‘Triple Frontier’ Film Review: Oscar Isaac Leads All-Star Crew on Grim Heist

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Like many films before it, J.C. Chandor’s “Triple Frontier” features an all-star cast of macho badasses, wielding high-powered arsenals as confidently as if they were shooting bullets from their own limbs. They drink beer. They listen to Metallica. They use the skills they’ve developed over a lifetime of war to make a lot of money and look damn good doing it.

But unlike a lot of films before it, “Triple Frontier” seems completely disappointed in those badasses. The script, by Chandor (“A Most Violent Year”) and Mark Boal (“Zero Dark Thirty”), sends a group of grizzled veterans into a high-stakes heist situation which — as you can imagine — goes horribly wrong, but the tragedy isn’t that they might not get the money. The tragedy is that they tried.

Oscar Isaac stars as Santiago “Pope” Garcia, who has been working in South America to apprehend a powerful kingpin named Lorea. After an unexpectedly panic-inducing shootout at a disco, Garcia learns Lorea’s location from one of his informants and immediately begins assembling a team of tough guys he can trust to get the job done.

Watch Video: Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac Need to ‘Hunt Quickly’ in New ‘Triple Frontier’ Trailer

There’s William “Ironhead” Miller (Charlie Hunnam), a veteran whose new job seems to consist entirely of giving de-motivational speeches to current soldiers, discouraging them from using their deadly skills in the private sector. There’s William’s brother Ben (Garrett Hedlund), who now makes a living getting pummeled in MMA fights. There’s the skilled pilot Francisco “Catfish” Morales (Pedro Pascal), who’s just had his pilot’s license suspended.

But most importantly, to these guys at least, there’s Tom “Redfly” Davis (Ben Affleck), whose heroism in the line of duty has been matched only by his lousy luck since leaving the military. Divorced, swimming in debt, and alienated from his daughter, Redfly doesn’t just need a job. He needs a purpose, and the purpose Pope gives him isn’t noble: It’s just money.

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Tilt your head a bit, and you can see the film that “Triple Frontier” almost was, a rousing thriller about action heroes getting pulled out of retirement for one last job. Cinematographer Roman Vasyanov (“Fury”) sure as heck films it like a sleek action thriller, with deadly warriors popping out of luscious green jungles and cold, calculated camera movements designed to make the gunplay look clear and natural.

No doubt about it: “Triple Frontier” looks and sounds exciting, but when Pope reveals that his real plan is to kill and rob Lorea and then take all the money for themselves, the air gets let out of the protagonists. What began as a potentially noble sacrifice has turned into a selfish act of violence, and the movie is all too eager to punish them for it. Not with a farcical hand of god, like in the Bill Murray classic “Quick Change,” but to the dour extent of an Henri-Georges Clouzot film.

Society has failed these men. Now all they can hope for is to take part in this cash grab. There’s a meta-narrative in there somewhere, condemning films like “Triple Frontier” for exploiting the violence of war for superficial ends, but Chandor doesn’t delve into self-analysis long enough to make a point about it. His characters are laser-focused soldiers who are, in some cases, monomaniacal about their mission. If their mission is morally and ethically compromised, then they are too.

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That approach makes “Triple Frontier” thoughtful but also morose. The second half of Chandor’s film is an increasingly arduous trek across South America with more cash than the Incredible Hulk could lift, and we watch as our would-be heroes turn on each other, and turn against baseline morality, as they do whatever they deem necessary to accomplish the mission. The further they go, the more lifeless their surroundings, to the extent that they’ve seemingly killed the living essence of the movie.

“Triple Frontier” may do too good a job of subverting our expectations, as the slings and arrows Chandor and Boal fling at these thieves are sometimes protracted and lacking suspense. They excellently make their point about the significance of responsible soldiering, but maybe they could have done it faster, or with a few more exclamation points, so the rest of us could stay transfixed with the movie instead of mentally checking out after we recognize the underlying message and nodding in general approval.

And it probably would have helped if the cast were given more to play with. So trapped are our heroes in their situational awareness that they barely have room for personal conflict. Even the character who goes too far and jeopardizes the mission out of greed (we’ve all seen heist movies, there’s usually at least one of them) doesn’t go far enough to drive a visible wedge within the group. They’re too professional for that, which unfortunately makes them — on occasion — too professional to be interesting characters.

