Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Movie Mini-Reviews - 27-03-12

Underworld: Awakening

No need for any kind of elaboration here:

Kate Bekinsale dons her tight leather and reprises her role as Selene after her absence in the lacklustre prequel previous to this installment. There was excellent use of 3D much like it was in Resident Evil 4 and the gore quotient increased exponentially this time round securing a future place in my Blue Ray collection.


Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2


NBC’s Heroes [more importantly its first season] dealt with how some ordinary people discovered some extraordinary powers after a solar eclipse. It was well written, directed, acted and produced and lasted four years because of it.

Chronicle is the result of someone watching Heroes and thinking: “How do I make this into a movie for the Youtube-obsessed crowd? – I know we’ll get three unknown [but very good] actors that we can pay in peanuts and shoot them in a dizzyingly distracting way focussing on how they deal with tremendous power while leaving the question of who/why they get their powers unanswered”.

Many went to see it but only the Youtube crowd could enjoy it. Ironic that the word "Chronic" is in the title.
Colonel Creedon Rating: *1/2

Safe House

Low-ranking CIA agent Matt Weston [Ryan Reynolds] wishes for a promotion out of his dead-end posting to Cape Town, but his mentor Barlow [Brendan Gleeson] is happy to keep him there a little while longer. When notorious ex-CIA double agent Tobin Frost [Denzel Washington], on the run from some nefarious individuals, surrenders himself to the US Embassy – he is sent to Weston's “Safe House” a secure facility where Frost can be held and waterboarded before he enters the US judicial system. Agent Linklater [Vera Farmiga] sends a CIA team to protect Frost led by Kiefer [Robert Patrick] which fails to prevent an attack by the people who really want him and so young agent Weston grabs his “house guest” and flees.

What follows is a well paced action/chase thriller with some excellent performances from it's star-studded cast including a surprise appearance from Ruben Blades as the counterfeiter Villar and Sam Shephard in an equally rare appearance as CIA director Whitford. The action is tight and was realistic right up until the last 5-10 minutes when the characters seem to adopt a level of Hollywood invincibility in an ending that has me suspect that it wasn’t filmed as originally written but it thankfully does not detract too much from the value production as a whole.
Colonel Creedon Rating: ****


Mark Whalberg, Ben Foster and Kate Bekinsale [no leather this time] star in this by-the-numbers thriller which while is exciting at times - is so utterly predictable it takes some of the cine-magic away. More entertaining than the baseline bog-standard but not as good as Wahlberg’s previous movie in this vein – The Italian Job. Worth watching for J.K. Simmons’ performance as the antagonising freighter captain.
Colonel Creedon Rating: ***

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