Remembering Paul Walker Tribute site for actor Paul Walker.

Brick Mansions Movie Review

Adrenaline runs high in the entertaining, action-heavy remake of the 2004 French film “District B13.” Starring the late Paul Walker in one of his last roles, “Brick Mansions” packs gunfights, car chases, acrobatic stunts and humor into one stylized package.

In the urban ghetto of Detroit, which has been surrounded by a containment wall, narcotics officer Damien (Walker) goes undercover and teams with ex-con Lino (David Belle) to infiltrate a crew of criminals and defuse a confiscated bomb.

Originally set for a February release, the film came out five months after Walker’s death in a car accident, and it was a bit unsettling to see him running around in the future. But his love for action roles comes through clearly in this movie. From the detailed fight scenes to the subtle humor, Walker was in his element. He’s as gutsy and charming as ever.

Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA plays crime lord Tremaine. As the ring leader of the slums, RZA looks the part. But rarely do you believe a word he says when he attempts to be threatening. There’s too much hesitation and not enough conviction. Later, Tremaine reveals redeeming qualities, which RZA embodies with more believability.

There’s an element of camp to this movie as well, which allows those who aren’t the best actors — Walker included — to prompt a few laughs.

“Brick Mansions” was directed by newbie Camille Delamarre and written by Luc Besson, who also wrote “District B13.” Like the original, “Mansions” is set in the near future, although there’s really nothing in the film that shows us we’re a few years ahead other than the “2018” that is flashed on the screen.

The many fight sequences were choreographed using a technique called Parkour, which was created by Belle, also a star in the original film. Parkour incorporates vaulting, flipping, swinging, rolling, etc., to move through various obstacles in a scene. The action is frozen for a split second during many of these moves and extreme close-ups put us right in the action.

At times the Parkour technique requires the ability to suspend disbelief, especially when a character is jumping from one rooftop to another, climbing brick walls or overpowering as many as four men at once.

Focused on finding Tremaine, who he believes killed his father, Damien’s motivation is rooted in revenge. Lino’s subplot revolves around his ex-girlfriend, Lola. Tremaine has dragged her into the slums, which she had worked hard to escape. But she’s no damsel in distress.

Lola can fight and handle a gun — all while showing off quite a bit of leg in a waitress outfit that looks like a truncated schoolgirl uniform.

At one point, Lola and the main dame in Tremaine’s clique, Rayzah (Ayisha Issa), who sports a tiny leather ensemble, duke it out. Though it’s a cliched fantasy come to life, it’s still a hot scene.

At the heart of the film is the social commentary focusing on a community divided. Within Brick Mansions, there is no school, hospital or police station, and those who live there are mostly minorities. It’s made clear that the government could care less about the Brick folks, as they’re said to contribute nothing to society.

This is not a film that will shift anyone’s moral compass. But it’s worth it to see Walker in the last film he was able to complete.

‘Brick Mansions’ Behind-The-Scenes Footage

The late Paul Walker is seen having fun on the set of upcoming action movie ‘Brick Mansions’ in a new behind-the-scenes clip.

The star, who was killed in a tragic car accident at the end of 2013, seems to be thriving on the physically-demanding movie, which also stars David Belle and RZA.

“Brick Mansions, it’s an action movie,” he says. “We’re having fun!

“It’s part of the reason I wanted to do this movie, I was like ‘oh cool, I get to go play’.”

He later explains: “I get to go face some physical challenges, jump off rooftops, race cars and do fun guy stuff.”

The star was still completing work on the next Fast and Furious movie at the time of his passing, so earlier this month it was revealed that his two brothers will stand in for him in certain sequences that he had yet to shoot.

Brick Mansions is out today in the US and has received mixed-to-negative reviews; achieving a lowly 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A critic from the Detroit News, the city where the film is set, complained: “Director Camille Delamarre does a sloppy job of piecing everything together, and nobody on screen seems invested in what is going on. The feeling from the audience is mutual.”

Watch the behind-the-scenes clip below.


