Movie News

AICN and Twitch Present International Eye-Candy! Udo Kier as a Space Nazi! John Cleese in a South African Blockbuster and More!

Published at: Dec. 20, 2010, 5 a.m. CST

Christmas is nearly upon us, my home in Toronto already covered with a blanket of snow. Which, whatever your impressions may be of Canada, is actually a rarity this early in the season. And so I come to you bearing gifts. It’s International Eye Candy time and we’ve got a baker’s dozen of the best and brightest from around the globe. You want crazy Thai people putting their lives on the line in the name of entertainment? We’ve got that. Giant squid monsters attacking the planet? We’ve got that, too. How about Udo Kier dressed up as a Space Nazi? It’s only a still, unfortunately, but you’ll find that here. Throw in John Cleese in a South African blockbuster, a bit of old school kung fu and the real life story of a terrorist attack and we’re off and running. Here we go!

 

We’re kicking things off with THE BLACK SKY, the latest ‘illustrated film’ from the creators of GODKILLER. They’ve teamed up with 30 DAYS OF NIGHT artist Ben Templesmith on this one and the results are pretty stunning. I’m not entirely sold on this format as a way of telling a long form story yet – the relatively static images are not particularly good at emoting – but, damn, there are some impressive images on display. Find THE BLACK SKY trailer here

 

We’re gonna stick with American productions for a moment longer here – hey, you guys are part of the world, too – for a peek at upcoming indie THE DAY. A post apocalyptic thriller with a bevy of interesting young stars – Dominic Monaghan, Shawn Ashmore, Ashley Bell – this one is still early in the post production process and they’re keeping the plot details under wraps but they’ve released a very impressive first teaser that’s heavy on the atmosphere. I’m loving the look and feel of this and you know the performances are going to be good with the cast they’ve got. Find THE DAY teaser here

 

But enough of people speaking languages I actually understand. Off we go to Norway now for the latest from TOMME TONNER 2: THE BROWN GOLD. Question of the day: Is the brown gold in question kebab or hashish? Both seem equally likely. The sequel to the successful action comedy promises more of what made the first a local hit only more and better. And that means a slick balance of action, sex appeal and comedy featuring a couple of the region’s biggest stars (Kim Bodnia and Kristoffer Joner) kicking back and clearly having a blast just being stupid for a while. Find the new TOMME TONNER trailer here

 

 

Ass monster. That’s what you really need to know about Ryan Lightbourn’s upcoming short ROID RAGE. We ran the teaser for this one earlier but it’s back now with a full trailer that promises lots of ass-bitey goodness. Find the ROID RAGE trailer here

 

 

As of the time of this writing we’re about four hours from the premiere of DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY on BBC Four. Yes, someone finally realized that Douglas Adams’ other series is a whole lot easier to adapt to the screen than THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY ever was and went out and did it. The brilliant Stephen Mangan from GREEN WING stars as Dirk and I can’t wait. Find the DIRK GENTLY trailer here

 

To France now, where CHRYSALIS director Julien Leclerq is telling the real life story of the hijacking of Air France Flight 8969 in L’ASSAUT. The actual events ended with the French equivalent of a SWAT team storming the plane and killing the hijackers so expect this one to be bit more burly action film than the sad tribute that similarly themed projects in the US have been. Regardless of how he presents it, though, Leclerq is one of the finest visual directors in France and this looks amazing. Find the L’ASSAUT trailer here

 

We hop back to Norway now, where star Kristoffer Joner makes his second appearance in this edition of the IEC thanks to his part in prison drama KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND. The first trailer for this one appeared a column or two back, the film impressing with its production values and the gritty edge it brings to the real life story of revolt amongst the inmates of a juvenile detention center. Expect more of the same from the second trailer, which is to say it looks every bit as fantastic as the first. And it even features English subtitles. Find the new KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND trailer here

 

 

And now for something completely different. MONTY PYTHON star John Cleese has turned up in South Africa, of all places, playing a key role in smash hit comedy SPUD. South Africa is one of very few countries in the world not dominated by HARRY POTTER or TANGLED when that duo hit, and this movie is the reason why. Based on a popular novel, it’s a schoolboy coming of age comedy and while the first half of the trailer plays like just about every film of the type ever made Cleese shows up at the end doing what he does best. Find the SPUD trailer here

 

 

Early press screenings for Benny Chan’s SHAOLIN have begun in Hong Kong and the advance word is good. Which is not a surprise, really, given that the trailer for this one make it look like the best old-school style fight flick in a decade or so. Huge cast, huge set, fantastic martial arts. IT’s all you could ask for really. A third trailer showed up earlier this week boasting some new footage to continue stoking the fire. Find the new SHAOLIN trailer here

 

 

Chile’s Pablo Larrain burst onto the scene a few years back with TONY MANERO, the Cannes-selected story of a serial killer modelling himself after John Travolta during the Pinochet era in Chile. It’s a potent bit of work, one that Larrain followed up with a second Pinochet-set piece titled POST MORTEM. This one revolves around a mortician’s assistant, a man responsible for logging details on all the corpses passing through their doors. And in this era there were a lot of those. The film launched at the Venice film festival and with a theatrical release coming soon in France a new trailer has just arrived there. Find the new POST MORTEM trailer here

