Friday, January 29, 2010

See You at the Movies!

// By Anna Krutzik //

If you're headed out to see a brand new film at your local Milwaukee cinemas this weekend, I will warn you that there are some slim pickings. Of course, you could just see Avatar again. Everybody's doing it. But as the Friday blog spot is dedicated to reviewing and recommending just released feature films, I am relegated to writing about When in Rome (the latest "I'm-smoking-hot-but-just-can't-find-the-right-guy-and-when-I-search-for-him-hilarity-ensues" film) or Edge of Darkness.

So, Edge of Darkness is an emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business, according to its website. The film is directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), and stars Mel Gibson in his first leading role since M. Night Shyamalan's Signs in 2002. Yeah, 2002. I guess Mel's been really busy doing, um, other things.

My initial reaction to the trailer for Edge of Darkness was that it seemed to closely resemble the 2008 film Taken starring Liam Neeson, in which a grizzled old man goes on a rage-fueled rampage for the truth because of his daughter being kidnapped, the only difference being that in Edge of Darkness the daughter is murdered. However, IMDB tells me that Edge of Darkness is actually based on a 1985 BBC mini-series of the same name, which was also directed by Campbell. I find it interesting that the director would choose to make a scaled-down movie version of his own 6-hour mini-series, which is often cited as one of the best and most influential pieces of British television drama ever made.

What it all boils down to is that Edge of Darkness just isn't my type of film, really. But please don't misunderstand my lack of enthusiasm for this movie and take it as a bad review. It looks like it would be an entertaining conspiracy theory action-filled 2 hours complete with a bad-ass ultimate hero. And if that floats your boat, more power to you. Maybe I'm just bitter because I couldn't write a review for Saint John of Las Vegas which stars Steve Buscemi and also comes out today but only in New York and LA. Or maybe I should have reviewed When in Rome, which isn't my type of film either, but I might have enjoyed making fun of that one more.

I guess Crazy Heart is still playing at the Downer Theatre. And that film won two Golden Globes recently, one for Jeff Bridges as Best Actor and one for Best Original Song ("The Weary Kind"). I do love T Bone Burnett who was a producer of the film in addition to co-writing the music and lyrics of "The Weary Kind". Darn it, I change my mind. This review is no longer about Edge of Darkness and is instead urging you to see Crazy Heart, a film about a broken-down hard-living country music singer on his road to salvation, starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, and Colin Farrell, in a directorial debut by Scott Cooper.
I hope you like it.

And if you go see Edge of Darkness, I hope you like that too.

And if you were really looking forward to seeing When in Rome, I'm sorry.

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