In one of his last performances, Paul Walker plays yet another undercover cop, this time in a dystopian Detroit where a wall has been constructed around an area of unbeatable crime. “Brick Mansions” is written by Luc Besson (“Taken”), stars Rza as the villain, and takes some pages out of the plot from “The Raid: Redemption” and “Dredd”, as Walker and his partner for the mission bring parqour to new levels, jumping from building to building.
This week’s art documentary includes the work of Ralph Steadman, a Gonzo style painter who was thought to be out of his mind. “For No Good Reason” features the artist over ten years, discussing his past, including his friendship with Hunter S. Thompson and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. Johnny Depp also appears in the documentary going through the artist’s work and it might be nice to see this film if only to see what Depp is like when he’s not being a character actor.
Cameron Diaz is the sophisticated one, Leslie Mann is the goofy one, and Kate Upton is the dumb blonde with the giant rack. “The Other Woman” places these women into stereotypes in order to bring them together as the perfect woman after they find out they’ve been sleeping with the same pathological liar. Although the film could be a lot worse, given the scenario, it could also be a lot better, coming with very few laughs and the only real take away is Kate Upton in her first role, wearing a very revealing white bikini.
Legendary Hammer Studios releases yet another period horror film, this one being based on a true story. “The Quiet Ones” sees a Professor Coupland (Jared Harris) trying to prove that paranormal possessions are really just a telekinetic transference from the mind of those believed to be possessed. Boy, is he wrong. Trying to “cure” the young woman possessed, Olivia Cooke knocks her very first feature film role out of the park and makes this worth watching just for her performance.
In this foreign film titled “Young & Beautiful”, a young woman takes to being a call girl to look for answers during her sexual awakening and coming of age. Lead by the amazingly beautiful Marine Vacth, who is 23 years old, her breakout performance is said to be one of the best of the year.
“Bicycling with Moliere” is not my type of film. A French foreign film, the light nature of the comedy and involvement with high class situations leaves me quite alienated. I am not familiar with the play “The Misanthrope” which makes that impact lost on me. The inclusion of a woman aspiring to be a pornstar is somewhat intriguing in this high class, sophisticated comedy, but is still treated in a way that makes it mostly uninteresting to me.
Many often question the validity of reviews, especially in trailers, but with the help of some eloquent phrases, a trailer can resonate just a little bit more than it would without them. There are two phrases in the trailer for “Blue Ruin” that stuck out to me: “A film of almost unbearable tension” (Gabe Toro – Indiewire) and “has the plainspoken grace of Hitchcock’s thrillers” (David Ehrlich – Film.com). Both of these make this independent revenge flick that much more enticing.
Melodramatic by nature, “Bright Days Ahead” is a foreign love triangle of a different sort than most are used to. Instead of the young adult love triangles that we’re used to, this drama takes an older woman who is married, and involves her with a much younger man. Reminiscent of “Unfaithful”, the romance is soured by the husband finding out and the true meaning of love is sorted through. However, this aging love story doesn’t quite land with a younger generation.
Two years after his death, and Michael Clarke Duncan still has films coming out. This wannabe feel good golf movie “From The Rough” is so by the numbers that even the trailer feels long and drawn out. Somehow getting Duncan and Tom Felton in the cast, they feel like fish out of water in this heavy handed, “we can do anything” drama about a ragtag group of golfers who prove themselves. It’s hard for me to even type about let alone want to watch it.
A remake of a 1966 Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine film. Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, and Cameron Diaz. A comedic screenplay by The Coen Brothers. All of these are a recipe for a great film. The trailer itself is quite well cut, promising a con on Rickman’s character, Diaz playing against type as a Southern belle, and some expertly crafted sequences that allow for humor and a caper all at the same time. Top that off with Diaz in her underwear and having not seen Rickman for quite some time and I’m ready for this film.
“The German Doctor” sees a supposed Nazi doctor take refuge with an Argentinian family in Patagonia in 1960. His eerie nature mixed with the headlines of a manhunt make for some thrilling moments, even in the trailer. However, in a review I glanced upon, it stated that even knowing he’s a German doctor from the title is giving away too much and takes away from the film, which is really too bad given the dark, mysterious nature that this film exudes.
Thriller films on a train are not done as often as you think but they still feel completely overdone. This one location thriller titled “Last Passenger” sees six people stuck on a high speeding training figuring out the many ways to try and escape. With no one notable and the trailer not offering any motive, yet offering almost the entire film until the fiery conclusion, there’s really no reason to see this film after basically viewing the end.
In another one location, one actor venture, the likes of “Buried”, Tom Hardy plays a man on a long car ride as his life supposedly unravels. With excellent reviews and Hardy as an actor I could definitely see myself being captivated by regardless of what he is doing, “Locke” does not explain much but explains enough to get my anticipation up. With the synopsis containing the descriptor: “unique cinematic experience” I cannot help but agree.
Low budget science fiction was more or less highlighted by Joss Whedon’s work on the short lived television series “Firefly”. But, to me, everything after that basically felt like a retread or a lesser version and this new science fiction film “The Machine” feels the same way. With bargain basement effects and borrowed story-lines, the film sees a machine made to have the instincts of humans but of course the humans lose control of it and it becomes a threat. “Terminator” anyone?
Apparently American Samoa has one of the worst soccer teams in the world. Suffering from one of the worst losses on record of 0-31 to Australia, “Next Goal Wins” is a documentary about the rise of the team after they receive the hard ass Dutch coach Thomas Rongen. With his persistence and the team’s love of the game, this comes off very cinematic and the likes of what great sports films are made of. But it never quite feels like a full on documentary and for that it loses me.
The funniest part of the completely serious trailer for “The Suspect” is the use of highlighting the cast by the film’s they’ve been in like “Iron Man 3”, “8 Mile”, “Junction”, and “Oldboy”, all which were supporting or even very supporting players in those films. The trailer features several instances of weak dialogue and a convoluted plot that makes me feel like even when I find out how it ends, I will be severely disappointed.
As interesting of a story as a man impersonating a Nazi soldier to save lives is, “Walking With The Enemy” does not come off like a must-see, cinematic event. With Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley returning to the subject matter following his huge supporting role in the World War II infused “Schindler’s List”, he would have been the only reason for me seeing this film, but since I believe him to have a small role in this and with no one else really catching my eye, until I hear otherwise, there’s really no reason to see this film.