Salt (2010, Espionage Sleeper Thriller) – 6/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer: Sunil Perkash
Angelina Jolie: Evelyn Salt
Liev Schreiber: Ted Winter
Chiwetel Ejiofor: Peabody
Daniel Olbrychski: Orlov
Andre Braugher: Secretary of Defense

Salt (2010)

CIA operative Evelyn Salt is fingered by a walk-in as a sleeper Russian agent who will kill the Russian President at an upcoming diplomatic funeral. She denies it, of course, and is extremely concerned about her husband who is not answering his phone. However, she doesn’t help her cause when she violently breaks out of the CIA to find her husband.

6/10

Moderately successful is-she-isn’t-she espionage thriller. It’s successful in that it’s paced well and keeps you interested throughout. But not convinced, sadly. Part of the problem is the casting. Simply stated Liev Schreiber (the acting nemesis of auto-correct) should not have been cast because SPOILER he’s too often duplicitous in this kind of movie. Part of the problem comes from too many immediately unconvincing moments, especially in Salt’s infiltration (nope, she SPOILER doesn’t look like a man) and action sequences. The moments themselves are not the problem, exactly, but the fact that they are unconvincing as you watch them snaps you out of the movie. Part of the problem comes with the cost of the story for Salt and the United States. SPOILER Salt balances nine million lives against the death of the US President and key staff (and Salt’s husband in the director’s cut). That cost, however, only works on paper but not in the emotion and thrill of the movie. P.S.: The director’s cut is better with a couple of nice moments and more clarity of character and story. The blu-ray comes with a theme you can install for your PS3 which is really cool.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word and violence (theatrical), strong violence and unpleasant scenes (director’s cut).

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

House M.D. 6.02 Epic Fail (2009, Medical Black Comedy Drama TV) – 6/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein: Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps: Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Jennifer Morrison: Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer: Dr. Robert Chase
Creator: David Shore
Peter Jacobson: Dr. Chris Taub
Olivia Wilde: Thirteen
Rick D. Wasserman:
Freda Foh Shen:
Andre Braugher: Dr. Darryl Nolan
Producer: Marcy G. Kaplan
Producer: Sara Hess
Supervising Producer: Liz Friedman
Co-Executive Producer: Greg Yaitanes
Writer: Sara Hess
Writer: Liz Friedman
Director: Greg Yaitanes

House M.D. 6.02 Epic Fail (2009)

House quits his job at Princeton aware that returning will likely lead him to undo all the progress he’s made. So he turns his attention to possible hobbies (apparently he doesn’t need money) to use as pain management for his leg. Meanwhile, Foreman demands House’s job even when Cuddy points out that House’s job only existed because House did it.

6/10

It never ceases to amaze me how poor the understanding of videogames is by television and movie creators. So here we have some unloved Nineties technology dressed up with a side order of daft future tech (such as facial expressions mirrored onto player avatars) used in the set-up to the patient-of-the-week and then later revisited as a hallucinogenic symptom. Foreman inherits House’s job when House decides not to return to the environment that got him into his current situation and immediately sets about taking the patient to the brink of death before hitting upon the medical solution. It’s easy to overlook, however, that the writers did allow Foreman to get the solution himself, legitimately, even though, as expected, SPOILER House had got there earlier that day just by looking at a posting on the internet. I am never convinced by grumpy Foreman – Omar Epps always seems to overplay that – but the relationship between him and Thirteen was nicer and more interesting than expected. Best bit was House boasting that he’d got a dog to pee in Wilson’s toilet which, however you slice it, is awesome.

Links

House M.D. 6.01 Broken (2009, Medical Black Comedy Drama TV) – 7/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Franka Potente: Lydia
Lin-Manuel Miranda: Alvie
Megan Dodds: Dr. Beasley
Derek Richardson: Steve "Freedom Master"
Curtis Armstrong: Richter
Andrew Harrison Leeds: Dr. Medina
Andre Braugher: Dr. Darryl Nolan
Creator: David Shore
Writer: Russel Friend
Writer: Garrett Lerner
Writer: David Foster
Writer: David Shore
Director: Katie Jacobs

House M.D. 6.01 Broken (2009)

Having come through the Vicodin addiction, House moves to a psychiatric ward to deal with his deeper, non-physical issues. He thinks that he should be able to leave and has to start scheming to make sure it happens.

