Known for nail-biting thrillers like Offensive and Dead End, award-winning actress Angela Dixon won Best Actress at the Artemis, Women In Action Film Festival in LA and has garnered much praise from critics and audiences alike; ‘a towering tour de force’, ‘electrifying central performance, ‘powerhouse performance’, ‘superb lead turn from the totally committed Angela Dixon’. Read more
A powerful, captivating, thrilling, jaw dropper, the exciting film Good Time showcases a fine performance by Robert Pattinson and a creative script by Roland Bronstein and Josh Safdie. The crime story works its way into your head as Patterson’s protagonist finds himself caught up in a paradox created by wrong decisions. Decisions that will decide the fate of himself and his mentally challenged brother. It’s a hypnotic non-stop adrenaline rush from start to finish. Read more
Living in Venice can be fun, with beaches, board walks, piers, scenic store fronts and many other interesting places to go. But Venice has its dark side, crime, drugs, and yes stolen dogs. This investigative story leads to one message, don’t mess with a man’s dog. Read more
A tad too long, a bit slow, but enough impossible action to keep you awake to the very end. The fifth sequel Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation hits theaters this weekend as the alpha lone wolf for its male targeted audience. The cast from Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol returns in support of Tom Cruise with the addition of Alec Baldwin and newbie Jessica Ferguson and all put on a good show. While this one does entertain, it doesn’t have the punch of Ghost Protocol. Read more
Out of nowhere comes Lucy a wild ride of mind over matter from Writer/Director Luc Besson. This cunning thriller opens with excitement and never stops the action to the very end. It’s my idea of a true Sci-Fi thriller that tantalizes your brain with possibilities beyond belief, and then takes you even further with the question, What If?
The film poses the following premise: “The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what you could do with 100%”. Read more
Flying off the line Fast & Furious 6, a high velocity crime thriller, starts in high gear and never slams on its brakes till mid final credits. Stacked with a returning cast, their seasoned director and an amazing film crew the movie continues on its road to victory lane with yet another top sequel. Whether you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise or just like fast cars and unstoppable action, take this hot rod ride. Read more
Actor Dwayne Johnson gives a powerful performance in the action drama Snitch opening in theaters this weekend. The film, Based on true accounts, takes you on a suspense filled ride under the fine direction of famous stuntman Ric Roman Waugh. Although the film does provide insight about how the justice system works, the hard knocks story does add a lot of ‘Hollywood’. Read more
Director Tony Gilroy takes his time spooling out The Bourne Legacy just avoiding the snooze factor in this forth installment of the Bourne series. The film is steeped in a lot of superfluous character build up, long periods of uneventful scenes and an outcome that doesn’t deliver. If you are looking for an action thriller from this fourth Bourne you’ll have to sit back and be patient. Read more
Exciting, terrifying, intriguing and thrilling The Grey provides a stunning entry in the erratic first month of the year. Good acting all around, electrifying cinematography and able direction keeps the film moving and entertaining. If you like a white-knuckle panic film that challenges your worst fears, The Grey will have you in its snarling teeth.
John Ottway (Liam Neeson) has been working as sentry over an oilrig in Alaska killing ravenous wolves that attack the crews. It’s been a long and arduous job, but he and several crewmembers have earned some vacation from their pervasive jobs. Boarding an airplane with snow-crusted wings would worry Ottway, but he just wants to get out of the God forsaking place.
Unfortunately the airplane gets hit by an ice storm and crashes into a sub-arctic field. With a group of survivors, a blinding snowstorm, a small amount of rations and unsubstantial cover, the small band decides to walk out of the certain death tundra. Battling injury, freezing temperatures and a vicious pack of wolves. Ottway leads the men in a possible chance at life. When the Alfa male wolf figures out the extent of the pack’s prey, Ottway’s chances look bleak.
In a usual good performance Neeson makes his character strong but vulnerable to the elements. In the very beginning of the film we see Ottway shoot a wolf in full gallop just in time before it can do harm to the workers. He goes over to the dieing animal and places his hand on it’s slowing rising chest and feels the death of the wolf to its last breath. It’s an omen, a reaching out from his past and a warning of things to come. His Ottway knows the danger, has reason to fear it, but looses no time in facing his most fearless enemy.
