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.
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.