Too much Butler and a little Bana

BLOCKBUSTER RENTALS

 

GAMER AND LAW ABIDING CITIZEN

 

So the choice is yours: do you want to see Gerard Butler instrument multiple deaths using his cunning and skill or would you prefer to see him kill multiple people with guns and his fists? Tough choice I know.

As for the films “Law Abiding Citizen” is obviously a bit of a better film, if only because it wasn’t made by the dudes that did the “Crank” films. It is directed by F. Gary Gray who has a long list of enjoyably average mainstream films (“The Negotiator” being the first that comes to mind).

The story…well, you see the judicial system is corrupt. Gerald Butler, who, even though he becomes a sort of unstoppable superkiller, is a humble techie type guy at the beginning of the picture who has to watch as two men break into his house and off his young girl and wife.

Jamie Foxx, looking to keep up his lawyer stats, strikes a deal that gets one of the criminals off, and the other the death penalty. Flash forward ten years. The time has come for justice to be done.

If you’re gonna have any fun with the movie, I shouldn’t tell you any more, cause if I do, then you won’t have fun with it. It is ridiculous, but enjoyable enough while it’s a happening.

As for “Gamer,” the concept…or what tries to be the concept, actually is more interesting that I figured it for. Criminals strike a deal to join this new gamer programming, where nerdy gamers basically control criminals and kill off each other in what amounts to a real life version of one of those war games you play on your PC.

There’s also some SIMS variant, with real people…but these workers clock in, and then give up their rights while on the pay clock. As with the other films from Neveldine/Taylor, you can expect hyper-action, video pixilation, not much plot, and a general feeling of sleaziness of which you are not sure of the origin or reason.

I did not much like “Crank.” A lot of folks did. So, who knows, if you did, maybe you’d like this one. I must admit I sort of want to see “Crank 2” cause The Transporter has his heart removed and must run around on battery power trying to find it. Imagine that! A dude without a heart running around to get his heart back…so it can be put back into him.

Butler has a heart, he just at times doesn’t have a mind. I wonder if a Neveldine/Taylor film will ever have one.

NOTE:  This was shot on The Red. The directors have never been ones to really go for a film look, rather prone to getting as much mobility into their consumer-esque looking shots. For a better example of usage of The Red, see “Knowing” or “Che.”

The Time Traveler’s Wife

 

Now we already know that Eric Bana thinks all Americans are surfers. So, to put a twist on it, he’s now a surfer who can surf through time. Far out!

Unfortunately, he can’t really control it. Bummer! That makes it hard to maintain a relationship. Luckily, the love of his life and somebody that he has known for all of hers—he met her as a girl for the first time when he traveled naked into time.

Speaking of traveling naked. When he travels, he loses his clothes…he can’t bring anything back, I suppose. So, one of the first things he must do is find clothing. What’s interesting, is usually once he does, he simply travels again back into time. Hardly seems worth the effort. And the clothes the little girl leaves for him, they always seem fresh. Does she go out and leave them everyday, and take them in from rain?

One interesting thing that the film does deal with (albeit in more of a hinting than direct fashion) is just how legit this relationship is. After all, Bana is the only man Rachel McAdams (sorry, that’s who plays the girl) has ever known. And she has always known him as an adult—a sort of father figure. Of course a little girl fell in love with him. And she waited for him. And they made it work. But did she ever really have a choice? To fall in love? To get hurt? He basically orchestrated a relationship that was doomed to be hard on her. And it started at an age where he should have known better and she couldn’t have.

McAdams is typically lovely as usual—and it distracts enough from the under acting the material lets her do. I suppose it’s a chick flick and I suppose it’s alright. But Hell, it can’t be that bad, because I can’t really find any reason to recommend the masculine Butler flicks over the soft Bana one. I don’t know. I guess you don’t need to see any of them.

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