Thursday, September 13

Dual Reviews

I have actually been seeing so many movies lately that I have to double up on some of them to review.  There's been a couple that were so stinky that I won't waste your time raking them over the coals.  The two on board today captured my attention due to the leading men, Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill.  The guys did not disappoint but I must rant a little about one of their films.  Hit the read more button and let's get going.

I have said repeatedly how much I love films about the south, all kinds of films.  I sit transfixed at the dewy-eyed belles sipping mint juleps on the veranda and equally the danger lurking in the backwoods where the spirits are bubbling and the men tasting them have no trouble drippling it down from where there may have once been teeth.  Suffice it to say Lawless isn't much akin to Steel Magnolias but Deliverance may come to mind.

Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke are the real-life Bondurant brothers in 1931 Franklin County, VA, and they run a bootlegging business, selling some of the best hooch the locals and the cops have ever tasted.  Trouble, of course, comes or we wouldn't have much of a movie, so enter Gary Oldman as the local competition and Guy Pearce as a northern lawman out to shuo them down.  I won't go into a lot of the trouble but suffice it to say it is a rollicking, hollering, menacing affair that features a vast amount of bullets.

I'll assume a goodly number of you don't know who Tom Hardy is. 
He is a 35-year old Brit with rugged good looks that remind me of a young Richard Harris.  He has been in Black Hawk Down, Marie Antoinette, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.  You're gonna hear more from him as time goes on, I promise.  The British have long played characters from the American south and excel at it.  Hardy is no exception here.  He is the head of the family of brothers, a bruiser, speaking only when absolutely necessary.  I thought he greatly underplayed the part and as a result he made me wary and anxious.  I like that.

LaBeouf is the youngest brother, a loose cannon of sorts.  He wants to be recognized as a contributing member instead of an also-ran and in this endeavor he sets in motion the drama.  I have seen LaBeouf in a couple of things but he seems to stay beneath my radar.  Until now.  He brought a scary earnestness to the part. 

Top honors arguably go to Guy Pearce who is nothing short of terrific with his acting bag of tricks.  The two female leads, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska are not really given much to do but they certainly look the part of typical southern women who remain in the background of dangerous men.  A young actor I have never heard of, Dane DeHaan, as a loyal employee of the brothers, quite impressed me.

I mentioned in my "Coming in September" posting that Henry Cavill would be my reason for seeing The Cold Light of Day.  For that reason I was not disappointed but he is pretty much all that this film has going for it.  My two-star rating is a low two.

He is a 32-year hunk from the Channel Islands.  He has a sexy look that is undeniable.  While there is nothing wrong with his face (he reminds me a very great deal of 1960s heartthrob Gardner McKay of TV's Adventures in Paradise fame), it is really his overall appearance that rocks the house... absolute movie star material.  There's a move on, too, to make him a BFD movie star.  I first saw him in 2002's Count of Monte Cristo and since in Tristan and Isolde where along with James Franco, the smoldering good looks almost did me in.  He was most effective in TV's The Tudors and in The Immortals.  He has just finished Man of Steel, another trotting out of Superman, but doncha just know I'll be there on opening day?  If that's all the good news, the bad news is he will want to leave The Cold Light of Day off his resum√©.

He and his family are on a yacht off the coast of Spain and he swims into town alone on an errand.  As he is about to return, he looks out into the harbor and the yacht is nowhere to be seen.  Soon he discovers the yacht but his family is missing.  So again, let's not give away the store here, but we will add that getting them back is what the film is about.

And about a thousand other films as well.  They are too numerous to mention but did you see Taken with Liam Neeson?  It was better.  And Taken2 is coming out soon, too.  And that is my point.  Why bother with films like this, plots like this when nothing new is offered and the same old crap is served up every time.  There's a woman who will help, the bad guys come out from every nook and cranny, there is much running and of course the proverbial car chase. And you know from the beginning it is all going to work out... well, more or less.

So come on, Hollywood suits, knock it frigging off.  Aren't you better than this?  You're only in it for the money anyway and this one isn't gonna make you a dime.  Hell, even I saw it on a free pass...!

While we're ranting, let's take a moment out for Bruce Willis.  I don't like him.  He is one of the most boring actors ever.  I don't care if you hate me on this.  When I see that silent grimace, that whiny wincing, that arrogant smirk that he does in every scene of every movie, I just want to kick the crap out of the seat in front of me.  I have disliked him since TV's Moonlighting.  (And don't get a big head, Cybill... I didn't like you either.)  How he keeps getting hired is simply beyond me.  There are waaaayyy better actors.  None of them, however, appear with him in Expendables2. Oh God, don't get me started on that one!

Sigourney Weaver delivered a few good blows as one of the bad guys but really, M'dear, did you need the money?  Maybe she just wanted the Madrid locations which were yummy.  And she was one of the drivers in the great car chase so, hey, you go Sig.

I recommend taking a pass on this one but if you can't wait to see Henry Cavill again or for the first time (and I wouldn't blame you) and can't wait til he's Superman, then this less-than-admirable film is in your local theater.  

NEXT POSTING:  Review of Killer Joe

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