Tag Archives: Helen Mirren

Review: RED 2

RED_2_PosterThe details of the mission are a little sloppy, but the appeal of watching Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren rock some serious firepower is still there, making “RED 2” another satisfying Retired and Extremely Dangerous thrill.

Frank (Willis) is back to trying to live the quiet life again until Marvin (Malkovich) interrupts his Costco shopping session to warn him that Nightshade has come back to haunt them. Nightshade is a Cold War era nuclear weapon that went missing on their watch, but now it’s back, and both the US Government and MI6 think that Frank and Marvin know where it is. With Victoria (Mirren) trying to track them down on behalf of MI6 and a deadly assassin named Han (Byung-hun Lee) aiming to take them out for the US, Frank, Marvin, and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) have no choice, but to travel the globe and figure out where Nightshade is for themselves so they can put an end to all of this.

There are two primary components to the “RED 2” story and while neither works particularly well, there’s enough outrageous action to fill up the plot holes and make it an entertaining watch.

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CS Video: Killing Time with the Cast of RED 2

Helen_Mirren_RED_2Watching Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren team up to blow enemies away with machine guns and explosives has an undeniable charm and it goes to show.RED opened in October of 2010 to the tune $21.8 million and then went on to stay in theaters for four full months and accumulate nearly $200 million worldwide. These Retired and Extremely Dangerous agents certainly earned their sequel.

In RED 2, opening July 19, we find former CIA black ops agent Frank Moses (Willis), again, happily retired, but this time he’s living the Costco shopper life with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) by his side, much to her chagrin. But soon enough, she gets her wish and gets to add a little danger to their romance again when Frank and Marvin (Malkovich) are tasked with finding and destroying a missing Cold War weapon that returned to pose a serious threat. As if tracking down a super weapon isn’t tough enough, Frank, Marvin and Sarah have to do so with two assassins on their tail – the US hire, Han (Byung Hun Lee), a contract killer with a vendetta against Frank, and someone dispatched by MI6, none other than their old pal, Victoria (Helen Mirren).

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‘RED 2’ Video Interview: Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura On Making Blockbusters

Lorenzo-di-BonaventuraLorenzo di Bonaventura knows how to make a summer blockbuster.Transformers scored $70.5 million opening weekend in 2007, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen topped that with nearly $109 million in 2009, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra posted a $54.7 million start just after that, and thenTransformers: Dark of the Moon pulled in $97.9 million its first weekend out in the summer of 2011. Now the question is, can he take a long-range success and turn it into one of those summer tentpoles?

RED opened in October of 2010 with a moderate $21.8 million. Considering the film had a $58 million production tab, $21.8 million is sufficient, but also doesn’t necessarily scream franchise-worthy. However, then RED went on to spend a whopping four months in theaters, never losing more than 50.1% of its profits in a single weekend, which let it end its theatrical run with a domestic grand total of $90.4 million and a worldwide total of $199 million. Now a number like that deserves a sequel – which is why summer 2013 brings us RED 2.

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Review: Hitchcock

Hitchcock-PosterIf you’re a sucker for horror and suspense, and have a serious soft spot for the art of making movies, “Hitchcock” is an absolute charmer, delivering the touching satisfaction of a romance, but in a wildly entertaining and somewhat brutal environment.

“Hitchcock” focuses in on Alfred Hitchcock’s (Anthony Hopkins) career just after releasing “North By Northwest” and moving on to his next project, “Psycho.” Even though the director has immense clout amongst the Hollywood community, many wonder why he doesn’t just retire at the ripe old age of 60 and go out on top, but even more so about why he wants to work with such violent material.

Support for “Psycho” is hard to come by and Hitchcock is left with no choice, but to strike a deal with Paramount – self-finance the film himself and defer his director’s fee in exchange for a percentage of ownership of the film’s negative and a distribution agreement. The studio finally gives him a reluctant thumbs up and Hitchcock goes to work.

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8 Great Big-Screen Teachers

After going through years and years of schooling, how many in-class lessons do you actually remember? Now, after years and years of moviegoing, how many big-screen lessons do you remember? While I can barely recall my French vocabulary words, standard high school mathematics or chemistry formulas, I’ve got no problem recounting some of the best of the best from on-screen educators like Harry Potter’s Professor Dumbledore and even School of Rock’s so-called Mr. Ned Schneebly.

In honor of the June 24th release of Bad Teacher, in which Cameron Diaz will likely taint our minds as a “booze-swilling, pot-smoking, hard-swearing” middle school teacher, why not take a look back at some big-screen lessons that actually ring true? (And maybe some that are just downright hilarious, too.)

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Interview: Tim Griffin

On Super 8 …

We certainly have our fair share of viral marketing for Super 8, but how about hearing about the film from someone who was actually on the set? Actor Tim Griffin worked with J.J. Abrams on Cloverfield, so he’s well versed in “the legendary secrecy.” However, even if Griffin were a poor secret keeper, he wouldn’t even have any information to divulge as he only got to see his pages of the script.

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On The Collection …

The man behind some of the sickest and most twisted death traps on the big screen is at it again. In the midst of writing the final four Saw films, Marcus Dunstan brought us another terrifying tale brimming with sinister snares, 2009’s The Collector. The Collector may not have reached Jigsaw status, but folks out there, maybe not the critics, did find potential in this sadistic killer and now, he’s back for more in the sequel titled The Collection.

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On Prime Suspect …

Tim Griffin is everywhere. You’ve likely seen him in films like Leatherheads and Cloverfield as well as on TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy and 24. Not only is Griffin adding to his resume with films like Super 8, The Collection, A Better Life and more, but with a new TV show as well, an American remake of the British series, Prime Suspect.

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Review: Red

Is it possible for a film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren to be bad? Maybe, but if you put handguns, machine guns and grenade launchers in theirs hands and give them some snappy dialogue to work with, you’re basically home free.

What happens when a highly skilled CIA agent retires? He’s labeled RED, short for Retired and Extremely Dangerous and there’s really no better way to describe retiree Frank Moses (Willis). He’s doing okay in a cozy suburban town, decorating his house for the holiday like he’s supposed to, but the highlight of his day is calling a particular federal pension employee, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). He calls on a regular basis to report missing checks, but the two simply enjoy talking to each other. Unfortunately for Sarah, Frank’s house is bugged and after narrowly escaping an ambush, he knows the bad guys will head straight to her place.

Having no choice, Sarah reluctantly tags along with Frank as he visits all of his old CIA pals. First stop? Joe (Freeman) who now calls an old aged facility home. Next up is Marvin (Malkovich), a wacky, but skilled ex-agent who’s convinced the government is out to get him. Then there’s Ivan (Brian Cox), a former Russian spy who has a history with the team’s last member, Victoria (Mirren), an elegant ex-MI6 agent. Now that the gang’s all back together, it’s time to take out the bad guys; some nasty folks who don’t want them to spread a little secret.

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