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Showing posts from March 5, 2017

Review: Enemy of the State

Will Smith is a hotshot attorney brave enough to take on a sleazy mobster (a well-cast but troubled-looking Tom Sizemore), and still have professional dealings with his ex (Lisa Bonet, still looking like she’s in her Lenny Kravitz phase long after their split), but is otherwise happy to play things safe. When his fellow lawyer wife Regina King angrily complains that a soon-to-be-passed bill will give the NSA unlimited power to spy on whoever or whatever, Smith gently brushes her concerns aside, living blissfully in somewhat apolitical ignorance. Don’t worry, it won’t affect me, right? Or will it? Smith is forced to become less ambivalent/ignorant about things when an incriminating tape (involving the murder of politician Jason Robards Jr., in the film’s opening) is unwittingly attached to him by an old acquaintance (Jason Lee, cast as a mild-mannered birdwatcher!) who saw way too much. Now shady government official Voight is employing his army of young, hi-tech surveillance geeks (inc…

Review: The Transporter: Refuelled

Ed Skrein plays Frank Martin, driver-for-hire, currently employed by hooker Loan Chabanol to help her and her fellow hooker accomplices seeking to take out a prostitution ring in France headed by a nasty Russian pimp (the singularly unimpressive Radivoje Bukvic). In order to make Frank more compliant, the girls kidnap his Bond-esque secret agent father Frank Sr. (Ray Stevenson), though the old man seems to rather enjoy the female attention.

Oh, this was a good idea. Let’s reboot the “Transporter” franchise for 2015, but instead of Jason Statham, let’s cast someone (Ed Skrein, brilliant decision to leave “Game of Thrones”. Bravo, son.) who is pretty much the complete antithesis of Jason Statham. Yeah, let’s cast a guy who looks like a cross between a Calvin Klein model and a lost member of the Goss family from 80s Brit pop/boy band Bros. Skrein simply won’t do, he doesn’t share anything in common with Statham other than stubble and an accent, the latter of which sounds incredibly force…

Review: The Brave One

Jodie Foster plays a radio show host who is walking with her fiancĂ© (Naveen Andrews) late one night when some thugs come along, injure Foster, and kill Andrews. Physically recovered, but troubled, Foster buys a gun, and soon pops her cherry with it. And then she uses it again. And again. And so on. Hi, my name’s Jodie, and I’m a Sociopath...I mean, vigilante. Right. Totally different. Terrence Howard and Nicky Katt play cops investigating the killings, with the former (whom I like to refer to as Det. Dumbarse) striking up a tentative relationship with Foster, after she interviews him on her show, unawares of the demons she is carrying. Did I mention he’s divorced? Mary Steenburgen plays Foster’s concerned boss, in an underwritten part.

Dull, unoriginal 2007 Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”, “Mona Lisa”) vigilante film spends about two hours attempting two things; 1) It tries to get you to root for the main character, and ultimately the idea of vigilantism, and 2) It wants you to think i…

Review: Chloe

Julianne Moore plays a top Toronto gynaecologist who suspects her academic husband Liam Neeson of having an affair. After a chance encounter with a doe-eyed young call girl named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), Moore comes up with the idea of hiring the girl to actively pursue her husband and see if he bites into the forbidden fruit. The two meet frequently to discuss the developments, and Moore finds herself in a mixture of confusion and arousal. Max Thieriot plays Moore’s teenage son, whom she spies on when he’s with his girlfriend (Nina Dobrev).

**** WARNING SPOILERIFIC REVIEW AHEAD **** The original French film “Nathalie...” was an absolute scorcher right up until the near the climax when something appeared to be about to happen between the two main characters and...fade to black, before starting again the morning after. That pissed me off so unbelievably much, because it wasn’t just my imagination (or the fact that I’m a pervert), it was going to happen and the director decided we proba…

Review: Carol

Rooney Mara plays Therese, a NY department store clerk in the 1950s, who is unfulfilled and indecisive in her life. In to her store walks the glamorous older woman Carol (Cate Blanchett), and although the latter is married it’s clear that there’s an immediate attraction. Before long they are embarking upon a relationship, though Carol’s marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler) and societal attitudes in general start to get in the way of their happiness. Sarah Paulson plays Carol’s former lover and most trusted friend Abby, while Jake Lacy and John Magaro play wannabe suitors for Therese. Cory Michael Smith (The creepy, nerdy Ed Nygma from TV’s “Gotham”) has a small but important role I’ll leave for you to discover.

Todd Haynes (“Velvet Goldmine”, “I’m Not There”) previously tried and failed at 50s Douglas Sirk melodrama with the overrated “Far From Heaven”. That film was pretty, but it tried to have its cake and eat it too, by blending sentiments of both the 50s and the modern era wrapped up…

Review: The Book of Eli

Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape (most of the Earth being destroyed via nuclear catastrophe), Denzel Washington plays the title character in possession of the title tome as he arrives in a small, Old West-style town. His arrival brings him to the attention of Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the town’s leader (i.e. Tyrant). After sending Solara (Mila Kunis) the barmaid daughter of his blind lover/slave Claudia (Jennifer Beals- whose character’s blindness is as a result of the nuclear apocalypse) to nose around Eli’s hotel room and belongings, he takes a particular interest in the book Eli is carrying with him, a book he’s apparently been searching many years for. In fact, he is completely obsessed with obtaining it by any means necessary. But you see, Eli’s on a special mission, and no one, especially Carnegie is going to get in his way. Basically, if you mess with him, it’s at your own peril. He escapes the town into the desert landscape with Solara, whilst Carnegie and his men go after th…

Review: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Macaulay Culkin is back as 10 year-old Kevin, who through a series of mishaps ends up on the wrong plane. His family (including parents Catherine O’Hara and John Heard) are set to vacation in Miami, but Kevin straggling behind, mistakenly boards a plane for New York. All alone in a big, not always friendly city he has to fend for himself. He does have his father’s credit cards though, so he’s able to check into the Plaza Hotel (with then-owner Donald Trump having a walk-on as himself), much to the suspicion of the hotel staff played by Tim Curry, Dana Ivey, and bellhop Rob Schneider. Eventually Kevin runs into a couple of familiar faces from back home…would-be robbers Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), who plan to rob a big toy store run by kindly old Eddie Bracken. The burglars want to settle a score with young Kevin, who in turn wants to stop them from robbing the store. Brenda Fricker plays a ‘Bird Lady’ who haunts Central Park.

On the one hand, this 1992 sequel from dire…

Review: Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin plays smart-mouthed 8 year-old Kevin who in a moment of anger and feeling unappreciated wishes his family would disappear. The next morning, through a series of mistakes, his entire family leave for their trip to Paris with Kevin still asleep in bed. He has been left home alone! Although it’s all fun and games for him at first, things take a nasty turn when a couple of burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) plan to break into the house. What they don’t know is that Kevin is no ordinary 8 year-old boy. He’s a well-prepared, enterprising and slightly sadistic 8 year-old boy who is going to defend his home no matter what. Catherine O’Hara and John Heard play Kevin’s parents, Gerry Bamman is Kevin’s jerk uncle Frank, Devin Ratray is Kevin’s odious older brother Buzz, and Keiran Culkin plays his weak bladder suffering cousin Fuller. Roberts Blossom turns up as a feared next-door neighbour who may not be all that he is rumoured to be.

I never really considered this 1990 Chris…