Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick Takes: The Next Three Days, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, The Adjustment Bureau

Russell Crowe is an actor I'll never tire of seeing. He commands your attention yet again in Paul Haggis's thriller, The Next Three Days (2010). He plays a college professor who is determined to get his convicted wife (Elizabeth Banks in a nice change of pace) out of prison. In a recent rental, Conviction, Hilary Swank attempts to get her brother out of jail by becoming a lawyer and going through the legal system. Here? Screw the legal system, Crowe wants to break her out! Plausibility is not the film's strong suit, but as a thriller, it's entertaining and effective. 3.5/5

After a very successful start with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and a middling follow-up with The Girl Who Played with Fire, the Millenium series draws to a close with a dud. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (2010) is a convoluted, overlong and dull thriller in which our heroine, stuck a hospital bed during a majority of the movie's run time, attempts to clear her name and put away the scoundrels who fucked her up. Again, as with the second film, this story keeps Salander and Blomkvist away from each other for most of the movie. They oozed chemistry in the first film. Watching the two of them separately chase leads and dodge bullets is a waste of talent. 2/5

The Adjustment Bureau (2011) is my first film of '11 and, thankfully, the year is off to a solid start. George Nolfi wrote and directed this endearing romantic adventure with a nice science-fiction twist to it. Matt Damon is a political hopeful who falls for dancer Emily Blunt. However, according to "the plan," these two aren't meant to be together, and the men of the Adjustment Bureau are determined to keep them separated. John Slattery is fantastic as Richardson, the Bureau captain in charge of the case. His exhaustive attempts to thwart the lovers' plans to reunite elicit the film's biggest laughs. It's well-cast, quick on its feet and, most important, easy to follow. It doesn't get too caught up in its own mythology. 4/5


Brent said...

Great site. I like your format of briefly hitting a few movies, with enough info to give me a pretty good idea about them. Good stuff!

Dave said...

Appreciate that, Brent! I try to keep it brief and simple -- only on occasion will I branch out and go for depth. :-)


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