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.
Edge of Darkness
Director: Martin Campbell, Warner Bros, Rated MA, 117 mins
After an eight year absence Academy Award winning actor and director, Mel Gibson (Signs) returns in the edge-of-the-seat suspenseful thriller Edge of Darkness.
Although older, Gibson still appears to characterise his action roles in the Lethal Weapon franchise.
The movie itself is based on the acclaimed 1985 BBC TV miniseries of the same name and adapted to the screen by Oscar winner William Monahan (The Departed) and Australian screenwriter Andrew Bovell (Lantana).
Gibson delivers an intense performance as Tom Craven, a veteran homicide detective with the Boston police department whose daughter Emma (Australian actress Bojana Novakovic) is suddenly killed on his front porch.
His colleagues believe the bullet was meant for him but Craven suspects that Emma was the real target.
Driven by heartache and blame he initiates his own private investigation into her murder, unearthing her secret life which and uncovering a complicated conspiracy involving the government and a corporate magnate headed by the unscrupulous Jack Bennett (played by X-Men Origins: Wolverine star Danny Huston).
The only help Craven receives is from Jedburgh (Beowulf’s Ray Winstone) a government agent whose role is that of a ‘fixer’ but who in the end delivers the surprising punch line, ensuring that Craven's search for the truth ultimately brings him closure to his daughter’s death and his own deliverance.
Action director Martin Campbell who is credited with rejuvenating the Bond franchise with his highly successful production of Casino Royale (not to mention his earlier successes with the Zorro movies) has made a thrilling movie filled with plenty of action, emotion and intrigue.
In developing Gibson’s character, Campbell takes great pains to show the love of Craven for his daughter in the opening scenes and then periodically through flashbacks.
But despite the corny ending (reminiscent to that in Ghost) it is Campbell’s use of the talented Gibson in his avenging father role that keeps you on the edge of your seat and is the movie’s ultimate strength.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
Release Date: February
Director: Lars Von Trier, Zentropa Entertainments, Rated MA, 108 mins
Paramount’s new DVD appears to be Danish director Lars Von Trier’s first English release and without a doubt one of the most despairing and difficult movies one has ever watched.
While Von Trier is noted for his avant-garde approach and controversial style of filmmaking, Antichrist is solely focused on a married couple played by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
As is revealed in the opening scenes and through an unusual prologue, shot in black and white and slow-motion, their toddler son has fallen to his death through an open window while they were making love.
In their grief, they retreat to their cabin in the woods in order to deal with their loss.
At this point, Von Trier switches to colour and introduces his signature chapter headings which include ‘Pain’, ‘Grief’ and ‘Despair’, concluding with a nonsensical ‘Epilogue’.
Except for the cinematography Antichrist is not for the faint-hearted with one’s disappointment further exacerbated by Von Trier’s use of graphic imagery and sexual violence that at times comes across as a semi-porn production.
VIC'S VERDICT: 1 ½ Rubber Stamps
Release Date: February
Director: Kirkpatrick, Paramount Pictures, Rated PG, 107 mins
This DVD is a wonderful family friendly movie.
It indulges in equal infusions of childish behaviour and seriousness, with performances on a whole both convincing and sincere-even for a comedic actor of the calibre of Eddie Murphy.
Always focused and in control, Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is a fiscal wizard who arranges the financial affairs of his many clients, a job which leaves him little time for his seven-year-old daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi).
Olivia instead finds herself dependent on her security blanket (named Goo-Gaa) that transports her to an imaginary world.
It's all in her mind of course but when Evan plays along, Olivia's invisible friends miraculously produce accurate advice on stocks, investments and insider tips.
Suddenly Evan is immersed in his daughter's imaginary fantasy, forcing himself to reassess his relationship with Olivia and the real meaning of life.
Despite the wonderful chemistry between Evan and Olivia, Murphy's newest comedy is only mediocre and has less laughs than his earlier role in the sci-fi movie Meet Dave.
However it is still sufficiently entertaining for adults and children alike.
The DVD also includes a number of extras such as commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes and a tour of the set, as well as additional featurettes.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
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