When you're given a script which calls for obvious, impending doom and you have a cast that includes Al Pacino and Christopher Walken it's best to just get out of the way and allow the magic to happen. However, in "Stand Up Guys" there's a sense that director Fisher Stevens was overreaching for something too complex and putting too many fingerprints on a canvas better left to the brush of the actors involved.
The story revolves around two friends, Val (Pacino) and Doc (Walken) who at one time decades ago were involved in organized crime. Val is being released from prison after serving a 28-year sentence in connection to a gunfight. Doc greets him outside the prison gate and a trip down memory lane ensues.
Taking place over a span of three days, "Safe House" stars Denzel Washington as Tobin Frost, a rogue CIA agent who has been off the grid for almost 10 years. In Cape Town, South Africa he walks into the American consulate and turns himself in. He's transported to a safe house run by young CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), desperate to get a new, more exciting post. Frost is considered one of the most dangerous men in the world and is now Weston's "house guest."
"Hakuna Matata—what a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata—ain't no passing craze." As theaters filled up last weekend to celebrate the re-release of one of Disney's classic movies in 3D, it's clear "The Lion King" is also not a passing craze.
After a warm welcome at the Sundance Film Festival in January, "Our Idiot Brother" hit big screens across the country for the first time last Friday. But be warned, this is not your usual Paul Rudd comedy.
If there is one tool that a filmmaker can use to get me hooked, it is nostalgia. "The Artist," of course, plays right into that.
In the not-so-distant future, America has fallen and through the rubble emerged Panem. This dystopian country is divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Katniss Everdeen lives struggling, starving and fatherless in District 12. Her problems become infinitely worse when her sister, Prim, is chosen in the Reaping to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death. Without hesitation, Katniss volunteers to go in place of her sister, her district's first volunteer in recent memory.
Fair warning - if your nerves are easily jangled, stay far away from the new action flick "Battle: Los Angeles." 15 minutes after the opening credits I was chewing at my fingernails. By the middle of the film, my hands were actually shaking. Right from the beginning, this movie takes off and doesn't let up until the final credits roll.
The last scene in "Django Unchained" (no spoilers, I promise) felt tone-deaf to me; it threw away any semblance of a point the movie had been trying to make. I wondered if Quentin Tarantino had begun parodying his own movies.
If you've seen it, you know what I mean.