Posterized Propaganda December 2011: Numbers and Faces

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. December is here and the posters are many. With studio releases being pumped through NY and LA during the holidays for award consideration, the number of films coming out this…

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REVIEW: Colombiana [2011]

“In this world, smart girls always get what they want” When it comes to an action flick scribed by the prolific Luc Besson, one shouldn’t be surprised to see a badass heroine using a toothbrush and towel as her weapons of choice during a fight. This is the type of hyper-real, action packed, quick-cut orchestra of smacks and grunts we’ve come to welcome at the multiplex. And while Besson’s disciples have gone on to claim some fame for themselves beyond the looming shadow of their cinematic father—Louis Leterrier with The…

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REVIEW: The Mechanic [2011]

“You want me to kill him, not rape him, right?” Say what you will about the caliber of flicks CBS Films has thus far churned out, but do not deny the fact they are unafraid to show graphic violence and almost seek the hard-R rating when others balk at the prospect. Faster started the action trend and The Mechanic continues it with an even darker tone. Enlisted to helm the remake is director Simon West, a man relegated to mostly television fare since his fun debut—a favorite of my family—Con…

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REVIEW: The Hire [2001-2002]

“BMW recommends that you always wear your seatbelt” After watching the Parallel Lines series, my desire to revisit BMW’s The Hire was too much to contain. This thing was a cultural phenomenon, doing what no one had ever done, with a medium still untested at the time. Back in 2001, households across America were still learning about the internet; installing their dial-up connections to surf for mostly news articles and sites without too many images for quick access. Looking to tap into a market that could target its demographic of…

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REVIEW: Transporter 3 [2008]

“Boss, can I say something?” Was Transporter 3 really directed by a guy named Olivier Megaton? I mean how perfect is that? In a film, let alone a series, that seems to enjoy using as many accents to confuse the audience as possible and action that diverts us from actually thinking about the thin plot, this guy has it all—European flavor and what seems to be the amount of explosives used on the film. Really, though, what does one expect going into a film like this? Myself, I look forward…

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REVIEW: Ne le dis à personne [Tell No One] [2007]

“Be careful, I love you” Ne le dis à personne [Tell No One] is an ambitious adaptation of a Harlan Coben novel by French actor Guillaume Canet. I was completely surprised when checking out the actors’ names and seeing his as character Philippe Neuville, a deceased horse rider and integral part of the story. The writer/director could not be this young man; with all the accolades and success in my eyes of this intricately plotted thriller, I was expecting someone older and more accomplished at the craft. Knowing that this…

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REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk [2008]

“Days since last incident” Leave it to this drama lover to think that the new film The Incredible Hulk is more boring than Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003, despite the fact everyone in the entire world hated that version because it was “too slow”. Maybe it was the departure in genre tone that Lee brought to the movie making it a psychological tale of humanity rather than an action, comic-book romp, but I was pleasantly surprised after thinking it would just be Hulk-Smash over and over again. The funny thing is…

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REVIEW: Shoot ‘Em Up [2007]

“You know what I hate?” Talk about action packed. Straight from the get go, Shoot ‘Em Up puts the pedal to the floor and never lets up. The opening sequence is quite the setpiece for ushering the audience directly into the film, enhanced beautifully by Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief”. Our hero Smith is sitting on a park bench, eating a carrot, when he sees a pregnant woman being chased down the street by a murderous gentleman. Smith begrudgingly follows to be of help and unwittingly becomes involved in a…

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REVIEW: The Fifth Element [1997]

“Negative, I am a meat popsicle” After making heavy movies like La Femme Nikita and Léon, it is somewhat of a departure for Luc Besson to do this comic, pulp, sci-fi film The Fifth Element. Looking at his work now, with such high-octane humor as The Transporter series, among others, (written by Besson, but not directed), it doesn’t seem that out of place. He just must have decided to only direct his more serious fare and leave the fun stuff to others. However, The Fifth Element is by no means…

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REVIEW: Lola rennt [Run Lola Run] [1998]

“And then …” I am a big Tom Tykwer fan. Between his latest, Perfume, his short in Paris, je t’aime, and the wonderful directing of Heaven from the late Kieslowski’s script, I must say he is unafraid to use any technical ingenuity he can think of. This type of delving into mixed genres and cinematic senses needs to start somewhere though, and that start is Lola rennt [Run Lola Run]. This film is an adrenaline rush for the entire duration being driven by the pulsating techno/electronica beats behind all the…

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REVIEW: Crank [2006]

“Who wants white meat?” Any movie these days starring Jason Statham is going to be an adrenaline rush of action, speed, and wit. With Crank, we literally get all of the qualities packed together in an 87-minute orgy of fast-paced violence and sex. Statham’s character has done his last hit as an assassin and those who held that job in ill will have decided to take him out. Knowing that killing this sadomasochist while he felt the pain would probably be the kind of death he wants, they resort to…

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