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 recent at-home movie releases, which we’ve watched from the comfort of that favorite recliner.
Back in 2000, this guy named Christopher McQuarrie wrote and directed a movie called “The Way of the Gun” – a violent masterpiece of an action film that hardly anyone saw. This was five years after he wrote the genius script for “The Usual Suspects.” Then, McQuarrie faded into obscurity for eight years. Eventually, he resurfaced, penning “Valkyrie,” the WWII thriller starring Tom Cruise. McQuarrie has since written a failed TV show and “The Tourist,” which hit a flat note with most audiences. Writing and directing his first film in 12 years, he returns to Cruise to helm his own destiny – because every ticket-buying American loves Tom Cruise, right? No worries, Cruise is in his comfort zone. He’s made a long career out of being the quiet badass – talk a little, kick a lot of ass. Cruise tries a little too hard sometimes but he still does this type of film as well as anyone, even at 50 years of age. The plot’s tension and direction is quality work and another good film shouldn’t be out of McQuarrie and Cruise’s reach – worth a watch.
In horror movies, there’s always a new series to replace the old series, at least until the old series gets remade and replaces the new series which has become too repetitive and transitioned into the old series anyway. It’s like an endless circle, the food cycle of horror movies perpetually consuming itself. This is one of the many replacements of the “Saw” franchise. It only makes sense that the same writer and director were responsible for the last four “Saw” movies and the prequel to this film, “The Collector.” Needless to say, deathtraps and abandon buildings and industrial machinery and buckets of blood and bad acting abounds. The one thing missing here, and the very reason “Saw” was so successful: the remarkable villain. The baddie of this franchise wears a bondage mask and looks like the gimp from “Pulp Fiction.” Don’t let this movie collect any of your time or money – pass.
“For a Good Time, Call…”
Since “Bridesmaids” was such a game-changer in the chick-flick genre, a string of foulmouthed girl-centric comedies have been released. This one is a small film about two girls down on their luck, who don’t like each other very much, but band together to start a phone sex business. There’s a balance of raunchiness and full-on girl power. Unlike, the chick-flicks of the past, the importance of the film is not so much finding a man but finding yourself and being a good friend. Most of these films are written by one of the stars, and this one is no exception. Lauren Miller co-wrote the script and plays one of the lead roles. Justin Long comes along in the gay-best-friend role and Seth Rogen does a strange/hilarious cameo. Every time you think the film’s going to devolve into complete schmaltz, it redeems itself with another nugget of amusing crudeness – worth a watch.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge