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hail HYDRA | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘3:10 to Yuma,’ ‘December Boys,’ ‘Balls of Fury,’ ‘Illegal Tender,’ ‘War’

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boys of fury?

It’s a slowish week for me this week: only five movies on the slate. It’s looking I might be able to swing things so that next week, I won’t do any screenings. Could be a good time to catch up on the massive, teetering pile of new DVDs I really should watch (I’m dying to see the extras on the 300, for one). Could be a good time to catch up on some sleep.

But not this week. I’m totally and officially Psyched for 3:10 to Yuma, not just because it stars both Russell Crowe and Christian Bale — maybe there is a god after all — but also because it’s from James Mangold, whose last movie, Walk the Line, I adore. (Some of his other flicks? Eh, not so much.)
I’m also looking forward to December Boys, about which I know little beyond the fact that it stars Daniel Radcliffe in his first non-Harry Potter film role. After the raves he got for his turn in the West End in Equus, I’m very curious to see what else besides the boy wizard he’s got in him.


threaten to yawn me?

The other three movies should prove a trial, collectively and separately. I’m totally and officially Dreading Balls of Fury, not just because, well, if the title didn’t pretty much shout out what level of intellect the movie is aimed at, the fact that it’s from the “mind” of Ben Garant would do it. Garant is responsible for some of the great cinematic travesties of recent years, including Taxi, The Pacifier, and Let’s Go to Prison. So, you know: *shudder*

Illegal Tender is, I’m told, “a riveting and bone-chilling thrill ride through the streets of New York and deep into the underbelly of Puerto Rico,” an “unforgettable action drama” that is also an “homage to the classic mob films of the ’80s.” When they have to tell you that, though, I really do wonder…

Finally, there’s War, the Jason Statham/Jet Li bust-’em-up. I like Li, but I fail to see any appeal in the thuggish Statham. Plus, director Philip Atwell has made only music videos. Plus plus, the film won’t be shown to critics until a courtesy screening Friday afternoon, after the movie has bowed in theaters. Things aren’t looking good for this one at all.

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  • Frank Sugino

    Daniel Radcliffe had a tiny part in was in The Tailor of Panama, so this is actually his second non-Potter flick.

  • amanohyo

    Woah! James Mangold is all over the place. I had no idea the guy that wrote Walk the Line also wrote Kate and Leopold *shudder*, Copland, and… Oliver and Company?!! (I kinda see how Girl, Interrupted connects). Even if the results are not always the best, it’s cool to see a writer/director dip his feet into so many different genres.

    Also, the appeal of Jason Statham is that he is a tough-looking white, male “martial artist” that does most of his own stunts… that’s it. He’s also an ex-Olympic diver, but it’s going to take a lot of cg and wirework (and music-video style editing) to maintain the illusion that he can go toe to toe with the graceful Li who has oh… roughly 3 decades more martial arts experience.

  • http://www.clayj.com Clayj

    This isn’t the first time that Jason Statham and Jet Li have shared the same screen… they also appeared together in The One, although I don’t think they ever really fought each other on screen. (Statham was perhaps the best thing to come out of Snatch, which I caught on HDNet Movies again last night. Awesome flick.)

    BTW, why do I remember reading something about how Jet Li’s last movie, Fearless, was to be his *last* martial arts movie?

  • MaryAnn

    why do I remember reading something about how Jet Li’s last movie, Fearless, was to be his *last* martial arts movie?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. And then someone pointed out to me that Li had said that he wasn’t going to do any more big epic historical martial arts films. Which I thought sounded like a bullshit explanation to me, frankly, that he’s trying to wriggle out of what he said.

    Daniel Radcliffe had a tiny part in was in The Tailor of Panama

    Well, that’s true, but what kind of *performance* could that really have been?

  • Josh

    You see the original 3:10? My dad loves that film but has no interest in the newer version. I’m psyched for it though.

  • MaryAnn

    I haven’t seen it. But I just added it to my Netflix queue.

  • Katie

    “It’s looking I might be able to swing things so that next week, I won’t do any screenings. Could be a good time to catch up on the massive, teetering pile of new DVDs I really should watch (I’m dying to see the extras on the 300, for one).”

    Or ya know, continue blogging S1/2 ‘Doctor Who’. Ok, I’ll stop.

    ’3:10 to Yuma’…I’m so there. And I’m really curious to see ‘December Boys’ so of course I’m looking forward to your reviews.

    I get Statham in movies like ‘The Italian Job’ and Guy Richie gangster movies but I don’t get him being put in all these “martial arts” movies. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • MaryAnn

    Statham is bearable in an ensemble, but as a lead? Ugh.

    Yes, more Doctor Who… I want that too. :->

  • Poly

    I don’t want you to be traumatised, but do you know that the always inventive tabloids in England has mentioned Jason Statham as a possibility for the next Doctor? It’s never going to happen of course but it makes you shudder. Hurry up with the Doctor Who blogging, in case something ghastly like that happens and the dream vanishes.

  • MaryAnn

    Statham as the Doctor would be just about the most horrible thing I can imagine.

  • Alli

    In regards to December Boys, I wouldn’t expect an earth shattering preformance by Dan Radcliffe. This movie was filmed back in 2005, long before Order of the Phoenix and Equus. I want him to do well, but I think Warner waited too long to release this film.

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