Snitch

SNITCH_COVER

 

Ric Roman Waugh is essentially nonexistent at this point as a Director in Hollywood, and has certainly not made a solid name for himself. “Snitch” is Waugh’s next chapter in his career, as he takes the reins on a story based on true events. The film features John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), a father of a kid (Rafi Gavron) who is busted by the cops for intent to distribute when he accepts and opens a package from a courier filled with drugs. He received the package from a friend and swears he had no intent to do anything with the drugs and was in fact set up. Jason (Gavron) is sent to prison, and is facing a term of 10-30 years. His father does not want to see this happen to his son, as he has complete belief in him and his innocence.

John decides to take matters into his own hands. He speaks with Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon), the prosecuting attorney to strike a deal to get his son out of prison. She agrees that if Jason gives up some names in the drug business that she will reduce his sentence. Jason has no names to give, so John asks Joanne if she will agree to shorten his son’s sentence if he is able to help them make some arrests. She agrees, and John goes undercover to work with the drug dealers linked to the drug supply. John works with one of his employees at his trucking business who is an ex-con, to get an introduction to the drug dealers. What ensues is not only an introduction to the local drug dealers, but a direct path to the head of the drug cartel.

 

Dwayne Johnson’s performance leaves a lot to be desired, as usual. That being said, this was definitely his type of role. I would have bought more into his role as concerned parent if his dialogue wasn’t so horrible. He isn’t as much of a tough guy in this movie as in others, but it is what it is. There is some entertainment value here. I do like Barry Pepper as Agent Cooper who is in the shadows of John’s undercover job, calling the shots.

I would compare this movie to the overall pace and flavor of “Contraband” with Mark Wahlberg, who tries to help his Brother-in-Law who gets in deep as a drug runner. Again, there is some entertainment value there, but not much else. This movie might not be the worst action movie, but I would still wait for Red Box on this one if you want to check it out.

 

– David B. Harrington

Advertisements

A Good Day to Die Hard

8S4X_a_good_day_to_die_hard_movie_poster

The ever-popular “Die Hard” franchise adds another piece to its collection of explosions and gunfights with John Moore at the helm, in “A Good Day to Die Hard“. This film finds John McClane (Bruce Willis) travelling to Russia to find his son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) who is in Russia as a spy for the CIA, unbeknownst to his father, who is there simply to bring him home. Jack is in the middle of a battle to intercept a heist for nuclear weapons. John is viewed as an annoyance to his kid until they discover that they make a pretty good team, and start taking out bad guys one by one.

diehardcb11

What you see is what you get with this film, and maybe even a little less. Even for this action franchise, this one fell short of what I would have liked to have seen. The first film as well as the last (“Live Free or Die Hard“) both brought a lot of fun to the franchise, and are really the only two strong pieces. This film fell in love with itself and forgot what it actually is, a very mediocre action film. The dialogue was horrendous at times, and the action very much something we have seen time and again.

The relationship between John and his son is obviously bad, but we are constantly reminded of this through cliche phrases and actions. Jack is constantly cursing out his father for being there, and messing with his plans, while John is trying to mend his relationship with his son.  They go back and forth with sarcastic remarks about being in the situation they are in. John is constantly saying something to the effect of “I’m supposed to be on vacation”. It all gets really old really fast.

A-GOOD-DAY-TO-DIE-HARD-Official-Trailer-2-2013-H-2512

There were some decent action sequences, but we were given nothing we haven’t seen before. But maybe that was the direction of this film to begin with, to give viewers more nonsense to chew on until the next film outdated and overused action move comes out.

**SPOILER ALERT**

There was an attempt at an intense side plot that just did not work. Komarov, a political prisoner has a partnership with his daughter to take nuclear weapons. We are led to believe at first reunion between him and his daughter, Irina (Yuliya Snigir), that she has betrayed him and sided with the bad guys to use her father to get access to the weapons. Then, come to find out, Komarov and his daughter were in it together the whole time, and try and take over in Chernobyl where the weapons are hidden. John and Jack have other plans, and blow the whole place to Kingdom Come.

I was fine with the 12 year gap between the third and fourth film, because a great film was added to this collection of action movies. At this point, it is really getting old, and needs to stop, unless they are going to bring something we have never seen before (unlikely at best). Do yourself a favor, and save two hours and go read a book and pray that this franchise dies here.

– David B. Harrington

Skyfall

We have now enjoyed 50 years of James Bond, and I have to say, they celebrated in the right way! There are a lot of reasons I go to see movies. And the fact is that James Bond films (this one included) are just plain fun! I remember when I first started collecting films almost 15 years ago, I watched “Thunderball” with Sean Connery. I was really taken in, and started watching other Bond films. To be honest, I really stuck with the Connery films, and have only broken outside of that to see the Daniel Craig films, and one or two with Pierce Brosnon.

“Skyfall” finds James Bond tracking down  Raoul Silva  (Javier Bardem) who wants revenge against M for betraying him years earlier. Raoul plots his revenge by attempting to take down M-16, where M’s office is located. After an explosion occurs at the building, and it is identified as an act of terrorism, Bond does all he can to keep M safe, including taking her to Skyfall, which is a location that is owned by the Bond family. They are attacked by Raoul and those employed by him, and M must face him face to face. Bardem plays his character really well. He has a creepy air about him that follows him from role to role. “No Country For Old Men”, one of my favorites flaunts a very creepy Javier Bardem, who is a lot more quiet and ruthless than this film, but he still brings a lot to the plate here.

I will keep from spoilers in this review, and just say that the film is worth watching, even if it is just to see the ending. This does also bring an end to Judi Dench as a part of the cast. She has been in several Bond films now, and will be missed. She is a character we have gotten used to, and has that certain quality to her that offers a lot to the Bond films. Bond is ready for more at the end of the film, as he reports ready for duty, which is great in the sense that we have more Bond films coming, which probably anyone could have guessed. I hope it continues with Daniel Craig, as he is a great fit for the character.

This might be the best movie in the long-running tradition of the Bond series, or at least it gives any other entry a run for its money. My personal favorite is “Goldfinger” which was a lot of fun to watch, and really pulled me in to want to watch more Bond Films, which I definitely look forward to even past “Skyfall”.

-David B. Harrington