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Editor's rating: 
Monday, 01 January 2007 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Italian Job, The Although credited as a remake of the 1969 Michael Caine movie of the same name, “The Italian Job” is so original that it’s practically a remake in name only. The plot still centers around a heist by a professional band of thieves, but the action and emotions heat up with the addition of betrayal and revenge. In the original film, Charlie Croker (Caine) was simply looking to make the heist of a lifetime. In the current version of “The Italian Job”, Croker (Mark Wahlberg) is taking over his “father’s” trade as a criminal mastermind. John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) comes out of retirement to perform the safecracking end of the heist. The few minutes of onscreen time that Wahlber and Sutherland have sets the tone as something more than a breaking-all-the-speed-limits, fist-in-your-face actioner, which it easily could have been. Director F. Gary Gray gets a lot of emotional mileage out of these small scenes, and ...
Editor's rating: 
Monday, 01 January 2007 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Into the Blue Wannabe treasure-hunter Jared (Paul Walker) makes do with jobs that keep him in the water down in the Bahamas, but his heart longs to be out there chasing in the wake of pirates. His girlfriend Sam (Jessica Alba) loves him and supports him, understanding him better than he understands himself. A recent storm has passed through the area and Jared feels certain that something might have been unearthed because storms above the water also affect the shifting sands of the sea, sometimes uncovering wrecks that have been hidden for hundreds of years. Still, Jared knows he’s not going to get much treasure hunting done with the leaky boat he has. Their lives change forever when Jared’s lawyer brother Bryce (Scott Caan) shows up with a brand-new girlfriend Amanda (Ashley Scott) whom he met only five hours previously. They get to stay at a mansion house owned by one of Bryce’s clients. In fact, ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 01 December 2006 |  Written by Mel Odom  | 
Lethal Weapon 2 Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) were the buddy-cop movie icons of the 1980s and 1990s. Movie cops just didn’t come any tougher than Vietnam vet Riggs and his—at first—conservative partner. Richard Donner slammed audiences with his over-the-top approach to the action genre, and stunt crews were challenged to keep up with the frenetic pace. Then 22-year-old-writer Shane Black exploded onto the Hollywood scene, quickly scripting the original “Lethal Weapon” movie, then contributing to the story for the sequel, before netting a record-setting 1.75 million dollar price tag for “Last Boy Scout”. He drove that price up again with “The Long Kiss Goodnight” when he got 4 million for the script. His latest movie was “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”. In the original “Lethal Weapon.” Riggs was a good cop one step beyond sane, harboring a death wish after the accidental death of his wife. The opening scenes of Riggs in action, ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Big Hit, The “The Big Hit” is an agreeable action comedy with a flimsy premise but lots of dazzling stunts and wire work, plus a likeable central performance by Mark Wahlberg and a bad guy played by Lou Diamond Phillips with all restraint gone and his pedal to the metal. It’s by far the most flamboyant performance of Phillips’ career, and one of his most entertaining. Furthermore, the producers include John Woo and Wesley Snipes. Wahlberg Is Melvin Smiley, an inoffensive sort of guy always worried that people might not like him. This is a possibility: he’s a hit man in a gang headed by ultracool Paris (the ultracool Avery Brooks). Also in the four-man hit squad are perpetually overcranked Cisco (Phillips) and black Crunch (Bokeem Woodbine), who’s just discovered the joys of masturbation and has fallen in love with his right hand. Vince (Antonio Sabato, Jr.), a white guy, is pretty dopey, and talks like ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
S.W.A.T. “S.W.A.T.” is a crisp, efficient, workmanlike police action thriller that’s short on plot and characters, but scores with tense, exciting scenes of combat in the streets of Los Angeles. The climax, however, with a Lear jet landing on one of the bridges crossing the L.A. River (yes, there IS an L.A. River) east of downtown, is improbable enough to decrease audience involvement. It shifts from a routinely-plotted but essentially realistic tale of the Special Weapons And Tactics team of the LAPD to a far-fetched, almost James Bondian thriller. It’s a good choice for release for Blu-Ray, which delivers almost palpable textures and intense colors, and is especially good with aerial shots of cities at night, when every lighted window is clearly-delineated and realistic. The sound is also good, particularly in the opening and closing sequences, with the surround used imaginatively and well—though of course this is a trait of the theatrical moviemaking team, not ...
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