This Weekend At The Movies (Jan. 27-29)

THE GREY

MP’s PICK OF THE WEEK

Directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan.  Starring Liam Neeson, James Badge Dale, Dallas Roberts, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie, Joe Anderson, Ben Bray, Anne Openshaw and Dermot Mulroney.

After their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness, an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks battle mortal injuries and merciless weather.  The survivors have only a few days to escape the icey elements and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt before their time runs out.

The trailer sells the film as a Liam Neeson vs. wolves movie but while that may be an element in the film, it is more of a harrowing survival story.  Liam Neeson is among one of my favorite actors to watch right now.  He is incredibly believable and as he’s gotten older he’s grown a bit of a badass persona as well with films like Taken.  He’s easily the biggest draw for me for The Grey, plus it doesn’t hurt that it looks like he takes on a wolf with broken shards of glass tied to his knuckles.  The word on the street is that The Grey will probably get a second release sometime in October of this year for a qualifying run to be considered for the Academy Awards.  I’ve read many enthusiastic things about the film and I cannot wait to go see it.  It’s only January and, with this film, I will be able to check off yet another film from my most anticipated list of 2012 (Haywire being the first one I’ve seen).

MAN ON A LEDGE

Directed by Asger Leth.  Starring Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez and Edward Burns.

Nick Cassidy makes a desperate and life-threatening move to prove his innocence after he is framed for the theft of a rare, prized diamond.  Recently escaped from prison and with nowhere else to go, Nick climbs onto the ledge of a towering skyscraper, inviting the eyes of New York City to anxiously watch as one wrong step could mean plunging to his death.  But as one police negotiator soon learns, Nick’s daredevil stunt, captivating the eyes of the public and media, masks a dangerous ploy to reveal the truth about his tarnished name.  With the help of his brother and with time running out, Nick’s intricate plan must work perfectly, but when you’re on the 25th floor ledge of a building, going down takes on an entirely more hair-raising meaning.

Wow.  What a synopsis.  Man on a Ledge is a movie that sits in the company of films like Mark Wahlberg’s Contraband.  They are usually entertaining (Contraband is, Man on a Ledge I can’t speak for yet) but not all that memorable afterwards.  While you are in the theater you feel like you got your money’s worth but when the end of 2012 rolls around and you are creating your best-of lists, you probably won’t be thinking of movies like this one.  There’s nothing wrong with that of course, sometimes we need a movie to just distract us and give us a thrilling time.  Hopefully with Man on a Ledge, that’s exactly what we get.  The trailer is intriguing if not a bit generic.  I like Elizabeth Banks and Jamie Bell, and Ed Harris is an actor with some gravitas, but Sam Worthington doesn’t really do much for me.  I’d definitely check the film out but I’m not dying to see it.

A DANGEROUS METHOD

LIMITED RELEASE

Directed by David Cronenberg.  Starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Sarah Gadon and Vincent Cassel.

Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as his patient.  Jung’s weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen).  In the process, both men fall under Sabina’s spell.

There are just some directors out there that whenever they release a new movie, as a self-respecting fan of film, I feel like I have to watch their latest offering.  While Cronenberg isn’t ever really listed as one of my favorite directors, I do think he’s immensely talented and makes movies that are worth watching.  With A Dangerous Method, Cronenberg has assembled a fine cast especially with Fassbender and Mortensen playing two men who will be going head to head vying over a woman.  I’m pretty interested in seeing those two play off each other.  This is a limited release and may not be easily available this weekend but it should be opening wider soon so if this is something that interests you then keep an eye out for it at the theater.

ONE FOR THE MONEY

Directed by Julie Anne Robinson.  Starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, John Leguizamo, Fisher Stevens and Debbie Reynolds.

Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin’s bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past.

If there is one actress that can instantly make me not want to watch a romantic comedy, it’s Katherine Heigl.  This movie, while based on a book, looks like a rip off of The Bounty Hunter but with the guy and girl roles reversed.  I’m sure Heigl has her fans and I’ve no doubt they are looking forward to this, but it’s just not for me.

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2 Comments on “This Weekend At The Movies (Jan. 27-29)”

  1. Ben McBride January 27, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    You’re welcome! I agree, the best movie this weekend is probably A Dangerous Method, but I’m just really psyched for The Grey!

  2. psychcine January 27, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks for the weekend movie list! I heard two reviews this morning for The Grey and Man on a Ledge – The reviewer called The Grey ‘brutal’ but inconsistent and Man on a Ledge “so bad it’s good” (something similar to your Contraband critique). Think the best one out this weekend will be A Dangerous Method 🙂

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