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Newsmakers - Preview


Preview by Jack Foley

ONE of Europe’s hottest up and coming young filmmakers, Swedish director Anders Banke (director of the award-winning vampire movie Frostbite) gives Johnnie To’s hit 2004 Hong Kong action-thriller Breaking News a spectacular Russian makeover in Newsmakers, coming to DVD in May 2010.

Russia’s key cities are being terrorized by a series of brutal armed robberies perpetrated by a lethally trained gang with no concerns about who gets caught up in the crossfire during their ballistic assaults on the nation’s banks.

Whether the casualties include the authorities or innocent members of the public is all the same to them so long as they get the money. On the run from every law enforcement agency in the country, the gang’s latest escapade sees them gaining the upper hand in a devastating shoot-out with the Moscow police department that turns the city centre into a virtual war zone.

Initially making good their escape, they soon find themselves holed up in a vast apartment complex on the outskirts of the city.

Part of the shoot-out and the gang’s escape are, by chance, caught on film by a TV news crew covering a minor car accident involving a prominent pop star and subsequently broadcast to a public already embittered by the authorities’ lack of effectiveness in the fight against crime.

To counter the effect of the news and to restore public support and faith in the police force, the young and ambitious head of its PR department comes up with an unusual solution to problem: the restoration of the force’s reputation by turning the capture of the infamous criminals into a live reality TV show that can be viewed by the entire nation.

However, the gang quickly becomes aware of the ploy and, now trapped in a small apartment with a taxi driver and his young son and daughter as hostages, develops a series of deadly countermeasures.

Meanwhile, a rogue cop with his own score to settle is also on the case and he has no time for playing a public relations game.

Opening with an extended, brutal and unflinching gunfight worthy of Sam Peckinpah, Newsmakers piles on the explosive tension from the very start with a story that topically parodies both the public’s and the media’s hunger for increasingly violent and exploitative reality TV.

Newsmakers will be released on DVD (£17.99) and Blu-ray (£24.99) by Showbox Home Entertainment on May 3, 2010.