Get the Gringo

   Director: Adrian Grunberg, Icon Film Distribution, Rating MA, 95 mins

Mad Max star Mel Gibson is back to his old form in his latest role as a career criminal in the action thriller Get the Gringo directed by Adrian Grunberg (in his first feature film) and produced by Gibson himself.
Get the Gringo
   In fact it is the action scenes that spearhead the opening sequence as the blood-stained driver (Gibson) of a speeding car together with his severely wounded accomplice (both wearing clown masks) are hotly pursued by a police car until Gibson catapults his car over the Mexican border where he is apprehended by the corrupt Mexican authorities.
   Besides taking his stolen money for themselves (unaware that it belongs to mobsters) they end up sending the gringo (the man with no name) to the notorious Mexican prison of El Pueblito where he forms a friendly relationship with a 10 year old street wise kid (Kevin Hernandez) and his caring mother (Dolores Heredia).
   Gibson is clearly in his element as the rough and ready tough guy in a prison that is more of a sleazy town with crime and drugs rampant and where the gringo steals from other prisoners to survive.
   In taking on the anti-hero role Gibson is out to protect the kid from being used by the prison’s crime lord as a standby donor for his ailing kidney at the same time as trying to retrieve his stolen loot.
   Get the Gringo may certainly be viewed by some as “Mad Mex” but it is still good to see Gibson back to what he does best which is delivering an entertaining action movie with his shoot them up style of action and sense of humour that made him famous in the past.
VIC'S VERDICT:         3 ½ Rubber Stamps

The Woman in Black

   Director: James Watkins, Hammer Film Productions, Rated M, 95 mins

From the 50’s-70’s Hammer Films were renown for producing many popular horror movies, particularly those dealing with Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy, with some seen today as classics of the horror genre.
   Horror fans will therefore welcome the return of Hammer Films’ newest release, that of the ghoulish gothic thriller, The Woman in Black, directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and based on the 1983 horror novel by Susan Hill.
   The supernatural storyline begins with three young girls about to jump out of a window, appearing spellbound by a woman in the room in a black dress.
The Woman in Black
   The story then switches to lawyer Arthur Kipps (Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe) seen telling his four year old son Joseph (Misha Handley) that his legal case requires him to journey to a remote village in the English countryside but will see him in a few days, following the law firm informing Kipps (still grieving from the loss of his wife) that this assignment is his last chance to redeem himself.
   Once there Kipps begins the task of sorting out the recently deceased papers of Alice Drablow, making him stay at her isolated home of Eel Marsh where he uncovers some tragic secrets besides witnessing the apparition of a woman in black.
   On learning of the mysterious deaths of a number of children, accompanied by the supernatural sightings of a veiled woman in black funeral attire including his only friend Sam Daily (Ciaran Hinds-Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) who lost his son in a drowning accident, Kipps presence is strongly renounced by the townspeople who are anxious for him to leave.
   Though possibly lacking the same intensity of Hammer’s classic horror movies, Watkins’ movie(set in the early part of the 19th century) still has quite a few scenes that will make the squeamish squeal in their seats especially when Kipps attempts to confront the ghostly figure haunting his place of residence-made more frightening by the inclusion of appropriate atmospherics and a musical score courtesy of horror music specialist Marco Beltrami.
   Hammer Films attempt to resurrect its glory days with its latest rendition of The Woman in Black will please some fans while others may feel some disappointment in Radcliffe’s performance and the concluding scene.
VIC'S VERDICT:        3 Rubber Stamps

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