“Triple Frontier” isn’t the high-octane thriller you might expect from the film’s explosive beginning, although if it were, it would be one of the best-looking and -sounding high-octane thrillers on the market. Instead it’s a morality tale, a noble endeavor, but one that gets sidetracked by its own sleek delivery. Chandor’s film isn’t malleable enough to fit into the moral grey zones into which it ventures; it’s too battle-hardened for that. But it’s an ambitious and absorbing above-average thriller with something deeper on its mind, making this sometimes somber journey worthwhile.



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Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac Need to ‘Hunt Quickly’ in New ‘Triple Frontier’ Trailer (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The first trailer for the long-delayed and highly anticipated “Triple Frontier” plays up the political and financial aspects of this rogue war action movie, explaining how veterans returning home to their families often find themselves unable to pay for their children’s education or their own medical bills.

The trailer, which Jimmy Kimmel exclusively debuted on Thursday night, nods to those political undertones, but it’s all action set to classic Bob Dylan soundtrack as Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck lead a team of former elite Special Forces.

They’ve made a plan to take down a drug lord who has at least $75 million in cash stashed away. They find that mountain of money, but also a lot more than they bargained for.

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“There’s about $100 million waiting in that van out there. We are not leaving them any of that money,” Affleck says as they’re about to be surrounded by swarms of guards. “We need to hunt quickly.”

Affleck and Isaac lead an impressive cast that includes Charlie Hunnam, Garret Hedlund, Pedro Pascal and Adria Arjona. J.C. Chandor directed “Triple Frontier,” which has spent nearly a decade attempting to get to the screen.

It finally makes its Netflix premiere on March 15. Watch the trailer film above.

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Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac are ‘Masters of War’ in ‘Triple Frontier’ Trailer (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The trailer for the long-awaited “Triple Frontier” is finally here. Dating all the way back to 2009, the project has gone through many iterations of directors and casts, and even had Paramount drop the film, only to be picked up by Netflix.

What’s more, it was even reported that star Ben Affleck had at one point left the project, but he’s here in the first look for the film (though sadly his back tattoo is absent from the teaser).

Affleck stars with Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garret Hedlund and Pedro Pascal in a story of a group of former Special Forces operatives who reunite to plan a heist of a drug lord’s stash of money in South America, but do so for themselves rather than on behalf of their country.

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“You guys need to own the fact that we do not have the flag on our shoulders,” Affleck says in the film. “You cannot go back to your normal life after tonight.”

Directed by J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call,” “All Is Lost,” “A Most Violent Year”) and written by Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) the film plays on some of the economic hardships and income inequality experienced by some of America’s veterans.

“You’ve been shot five times for your country, you can’t even afford to send your kids to college,” Isaac’s character says in the trailer. “If we accomplished half of what we accomplished in any other profession, we’d be set for life.”

“Triple Frontier” debuts on Netflix and in select theaters in March 2019. Watch the first trailer, which debuted during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” above.

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‘Triple Frontier’ Trailer: Ben Affleck & Company Take Down A South American Drug Lord In Netflix Feature

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“Do we finally get to use our skills for our own benefit?” is the question that resonates through the new trailer for the forthcoming Netflix action-drama Triple Frontier.
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Independent Spirit Awards: The Complete Winners List (Updating Live)

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“Get Out” emerged as the big winner of the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards, held Saturday on the beach in Santa Monica, Ca.

Jordan Peele’s racially charged thriller — which captivated the country and became an unlikely indie blockbuster — took Best Feature at the annual show put up by Film Independent. Peele also took Best Director.

Top acting prizes went to Frances McDormand for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and Timothee Chalamet for “Call Me by Your Name.” Best Supporting Male went to Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards,” and Best Supporting Female went to Allison Janney of “I, Tonya.” That makes it a virtual clean sweep for the latter two actors on the eve of the Academy Awards.

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Greta Gerwig won Best Screenplay for her coming-of-age darling “Lady Bird,” while Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani took Best First Screenplay for their autobiographical comedy “The Big Sick.”

Notable below-the-line prizes went to Tatiana S. Riegel, who took Best Editing for
“I, Tonya.”  Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, director of photography on “Call Me by Your Name,” won Best Cinematography.

Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney (“Big Mouth,” “Oh, Hello”) returned to host the ceremony, an annual splashy gathering of Hollywood stars and indie film luminaries willing to brave the natural lighting of  a rare daytime awards show.

