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.
For those who tired of the inspirational-teacher subgenre that flourished in the ’80s and ’90s — think Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Minds, Dead Poets Society — there’s Wuss!
Exclamation theirs, the film illustrates why I never would want to
teach public school in today’s environment, even as a mere
Played by Nate Rubin (Super), Mitch Parker is a wiry little fellow, barely out of high school himself, who substitutes for a high school English class. What he’d really like to do is be a novelist, of course, yet his off-hours are spent in a state of arrested development, playing Dungeons & Dragons with his baked buds.
Mitch radiates awkwardness à la specialists Michael Cera and Mike White, making him a target for everyone, including the principal (Alex Karpovsky, TV’s Girls), who calls him as “Mitch the Bitch.” Mitch’s real problem is his students, specifically the drug-dealing thug Jamal (Ryan Anderson), who beats him up after school and makes his life hell.
Nearly 45 minutes in, that problem is solved all too easily. As that goes away, so does much of the interest on the part of viewers. Now on demand from Film Buff, Wuss! switches gears from a one-man show to a two-man team, as Mitch bonds with the one outcast student (first-timer Alicia Anthony, acting with a Kristen Stewart sleepiness) who takes pity on him and encourages the spine within him to grow.
It does a bit, but their relationship does not — at least not into one interesting enough to match the concerns of the film’s first half. Either writer/director Clay Liford (Earthling) had no idea how to bring things to an end, or the end is just that underdeveloped. Like many students of today, Wuss! shows potential, but not the follow-through. —Rod Lott