 

 

Over to Russia now where notorious cult novel THE MASTER AND MARGARITA – a rather heretical time jumping affair revolving largely around a demonic cat visiting Russia – is being turned into an animated feature. Mikhail Bulgakov’s work has had a difficult history, not being released until more than twenty years after his death and then only in heavily censored form, but it has gone on to be widely recognized as one of the great novels of the twentieth century and has received at least a couple of film and television adaptations before now. But never quite like this. Find the MASTER AND MARGARITA trailer here

 

 

Back to France now for Jerome Salle’s LARGO WINCH 2, which I’m told may be retitled THE BURMESE CONSPIRACY for international audiences who don’t know who the hell Largo Winch is. Based on a popular series of Belgian graphic novels, LARGO WINCH clearly aims to be a big, glossy, globe hopping action adventure series that European audiences can claim for their own. The cast is international – Sharon Stone appears in this one – the effects big and glossy. This could easily stand up to the best the Bruckheimers of the world have to offer. Find the LARGO WINCH trailer here

 

 

And, finally, we end in Thailand, where ONG BAK fight choreographer Panna Rittikrai is breaking people again. Rittikrai is in the director’s chair for BANGKOK KNOCKOUT, a full out martial arts stunt extravaganza built around the skills of nine of Rittikrai’s favourite stuntmen. Yep. No actors in this one, really, other than a few support roles tucked into the background. The main players are all stunt people here to show the most extreme stuff that they can do. And extreme it is. The trailer for this popped up a while back but we’ve got a crazy behind the scenes reel for it now, as well. Find the BANGKOK KNOCKOUT reel here

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 20, 2010, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Bangkok Knockout looks insane

    by King_Knut

    Largo Winch intriguing, The Day Meh-be, L'Assault could be very good (the French are just... better... at action than the rest of Europe. I worked with Mangan and Baxendale on Beyond The Pole, and so am rather excited for Dirk Gently - he's a very funny man, and she's a great straight woman/foil for that sort of character.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6 a.m. CST

    Cleese is broke

    by BenBraddock

    His wife took half of his fortune in the divorce. Hence "SPUD", I suppose..

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Dirk Gently - oh dear! Not good

    by HarryBlackPotter

    Love Dougie Addams, but this was pants.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:40 a.m. CST

    hmmm...The Day looks

    by jpt

    <b>interesting</b>....

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:44 a.m. CST

    L’ASSAUT looks quite good

    by jpt

    The <b>tone</b> looks right to me...

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:46 a.m. CST

    I'm already sold on the King of Devil's Island

    by jpt

    Gold Jerry, <i>gold</i>!!

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Shaolin looks quite good too

    by jpt

    Lau, Tse...Chan...<p>I'm there.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Spud's good.

    by Knuckleduster

    The books are massive in the UK and obviously South Africa. <p> Films from and about South Africa are on a roll these days. Tsotsi, District 9, Invictus, Spud. Makes me proud.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:53 a.m. CST

    heh...Thai stunt people are crazy...

    by jpt

    Bangkok Knockout confirms this.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Spud

    by Grrrr....

    If it is half as funny as the first book (there are 3) then this will be a very funny movie. Problem I see is there were some Saffa humour in the book and if it makes it to the movie I don't know how the foreign markets will enjoy it. But I did laugh my ass off.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 7:49 a.m. CST

    I Checked-Out Most Of The Film Trailers, And...

    by Media Messiah

    ...the majority of them looked like low-budget film festival entries and student films produced by trust fund babies who are ran-out and rented Red Cameras, or bought the latest Canon. As for the martial arts entries, I am tired of movie martial arts. It looks silly!!! How about using real world martial arts for a change? Like a bunch of guys are going to make a huge leap across a empty space, several flights over concrete in order to try and kick each other? That's what I mean by silly!

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Which One Is The Space Nazi Trailer?

    by Media Messiah

    I didn't see anything about it anywhere?

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    media messiah

    by jpt

    Sure, there's always some that look like that, but I'd wager that most of them are still better than the nice-to-look-at-but-empty-as-a-shell shit that is generally churned out by Hollywood.<p>I mean, did you think The Day or L'assaut looked low budget? King of Devil's Island?<p>And there's always room for some stupid silly kung fu movies.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, noon CST

    media messiah

    by Datascream

    No ones forcing you to watch these 'silly martial arts' movies. Some people (like myself) enjoy them, its just pure entertainment. Which is what movies are for anyways.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Token..?

    by workshed

    'Spud' looks like something from the apartheid era in South Africa. Have the producers never seen 'District 9' I wonder..? Poor Cleese... once the funniest man on the planet reduced to this. Neil Blomkamp needs to make a movie about the producers of this film being attacked by prawns.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    More cameo-status roles for Cleese

    by daggor

    I remember seeing the (mostly)awful Out-of-Towners with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn on cable. The only funny thing in that movie was Cleese. Why doesn't somebody give him a starring role before he croaks it?!?

