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Posts Tagged ‘Sin City’

Tears of the Sun – Starring Bruce Willis

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tears of the Sun (2003)  Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day (2001), Brooklyn’s Finest (2010)), starring Bruce Willis (Pulp Fiction (1994), Unbreakable (2000), Sin City (2005), and many others), Monica Bellucci and others.  Tears of the Sun, a war film, follows a squad of U.S. Navy SEALs, led by the grimly charismatic Bruce Willis as Lieutenant Waters, in their attempt to rescue an American doctor, played by Monica Bellucci, and three missionaries in civil war-torn Nigeria, amidst the horrors of ethnic cleansing.  Short on dialogue, and character development, Tears of the Sun is full of atmosphere: shadows, ceaseless rain, lush vegetation, mud.  Willis’ Lt. Waters is a seasoned, determined military professional who, faced with the massacre of innocent civilians in this genocidal west African civil war, is moved to disobey orders, with inevitable dire consequences for many, including his dedicated squad of hard, but emotionally vulnerable men.  As good as Willis is, and however strong the cinematography, the weak screenplay and predictable events, especially toward the end, as well as the poor acting by the apparently talentless Monica Bellucci, drag the film down enormously.  Nevertheless, for the atmosphere, and the fans of the talented, squint-eyed, stubble-bearded Bruce Willis, Tears of the Sun may be worth watching.  It’s a shame its potential for a dark, brooding, emotional drama were not more fully realised. (PR)

See our posts on the film Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and on the films What Just Happened and Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order when available):

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Predators – Starring Adrien Brody, with Laurence Fishburne

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 17 December 2011

Predators (2010) Directed by Nimród Antal, produced by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City (2005), Planet Terror (2007), Machete (2010)), and starring Academy Award-winning Best Actor Adrien Brody (The Pianist (2002)The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Midnight in Paris (2011)), Laurence Fishburne (The MatrixThe Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions (1999-2003))Topher GraceAlice BragaWalton GogginsDanny TrejoMahershalalhashbaz AliOleg Taktarov and Louis Ozawa Changchien.  In this science fiction action drama, the fifth in the series of ‘Predator’ films, a group of diverse and deadly human predators (mercenaries, murderers, assassins and such) find themselves parachuted onto a game reserve planet, and in their turn hunted, for sport, by true Predators.  From the free-fall opening, to the final struggle, except for a slower interlude with Laurence Fishburne which perhaps could have been left out altogether, Predators is without a doubt action-packed, with some very good fight scenes, sharp directing by Antal, with the impeccable production values brought by Robert Rodriguez of Grindhouse renown, bringing the film back to some of the style and impact of the original, which starred, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Adrien Brody, though not quite the taciturn hulk offered by Schwarzenegger, is surprisingly good, as are most of the rest of the cast.  The special effects are strong and one must say that, though it’s not much more than an adrenaline- and testosterone-filled entertainment, Predators is a tense, largely effective, action film. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com for Amazon Instant Video downloads, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks (if available):

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Drive Angry – Starring Nicolas Cage

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Drive Angry (2011)(DVD)   Directed by Patrick Lussier, starring Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Adaptation. (2002)).  This action film, with clear grindhouse aspirations, starring cars, guns, gruesomely gratuitous violence, a pointless story, generally disappointing special effects, even in 3D, and bad acting all around, including on the part of Nicolas Cage.  Cage, whose acting has never been especially broad and deep (though he does have his fans), may have hit an all-time low here, but is in keeping with the rest of the film, which falls so far short of a Robert Rodriguez (Desperado (1995), Sin City (2005), Machete (2010)), raunchy, violent, campy, bad taste, yet edgy production that the only reason to write a review of Drive Angry is to warn potential viewers not to waste their time.  See the real Grindhouse (2007; Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof) instead. (PR)

See our post on Quentin Taratino’s film, Inglourious Basterds.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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The Pledge – Directed by Sean Penn, Starring Jack Nicholson

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Pledge (2001)(DVD)  Directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, with Robin Wright Penn, Benicio del Toro, Mickey RourkeSam ShepardPatricia ClarksonVanessa RedgraveHelen Mirren, Harry Dean StantonAaron Eckhart and others.  The Pledge, on the surface a good crime drama, is, in fact, an excellent portrayal of one man’s descent into obsession and marginalization.  That man, Jerry Black, is played by a superb Jack Nicholson, full of finesse, and few of his iconic grimaces and is captivating.  The cast, clearly, is a who’s who of wonderful, accomplished actors, and Sean Penn’s directing is strong, evocative, and inspired.  Benicio del Toro, though almost unrecognizable, as a retarded Native American, is magnificent, as are, in small, but pivotal roles, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Helen Mirren.  Robin Wright Penn as a down-and-out, single-mother, rural barmaid is exceptionally good.  The Pledge is not an easy film, it must be admitted, with its focus on serial child murder, and a number of gruesome scenes.  Nevertheless, it is an excellent, atypical, powerful and engrossing film and, honestly, a must-see. (PR) (See below for filmographies)

See our posts on As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson, What Just Happened, with Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn,  State of Play, with Robin Wright Penn and Helen Mirren, Whatever Works, with Patricia Clarkson, The Game, with Sean Penn and Straight Time, with Harry Dean Stanton.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

Filmographies (partial):

Sean Penn: As director: The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), Into the Wild (2007); as actorI Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), 21 Grams (2003), Milk (2008).

Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997), The Bucket List (2007), and many other excellent films.

Robin Wright Penn: Forrest Gump (1994), A Home at the End of the World (2004), What Just Happened (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, in post production)

Benicio del ToroThe Usual Suspects (1995), Traffic (2000), Snatch (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Che (2008)

Mickey Rourke9½ Weeks (1986), Buffalo ’66 (1998), Sin City (2005), The Wrestler (2008)

Sam ShepardThe Right Stuff (1983), The Pelican Brief (1993), Don’t Come Knocking (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Patricia ClarksonPieces of April (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Whatever Works (2009), Shutter Island (2010)

Vanessa RedgraveIsadora (1968), Julia (1977), Howards End (1992), Atonement (2007)

Helen MirrenThe Mosquito Coast (1986), Gosford Park (2001), State of Play (2009)

Harry Dean StantonStraight Time (1978), Paris, Texas (1984), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Inland Empire (2006)

Aaron EckhartErin Brockovich (2000), The Black Dahlia (2006), The Dark Knight (2008)

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Surrogates (Clones)

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis, theatrical poster

image: Wikipedia

Surrogates (2009) (DVD) Directed by Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)), starring Bruce Willis (Twelve Monkeys (1995), The Sixth Sense (1999), Sin City (2005) and others, including Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction (1994), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (to be released in 2011) and others in the Mission: Impossible film series).  Based on the graphic novel (comic book, to some) of the same name by Robert Venditti.  Surrogates, a sci-fi/action film with rather slick effects and a potentially intriguing storyline, relies a bit too heavily on relatively boring action and its poor script for even Bruce Willis, who can be quite good in this sort of film, to redeem it.

Today’s virtual reality avatars taken a couple of (for now, fictional) steps further. (PR)

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