Monday, March 29, 2010

What's New in Blu? (Week of March 30)

“Collateral” (R)
Starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Javier Bardem, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall
Directed by Michael Mann

Having demonstrated that he has the directing chops to handle action with a little character study on the side in 1995’s great “Heat,” director Michael Mann is equally successful in “Collateral” of finding interesting people working inside and outside the law. Jamie Foxx took advantage of his first real dramatic role (earning an Oscar nomination, to boot) as Max, a cabbie who knows the streets of L.A. like the back of his hand. However, after a chance encounter with an intriguing lawyer (Jada Pinkett Smith), Max’s night becomes an increasingly tense affair as he drives around Vincent (Tom Cruise), a confident, focused and demanding fare. After their first stop reveals what Vincent does for a living, the remainder of the night challenges Max to find a way out of his predicament. Mann primarily films the movie with high definition cameras, providing a visually arresting L.A. as the film’s backdrop. Cruise, who also garnered an Oscar nomination for his performance, provides some layers to his role as a determined contract killer. The film seems to run out of steam a bit by the conclusion, but the ride is worth taking nonetheless.
Grade: A-

Other releases:
“Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” (PG)
Starring Zachary Levi, David Cross, Jason Lee, and the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney
Directed by Betty Thomas

“The Baader Meinhof Complex” (R)
Starring Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek, Nadja Uhl, Stipe Erceg
Directed by Uli Edel

“An Education” (PG-13)
Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Cooper, Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson
Directed by Lone Scherfig

“The Killer” (R)
Starring Chow Yun Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Chu Kong
Directed by John Woo

“Sherlock Holmes” (PG-13)
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong
Directed by Guy Ritchie

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