Man on a Ledge, This Means War, and Safe House
Sometimes moviegoers don’t have time to head to the theater but that’s what makes the Redbox so convenient.
Head to the Redbox with me for JT’s Dollar DVD’s
It feels like picking random numbers in a hat. Let’s see what we got.
Let’s start off with one of the best films of 2012 so far.
Denzel Washington has been one of the most bankable stars in the last 15 years and his winning streak continues with the action thriller Safe House. Washington plays Tobin Frost, a CIA renegade that is arrested in South Africa after a black market deal goes awry and taken to the nearest safe house where rookie operative Matt Weston is the “Landlord” where special forces operations can happen such as an intense interrogation scene that have you gripping your scene. Mercenaries attack the safe house and Weston and Frost is on the run from ruthless mercenaries. However, Frost is one complex character as you never know what this guy will do to escape out of Weston’s custody. Reynolds and Washington play off each other with skill. We also get some good performances out of Brendan Gleeson, as Weston’s mentor and Vera Farmiga bringing in depth intensity to her potentially one note character. The action sequences are Bourne-esque and will leave you breathless. Director Daniel Espinosa keeps moving at a fast moving clip and his cinematography would make Tony Scott blush. Creating a good balance of gritty action and thought provoking dialogue. Safe House is a safe bet and it’s one of the best of the year.
SAFE HOUSE: GRADE A-
Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, and McG. Wait, McG? How did this man get this solid cast to sign for such a watchable disaster such as This Means War. Watching this made me think of films like Tango and Cash, 3000 Miles to Graceland. Where the cast and crew know that this is potentially bad material so the only way to make it watchable is to go with the flow. In only a parallel world would you see Witherspoon single and having issues trying to land a guy. She plays Lauren, a top ranked marketer that is put on a dating site by her obnoxious sister played by Chelsea Handler. Make this quick. She’s funny but her acting was lost in translation. On the other side, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are introduced to us as the two BEST agents in the CIA. Where have we heard this before? In every cliche action film of the last five years. Hardy plays Tuck, the suave but kind hearted agent while Pine stays in his comfort zone as the suave but cocky FDR. Lauren and Tuck meet up on a blind date and hit it off by going out on a Cirque de soleil date. Yeah, that’s realistic. Sat in the theater trying to hold back my laughter over this nonsense. Not only that, FDR and Lauren start dating after he doesn’t take no for an answer. Guess what? They are dating the same woman. (Gasps) Good lord, it’s like they took every spy thriller and romantic comedy , threw it in a blender and hit frapee. It doesn’t work especially the sparse action sequences that were without a pulse. Hey, McG! It’s called excitement, learn the word. With a lame script, flatlined action sequences and a ending that had me bursting out with laughter. This Means War is one of the worst movies of the year but it’s also the best worst movie I’ve seen.
THIS MEANS WAR: Grade C-
I wish it got better than This Means War. Unfortunately, I had the “pleasure” of sitting through the comedy of the year. Man on a Ledge. Funny thing is that it was actually a super serious thriller starring Sam Worthington. Worthington channeling Keanu Reeves plays Nick, an ex-cop that is on a ledge contemplating ending his life by standing out on a ledge. However, there is more than meets the eye or should I say ear. Just witness the idiocy of these characters. How does a movie this laughingly bad get Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris and Jamie Bell to sign on? Banks plays the good hearted cop that believes she can talk Nick down. At the same time this media-induced fiasco is happening. Nick is talking to his brother during a heist. That’s right, a heist! It turns out his brother (played by Bell) is a crackerjack at breaking into safes. Who would have thought it? We also get a beautiful woman who turns out to be his brother’s girlfriend who can get into super skimpy suits and break in. She’s played by Genesis Rodriguez, must have graduated from the Megan Fox School of Acting. All looks, no range. Harris is wasted as a slimy businessman that has no idea that he’s being robbed. Don’t you have cameras to th safe? When the twists and turns come into play. You can’t help but laughing your ass off at the lunacy put on screen. Did you know Nick could jump to other ledges and climb walls like Spider-Man? Yeah, me neither. Worthington gives a razzie performance, the cast looks confused and once again, I get another ending that made me laugh myself to tears. This had the suspense of an episode of Diagnosis Murder. What a terrible film.
MAN ON A LEDGE: Grade D-