Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Cell (2016)

Cell 2016 film poster 2.jpg

Directed byTod Williams
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onCell
by Stephen King
Music byMarcelo Zarvos
CinematographyMichael Simmonds
Edited byJacob Craycroft
  • Benaroya Pictures[1]
  • International Film Trust
  • 120dB Films
  • Cargo Entertainment
  • The Genre Company[1]
  • Don Nafia
Distributed by Signature Entertainment (UK) [2]
Release date
  • June 10, 2016
Running time
98 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Box office$735,841[3]
Cell is a 2016 American science fiction horror film based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film is directed by Tod Williams, produced by John Cusack, with a screenplay by King and Adam Alleca. The film stars Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, and Isabelle Fuhrman. The film was released on June 10, 2016 to video on demand, prior to a limited release scheduled for July 8, 2016.[4] Cell is the second film adaptation of a King story to co-star Cusack and Jackson, after 1408 (2007).
Cell was not financially successful, and was critically panned.




When an evil electronic signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users are instantly and dangerously re-programmed into rabid killers. Heading north through New England to find his estranged wife and son, Clay Riddell is joined by a group of survivors to battle the horde of murderous “phoners” as their world descends into apocalyptic madness.[5][6]



The film is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Stephen King. In March 2006 it was announced that Dimension Films had bought the film rights to the book and that Eli Roth would direct. Bob Weinstein, the head of Dimension Films, stated that Roth would make the film after finishing Hostel 2.[7] In February 2007 Dimension hired Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to write the screenplay.[8] On June 15, 2007, Eli Roth posted in his Myspace blog that he would not be directing Cell "anytime soon", as he planned to spend the rest of the year writing other projects. On July 10, 2009, he announced he had left the project, saying:
There was just sort of a difference in opinion on how to make the film and what the story should be, and there’s a different direction the studio wants to go with it. It was very friendly because it’s the Weinsteins, they made Inglourious Basterds and we’re all friends. I said, ‘I’m not really interested in doing the film this way. You guys go ahead and I’m going to make my own films.’ I’ve also learned that I really am only interested in directing original stories that I write, that’s another thing I learned through that whole process.[9]
On November 11, 2009, Stephen King announced at a book signing in Dundalk, Maryland that he had finished a screenplay. He stated that because fans didn't like the ending of the book, he had changed it for the film.[10]


John Cusack was the first actor announced to have joined the film in October 2012.[11] Samuel L. Jackson was cast as Tom McCourt in November 2013.[12] Isabelle Fuhrman was announced as Alice on February 5, 2014.[13] The next day, Stacy Keach was cast in an unnamed role of a headmaster.[14]
Filming took place in January 2014 over 25 days in Atlanta, Georgia.[15]


In February 2015, the producers of the film announced that Clarius Entertainment had acquired distribution rights.[16] The company, now called Aviron Pictures, later dropped the film.[17] Saban Films later acquired distribution rights to the film.[18] It was to receive its world premiere at FrightFest as part of the Glasgow Film Festival but was replaced at the last minute by Pandemic.[19] The film was released on June 10, 2016, to video on demand, prior to opening in a limited release on July 8, 2016.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Cell was panned by critics.[20] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 9% based on 44 reviews and an average score of 3.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches."[21] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 38 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[22] Bob Grimm of CV Independent wrote that the movie "is easily one of the worst adaptations ever of a King story."[23] Arts BHAM's Corey Craft called the film "dull", "a trial to get through" and gave it 112 stars out of 5.[24] Nico Lang of Consequence of Sound wrote that Cell wasted an intriguing premise and called the film "unnecessarily glum and grim," as well as "pretty dumb."[25] Patrick Cooper of Bloody Disgusting called it a "forgettable adaptation" and further stated that "the story packs absolutely no punch and the solid stable of actors look bored for most of the film."[26]

Imperium (2016)

Imperium (2016 film).png

Directed byDaniel Ragussis
Produced by
  • Simon Taufique
  • Dennis Lee
  • Daniel Ragussis
  • Ty Walker
Written byDaniel Ragussis
Story byMichael German
Music byWill Bates
CinematographyBobby Bukowski
Edited bySara Corrigan
Distributed byLionsgate Premiere
Release date
  • August 19, 2016(United States)
Running time
109 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Imperium is a 2016 American thriller film, written and directed by Daniel Ragussis, from a story by Michael German. The film stars Daniel RadcliffeToni ColletteTracy LettsNestor Carbonell, and Sam Trammell. The film was released on August 19, 2016 in a limited release and through video on demand by Lionsgate Premiere.[2]




