5 items from 2014
Sabotage won’t be loved by many, except die-hard Arnold Schwarzenegger fans. Fair warning, it’s not Shakespeare. You probably knew that already, but in case you didn’t, I have done my job by warning you. Sabotage is a cops gone bad flick, directed by David Ayer, who helped write the penultimate bad cop flick, Training Day (2001). This movie definitely has gritty street cop in its DNA. Ayer co-wrote the film with Skip Woods whose credits include: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), The A-Team (2010), Hitman (2007), and Swordfish (2001). Woods is an action movie writer who gets to play with an action movie icon so let the bullets fly where they may.
The plot revolves around a DEA Special Operations Group that infiltrates and arrests/eliminates the drug cartels that proliferate around the globe. These specialists are great at what they do, just ask them, but their fortunes fade when »
- Steven Gahm
In writer-director David Ayer’s last law-enforcement drama, the remarkable “End of Watch,” there wasn’t a moment that didn’t feel lived-in and true. The same cannot be said of Ayer’s “Sabotage,” a gruesome and frequently preposterous B-grade actioner about an elite team of DEA agents who run afoul of a ruthless Mexican cartel — and each other. That the team’s battle-scarred leader is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the best and most substantial of his post-Governator comeback roles, gives a mild kick to this otherwise strained attempt at a latter-day “Wild Bunch” or “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” updated to the mean streets of metro Atlanta. Likely to repel even some of the hard-r action crowd with its intentionally scuzzy milieu and lack of a rooting interest, this $35 million Open Road release will be hard-pressed to top sleeper hit “End of Watch’s” $41 million domestic haul.
- Scott Foundas
Video-game adaptations are a dime a dozen, but it’s rare that any of them are worth even a cursory glance. The Resident Evil franchise, BloodRayne and Silent Hill are just a few of many that have fallen completely flat in their attempts to replicate the thrills of their source material on the big screen. However, based on casting alone, 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Hitman remake Agent 47 may actually be worth checking out.
With Homeland actor Rupert Friend stepping into the title role (replacing the late Paul Walker), and Zachary Quinto set to play the main villain, Agent 47 already has more going for it than most video-game adaptations. Now, it looks like the film will boast more than one baddie, with news that Thomas Kretschmann has signed on to play Le Clerq, the chairman of an nefarious organization called Syndicate International, which schemes to build its own army of assassins. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Feature Simon Brew 7 Mar 2014 - 06:13
We take a close look at 2001's Swordfish, and pinpoint the crucial lessons that wannabe computer programmers can take from it.
What follows gets quite geeky at times. We should point out that this is very much a tongue in cheek look at the film, rather than a desire to see filmmakers correct programming errors!
The first few minutes of Swordfish, once Travolta has hit us with this revelation, proceed to dissect the all-time classic Dog Day Afternoon, whilst Travolta chomps on a cigar and looks pleased with the arrangement of his facial hair. There's not much of it, but it's still a point of pride to the man.
As for the film itself? »
I will never take the Oscars for granted again.
In the United States, the Academy Awards show is second only to NFL games when it comes to must-see TV — and within the Hollywood circles I frequented, the Oscars were tops — so finding a social setting in which to watch has never been a problem. Here in Paris, it’s another matter entirely.
The Oscars aired two weeks to the day after my relocation to what many consider the seat of cinephilia, and I spent a good percentage of my adjustment period here polling locals on how or where to watch the show. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with this problem, as U.S. journalists in town for Paris Fashion Week scrambled to find Oscar parties as well (although, as I came to find, most were only interested in the red carpet, which wraps 3½ hours earlier).
But I »
- Peter Debruge
5 items from 2014
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