Kevin survives the fall and stumbles to the local multiplex to check out this week’s new movies.

read more...

The man vs nature genre of action/adventure films is usually a pretty reliable one when it comes to attractive scenery and entertaining scraps between man and beast. From the popcorn perfection of Jaws to the bloody thrills of Savage Harvest there’s a visceral thrill to be found in battles fought fist against claw (or teeth, beak, trunk, etc). With the exception of the very best however the films are usually pure entertainment that stop well short of anything resembling engaging human drama. The Grey is one of those exceptions. Mostly.

read more...

The Must See Movies of January 2012

With the gut-wrencher Shame, an uncomfortably funny Young Adult, Spielberg’s heart-string pullin’ War Horse, a high-flying Tintin adventure, the shining return of Cameron Crowe, the oversized popcorn blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the overlooked hilarity of Carnage, the pulpy thrills of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the subdued near-masterpiece that is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, last month was a pretty fantastic time at the movies. Now we’re entering January. While this time of the year is usually a dumping ground — and we’ll be getting plenty of films of that low-caliber — there’s a surprising amount of films to check out this month, mainly the award-ready expanding releases.

read more...

Liam Neeson in The Grey

One of the few, if only, highlights of seeing Breaking Dawn last night was seeing some new trailers, including a brand new one for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a much leaner and brisker peak at the film. The teaser for The Grey, which hit the net back in September, was shown as well. It played well and managed to get an audience full of girls excited, despite the film being a total sausage fest set in the middle-of-nowhere. Now a day later another trailer has been released, and it’s much longer and spoiler-y than the previous footage we got. This plays out more as a sizzle reel than an actual finely-tuned trailer, but the first half is attention-grabbing. The set-up is sold tremendously well. Unfortunately, the second half of the trailer is a little long-winded. Still, Joe Carnahan‘s film looks like a fun, brutal, and atmospheric man vs. nature survival tale. Carnahan certainly a knack for hilarious brutality, as shown in the extremely fun Smokin’ Aces and The A-Team, but this seems more dramatically and tonally related to Narc.

read more...

If there’s one shot that’ll get your juices flowing for Joe Carnahan‘s upcoming survival epic, it’ll be one that features Liam Neeson sporting broken glass – why aren’t they plastic? – knuckles to face off against a hungry wolf. From the looks of it, that seems to be the plot of The Grey. Most of this slick teaser features CG wolves looking like angry CG wolves, with the scared and pissed humans looking like scared and pissed humans. Will the film be just two hours of that? I hope so. Director Joe Carnahan is certainly never someone to shy away from going a little nutso. Even in a tent-pole film like The A-Team, the man had a set-piece involving Bradley Cooper and a flying tank. Would Christoper Nolan ever have the gusto to do such a thing? I think not. Take a look at a gruff and cold Liam Neeson in the teaser for The Grey after the break.

read more...

Why Watch? Because Goodfellas can never be praised enough. Over twenty years later, Scorsese’s film about wiseguys has proven itself to be a modern classic, and this cool, breezy documentary allows directors like Jon Favreau, The Hughes Brothers, Joe Carnahan, Richard Linklater, Antoine Fuqua and Frank Darabont geek out about a movie they love. So what could be better than watching directors break down a fantastic film’s best elements while sharing the effect it had on them? What does it cost? Just 13 minutes of your time. Check out Made Men: The GoodFellas Legacy for yourself:

read more...

We’ll never get to know what Bradley Cooper would have been like in The Grey, but with Liam Neeson replacing him, Joe Carnahan’s next film becomes exponentially more interesting. Neeson is a far more compelling figure to watch on screen, especially in an action context. Part of that has to with age, and part of it has to do with ability. Fortunately, he’s down to take on some territorial wolves who don’t appreciate humans stealing all their precious oil. That’s why they hung up that mutilated, mustachioed man who came to them talking about milkshakes as a warning to anyone else who might try it.

read more...

What is The A-Team? It’s a big budget revamp of an eighties TV show! It’s a typical summer action movie with more boom than brains! It’s a rare example of Hollywood showing the US military in a positive light in an effort to finally make Aleric happy!

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

published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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