8:00 PM, 9th June, 2012
It has long been a Hollywood tradition that actors abandon their original boring or unaesthetic name for a silver screen name. So, for example, the milquetoast Marion Mitchell Morrison became the man's man John Wayne.
Now this habit is starting to spread to Hollywood directors. Therefore the director of This Means War, Joseph McGinty Nichol, uses the memorable moniker McG. His breakthrough movie was the action comedy Charlie's Angels, and its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle for box office success. Thus McG was established as the go-to man for action comedies, hence his helming This Means War.
The plot for This Means War is the classic eternal love triangle: two CIA agents (played by Hardy and Pine) fall in love with the same woman, Lauren (Witherspoon). But the twist is that the jealous suitors each have access to lots of whiz-bang CIA gadgetry and weaponry.
As McG delicately put it:
"What would happen if Mission: Impossible's Ethan Hunt and James Bond were the best of mates and they travelled the world together, and they both enjoyed banging Croatian supermodels, and then they fought over the same woman?"
The result is a high-octane comedy, featuring two up-and-coming stars and the queen of rom com, Witherspoon, playing somewhat against-type as the sassy 'Helen of Troy' of the CIA. A rom com for action movie lovers.
9:49 PM, 9th June, 2012
This is a tale of power attained too easily, and of the wisdom of hindsight.
Three high-school friends gain intriguing supernatural powers and find themselves in a position to use them mischievously and thoughtlessly. Flexing their newfound muscles, they find those powers growing without apparent cost. When one of them (Andrew, played by the Golden Globe-winning "In Treatment" star DeHaan) increasingly falls prey to the temptation to use power over others for its own sake, what follows is an increasingly surreal, increasingly desperate race by the other two (Jordan, of the "Parenthood" series, and up-and-comer Russell) to understand the phenomenon and tame it before they become its mere puppets.
The concept of teens gaining superpowers and testing them out to fulfil their darkest desires is not a new one (see "Heroes"; the U.K. series "Misfits"; Covenant; and even Carrie) but this feature-film debut from director Josh Tank is a fresh foray into the horror/thriller category - and a chilling one at that. It's a dark take on a theme eternally fascinating: the ability of happenstance to invoke our human capacity for good and our capacity for evil. In their place, what would you do?
See it; you know you can't resist.
John P. Harvey