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The Grey: An oil drilling crew led by Liam Neeson crash lands in the Alaskan wilderness where they become prey for a pack of wolves. Depending on the director, this film could become either an Alive style melodrama about the fight for survival at the ends of the Earth or an over the top, super lurid violence orgy with a plot and characters that barely serve as set dressing. The Grey is directed by Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces) so there’s not even a small chance that this will be a grueling journey through the compromises that human beings have to make to survive in a hostile environment. It’s going to be a visually interesting, well-made action film where Neeson fights wolves with shards of glass taped to his hands. Can’t wait to eat popcorn to this. Also starring Dermont Mulroney, Frank Grillo and James Badge Dale.
Fun Fact: Bradley Cooper has at one point cast in Neeson’s role.
One for the Money: Katherine Heigl stars in this adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s bestseller which follows the cash strapped Stephanie Plum as she joins her cousins bail bond agency where she is coincidentally tasked to bring the ex-cop (Jason O’Mara) who spurned her back in high school. According to my mom, director Julie Anne Robinson (Blackpool) has so severely miscast this film as to render it unwatchable. As I’m not a fan of sassy women’s detective novels or the abrasive charms of Katherine Heigl I can’t say this film holds a great deal of appeal for me. If you’re a fan of the above mentioned pieces of entertainment, you might get something reassuring and pleasingly escapist from it but from the uninspired look of the film coupled with its wildly generic premise, Money doesn’t seem to offer anything as simple and endlessly pleasing as watching Jason Statham shoot some mope in the face. I could be wrong and have been in the past. Also starring Debbie Reynolds, Sherri Shepard and Daniel Sunjata.
Fun Fact: One for the Money has been in production for more than 15 years.
Man on a Ledge: Sam Worthington stars as the titular character, an escaped convict determined to prove his innocence for the crime for which he was imprisoned by distracting the police with a splashy suicide threat while his brother simultaneously pulls of a massive diamond heist. That’s the kind of high concept that would make David Mamet say “Whoa, maybe dial back the convolutions little?” And while Worthington is a man who is obstensibly paid large sums of money to act in major motion pictures, he’s yet to turn to turn in a performance to date that has been any better than passable. Here he’s supported ringers like Ed Harris and Elizabeth Banks but everything about this film screams January movie. Also starring Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Bell and Kyra Sedgwick.
Fun fact: Ledge is the first fiction film by veteran documentarian Asger Leth.
We Need to Talk About Kevin: Lynn Ramsey adapts Lionel Shrivers’ novel which is an autopsy of the lead up and aftermath of a young boy’s (Ezra Miller) high school massacre. Tilda Swinton stars as the boy’s mother and John C. Reilly as his father. The film is purported to be mesmerizing and quietly wrenching, as has been the case with all of Ramsey’s other films (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar). Easily the must see film of the week but obviously not for the faint of heart.
Fun Fact: The film features a score composed by Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood).
Mario blogs regularly at A Polemic Killer Room.