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.
October 22nd 2012
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Oct 30 2012 8:47AM
Tyler Perry is the second actor to play Alex Cross: the first was Morgan Freeman, who played the James Patterson character in Kiss The Girls in the late ‘90s and in 2001’s Along Came A Spider.
Physically, Perry is perfect to play the 200-pound, 6’3” police detective and psychological profiler. He and his partner (Edward Burns), his friend since Kindergarten, are hunting a sadistic killer (“Lost’s” Matthew Fox, who reportedly lost 35 pounds for the role). He know he’s crazy because he opens his eyes really wide, has lots of tattoos, and does chin-ups naked in his houseboat (and other than Tom Hanks, all houseboat-dwellers in movies are weirdos).
The film plays like an amateurish TV cop drama interspersed with blatant product placement for Cadillac, which crops up in vehicles, in window reflections, and even in the soundtrack, as Rival Sons squawk about driving their Cadillac right into the sun.
The biggest mystery of the film – why the killer is such a psychopath – is never resolved. And the motivation for the murders and the entire movie is wrapped up in flashbacks during a phone call confession in the very last scene that plays like a Scoobi Doo episode: “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling cops.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This film about high school teen angst, based on the novel by Steven Chbosky, features smart writing and honest characters. It is sure to appeal to teens and with those of us who lived through all the drama and mixed tapes that the ‘80s and early ‘90s had to offer.
The story centers on Charlie (Logan Lerman), a high school freshman still hurting from a friend’s suicide and a family trauma years previous. After some horrific first-week-of-school bullying, he meets Patrick (Ezra Miller), a rebellious, gay senior who just happens to be the step-brother of Samantha (Emma Watson), who quickly becomes Charlie’s dream girl. He’s adopted into their quirky group of friends and for a time finds an escape from the depression that threatens to overcome him, but things come to a head, as they always do. Lerman (3:10 to Yuma) gives a virtuoso performance as Charlie, never stooping to stereotype of the mentally ill.
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
Even when critics don’t like Madea, the films make obscene amounts of money. In this one Eugene Levy is the fall guy for the mob, with a price on his head, so his lawyer (Tyler Perry) puts him and his family where no one will ever come looking: with his larger-than-life aunt Madea (Perry again) in Atlanta.
This is definitely not one of his best (and may be his worst): characters are introduced and then disappear, and jokes fall woefully flat. A disappointment for Madea fans.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
An early childhood trauma turns Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) into a fiercesome Vampire Hunter, and also spurs on his anti-slavery stance. Historical elements like The Gettysburg Address and key battles are here, it’s just that they are accompanied by scenes of Lincoln with a bloody axe in his hand.
You should know what to expect when you go see a movie with a title this silly, so if you are looking for a straight-up vampire action thriller with lots of skull-splitting, this will do the trick. There is some great acting talent (Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper), there is lots of gore (which probably played better in 3D). Sure, there are missed opportunities around some hot-button issues, but it’s best just to enjoy the craziness and not think too hard.
Director Steven Soderbergh helmed this huge moneymaker for Warner Bros., which cost $7 million to make and has racked up $158 million to date.
Channing Tatum stars as the Mike of the title, who really wants to design furniture but finds the money and the attention he gets from stripping too addictive. He encourages 19-year-old Adam (Alex Pettyfer) to get into stripping; however, Adam quickly falls into the wild lifestyle that accompanies the business. Overseeing all is the delightfully greasy and greased-up Matthew McConaughey as Dallas, the club’s owner.
Special features are kind of disappointing. There are a few extended dance sequences from the supporting cast (neither McConaughey nor Tatum), a dance play mode that strings all the dance sequences together, and a short featurette. Commentary by Tatum on his real-life stripping days, or from director Steven Soderbergh on how he conceived the film would’ve been an entertaining addition.