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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Taylor’

Gamer, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on September 17, 2009

gamerDirector: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Starring: Gerard Butler, Amber Valletta, Michael C Hall, Kyra Sedgewick, Logan Lerman, Alison Lohman, Terry Crews
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Score: 8 / 10

This excellent review by Robert De Nijman.

Going into this movie, I wasn’t really expecting a lot. I had only seen one short preview, which made it look like any other post-Running Man fight-your-way-out-of-trouble action flick that sees the protagonist trapped in a game show-like fantasy, going through army’s of bad guys like Pacman through so many of those little pills. I didn’t know however, that Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the writer/director duo that brought us Crank and Crank: High Voltage, were at the helm of Gamer. The first minutes of the movie made that distinctly clear, though, as high powered action and fast paced kinetic camera-work introduce us to the world of Slayer, a first-person shooter that has its inmate characters live and die at the control(s) of real world gamers. Movements of both players and camera and the feel of the game are right on the money if you’ve ever seen shooters like Counterstrike or Call of Duty.

The world of Gamer is a not too distant future where Castle, an overnight software giant shying the likes of Microsoft and Google, reigns supreme. Its young manager, media mogul Ken Castle, couldn’t be more offspring of Generation X or Michael C. Hall’s joyfully overacted and clearly Dexter-based part would be played by Coupland himself. The immense riches brought on by his revolutionary gaming technologies make him a have-it-all loner who has lost all contact with the everyday reality spawned by Taylor and Neveldine. The virtual world is slowly replacing the tangible one, as more and more people hook on to games like Society, where you get to control an actual human being in a more-or-less fictional setting, best described as Sims at a Mad Max-themed rave, dressed by Brüno. It is in these aspects that the directors are at their best, using internet and other digital references to portray these future playgrounds, hyper technological media and the next generation of adult entertainment. The kind of future not quite as dark as the one imagined by Orwell, but pretty scary nonetheless, like we’re all trapped in the Ministry of Virtual Reality.

If Castle’s virtual world Society laid the first bricks for his soon-to-be world dominating company, second invention Slayer certainly paved the rest of the way, captivating a loyal audience the world over. The hero of the game is Kable (a contemporary Ben Richards if you will), or John Tillman outside the map of the game, played by Gerard Butler. A prison inmate who gets a fighting chance for parole, if he successfully completes thirty missions in Slayer. Which means the seventeen-year-old professional gamer that controls him has to beat a world full of other gamers, most notably Terry Crews’ Hackman, an all-killing, all-dancing beast of man, whose impressive physique (neck), short singing routine (‘I haven’t got any strings’) and the fact there’s no-one in the real world controlling him make him more fierce than Dynamo, Fireball and Buzzsaw combined. Rich background casting is provided as well, seeing supporting parts for Ludicrous, John Leguizamo, Alison Lohman, Milo Ventimiglia and Keith David, among others (although some in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em capacity), but this is clearly an all-out Butler-show. Quite possibly due to the fact the makers intended to put moviegoers into the perspective of his character as well.

Tillman’s wife (Amber Valletta) and daughter on the outside are what keep him going, but we soon find out he hides an important secret as well; one that Castle would very much like to remain hidden. In the end, that gambit combined with the somewhat rushed climax are what amount to Gamer falling short of being a true original, but other than that I highly recommend you go see this movie. The extremely detailed look at a possible future makes it eerily clear we may be closer to an alternative 1984 than we are past it.

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Josh Brolin thinks Jonah Hex script is awful but would be fun to do!

Posted by LiveFor on November 20, 2008


MTV have been speaking to Josh Brolin about Jonah Hex. This morning, Variety broke the news that due to “creative differences,” Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have officially dropped out as directors for the in-early-development, big screen adaptation of “Jonah Hex” — DC’s resident post-apocalyptic, anti-hero cowboy. And while we could speculate all day as to what those “differences” were, the writing was on the wall when we spoke to Josh Brolin a few days ago, the actor who’s had an on-again, off-again attachment to the lead role of Hex.

“When I first read it I thought, oh my God it’s awful!” Brolin exclaimed to MTV News. “And then I had a moment a week later and I thought why is it awful? Maybe the thing to do is to do the most awful movie I can find.”

The idea of doing “Hex” grew on Brolin, the actor told us, proclaiming that in the hands of the right director and cast it could be a winner. When asked if the “Crank” helmers were still on board, Brolin replied, “It’s all up in the air,” an early indication of today’s announcement that the duo were leaving the project.

According to Brolin, it’s the zaniness of the story that attracts him to the project. “[I love] the absurdity of it,” he said. “It almost allows you to create a new genre. I love going back into the spaghetti western idea and completely turning it around.”

