Clive Owen, Billy Crudup
“BLOOD TIES” My rating: C (Opening March 21 at the Leawood)
127 minutes | MPAA rating: R
The crime drama “Blood Ties” has a hell of a pedigree.
The cast boasts of Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Mina Kunis, Zoe Saldana, James Caan and Lili Taylor. Behind the camera is the French director Guillaume Canet, whose 2006 “Tell No One” was one of the most satisfying thrillers of recent years.
And yet the movie is a mutt.
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit extreme. “Blood Ties” is competent. It’s just totally uninspired. There’s more oomph in five minutes of, say, “Goodfellas,” than in two hours of this effort.
The setup isn’t exactly original. Two brothers. One is a cop. The other is a crook.
Chris (Clive Owen) is finally released from prison after doing time for murder. He’s greeted at the gates by his sister (Lili Taylor) and younger brother Frank (Billy Crudup), an NYPD detective. They take Chris home for a reunion with their dying father (James Caan).
Chris claims he wants to go straight, but he has lots of baggage to deal with. His ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard) is a call girl and periodic junkie. She has managed to raise their two kids, who are now young teens and virtual strangers to Chris. But she wants money, lots of it.
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“RUST AND BONE” My rating: B- (Opening Jan. 18 at the Glenwood Arts ????)
120 minutes | MPAA rating: R
As much as there is to enjoy in the lead performances of Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone” labors under a surfeit of overkill.
At its core it’s a down-to-earth story. A womanizing man uncomfortable with his role as a single father befriends a young woman disfigured in a terrible accident. Little by little he pulls her out of her shell of depression, while she helps him discover his paternal instincts and his less-selfish side.
Cue the violins.
But wait. That’s too simple. Too cut and dried.
How about this: The guy becomes a champion of illegal underground gladiatorial combats. And the woman loses her legs to a killer whale.
Yeah, that’s much more believable.
So you see what I mean about overkill. And yet Audiard (maker of the epic prison drama “A Prophet”) and his stars have almost enough skill – almost – to sell “Rust and Bone’s” hyperbole. (more…)
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Posted in Popcorn movies, tagged Elliott Gould, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, John Hawkes, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Sanaa Lathan, Steven Soderbergh on September 9, 2011 |
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Gwyneth Paltrow...not feeling so good
“CONTAGION’’ My rating: B (Opening wide on Sept. 9)
105 minutes |MPAA rating: PG-13
There’s no shortage of big names in the cast, but the real star of “Contagion” is filmmaker Stephen Soderbergh.
His latest is a hypnotic juggling act, a carefully calibrated mashup of characters and situations that proves him a master storyteller.
This time the maker of “Traffic,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Che” and “Out of Sight” (and, yes, the “Ocean’s” flicks) delivers a “what if?” thriller about a killer flu pandemic that puts mankind on the ropes.
“Contagion” paints a grim but fully-detailed picture of how we’d react in such circumstances, and it’s not pretty.
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