Lawless, with Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan & Gary Oldman. John Hillcoat, director. Of course, my expectations for this film were high as Pearce & Oldman are two of my favorites. The ambiance of the film is truly Depression-era hill Continue reading
Lockout, with Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Lennie James & Vincent Regan. Directors, James Mather & Stephen St. Legar. I’ve heard that a lot of reviewers didn’t like this & rated it low, low, low. When I like an actor it takes more than rumor or even a merely adequate production to put me off. My instincts & character judgment are
excellent, with actors, friends & items on a restaurant menu. As I’ve previously noted, there’s nothing wrong with a formula, if it works. This definitely works.
Pearce is most excellent as an action star with the plus that he actually is an actor capable of different character roles, instead of one way of being in a variety of films. Like the best of the action stars he’s able to buff up, thin down, chop his hair off or any other requirements required to do the job. What sets him apart is his ability to be different things convincingly, without resorting to cliche’. He’s never disappointed me. Ever. He deserves the big bucks, more so than a Cruise or a Damon.
The run up to this film was actually eclipsed by Prometheus, as far as Pearce was concerned. It is a pity his role in the first big ding dong of the Summer was so small. Oh well, we don’t often understand what we have in our tool kits until it’s running down the street.
The formula was the same satisfying equation used in Escape from New York or any number of others involving sending a tough guy to rescue someone important from a bad situation. Understandable & ready for an unlimited number of variants to fill in the blanks. This movie relied on the special effects, which were fantastic, a believable script, wonderful actors & a terse, to the point script.
One of the requirements of good science fiction is that it has to be believable & within the parameters of future possibility & physics. Unlike many sci-fi films, the technology portrayed wasn’t too fantastical; as it shouldn’t be since the setting is merely 5 or so decades into the future. There is a space station of enormous size & space shuttle-like ships to get there. Otherwise; on the Earth there are freeways & skylines that are not too shocking. It’s not an over-reach like Blade Runner or Minority Report. Both good films, but truly unbelievable. Whether people admit it or not.
Grace is a delicious actress that I want to see in more & larger productions. With what she had to work with, she was more than adequate – &… she’s beautiful to boot! Other than a few hiccups in the script, maudlin moments drawn out five or ten seconds too long, she was able to be a partner, action star. Lucky for her the big name was Pearce. He’s going places, maybe she can hitch a ride.
If you’re looking for a quick fix before going out on the town. See it. I recommend this film. It’s slick & has Guy Pearce.
There are weaknesses in the movie that I now feel compelled to note:
In the beginning; it struck me as sort of lame that a prisoner, who had been temporarily released so that Maggie Grace’s character could interview him, escaped so easily, grabbing a gun off an idiot’s ankle holster & then subsequently, he was able to easily release all the prisoners in the maximum security space station prison.
Pearce punches Grace in the mouth in order to make her look tough, after putting a bunch of goop in her hair to make her look something other than herself. She looks like herself with a punched mouth & cropped goopy hair. Lame.
Stormare’s character, Secret Service chief, overrides the U.S. President decision not to fire on the station which is crashing to the Earth because his daughter (Grace) is on the station. Using the standard incompetence thing with an already prepared document showing the specific law or power in order to override the president. Incomprehensible in any era.
Though it kills me to stab at a film which stars Guy Pearce. Thanks.
Prometheus, with Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce & Logan Marshall-Green. Ridley Scott, Director. Today’s blockbusters tend to be a bit loud & fast-moving. The original Total Recall was one such cacophonous blurt, that even as a twenty something (back then) I needed earplugs (but didn’t have them) during the entire film. Halfway through this film, I was struck by the perfect balance of action & quiet – quick character development. A symphony by the master director, Mr. Scott. The story being larger than life, literally, was also amazingly simple & on a human scale. The special effects & concepts were also within the range of what we know of this particular, science fiction universe.
Big name Theron, might have been the glittering gem in this film but it was indeed Rapace, Elba, Fassbender & Marshall-Green that stood out as brilliant.
Idris Elba plays the captain of Prometheus. Last seen by this reviewer in the last Ghost Rider, it was more than a treat to see him again. Is he trading up, a half notch at a time? Believable & sympathetic are his best acting characteristics, in my mind. In the face of the quest to find out what is on the planet, he soothed me into thinking that he was indeed the captain of his ship & noble of heart.
The trailers that we saw don’t do the film justice & the scope of the story is more than just finding a bug in a bottle & worrying that it will bite & infect us with something objectionable. More than satisfied will you be, if you haven’t seen it, realizing that you haven’t been cheated. That same balance & content, which Scott plays magnificently, was more than enough to spare out some parts, to the trailers.
Especially brought down to Earth (so to speak), was the planet. The first Alien film scared us with a gaseous & forbidding place. Definitely not a place to set up shop & difficult to imagine. Yet we see more of the planet in this movie & realize that it’s a real place with miracles in dark places. The alien world & Theron seem well-suited, though she was merely a visitor. Theron pulled off a well-acted sternness, different than the ice queen, Snow White.
Standing on top of these excellent performances are Rapace & Fassbender. The penultimate victims of doom in this scary, bright film. The fright caused more by what we expect than what actually is present. Rapace is a perfect Swedish pixie & seems to be out of breath for most of the film. If there was someone that exemplified fighting an uphill battle, it is she. Fassbender was elegance personified & there was not one minute that I didn’t realize, that he’s an artificial life form, in the guise of a fussy man. I really like him & the film will not be spoiled if I tell you he has more than one agenda, as did his other kind, in the previous films.
Cinematically, it’s an instant hit & one of the better looking films you’ll see, currently. To hell with animation, CGI & realism make the day with this film, along with the best of science fiction’s concepts & one of the best casts you will ever remember noticing. Almost flawless (I did catch one thing as Rapace was hopping about towards the last, a downward shot shows an impossible gulf to jump, yet a next stumbling is easily done), I will happily admit this must be one of the best science fiction films, thus far (my opinion). Which is saying alot, as I’ve spent years in the middle of sci-fi literature - because it’s a preferred spot for me to be.
The net databases will tell you that Guy Pearce plays a Mr. Weyland. His appearance during the beginning of the film is quite interesting & one assumes his vanity didn’t stop him from getting a seat on this ride. Wonderful makeup.
Need I say with this one, that I’m recommending for viewing? I don’t mind being a cheerleader for something that is a Ridley Scott masterpiece & that I relished watching every moment.
Take the first opportunity to see this film, even if you don’t (usually) like science fiction. Who would willingly pass up a film that people will still be chattering about, 20 years from now. Time flies.
UPDATE I can’t want for the sequel! When is it to be?