Posts tagged thriller
This week’s Weekend Movie Preview column has my review of Steven Soderbergh’s crime thriller “Side Effects.”
Summary: Psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) finds his happy marriage and successful career crashing down around him after he prescribes his patient Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) a new antidepressant, which has unanticipated side effects.
Director: Steven Soderbergh (“Magic Mike,” “Haywire”)
Writer: Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “The Informant”)
Notable Supporting Actors: Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mamie Gummer
Click here to read my take.
No matter how stressful driving lessons with your parents might have been, they can’t even compare to the ones Kim Mills (Maggie Grace) must endure in “Taken 2.” If you saw “Taken,” then you already know how anal retentive and protective her ex-spy father Bryan (Liam Neeson) is. Heck, after she was kidnapped by Albanian sex traffickers in that film, he pieced together clues to swiftly rescue her, leaving an enormous pile of dead bodies in his wake. That being the case, he’s definitely not the kind of overbearing guy you’d want giving you automotive instruction.
Why are driving lessons even a topic of conversation with an action flick like “Taken 2?” Well, because unfortunately, Kim’s inability to pass a driver’s test is actually a relevant plot point. With angry Albanians in hot pursuit and her father shooting at them, Kim must overcome her vehicular struggles by speeding through narrow streets, dodging baddies at every turn. Pretty ridiculous right? Sadly it gets worse.
If you look quickly at its title, “Red Lights” sounds more like a musical flick featuring hits by The Police, than a paranormal thriller by Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Cortés. Even though “Moulin Rouge” already immortalized the song “Roxanne” on screen, that fictional movie idea would still be better to watch than this real one that Cortés wrote and directed. At least with a musical you could connect with the characters by singing along to songs by The Police. “Every little thing she does is magic…”
Whether you’re into television junkie or a film nerd, you probably know Elizabeth Banks. In television the actress has had memorable turns on “30 Rock” and “Scrubs,” while her film credits include a mixture of comedic and serious efforts like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “The Next Three Days.”
This week, in the thriller “Man on a Ledge,” Banks plays a police negotiator named Lydia Mercer. When a disgraced ex-cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) climbs up on a New York hotel threatening to jump, Mercer is tasked with talking him down. What she doesn’t know is that the stunt is merely a smokescreen to hide his true plan. Certain shady characters discover his motives, so they set attempt to stop Nick, causing chaos to ensue.
Recently I had the chance to sit down for a roundtable interview with Banks about the movie. Below are some highlights of the conversation.
Q: One of the cool things about your character in this movie is that she’s a “police officer” and not a “police woman.” There’s not anything mentioned about her being a woman in the movie. Was that important to you to just play a character where it didn’t matter?