Feb 14 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

Aging detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is faced with the challenge of helping his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), a rough and tumble type who’s just been picked up for murder of a political figure in Russia. As it turns out, Jack is actually a C.I.A. agent working undercover to rescue a former Uranium thief, Komarov (Sebastian Koch). As father and son reunite chaos ensues, things blow up, and the double crossing begins. Staying alive, stopping the bad guys, and saving the day must commence, easier said than done.a-good-day-die-hard-poster01 Completely ridiculous in its premise, predictable in its twists; and, even more over the top in the thrills, chills, and spills department. So basically, what was never a believable franchise just got even harder to believe. Have we as an audience really gotten so desensitized to a good ole car chase that action has to be ramped up to such derisory proportions? Tough to say. What can be said is that overly sentimental scenes between Willis and Courtney are uncomfortably sappy, and dialogue otherwise is so skull jarringly bad, the prognosis doesn’t look good for this patient—Die Hard is D.O.A.? But hey, big explosions, big guns, and big stunts sure do give it that half witted college try. A Good Day to Die Hard is rated R.

Feb 8 2013

Side Effects

Emily (Rooney Mara) and her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) seem to have the world on a string, that is until Martin gets sent to prison for insider trading. Years apart from each other Emily develops a deep depression as she struggles to keep her life in balance. To fight this depression Emily and her various psychiatrists try different cocktails of antidepressants. As is common though, the side effects of each of the drugs seems to be more and more severe. Ultimately, when Martin comes home from prison Emily’s condition is enough to drive her to murder her own husband. This of course leads to an in depth investigation of all the doctors and drugs, which includes Emily’s primary psychiatrist Dr. Banks (Jude Law). At the risk of losing his license and other patients, Dr. Banks senses something isn’t right, but what is it? Solving Martin’s murder, clearing his own name, and finding truth in science all seem like tall orders, or are they?SideEffects-exclusive-lg Directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Burns, this intense and tightly woven thriller falls nothing short of greatness. With pokes in the eye to the pharmaceutical industry, Wall street, advertising industry, and the “new” American way, no stone is left unturned in this dark satire. The ensemble serves up interesting and believable performances, that includes the previously unmentioned Catherine Zeta-Jones. Cinematography is compelling in a Soderbergh way, bringing us to the edge, so to speak; and, with a score from Thomas Newman, magic is almost guaranteed. One gripe, the film may end a little too “clean” for some. Worth your while, Side Effects is rated R.

Feb 8 2013

Identity Thief

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is an accountant working at a large firm, plain and simple. Sandy’s home life includes a wife (Amanda Peet) and two darling children, there is nothing alarming about any of this. But, when his line of credit suddenly turns sour and warrants are made for his arrest, life gets a whole lot more exciting. As it turns out a woman by the assumed name Diana (Melissa McCarthy), has stolen Sandy’s identity and taken his good name for a destructive joy ride. Determined to clear his name and bring this thief in for prosecution, Sandy takes matters into his own hands– he’ll have to bring Diana to the police himself, and cue the fireworks to ensue.identity-thief-posterSadly, for as much promise as Bateman and McCarthy have together, and they do have good chemistry, the script they’re given to work with doesn’t really allow the two to really live up to their potential. Formulaic and mindless setups drop the pulse to a near flatline leaving the final product D.O.A. From a production standpoint the film comes off slick, so there’s a plus, and getting to see bounty hunters of various ilk played by Robert Patrick, T.I., and Genesis Rodriguez does make for some of the more interesting parts of the film. Consider this a rental when you’re really at a low for entertainment value. Identity Thief is rated R.