After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Our favorite shows feel perfect for their respective networks: The nude-friendly Game of Thrones is a tried-and-true HBO series, the tortoise-slow Mad Men fits AMC’s intelligent and patient viewers, and The Big Bang Theory never met a laugh track CBS didn’t like. But what if those series appeared on different networks? How would the show change? We’re exploring just that in our Network Swap series. First up: What if Sesame Street aired on TNT?Series: Sesame Street
Network: TNT (We know drama… and the alphabet.)
TV Rating: MA (for sexual situations, Muppets)
Logline: A multicultural band of differently-furred individuals live at odds with the humans in a run-down slum on Chicago's south side.
Pilot Plot: After their parents die in a freak sewing accident, three orphans — Grover, Zoe, and Elmo — find refuge in a group home owned by a street-smart philanthropist known as "Big Bird." The trio soon learns that life on Sesame Street is fraught with gang violence (run by mob boss Oscar "The Grouch" Lazzarini), eccentric terrorism (a sadistic, math-obsessed serial killer known as The Count) and a greedy industrialist who threatens to demolish the entire avenue (the wealthy Mr. Hooper).
Cast: Adam Brody as Grover; Jane Levy as Zoe; Nolan Gould as Elmo; Michelle Rodriguez as Maria; Michael Clarke Duncan as Big Bird; Michael Chiklis as Oscar "The Grouch" Lazzarini; Ken Jenkins as Mr. Hooper; Adrien Brody as The Count; Jim O'Heir as Aloysius Snuffleupagus; and Dame Maggie Smith as Dame Monster Smith.
Breakout Star: As ex-cop Maria, Michelle Rodriguez breaks out from the furry crew for her witty one-liners and ovaries-to-the-wall approach to fighting Sesame's brand of scumbags.
Soundbite: "Four! Four motherf**kers who vant to die today!" — Homicidal maniac The Count
Sweeps Twist: Grover is taken into custody when beloved gay couple Bert (Hank Azaria) and Ernie (Jimmy Kimmel) are found brutally murdered in their apartment — with blue fur and coke-laced cookie crumbles at the scene of the crime.
Reason People Watch: "I really like the bright colors on the monsters." — Kayden, 5; "My favorite is Big Bird, he is the nicest and teaches me things like how to tie my shoes and be nice to people." — April, 6; "The chick who plays Maria is a f**king smokeshow!" — Doug Patterson, 28.
What the Critics Say: "I'm never letting my child watch this program again."
Emmy Odds: Chiklis receives a Supporting Actor in a Drama nod for his sympathetic crime boss Oscar; perennial favorite John Goodman earns a Guest Actor in a Drama nomination for his heartbreaking turn as mentally-challenged assassin Cookie Monster; snub for Costume Design; win for Art Direction.
Spin-Off Possibilities: A prequel about Big Bird's former life as a gangster — Breaking Bird — as well as a reality spin-off for Bert and Ernie on Bravo (Bert and Ernie Take Miami).
Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSnetiker
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