I haven't written a Red Box movie review in a while, so here's the wrap-up of a few $1 gems.
What happens when a slacker who is barely functioning from day to day is introduced to a drug that activates the 80% of his brain that most of us never access? It's an interesting concept. Toss in a squad of thugs trying to steal said drugs from said slacker and willing to kill him or anyone else for them, and you have the basis for a better-than-average action film. You give Robert De Niro an itty-bitty part so you can slap his name at the top of the DVD cover and you even have a bit of star appeal.
That probably isn't quite fair. The central character is played by Bradley Cooper, the latest darling of the hip-Hollywood crowd. I don't get his sudden buzz, but apparently I am in the minority regarding his talent.
The plot pushes forward at a brisk clip; consequently, I was never bored. However, I saw this movie about three weeks ago; and for the life of me, I can't remember how it ends. So, no spoiler here.
Other than the forgettable ending part, it was well worth the buck I spent on it.
Between the Internet and big-mouth acquaintances, getting surprised by a movie's ending is nearly impossible these days; however, that's exactly what happened to me with this Liam Neeson thriller.
Neeson's character and his wife fly into Berlin and as they rush to get a cab from the airport to their hotel, he leaves his briefcase on the curb outside baggage claim. He realizes his error when they arrive at the hotel. Telling his wife (played by semi-hottie Diane Kruger of Inglorious Basterds fame) to go ahead and check in, Neeson's character grabs another cab and heads back to the airport. On the way the cab is forced off a bridge and into the river. Neeson's character winds up in a coma.
When he wakes, his wife no longer recognizes him and a stranger has taken his place.
It's a solid whodunit that kept me guessing.
Verdict: Well worth the $1. I would have paid a buck fifty.
Black death, well any death, really, is what I was wishing for as I suffered through nearly two hours of this turkey.
The plague has gripped Europe and a little band of warriors is dispatched by the church to investigate a village where not only are the residents impervious to the plague, but death itself seems foiled.
Here's the big reveal: A witch, who can reanimate the dead runs the village. There are zombies, beheadings, stabbings, drunken parties and lots of soul searching.
Sean Bean of Lord of the Rings Fame is about the only person in this movie I had ever seen before. Times must be tough.
My take: Save your buck.
This is a sandal and sword movie that has its moments. Marcus Something and Something and Something, played by Channing Tatum, is a highly decorated military leader who goes into the great unknown to try to find out what happened to his father's legion that marched there never to be heard from again. He's accompanied by his pseudo slave.
Many adventures ensue, fights are fought and bonding occurs. Master and slave switch roles for a while and snore, the good guys are victorious.
Honor is regained.
I didn't feel ripped off after watching this movie, but thought the ending could have been stronger. It lagged a bit in the middle and felt like the director was just killing some time to get the film to its 100-minute length.
Was it worth the buck? I guess.