Beirut is an uneven yet ultimately engaging enough drama-thriller helped by the charismatic on-screen performance from its star, Jon Hamm. The geo-political story written by Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy never quite gels but it’s still worth a rental at least.
This new incarnation of Death Wish actually wasn’t half bad and is in line with the 1974 original with Bruce Willis reminding you of his charisma when in a leading role (vs. slumming it with the several DTV crap) and as remakes go, was pretty entertaining if not tonally conflicting at times.
Fist Fight is exactly what I was expecting: Charlie Day’s talents being underutilized, Ice Cube scowling most of the time, jokes falling completely flat and a story being stretched even with its short 85-minute running time.
Secret in Their Eyes is a decent if not horribly disappointing movie considering the amazing cast. Although the three main actors turn in perfectly fine performances, with Chiwetel Ejiofor being the best of the trio exuding enough charm to overcome story and editing issues, this is not a film that has much if any replay value and is at best a Saturday night rental, nothing more.
The plot for Men, Woman & Children does get heavy-handed towards the end and Garner’s character is more caricature than anything, but despite its flaws, and even though this is hardly Reitman’s strongest film, it’s still a job well done.
Small Time is an easygoing but still well made drama-comedy with great performances all around, but in particular Christopher Meloni, in his post-“Law & Order: SVU” career and Dean Norris of “Breaking Bad” fame having a good time. The Blu-ray released by Anchor Bay has good video and audio transfers but with only a commentary, albeit a decent one, it’s not exactly an amazing release.
The Frozen Ground excels in many areas from a welcomed subtle performance by Nicolas Cage, a mature turn for Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack playing the thankless role as the creepy and thoroughly disturbing serial killer. However, for all the good acting by the main cast and beautiful, Oscar-worthy, cinematography, it never quite reaches its potential as a compelling true crime-drama despite all the good and, from what I could tell, keeping with some of the facts, though speculation was thrown in to help the dramatic elements. Even so, this is a good movie worth watching.