News / Arts & Entertainment

    Courier Delivery Becomes Race Against Clock in 'Premium Rush'

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    Alan Silverman
    In Premium Rush, a routine delivery for a New York bicycle courier turns into a race against the clock when a mysterious stranger tries to hijack the package.


    On any business day, crossing the street in Manhattan is likely to mean a close encounter with a bicycle courier. They speed from one one end of the city to the other with rush deliveries.

    Wilee is one of the fastest among the hundreds of two-wheeled messengers.
    But after he picks up a 'premium rush' package, he discovers someone will stop at nothing to keep him from making the delivery.



    Premium Rush is written and directed by David Koepp, whose action films range from Jurassic Park to Spider-Man.  He calls it a fresh take on an old Hollywood standby: the chase.

    Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    x
    Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    "We've all seen car chases a million times," notes Koepp,  "but the consequences for car chases are dented fenders or smashed windshields and in movies it's certainly been explored fully. The thing about a bike is the slightest contact can kill you. So you feel it when you're watching the movie that the risk is much higher."

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee. He's no stranger to action films like Inception and the current hit The Dark Knight Rises. He was intrigued by this character's embrace of that risk.

    "He is a guy that lives very much in the present, and there is a really strong upside to that," the actor says,  "especially because maybe nowadays more than ever we're a culture that is sort of obsessed with the future, making plans and 'what am I going to be?' 'what's going to happen not just next week, but five years from now?' All that stuff …and Wilee is a character who has very much turned his back on that way of thinking."

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    x
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
    Dania Ramirez co-stars as Vanessa, a fellow bike messenger. She says making the film was physically demanding because they really were in Manhattan traffic.

    "Most of the movie we were riding bikes, doing all the dialogue while riding bikes," she explains.  "A lot of the training - we trained for six weeks prior to going to New York City - was just a lot of endurance because you couldn't run out of breath. You had to get your scene across and still be going really fast in the midst of New York City."

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."
    x
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."
    Keeping the pace brisk, Premium Rush plays out in real time. Most of the action takes place within its 90-minute length. Michael Shannon co-stars as the villain chasing the valuable package. And dozens of real New York City bike messengers join the actors on screen.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.

    New in Music Alley

    Beyond Category: Arturo Sandovali
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 02, 2016 3:53 PM
    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.

    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.