Thursday, January 10, 2008

Action-Packed/Hunkalicious Tales From My Netflix Queue


This week was a special treat. Hunks Galore! I've got mini reviews for Shoot Em Up (with Clive Owen), Shattered (with Gerard Butler) and Eastern Promises (with Viggo Mortensen) ...



MY KEY: A+ (Outstanding); A (Perfect); A- (Almost Perfect); B+ (Great);B (Very Good/Memorable); B- (Good w/some flaws); C+ (Above average);C (Average); C- (Okay, but disappointing); D+ (Bad); D (VERY bad);D- (Dreadful); F (An absolute waste of time)

Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

Cast: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci
Genre: Action Thrillers
Running Time: 86 minutes
Language: English
MPAA:
For for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality and language

MY GRADE: B+

NETFLIX SYNOPSIS: "When a mysterious loner named Mr. Smith (Clive Owen, Children of Men) delivers a woman's baby during an intense shoot-out, he inadvertently lands himself at odds with the ruthless Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti). Aided by the enigmatic DQ (Monica Bellucci), Mr. Smith is tasked with protecting the newborn from Hertz and his henchmen. Written and directed by Michael Davis, this bullet-riddled action thriller also stars Ramona Pringle and Chris Jericho."

MY TAKE: Look, you'll either love or hate this one. Me? I loved it, and not just because I'm kookoo for Clive Owen. Shoot Em Up is a pseudo parody/black comedy done with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek. Though this testosterone-soaked thriller also has an offbeat romantic subplot, the body count is outrageous. At least 2 to 300 villains and innocent bystanders get whacked, and the action is non-stop. As for Owen, rest assured, he's as sexy as ever. You could say his Mr. Smith is James Bond's darkest half. A perpetually pissed off loner with an obsession with carrots, Smith becomes a reluctant hero when he begrudgingly rescues a very pregnant damsel in distress. But the real hook here is the baby and the outlandish ways Smith devises to protect it. There are scenes and stunt sequences that are completely ridiculous, if not physically impossible, yet that's what makes this movie such a great pseudo parody. It really works!

Here's a film clip that's as outrageous as it is sexy. If you're under 18, go away.


Shattered (aka Butterfly on a Wheel) (2007)

Cast: Gerard Butler, Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Running Time: 98 minutes
Language: English
MPAA:
For some language and violence

MY GRADE: B

NETFLIX SYNOPSIS: "When their little girl is abducted by a kidnapper (Pierce Brosnan) with an elaborate scheme, Neil (Gerard Butler) and Abby's (Maria Bello) perfect life is instantly turned upside down. With the clock ticking on their daughter's life, the couple is forced to comply with the whims of a madman. Directed by Mike Barker (A Good Woman, Best Laid Plans), this white-knuckled thriller will have you on the edge of your seat."

MY TAKE: Yes, it kept me guessing. Yes, it kept me on the edge of my seat. And yes, the twist at the end took me completely by surprise. Never would've guessed it in a million years. The way good became bad, and bad good was brilliant. BUT there were some places that tested my suspension of disbelief. Not just tested. Hell, I'd go so far as to say they strained it. Even so, this was a solid thriller with great acting and a tightly wound plot. Gerard Butler and Pierce Brosnan were the icing on the cake.

Here's the trailer:


Eastern Promises (2007)

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts
Genre: Crime Drama
Running Time: 101 minutes
Language: English
MPAA:
For some language and violence

MY GRADE: B+

NETFLIX SYNOPSIS:"Viggo Mortensen reteams with director David Cronenberg in this intense thriller, starring as Nikolai Luzhin, a notorious London gangster. When Luzhin learns that a midwife named Anna (Naomi Watts) has discovered incriminating evidence against his "family," he finds his normally steely resolve compromised. Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Sinéad Cusack co-star."

MY TAKE: Granted, I've never had the slightest interest in Russian mafia movies, however, this one was an exception. Eastern Promises gives the viewer an inside look into a dark and twisted side of London, a place where the mob exists above and below Scotland Yard's radar. The casting director did an excellent job, especially with Naomi Watts who's a pro in front of the camera. But the true standout is Viggo Mortenson. He's spellbinding as Nikolai Luzhin, a mysterious 'driver' who works for the mob's head honcho. And my opinion about Viggo's performance has NOTHING to do with the NEKKID fight scene, though I admit it was very ... um ... interesting to watch. But seriously, what makes Viggo so compelling is how he disappeared inside Nicolai. He just became the character. From the beginning, you suspect Nicolai is not what he seems, and by the end, he's still got you guessing. Though the film was bittersweet, the ending left plenty of room for a sequel. BTW, the screenplay was written by Steve Knight, the same writer who did Dirty Pretty Things, a personal favorite of mine.

Here's the trailer:

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4 Comments:

Blogger Barrie said...

Okay. I am obviously not taking advantage of my Netflix! What an adorable blog!

Thursday, January 10, 2008 3:58:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Ferguson said...

I haven't seen any of these but I've heard good things about Eastern Promises.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Shesawriter said...

Barrie,

You definitely need to give all these films a look see.

====================

Bon,

It's excellent. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, January 11, 2008 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Dixie Belle said...

I watched Shoot'em Up this past weekend. Clive Owen was really sexy in it. It is sorta comic-book like. Some of the stunts totally unbelievable.

I haven't seen Eastern Promises. I'll have to add it to the cue.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 9:51:00 AM  

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