4/20/2012 4:56:00 PM
1. CONTRABAND: A very rough and tough movie that features Mark Wahlberg as a waterfront denizen who is now arrow-straight, having turned his back on a life of crime … but his wife’s younger brother gets involved in something that he can’t escape – dumping a load of drugs that were being smuggled when the cops were onto him, and now the crime boss is going to have him killed unless he comes up with the money – big money – in a few days. Wahlberg’s character is forced back into “the life” to bail the young man out … but it’s not that simple! Despite it’s rough, profane stance, I found this a good action-thriller. Rated 14A.
2. TITANIC: THE MINISERIES: This was just on television a couple of weeks ago, and comes to us from the creators and producers of Downton Abbey. Each hour of this mini concludes with a different viewpoint on what happened that fateful night. It is as much a commentary on the British class system of the day – sort of an “upstairs downstairs” of the passenger ship business, as it is a story of the sinking itself. Although you may feel all that can be said about this disaster has been said and done, for aficionados of the genre, it’s a must-see. Rated PG.
3. AMUSEMENT: This horror-slasher flick was produced for theatrical release, but it just didn’t happen, so here it is after four years in the vault, finally getting released on DVD. A semi-recognizable cast (Kathryn Winnick from “Bones,” Keir O’Donnell from “Sons of Anarchy”) team up in a story in which something … something wants the attention, and maybe the life, of one or more young women who were involved in a terrible incident years before. Unfortunately, other than one very scary clown who doesn’t get enough face-time, the movie just doesn’t gel … bad acting, poor writing, and a very, very poor ending make it hard to recommend. Rated 18A.
4. RICK’S PICK: CONTRABAND: A remake of an Icelandic film, this one is intense – and actually has two Wahlbergs starring in it … younger brother Robert.
6. AT THE MOVIES: THE LUCKY ONE / THINK LIKE A MAN / CHIMPANZEE: Zac Efron is very grown up as an Iraqi veteran who looks up the sister of a dead comrade / A reasonable comedy based on Steve Harvey’s book / An animal tale for Earth Day that will bring tears to your eyes as the little chimp is orphaned … and then finds a new caregiver.
7. OPENING THIS WEEKEND: / THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT/ THE RAVEN / SAFE / THE PIRATES: BAND OF MISFITS: Sex comedy from Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) / horror thriller as Edgar Allen Poe’s works come to life – in Poe’s time! / Jason Statham in a martial arts thriller / Wallace & Gromit animation in 3D.