Filmmaker Ben Wheatley has made a series of critically acclaimed films with increasingly starry casts.
Ben Wheatley is happy that these are small-budget movies made on his own terms. After finishing High-Rise with Tom Hiddleston and Luke Evans, he turned to Free Fire. The idea came from reading transcripts of real police shootouts that are far messier than the movies ever portray them. "That was the beginning point for me," Wheatley says. "I thought maybe there's something in this, a procedural thing about people in a gun battle in real time. I'm not saying that Free Fire is a documentary or massively realistic, but it relies on some of that realism."
Ben Wheatley at the 2017 Empire Awards
Set in 1970s Boston, the film was shot in a warehouse in Brighton, England, over six weeks with an eclectic ensemble of actors led by Brie Larson, who arrived straight from filming her wrenching Oscar-winning role in Room.
Continue reading: Ben Wheatley Threw His Cast Into Free Fire
Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) is using a group of wildly offbeat characters to play a hilarious riff on Tarantino-style dialogue and violence. So while there's not much to it, the actors have plenty of grist to bring their roles to life. Which makes the film funny and intense all the way through, even if there's no emotional connection at all.
The entire film is set in a warehouse in 1978 Boston, where Justine (Brie Larson), Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) have gone with their drivers Stevo and Bernie (Jack Reynor and Enzo Cilenti) to buy a cache of guns from the swaggering Ord (Armie Hammer) and his mercurial arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley), who has brought ex-Black Panther Martin (Babou Ceesay) as some muscle, plus bickering drivers Harry and Gordon (Jack Reynor and Noah Taylor). All of them greet each other tensely, but they make the deal with a bit of offhanded banter and wary respect. But just as they're all getting ready to leave, Stevo and Harry spot each other. And both are still feeling wounded after the nasty encounter they had last night.
What follows is an explosion of utterly pointless violence. All of these people are nervous and trigger-happy, so it doesn't take much to set them off. The carnage that follows isn't like most movies, because people don't get shot and just lie on the ground; they crawl off injured, regroup and rejoin the fray. Alliances shift, and every moment of panic leads to even more chaos. And right in the middle, there's a bag of cash and a crate of rifles that everyone has an eye on. Wheatley stages this in real-time, with a steady flow of jaggedly witty conversation between the gunshots and constant sight-gags in the action mayhem.
Continue reading: Free Fire Review
It's 1978 Boston and an unlikely gang made up of Justine (Brie Larson), Stevo (Sam Riley), Chris (Cillian Murphy), Bernie (Enzo Cilenti) and Frank (Michael Smiley) - meet up with a criminal insider named, Ord (Armie Hammer) who has contact with someone from whom they can buy a set of guns. They all meet up in an abandoned warehouse, and the gang soon realise that these arms traders are not messing around. Led by the volatile Vernon (Sharlto Copley), things take a violent turn when the traders try to sell the gang the wrong set of weapons. A comedic shoot-out ensues, with everybody turning on each other while trying to stay alive and escape with their money and merchandise. But they find themselves having to work together when an mysterious sniper shows up trying to shoot them all.
Continue: Free Fire Trailer
Ben Wheatley attending the Closing Night Gala screening of 'Free Fire,' during the 60th BFI London Film Festival held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th October 2016
Tom Hiddleston is best known for his role as Thor's mischievous brother Loki, but has also appeared in a variety of arthouse movies, TV series and stage productions.
"What Ballard is interested in is who we really are beneath the veneer of sophistication and good manners," Hiddleston says. "So at what point do your manners break down, and when does your more animalistic nature emerge?"
Continue reading: Tom Hiddleston Felt Faint Preparing For High-Rise
'If only we had enough money to move to a bigger house', an ongoing predicament in most households around the world. Just a little more space, just a little more comfort. Robert Laing is a young doctor who's currently embracing the single life.
Robert thinks that a beautiful closed off high-rise apartment is just the place for him to make a home. His flat is located on the twenty-fifth floor which is somewhere in the middle and as Robert settles in and is introduced to his new neighbours, he soon begins to realise that there's a hierarchy within the building -the higher the floor you're on, the more your life is worth.
The higher you go in the 40-odd floored building, the more palatial your surroundings become. Somehow the man behind the design of the building appears to hold more answers than he's willing to give. Lines are soon crossed and war breaks out between the self-imposed floor class system.
Continue: High-Rise Trailer
A JG Ballard novel, directed by 'A Field In England's' Ben Wheatley with Tom Hiddleston just cast in the lead role, 'High Rise' could be our new most anticipated future release.
With director Ben Wheatley announcing that Tom Hiddleston has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming 'High Rise', we're now brimming with anticipation for the JG Ballard adaptation. The director set tongues wagging by tweeting a picture of the movie poster and writing “here we go. Cant quite believe this is happening. Tom Hiddleston! Jeremy Thomas! Script by Amy Jump! JG BALLARD!” The big screen version of 'High Rise' has been in the works for decades so we thought we'd give some explaination of the project's history and what can be expected now it's finally hitting the big screen.
Tom Hiddleston has been cast as the lead in 'High Rise.'
