Safe House

Doctor Strange

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that usually doesn’t get political. But it’s time someone takes a stance on Twilight. It had to be done. This aggression will not stand. One of the best things going in this business — of movie blogging — is Marvel rumors. They’re going to keep us all employed at least until the second Avengers film comes to term, if not longer. Kudos to Rob Keyes at ScreenRant for his astute dissection of how Doctor Strange may fit into Thor 2. Yes, Viggo Mortensen. Yes.

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Drinking Games

Back in February, Safe House became the second movie of the year to crack $100 million. (The first, sadly enough, was The Vow, but who really wants to think about that?) With this film, Denzel Washington continued his successful box office streak, and Ryan Reynolds found a bit of redemption after last summer’s lesser-grossing Green Lantern. With Safe House on Blu-ray and DVD this week, it’s time to enjoy this film again or check it out for the first time. While you do so, have a couple drinks and remind yourself that your life is far less interesting than a CIA agent’s, but it’s likely a lot less dangerous.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Has anyone seen our brother column, This Week In Blu-ray? I’m worried it may have been abducted and diddled against its will… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season Larry David’s divorce from Cheryl is finalized, and he finds himself heading for New York City after a characteristically disastrous social interaction. Typical Larry. Some viewers are unable to find the humor in David’s character and shenanigans and instead see nothing but frustration… and that’s an understandable reaction. He speaks his mind at all times, and while I don’t always agree with him I do find his complete lack of social skills refreshing and often hilarious. Plus, Michael J Fox and those damn girl scouts had it coming anyway.

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The Reject Report - Large

A lone film hits on a multitude of screens this weekend. The playing field is all for its amusement, and this one film appears to be holding every card in the deck. It’s not a matter of if The Hungers Games will be a success. The real question is how many records will it be breaking this weekend. The incredibly popular book series finally makes its cinematic debut, and, like the Twilight series before it, The Hunger Games is sure to take its core audience by storm. It’ll be sure to bring in audiences who aren’t familiar with the book series, as well, ensuring its place in box office history, or, at the very least, offer a strong enough debut to warrant the inevitable sequel. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The franchise. Let’s take a look at how this lone wolf stacks up against all these familiar cubs.

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Looks like Hollywood has picked their next big action director, and they’re not wasting much time setting him up with his next project. Daniel Espinosa likely made Universal very happy with his first English-language film, Safe House, which has already grossed $135m, and now Warner Bros. wants in on what the Snabba Cash helmer is dishing out. The studio is reportedly in negotiations for Espinosa to direct The Outsider, “a gritty action film” that centers on “a POW in Osaka in WWII who goes to work for the Yakuza.” Grit? Action? Bad people? Yup, that’s Espinosa’s wheelhouse. The script’s been written by newcomer Andrew Baldwin, and he comes with his very own pedigree. While Baldwin hasn’t seen one of his scripts hit the screen yet, he’s a hot commodity in Hollywood. Last October, he was hired on to rewrite the Logan’s Run remake that Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling have been all over, and he’s been on the Black List twice – once with The Outsider in 2011 and once with The West Is Dead in 2008. When it appeared on the Black List, the logline for the film read “In post World War II Japan, an American former prisoner-of-war rises in the yakuza,” so yeah, that’s about what we’ve got for now.

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The Reject Report - Large

Four new movies are hitting theaters this weekend, all of them fixed with their own pros and cons. In one corner, we have Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Aniston, and Tyler Perry. In the other corner, we have the Navy SEALs. It’s not a fair fight no matter how you look at it. All four spark with different demographics, as well, making for an interesting melting pot of genres, varying star power, and even a little bit of brand loyalty. This weekend comes down to which of these films had the best resonance with its marketing, and one of these films clearly has the edge over the others. Yes, guns and live ammunition help.

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The Reject Report - Large

It took its second weekend – and even Saturday and Sunday of that – but Safe House slipped by the competition this President’s Day Weekend, just edging past The Vow‘s second weekend take and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance‘s debut. The Denzel Washington starrer might find itself down a notch when the actual numbers are revealed. When the numbers are this close, it could be anyone’s ballgame until all the numbers come in. For now, though, it remains at #1. This is Washington’s first film to hit #1 at the box office since American Gangster debuted in 2007 with $43.5m. Not surprisingly, that film remains Washington’s biggest domestic earner to date with $130.1m. Safe House‘s chances of toppling that are not completely out of reach. The film dropped just over 40% from last weekend. That’s not great, but it’s definitely below average. With a few more solid weekends such as this, the film could very easily get past that $130m mark. I’m sure Ryan Reynolds would appreciate that, as well.

