Tag Archives: Safe House

Review: Safe House

Proper pacing is a wonderful thing, especially when you’ve got a movie about a hyper intelligent rogue CIA agent wreaking havoc with some potentially devastating information. Move too slowly and you run the risk of bogging moviegoers down with details that could ultimately become too cumbersome to sort out. Then again, move too quickly and you might not leave enough time for an audience to absorb all the necessary details. No, Safe House doesn’t nestle itself near the happy medium, rather veers towards the quicker side, but leaves just enough breathing room to give the story some weight and still solidify it as a thrill ride.

Working for the CIA sounds like a pretty cool gig, right? Well, apparently before you get to the secret agent stuff, you’ve got to babysit a safe house and Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) has been stuck with that dull duty one month too many. Meanwhile, the CIA’s most notorious traitor, Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), puts an end to his decade-long hideout and is sent to Matt’s Cape Town safe house.

Matt’s shocked and honored when one of the most brilliant and illusive men in the world is put under his care, but is caught even more off guard when his facility is ambushed by men after Frost. The two narrowly escape and it’s up to Matt to get Frost to a new secure location. However, Frost may be turned, but he still retains all the ability that made him one of the CIA’s best and his manipulation tactics slowly eat away at Matt’s steadfastness.

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Interview: Safe House Director Daniel Espinosa (One-on-One)

Had I seen the Swedish action film Snabba Cash before speaking to the film’s director Daniel Espinosa, I would have known what to expect from both him and his new film; Safe House is one heck of a wild ride. It stars Ryan Reynolds as Matt Weston, a young CIA agent stuck babysitting a safe house. Matt’s desperate to get out in the field as a case agent, but the problem is, they won’t hire him until he gets some experience and there’s no experience to be had in the safe house. Well, that is until Matt gets a high-level houseguest, the CIA’s most notorious traitor, Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington). However, even then, it’s Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick) and his men that take over. It isn’t until a group of armed men barrel into the safe house unleashing a barrage of bullets that Matt’s “experience” really begins, as now he’s the only one left to bring Frost safely into CIA custody.

You know the clichéd phrase, “you’ve got to see it to believe it?” That’s certainly the case with Safe House. It’s one thing to kick off the production with a solid script, but a guy like Espinosa is a necessity when it comes to bringing the piece to life the right way. As a director, Espinosa doesn’t hold back in the least, casting the roles as he sees fit, designing car chase sequences even though he doesn’t drive himself and even getting into the wheel well to catch the action.

His methods are both unique and fueled by passion, and that turns Safe Houseinto a thrilling and gripping ride, one you really do have to see to believe. Give the film a go for yourself when it arrives on February 10th and, in the meantime, get a taste of what it was like to bring David Guggenheim’s script to life straight from Espinosa himself in this video interview.

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Interview: Safe House’s Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds

When you’ve got heavy hitters like Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in the same movie, you’ve got know what you’re getting yourself into.

Washington plays rogue CIA agent Tobin Frost. After staying off the radar for nearly a decade, Frost pops up in Cape Town and is brought to Matt Weston’s (Reynolds) safe house for debriefing. Having merely babysat the facility month after month, Weston’s a bit of a rookie, so having a high profile criminal like Frost in his safe house, is an unnerving experience. And that’s before the mercenaries ambush the location, killing everyone inside and making Weston, Frost’s only chance of survival.

In honor of Safe House’s February 10th release, Washington and Reynolds came to New York City for a press conference. The duo discussed the entire process from studying up for their roles to shooting their particularly gritty fight sequences as well as a disturbing and very real waterboarding scene. Read about that and much more in the interview below.

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Interview: Safe House Director Daniel Espinosa (Press Conference)

According to Ryan Reynolds, “Daniel’s a guy you want to buy stock in,” and after seeing Safe House, I’d have to agree. Safe House is director Daniel Espinosa’s fourth feature, but his very first American film.

It stars Reynolds as Matt Weston, a young CIA agent assigned to a Cape Town safe house, which basically equates to a glorified babysitting job. He reports to his post, listens to some music, throws a ball against a wall and goes home. Sounds like a relaxing day, but not for a guy who’s itching to become a CIA case agent. No experience? No case agent gig. Matt’s luck changes, for better or worse, when the infamous CIA traitor Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) walks through his door. As if it weren’t enough pressure having Frost as his houseguest, Matt’s safe house is ambushed and he becomes the only person left that can bring Frost safely into custody.

