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.
Oliver Stone might be best-known for making movies filled with political and cultural bomb-throwing (JFK, Natural Born Killers), but
what makes his best works so eminently watchable is their visceral
punch. He might claim he’s out to edify, but the guy can exploit with
the best of ’em.
Savages is a chance for Stone to hone his pulp fiction. Based on the best-selling novel by Don Winslow (who also co-wrote the script with Stone and Shane Salerno), the movie follows two best buds in California who cultivate some mighty fine bud. Ben (Aaron Johnson, Kick-Ass) is the philanthropic Buddhist of the multimillion-dollar marijuana-growing operation, while Chon (Taylor Kitsch, Battleship) is the ex-Navy SEAL enforcer.
Their business isn’t all they have in common, as the friends also share a blonde babe named Ophelia (Blake Lively, Green Lantern), who goes simply by O, as in, “Oh, please, somebody, don’t let this bimbo narrate.”
Alas, she does, and her voice-over narration is as vapid as it is unnecessary.
You know what’s in store when a movie begins with grainy video of a Mexican drug cartel decapitating enemies. Happily sleazy and brutally lurid, Savages kicks into gear when the aforementioned cartel tries horning in on Ben and Chon. Ample shootings, stabbings, rapes and dope-smoking follow.
There are some irresistibly campy performances from Benicio Del Toro (TheWolfman) as a sadistic henchman, Salma Hayek (GrownUps) as an improbable cartel leader and John Travolta (FromParis with Love), sans hairpiece, as a corrupt drug agent. They help compensate for the bland leads, especially Lively in another turn of defiant anti-charisma.