Jan 29 2010

Edge of Darkness

Detective Ron Craven (Mel Gibson) finds himself in the middle of a political cover up when his seemingly innocent daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) is gunned down on his front porch.  Unwilling to let the issue rest, Craven begins digging deeper into the mysterious death; but, more questions than answers are raised when the enigmatic Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone)appears to shed some light on the situation. Driven by a love for his daughter and a reckless attitude, just how far will Craven go to solve this tangled mess and what will be the ultimate cost? edge_of_darkness_poster Based on the 1985 BBC mini series of the same name this suspense thriller takes a while to get going, and, even once it’s in motion still feels a little sluggish in its unraveling. Regardless, solid acting from all involved certainly helps to drive the film. A few softer scenes with Gibson and his daughter as a young girl come across as particularly genuine, which is nice in that it gives the audience a chance to breathe for a moment. A particularly high body count to the film may be a bit much for some, although this shouldn’t come across as a surprise since one of the lead writers of the screenplay also happens to be William Monahan, the same writer who brought us The Departed. Matinee worthy, Edge of Darkness is rated R.

Jan 29 2010

When In Rome

Beth (Kristen Bell) is a young, up and coming curator at the Guggenheim. Always putting her career first Beth hasn’t been able to find love, although, while attending her sister’s wedding in Rome, life takes a turn in the opposite direction. Through a bizarre magical turn of events Beth now has five potential eccentric suitors including: Antonio (Will Arnett), Lance (Jon Heder), Gale (Dax Shepard), Al (Danny DeVito), and Nick (Josh Duhamel). In sincerity Beth wants the love of Nick, but given the “magical” circumstances of the relationship, her conscience can’t accept his advances. But what if Nick’s love is for real, can Beth politely dismiss the other men pining for her affection, and, will true love prevail?when_in_rome_poster Just when you thought romantic comedies couldn’t get a whole lot worse….brother hold on ’cause we’ve got a new reigning champ. Weak screenplay, both dramatically and comedically the cliches abound and don’t let up….ever. And, despite the acting prowess of some of the principals in this flick, this is a prime example that sometimes you can’t even make lemonade out of lemons, particularly when the lemons are spoiled. Worthy of a few chuckles at best, this predictable and paint by numbers script offers nothing new. Cheap production value bleeds the film of it’s soul further. I would probably even question renting this on DVD, When In Rome is rated PG-13.

Jan 15 2010

The Lovely Bones

When Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), an innocent young teen girl, is abducted and killed by a well camouflaged serial killer named  George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), the rest of her family is strained and stressed to new levels as they deal with the unsolved mystery and loss of a child. Now watching earth from heaven, Susie learns how her unrest motivates the living to make choices, sometimes good and sometimes bad. With this knowledge the new question becomes what is more important, vindication for her death, or the healing of her family? And then, what about her high school heartthrob? the-lovely-bones-poster Heavily steeped in computer generated graphics, director Peter Jackson continues on his streak of adaptations. And, as far as adaptations go, the source material provides some lofty expectations in the visual department– specifically since half of the film takes place in heaven. Unfortunately, in this go round Jackson comes up short with material that seems more appropriate for a made for TV movie. In the acting department, Susan Sarandon stands out nicely in her believable comedic role as the grandmother, Tucci taps into his creepy side just right for his role, and big things seem evident for Saoirse Ronan after this film. Somewhat flat performances from Rachel Wiesz  and Mark Wahlberg do little to help the film though. Insult to injury, the overall script lacks real depth to give the audience a reason to care about any of the characters and the overuse of narration seems to cheapen the feel of the production further. Probably best enjoyed as a rental if you plan to see it at all. The Lovely Bones is rated PG-13