Fairly often I think a film lacks ... lets’ say anything very interesting, but the public dumps its hard earned money at the ticket window by the bucket. “Dead Man Down” is the exact opposite. I think that this is a superior crime/mystery/thriller and the public stayed away from the theater in multitudes. The poor producers made and paid for a very well acted, written and directed movie. They spent $30 million on the film but have made back only $11 at the box office. Neither life nor movies are fair sometimes.
Writer J.H. Wyman is among the producers and showed his commitment to the film with his own money. There is no higher proof of enthusiasm. His writing and the direction of Swedish born Niels Arden Oplev (who gave us the superb Swedish language version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) really know how to create and film interesting characters.
They had me in the opening shot with supporting actor Dominic Cooper doing a brilliant soliloquy on life and ambition while holding his newborn child. Never mind that his ambition is to become the leader of a gang of ruthless, murderous criminals. Watching him is his best pal in the gang, Colin Farrell. Farrell is highly believable as a revenge-driven man with a hollowed out soul. He meets an accident victim, Noomi Rapace, who wants him to exact vengeance for her on the drunk driver who maimed her. Rapace worked with Oplev in “Dragon Tattoo” and this collaboration is almost as good. We have a gradually reveled mystery —what is the motivation of the protagonist —wrapped in a tense thriller. We know that the vengeance seeker can be found out by the gang leader at any time and we know that he will die if found out. Terrence Howard is the gang leader, a striver with no qualms about criminality and murder. He has a great four minutes where he demonstrates that just being willing to kill isn’t enough. A successful gangster must also have absolute control over his own emotions — including fear.
“Dead Man Down” is a strong three-and-a-half saw blade thriller with great characters and plenty to learn about the important things in life.
It is R rated for brutality and language. There are a couple of well choreographed gun fights including one that takes place by error among more than a dozen guys in a closed room.
I liked this two-hour movie a lot, but the public didn’t.
There are lots of good looking films coming soon including “Man of Steel,” a new “Star Trek,” a new “Iron Man” and Johnny Depp as Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s Indian companion.
G.I. JOE: Retaliation
Fun, action-packed movie
“G.I. Joe” opens with a quick introduction to the Joes on one of their missions. After, the Joes are sent on a mission by the president to recover and disarm nuclear missiles in Pakistan, after the murder of the Pakistani president. The Joes go in and complete their mission quickly, while entertaining the audience with use of neat gadgets and skillful photography. However, this is to be the Joes’ simplest task.
Shortly after completing their mission, the Joes are ambushed in an aerial attack. Only three of the Joes, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) manage to survive by jumping down a desert well. It is then up to these three highly trained soldiers to figure out who was responsible for killing the rest of the Joes, and then stop them before they do any more damage. Their mission will find them up against the Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey), and the shape shifter Zartan (Jonathan Pryce/Arnold Vosloo).
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” did not skimp on the special effects. It involved many cool gadgets, breakouts from underground prisons, and exploding fireflies. Some of the gadgets included self-guiding bullets, and fence-melting gloves. The most exciting sequence in the movie involved a zip lining battle over a body bag on a steep Japan cliff. The action was entertaining and more than enjoyable to watch.
The movie also involved many sequences of hand-to-hand combat. From battles between ninjas to The Rock showing his wrestling talents, the movie had an abundance of action. The movie had no boring moments, and the audience was always kept on edge, waiting to see what would happen next.
The action made the movie, and the plot line would have severely suffered without it. I noticed many similarities between “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” and Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” I felt like some of the resemblances to “Mission Impossible” were more than coincidental in some cases, although no one climbed any hotels in Dubai.
The filming added to the excitement of the movie. The action shots were filmed in the same style as chase scenes from Jason Bourne movies. It added to the movie, and was done very well in my opinion.
Overall, I enjoyed “G.I. Joe.” It was not the sort of movie that you had to have seen the first movie in order to understand, because I will admit, I never did. It was fun, action packed, and a great way to spend an evening.
A graphic thrill ride
We’re gonna get you, we’re gonna get you, not another peep, time to go see “Evil Dead.” I’m not talking about the 1981 cult classic, oh no, I’m talking about the improved, graphic, much better 2013 remake. Five friends go on a trip to the old cabin that David and his sister Mia would go to as kids, in an attempt to help Mia get over a drug addiction, but when they find and read a passage from the Necronomicon, Evil is released and everything goes wrong.
“Evil Dead” is currently fifth at the box office with a total of $9.49M, and despite its small cast “Evil Dead” does have some familiar faces. For instance Jane Levy from 2012’s movie “Fun Size” returns to the big screen as the role of Mia, a recovering drug addict that is possessed by an evil demon. There is also Shiloh Fernandez, the upcoming star from the remake “Red Riding Hood,” in which he played the Big Bad Wolf. And in “Evil Dead,” performs the amazing role as Mia’s brother David. Last, but not least, is the lovely Jessica Lucas from “Cloverfield” and “Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son.”
If you saw the original and thought “That one sucked, why would this be any different?” Well let me tell you this, whether you enjoyed the original or not, you will like this movie. Despite its incredibly graphic feature, this remake involves a good story line, great acting, and close to realistic special affects. “Evil Dead” is one of the few times where the remake beats the original. If you want to keep your lunch or not a big fan of horror, I would recommend something else. But if you are a horror freak or looking for a scare, this movie is for you.