When pressed further if and when he plans on making an official announcement regarding taking the role, Brolin replied, “Soon. In the last couple months I’ve been going back and forth about it. I went back to my gut. Is it a sell out? What is it I like about this movie? … It’s so tongue in cheek. It’s so ridiculous. But once I started putting people in my mind and saying what if I put Malkovich in this role then what does this movie become? Now let’s put this producer and director on it and think about how it plays out. Then it becomes fun. Now I love that movie. If you have a great filmmaker come in then suddenly these gags and characters become interesting.”

What do you think about Brolin’s reaction to the script? Does it make you interested or turn away in a cowboy stylee?
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Gerard Butler is Game – Some early reviews on it.

Posted by LiveFor on October 27, 2008

/film have a round up of the thoughts and reviews for Game which had an early screening recently. Game is the latest film from Neveldine/Taylor (Crank). It stars Gerard Butler, as a prisoner who is implanted with nano-technology which allows a video gamer to control him in a first-person shooter-like game called Slayers.

Collider: “if you want action, Game has it. It had some of the most entertaining and unique actions scenes I’ve seen in a while, and that’s coming from an ex-gamer. In addition to adding in some digitalized pixilation, we could see an on-screen pop up display for Kable that looked like a cross between Tony Stark’s HUD in Iron Man and Call of Duty. I found this exhilarating to watch, because it seemed like Neveldine and Taylor finally broke the bounds of the typical action scenes I’ve seen coming out of Hollywood so often. They might even rival Michael Bay for explosions!” … “While the action scenes were great, Game really felt a bit too long, like some unnecessary scenes out in the real world could be cut and it could be tightened down into a true non-stop action flick like Crank.”

Red User: “The film all around got an excellent response from the crowd. Most of them when asked by a showing of hands rated it as excellent. I especially liked the realism and pacing. The soundtrack also was rockin’ and there was plenty of well choreographed fight and stunt scenes. I don’t want to give anything away, but the game play action sequences were just outstanding.” “I’ll just say that this movie is going to blow people away. The cinematic choices were brilliant and covered a broad spectrum of looks for scenes of all types, from brutal action packed battle and fight scenes to original environments within the game world to the elegant mansion of the evil rich mastermind. There were super saturated looks, harsh gritty looks, and all styles of shooting.”

Aint It Cool: “this movie was beyond boring and the action was completely unexciting.” … “it’s trying sooo hard to be exciting and fresh and appeal to “gamers” – its cuts from dark to computer screens to action to more computer screens to close-ups – its unexcusable.” … “GAME takes itself way too seriously. In fact the movie is filled with these super bizarre dark scenes with sweaty obese gamers, controlling real life hot women who strip, touch themselves and pee in public.”

LonelyReviewer: “Judging by the audience reaction, this film is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s because it’s more like a cup of red bull and vodka. After an early onslaught of extreme violence and orgiastic debauchery, those looking for a typical action flick headed for the hills. Those who remained (95%), were treated to a mixture of grit and flash that dazzled its way into becoming an original and captivating genre pic.” … “The look of this film is consistently visually entertaining. ” … “This film isn’t perfect. The antagonist is somewhat absent when he should be raining down hard on our hero. Some viewers might also yearn for a greater emotional arc and less exposition.” … “Unlike other gaming films (such as Halo), “Game” doesn’t pander to the gaming audience. Instead, “Game” concentrates on being a top notch action film that happens to be about gaming. In doing so, the film winds up being the most accurate incarnation of gaming that the film world has seen.”

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Jonah Hex is saddling up. Is Josh Brolin taking the reins?

Posted by LiveFor on October 9, 2008

Filmstalker mentioned this and yes it is another comic book movie. However, this time it’s a Western one.

Josh Brolin is being linked to the adaptation of the western anti-hero comic book character Jonah Hex, a former Confederate soldier who travels across the pretty much lawless old West of the U.S. (that’s in the past I’ll have you know) working as a vigilante and bounty hunter. With a badly scarred face and a struggle with alcoholism, he’s a dark and complex character. The character received his signature scar at the hands of Indians who placed a hot tomahawk to his face. His mother was a prostitute and his dad sold him into slavery.It’s to be directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Game) and to be funded and released by Warner Bros.

Neveldine/Taylor have said that they don’t plan on “making a straight-ahead Western but plan to develop the character with some of the supernatural overtones in the hopes of creating a franchise.”

According to Hollywood Elsewhere the deal is done and he’s the man (although his reps are currently denying it), and the story from Cinema Blend tells us that the film version will have plenty of CGI and science fiction elements.

What do you make of the news? Excited? Jonah Hex is a pretty cool character and Westerns seem to be having a little bit of a come back these days. I think Josh Brolin is perfect fit for the part.

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