After the release of Snabba Cash (Easy Money), scripts began to roll right in for Espinosa. While he knew Safe House was the one for him, it still needed about a year’s worth of work, however, soon enough, that load wasn’t entirely on him, as Washington and Reynolds boarded the project. Not a bad leading duo for your first American feature, huh?

With the February 10th release of Safe House right around the corner, Espinosa came to New York City for a press conference and dished on the details of the entire process from locking his leads, to working in Cape Town and more. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Action Overload from ‘7500,’ ‘Act of Valor’ and ‘God Bless America’

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, the studios are gearing up to make their mark on the hottest TV commercial night of the year. Paramount Pictures already jumped the gun releasing their entire spots for G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Dictator, while The Avengers and John Carter both got sneak previews. However, none of those highly anticipated releases stand a chance against the return of Ferris Bueller. Honda’s “Matthew’s Day Off” spot has already hit the web and it makes for a pretty smart marketing tool while still honoring the beloved film.

Over in trailer land, we’ve got a few to note that didn’t manage to crack the top three, but are still worth taking a look at. Actually, maybe this first one doesn’t even qualify as a trailer. Step Up 4 recently released an “announcement piece.” Regardless of what that really means, the video comes packed with exactly what you’d want in a new Step Up film, complete with some wicked cool dance sequences and bad acting. Speaking of bad acting, Crooked Arrows looks to lay on the cheese rather thick, but hey — it’s an inspirational sports movie, so perhaps that’ll be enough of an excuse. On the other hand, the material in The Hunter is as stark as it comes, with Willem Dafoe putting on one heck of a mug while hunting a Tasmanian Tiger.

The best of the best in posters this week (but not in the promotional department overall, of course) is certainly 21 Jump Street thanks to that absolutely hilarious expression on Jonah Hill’s face. Friends with Kids finds some success with its new poster, squeezing in all of its famous faces while still sending a message. The new poster for Bel Ami, on the other hand, pushes its lead actress to the background to say just one thing – Robert Pattinson.

Enough with the so-so, it’s onto the best of the best and worst of the worst. Here are your top and bottom movie promos of the week.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: 50 Cent, Liam Neeson And Linda Cardellini Are Forces To Be Reckoned With

As we’re all still trying to shake off the holiday season and get back to work, New Year’s resolutions in tow, so are studio marketing departments. Over the past week, only a few bits of new material managed to trickle out, but even with the small handful, we actually got a couple of pieces that are quite successful, more than enough to fill the Best Stuff department.

Just missing out on top honors is the first trailer for The Impossible, the Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor-starrer about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Packed with a wild amount of picturesque — albeit, heart- wrenching — images, the latest from Antonio Bayona looks devastating while remaining respectful of the tragedy through solid filmmaking.

On a horrific, but more playful note, we’ve got a new clip from Ti West’s The Innkeepers. Having seen the film, I can assure you that while this bit most certainly isn’t a spoiler, it is one of the feature’s tensest moments, largely due to an honestly terrified Pat Healy.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Laughs Abound Thanks To ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Happy Feet Two’

Now that Halloween is completely out of the picture, we’ve got a nice amalgamation of material to look at – comedy, drama, action and, of course, seasonal fair.

With Christmas fast approaching, a clip from Arthur Christmas is welcomed with open arms. Narrated by a little girl writing a letter to Santa, the piece gives a nice overview of the Santa Clause lineage as well as the great deal of warmth Arthur’s got to offer. On the sillier and less festive side is yet another clip from The Muppets. Sure, this opening dance sequence is well done and will certainly bring back that Muppet-loving sensation, but, by the time the film hits theaters, will there be any new material left to see?

On the more realistic comedic side (to a point at least), we’ve got a brand new red band trailer for Goon, which goes beyond the teaser, humanizing Seann William Scott’s character before getting into the hockey-fighting lunacy, which actually makes it even more brutal. Then there’s the first trailer for Wanderlust, which surprisingly both stars Jennifer Aniston and shows signs of actually being quite funny.

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