Movie Review: ‘Ben-Hur’
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Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Screenwriter: Keith Clarke and John Ridley
Cast: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Haluk Bilginer, Rodrigo Santoro.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 123 minutes
Release Date: August 19, 2016

Since studios are big on remakes that use expensive CGI to achieve looks or stunts that couldn’t have otherwise been achieved when the film was first released, it only made sense that we get a remake for Ben-Hur. But just because it sounds good on paper doesn’t exactly mean that it should be made. Then again, if done well, it could avoid being a complete disaster.

And so that is where the new Ben-Hur from director Timur Bekmambetov finds itself. The film starring Jack Huston as the title character finds itself following other contemporary remakes that just don’t quite measure up to the originals despite their well-intentions to update the age-old story for a modern audience.

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Top 5 Things You Should Know About ‘Ben-Hur’ Starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman
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Yes. Ben-Hur is indeed another remake in the long line of remakes. The original 1959 film starring Charlton Heston ended up winning 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It may seem difficult to follow that up with a remake of the film, but Timur Bekmambetov‘s telling doesn’t seem to have any intentions of doing that. Instead, Keith Clarke and John Ridley‘s adaptation of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace draws inspiration from the previous two big-screen films that came before it, while also being sold as a faith-based film.

We were invited to sit down with a group of journalists to talk to Jack Huston, who plays the title character; Toby Kebbell, who plays Messala, Ben-Hur’s adoptive brother; and Morgan Freeman who plays Sheik Ilderim. The three talked about their experience on the set, the training they went through to prepare for the role, and the hesitations of remaking a classic. Check out the top five things you need to know about the film below.

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Trailer For New ‘Ben-Hur’ Starring Jack Huston
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Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for Ben-Hur, which is directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter).

The movie stars Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Warcraft), Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en), Rodrigo Santoro (300, Love Actually), Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland, The Next Three Days), Ayelet Zurer (Daredevil, Man of Steel), Sofia Black D’Elia (Project Almanac, The Messengers), Pilou Asbæk (The Borgias, Lucy), and James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Braveheart).

You can read more about Ben-Hur and watch the trailer below.

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Watch The Trailer For Skype Horror ‘Unfriended’
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Christine had you frightened of your car, Payphone made you afraid of public payphones (remember those?), The Ring had you terrified of your VCR, and now Unfriended will make you fear Skype video chatting!

A new trailer for Unfriended, the Timur Bekmambetov-produced horror that’s disappointingly not about unfriended people on Facebook getting systematically wiped out, is online. Watch it here below.

In the vein of I Know What You Did Last Summer, the movie has six friends, including Teen Wolf’s Shelley Hennig, threatened by an anonymous user who entered their Skype group video chat on the anniversary of the suicide of a classmate. In the trailer, we see that the student who died was cyberbullied, and these six video chatters likely had something to do with it, because the unknown person wants the guilty party to admit their wrong doings. If any of the participants try to log off the chat or stop talking, then someone will die, and we see that lucky seven somehow has control over the computers and the physical settings of each participant.

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Must Watch: First-Person Action Flick ‘Hardcore’ Preview Scene
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It was only a matter of time before someone made a movie entirely in the same style as popular first-person shooter video games, such as the Call of Duty franchise. With Hardcore, that time has arrived.

The movie comes from director Ilya Naishuller, who made a short film/music video in the first-person style. That video has scored millions of views, and caught the attention of Wanted, Night Watch/Day Watch, and the upcoming Ben-Hur director Timur Bekmambetov who proposed producing a feature shot completely using the POV style. Fearing it was too “gimmicky” Naishuller declined Bekmambetov’s offer at first, but after a little convincing he changed his mind.

While it might be a bit of a gimmick and would grow old fast if done too often, there’s no denying that Hardcore looks like a hell of a lot of over-the-top fun. You can read more about the movie and check out a few videos below, including a preview of the movie, some awesome behind-the-scenes peeks, and the original music video that inspired Hardcore.

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