Brothers Caleb and Cody Have Mixed Feelings About Filling In

Paul Walker’s brothers have mixed feelings about filling in for their late brother. Caleb and Cody, who joined the cast of “Fast & Furious 7” to help finish Paul’s scenes, want to honour their older brother, but won’t be joining showbiz after the film.

Their sister, Ashlie, told Radar Online that the brothers, who are excited to film in Dubai, are being treated by the cast so well.

However, before agreeing to share Paul’s character Brian O’Conner,36-year-old Caleb and 25-year-old Cody weren’t so sure that they should do it.

“They have mixed feelings,” their sister said. “It’s emotional. And it’s been hard to step into Paul’s shoes and make a huge career move. They’ve been working with coaches on their scripts. They want to honour him and do the very best they can.”

Paul, 40, died on Nov 30, 2013 in a single car-accident. He had already filmed majority of his scenes for the latest instalment of the multi-billion film franchise, but still had a few more yet to shoot.

The production went on a hiatus afterwards as respect to their fallen cast member. Last week, the producers announced that Paul’s brothers have signed on with the film to finish his work.

The gig is just temporary, though, and won’t entire the siblings to enter Hollywood. Ashlie said that after the production of the film, Caleb, a restaurant owner, and Cody, a paramedic, will get back to their regular jobs.

“They’re not actors. This is just temporary,” Ashlie explained. “They just want to help complete the film because so many people were so invested. Paul was invested. Both have things about them that are so similar to Paul, even the way they walk. It was a natural decision.”

The entire Walker family, including Paul’s 15-year-old daughter Meadow, will be watching the film once it has completed.

Meanwhile, Vin Diesel posted a picture of Caleb and Cody on set with him on his Facebook page.

“When I heard the news, I left the production, grabbed a plane and took my family and Michelle back to LA… drove directly to his parent’s house,” he wrote.

“His Father said, Paul loved you Vin… I awkwardly and nervously said, aw come one… then he said… you don’t have to get along every second to love each other… so true.

“P.s. After spending time with his biological brothers, I must say to the parents, you raised some great kids.”

“Fast & Furious 7” is slated for April 10, 2015 release.

Win Brick Mansions Prize Pack!

brickmansionscontest

Though Brick Mansions might not be on everyone’s radar, it definitely should be. Starring the late Paul Walker, RZA and David Belle, the film is a remake of French actioner District 13 and like the original, it looks to promise high-flying action that’s full of jaw-dropping parkour stunts.

I’m a huge fan of both District 13 and its sequel, District B13: Ultimatum, so I’m incredibly excited to see what they’ve done with the American remake. To celebrate its upcoming release (this Friday, April 25th), we’re giving away a prize pack to one lucky reader. Included is some cool branded content (pictured below), as well as the following Blu-Rays:

  • Fast Five
  • G.I.Joe: Retaliation
  • District 13: Ultimatum
  • Fast & Furious 6

brickmansionscontest2

To enter, simply Like Us on Facebook and Re-Tweet our contest message. A winner will be chosen on April 30th at 11:59pm EST.

Good luck!

Brick Mansions Free Screening – Important Info

freescreening

Alright guys, so below is a list of the theaters offering this free screening next week. If you haven’t yet, please email me with your name, email address and which theater you would like to attend the screening at. I need to send a final list by Monday as there will be reserved seating for you guys, and if you’re not on the list, you won’t be able to get in.

SACRAMENTO
Theatre:
Century Stadium 14
1590 Ethan Way
Sacramento, CA 95825

Event Details:
Date: 4/23/2014
Time: 07:30 PM

SAN FRANCISCO
Theatre:
AMC Metreon 16
135 Fourth St.
San Francisco CA, 94103

Event Details:
Date: 04-23-2014
Time: 07:30 pm

FRESNO
Theatre:
Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 & IMAX
250 Paseo del Centro
Fresno CA, 93720

Event Details:
Date: 04-23-2014
Time: 07:30 pm

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