Open Road Films via Everett Collection
David Ayer's Sabotage is just the latest stop in Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback tour, though it probably won't do the actor too many favors. Schwarzenegger plays John "Breacher" Wharton, the leader of an elite DEA task force that specializes in taking down drug cartels. Each member of the team is a blunt instrument drunk off of their alpha male (and female) machismo, but to be fair, they are damn good at what they do. They're masters at going in hard, killing whoever needs killing, and heading to the strip club and drinking themselves into a stupor before the next round of street sweeping. Unfortunately, it turns out years of busting cartel bosses and being deeply unpleasant to everyone you come into contact with eventually catches up to you, and members of the squad start dying in ghastly and elaborate ways. And just like that, we have what basically amounts to an Agatha Christie novel with a gym membership and a pile of meth.
Unfortunately, and as expected, giving Agatha Christie a couple of reps at the gym and a pile of drugs turns her into a blithering idiot, because Sabotage is incredibly stupid. The central mystery somehow manages to be both preposterous and predictable at the same time. The film's one saving grace is its action. The action scenes are adrenal and exciting and unbelievably gory. Bloated corpses are poked and prodded, viscera hangs like ropes from a rafter. This film takes immense pleasure in being completely disgusting. It’s downright gleeful about it. Here's a full shot of a soiled toilet, just because. Here's a piece of skin hanging on some metal, why not. Isn't that cool?
While Sabotage does manage to thrill in spurts and stutters, there's absolutely nothing beating at the heart of the film. All of the main characters are completely and utterly repugnant, and you'll pity anyone who has to endure their company throughout the film. When characters do start to die, you won't feel all that broken up about it. In fact, you may even feel a twinge of joy, like the earth was suddenly unburdened from a pure source of rampant douchebaggery. Just imagine the most disgusting, and off-putting person you can, and then give them a gun, a badge, and a fierce sense of entitlement, and you have every single member of the film's DEA squad. They're all terrible.
And if that weren't bad enough, the acting ranges from mediocre to terrible. The usually wonderful Olivia Williams and the capable Sam Worthington continually forget which continent they're on, their accents dropping in an out like a bad radio connection; Schwarzenneger has a complete inability to emote anything apropos of the situation at hand. When looking upon a pile of ooze that was formerly in the shape of one of his best friends, his disappointment is more akin to seeing a temporarily occupied gym bench on chest day. All of the charm the actor showcased in something like the recent Escape Plan is washed out by Breacher's moping about his dark past, and when Schwarzenneger isn't allowed to be fun, then he's completely boring.
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Really, I should hate Sabotage. It’s a completely stupid and mean spirited film, but there’s a strange charm to the depravity of it all. There's an audaciousness to it. The film goes as far as it can to push limits, and succeeds at being appaling. It’s a film that knows how stupid and ugly it is and champions that fact. It’s playing in its own filth, and as gross as that is, at least it’s having fun. This is the kind of film that will be in heavy rotation at the local frat house. That’s doesn’t mean the film is good or even okay, but if you like watching horrific violence, awful mysteries, and awful people being awful, then boy do I have a film for you.
The Summer premiere of Switched at Birth is just a few hours away and fans are about to be rewarded for their months of patience during the hiatus. Rewarded with what, you ask? Get excited ABC Family fans because there are not one, but two hot fellas wooing our Switched sisters this season and we’ve got all the swoon-worthy details.
Hollywood.com paid a visit to the Switched a Birth set last Friday and we caught up with stars Katie Leclerc and Vanessa Marano to talk old flames and fresh faces. Read for everything you can expect from the Kennish/Vasquez girls in tonight’s premiere.
Remember way back to season one when Bay had a thing for Daphne’s childhood hunk of a friend Ty (Blair Redford)? Marano reveals that this fan favorite character is back from his Army tour oversees and believe it or not, he’s hotter than ever. “He was Bay’s, like, first love interest, he was pre-Emmett and they really had quite and unfinished love story,” the actress says.
When Redford was cast in The Lying Game, the Switched writers quickly enlisted Ty into the Army and his blooming relationship with Bay was put on hold — until now. Marano says, “He got this ending that was wrapped up so quickly and we really didn’t get to explore it, it almost felt like fans were being cheated out of that relationship and now they get it back.”
But of course like every Bay relationship, this one will be far from easy: “He’s been to war and its kind of difficult for everybody because he’s having some intense issues that we’ll soon learn more about.” Marano says that this relationship is a bit of a role reversal for Bay. “Bay usually leans of guys and uses them in her times of hardship, so now he sort of needs someone to lean on. Bay is there and she offers up her shoulder to cry upon and it’s really awesome.”
While Bay aims to spend more time with Regina — and work a teen dream job at a Hawaiin-themed carnival — Daphne is fully embracing the Kennish lifestyle with club house smoothies and an internship at John’s senate office. Leclerc says that Daphne starts this season with high goals and a strong work ethic.
The actress explains, “Daphne’s main focus right now is to make a difference in her community. I think she made a big difference at Carlton and now I think she’s going into this season with that in mind and she wants to affect some change in the state of Kansas.” But there is one boy who is even more determined than Daphne — and he’s got his sights set on something very special: her.
Jace (Matt Kane) is a brilliant yet intense coffee barista who aims to master a new skill each month and Daphne inspires him to learn sign language. Daphne very politely tells her new acquaintance that it’s impossible to become fluent in ASL in just a month, but Jace’s reply is short and confident: “Watch me. Yes it looks like Daphne has finally met her match with this one, and did we mention that in addition to Jace being incredible cute, he’s also armed with an adorable British accent. Swoon!
“I think that as a person he could be my favorite love interest that I’ve had on this show.” Leclerc gushes, “He flies and like real talk I’ve never met anyone who learned [ASL] as fast as this actor. His character learns it so fast but as person Matt could interpret a conversation if I needed him to.“
In these first few episodes back, Switched at Birth fans will see that Bay and Daphne’s relationship is filled with snarky remarks and cold shoulders. Hopefully these new fellas will be able to warm them up, so that our favorite Switched sisters can mend their severely strained relationship.
Don’t miss the summer premiere of Switched at Birth tonight at 8/7c on ABC Family.
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At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.