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: Paul Greengrass, Universal Pictures, Rated M, 115 mins
Following on the heels of the award winning movie The Hurt Locker is Paul Greengrass’s politically laced action war drama that reveals the US military’s failure to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) after invading Iraq in 2003.
Loosely based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s non-fiction book about Baghdad’s Green Zone, action director Greengrass teams up again with Matt Damon after their successful collaboration in two of the Bourne blockbusters movies.
Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller whose major assignment is to find WMD.
Miller becomes suspicious when he and his men cannot locate any WMD despite the Pentagon and their man in Baghdad, Clark Poundsgate (Ghost Town star Greg Kinnear) saying their existence was the main reason for the invasion.
Poundsgate’s view is strongly rejected by CIA agent Marty Brown (Brendan Gleeson from Beowulf)who tells Miller there are no weapons and it is all a huge fabrication.
On Brown’s advice and instructions Miller goes to great lengths to find out why the intelligence being provided is failing the military in its quest.
At the same time he goes after one of Saddam Hussein’s top generals, Al-Rawi (a great performance from Yigal Naor), the key to Miller uncovering the deception.
Damon’s performance in Green Zone is truly riveting and complemented by his participation in a series of action-packed sequences (similar to his action roles in the Bourne trilogy).
Although the scenes appear to have been shot in Bagdad in reality they were filmed on location in Morocco and Spain.
Greengrass’s clever direction, realistic settings and his assembling of a great cast that includes some fine performances from Gleeson, Kinnear, Naor and The Kite Runner’s Khalid Abdalla, has ensured the delivery of an enthralling political action thriller.
Unlike the The Hurt Locker Greengrass’s Green Zone has a thoroughly engaging storyline and receives a green light for enjoyment and entertainment.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
Twilight Saga - New Moon
Release date: 14 April
Director: Chris Weitz, Summit Entertainment, Rated M, 130 mins
Sony’s much anticipated DVD ‘New Moon’ is the next chapter in the highly popular Twilight Saga franchise.
The success of the second Twilight movie, which was directed by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) is due in large part to the unusual yet romantic link between a teenage girl and a vampire but in particular to the lead actors’ portrayal of the film’s two main characters.
Following on from the first movie, Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) celebration of her eighteenth birthday is dampened by the news that her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) and his family have decided to leave town with Edward telling Bella that he will never see her again.
It is not long before Bella forms a new relationship with American native Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who she later discovers is a werewolf.
As their friendship blossoms, Bella is forced to choose between friendship, love and forgiveness.
Chris Weitz as the new director of the Twilight Saga has broadened the appeal of the franchise to include not only adolescents and teenagers but an older adult audience.
Unlike the first movie which only included vampires, there is now the added element of werewolves, who pit themselves against their only enemy – you guessed it – vampires.
There has been an improvement in acting, directing style and writing, and New Moon appears to be darker than its predecessor, with a greater emphasis on action sequences, better special effects, a good soundtrack and more violence.
Despite the latter and the heart-throbbing ending, Weitz has still managed to make an entertaining movie which together with a fascinating array of bonus features available on Sony’s two disc edition makes this DVD one to own.
The bonus features include: Team Edward v Team Jacob-The Ultimate Love Triangle;
The Journey Continues-6 Part Documentary on the ‘Making of the Twilight Saga: New Moon; Interview with the Volturi; Extended and Deleted Scenes; Music Videos; and Sneak Peek-Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
To find out more about Victor Rebikoff click here.