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The Reject Report - Large

You probably wouldn’t either if your film came up against Star Wars and took it down to the #4 spot. That’s precisely what happened this past weekend, as The Vow and Safe House stepped all over Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and The Phantom Menace‘s 3D re-release. The numbers between the #1 and #2 movies were so close we had to wait until Monday when the actual numbers came out to really see who won out. In the end, it was the chick flick, the one with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, the one couples went out in droves to see, probably to get in Valentine’s Day dates before the holiday even gets here.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his Jedi robes and grabs his lightsaber, heading to the theater to see the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While there, he faces a sea of estrogen as ladies of all type swarm into the multiplex to see Channing Tatum’s abs multiflex. After using his lightsaber to break through the wall of pre-Valentine’s Day ladies, he faces more obstacles with twentysomething dudes heading out to see Safe House and obnoxious families to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Fortunately for Kevin, he is able to dispatch everyone with his Rock-inspired “pec pop of love.” It was an early Valentine’s Day massacre.

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The Reject Report - Large

A long time ago in little place called Hollywood four films vied for the top honors, the #1 spot in the charts, the chance to say for one weekend they were biggest thing out there. One of these films is familiar to making that claim. This weekend sees the return of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to movie theaters, and it’s bringing its good friend 3D along for the adventure. Other combatants going up against the George Lucas cash cow feature Denzel Washington playing training day with Ryan Reynolds, the Rock flexing his chest muscles, and Rachel McAdams forgetting who Channing Tatum is. Can you blame her? There’s plenty in the way of counter-programming out there, so you might be inclined to say it’s anyone’s prize to win. Our good friend Jar Jar might have something to say to yousa.

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If Hollywood has taught us anything about the CIA it’s that those bastards really can’t be trusted. The exception to the rule is that the lower the character is on the agency’s totem pole the more honorable and good they’ll most likely be. They’re naive idealists who have yet to be molded by the big, bad world into heartless, morally bankrupt pricks motivated by warped patriotism and self interest. Which brings us to Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a low level agent stationed at the same, boring post for the last twelve months. He’s a “housekeeper” at a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, and every day he waits for a coded call alerting him to the imminent arrival of an incoming “guest.” The call finally comes when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) mysteriously turns himself into the local US embassy after a decade on the run as an ex-agent turned traitor and killer. He’s moved to the safe house and immediately interrogated via water-boarding and harsh language. But when the inaccurately named safe house is attacked by a gaggle of heavily armed men Weston finds himself tasked with his guest’s safety and on the run from killers both foreign and domestic. The result is a film that offers no surprises in its story or character arcs but still manages to thrill with some stellar action sequences and two talented and charismatic leads. (That’s right. Two.)

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On the eve of the Berlinale, Swedish director Daniel Espinosa joins us to talk about waterboarding Denzel Washington and the mind games of Safe House. Plus, we look forward to a few films to catch in Berlin, and it’s Matt Singer versus Alison Willmore in a Filmspotting: SVU showdown of Movie News Quizzing. Download This Episode

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The upcoming Daniel Espinosa-directed thriller Safe House continues to fill out its cast. The film is said to be about a CIA safe house where criminals are detained, a young agent who acts as house sitter to the institution, and his attempts at moving a high profile criminal to another location once the house is under attack by a villainous organization. Denzel Washington was the first on board, playing the criminal who needs to get moved, and Ryan Reynolds signed up soon afterwards to play the young CIA agent. Now the rest of the cast is starting to come together as a start date looms. According to Deadline Kurpinova, Vera Farmiga has joined the cast, playing the CIA operative who supervises Reynolds’s character.  This choice was probably a no-brainer for the film’s casting agents as Farmiga has become something of a go-to whenever you need a slightly older, yet still attractive woman to play some sort of authority figure. Whether it be a doctor, or a successful businesswoman, or what have you, throw Farmiga in some business clothes and you’re good to go. Most recently she was seen in Source Code playing, you guessed it, a government agent. Say what you will about type casting, but Farmiga is a solid actress and playing these sorts of character roles is a great way to build a robust filmography and work with a lot of other great people. Plus, you have to appreciate the lady, because every time she gets cast in […]

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“It’s a great script and a great property,” an enthusiastic Robert Rodriguez told The Los Angeles Times when asked about the draft of Deadpool from Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The project, which is still slated to star Ryan Reynolds as the “merc with a mouth,” has been on and off the backburners at Fox ever since X-Men Origins: Wolverine released at the beginning of last summer. One thing standing in its way: Ryan Reynolds is a hot commodity. He’s just wrapped shooting on Green Lantern for Warner Bros., where the studio is already developing not one, but two sequels. But while Reynolds is not only wrapped up in Lantern, but about a half-dozen other projects, the likes of Rodriguez does present an interesting proposition.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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