Posts Tagged ‘Famke Janssen’

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR JULY 31!

Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and drive-ins including the musical  drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence,” the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine” and the new Nicolas Cage movie “Primal.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CFRA IN OTTAWA: THE BILL CARROLL MORNING SHOW MOVIE REVIEWS!

Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the soulful drama “The Cuban,” the meta horror film “Random Acts of Violence,” the rock ‘n’ roll documentary “Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine” and the new Nicolas Cage movie “Primal.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

PRIMAL: 1 ½ STARS. “Does NIc cage get paid by the cliché these days?”

Imagine Noah’s Ark, but with killer CGI animals and a wise-cracking serial killer, and you get the general idea of “Primal,” the latest Nic Cage movie to go straight to VOD.

Frank Walsh (Cage) is a poacher in the jungles of Brazil; a loner who traps exotic animals for export to collectors and zoos in the US. His latest capture, El Fantasma Gato, is beyond rare. Worth maybe $1 million. “It’s a white jaguar,“ he says. “Maybe 350 to 400 pounds. Doesn’t like people.“ “Just like you Frank,“ says his kid sidekick (Jeremy Nazario) in the only comment that passes for character work in the “Primal’s” stripped-down b-movie world.

The action begins with Frank transports the animal on the large cargo ship. Trouble is, the US government is using the same ship to transport a psychopathic killer to justice. Held Hannibal Lecter-style in a cage below deck by Navy doctor Ellen Taylor (Famke Janssen) and Government lawyer Freed (Michael Imperioli), Richard Loffler (Kevin Durand) is a former military man turned international terrorist.

This is a B-movie, so no amount of security, chains or wild animals can stop Loffler from causing havoc on the high seas. Only one man, with a special set of skills and a rare white jaguar, can stop Loffler’s rampage. It’s nature gone wild on the high seas as Walsh snorts, “I’m going hunting.”

“Primal” is the kind of movie Nicolas Cage bangs out between visits to his tax lawyer. It’s a film so far beneath has talent you have to wonder why he signed on. Did he always want to work with a talking parrot? Does he get paid by the cliché these days? Hard to know. What is for sure is that “Primal” is one of those movies where the sheer stupidity of the story supplies the only entertainment value. The thrills fall short and the action is almost nonexistent but it’s almost worth the price of a rental to see Cage try and take down Loffler with a poison blow dart gun or argue with his parrot.

“Primal” will make you yearn for the days when Nic Cage movies like “Con Air,” “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “The Rock” promised and delivered offbeat delights. Cage brings his patented oddball performance style along for the ride but even that isn’t enough to give “Primal’s” bland storytelling and lazy action some zip.

TAKEN 3: 1 STAR. “it’s audiences that get brutalized in ‘Taken 3.'”

taken3In “Taken 3” Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills a former “preventer” for the US government. A specialist in black ops, he was an undercover agent who contained volatile situations before they got out of control. The first film saw him use his “particular set of skills” to rescue his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) from some very nasty kidnappers.

Then he did it again in “Taken 2.”

The third time is a charm—for the daughter, anyway. She’s fine, it’s audiences that get brutalized in “Taken 3.”

This time around Mills has to save himself and his family when he is wrongly accused of murder.

“If you go down this road,” says Detective Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker), “the LAPD, the FBI, the CIA are all going to come for you. They’ll find you and they will stop you.”

“Good luck,” grunts Mills, before going all medieval to protect everything dear to him.

Reports say “Taken 3” will be the final film in the franchise. Reviews will say they should have stopped at “Taken 2.”

The new movie is called “Taken 3,” because it is the third part of the “Taken” series, but I think it is also because director Olivier Megaton has “taken” everything away that made the first two movies so much fun. Gone are the trashily exotic locales of Paris and Istanbul, most of the in-your-face action and catchphrases about “special skills.”

Instead the film takes place in a generic looking Los Angeles, features only a car chase or two, a couple of lame fight scenes, a bit of bullet spray near the end and Yawn-O-Meter lines like, “I don’t know why. I don’t know who… but I’m gonna find out.”

Worse, it’s fairly clear from the onset who is responsible for the film’s murder McGuffin. I know you don’t come to the Liamnator’s movies for the intrigue—you come to see the big man in action—but when the action is this scant some intrigue would have helped pass the time.

Mills does find out who tried to frame him (NOT A SPOILER), but not before leaving a trail of chaos and destruction in his wake. He’s the most violent hero in years. The one crime he doesn’t commit is the one he is accused of. Other than that he proves his innocence by breaking every rule in the book. At the very least he should be charged with disturbing the peace on a nuclear scale.

Or perhaps the movie police could charge the script with crimes against cinema. Like a bad episode of “Murder She Wrote,” in the film’s closing minutes Mills details the minutia of the scheme to frame him, recapping every plot device we have just spent the last hundred minutes watching. Show me, or tell me, Mr. Neeson, please don’t show and then tell me.

We don’t go to the “Taken” movies to see great art, we go to have a good time at the movies. Unfortunately, this time around, that pleasure has been “taken” from us.