Home  |  Message Board  |  Creature Feature  |  Paranormal  |  Multimedia  |  Email Us  |  PCR Archives  |  Spotlight  |  Classics From The Vault
Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #551 (Vol. 11, No. 42). This edition is for the week of October 11--17, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"RED"  by Mike Smith
It's Halloween In Florida, Part One  by William Moriaty
Spooky Empire 2010  by ED Tucker
The Weekend that was Spooky Empire 2010  by Chris Woods
Japanese Pizza: Merry Misadventures in Gastronomy  by Jason Fetters
Oklahoma Is O.k. .... One Off The Bucket List .... Another Great Tribute .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Summit Entertainment     
Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 51 mins

Alone at home, former government employee Frank Moses (Willis) tears up his pension check. He then calls to complain he hasn’t received his check. A method to this madness? Of course. Frank just likes talking to Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Over the course of their conversations they’ve discussed Frank’s attempt at growing things, Sarah’s unsuccessful love life and their mutual love for trashy romance novels. Frank idly mentions that he’ll be visiting Kansas City soon, where Sarah is based and promises to give her a call. Pretty routine, right? Oh, did I mention that Frank’s former employer was the C.I.A.?

Based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, “RED” is a smart, well-directed action film that counts among its cast an incredible fourteen Academy Award nominations and four Awards. Smartly adapted by writers Jon and Erich Hoeber, the script is tight and full of fun. The premise: a group of former agents, officially designated RED (Retired: Extremely Dangerous) learn they are on a hit list thanks to their participation in an operation 30 years ago. When they learn of the plot against them, they regroup or, as Freeman remarks, “we’re getting the band back together.” Half of the fun of this picture is watching actors you’d never expect to see kicking butt! If I were to confess my hat trick of actress crushes, it would be Susan Sarandon, Judith Ivey and Helen Mirren, who I first fell for in “Excalibur.” 30 years later, the site of Dame Mirren, still beautiful at age 65 and smartly dressed in an evening gown, manning a .60 caliber machine gun only adds to my crush. Curse you, Taylor Hackford! The rest of the cast (average age: 64.5 years old) is just as good. Willis is top of the line as Moses, a hopeless romantic who can kill you 100 different ways. Imagine if “Die Hard”s John McClain had settled down and I think you get the picture. Malkovich is having a banner week, adding his performance here alongside the one he gives in “Secretariat.” Add in Oscar winners Freeman, Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine, still looking good at age 93, and you’ve got one hell of an ensemble. On the younger side of the scale, Parker is perfectly cast as the girl in distress and Karl Urban (Doctor McCoy in last year’s “Star Trek” reboot) is strong as the C.I.A operative whose job it is to track down Frank and his group. The action scenes are sharply directed with Schwentke’s camera moving in and out of the on-screen mayhem.

An action film that’s a cut above the rest thanks to its outstanding cast, on a scale of zero to four I give “RED”  

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. This week's movie review of "RED" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.