Monday, January 23, 2012


Title: Haywire
Directed by: Steven Soderberg
Starring: Gina Carano, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender
Genres: Action/Adventure, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hour. 33 minutes
Release Date: January 20th, 2012
MPAA Rating: R

Review: I thought 'Haywire' might be an interesting action flick, given that the female lead is played by Gina Carano, a retired MMA fighter (and x-gladiator). Add a cast of Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, among others, and directorial by Steven Soderberg and you might have yourself a good film.

Unfortunately, not.
Honestly, I almost walked out, and that is not something that happens every day.

'Haywire' is a strange collection of Gina Carano running over rooftops to the sound of [nothing but] odd plinky-plonky music, a few driving scenes, a number of overly choreographed, and rather ridiculous looking fight scenes, and a whole lot of surprisingly terrible acting. 'Haywire' contains about ten lines of dialogue in the entire film. The overall experience is that of watching a really crappy movie on mute, while listening to horrid 60s elevator music.

Skip this one, it's a waste of it's hour 33, and you could do something better with your time.
Grade: 5

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Title: Contraband
Directed by: Baltasar Kormàkur
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas, Caleb Landry Jones
Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime, Remake, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hour. 50 minutes
Release Date: January 13th, 2012
MPAA Rating: R

Review: Walking into the theater, I had low expectations for 'Contraband'. It appeared to be the typical generic crime flick, with a so-so cast. And at the beginning of the movie, I found it to be very much in line with those expectations. The start was slow, and nothing beyond the ordinary, dime-a-dozen action flick. But as the story continued, I found my self sucked in, at the edge of my seat even. By the time the credits rolled, I found myself positively surprised by this film.

So what sets 'Contraband' apart from it's mass of generic siblings? Instead of the usual action-centric mix of intricate fight scenes and explosive car chases, 'Contraband' tries to be a bit more subtle. While it does have some fight scenes, as well as a car chase or two, the focus is not to dazzle teenage boys with cool angles coving expensive cars exploding. Instead, this is the type of sneak-up-on-you thriller, with an ending that will have you holding your breath. All in all, an above average crime flick, with a so-so cast doing a better than so-so job.

Grade: 7