Directed by Van Damme’s long-time pal and collaborator Sheldon Lettich (then hot off “Rambo III” – which he co-wrote with Sylvester Stallone), “Bet” has JC playing Legionnaire Lyon, in L.A to track down his brother whose apparently been seriously injured. Fleeing from two of the Legions security force who have orders to bring him back at any cost, our muscly short-stack reluctantly turns to the illegal bare-knuckle underground fighting circuit to raise the money he needs to help his brothers family.
Brendan Cowell (best known as an actor and writer on â€œLove My Wayâ€) has already proved himself a talented TV seriesâ€™ writer, and now, with â€œEmptyâ€ he earns a gold star for feature writing. The man knows the common Australian â€“ he knows the language (the ockerisms, in particular), the behaviour, the relationshipsâ€¦ and the predicaments we can get ourselves into. Heâ€™s quite a force, Cowell.
Every nook and cranny in this movie has been punched up for laughs and the creativity here is through the roof. I watched it in a theater full of hysterical kids so I know that they love it. And adults will be able to appreciate the very thoughtful undertones that teach tolerance, teamwork, acceptance, and individualism.
â€œI thought Guy Pearce had retired?â€ questioned my wife when informed he was in a new film called â€œTraitorâ€.
Itâ€™s a fair assumption â€“ Pearce certainly doesnâ€™t get in front of the camera as much as he did in his younger years. In fact, he and Jason Patric are probably the chairmen of the â€˜one film every 5 yearsâ€™ club (with Quentin Tarantino the treasurer, of course). But Pearce isnâ€™t lazy heâ€™s just not going to say yes to everything that comes his way â€“ especially if it means leaving his home in Melbourne for too extended a time.
You would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful depiction of the western landscape. If you long for a traditional western tale, this movie was made for you. Based on Robert Parkerâ€™s book of the same name, ”Appaloosa” has every device that made the cowboy of lore legendary â€“ stoicism, loyalty, fast draws, bad guys, pretty whores, and lots of dust. However, I personally find that strength is also the filmâ€™s only weakness. That predictable style of storytelling that once drew in audiences of yesteryear is categorically shunned by the more sophisticated moviegoers of today. The western as a genre has struggled to survive, held back by a simplistic and predictable story: [spoiler] Bad guy does bad thing in the lawless west. Good guy(s) then come to this one horse town and, after some difficulty, beat bad guy. Pretty girl messes things up a bit.
The chemistry between Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks is what makes this movie worth seeing. Banks is really coming into her own as of late and itâ€™s only a matter of time until she breaks out and finds her place as a genuine leading lady. Craig Robinson, who has appeared in â€œKnocked Upâ€ and more recently, â€œPineapple Express,â€ is refreshingly funny as Delaney and hey, even Justin Long steals a few scenes.
Seyfried is terrific in the lead role, Meryl Streep, as Donna, the pessimistic, done-it-all mother with a disgraceful past, is equally brilliant (and wow! What a voice!) and very funny, whilst Brosnan, Firth and Skarsgard, all exceedingly charming, will bowl you over with their surprisingly inept singing voices! (Though, and as many have pointed out, Brosnan’s probably the weakest link).
”The Flock” is a bit of a misfire â€“ one that probably wonâ€™t hurt Gere and Danesâ€™ careers too much because itâ€™s been quietly moved straight to video.
Isn’t so much of a stand alone flick, as it is a few episodes of an upcoming TV series strung together
â€œLakeview Terraceâ€ is a fun, typically ridiculous thriller that brings back the old â€˜nutty neighbourâ€™ storyline that was used so often in the early 90s â€“ with films like â€œPacific Heightsâ€ and â€œUnlawful Entryâ€ (Alas, most of the target audience are too young to remember those flicks so theyâ€™ll be saved from the case of DÃ©jÃ vu those over the age of 25 may experience). Difference this time is that, er, the bad guy is black and, um, the California bush fires are closing in on both good and badâ€¦. so if they donâ€™t kill each other, the raging fires might do.
”Sex Drive” is of the same vein as ”Pie” â€“ itâ€™s rambunctious, randy, and really, really funny. What gives it juice is a blend of fuel thatâ€™s so humorous because itâ€™s trueâ€¦. Well, mostly true (what? Nobody else has visited a truck stop only to receive a gift through the hole of the stall next door?).
My only complaint is why did we have to wait 15 years for the 15 year anniversary edition? Now thereâ€™s no time to lose, so break out those old silent movies and that slightly out-of-tune saloon piano and get to watching!
Clint fondly looks back at Billy Friedkin’s “The Exorcist” (1974)
Like “The Dark Knight” – for lack of a better example – this is another film that explores the notion of what a bad person is… and how nothing is black-and-white in today’s world. We’ve all got our bad side. We’ve all got our faults.
Two people (Diaz and Kutcher) discover they’ve gotten married following a night of wantonness in Vegas, with one of them winning a jackpot after playing the other’s quarter. The pair tries to undercut each other and get their hands on the money… falling in love along the way.
Though Caine is obviously the more talented of the two, the always-underrated Moore gives quite a good turn as the seemingly discontent company-woman who finds herself in two minds over her involvement in a large scale scam to steal millions in jewels. Unfortunately, the start and end of the film feature Moore in ghastly old-lady make-up (the woman is telling her story to a journalist), and like the film’s big twist, it just about puts you off the rest of the picture.
In between peopleâ€™s fingers being chopped off, thereâ€™s a road-thriller in here. At least thatâ€™s what the DVD sleeve tells us. Iâ€™m still looking.
Such a great movie â€“ Julia (so pissed his last film had to be â€œStreet Fighterâ€ â€“ nobody deserves to go out with a Van Damme movie) is amazing, but itâ€™s Hurt who really astonishes. He won an Academy Award for his performance as the mysterious Molina, and has never been as good. The man truly swapped souls with a shady Brazilian prisoner for the duration of the shoot. Braga plays the woman in Molinaâ€™s stories â€“ the lass in the films heâ€™s telling Arregui about. I take it sheâ€™s not supposed to be that good in her scenes â€“ being that sheâ€™s an actress in some crumby old Neo-Nazi flick â€“ but sheâ€™s actually rather divine. Perfectly cast.
A whirl of fluffy white clouds against a bright blue sky – sounds idyllic doesnâ€™t it? This is how audiences are introduced to â€œThe Happening,â€ writer/director M. Night Shayamalanâ€™s latest thriller.
Kudos too to director Louis Letterier (“Transporter 2″), whose action-film skills really come in handy here. He’s concocted his action scenes with flair and thought – never serving up anything resembling padding. But Letterier also deserves praise for injection a lot of heart and human drama into his film – something his earlier efforts have sorely lacked.
“The Secret Life of Bees” is a touching film that earns its tears and heartfelt sentiment honestly. The performances elicit real emotion, and though some elements of the script travel through well-worn territory, it’s an entertaining and affecting work. Those looking for award-winning cinematography or brilliant direction will probably find this film underwhelming and a little on the sappy side. While that honey-dipped sweetness might leave some art snobs disappointed, others will find “The Secret Life of Bees” is rich in heart and love.
It’s an entertaining look back at one of the most controversial presidencies in the history of the United States. It isn’t earth-shattering, but the performances will stick with you – and who knows, maybe 10 or 15 years from now “W.” will be seen as a divisive, epic piece of cinema – but it’s too soon to tell, we’re all still living out the story already in progress.