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The complete winners list:

BEST FEATURE
“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out” *WINNER
“Lady Bird”
“The Rider”

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Columbus”
“Ingrid Goes West,” Director Matt Spicer *WINNER 
“Menashe”
“Oh Lucy!”
“Patti Cake$”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. (Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
“Dayveon”
“A Ghost Story”
“Life and nothing more” *WINNER
“Most Beautiful Island”
“The Transfiguration”

BEST DIRECTOR
Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”
Jonas Carpignano, “A Ciambra”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” *WINNER
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Good Time”
Chloé Zhao, “The Rider”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” *WINNER
Azazel Jacobs, “The Lovers”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Mike White, “Beatriz at Dinner”

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Kris Avedisian, Kyle Espeleta, Jesse Wakeman, “Donald Cried”
Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick” *WINNER
Ingrid Jungermann, “Women Who Kill”
Kogonada, “Columbus”
David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer, “Ingrid Goes West”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Thimios Bakatakis, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Elisha Christian, “Columbus”
Hélène Louvart, “Beach Rats”
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Call Me by Your Name” *WINNER
Joshua James Richards, “The Rider”

BEST EDITING
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, “Good Time”
Walter Fasano, “Call Me by Your Name”
Alex O’Flinn, “The Rider”
Gregory Plotkin, “Get Out”
Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya” *WINNER

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Salma Hayek, “Beatriz at Dinner”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Shinobu Terajima, “Oh Lucy!”
Regina Williams, “Life and nothing more”

BEST MALE LEAD
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name” *WINNER
Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Robert Pattinson, “Good Time”

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *WINNER
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Lois Smith, “Marjorie Prime”
Taliah Lennice Webster, “Good Time”

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Nnamdi Asomugha, “Crown Heights”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Barry Keoghan, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Benny Safdie, “Good Time”

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

“Mudbound”
Director: Dee Rees
Casting Directors: Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram
Ensemble Cast: Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“The Departure”
“Faces Places” *WINNER
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Motherland”
“Quest”

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
“A Fantastic Woman” *WINNER
“I Am Not a Witch”
“Lady Macbeth”
“Loveless”

BONNIE AWARD
Chloé Zhao *WINNER

 

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It Took 15 Years To Make ‘Burden;’ Slow Sundance Deal Pace Is Bearable Burden By Comparison

Read on: Deadline.

In recent years, the majority of hot titles premiering at the Sundance Film Festival either find distribution deals in Park City, or shortly after when buyers and sellers return to Los Angeles before heading off to Berlin. The lack of bidding by Amazon Studios, Netflix and Fox Searchlight because each had few slate slots to fill has slowed the pace of deal making. But several and sellers and buyers told Deadline that doesn’t mean these films won’t find homes.
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‘Burden’ Star Forest Whitaker: Path to Racial Healing Starts With Acceptance (Video)

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Forest Whitaker says the path to racial healing begins with an acceptance of one’s mistakes — and needs to be followed by a discussion of how to right those wrongs.

That’s exactly the theme of the new film “Burden,” the Andrew Heckler-directed drama now in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. The 1990s-set film stars Garrett Hedlund as a young Ku Klux Klan disciple named Mike Burden, and Whitaker as a preacher who takes an interest in reforming him. Burden’s new girlfriend Judy (Andrea Riseborough) also helps him see the light, but not without cost.

“The first thing that has to happen is an acknowledgment of what’s going on and what’s happening and I think this film is making that acknowledgement… and then you can move into some form of recompense… Then you hopefully move into some form of healing that requires some acceptance. And then you have to move and continue to find some form of love.

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The film also looks at whether it’s possible to repay someone for the wrongs committed against them.

The film, based on true events, also stars Tess Harper, Usher Raymond and Tom Wilkinson.

Whitaker also has another film at Sundance: The comedy “Sorry to Bother You,” the writing-directing debut of Boots Riley, leader of the legendary hip-hop group The Coup.

Watch the video above.

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Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Mosaic’: What’s the Difference Between the App and HBO Show?

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Steven Soderbergh has always been known for experimenting and twisting the story structure of his films and shows. His latest “Mosaic,” an interactive murder mystery, is no exception. “Mosaic” became available back in November via an app on Apple and Android devices. But the “show” is premiering as a six-part miniseries this Monday on HBO.

So what exactly is the difference? Do you have to watch both versions to get the full story? Or is there stuff you’ll miss if you only watch one or the other? TheWrap is here to help you unravel the tapestry of “Mosaic.”