What is 'High Rise'?;
High Rise' was published by English author JG Ballard in 1975, Ballard had just gained notoriety for his novel 'Crash', published two years earlier. Like many of Ballard's works 'High-Rise' is a dystopian work looking at the negative impact of modern life. It centers on a new residential tower which was designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, but where the residents find themselves becoming increasingly isolated. Hiddleston will play Robert Laing, a young doctor who, as life in the High Rise deteriorates and residents break into tribal factions, finds himself in the middle of mounting violence that begins to emerge in himself.
Continue reading: With Tom Hiddleston On-Board, What Can We Expect From 'High Rise'?
Ben Wheatley is emerging as one of the UK's finest filmmakers.
It is likely that Ben Wheatley's new movie A Field in England, staring Julian Barratt, will play no part in the major awards ceremonies in 2013 and 2014, though the historical drama has received a slew of five-star reviews putting it amongst the very best received films of the year.
Set during the English Civil War in the 17th century, the movie follows the story of Reece Shearsmith's Whitehead who flees from his strict master and meets Cutler (Ryan Pope) and two travellers Jacob (Peter Ferdinando) and Friend (Richard Glover).
When Cutler takes the two travellers hostage and captures Whitehead, he forces hallucinogens on them and makes them help him and Irishman O'Neill find buried treasure in a field.
Continue reading: Is Ben Wheatley's 'A Field In England' The Finest British Movie Of 2013?
Ben Wheatley, the film director whose previous movies Down Terrace and Kill List have established him a key figure in British filmmaking, is back with his latest film, the black comedy Sightseers. Even before its UK release this week, the film has landed seven nominations for the forthcoming British Independent Film Awards.
Sightseers stars Steve Oram and Alice Lowe as an odd couple whose dream caravan holidays takes a very wrong turn. Though predominately a comedy, Sightseers features liberal amounts of extreme violence perhaps more suited to Wheatley's horror flick Kill List. "We were cautious not to make it too malicious or vicious. It's violent - and some of it's red raw - but it doesn't slip too far into the really heavy misery of Kill List. It pulls back before it really upsets the audience. I wanted them to laugh!" Wheatley explained to the BBC. The movie has impressed critics ahead of release, with Mark Adams of the Daily Mirror saying, "A deliriously dark and gloriously bloody crime comedy, Sightseers is a wonderfully eccentric film that delivers twisted humour at some British landmarks." Contactmusic's very own Rich Cline lauded the movie too, writing, "Even by Ben Wheatley's genre-busting standards, this film is a triumph, centring on comedy and romance in a road movie about two violent serial killers. After the terrific Down Terrace and Kill List, we probably should have expected as much." Filmed mainly in scenic spots in northern England, Sightseers also saw Oram and Lowe stay in character during 12-hour shoots (even on testing terrain) Wheatley explained, "I was watching Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights the other day and I recognised the same crag that we shot on. I thought, 'Hang on - I know this rock!"
It's likely that Sightseers will win Best Film at the Independent Film Awards on 9 December 2012, though it faces reasonable competition. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - starring Bill Nighy and Dame Judi Dench - was a surprise hit stateside, while documentary The Imposter received rave views. Berberian Sound Studio creeped out audiences with its chilling tale, while the Tim Roth-starring Broken is also worth a shout.
Continue reading: Is Ben Wheatley's Sightseers The Best British Movie Of The Year?
Chris is determined to show his girlfriend Tina more of the wonderful counties of England and tear her away from her over-protective mother who she lives with. To kick off the journey he wants to take her to Crich Tramway Museum in Derbyshire before departing to Yorkshire to visit such landmarks as the Ribblehead Viaduct and the Keswick Pencil Museum. They travel the country in his Abbey Oxford Caravan - his second love - which is rather cramped but with just enough room for their needs. Soon things take a dramatic turn when noise, littering, busy caravan sites and repeated calls from Tina's mother begin to grate on Chris who turns violent towards anyone that even slightly irks him, though the couple do their best to not let it ruin their holiday.
'Sightseers' is a British black comedy directed by Ben Wheatley ('Kill List', 'Down Terrace') and written by the movie's stars Alice Lowe (actress in 'Hot Fuzz' and 'This Is Jinsy') and Steve Oram (actor in 'Kill List') with additions from Amy Jump ('Kill List'). It has been executively produced by Edgar Wright popular for his work on 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz' and has now been released in the UK in cinemas nationwide.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Continue: Sightseers Trailer
Jay and Shel (Maskell and Buring) have a mercurial marriage, with full-tilt arguments followed by moments of tender closeness. Perhaps this has to do with their military backgrounds, but their young son Sam (Simpson) doesn't really understand. And neither does Jay's army pal Gal (Smiley), who visits for a tense dinner party with his girlfriend Fiona (Fryer). Then Jay and Gal embark on a business trip as a hitman duo, and as they progress through their kill list, they begin to fall into the clutches of what looks like a sinister pagan cult.
Continue reading: Kill List Review
Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...
It's 1978 Boston and an unlikely gang made up of Justine (Brie Larson), Stevo (Sam...
'If only we had enough money to move to a bigger house', an ongoing predicament...
Chris is determined to show his girlfriend Tina more of the wonderful counties of England...
British filmmaker Wheatley follows up his terrific debut Down Terrace with another genre-bending film that...