Sunday, October 20, 2013
Cindy Prascik’s Reviews of Captain Phillips & Escape Plan
Dearest Blog, yesterday it was off to the cinema for a pair of testosterone-fueled flicks, Captain Phillips and Escape Plan.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
First I set sail with Captain Phillips.
An American cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates, and its captain taken hostage.
I'll be straight with ya, readers, I expected Captain Phillips to be a slow, overlong movie redeemed by yet another Oscar-worthy turn from Tom Hanks. Instead it's the second film this month (the first being Gravity), to have been a very pleasant surprise.
Captain Phillips does feature an incredible performance by the always-reliable Hanks.
The supporting cast, most notably Barkhad Abdi as the pirates' leader, is no less remarkable for being less well known. Captain Phillips does a terrific job of sustaining tension, to the point that I won't even complain about the 15 minutes or so that easily could have been shaved off the runtime. (See what I did there?)
There's an air of claustrophobia about the movie's second half that literally sucks the air out of the theatre...or maybe I was just holding my breath? The film begins with some of the most insipid movie dialogue I've ever heard (remember, I own that My Bloody Valentine remake!), but not to worry, from the time we board the Alabama, Captain Phillips is absolutely riveting.
Captain Phillips runs 134 minutes and is rated PG13 for, "sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use." It's a great film spearheaded by another magnificent Tom Hanks performance, for my money, a "must see."
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Captain Phillips gets seven and a half.
Next on my agenda was the Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick, Escape Plan.
Okay, dear Blog, from the first trailer, I felt like Escape Plan had been made expressly with me in mind. Even though I've never met Sly and Arnie, the movie does nothing to dispel the notion.
A guy who breaks out of prisons for a living faces his biggest challenge yet.
While Escape Plan doesn't quite have the "oomph" of that first Expendables movie, I can't imagine anyone who enjoys the genre wouldn't have a good time with it. Stallone and Schwarzenegger are on point, trading barbs and punches while plotting to escape their maximum-security hell.
The dashing Jim Caviezel brings the crazy as the power-mad warden. The rest of the supporting cast was mostly, "Um...I remember that guy played a thug in..........." The plot features a couple solid twists, and I was very impressed with the film's overall appearance, in particular that first full look at the supposedly escape-proof facility.
I see most movies in an empty or nearly-empty theatre (by design), but I had company for this one and the crowd's response was extremely positive.
Escape Plan clocks in at 116 minutes and is rated R for "violence and language throughout." If you're looking for a fun time at the movies, it doesn't get better than this.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Escape Plan also gets seven and a half.
Until next time...
Escape Plan: puts hair on your chest!