With his good looks, Liev Schreiber (TV's Ray Donovan) seems born to play an astronaut. In Magnet Releasing's The Last Days on Mars, he finally gets the chance. As chief systems officer Vincent Campbell, he's part of Aurora's six-month mission on the red planet with only 19 hours left to go before heading home. What could go wrong?
According to The Slumber Party Massacre, young women love to have group sleepovers so fun that the girls don't have the good sense to leave the house when their party is crashed by the arrival of a drill-wielding serial killer.
We vilify people for bad behavior in real life, yet celebrate it in our entertainment, particularly on the small screen. When the results are as strong as the current crop, all new (or new-ish) to DVD and/or Blu-ray, why question the disconnect?
Prior to his Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi cut his superhero-movie teeth on 1990's Darkman, a character of his own creation. Although it's clearly not the most polished of his works, the summer sleeper plays even better as the years tick by. Look no further than Shout! Factory's colorful re-release on Blu-ray.
Someday, celebrity cyclist Lance Armstrong may regret hiring Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to document his 2009 "comeback," but I doubt it. As The Armstrong Lie demonstrates time and again for two mostly gripping hours, the athlete is still unable to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
Fans of pure action cinema are apt to grow delirious with glee over The Raid: Redemption,
an Indonesian crime thriller that relies so much upon the universal
language of violence, one could enjoy it without subtitles.
Opening Friday in area theaters, the film carries the barest of plots. For 10 years, a much-feared mobster in a 15th-floor compound has ruled over a decrepit apartment building housing not only his narcotic enterprise, but also the dregs of society. Finally, the local SWAT team has garnered the guts to take it down, one ascending stairwell at a time – corner by corner, room by room, floor by floor.
The mission goes as planned until the fifth floor, when the proverbial crap hits the fan. From there, the team is forced to take routes unintended as they battle the den of thieves and junkies. Weapons employed on both sides include guns, knives, an ax, a machete and even a refrigerator.
And naturally, good ol’ fists and feet. This high-concept shot of adrenaline pays off the promise of writer/director Gareth Evans’ so-so 2009 chopsocky effort, Merantau, offering one inventive, powerhouse sequence of action acrobatics after another, with precious little breathing time left in between.
The downside is that it eventually exhausts the viewer; 89 minutes versus 101 would have been perfect, but Evans attempts to infuse a little brotherly love in Act 3 for added weight. The Raid doesn’t need it, because scenes of people plummeting from balconies is admission-worthy alone.