John Woo directs Jean Claude Van Damme as a down-on-his-luck seaman hired to help a young woman (Yancy Butler) find her indigent father (Chuck Pfarrer), who has been recruited by a company providing rich clients with human prey to hunt on safari. Energetic iteration of the Richard Connell story The Most Dangerous Game, with a bubbly cast that includes Lance Henriksen, Arnold Vosloos, Wilford Brimley and Sven-Ole Thorsen.
Ridley Scott pissing on his legacy yet more, with a derivative, overblown inspired by biopic about 70s Harlem drug trafficker Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington tries to play the crook with nobility, there’s obviously a foil – a driven cop (Russell Crowe) – plus plenty of familiar faces in supporting roles (Chiwetel Ejiofor, RZA, Ted Levine, Common, Armand Assante, Josh Brolin). Ultimately doesn’t add up to anything of substance.
Satire about US military policy in Afghanistan, with a barely disguised (and barely polite) pen portrait of incoming Pentagon whizkid Stanley McChrystal (Brad Pitt as Glen McMahon), sent to win the war. Great ensemble – Anthony Hayes, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Daniel Bets, Emory Cohen, John Magaro and Aymen Hamdouchi as McMahon’s entourage, Scoot McNair as the reporter granted access, and Meg Tilly as the General’s wife. Directed by David Michôd, based on a book by Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings. Nice touch in the epilogue, reprising the prologue, only with Russell Crowe in a cameo as a fictionalised version of David Petraeus.
Eye In The Sky
Decent ethics-of-drone-warfare flick, with Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman and Barkhad Abdi. Written by Guy Hibbert, directed by Gavin Hood (who handled 2007’s similar balance of thoughtfulness and action Rendition).
[Bad Moms title screen]
Mindless but half-enjoyable semi-feminist-ish sorpack(?) silliness (written and directed by a pair of dudes!), with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as a trio of perfectly normal mothers doing not that unreasonably at the old parenting thing, or something.
Master cat burglar Martin Lawrence pretends to be a cop to retrieve a jewel stashed years ago in the building site that later became a precinct house. By numbers, nothing fancy, sort of watchable. Nice turns from Dave Chapelle, Luke Wilson, Peter Greene and William Forsythe.
Shinchinin No Samurai AKA Seven Samurai
Come on, no introduction etc.