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If you’re a romantic at heart or, in the case of 2013, an action junkie, it looks like Valentine's Day is A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth misadventure of hardened cop John McClane which has received its first teaser trailer. Also – ree, ree, ree! – just breaking (in absorbing fashion I might add) is the first trailer for Hitchcock, a biopic of the legendary director starring Anthony Hopkins chronicling his struggles to make the seminal horror masterpiece, Psycho. Also involved in some sordid deeds are Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg in Broken City, a political actioner which finds a New York City cop following the wife of the city’s mayor only to uncover a larger conspiracy.
Next, an adaptation of author Donald Westlake’s Parker novels, the aptly titled Parker, finds Jason Statham’s thief (named…Parker!) who is betrayed by his crew and sets off for some much deserved revenge. It’s hard out there for a crook. Last off is the teaser trailer for Rob Zombie’s upcoming twisted horror film The Lords of Salem about a vengeful coven of ancient witches who return in present day
A Good Day to Die Hard
The director this round is John Moore who though having far from a neat and tidy track record (he is behind such efforts as Behind Enemy Lines and Max Payne) is an extremely competent action director which is precisely that these films need. The Die Hard franchise ultimately relies on two elements: solidly executed action and Bruce Willis’ wry wit. Execute those two trademarks with some style and it’s difficult to fail outright. Live Free or Die Hard was a pleasantly energizing installment that is just as re-watchable as its predecessors so let’s hope this fifth outing in the surprisingly durable two-decade long franchise doesn’t disappoint.
Parallel to the fame the film Psycho garnered, the struggles director Alfred Hitchcock took to get the film made are equally fascinating. Hitchcock tells that very story, from the strains it puts on his marriage to the professional battles with both
Russell Crowe “owns” Mark Wahlberg in
Jason Statham is back doing what Jason Statham does best: unleashing fiery hell on those who have wronged him. This time it’s Michael Chiklis and his former crew of thieves who have taken Parker’s share of the loot and left him for dead (think Payback), and its up to him and Jennifer Lopez (?) to set them up and take his former colleges for all they’re worth (and kill some people along the way). Hopefully this plays more into heist/con elements than most Statham vehicles and there is a popular book series (of the same name) as well as director Taylor Hackford (The Devil’s Advocate, Ray) to makes things more promising. Statham’s last film Safe was actually extremely entertaining and somewhat of a deviation from his normal shtick. Hopefully that’s the case with Parker even if the trailer suggests otherwise.
The Lords of
Cult crowds came crooning for death metal rocker Rob Zombie’s first two directing efforts House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects and his financially successful remake of Halloween actually isn’t as bad as many of its detractors claim. Then came Halloween II, an ungodly abortion of a movie that mistook excessive profanity and monotonous carnage for horror. Lords of Salem appears to be a slight change of pace for Zombie, opting to go the supernatural route over that of the grotesque slasher (though his intentionally ugly aesthetic style seems to be alive and well). Early reviews have been expectedly mixed and though a fan of horror and usually a defender of the man as a filmmaker, I’ll need to hold off before I get any kind of excited for Lords of Salem.