Joe Carnahan

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The Grey Review


Good
The story (by cowriter Jeffers) this film is based on was clearly inspired by Jack London's famously bleak short story To Build a Fire, pitting a man against the elements in the harsh, snowy Arctic wilderness. It's a very well-made film, but not very easy to engage with.

Ottway (Neeson) works as a wolf-sniper for a petrol company in the far reaches of Alaska, but is struggling with thoughts of suicide because he misses his wife (Openshaw) so much. Then on a flight to Anchorage, the plane is hit by a severe storm and goes down in the middle of nowhere. There are a handful of survivors, and Ottway soon becomes the leader when they are menaced by howling, growling wolves. Knowing they'd be safer in the treeline, he leads five other men from one peril to another.

Continue reading: The Grey Review

Video - Liam Neeson Prepared For Alaska By Taking Cold Showers


Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson (Batman Begins; Schindler's List; Taken) and writer Joe Carnahan (The A-Team; Smokin' Aces and Narc) take part in a press junket in New York to promote their new movie "The Grey". To prepare for the harsh conditions seen in the film, Liam reveals an unlikely source that helped him: a documentary about a Brit who swam in Antarctica, who worked his way up to the stunt by taking cold showers.

The Grey is about an oil drilling team who are stranded in Alaska after their plane crashes. They are targeted by a pack of hungry wolves and are forced to brave the cold in order to survive

The Grey Trailer


Ottway is an oil driller. One day, his team is dispatched to Alaska for a few days. He says goodbye to his partner and makes his way to the airport. Just before they are due to land, though, the plane crashes and the oil drilling team end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a snow storm.

Continue: The Grey Trailer

Joe Carnahan and A-Team Tuesday 27th July 2010 The UK premiere of The A-Team London, England

Joe Carnahan and A-team
Joe Carnahan and A-team

Joe Carnahan Wednesday 28th July 2010 outside the BBC Radio One studios London, England

Joe Carnahan
Joe Carnahan

The A-Team Review


Bad
Jarringly over-edited with virtually no space for character or plot coherence, Carnahan's noisy movie strains to turn the corny 1980s TV show into something achingly hip and cool. But this only works in very brief moments.

Eight years after meeting during an action caper, four fast-thinking US Rangers are an unstoppable military team: organisational expert Hannibal (Neeson), charm-merchant Face (Cooper), tough-driving BA (Jackson) and riotously unpredictable Murdock (Copley). But when a CIA-sponsored raid goes wrong, they end up on the wrong side of the law, pursued by a slippery CIA operative (Wilson) and a hard-as-nails military officer (Biel) who has a history with Face. And they'll need to blast rather a lot of things to smithereens to prove their innocence.

Continue reading: The A-Team Review

Joe Carnahan Tuesday 27th July 2010 The UK premiere of The A-Team London, England

Joe Carnahan

Joe Carnahan and girlfriend - Joe Carnahan and girlfriend Thursday 3rd June 2010 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre Los Angeles, California

Joe Carnahan and Girlfriend
Joe Carnahan

A-Team Trailer


Watch the trailer for The A-Team

Continue: A-Team Trailer

Pride And Glory Review


Excellent
Police thrillers these days aspire to replicate the CSI formula on the big screen. Not Pride and Glory. It wants to be this generation's Serpico.

Director Gavin O'Connor certainly understands the difference between the two. Though Glory lays out a complex yet solvable mystery, it's far more interested in loyalty and the familial bonds that exist among lifetime police officers. It also wears its adoration for the badge -- and those who wear it -- on its sleeve.

