Vehicle 19

discs graceland

Welcome back to a slightly revamped version of This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Graceland Marlon Villar (Arnold Reyes) is chauffeur to Manuel Chango (Menggie Cobarrubias), a salaciously corrupt politician in the Philippines who expects obedience and loyalty regardless of his actions. The two men have daughters the same age, and one day while Marlon drives the girls to school they’re stopped in an attempt to kidnap the politician’s daughter. Things go terribly awry, and the confused kidnappers take Marlon’s daughter instead having mistaken her for Chango’s child. Now Marlon’s only hope is for the politician to pay the ransom in the belief that his daughter is in peril, but maintaining the lie may lead to an even bigger tragedy. Writer/director Ron Morales‘ fast-moving and vicious little film is a fantastically economical thriller that wastes no time diving into a sleazy world where children are little more than a commodity and money beats morals nearly every time. It’s a dark and nasty world indeed, but one of the joys of the film is seeing Marlon act as well as we can expect given the situation. He never frustrates or annoys even as his self dug grave gets deeper and deeper. Read my full review here. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, featurette, deleted scenes, booklet]

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review vehicle 19

Michael Woods (Paul Walker) has arrived in South Africa with something to prove. He’s just recently been released from prison back in the U.S., and even though it constituted breaking his parole he chose to cross the ocean to try and patch things up with his girlfriend. She works at the embassy in Johannesburg, so after landing at the airport he rents a car only to discover the rental agency has screwed up and given him a minivan instead of the model he requested. Short on time he decides to just roll with it so as not to be late for his mea culpa. Rushing through traffic, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, Woods discovers a few things in the car that just don’t seem right. There’s a cell phone in the glove compartment. There’s a gun beneath the seat. And there’s a woman, bound and gagged in the trunk. Vehicle 19 aims to be a claustrophobic thriller about a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, but while the pieces are there the film just never comes together in anything resembling an engaging fashion. The easy person to blame is Walker, but while he brings very little to the film the script is just as guilty of a culprit. It’s almost as if Walker was expected to bring all the cache of his Fast & Furious character to the role, but no one stopped to realize that Walker’s charisma has never been that franchise’s selling […]

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Vehicle 19

Watching the new trailer for Vehicle 19 doesn’t really give you a very clear idea of what the movie is about, but it does make it clear that some high-ranking and dangerous people are very mad about something, and that in order to stay alive in the face of their wrath, Paul Walker is going to have to drive really fast and crash a bunch of cars. For fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, of which there are many, that should be enough, so look for Vehicle 19 to be a big hit. The rest of you are likely going to be harder sells, but does it help at all to hear that in addition to doing a bunch of driving in this movie, Walker also spends a lot of time dramatically yelling? No? Okay, so maybe this isn’t the movie for you, but for the rest of us, fast cars, loud crashes, and pretty explosions are reason enough to tune out the world for a couple of hours and take in an action movie, so Vehicle 19 comes as a welcome distraction. We might have to wait a while to get that distraction though, because the film still doesn’t have a release date beyond “2013.” Just remember: a vague promise of eventual Paul Walker driving action is better than no Paul Walker driving action at all. Until we get more concrete word on when this one is coming out, we’ll all just have to continue wearing out our DVD […]

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