Zac: So Lauren, you and I both saw Contraband this week, the new film staring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi about a bunch of smugglers trying to iron out a family debt; what did you think? [Read more...]
Arthur Bishop is the man. Working for a covert government(?) agency, Bishop is tasked with the hardest of the hits that come across their plate and most of the time he has to make things look natural. Hit after hit goes off without a hitch, but when he is asked to take out his mentor/contact with the agency, Harry McKenna, for being a mole, Arthur, is put into a very tight spot. Bishop respectfully completes his task, but when McKenna’s son, Steve, comes to Bishop to learn his ways Bishop reluctantly decides to take him up on the request. The two train and carry out a couple of hits along the way before the South African conspiracy that brought down Harry rears its ugly head again.
Oren Moverman’s The Messenger is a great honest look into the side of war we rarely see, the deceased family dealing with receiving the news of the passing, and the results are a film filled with sadness, anger, and humor surrounding this delicate and vulnerable situation.
The messenger in question is a staff sergeant, Will, who has returned home due to injury and is assigned to finish out his enlistment to deliver death notices to the bereaved families of the local area. His commanding officer, Tony, has been doing this for years now and is rather good at this potentially troubling work and the two bond over there experiences, clash over lack of experience, and try and deal with the loneliness and issues that surround their military lives.
Now there are plenty of deeply sorrow moments in this film but they are done with class and are dignified recreations of many people’s worse moments. You can’t help but be affected by these sequences and the actors involved all do amazing work in that you almost feel like you are watching a documentary on the subject and Moverman’s camera work really gives these moments a raw and real feel. With that said there is a lot more to this picture than trying to depress us as more and more bad news is delivered. The relationship between Will and Tony is compelling, funny, and always engaging [Read more...]
David Slade’s adaptation of the vampire graphic novel quickly becomes mess and while having one or two decent moments, it is for the most part and unmemorable failure.
Josh Hartnett stars as the police chief of a small Alaskan town that doesn’t see the sun for thirty days every winter. As he investigates a series of seemingly random acts of vandalism and violence, something a miss begins to figure in his head, but by then it is too late. Upon arresting a drifter he suspects of the crimes, (the always stellar, and best part of this film, Ben Foster) the drifter begins preaching their demise [Read more...]
James Magnold’s new film is the first big studio western since Unforgiven, and along with The Assassination of Jesse James harkens a call for a return to this genre in cinema as long as it is taken seriously and in talented hands.
Talent is abundant with the leads of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, staring as our villain and hero respectively, and James Magnold coming off the success of Walk the Line the movie was primed for success. [Read more...]