Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Movie Picks

HAYWIRE
Directed by STEVE SODERBERGH
Starring GINA CARANO, MICHAEL FASSBENDER, CHANNING TATUM, 
EWAN MCGREGOR, ANTONIO BANDERAS, and MICHAEL DOUGLAS

So who's the toughest chic on the block this week? Kate Beckinsale is fun to watch in the Underworld franchise, but she's no Gina Carano. Mind you, I really like Kate Beckinsale. She's a great actress and a competent action star, but Gina Carano is the real deal. I don't mean to jump the proverbial scifi shark, but the non-scifi film, Haywire, was absolutely stunning.

Mixed martial arts fighter turned actress, Gina Carano has the charisma and the physicality to become a bona fide action star. I'm sorry to say that everyone who paid to see Underworld: Awakening will soon regret not going to see Haywire instead. Mind you, I would not want to see Gina in a period piece film. Kate is a versatile actress and one of the few actresses who could play both Ava Gardner (in The Aviator) and Selene in Underwold.
Michael Fassbender/Gina Carano fight scene
Haywire had everything, action, drama, romance, fighting, and lest we forget Renaissance Man, Michael Fassbender. The fight between Michael Fassbender and Gina Carano is legendary, as is their onscreen chemistry. This fight had a raw physicality rarely seen in movies, let alone between male and female combatants. In most films, when a woman is in a physical fight she can only overcome the male aggressor by leveling the playing field in some way: a piece of glass, a hidden knife, a well-placed gun, etc. In Haywire, Gina Carano is the weapon and what an amazing weapon she is. The entire film was one big ode to 1970s  Blaxploitation heroines like Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones.
Gina Carano
Also, what isn't Michael Fassbender in these days? He's in everything. He's an android in Prometheus, old school Magneto in X-Men, a late 19th century psychiatrist in A Dangerous Method, an addict in Shame, and finally a spy in Haywire. Clearly Fassbender can do no wrong. I'm not even tired of seeing him.
The Magnificent Michael Fassbender
UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING
Directed by MANS MARLIND
Starring KATE BECKINSALE, MICHAEL EALY, and STEPHEN REA

Kate Beckinsale is back in her signature tough-girl role as Selene, the vampiric death dealer. In the fourth film in the franchise, Selene has been cryogenically frozen for 12 years. Of course she wakes up and then it's on. Now she's fighting for her life against humans. Humans have discovered the vampire world and are hunting vampires and lycans, as well as experimenting on them. Her new human crush is Detective Sabastian (played by Michael Ealy).

It only goes downhill from there in a somewhat predictable fashion. I can't say that I didn't like it, but I wouldn't say it's a good movie. It's slightly less than average at best. That said, I look at Underworld, like the Resident Evil franchise, it's a guilty pleasure. If you go to see it with that in mind, then you may enjoy it. It's currently coming in at a whopping 24% on Rottentomatoes.com.
Kate Beckinsale in her signature role
Michael Ealy

7 comments:

  1. Reviews of Haywire say it's a good action flick, but not one of Soderbergh's better efforts.
    The Underworld series is bullet proof. I really dug the film, the effects, the action - oh, and the Kate! I liked how they left it wide open for the next one to search of Michael.

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  2. i haven't seen either of these, but fassbender is astoundingly chameleon-like.

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  3. I was never a big fan of the Underworld series, so not too sue if I'll be checking that out any time soon. I did check out Haywire and I didn't really for it. Soderbergh did put a huge effort in it and I can respect what he as far as trying to do something different but it just kinda didn't do it for me.

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  4. Haywire looks worth watching, not sure about underworld, the third one was awful and how come she's got a new squeeze? Did her bloke die at the end of 2? i can't remember-think it'll be one to watch on dvd.

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  5. @Max-- I think you'll enjoy both.

    @Alex-- I thought it was a great film. I enjoyed it much more than the latter Ocean's films.

    @Vic-- Fassbender is crazy cool. I don't know how he does it. I'm convinced he's a robot and does not sleep.

    @Real Queen-- I'm surprised you didn't like Haywire. I will say that it was more of a drama than an actual action flick.

    @Paul-- Or did he??? That's the question that they answer in Underworld Awakening. I really enjoyed Haywire. It was very dramatic.

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  6. Fassbender's rise reminds me of Colin Farrell's several years ago. Both went from "who's the new guy" to being in seemingly every other film that comes out in about a year.

    I'm sure I'll see both of these movies when they come to DVD. I've liked the three previous Underworld movies. I still remember doing a mental doubletake when I saw Michael Sheen in the second one and wondered what the hell the Oscar nominated actor from The Queen and Frost/Nixon was doing in this genre film, then realizing that he had played the same character in the first one before I knew who he was.

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