7/10

While the Franka Potente character conception absolutely never convinces (SPOILER House insults her, steals her car, nearly kills a dude then they have an affair, hmm), this is, nevertheless, an engrossing return. It’s well-acted by all, especially Franka Potente who manages to get us to accept her ridiculous actions, and Andre Braugher who I usually find intensely irritating but he’s great here. Katie Jacobs directs skilfully and manipulatively. Cleverly, it actually sticks very closely to the House formula of being wrong a lot, taking someone to the brink of death then pulling out miraculous results with acute observational skills and mental agility but they apply this formula to several different characters, including House, instead of just a single patient. I appreciate the writing team taking a little longer than usual (this is a feature-length episode) to reset everything back to normal and, applaudably, we’re not quite there yet. I look forward to next week’s episode.

This House M.D. episode contains adult dialogue and violence and a sex scene.

Links

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007, Movie) – 6/10 review

Producer: Bernd Eichinger
Ioan Gruffudd: Reed Richards
Jessica Alba: Sue Storm
Chris Evans: Johnny Storm
Michael Chiklis: Ben Grimm
Julian McMahon: Victor Von Doom
Kerry Washington: Alicia Masters
Andre Braugher: General Hager
Laurence Fishburne: The Voice of the Silver Surfer
Executive Producer: Stan Lee
Writer (Original Comic Book) Marvel: Stan Lee
Writer (Original Comic Book) Marvel: Jack Kirby
Writer (Story): John Turman
Writer (Story): Mark Frost
Writer (Screenplay): Don Payne
Writer (Screenplay): Mark Frost
Director: Tim Story
Stan Lee: Rejected Wedding Guest

4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s celebrity wedding OF THE CENTURY is rudely interrupted by a cosmic traveler who is a harbinger of the end of the world. Rather inconvenient, it has to be said.

6/10

Remarkably, this would turn out to be the first blockbuster of the 2007 season to not be significantly disappointing. This is not because this is a great film. This is a solid, entertaining and not ridiculously violent superhero movie. Thanks to the return of the director, cast and tone of the first movie, expectations were low. With this turning out to be not bad in any way, there was no sense of disappointment.

This movie contains adult dialogue and innuendo, single mild swear word from nowhere and extreme fantasy violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Continue reading “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007, Movie) – 6/10 review”

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007, Movie) – 6/10 review

Producer: Bernd Eichinger
Ioan Gruffudd: Reed Richards
Jessica Alba: Sue Storm
Chris Evans: Johnny Storm
Michael Chiklis: Ben Grimm
Julian McMahon: Victor Von Doom
Kerry Washington: Alicia Masters
Andre Braugher: General Hager
Laurence Fishburne: The Voice of the Silver Surfer
Executive Producer: Stan Lee
Writer (Original Comic Book) Marvel: Stan Lee
Writer (Original Comic Book) Marvel: Jack Kirby
Writer (Story): John Turman
Writer (Story): Mark Frost
Writer (Screenplay): Don Payne
Writer (Screenplay): Mark Frost
Director: Tim Story
Stan Lee: Rejected Wedding Guest

4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s celebrity wedding OF THE CENTURY is rudely interrupted by a cosmic traveller who is a harbinger of the end of the world. Rather inconvenient, it has to be said.

6/10

Remarkably, this would turn out to be the first blockbuster of the 2007 season to not be significantly disappointing. This is not because this is a great film. This is a solid, entertaining and not ridiculously violent superhero movie. Thanks to the return of the director, cast and tone of the first movie, expectations were low. With this turning out to be not bad in any way, there was no sense of disappointment.

This movie contains adult dialogue and innuendo, single mild swear word from nowhere and extreme fantasy violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Continue reading “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007, Movie) – 6/10 review”