The thrills come thick and fast in a pair of primo exclusives this week, starting with Safe, basically the best damn Jason Statham movie ever, followed by The Cold Light of Day, a cracking action showcase for impending Superman Henry Cavill. Also playing action man this week is Guy Pearce, kicking ass and taking names in sci fi spectacular Lockout. For those in search of differently paced entertainment, we’ve got everything from transgender costume drama Albert Nobbs and tuneful, tell-all documentary Marley to flesh-tearing fright-fest Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings. Read on!
The tale of a New York cop with a special forces past who, having been pushed too far by scores of slimy, dirty cops, evil Russian mobsters, wicked Chinese gangsters and mentally challenged pickpockets, wages a devastating war upon the lot of ‘em, Safe embraces the psychotic naïveté of an earlier age, pushing the proverbial pedal to the metal in a bullet-spraying, bone-snapping, tyre-burning, bystander-screaming, scenery-chewing, gag-spouting extravaganza of (early) Schwarzenegger proportions. In years to come I believe we’ll look back on it as the Commando of its generation.
Did I mention there’s this 10 year-old Chinese maths wiz (Catherine Chan) with a head full of secrets who the bad guys are desperate to capture? And that only Stath can save her? But enough about the plot, already. As with the actioners of my youth, the story’s only there to set up the carnage. And what carnage! You can colour me impressed with the action exploding from the screen. And that colour is red. Blood red. Because this movie is so stratospherically over-the-top, it gave me vertigo looking down upon the glorious gunplay and sack-cracking martial artistry of it all.
It made me laugh. Cry tears of joy, even. It’s a pick-me-up. A genuine laugh. A welcome distraction from common sense that’s so gloriously, perfectly stupid in every respect, it’s actually rather clever. Deceptively so, because even if you spend half the movie laughing at it, rather than with it, even scoffing from time to time at how incredibly crass it all is, the fact is, you’re still laughing. And clapping. And cheering. And generally having a grand old time. Which is what the action movies of my youth aimed to deliver. And what Safe delivers in spades. Rent it now on Blu-ray and DVD, in store and online, exclusively from blockbuster.co.uk.
Armed with a gun, but no information, Will is alone in an unfamiliar city. Forced to piece together the puzzle of his missing family… FYI, Will is played by dashing young British star Henry Cavill, who’s done rather well for himself after maintaining a strong supporting role in historical soap The Tudors. Man of Steel good…
Anyhoo, as is often the case in this sort of action thriller, Will is unwittingly embroiled in a government conspiracy, pursued from all directions by hordes of trigger happy agents. An unrelenting chase across the streets of Madrid intensifies and Will is forced to question everything he has ever known in order to stay alive long enough to rescue his family.
Co-starring legendary movie folk Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, The Cold Light of Day is an adrenaline-fuelled actioner from the creative and energetic Mabrouk El Mechri, esteemed director of JCVD. Rent it now on Blu-ray and DVD, in store and online, exclusively from blockbuster.co.uk.
An outer space spin on John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, this is a kick-ass rescue actioner distinguished by the sardonic, world-weary charms of Guy Pearce. Though Pearce is usually so thin it make me hungry just looking at him, for once he’s filled out enough to make a convincing action man.
As a stubbled tough guy framed for murder, Pearce is enlisted by the powers that be to save the President’s daughter (Taken’s Maggie Grace) from a maximum security space prison after an official visit there goes somewhat awry. Held captive by colourful, career psychos with Scottish accents, she’s sparkier than the average damsel in distress but still more of a hider than a fighter.
Set in the reasonably distant future, although effects-wise it’s early Noughties and dialogue-wise it’s early Eighties, Lockout is a raucous, rough-and-tumble death-fest with lively back-and-forth between the leads. Buy or rent it now on Blu-ray and DVD, in store and online from blockbuster.co.uk.
Also on Release…
Glenn Close scored herself a well-deserved Best Actress Oscar nomination for this one, a late 19th Century, Irish-set story about a woman pretending to be a man, a hotel butler to be precise. As you might expect, multiple complications ensue, some comic, others dramatic, in this beautifully made and sensitively played costume drama. A quirky modern classic, Albert Nobbs is available now to buy and rent on Blu-ray and DVD, in store and online from blockbuster.co.uk.
Although I was initially expecting a magical Christmas Carol spin-off, I was content to learn more about the other famous Marley in director Kevin Macdonald’s illuminating documentary. Less of a tribute to the reggae popster than a balanced analysis of his life and work, Marley is a revealing and tuneful watch. Buy or rent it now on Blu-ray and DVD, in store and online from blockbuster.co.uk.
For fans of Wrong Turn, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End and Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead, comes Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, a suitably gory prequel featuring all of the slicing, dicing, chopping and disemboweling that we’ve come to expect from the blood-soaked series. Buy or rent it now on Blu-ray and DVD, in store and online from blockbuster.co.uk.