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RT on DVD: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Plus, new films with Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo

by | November 3, 2009 | Comments


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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

This is the second film in director Michael Bay’s live action adaptation of the toy franchise, and somehow he’s made it even bigger and more spectacular than the first.

It must be said that if you loved the first one, you are right in the target market for this explosive extravaganza. The war between the Autobots and Decepticons continues to rage, Shia LaBeouf is still looking terribly earnest and Megan Fox is still really hot. Other stuff happens, a lot of stuff, but let’s face it: how important is plot in a film like this?

This is a movie about the CGI and it is seriously upsized. It is loud, shiny and positively mesmerising.

It’s no secret that the critics panned this one — you only have to look at the Tomatometer to see that — however, it kicked some serious butt at the box office, amassing in excess of $AU925 million worldwide. No doubt the howling fans are demanding more.


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What Doesn’t Kill You

Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke give strong performances as two childhood friends who have grown up rough and created a co-dependent life of petty crime to survive. Amanda Peet also shines as Brian (Ruffalo’s) hard-done-by wife.

The story is fairly straightforward but it is the quality of the acting that resonates to make this a gritty and memorable film. More than just a movie about failings and indiscretions, it examines the challenge of self-reinvention in a way that is surprisingly relatable, even without the jail time.

Written and directed by actor Brian Goodman, the movie is based loosely on his own experiences. His co-writer, New Kid on the Block and Wahlberg brother, Donnie Wahlberg, also stars as the local cop who sends the delinquent buddies to jail.


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Management

While this film may be a little bit on the stalkerish side of the rom-com genre, there is something delightful here. Jennifer Aniston is her likeable self as the up-and-coming sales woman adored, and Steve Zahn plays the guy willing to cross state lines to do the adoring.

Steve Zahn has long been cast as the loveable, stoned, oddball sidekick. Here he is still stoned and oddball but he most definitely has stepped out of the ‘best-friend’ role and straight into underdog leading man. He makes the movie.


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Crossing Over

This is a collection of stories about illegal immigrants in America fighting for new lives and the mighty green card. At the centre of these entwined tales stands Max Brogan, a weary immigration law enforcement officer, played by Harrison Ford. For all of Brogan’s heart and good intentions, this is a dark and deceptive world, personified by corrupt immigration official Cole Frankel (Ray Liotta).

There are some big-name heavyweights attached to this film, but what brought the movie its attention prior to release was the inclusion of an honour killing of an Iranian character. The storyline caused such offence throughout the Iranian American community that it was re-edited. It was too late, however, to prevent Sean Penn from insisting that he be dropped to the cutting room floor and released from the project.

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