The Notorious Mr Bout
Documentary about international arms dealer/smuggler Viktor Bout – the model for Nicolas Cage’s character in Lord Of War as may be mentioned once or twice or ten times here. Co-directors Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin secure some decent interviews, as well as access to the video tapes of Bout, himself a keen camcorder enthusiast.
The Hunting Party
Silly and offensively simplistic ‘journalist saves the world’ nonsense, with American war reporter (Richard Gere) tracking down a Serbian war criminal (Ljubomir Kerekeš), ably assisted by sidekicks Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg. Directed by Richard Shepard (The Matador).
Sort of Once Upon A Time In The Soviet Union, only not as interesting as that makes it sound. An Italian production of a Russian novel, with international talent like Peter Stomare and John Malkovich wasted. Directed by Gabriele Salvatores, who nabbed an Oscar for Mediterraneo.
Not Oserov’s 1990 one, nor Vilsmaier’s 1993 one; this is Bondarchuk’s shitty and over-glossy 2013 one.
Escape From Alcatraz
Ol’ Rawhide tries to figure out how the hell to get off this damn Rock. A Don Siegel-Clint Eastwood classic.
American president Kevin Pollak is trapped in a remote diner with his entourage during a nuclear standoff. Decent if stagey drama, with ensemble cast including Timothy Hutton, Sean Astin, Badja Djola, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Clotilde Courau, directed by critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie.
[The Cruel Deep title screen]
The Cruel Deep AKA Escape Under Pressure
Dire ‘action adventure’ about a boat hijacking, international art thieves, and Rob Lowe. Seriously, it’s not worth it.
Mardy counter-terrorism Federal officer turns out to be kinky mole. Chris Cooper is great as FBI turncoat Robert Hanssen, and director Billy Ray keeps things interesting if not groundbreaking.
[Suspect Zero title screen]
FBI agents are on the trail of a dangerous serial killer; they leave no stone unturned, no cliche unused. Oh, and MIND CONTROL. Sort of Se7en-meets-The Silence Of The Lambs by way of MKULTRA, only really, really boring. With Ben Kingsley, Aaron Eckhart and Carrie-Anne Moss, directed by E Elias Merhige.