Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Late Summer Round-Up

Knows what it is. Doesn't steer off course.

Intensely choreographed action and a strong backstory.

Chase to the Eiffel Tower is heart-pumping fun.

Stephen Sommers revisits Deep Rising, and it's definitely his most entertaining film since then.

Surprisingly enjoyable for something that was marketed as witless garbage.

Take a slice of Turistas, add a helping of Dick Laymon's Island, then jam Agatha Christie into all available orifices. Bingo! You get The Perfect Vacation.

The result is a little plodding at times, but it's not a total wash.

Director David Twohy avoids too many cliches and enjoys deconstructing the genre as he goes. Unfortunately, he goes manic with the cutting at the climax and almost derails everything.

Worth catching at a deep discount.

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's character study of a woman forced to compromise her life at every turn is a stunner.

A classic example of taut writing, razer sharp editing, and invisible direction.

The complexity of the set-up is adroitly simplified, so we feel everything Lorna feels.

Highly recommended.

The hurt is buried deep in the hearts of men in a bomb disposal unit in Iraq.

Director Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Point Break, The Weight of Water) delivers a compelling drama with an action pic skin.

We get to understand that for some soldiers, the edge of life is preferable to its center.

Powerful suspense sequences don't overpower the intimate stuff.

See this on the big screen.

It left me feeling flat and disconnected.

It strives to be a period Heat at times, even using actual music cues from that film.

Mann didn't make any of it particularly interesting.

The style kept audience involvement at bay.

As for the much-discussed "look"? Has a "live TV" look in parts.

Lacked atmosphere.

A couple of good action sequences, but disappointing overall.

For the budgets Mann gets, he should be churning out better stuff than Miami Vice and this.

Heat remains his best film. I think he knows it, too.

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