John Stockwell

Gina Carano and Amaury Nolasco in IN THE BLOOD

Gina Carano found success as an MMA fighter, but my aversion to sweaty acronyms meant I first learned of her existence in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire. She plays a CIA (more my speed) agent framed by her own people, and the film is basically her kicking one Hollywood leading man’s ass after the next including Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas. It’s a combination of star power and a very frequent use of Carano’s impressive fighting abilities that makes the film so fun, but more than that, those elements helped deflect attention away from the sloppy script and her poor acting. Fast forward three years later and she’s finally found a follow-up leading role, but oddly and unfortunately, In the Blood has very little clue what to do with her. Ava (Carano) and Derek (Cam Gigandet) are newlyweds on their honeymoon in the Caribbean, and while his father (Treat Williams) has made his disapproval and mistrust of Ava clear Derek has chosen love over his dad’s concerns and worries. A local offers to show the couple a good time at a nightclub, but trouble arises in the form of a gangster named Big Biz (Danny Trejo) who forces Ava’s violent hand (and other hand and feet) into dishing out bone-crunching moves on the dance floor. Ava and Derek try to put the experience behind them the next day with some zip-line action, but a fall leaves him badly injured. Even worse? The EMTs kidnap him. Now Ava’s on a […]

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Gina Carano in In The Blood

Ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano had dabbled in acting a bit before 2011, but it was Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire that really made her name in the world of action cinema. The director wasn’t the only recognizable name on the picture as he made sure to surround his star in the making with a cast that included Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender. It wasn’t a big hit by any means, and no one was impressed with Carano’s acting abilities, but action fans took note and looked forward to whatever Hollywood would offer her next. That whatever turned out to be a supporting role in Fast & Furious 6 and a guest spot on Fox’s Almost Human. If you saw Haywire then you know that’s a bullshit waste of an impressive talent right there. Fortunately, that dry-spell is coming to an end this year as Carano finally gets a second crack at a leading role filled with ass-kickery. Unfortunately, it’s in a movie that looks to be heading to VOD and/or the direct-to-DVD market. Check out the trailer for In the Blood below.

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In 2009, Steven Soderbergh took Sasha Grey, a non-actress (unless you consider receiving a load to be emotional construction), and turned her into an indie darling for a brief moment. She’s since turned the opportunity into several other film roles including one in the upcoming and all-too-appropriate Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story. In 2012, Soderbergh pulled the same trick by casting MMA fighter Gina Carano in Haywire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress is positioning herself for even more action by signing on for John Stockwell‘s In The Blood. Essentially, the movie is Taken with a female lead whose husband is kidnapped and much ass needs to be kicked to bring him back safely. However, it’ll be startling to see the husband dancing in a metal bikini for potential Arab buyers. Let’s hope she saves him before it gets to that. Stockwell’s previous work includes Into the Blue and Blue Crush so it’s nice to see him not working blue here, but in all seriousness, Carano needs to take a full course in acting lessons before launching herself into more projects. Getting away with blandness in action is one thing, but it won’t help if the only thing she’s good for is slamming her foot into people’s faces.

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The title is silly, the tagline of “CATch Her If You Can” is borderline moronic, but everything about this trailer for Cat Run is action comedy gold. All the cliches are there (a high class prostitute on the run, some videotapes that can’t get leaked out, a government cover up, an assassin chasing her down…), but it still manages to feel fun and fresh. Paz Vega seems to be choosing some completely different roles from her Spanglish turn, and you can’t go wrong with Christopher McDonald (the guy you’ll be waiting for in the parking lot in Happy Gilmore) playing a pompous asshole, but there are really no big names here, and that could be a good thing. Then there’s triple amputee D.L. Hughley, a poor man’s Helen Mirren, and a baby to carry around for some reason. Seriously. Where did this thing come from. Crazy/Beautiful director John Stockwell seems to have created an action comedy that recalls the 90s while tossing in a generic version of the detectives from Psych right down to the racial quota. Check it out for yourself:

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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