Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Week in DVD - April 11th

Point Blank (2010)

No, I'm talking about Point Break.  This is a French thriller, which means subtitles, but I don't mind in this case, as I always like to see how much of those two years of French I took in High School I've retained.  The answer is 'not much'.  You won't even notice the subtitles once it gets going, and at only 84 minutes, it wastes no time at all.  Anyone making an action thriller needs to watch this movie and take a few lessons from it.

The basic story is that Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) is working as a nurse in a hospital after a John Doe (Roschdy Zem) is brought in after an accident.  Shortly after, someone tries to kill him in his hospital bed, but Samuel is able to save him.  The next thing you know, Samuel is attacked in his apartment.  He awakens to a phone call telling him that his pregnant wife (Elena Anaya) has been kidnapped and they'll kill her if he doesn't help get this John Doe out of the hospital.

What's great about this is that it doesn't waste a lot of time with plot complexity or even all that much character development.  Many times, I'd have an issue with this, but it really worked here.  You never watch this asking 'who are these people?' or 'why are they doing this?'  They give you just enough to get invested and then from there it felt like the rest of the movie is just an extended chase.  With such a short runtime, you're practically out of breath after.  I loved this!

Point Blank is available streaming on Netflix right now and I can't recommend it highly enough.  I also hear they may be doing an American version, which somehow I feel they'll ruin by miscasting the lead and then bloating the runtime.  We shall see...

4 (out of 5) Death Stars

Enter Nowhere (2011)

Two random people are lost in the woods and find an abandoned cabin.  Then, they are joined by a third (Sara Paxton), and then eventually, a fourth, German guy.  They can't seem to find their way of the woods and it seems to circle back on them anytime they venture too far in any direction.  As more is revealed you find that the characters all think it's a different year.  What's going on?

Kind of a cool premise, right?  Unfortunately, the execution didn't quite work.  I didn't think it was a problem with the acting; I thought everyone was fine for the most part.  It wasn't really an issue with the fact that's it's pretty low budget either.

I think the issue is that this seems like something that would have worked great as a Twilight Zone episode.  It's too long and wastes a lot of time, especially once you know where it's going.  At only 88 minutes it still could have been trimmed down significantly.  Too much time is wasted getting to the point.

2 (out of 5) Death Stars - If you can catch it on streaming or on cable check it out, but don't go out of your way to rent this.

5 Star Day (2011)

After reading a horoscope on his birthday that tells him that he's about to have a 5-star say, Jake (Cam Gigandet) proceeds to get fired from his job, comes home to find his girlfriend having sex with another guy, gets his car stolen and then a water pipe floods his place and he has to evacuate.  Does that sound like a 5-star day to you?

He then sets out to prove that astrology is bullshit for his ethics class thesis.  He finds three other people born at the same time in the same hospital and then seeks them out to see if they've also had bad experiences.  It's actually kind of a cool idea, but it's too cliched and not enough really happens to keep you engaged.

Plus, the whole idea of needing to disprove astrology seemed silly to me.  Astrology is already silly, do we really need to disprove it as an actual serious theory?  Why not set out to disprove witchcraft while you're at it?

Cam Gigandet has mostly been in supporting roles, so he gets a chance to be the lead here.  He wasn't terrible, but there were times were his performance was a little off putting to me.  Like he was trying too hard. I think this may be due more to the script, which seemed a little plodding and repetitive.

2 (out of 5) Death Stars - Another one to catch on streaming or cable.

I actually don't have anything new on DVD to recap this week.  Both The Iron Lady and The Darkest Hour were released, but were two films I didn't get around to seeing.  By all accounts I've heard that The Darkest Hour is terrible (which actually makes me want to watch it more) and that The Iron Lady has a great performance by Meryl Streep, but that the movie otherwise isn't very good.  I should be able to watch both movies this week, so I'll have my DVD recaps of them up next time.

1 comment:

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