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.
More Reviews:'The Hunt' Is Frustrating and Fantastic'You're Next' Amuses and Occasionally Scares'Short Term 12' Is Real and Miraculous
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
S1E8: Last week, Ringer left fans gasping at the discovery that Charlie was the one responsible for Gemma’s disappearance because he’s secretly in cahoots with the real Siobhan. Of course, Bridget has no idea that her new sponsor is secretly plotting against her, so she continues to rely on him as her confidante. But Bridget’s got more pressing problems to worry about (yet again) as Malcolm’s sudden appearance in her new life threatens to expose who she really is. And on top of everything else, Andrew and Henry discover some rather upsetting news regarding “Siobhan” and the baby.
In other news, Juliet and Mr. Carpenter continue to form an unlikely (and inappropriate bond), which is becoming creepier by the minute. Malcolm, on the other hand, continues to battle with his re-surfaced addiction while also trying to dodge Agent Machado’s questions in his unrelenting search for Bridget. Additionally, the real Siobhan’s boyfriend, Tyler, winds up doing business with Andrew and makes a startling discovery of his own.
"Maybe we can get a dog instead?" – Juliet
Upon seeing her NA sponsor, Malcolm, show up suddenly in New York, Bridget faints and is taken to the hospital to make sure everything is alright. While they're there Andrew thinks it’d be a good idea to do an ultrasound to make sure the baby is alright, but shock of all shocks (to everyone but Bridget), they discover there is no baby and she must have miscarried. Thinking that the baby was the only thing holding their marriage together, Andrew is devastated and wants to try getting pregnant again. But after overhearing Bridget tell Juliet that it probably wasn’t going to happen, he's very hurt and angry since he interprets that to mean she doesn't want the marriage to work. However, by the end of the episode, she assures him that she wants their marriage to work – baby or no baby, which seems to make him feel better. Henry is also really upset upon hearing about the miscarriage since he is secretly holding out hope that the baby would bring the two of them together again. I guess babies equal relationship-fixer. But now that the baby’s gone, he knows he’s truly lost her forever, which leaves him with no wife, no affair, and no child. Things aren’t looking too good for poor Henry.
“You can’t even be honest about who you are.” – Malcolm
Now that Malcolm’s back in the picture, Bridget has even more to worry about. Malcolm is the only person (that she’s aware of) who knows her true identity and he isn’t exactly in the best condition to be keeping a secret. Sure enough, the time spent in Macawi’s basement has caught up with him and he’s back to being a full-fledged addict again. At first he tries to get Bridget to believe that he can handle the addiction, but it becomes apparent throughout the episode that he needs someone to lean on for support. Enter Charlie. Yup, the guy who is the real Siobhan’s own personal hit-man is the person Bridget turns to in order to help Malcolm. Charlie welcomes Malcolm with open arms into his house and says “You did the right thing by coming here,” which can only mean one thing: Malcolm’s in danger.
Juliet seems to be heading into dangerous territory herself. She continues to display an inappropriate flirtation with her high school English teacher, Mr. Carpenter, by inviting herself to his place to watch a DVD. Uncomfortable about the situation, Mr. Carpenter wisely drops Juliet from his class, but Juliet isn’t about to give up on her little crush so easily and finds a loophole to spending more time with him. It looks like the Young Samaritans club has a new member on its hands.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know I was sleeping with the boss’ wife.” - Tyler
Worlds start to collide when Siobhan’s Paris boy-toy, Tyler, is offered a position as head of European operations at Andrew’s company. Andrew asks Tyler to come have dinner with him in New York, so they can discuss the arrangement in further detail. But things really start to get interesting when Bridget shows up to the dinner and Tyler mistakes her for the real Siobhan. Bridget of course has no idea who he is and remains polite and cheerful throughout the three course meal. Surprisingly, Tyler doesn’t get more outwardly upset about the situation, but that’s probably because he doesn’t want his boss to know that he’s been sleeping with his boss’ wife (which is funny because he actually is sleeping with Andrew’s wife, except he thinks the woman at dinner and the woman in Paris are one in the same). So shortly after the dinner he calls the real Siobhan (thinking it’s the one he just had dinner with) to confront her about the whole thing and say that they’re through. Looks like she’ll have to find a new place to stay.
