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Showing posts from September 16, 2012

Review: Abduction

Taylor Lautner stars as a somewhat angry teen who is working on a Sociology assignment with his long-time neighbour (and crush) Lily Collins. Surfing a missing persons’ website, they come across a photo that looks alarmingly like Lautner! Is it a mistake? Are mom (Maria Bello) and dad (Jason Isaacs) really his mom and dad? Before he has much time to take any of this in, some scummy Russian baddies (led by the clearly non-Russian Michael Nyquist) have somehow gotten a hold of Lautner’s whereabouts and attack his home. He and Collins are forced to go on the run, and even the CIA (led by Alfred Molina) appear to be after him. What do they want from him? Sigourney Weaver plays Lautner’s only real ally, his shrink. Denzel Whitaker plays Lautner’s fake ID-dispensing friend, and a guy who sounds a whole lot like Dirty Steve turns up for a cameo near the end in a tiny but important role.

“2 Fast 2 Furious” might well be the worst film in the once promising career of director John Singleton (“…

Review: Bloodbrothers

Detailing the trials and troubles of a working class Italian-American family, where brothers Paul Sorvino and Tony Lo Bianco try to persuade the latter’s sensitive son (a slightly too old Richard Gere) to join them in the construction business. Gere has more of an interest in working with kids, and gets a job offer by doctor Floyd Levine at the local hospital. Dad of course, sees social work as woman’s work, and belligerently disapproves, but he gets some support from his waitress girlfriend (played by Marilu Henner). Meanwhile, Lo Bianco’s frustrated wife Lelia Goldoni has become mentally unstable and her lashing out at their youngest son (Michael Hershwe) has led to his anorexia. Kenneth McMillan plays a disabled bartender, whilst various well-known character actors and faces play construction workers (Danny Aiello, Robert Costanzo, Eddie Jones, etc).


This 1978 Robert Mulligan (“To Kill a Mockingbird”) tale about a seriously dysfunctional Italian-American family is too broadly playe…

Review: Sleeping Beauty

Emily Browning plays a uni student behind on her rent who works three part-time jobs (in an office, a cafe, and as a lab rat). She applies for another job, this one a peculiar pseudo-bordello run by Rachael Blake where (mostly elderly) men pay to lie down with naked women, who are drugged. The girls are referred to as ‘sleeping beauties’. No penetration of any kind is allowed, however. At first, Browning is used as a waitress at parties for elderly men (and one woman) whom the girls serve wine to in lingerie that sees them topless. We see Browning with three clients over the course of the film, each with their own strange peccadilloes, ranging from rather tender (Peter Carroll) to careless (Hugh Keays-Byrne) to genuinely hostile (Chris Haywood). Then one day, Browning gets curious as to what goes on while she’s sedated...

Oh goodie, Australia is back to making pretentious, arty-farty crap again. Glorious. This stupefyingly silly 2011 film from writer-director Julia Leigh is highly rega…

Review: Mean Streets

Harvey Keitel plays Charlie, a small-time hood (and guilty Catholic) whose irresponsible, volatile pal Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro, giving a Master Class of screen acting) gets him into all sorts of trouble, whilst he runs errands for his crime boss uncle Cesare Danova, who wants him to dump reckless Johnny Boy (who has no concept of personal responsibility whatsoever). But Charlie wants to do right, by his faith, by his uncle, and by his friends. Yeah...probably not going to successfully juggle all three there, Charlie. David Proval is the comparatively easy-going neighbourhood bartender Charlie is buddies with. Richard Romanus believably plays a mid-level (at best!) loan shark whom Johnny Boy is in debt to (admittedly, there are few people in town he’s not in debt to), and who is fast losing patience. Amy Robinson is Johnny Boy’s epileptic cousin whom Charlie becomes involved with, much to Danova’s disapproval (though Danova hates Johnny Boy even more).

Authentic, low-budget 1973 Mar…

Review: Friends With Benefits

Justin Timberlake plays a graphic designer who is sought out by head-hunter Mila Kunis to take a job at GQ magazine in New York. She also shows him the local sights to entice him, and before long, the two have become fast friends. Oh, and he takes the job. One night watching a shitty romcom they come to the realisation that their relationships have been unfulfilling, and before you know it, both are agreeing to an arrangement of casual sex with no other complications. It works for him because he’s not looking for commitment whilst he’s ascending in his career, and it works for her because she’s sick of being messed around by douchy guys. No romance, no emotional support, just gettin’ jiggy wit’ each other. Y’know, kinda like what Jerry and Elaine tried on “Seinfeld”. Needless to say, they’re clearly attracted to one another, but unfortunately, they’re hell-bent on ruining any potential happiness they might have together and deny there’s anything more than ‘friends with benefits’ going…