Tune to The 2 Guys Named Chris Show every Monday to get the scoop on the latest new films and releases to DVD from a Canadian point of view. Julie Crawford, Film Critic for The Vancouver Courier, gives her two cents worth every Monday morning on Rock 92.
January 23, 2012
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Jan 30 2012 8:01AM
The story revolves around an independent contractor named Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) who is assigned a job in Dublin, only to find that she has become the target. Like a Bourne Identity with a female heroine, the plot really only serves to highlight Carano’s specialized kick-butt skills. The only injury sustained on set reportedly occurred when actor Ewan McGregor hurt his hand punching Carano, a former mixed-martial-arts champion. Co-starring Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender and Bill Paxton. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, so you’re guaranteed a jazzy score and some artsy flourishes to elevate the action above standard fare.
Actor Ralph Fiennes, directing for the first time, has set Shakespeare’s play in the present day, with modern weaponry and 24-hour cable news, which makes it a lot more palatable to those of us who have been out of school for a while. A general called Martius (Fiennes) is a born soldier, but his ambitious mother (Vanessa Redgrave) has other plans for him, including taking the title of consul of Rome. Martius is forced to leave the battlefield and his arch-enemy Aufidius (Gerard Butler), and ingratiate himself to a people suffering from food shortages and riots. A relevant play about how the 99 per cent get back at the one per cent, though Coriolanus has always been a play that was seized by anyone with an axe to grind (it was banned in France in the 1930s because of its fascist themes). Good action, flat-out fantastic performances.
From the guys who brought you Superbad, this film stars Jospeh Gordon-Levitt as a guy in his 20s who discovers that he has cancer. The film chronicles his diagnosis and treatment, with pathos and humor, and with his loyal, sometimes clueless, friend (Seth Rogen) by his side. The DVD has commentary, the story of how 50/50 came about, and deleted scenes.
This one’s set in the near future, where former boxer Charlie (Hugh Jackman), makes a hardscrabble living putting robots in the ring. But then Charlie’s long-abandoned 11-year-old son shows up, and they discover a unique robot in the junk heap that can change their fortunes forever. Comparisons to Transformers will arise, but filmmakers are smart to focus on the father-son relationship, so that the robot fights seem like an added bonus. Other than a few cuss words, this is a nice film for older kids and adults alike.
Julie Crawford Also writes Movie Reviews for The Greensboro News & Record