“Mosaic” the App

Watching “Mosaic” via the app is designed as something of a choose-your-own-adventure all building to a whodunit murder mystery. After watching a first chapter introducing you to wealthy children’s author Olivia Lake (Sharon Stone), you’re given the choice via a story map to follow the arc of a particular character. There’s Joel (Garrett Hedlund), a handsome, young, aspiring artist who lives and works on Olivia’s estate. And there’s Eric (Frederick Weller), who has been hired to secretly get Olivia to sell her property, but ends up falling in love with her instead.

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Since each chapter follows the point of view of a specific character, you may see the same scene from a previous chapter, but from a slightly different camera angle. Even the dialogue might be tweaked to suggest how each character perceives the interaction differently.

“Mosaic” isn’t a video game, so the story itself or the actions of the characters don’t change based on the choices you make. However, depending on which track you take and which chapters you skip, you may miss key details about a character’s alibi or clues about the murder. However, Soderbergh said in an interview with Vulture that while they tinkered with the idea, there’s no scenario in which you don’t find out the identity of the killer.

Discoveries

Embedded within the digital app are interactive clues and video clips called “Discoveries.” As you watch a chapter, you’ll receive what’s effectively a brief push notification that if you engage with it, will briefly take you away from the current scene. In one instance a lawyer is discussing a plea deal with her client in prison, and a discovery queues up a scene in which the lawyer and prosecutor are hashing out that deal. In another, when the murder victim’s hand is found, a bit.ly link pops up that directs you to a news article describing the event.

Watching “Mosaic” on a device effectively mimics the distractions and second screens that people already use when watching TV regularly. So these discoveries are designed to keep you on your toes and engaged. Soderbergh added in his Vulture interview that with the discoveries included, watching everything the “Mosaic” app has to offer adds up to approximately seven-and-a-half hours of programming.

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“Mosaic” the HBO Show

You’ll spot the differences between “Mosaic” the show and the app immediately, as the first scene of the HBO miniseries is a teaser after the murder has already happened, a scene that doesn’t arrive until hours into the app’s content.

From there, the show lays everything out linearly, providing some insight into how Soderbergh weaves viewers back and forth between the story’s timeline. In fact, the very first scene presented in the app doesn’t arrive until 24 minutes into the first episode.

The other differences are mostly cosmetic. Soderbergh uses alternate camera angles and takes of scenes that otherwise got left on the app’s cutting room floor. You’ll even get the “Discovery” clips woven in chronologically rather than how they’re uncovered via the app.

So Which Should I Watch?

If you want to absorb “Mosaic” at your own pace, on the run, and possibly more quickly, the app is the way to go. Individual story segments range from just a few minutes to over a half-hour. And the app is slickly designed such that it’s neat to play around.

But the HBO show offers a far more conventional and accessible entry point into Soderbergh’s twisty drama about truth and perspective. All told, you’re not losing much by sacrificing the ability to “discover” moments within the app, and it’s likely things will make a lot more sense, more quickly and inspire you to keep bingeing.

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‘Burden’ Creatives & Cast Speak On The Film’s Universal “Story Of Hope” – Sundance Studio

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Park City, Utah, is about to be flush with cash — and we’re not talking about buying apres-ski gear. Here are the most promising sales titles of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

“Tyrel”

After his stunning performance in “Mudbound,” Jason Mitchell is back in this drama alongside Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Cera and Ann Dowd — the latter or whom has had a great year as well. Buyers should go crazy for the film about a guy who goes on a weekend birthday trip to a cabin — but he’s the only black guy on the retreat.

“Lizzie”

There’s much intrigue for the film “Lizzie,” which chronicles the life of Lizzie Borden, who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother. Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart and Denis O’Hare star.

“Burden”

Garrett Hedlund also gave a stellar performance in “Mudbound,” playing the son of a man associated with the Ku Klux Klan. In “Burden,” Hedlund is a repo man rising through the ranks of the KKK, but everything changes when he falls for a woman, portrayed by Andrea Riseborough. The additional cast of Forest Whitaker and Usher should entice buyers.

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a high school teenager who gets caught in the backseat of her car with another girl. She’s quickly shipped off for conversion therapy, where she for the first time finds her place among fellow outcasts. The strong themes of pain and loss while finding yourself and your identity should make it a hot title — after all, it’s based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed novel.

“Juliet, Naked”

Perhaps one of the most anticipated films on the Sundance schedule, “Juliet, Naked” is an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel. Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd star in this comedic drama about a woman who is in a transatlantic romance with a once-revered musician.

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