Posts Tagged ‘Gina Carano’


Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.50.20 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for Diane Keaton and John Goodman’s “Love the Coopers,” “By the Sea” from Brangelina and the Oscar bait of “Spotlight.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.51.17 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” look at the early holiday movie “Love the Coopers” featuring more stars than on the top of the tree, “By the Sea” from Brangelina and the Oscar bait of “Spotlight.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

HEIST: 1 STAR. “a generic title to match its characters and direct-to-video feel.”

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I could write a nostalgic piece about how, once upon a time in a far away time and place, Robert de Niro’s name on a marquee was a sign of quality. Or I could write a snarky article about paycheque movies and taking roles for the cash. Maybe a generic What the heck happened to Robert de Niro? Column would be in order.

Either way, any of those topics could be easily folded into a review of “Heist,” a flaccid new crime drama that adds nothing to Mr. De Niro’s legacy except, perhaps, for a dollars in his bank account.

The great thespian plays Mr. Pope— famous as The Pope to all those who know and fear him. For thirty years he’s run The Swan Casino with an iron fist. No compromises. Bottom line, if you steal from him you die. Ten dollars to ten million dollars, the consequences are the same. “Nobody steals from The Swan not because it’s Fort Knox but because everyone is afraid of The Pope,” says Vaughn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but that doesn’t stop him from coordinating a robbery that will net him and his co-conspirators Cox (Dave Bautista) and Dante (Stephen Cyrus Sepher) three million in cash. Vaughn needs the money to pay for an operation for his daughter and he’s desperate enough to cross The Pope to get the money.

Things go wrong and soon Vaughn, Cox and Dante are on a bus filled with civilians zooming their way to freedom with The Pope’s henchmen (Morris Chestnut) and the police (led by fighter Gina Carano) in hot pursuit.

The first time De Niro starred in a heist movie directed by someone with the last name Mann we got “Heat,” a genuinely exciting action movie. This time around director Scott Mann has cast De Niro in a movie with a generic title to match its characters and direct-to-video feel. Part “Speed” and part every other heist film ever made, “Heist” relies on implausible plot twists—like cops who break the law to aid the bad guys because one of the hijackers had “a reassuring voice”—and clichés to tell its weak-tea story.

One exchange between The Pope and his henchman sums up the entire movie.

“Looks like they’re running to the border!”

“Cliché,” says The Pope.

Yes it is Bob, and so is the rest of the movie.


haywire03“Haywire,” a new action film from “Ocean’s 11” director Steven Soderbergh isn’t so much a movie as it is a showcase for the lithe athleticism of its star Gina Carano. Imagine an MMA match with a storyline and you get the idea.

Carano, the former champion mixed martial arts fighter, plays Mallory Kane, a mercenary who specializes in the dirty jobs that governments like to freelance out. Her idea of relaxation is “a glass of wine and gun maintenance.” Following a successful hostage rescue in Barcelona her handler Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) dispatches her to Dublin. There she teams with an MI5 operative (Michael Fassbender) only to discover she has been double-crossed. Angry, she Muay Thai’s herself back to the United States searching for clues and revenge.

Does the story mater? Nope. Not one bit. It’s the usual medium to complicated undercover spy tale—the kind that wraps up all the loose ends with a bit of exposition and some well chosen flashbacks at the end—but you don’t go to see “Haywire” for the story.

The movie is at it’s best when Carano is on the move, running, jumping, and kicking the snot out of her opponents. Soderbergh tosses in an action scene every ten minutes or so, but the violence here feels different. Sure necks get broken and people get shot in the face but unlike most action flicks Soderbergh doesn’t amp up the sound to go along with the punches, kicks and gunshots. Many films exaggerate the combat noises to add excitement, “Haywire” doesn’t. It trusts the fight choreography and because the violence isn’t particularly cartoony it doesn’t need to be juiced up.

The fights feel authentic—no CGI, few stunt people—a testament to Carano’s obvious fighting skills and Soderbergh’s wise decision to underplay the violence.

“Haywire” feels like a grrrl power version of a mid-80s Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. Of course it is elevated by the presence of actors like Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas and Bill Paxton but at its heart it is a scrappy action movie that would play best in drive-ins and grindhouses.