On the eve of an important election, disgraced cop Mark Wahlberg is called into the office of the Mayor of New York (Russell Crowe). As his bills for his detective agency are piling up, Wahlberg reluctantly accepts a simple job to tail the Mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and find out who she’s sleeping with. The money is good and the work seems pretty straightforward — but as we know from years of watching movies, things are never that simple. Broken City is a pretty standard thriller in terms of its plot but with a few decent twists and dependable leads in Wahlberg and Crowe, it becomes an eminently watchable potboiler.
Korean director Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) makes his English Language debut with this gothic psychological thriller. Mia Wasikowska plays a teenage girl who loses her loving father in a car wreck and finds herself living with her estranged mother (Nicole Kidman) and a creepy uncle that she’s never seen before (Matthew Goode). Dripping with atmosphere, great performances and awesome camerawork, there’s a lot to recommend in this Hitchcock-flavoured title. As a side note, the film’s screenplay is an original work by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller!
Song for Marion
Okay, it’s not: a conservative performance group, obsessed with tradition is shaken up when new woman turns up and jazzes up their repertoire with contemporary pieces! It’s the plot of both Sister Acts, Joyful Noise and next to any dance film you care to name. This time round, Gemma Arterton plays a woman brought in to spice up a choir of senior citizens that includes a terminally ill Vanessa Redgrave. It’s a very sweet film with a great turn by Terrence Stamp as Redgrave’s curmudgeonly husband and Arterton continues to prove her solid credentials as a lead actress. And let us not forget about the songs because yes: there will be songs!
Simon is an American student, wandering aimlessly through the streets of Paris. He meets Victoria, a Romanian sex worker who takes him home and falls for him, despite his strange demeanour. As you may have guessed from the title, Simon is not a nice guy and he soon takes advantage of the girl, hatching a plan to extort her clients. The director, Antonio Campos, was one of the producers of Martha Marcy May Marlene and stars Brady Corbet, who you may recognise as John Hawke’s #2 from that film. The two films also share an air of dread as well as an uncertainly for our lead character. It’s a dark and uncomfortable film that casual viewers may find too intense. But if you’re up for the challenge, why not check it out?
The Bill Collector
B-movie staple and Machete hero Danny Trejo stars in a straight-to-video movie about a guy who works as a debt collector who gets a taste of his own medicine when an LA loan shark sends a ‘debt collector’ to collect the collector’s debts. It all sounds a little weird and it’s tough to gauge by the trailer exactly what kind of movie this is but it’s got Danny Trejo in it, so it can’t be all bad. Can it?
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