With Netflix’s Wheelman, writer/director Jeremy Rush set out to make something different.
Working with a simple setup (getaway driver gets sabotaged, spends entire night figuring out who wronged him), a first rate leading man in Frank Grillo and dynamite producer (Joe Carnahan, launching War Party with Grillo), Rush tricked out the action thriller genre entry like a fast car lover would with an old muscle car, replacing an old engine with sophistication instead of the ordinary expectation.
The result was an 82 minute thrill ride, punctuated by pulpy excitement and an exhilarating energy; an experience that triggered old school cinema which relied on its own idea of cool instead of recycling someone else’s model. Continue reading “Interview: ‘Wheelman’ writer/director Jeremy Rush”
All the fucks that are fit to print.
Hello there, folks. While the regular writing gigs allow me to distribute opinions far and wide, I do feel the slight urge of restriction when I type. The trigger finger denial. As in, being unable to say certain things in a certain manner. So I come here, and release some hot air.
Shall we dance? Hit the fucking button. Let this bullet round of H.W.I.K. Volume #13 commence! 1,000 words or less, here we go.
- People say “lit” too much. Like way too much. I know Tony X, the late to the party Blues fan, started this a couple years ago, but can we please kill it? During a conversation that took place in my backseat, a couple women said it ten times in an eight minute ride. TEN! It’s lazy. Get a better word. I’ll file this in the “bruh” category of nonsense.
- What isn’t lazy? The well-timed usage of the word “fuck”. It can’t be printed on certain news websites or said on AM radio air, but damn it, the word isn’t useless or indicative of a lesser mind. Some of the wisest minds I’ve been around slung this word like it was released from the jaws of Poe, Hemingway, and Franklin. You can’t overuse it, but please feel free to unleash it when needed. Anybody who thinks it’s lazy or inappropriate needs to lighten the fuck up.
- Uber Driver update: Four months in and I like my job, but there’s one sad confession. St. Louis city is dead as a fucking (see what I mean) door nail when there’s no sporting event downtown. I mean nothing. When the Cardinals were playing, I averaged up to 500 dollars a week. Now, it dips down to 300 dollars. Maybe it is due to the fact that our city is the second most dangerous city in the country. A few of my riders have taken four dollar Uber rides right across downtown because of a fear of getting mugged. I can’t blame them.
- In case you didn’t notice or couldn’t care less, I’m back on the air. Every Friday WGNU from 6-8 in the evening and every Tuesday at four in the afternoon on 590 The Fan. Slowly, but surely, I am doing what I want to do and getting paid for it. I don’t crack the bank in half with my earnings, but I’m pecking away. It feels good. I worked in hot ass warehouses for close to eight years. Have you worked in a warehouse? It’s far from glamorous and a rough way to make a living. I don’t miss it at all, and every time work without dirt covering my face and soreness in my knees, I smile.
- This is the first year that the NFL is losing relevance. I don’t hear as much about it as usual and fans are walking away. The recklessness of the league, danger of the game, or the straight outta assholeville workings of Roger Goodell are all fine reasons, but I think it’s just losing excitement. How about those Rams? You can’t tell me Stan Kroenke told Jeff Fisher to tank those games. That team didn’t change that much from last year or the years before. They went from average to pretty good in a short period. Crooked bullshit. No thanks. I haven’t watched a single quarter this year, and I used to watch from noon to sundown.
Giancarlo Stanton is a once in a lifetime talent. Marketable superstar and mayor of studville. Do what you have to do in order to get him. If it costs Alex Reyes, so be it. I’ve crossed that bridge. You are giving yourself at least 5-8 extra wins for one player over the next three years. Reward comes with risk. The Cardinals and John Mozeliak must be bold this winter.
- The Blues are playing good hockey, but there are some cracks in their facade. Back to back losses have made them a less than white hot shit 13-5-1. However, they are still first in the Western Conference and set up well to finish the month. Their special teams are shit and Jake Allen isn’t an elite goaltender. If they don’t fix these areas, you can kiss the second round of playoffs goodbye.
- It’s Hot Stove season in the MLB, folks. Remember, don’t believe a fucking thing you hear before it’s a reality. Rumors, sources, and reported statements are like itchy assholes in dry cold weather. If you scratch it, the area will only inflame and get worse.
- Frank Grillo and Mel Gibson are making a movie together next year, and I have no problem with it. Is Gibson a good person? Probably not. Did he say some demonic shit once upon a time (or back in 2013)? Yes. But he didn’t molest or sexually abuse a 14 year old kid, so let’s keep him out of Spacey-ville. He’s said a lot in his life, paid for it with years of his career lost, but he’s making a comeback. I am all for it. He’s a valuable player in Hollywood, proven by his Hacksaw Ridge Oscar showing. He’s not perfect, but compared to the new shit in Hollywood, he’s far from the worst.
- How far and fast can one person fall? Look at Louis C.K. A week ago, he had a film set for distribution, HBO deal, FX deal, and a publicist. Today, he has none of those. All for beating off in front of five women, which I am not condoning at all. He had a cup of coffee with the heat and paid the price. BUT…he will work again. He took the hit, fell down, but unlike Spacey and Weinstein, will be back.
- I interviewed Wheelman director Jeremy Rush today, and among the juicy things discussed over the 30 minute chat, was about the need for original films in today’s cinema landscape. No superheroes, reboots, or remakes. Just proudly made original stories like Wheelman and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Writer/director jobs that feel personal, different, and say something. We need more of those. Stop going for the easy cash, make-believe bastards. Be better.
- For fucks sake, can we please get COLD weather in the Midwest? The temperatures go down, sneak back up, and then trickle down. This makes the human body feel like absolute dogshit. Make up your mind, mother nature. Give me the cold weather. I like it. I love it. I want some more of it…now. Thanks.
1,100 words. Close enough.
I appreciate the time. Be good.
Jeremy Rush and Frank Grillo aim for something different.
Jeremy Rush’s Netflix original film, Wheelman, features a very angry Frank Grillo-and for good reason. Grillo’s expert driver is pulled away from a job right before he is betrayed and whisked around town by a mysterious voice on a cell phone. He is shoot at repeatedly while getting his daughter out of harms way and trying to figure out who kicked him down the rabbit hole of “holy fuck” bad nights.
Rush isn’t here to make a standard action film that gives you temporary arousal; Wheelman aims to be something else. In the 100 second trailer that dropped Monday, he dials up the tension by introducing old fashioned yet potent SOUNDS into the viewer’s eardrum. The burnt rubber of a tire on wet pavement. The sudden shocking sounds of broken glass from gunshots raining down on Grillo’s Porsche.
It’s like John Frankenheimer’s car chase scenes had sex with Michael Mann’s action bravado, and Wheelman is the fucking baby.
Excuse me, but I like angry Grillo. Frankly, I like all types of Grillo, but this is my favorite blend. The authentic man of action is at his best when he plays anti-heroes with nothing to lose and plenty of reason to be pissed off. When we first meet his driver with no name, Shea Whigham’s criminal is getting into the car and treating the car like a Starbucks, becoming all chatty with the man behind the wheel. Grillo wants none of that bullshit. He’s a professional and his world runs on time. Continue reading “‘Wheelman’ trailer: The love child of John Frankenheimer’s car chases and Michael Mann’s action sequences”