Must See: Run All Night

Thanks to Justin Chang at Variety for this early review of Run All Night, Liam Neeson’s new bad-ass thriller which has been on my radar for some time:

Someday the mobsters, petty thugs and crooked cops of the world will finally get it through their thick skulls that you should never, ever mess with Liam Neeson’s family — not that audiences have reason to complain in the meantime, so long as they keep getting action pictures as straightforward and robustly satisfying as “Run All Night.” In his third and arguably most effective partnership with director Jaume Collet-Serra (after “Unknown” and “Non-Stop”), the 62-year-old Neeson puts his world-weary killer instincts to good use as an aging Brooklyn hit man trying to protect his estranged son — a twist that pushes this tense, elegantly assembled chase thriller into full-on male-weepie territory, so heavy with sins-of-the-fathers anguish that it almost plays out like a latter-day “Road to Perdition.” Yet Collet-Serra keeps things moving so nimbly that the emotions never turn leaden, suggesting that this Warner Bros. programmer could display some much-needed commercial stamina in a season of box office disappointments.

Read the full review here.

Chang’s appreciation for the film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Neeson, Joel Kinnaman and Ed Harris, lines up with my hopeful expectations that are usually unrealistically high; especially for a genre that sacrifices its character development and story line for a good chase scene.  Still, I love the cast, especially Kinnaman of The Killing, and Neeson does family shoot-em-ups better than anyone.

So far my only concern is writer Brad Ingelsby who penned Into the Furnace, another eagerly anticipated film that majorly disappointed, but Chang seems to enjoy the script and the film despite its faults, which is always a good sign.

Fingers crossed it lives up to the hype.

: Early rating 7.8 IMDb

Advertisements

Watch List: Elephant Song (2014)

Currently on my radar is Belgian director Charles Binamé’s (The Rocket) new movie Elephant Song, starring Xavier Dolan (in his first English language acting gig), Bruce Greenwood and Catherine Keener.

Adapted by Nicolas Billon from his original play, the movie is a two-hander, cat-and-mouse psychological thriller about an institutionalized man and the information he may have regarding the disappearance of a psychologist.  According to most reports, the acting is excellent, the movie well-paced and the writing superb.  It may not be perfect and as T’Cha Dunlevy of the Montreal Gazette writes

“Binamé’s film has many elements of a gripping psychological thriller, and the verbal jousting between Greenwood and Dolan’s characters is rather entertaining; but by the time all is revealed, the punch doesn’t quite hit its mark.”

Still, I’m excited to see such great performers battle it out with each other.

Gazette Profile

IMDb: 7.0

tomato : Not yet rated

Trailers I’m Obsessed With: The Grand Budapest Hotel

From my favourite storyteller.

I was so caught up watching the trailer, admiring the poster and reading everything I could get my hands on about Wes Anderson’s new film that I forgot to post the trailer here.

If I was a cartoon you would see hearts in my eyes.

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum and many, many more.

Release Date: March 7th, 2014

Trailers I Like: Bad Grandpa

This was the funniest part of my evening at the movies, including the movie which was We’re the Millers.


Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Written by: Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville (as an 86 year old grandfather), Jackson Nicoll and poor, innocent Americans.

A Jackass movie that preys on people’s moral and ethical standards for a laugh, a welcome change from self-mutilation and violence. The trailer had me in stitches.

Release date:  October 25, 2013.

Trailers I like: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Feels like magic.


Directed by: Ben Stiller
Written by: Steve Conrad, based on the short story by James Thurber
Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn, Kathryn Hahn and Shirley MacLaine

I haven’t been a Ben Stiller fan for quite some time, at least not in anything other than a cameo here and there.  This, however, is the kind of movie I love.  Rooted in reality, the movie unfolds like a dream-scape highlighted by wonderful disparate images of embodied imagination.  Really, who doesn’t fantasize about Sean Penn calling to you?  Fingers crossed it’s as heartfelt as the Of Monsters and Men song that scores the trailer.

Release Date:  Christmas Day

Trailers I Like: Her (2013)

Poetic and heartbreaking.


Directed by: Spike Jonze
Written by: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlet Johansson and Rooney Mara

It’s been four years since Spike Jonze’s last feature, Where the Wild Things Are.  I’ve been counting.    Joaquin Phoenix seems perfectly cast in this sci-fi romance.  And did I mention that Arcade Fire did the score?  Must see.

Release date: November 20th, 2013

Trailers I Like: American Hustle

Yes, that’s Christian Bale with a comb-over.  May this man never stop acting.

 

Directed by: David O. Russell
Written by: Eric Singer and David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro, Michael Peña and Louis C.K.

Aside from reuniting the cast of Silver Linings Playbook, this is on my watch list.  It seems more tailored to David O. Russell’s style than his last. I’m also looking forward to seeing Amy Adams shed her good-girl image for a change.  Fingers crossed!

Release date: Christmas Day