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 11:13 p.m. CST

    @Just Pillow Talk: I Agree With You

    by Media Messiah

    It is truly wonderful to see that others, thanks to modern technology, can break from the Hollywood system, or steer around it completely and make movies, as it is a system filled with nepotism--and the stench of what is clearly a monopoly. I am all for the democratization of the film and entertainment industry, and believe that the best films of the last 20 years have been independently produced films. That said, not every independent film should be deemed deserving, just because it was produced outside of the system. There are a lot of truly bad filmmakers out there, who have the money to make their independent films and get them distributed, that are just as horrible, or worse, than any at the majors. Many of these folks, as I said, are trust fund babies, working both, inside and outside of the established system, and have an attitude; a twisted vision that they have talent, simply because they have access, and thus, opportunity--and it often shows in their work. In the interest of full-disclosure, I admitted that I did not see all of the posted film trailers, like Spud, for instance, however, I did see the majority of the trailers, and they played weak, but trailers can often lie--hence, a film may be better, or worse, than its trailer. The only manner in which these films can be ultimately and fairly judged by any of us, is to see, and witness, the full films themselves.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Datascream: As A Life Long Martial Artist...

    by Media Messiah

    ...I am insulted by movie-fu. The closest visions of true martial arts in film, were delivered by Master Bruce Lee--the rest, however, in majority, have been nothing but cartoons, by way of live action photography--wire-fu and special effects in post. Fine if you like cartoons, and I do, but, when you can deliver realistic martial arts choreography, but you choose to do anything but that, it is just a very sad missed opportunity to share the arts with the masses, and exhibit its grand nature on a global scale, as opposed to what amounts to science fiction and fantasy, when the real world arts are even more astounding (than sci-fi and fantasy), when one can see them...really demonstrated. Just a year ago, I saw one of my instuctors pull a 360 horizontal kick, just 10 feet away from me. That blows any of this phony stunt business away, completely--no contest.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:59 a.m. CST

    media

    by jpt

    Disregarding how they were able to make their movies, there are several here that I am interested in. All I look for in a trailer is a hint of something that strikes me as being entertaining, and I'll give the movie a shot in most cases. I didn't watch every trailer either, because some of the subject material just didn't interest me. The ones that I viewed, for the most part, seemed pretty solid. And I will always give the foreign movies from this column a shot since it turns out that what I would consider my top three I've seen this year (A Prophet, Harry Brown, and North Face) are all foreign. I guess it also depends upon the movie release website you visit, because I'm not sure when A Prophet got released... Oh, and regarding martial arts...I am a huge fan of Donnie Yen, and I think *some* of his movies would qualify as old school martial arts movies...The Kill Zone, IP Man. But perhaps you will disagree with me on that.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Spud features one of Cleese's best performances ever.

    by Knuckleduster

    "...once the funniest man on the planet reduced to this." <p> I suggest checking it out before making comments like that.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Just Pillow Talk

    by Media Messiah

    I haven't seen IP Man yet, but I have seen clips from it, and the sequel, and they looked stunning. I haven't seen many films this year, but I'll tell you, there is a great film called "Cashback". It came-out about a couple of years ago. It's an independent British film. It is a very smart drama, one with a lot of humor, and comedy extending from life's ironies. Cashback is just brilliant, and a visual marvel to behold. I think it is the type of film drama that would have been perfect for 3D; the kind of film that James Cameron had suggested would be enhanced by 3D. Every person who appreciates great cinema should see it, and especially those who wish to be filmmakers. What they did with a small budget here, with that film, is just mind-blowingly beautiful. They used some very nice special effects to tell and advance the story, visuals that are used to slow and stop-time--creating fully immersive sequences that are eye candy, while still serving the story, without distraction. I'd tell you the story, but it is something you want to discover yourself--not that there is a twist however, but the film is just a fun and intelligent dramedy that you want to experience without knowing too much going in. I will share this...though, the cinematography is just astounding.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 6:36 a.m. CST

    IP Man is highly recommended...

    by jpt

    I haven't seen the sequel yet, which I heard was good, just not as good as the original. I've added Cashback to my instant queue, what the hell. I really do wish their library of films available to view in that medium would greatly expand at a quicker rate. I just watched The Korean last night, which was an utter dissappointment. Horrible acting, patheic action, and bullshit flashback storytelling.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    MM you're a life long martial artist?

    by Xiphos_2

    Are you talking about your long and failing battle to achieve sanity? Becasue technically that isn't a Martial Art it's a failure so far.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 12:36 a.m. CST

    There are some decent offerings this time out

    by Xiphos_2

    The Day, Shaolin and King of Devil's Island look particularly strong. It's hard to take the French seriously in movies like that. Actually it's hard to take the French seriously anytime. Not sure of Spud could be alright but the trailer was kind of weak in my opinion along with the Douglas Adams one. Might be good but the trailers didn't particularly work for me. Good stuff Todd.