Nate Foster is an FBI agent working to uncover terrorist plots. After some illegally imported caesium-137 is stolen, Nate is recruited by agent Angela Zamparo, who suspects the involvement of white supremacist groups. Through Zamparo's connections, Foster is introduced to a small group led by Vince Sargent, a local leader who is familiar with their prime suspect, conservative talk radio host Dallas Wolf. Wolf, a figurehead in the movement for his incendiary rhetoric, assembles a gathering of the largest and most influential groups in the northeast. With Sargent's introductions, Foster becomes ingratiated in the movement and meets Andrew Blackwell, the leader of a premier white supremacist militia, as well as gaining Wolf's attention by convincing him he can fund an expansion of his radio show. Foster also becomes fast friends with Gerry Conway, a white collar engineer and family man.
After earning Blackwell's trust by saving him during an attack on a white power rally by anti-fascists, Foster is brought to a crude military complex operated by Andrew's militia. There, Blackwell reveals that he has blueprints for the municipal water network of Washington, DC and is plotting an attack. The FBI begins to suspect that Wolf and Blackwell are working together after Foster meets Dallas at his home and discovers that his house sets off Nate's Geiger counter. Foster attempts to integrate himself into a possible plot by offering Wolf a substantial financial investment. Instead, Wolf becomes hostile and reports Nate to the FBI. It is revealed that he is merely an entertainer and does not believe in the cause. Blackwell is meanwhile also dismissed as a possible threat. With no further leads, the case is ordered to be closed by Foster's and Zamparo's superior. Angered at wasting his efforts, Nate prepares to have his cover identity leave the city.
Foster meets Gerry to make his final farewells. Sensing his genuine feelings of uselessness, Conway confides in Nate his membership in a domestic terrorist cell. It is revealed that Gerry and his allies are in possession of the caesium and are plotting to detonate a dirty bomb. With Conway's introduction, Foster joins the group as supplier of the explosive (TATP). Though his cover is nearly blown several times by the paranoid terrorists, Nate manages to locate the caesium in Conway's home, and the FBI stop and arrest the terrorists before they are able to carry out the plot. Satisfied that he has made a difference, Nate makes one last visit to Johnny, a teenager and former member of Sargent's gang who no longer believes in the cause.




On July 30, 2015, it was announced that Radcliffe had been cast in the lead role, portraying a young FBI agent who goes undercover to find and stop white supremacists trying to make a dirty bomb. The film marks the feature-length directorial debut of Daniel Ragussis.[3] Toni ColletteSam Trammell, and Tracy Letts joined the cast of the film on October 8, 2015.[4]


Principal photography began in late September 2015, with filming taking place in Richmond, Virginia and the nearby city of Hopewell.[5] The first images of Radcliffe on the set, with a shaved head, were released on September 22, 2015.[6]


In September 2015, it was reported that Signature Entertainment had pre-bought the rights to the film for the United Kingdom.[7] Lionsgate Premiere acquired the United States domestic rights in early October 2015.[4] The film was released in a limited release and through video on demand on August 19, 2016.

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 83%, based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The unsettling Imperium boasts troublingly timely themes and a talented cast led by Daniel Radcliffe as an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a ring of white supremacists."[8] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 68 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9] The film was a New York Times Critics' Pick.[10] The Los Angeles Times called it "impressively dimensional... tense, gripping and disturbing," [11] Slant magazine called it "bold political cinema,"[12] and Entertainment Weekly said the film was "a tense, chilling thriller... Radcliffe is brilliant."[13]


In the early versions of the trailer for the film, studio used archival footage from Poland's National Independence Day march. Footage contained national flags and portrayed legal national holiday as neo-nazi movement. After intervention from Polish Ministry of Foreign AffairsPolish League Against Defamation and internauts the trailer was brought down from YouTube by the publisher and the scenes were removed from the film itself.[14]