Continue reading: Pride And Glory Review

Smokin' Aces Review


OK
A double-decker, monster-man sandwich of a movie with all the condiments dripping off and the tomatoes soaking through the bread, Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces grabs you by your lipstick-smudged collar and chucks you headfirst into a car-crash dizziness of crime, punishment, and bureau hobgob.As with most directors, Carnahan is eager to put the giddiness of his debut, Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane, on top of the professionalism of 2002's brooding Narc, only too happy to throw in a who's-who of dynamite character actors to add flavor. Flipping scene-to-scene with a racecar driver's patience, Smokin' Aces quickly engages the viewer but just as quickly stuffs the plot with enough peripheral storylines to garner an Advil intermission. Carnahan, however, seems only the merrier to turn the mayhem up to eleven.Here's the scoop: Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven) has turned states evidence and has been marked to be deposited in an unmarked grave, heart removed and in the hand of the invalid Don of the Las Vegas mafia. Quicker than you can say Vincent Vega, a plethora of gun-totting, knife-brandishing assassins are descending on the Lake Tahoe hotel where Israel has commandeered the penthouse suite and filled it with enough blow and prostitutes to garner a Motley Crue reunion gig. There's a sexually-ambivalent pair of Jackie Brown's (scene-stealers Alicia Keys and Taraji P. Henson), a trio of Nazi-punk, south-bred Mad Max's (led by dirtied-up pretty-boy Chris Pine), a relentless torture artist (Nestor Carbonell), and a superbly vicious Ethan Hunt-type mask-wearer named Lazlo Soot (Tommy Flanagan). Oh, and not to mention a bail bondsman and two ex-cops (Ben Affleck, Peter Berg, and Martin Henderson) hired by a Herpes-positive lawyer (Justin Bateman).Israel's right-hand man Sir Ivy (hip-hop ingénue Common in a solid acting debut) has suspicions on Buddy's loyalty as the bureau chief (Andy Garcia, his cheeks tight enough to brandish a diamond ring from a lump of coal) deliberates on whether Buddy is essential to the FBI's case or not. To fast-track the proceedings, two FBI agents are sent to pick Israel up, played with welcome integrity by Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds. This is all confounded by a paint-by-numbers mystery about the Las Vegas Don's origins and his hand in an FBI agent's death.Not for nothing, Carnahan's big mess has a stunningly concise tone to it, not trashy enough to be campy and not serious enough to be harshly considered. There's no denying, however, that Smokin' Aces is a backpedal from the grimy cop paranoia of its predecessor. Ultimately, many of the characters are superfluous to the kinetic frenzy of the film and come off as cameos (Bateman, Affleck, and a surprise Matthew Fox head the list). This also lends itself to a problem of absurdly curt storylines that seem to mass into a rubber-band ball of narratives. That being said, it's still a kick to watch Carnahan go all in, pulling out some primo action scenes including a climactic shoot-out that ends with an assassin taking a chainsaw up the keister. The effect sprays about as much bodily fluid to the ironically-named Nomad hotel as one could imagine from a Tarantino disciple with time and money on his hands.Aces high.

Smokin' Aces - Clip Trailer


Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven) is a Vegas card sharp come gangster and former member of the La Cosa Nostra (LCN), one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States. In exchange for a vanishing act with Witness Protection, Israel (who is currently hiding out in the penthouse of The Nomad Casino in Lake Tahoe with his posse of bodyguards and hookers), has agreed to testify against his former mentor, Primo Sparazza, and the LCN.

Continue: Smokin' Aces - Clip Trailer

Blood, Guts, Bullets And Octane Review


OK
A too-hip-for-its-own-good indie gangster flick, with Carnahan taking about 3 too many positions behind and in front of the camera. While the movie tends not to make a lot of sense, relying on very emotional characters who yell at one another over the phone or in person, usually while brandishing a weapon of some sort, it is still, quite oddly, overly simplistic and not very compelling. The low-budget film's plot revolves around a convertible that arrives on the lot of two flailing used car salesmen, the contents of its trunk being a mystery but promising hundreds of thousands of dollars to the eventual bearer. Alas, the contents turn out to be not that exciting, nor does the eventual winner of them, nor does much of the plot.

Narc Review


Very Good
In what may be one of the best casting decisions of 2002, director Joe Carnahan and the makers of Narc chose Ray Liotta and Jason Patric -- two actors that can project off-kilter rage and searing intensity like few others -- for their dark, teeth-gritting cop drama. If they had selected some other "man of the moment" actors for this depressing character study, Narc may come off as just another brutal, bloody undercover story. Instead, the two leads, nearly perfect in their roles, bring a heart and reality that buoy the film, and at times, elevate it to a superior crime movie.

Patric, who's played the tortured undercover cop before in Rush (1991), is Nick Tellis, a brooding detective that Carnahan introduces by way of a throat-grabbing sequence: An all-out foot chase through the projects, photographed with a violently jarring, hand-held approach, and ending with a pregnant woman losing enormous amounts of blood after being shot in the leg. The scene, made harshly cold with an icy blue design, is effectively sickening, especially because the bullet that hits the innocent woman comes from Nick's gun.

Continue reading: Narc Review

Joe Carnahan

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Joe Carnahan Movies

The Grey Movie Review

The Grey Movie Review

The story (by cowriter Jeffers) this film is based on was clearly inspired by Jack...

The Grey Trailer

The Grey Trailer

Ottway is an oil driller. One day, his team is dispatched to Alaska for a...

The A-Team Movie Review

The A-Team Movie Review

Jarringly over-edited with virtually no space for character or plot coherence, Carnahan's noisy movie strains...

A-Team Trailer

A-Team Trailer

Watch the trailer for The A-Team Any kids who grew up in the 70's or...

Pride and Glory Movie Review

Pride and Glory Movie Review

Police thrillers these days aspire to replicate the CSI formula on the big screen. Not...

Smokin' Aces Movie Review

Smokin' Aces Movie Review

A double-decker, monster-man sandwich of a movie with all the condiments dripping off and the...

Smokin' Aces - Clip Trailer

Smokin' Aces - Clip Trailer

Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven) is a Vegas card sharp come gangster and former member...

Narc Movie Review

Narc Movie Review

In what may be one of the best casting decisions of 2002, director Joe Carnahan...

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