Recliner Reviews

Sometimes it’s a dilemma: what DVD should you rent or what movie should you stream or order-on-demand? Do you want a date flick, an action caper, or a goofy comedy? Weekly Surge is here to help with our reviews of recen

for Weekly SurgeMay 30, 2012 

“Contraband”

Mark Wahlberg has earned every joke people make about him. Yes, he was a sub-par rapper, running around in his underwear. Yes, he’s so cocky that he produced the TV show “Entourage,” as a fictional version of his life to illustrate how cool his posse is. Yes, Wahlberg is an easy target for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. But he also appears in movies that rate from good to great, consistently. This is his first film since he did such a bang-up job portraying boxer Micky Ward in “The Fighter.” Wahlberg chose the right film to end his two year hiatus from acting. A suspenseful heist film with gritty action, it’s in Wahlberg’s wheelhouse. It helps that his costars are Ben Foster, Kate Beckinsale and Giovanni Ribisi. Any of those three could carry a movie by themselves. The plot is tight and the direction is focused to the point of being sharp. There are plenty of hidden goodies that get uncovered along the way – worth a watch.

“The Guard”

This movie pulls no punches. Set in Ireland, the accents are thick but the struggle with the garbled translation pays off. Irishman and versatile actor Brendan Gleeson plays an amoral cop who says exactly what’s he’s thinking. Gleeson continues to increase the value of movies just by being on the call sheet. It’s no different in this lead role. American treasure Don Cheadle stars in a supporting role as a fish-out-of-water FBI agent. Mark Strong has spent the last few years making a name for himself by playing villains – he adds a flair to being bad and his small role here is memorable. With so many gangsters-versus-cops movies being produced, it’s great to see the timeless story done in a new way. You don’t need to protect yourself from this one, it’s worth a watch.

“Final Destination 5”

The premise of this horror franchise is brilliant for two reasons: One, there’s no real killer besides accidental death; Two, there’s no surviving characters from movie to movie. This means no contracts to negotiate and no scheduling conflicts for returning actors. That being said, who watches these movies anymore? It used to be cool to see people getting offed by chance. But how many different ways can you watch people get cut in half, impaled, crushed, etc. by destiny. This is reportedly the last film in the series and it feels like the greatest hits of the four previous films. This is not a series that has changed the face of horror. It’s a series that’s rehashed the original idea four more times. But according to its box office results, there are people who want to see the same crap over and over and over and over until it’s over and then, they never miss it. They just move on to the next parody or remake, rinse and repeat. We can only hope that we’ve seen the final “Final Destination.” Pass, then go to the previous three and pass on them too.

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