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In “Contraband,” a reformed smuggler faces drug lords, criminals, corrupt officials, and trigger-happy hit men after getting back into the business to help his brother-in-law settle a deadly debt.
When it came to transporting illicit goods under treacherous circumstances, Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) used to be the best in the business. But all of that changed when he chose to give up his life of crime to start a family with Kate (Kate Beckinsale). Chris learns that leaving his past behind is easier said than done, however, after Kate’s brother Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) goes to work for drug lord Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) and drops the ball on a major deal.
Now, in order to set things right, Chris must smuggle millions of dollars in counterfeit bills from Panama into the United States. And if anything goes wrong, Tim will target his entire family for death.
With his best friend Sebastian (Ben Foster) by his side and a crackerjack crew along for the ride, Chris heads to Panama for one last job. Later, with time running out and a treacherous maze of desperate criminals to navigate, the job gets complicated, and Chris must race to reach his family before Tim gets to them first.
Lukas Haas, Diego Luna, and J.K. Simmons co-star.
“Contraband” comes to Blu-ray combo pack with ultra violet, as well as DVD, digital download and on demand April 24.
Here, the latest film from director Braden King, which is set and was shot in Armenia and stars Ben Foster (The Messenger, Contraband) and Lubna Azabal (Body of Lies, Paradise Now) opened in New York Friday and will screen in Los Angeles on April 27 and in San Francisco on May 11.
Set against the landscape of Armenia, HERE chronicles a brief but intense relationship between an American satellite-mapping engineer (Foster) and an expatriate photographer (Azabal) who impulsively decide to travel across the remote countryside. As their trip comes to an end, the two must decide where to go from HERE. The film was an Official selection of the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Reviewing for the New York Times on Friday, Stephen Holden writes: “There are vistas in Braden King’s metaphysical road movie, ‘Here,’ that are so beautiful you want to step through the screen and disappear into the Armenian landscape where much of it was filmed… The trains of thought stirred up by the film’s contemplation of what is here and what is there — and where you are — are endless and stimulating.”
Despite finding solid reviews after its 2011 Sundance premiere, music video director Braden King’s debut feature, “Here,” is just now finding a theatrical release, and there’s an evocative trailer to prove it.
Vulture brings us our first look at the film, which stars Ben Foster as an American cartographer working throughout Armenia, where he stumbles across the beautiful photographer Gadarine (Lubna Azabal, last seen in “Incendies”). After coincidence brings them together twice, they strike off on a road trip of their own, exploring a romance woven between the complex views of nature along the way. Boasting an exquisitely composed visual style throughout that complements the good-looking cast, the trailer also provides glimpses of Foster and Azabal’s relationship, which seems to strike a mature, occasionally spiritual tone.
Once seemingly the second name on casting director’s lists for the “Ryan Gosling role,” Foster has turned into quite the character actor in the past few years, taking a variety of nuanced roles in excellent films. While he has not yet attained a meme (which might be for the best), his turns in “The Messenger” and “Six Feet Under” show a compelling actor ready for a challenge, which “Here” appears to embody in this brief glimpse.
Hopefully that complexity translates to the entire film, as “Here” opens April 13th in NYC before rolling out to other cities.
Rampart, a police drama starring Woody Harrelson as corrupt LAPD officer Dave Brown, heads to Blu-ray and DVD on May 15th. Written by L.A. Confidential novelist James Ellroy and directed by The Messenger Oren Moverman (he also has a writing credit on the film), the 1990s set story also stars Ben Foster, Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, and Steve Buscemi. Special features on the disc include behind the scenes featurettes as well as interviews with the cast and crew.
Casting is now underway for Peter Berg’s Navy SEAL tale, Lone Survivor and Deadline has an early update. They report that Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch and Mark Wahlberg are all in talks to play three of the four key SEALs.
Based on the memoirs of Marcus Luttrell, the film details Luttrell’s ordeal as a SEAL, heading into Afghanistan after a Taliban leader and emerging as the sole survivor.
Luttrell bonded with Berg, a fellow Texas native, who had used Navy SEALS in the making of The Kingdom, paving the way for Universal to buy the novel and underlying life rights for Berg’s Film 44, Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Productions and Barry Spikings’ Spikings Entertainment.
Kitsch, who headlines Walt Disney Pictures’ John Carter next week, was previously rumored for a role. He worked with Berg on the upcoming Battleship.
Over two years ago we got to see a whole new side of Ben Foster. With director Oren Moverman‘s The Messenger, Foster gave a quiet and powerful performance, right next to Woody Harrelson, who also showed something we hadn’t seen from him before. With Rampart, the duo continue to explore new territory. Unless I’m mistaken, we haven’t seen Harrelson play a damaged and narcissistic cop, and the same goes for Foster in an unrecognizable appearance as a homeless vet.
That type of transformation and change is something Foster seems to embrace. If you know about Oren Moverman’s work ethic, then you’re well-aware he searches for honesty, which Ben Foster obviously has great admiration for.
Here’s what Ben Foster had to say about reacting, never having enough time to prepare, and how any director who says they have the answer is full of shit:
Obviously, working with Mr. Moverman again you must have had a very satisfying experience on The Messenger. What did you find creatively satisfying about collaborating with him?
Everything. [Laughs] He has a profound emotional intelligence. He refuses to judge the characters he’s interested in. He creates an environment that demands that actors listen to each other.
Where you really have to react off someone.
Yeah. Well, he doesn’t rehearse. He works one on one with all his actors, and then he doesn’t cut. And we’re encouraged to go off each other.
I recently talked to John C. Reilly and we talked a bit about that process. He says it’s gratifying because you feel like you have a voice in the storytelling, and it’s also terrifying on some level. Do you see it that way?
Absolutely. John C. Reilly is just a fantastic actor. Film is so structured. You know, with your script, your camera setups, when everybody has done their preparation. This approach releases the actors and demands that they do their homework. It is scary the first day or two. But it’s so liberating. It can get sloppy, but that comes down to doing your homework and your research. And I think the performances speak for themselves. Oren has a great eye for… he’s got a great bullshit meter.