Welcome to the movies at PS News.
Each week, PS News's film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Director: Jonathan Mostow, Touchstone Pictures, Rated M, 88 mins
Die Hard superstar Bruce Willis returns as an action hero in Jonathan Mostow’s (Terminator 3-Rise of the Machines) latest sci-fi thriller.
Surrogates isset in the future where humans rarely leave their homes and instead use robotic human-looking surrogates that they can control from their armchairs.
In the opening scenes the audience is introduced to a much younger Bruce Willis (with blondish hair) playing FBI agent Tom Greer and his partner Peters (Radha Mitchell, Rogue) - with both surrogates being connected and controlled at home by their real life users.
But when a surrogate is ‘killed off’ along with its user, Greer (having had his own surrogate destroyed) takes it upon himself to unravel a conspiracy that could lead to the destruction of millions of surrogates worldwide.
The storyline for Surrogates is adapted from a screenplay written by Michael Ferris and John Brancato and based on Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele’s graphic novel.
Similar to the theme in Blade Runner, this is a movie that believes future technologies will affect every aspect of human life. It offers a philosophical viewpoint based on an interesting concept.
Besides Willis and Mitchell, renowned actor James Cromwell (W) stars in the film as Canter, the acclaimed inventor of the surrogates.
Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible) has a regrettably minor part as the The Prophet.
As a natural action director, Mostow handles the action sequences particularly well, not to mention his use of surprise and a wonderful twist at the end of the movie.
In addition to the fast-moving action and impressive special effects shown throughout the movie, Mostow has still managed to incorporate a personal side to Willis’ character by including some emotional scenes between him and his wife Maggie (Rosamund Pike),
Surrogates is certainly enjoyable and thought provoking, with Willis turning in a solid performance again as an action hero.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3½ Rubber Stamps
Release Date: 21 October 2009
Director: Dan Ireland, Rated PG, 85 mins
One of Sony’s soon to be released DVDs is the emotionally charged Living Proof which tells the true story of Dr Dennis Slamon, the American doctor and researcher who helped develop the breast cancer drug Herceptin.
The movie begins in the 1980s and continues into the 90s as Dr Slamon works to develop a drug to stop the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells.
The movie shows how his fight to keep the drug trials running saved and changed numerous lives.
Based on Robert Bazell’s book, HER-2: The Making of Herceptin, A Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer, this made for television movie is superbly directed by Dan Ireland and is an emotional and inspirational story that pulls no punches.
Besides the touching performances of the entire cast, especially the actresses who played the women with breast cancer, the stand out performance is from Harry Connick Jr whose portrayal of Dr. Dennis Slamon is just brilliant.
Connick Jr balanced his character's drive to find a cure and how he dealt with each patient’s fears with a great deal of compassion and understanding.
Overall, Sony’s latest release is a beautiful and inspiring story and is definitely worth watching and including in your DVD collection.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4½ Rubber Stamps