Man on a Ledge

   Director: Asger Leth, Summit Entertainment, Rated PG, 102 mins

Danish director, Asger Leth’s first full length feature stars Aussie actor Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans) as ex-cop Nick Cassidy in an exhilarating psychological thriller that is filled with surprises and will keep you guessing until its dramatic conclusion.
   This is due in large part to some stimulating sequences, cinematic shots and an absorbing script from TV screenwriter Pablo Fenjves.
Man on a Ledge
   The intrigue begins right from the start with Cassidy, having escaped from prison, deciding to climb onto the twenty first floor ledge of a particular building and demanding to talk to police psychologist Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks – The Next Three Days) about a crime he did not commit – and threatening to jump if she doesn’t appear.
   Neither Mercer, her colleague Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns – The Holiday) or even Cassidy’s close police friend Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie – Real Steel) are aware that in the building opposite which is owned by the unscrupulous real estate tycoon David Englander (Ed Harris- The Rock), a heist is taking place at the same time by none other than Cassidy’s younger brother Joey (Jamie Bell – Jane Eyre ) and his voluptuous girlfriend Angie (TV star Genesis Rodriguez – Entourage), both of whom are in the process of stealing a $40 million diamond from Englander who had Nick Cassidy imprisoned for the crime in the first place.
   Besides assembling a wonderful cast that includes the pleasing performances of Worthington and Banks, Leth has laced his clever storyline of corruption and injustice with appropriate doses of action, humour and tension.
   Overall Man on a Ledge is in every sense an enjoyable, tense thriller that is not only entertaining but worth seeing again.

VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps


Shame

   Director: Steve McQueen, Transmission Films, Rated MA, 101 mins

Rising star Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) who appeared in Steve McQueen’s first feature film Hunger reunites with the award-winning director in his latest release that is sexually-explicit, raw and disturbing.
   Though some may view Shame as a soft porn movie and possibly perturbed by some of the confronting scenes involving Fassbender in the lead role, it is McQueen’s surreal style of exploring the habits of a sex addict, with Fassbender as Brandon Sullivan turning in a courageous and tortured performance.
Shame
   As the title of the movie implies, Brandon experiences his daily shame with his addiction knowing no bounds – even paying for prostitutes to satisfy his sexual appetite.
   But his routine is disrupted by the sudden arrival of his estranged sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan – Drive), making matters a great deal worse by having an affair with Brandon’s boss David Fisher (James Badge Dale – The Conspirator) and straining their relationship to breaking point.
   In Brandon, McQueen has attempted to depict a frank portrait of a man struggling with his addiction, at the same time as being brazen and uninhibited in what is shown on screen.
   He also does not shy away from some hard truths, not even hiding the full frontal nudity or explicit nature of some of the sexual acts which defies the normal conventions, making some of the scenes unpalatable.
   Despite making a deeply troubling movie that leaves many questions unanswered it does include a first class performance from Fassbender and a great musical score besides demonstrating once again McQueen’s particular raw style of directing.
   From a cinematic point of view McQueen’s Shame can be seen as a cleverly crafted movie that will have a certain appeal while for others it may be too shameful to watch.
VIC'S VERDICT:       3 ½ Rubber Stamps


DVD Reviews

The Three Musketeers

   Release Date 22 February
   Director: Paul W.S. Anderson, Sony Pictures, Rated PG, 110 mins.

The highly successful benchmark for the series of movies made about The Three Musketeers must surely be the 1948 version that starred Gene Kelly as D’Artagnan, the leader of the famous trio of swashbuckling musketeers.
The Three Musketeers
   In the latest rendition from Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson, screenwriters Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies have deviated from the original Alexander Dumas story by injecting a wonderful mix of action, drama, humour, romance, and swordplay, the outcome of which is a delightful and enjoyable movie filled with fabulous costumes, magnificent locations, impressive stunts, and spectacular special effects such as flying ships.
   Anderson has also assembled a great cast that includes Lord of the Rings superstar Orlando Bloom as the Duke of Buckingham, Resident Evil’s Milla Jovovich as Milady de Winter, The Green Hornet’s Christoph Waltz as the villainous Cardinal Richelieu and Logan Lerman (the star of Percy Jackson and the Olympians) playing the role of D’Artagnan.
   In this DVD Anderson introduces a number of entertaining elements to his visually splendid production and an array of features including Achieving the Look and 17Th Century Action.

VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps


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