The show continues to keep a fair pace of action and suspense, but there are still so many questions that have yet to be answered. What is Siobhan’s big plan? Why did she dump her life and leave everything behind? Why did she date Tyler when she’s clearly still in love with Henry? Why does she care that Malcolm is in the area? What plans does she have in store for her innocent twin sister? So many riddles and not enough clues!
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
This week on Dancing with the Stars was classical week, which meant the orchestra doubled in size and rock violinist David Garrett and mezzo-soprano, Katherine Jenkins performed, while the dancers and their celebrities continued to bear their midriffs and dress like mobsters and bobcats.
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower danced the Paso Doble, which is a notably aggressive dance. And since Romeo’s biggest challenge on the dance floor is embodying the character of the dance, Chelsie asked him when in his life he has been particularly tough. Romeo answered that whenever he plays basketball he becomes “a beast,” and Chelsie explained that his passion for shoving his crotch in dudes’ faces in the name of obtaining two points was exactly what she wanted to see come out of him when he danced this week. Their dance was very good, even though it ended with Romeo taking his shirt open blazer off and pouncing on Chelsie’s body that lay on the floor. Len Goodman told Romeo to have a bit more decorum, and that even though the dance was passionate and aggressive, he needed to work on his precision. The judges gave them 23 points.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff danced the Waltz to the theme of Romeo and Juliet, and Karina went into practice knowing she had to work harder at making Ralph sexier and helping him lose what the judges refer to as his “spatula” hands. Their dance wasn’t outstanding, but the judges commended them for the dance’s believability. The judges gave them 25 points.
Petra Nemcova and Dmitri Chaplin were assigned the Paso Doble as well, and again, the aggression in the dance proved to be difficult for Petra to convey. So to help her, Dmitri arranged a photo shoot for her, where she could practice some Paso poses with mean faces and develop a character to bring out during the dance. Their dance was pretty fun to watch, even though Petra looked pretty rigid throughout it. The judges gave them 23 points.
Chris Jericho’s wrestling background meant he had very little trouble portraying the dominance of the Paso Doble. Although during rehearsals, Cheryl Burke criticized his tiny steps and the fact that his chest wasn’t far out enough because it made him not look masculine enough. Thankfully by dance time, Chris had grown a mustache and found his courage to whip Cheryl around the way he needed to. Len was correct in pointing out, however, that the music conquered their routine. The judges gave them 23 points.
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel danced the Viennese Waltz to Conte Partiro. Louis explained their routine included three big tricks because he wanted to show the judges that Kendra was a really big contender. But upon hearing the song, Kendra said she was bored of these kinds of dances, but was only going to do a routine because the song reminded her of Al Capone, and she was excited to dress up like a guy in the mob. So clearly they’re equally dedicated to the competition. It was a bit sloppy, lacked elegance, and Kendra’s moves did not convey the heartbreak or lost love of the song. The judges gave them 18 points.
Hines Ward was assigned the Paso Doble this week, but was upset that he didn’t have as much time to practice as everyone else because he had several events to attend that week. As usual, their dance was great and Hines remains one of the male dancers in this season. The judges gave them 25 points.
Sugar Ray and Anna danced the Viennese Waltz, and Anna tried to prepare Sugar Ray for it by enrolling him in a ballet class. The dance didn’t require a lot from him, and there was no evidence that his dancing skills had improved since week one. The judges liked it anyway, because it was entertaining.
Kirstie Alley and Maks danced the Waltz, and they were determined to make it better than last week’s dance, where both of them fell to the floor. As they were rehearsing, Kirstie’s hip began giving her problems, but she remained determined to dance choreography that would be given to a 25 year-old. When it came time for their actual dance, Kirstie’s shoe fell off in the middle of the routine, and it’s confusing how in all 12 seasons of this show’s history (not including the British version or any other country’s version), she’s the only one to have experienced mishaps. The judges criticized her for not looking present throughout the choreography and gave her 22 points
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas danced the Viennese Waltz TO THE THEME FROM HARRY POTTER. They both moved very well and the dance was very youthful, which Len didn’t appreciate because the dance is 300 years old and their job was to interpret it, rather than make fun of it. Carrie Ann and Bruno, however appreciated their energy, but I have to agree with Len in that very little of what they did was waltz. The judges liked it anyway and gave them 26 points.