Tuesday Releases: 2 Guns, We’re The Millers, & The World’s End

NOVEMBER 19TH, 2013

2 GUNS // Without Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, “2 Guns” would be just another ridiculously plotted action film where its twists are telegraphed and there’s very little to grab onto. Pairing Washington and Wahlberg works perfectly, as their chemistry creates both tension and comedic relief from start to finish. Wahlberg embraces his character, Stig, a suave, ladies’ man with very simple ideals, “fight for the man that’s fighting next to you”. Washington brings his normal persona to the table with Bobby Trench and it works, sharp eyed and intent, he carries himself with a higher caliber than all his surrounding counter pieces. Unfortunately, the plot of “2 Guns” is laughable, turning the DEA, CIA, and Navy into crooks, killing each other on a whim and parading around like the mob. There’s zero accountability and besides dying, no one pays for their actions. Poorly written for, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, and James Marsden flail through their roles haphazardly, trying to keep up with the absurd plot. Patton’s character is the definition of a misused female role in an action film. One of the first times we see her, she’s naked, she’s basically just a pawn for the men to tousle, and her exit from the film is undeniably bad. Paxton brings more to the table than I expected, with a convincing mob boss mentality, at least adding the sadistic nature and Southern accent to give his role some life, if not too much of a cartoon character villain. And despite his buzzed haircut, Marsden never feels like a commanding officer and delivers his villainous lines as if he’s reading them off a teleprompter. The major twists of “2 Guns” are telegraphed in the marketing, as we know Stig and Bobby turn on one another after robbing a bank, but are forced to work together after their respected law enforcement branches turn on them. We also know the money belongs to the CIA, therefore rendering almost half of the film as catch up to the trailers. Despite its downfalls, “2 Guns” is a definitive action film with brilliant and blockbuster level action sequences and even though it relies on its two leads, it works. Had the story around these characters been just as smart, this could have been a sleeper hit of the summer, but instead it will be the film everyone expected it to be and though it displays Wahlberg and Washington well, it does nothing to catapult their careers in any new directions.

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BREAKING THE GIRLS // Super sexualized, “Breaking The Girls” brings double crosses and a “Strangers On A Train” plot to the world of sexy twenty-somethings messing with sexual boundaries and continuously twisting agendas. Madeline Zima leads the pack, as the promiscuous Alex, struggling to hold onto her last connection with her stepfather, despite his new wife’s (her ex) disdain for her. Always convincing and enigmatically sexy, Zima does her best to keep this film running smoothly despite its sometimes awkward plot twists. Agnes Bruckner as Sara, becomes the protagonist, as she loses her job, scholarship, and housing thanks to the prissy, know-it-all, Brooke (Shanna Collins) who has a personal vendetta against her since her boyfriend, Eric (Shawn Ashmore), has the hots for her. It becomes Alex’s plan to trade murders with Sara as to lose all motives, but when Sara can’t hold up her end of the bargain, things get messy. Similar to films like “Wild Things”, with ever changing alliances and motivations, Jamie Babbit’s “Breaking The Girls” becomes too heavy to handle by the end, and with one twist after another, they simply fail to register at a certain point, losing credibility and losing distinguishable dialogue. However sexy this film may be, there’s not quite enough here to keep it feeling more like a made-for-TV movie rather than a fully formed feature film.

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PARANOIA // Only entertaining on the most basic of levels, without its seasoned cast and glossy shine film quality, “Paranoia” would be, as the critics have already called it, “borderline unwatchable”. Touting a cast of Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman once again on opposing sides, and Liam Hemsworth with Amber Heard getting stuck in between these moguls, no one would have guessed the plot structure and delivery would not be anything less than amazing. Instead, Robert Luketic’s feature is stale and recycled, feeling like every other corporate espionage film that’s ever been made. Mostly unbelievable and often contradictory, the jabs the film makes on worldwide surveillance are then brushed over to allow for the plot to carry on. In particular the fact that all conversations are monitored on phones, whether the phone is on or not, would render the idea of a spy completely impossible. Which means there would be no possible way that Adam (Hemsworth) could infiltrate Goddard’s (Ford) company without immediately being detected, especially as he runs back to the rival company. The writing is surface level, relying on fixed stereotypes to get the viewer immediately involved rather than developing characters in a rich and exciting way. The film becomes so formulaic, that even the romance that blossoms is rendered unwanted. With a veteran cast like Ford and Oldman, it takes a very bad script and poor execution to kill a film like “Paranoia”.