I like the way director Joe Carnahan (Smokin Aces) takes control of the group making them feel the elements and showing how each step affects their ability to cope. The weather, terrain and the physical abilities of the survivors play a big part of the film. And Carnahan shows that with danger at every turn you can see the group slowly failing. The fight for survival gets so intense in the movie that I found myself looking to the sides of the screen checking to see if an attack by wolves was their next challenge. When the ferocious animals do strike, Carnahan makes sure you not only see the carnage taking place, but also the sounds of ripping and tearing of teeth in flesh.
The Grey has been rated R by the MPAA for violence/disturbing content including bloody images, and for pervasive language. The film could have a strong effect on the meek and timed. Please make sure you understand the reason for the R rating and use this caution wisely. VERY IMPORTANT: Stay past the credits to see a final clip that gives resolve to the ordeal.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A totally encompassing visual and audio experience of uncontrollable peril. (A)
An action adventure with a good story, Season of The Witch makes for some great Entertainment and it’s now on DVD. I actually liked the film better on DVD than when it ran in theaters because I was able to stop and rewind during some very intense scenes. If you like a good suspense/horror film then Season of the Witch set in the time of the Crusades should be at the top of your list.
The movie opens with some awesome scenes of the Great Crusades with battles lead by warriors Behmen (Nicholas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) who fight for Christian freedom. But as the war goes on and the two find themselves slaughtering innocent women and children they decide to desert their battalion. Months later they pass through a city where they have executed several witches blamed for a plague and are arrested for desertion. In the meantime one witch has returned from the dead and monks at a far off monastery must read a special passage over her in order to destroy her being. In return for their freedom Behmen and Felson accept the job of taking her to the monastery.
Dominic Sena (Swordfish, Gone in 60 Seconds) does a super job of directing Season of the Witch. He makes his characters real and exciting, creates an action packed suspense thriller and intermixes some awesome special effects. I liked the way he develops the character of the witch (played by Claire Foy) making her innocent, then cunning, then monstrous.
The movie features some exceptional performances by Cage and Perlman as the two heroes who have to put their lives on the line to save the plague worn world. I like Cage and even though he has had a few clunkers, this is surly not one of them. His fine ability to make his character fierce in battle, sympathetic to the witch, then strong in the face of horror shows admirably here. In support Perlman puts on an amazing show as Behman’s sidekick fighting with a vengeance while protecting his friend.
The film has some very good special bonus features including 7 deleted scenes (that should have been left in the film), Becoming the Demon (excellent for filmmakers and film buffs who want a partial lesson on CGI) On a Crusade (shows clips from the beginning sequence) and an Alternate Ending (I actually liked both endings).
Season of the Witch is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence and disturbing content so you may want to watch the film first before allowing immature children to join you.
FINAL ANALYSIS: This one goes right into my library for future viewing. (B)
The action thriller Fast Five with its hot rod theme leaves the past four episodes in the dust. High on energy, exhilarating plot and amazing chase scenes make this a must see adrenaline pumper. The opening ten minutes are so wild it took my breath away.
This episode of Fast and Furious finds Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel) on the run after breaking Dom out from a prison bus on the way to the lock-up. Looking for more action and going into hiding they end up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they set up a new scheme to knock off a corrupt businessman who controls the city. The plan set up by Dom seems foolproof until FBI agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) takes a stab at binging him and his crew down.
The directing by Justin Lin is creative, costly and daring putting his cast and stuntmen in some intricate positions while blowing up a train, toppling a huge bus and destroying a plethora of cars and other vehicles. But that chancy move brings an explosive film to the screen and that’s one of the reasons I highly recommend Fast Five. If he tried to outdo his dynamite enhanced 2009 Fast & Furious, he succeeded.
Although the acting’s nothing to write home about, after all we are dealing with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster who are best known for their looks and not their acting talent, their presence does make the film worth seeing. But, what saves the talent end however, comes from Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tego Calderon and Don Omar who provide a comical touch and Dwayne Johnson causing a lot of violence with their limited screen time. Add to this the hot chicks in the form of Brewster, Elsa Pataky and Gal Gardot and you have a recipe for high box-office revenue.
Fast Five is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language.