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.
September 4th, 2012
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Sep 5 2012 6:13AM
Prohibition movies usually take place in the speakeasies of Chicago and New York. This one goes to the source of all that violence, where fires from illegal stills dot the hillside and local folk churn out ‘shine for the big cities. They called Franklin County, Virginia, “the wettest county in the south” in 1931, because the law and the moonshiners had an agreement and got along fine before the feds came in and ruined business. Doing a good trade are the Bondurant brothers (Tom Hardy, Shia LaBoeuf, Jason Clarke), but right around the time feds come in, an ex-dancing girl (Jessica Chastain) wanders into the Bondurants’ bar, looking for a job. When eldest brother Forrest refuses to pay up to the lawman from the big city (a menacing Guy Pearce), he starts a blood war between the law, the gangsters (Gary Oldman) and the locals.
This may be a career-making role for LaBoeuf and maybe for Tom Hardy (Batman, This Means War) who mumbles through half the movie but gets the best lines: “It is not the violence that sets man apart: it is the distance he is prepared to go.” Lensing is appropriately tobacco-washed and the true-story screenplay feels authentic, right down to the origins of those NASCARs.
From the team that brought you the very funny Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A couple (Emily Blunt, Jason Segel), due to great job offers, puts off their wedding for five long years and in the meantime faces all sorts questions about whether they should even be together in the first place. Segel and Blunt are both fantastic but the problem is the movie’s tone and its length (over 2 hours long): though it was billed as a romantic comedy, it gets mired in seriousness for a good chunk of time. Good performances, some laughs, but in dire need of a chop job.
Snow White and the Huntsman (out Sept. 11)
A fairy tale for grownups centering on the evil queen (Charlize Theron), who sucks the life out of nubile young maidens in order to stay young. Stepdaughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) has been locked up in a tower since she was a little girl, but when she escapes one day, the queen sends a woodsman (Chris Hemsworth) into the dark forest to bring her back. Good doses of violence mixed with magic in the form of dark armies, a troll, that sort of thing. There’s a fresh love triangle between Snow, the Huntsman and the Prince, but story overall gets lost in the impressive visual effects and stunts, so this is more about spectacle than substance.
Extended edition is packed with extras including a 360-degree set tour, a piece on reinventing the fairy tale, commentary with director Rupert Sanders, editor and visual effects supervisor, and much more.