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THE TO DO LIST // If you remember the first time you learned swear words and if from that point forward, you slipped them in wherever possible, than the screenplay for “The To Do List” feels exactly like that except with dirty content in general. Before seeing the film, I appreciated that this was an “R” rated comedy about sex, especially with a strong female lead pursuing sexual experiences. However, labeling this film “R” only gave it license to be all about the raunch rather than delving into story or characters that we actually gave a shit about. Aubrey Plaza proved that she could carry herself in a feature film with “Safety No Guaranteed” but with “The To Do List”, she comes off more like a Saturday Night Live skit rather than a fleshed out human being. As much as I wanted to love this film, it just never felt right, whether it was the caricature of a dad, played by Clark Gregg, the horrible performance from Johnny Simmons, or the sad attempts at making Rachel Bilson a whore. Even Bill Hader is not enough to change the constantly shifting and pointless avenues of this film. Instead of being the raunchy, sexy comedy of the 90’s that we wanted, all we got was a half-assed, barely funny summer comedy that will likely be forgotten.

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THE WORLD’S END // With “The World’s End”, director Edgar Wright delivers his funniest installment in the Cornetto trilogy, with a masterful blending of comedy, science fiction, and action, endless laughs and rich character development the likes that the previous two films never quite reach. Simon Pegg proves just how good of a comedic actor he is, embodying three completely different characters throughout Wright’s trilogy and topping it off with his best performance yet. Playing the cool guy Gary King, Pegg’s character attempts to return his glory days by assembling his former crew and heading back home to finish the epic pub crawl that they never finished as young adults. Bent on hitting all 12 pubs having one pint at each, the night proves to be more interesting as they discover that everyone back home has been swapped out for robots. The cast is a who’s who of Wright’s previous players, including Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, and even the voice of Bill Nighy, along with welcome additions like the beautiful Rosamund Pike and the always interesting Eddie Marsan. Hilarious and action packed, the film almost never holds back and provides some of the best comedy cinema of the year. That is, until we reach the World’s End. Starting off with such strong first and second acts, the climax of the film leaves much to be desired, falling off into a debate of human existence and muddling off into an obscurity and uneven ending. Had they nailed this adventurous climax, the film could have been close to perfect, but with such a strange and insufficient ending, there’s really no forgiving Edgar Wright as a whole. That being said, the parts of “The World’s End” that were good, were absolutely fantastic, nailing laugh after laugh and providing a stellar end to a strong trilogy.

New Releases
2 Guns
All Is Bright
And While We Were Here 2-denied2
Breaking The Girls
C.O.G.
Crystal Fairy
Disney’s Planes 2-denied2
Drew: The Man Behind the Poster
Hannah Arendt 2-denied2
Paranoia (2013)
Therese
The To Do List
Violet & Daisy
We’re the Millers
The World’s End

TV Box Set

  •     The Devil’s Ride: Season One
  •     Here’s Edie: The Collection
  •     Lost Girl: Season Three
  •     Peter Gunn: The Final Season
  •     Touched by an Angel: Season Nine
  •     Treme: Season Three

Special Editions/Other Releases

  •     Animals (2012)
  •     Blue Collar Boys
  •     Caesar And Otto’s Deadly Xmas
  •     Cambodia: Pol Pot And The Khmer Rouge
  •     The Contenders (2009)
  •     Danger in the Manger
  •     Deceptions Of Love
  •     I Am Zozo
  •     Las Zapatillas Coloradas
  •     The Looking Glass
  •     Maniac Cop 2
  •     Maniac Cop 3
  •     Mars (2013)
  •     Passione
  •     Peyote
  •     Pursuit: The Search For Bigfoot
  •     Roulette
  •     The Saddle Club: Saving Pine Hollow
  •     Secrets Of A Door To Door Salesman
  •     She’s Still Not Our Sister
  •     Tom Peepers
  •     Where Is Primer Green?

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