Friday, January 28, 2011

RED DVD review

Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Mary Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Helen Mirren AND John Malkovich are in the same movie?  Sign me up, I don't care what it's about.  Add a bunch of guns, chases, thrills and laughs... what do you get?  RED, which was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.  The acronym, RED, actually stands for Retired: Extremely Dangerous. 

Our cast are all retirees that are being hunted down by someone.  They must work together to uncover what's going on and get to the bottom of the killings.  Great premise right?!  Now I'll tell you what I liked and didn't like about the film.  Let's begin.

What I liked about the film:
The Cast
How can you ignore a cast like this?  Every single actor does a great job in this film.  Willis is the newest retiree and is having trouble adapting to his new life.  He has become friends with Mary Louise Parker, and she's helping him cope with his boredom.  Freeman, Cox, Mirren and Malkovich are also all retired and have known each other for years.  They all contribute to solving the mystery going on around them.


The Action
I always look at action films a little differently than I do any other genre.  It has to be different from anything I've seen before to be really impressed, and this one is.  The camera angles, chases sequences, and best of all... seeing old people shoot guns!  That's comedy in and of itself.  There's a particular shot of Willis walking out of a spinning car, avoids getting it by it, and shoots at his target in stride, AWESOME!

The Story
Simple to follow, but sophisticated enough that we don't go numb.  I liked it.  It was the perfect mix of mystery and mayhem.  I never felt lost during the movie, I knew everything that was going on, despite a half a dozen locations.  I also never felt like director Robert Schwentke was talking down to me either.  Great job in this department.

The Director
Speaking of Mr. Schwentke, I loved what he did in this film.  Before RED, all I had ever seen of Schwentke's work is The Time Traveler's Wife, which I hated!  I also knew he was set to direct Ryan Reynolds (rumored) in the upcoming comic book adaptation, R.I.P.D.  In this film, he takes the audience on a crazy ride; where we can just let go of our problems for two hours and enjoy!  The score was fitting, the wardrobe, the editing, all of which the director has a hand in achieving.  Plus, can you imagine the pressure that guy must of felt?  He's directing living legends, the best at what they do.  He did a great job!

The Cast
Yeah, I KNOW i already put this down as a "like".  But the cast is too big and too good not to mention again.  Freeman is terrific.  Malkovich steals every scene which is off-beat comedy, awesome!  And Karl Urban is a freakin' bad ass in the film.  He plays an up and coming agent who takes his job very seriously.  Watching him and Willis go at it was great.

What I didn't like about the film:
Mary Louise Parker's character
I love Mary Louise Parker.  She is so funny, so talented and very attractive.  She's doing really well for herself.  But her character was in the film for one reason... to simply explain what's going on.  Much like Ellen Page's character in Inception.  I understand it, but don't agree with it.  The writing could have covered what was being relayed to Parker's character.  Still, she's great.

The Verdict:
Original and worthy
The movie is original in what it does and worthy of the cast that was assembled.  Its hard to make action-comedies these days.  What's left to be seen, you know?  But RED was new, fresh AND exciting.  Really really enjoyed it and I look forward to the sequel. 

The two disc special edition Blu-Ray of the film includes Deleted and extended scenes.  Also a 6-part interactive feature that include pop ups with trivia, videos, interviews, etc.  Another feature, CIA Exposed, and an audio commentary with retired CIA Field Officer, Robert Baer.  Enjoy folks!

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