Covo’s take on “Parker”:
The most surprising and confusing thing about the new crime-action thriller “Parker” is what sizzles.
Jason Statham plays Parker and Jennifer Lopez plays struggling real estate agent Leslie Rogers – and the combination of these two has killer chemistry on screen. What’s more is that while I found J-Lo infinitely beautiful and perfect in her role, it’s as if her character wandered onto the movie from another set.
Yet it’s their “sizzle” that made watching this film so much fun. Statham plays his part in the Westlake novel-based film as proficiently as the highly professional criminal he plays demands – and I would have to say Lopez delivers one of her best performances ever as the distressed ditzy dame.
So much so that it almost makes the audience indifferent about Parker’s actual love interest in the film, Claire (Emma Booth), who has a very promising entrance and then wisps away like smoke from a smoldering fire. Nick Nolte and Lupita LuPone also show up as peripheral characters, but all the fun really happens when Statham and Lopez light up the screen together.
According to the production notes, Statham remarked Parker is a kind of anti-hero.
“He’s involved in criminal activities but he perceives all business to be in some way crooked. He never steals from people he feels can’t afford it and he doesn’t hurt people that don’t deserve it,” Statham said.
For those who are able to keep their expectations low, this is a fine shoot-em-up, poetic justice kind of film – a film thick with double crosses and much ado about honor among thieves.
Parker really always does what he says he’s going to do, so if you pay attention, you might find the film predictable – but then Lopez shows up seemingly out of the blue as Rodgers, and well, the formula part of the story goes right out the window.
I think the move is worth seeing thanks exclusively to Statham’s and Lopez’s performances
and terrific on-screen chemistry, which was really quite impressive and absolutely palpable. The film is entertaining and solid – I would choose this one over “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” without a doubt.
“Parker” opens nationwide Jan. 25, 2013 – the film is rated R and runs just about two hours.
Ayotte’s take on “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”:
This is one of those movies I would generally not consider being remotely okay to watch.
Taking the title of one of the most widely known fairytales “Hansel & Gretel,” and adding the words “Witch Hunters” to the end doesn’t make it sound all that appealing. It does make you wonder, though.
If you’re a fan of the classics and a purist when it comes to adapting a story to a screenplay then you won’t care for this film at all. It takes the original story in a whole new direction, but in my opinion that is what made it good. This is an entirely different take on what you would expect.
Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are now much older and are bounty hunters specializing in witches. They are a couple of gun-toting vigilantes with a history. They take no prisoners and no witch is safe when they are on the hunt.
The fight scenes in the movie are well executed and actually look real. The movie has limited amounts of computer-generated imagery (CGI) which makes the 3D viewing experience quite pleasant. Moreover this is one of the few films I actually enjoyed in 3D. Director Tommy Wirkola did a very good job of taking the story of Hansel & Gretel somewhere that worked without going overboard.
A surprise role for Renner (“The Avengers,” “The Town,” “The Hurt Locker”) but he proved no matter what role he plays he can make it look cool. Blowing a witch’s head off is pretty cool in itself but Renner doing it alongside Gemma Arterton (“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “Clash of the Titans”) was awesome.
There’s shortage of F-bombs and curse words. Hansel and Gretel are all grownup now so it was expected and entertaining to hear them let some bad words rip after a sweet kill.
This is definitely not something you will want to take your young daughter to but I think your son will probably love it. This version of “Hansel & Gretel” is more geared to please guys, not so much for the ladies. I never imagined I would like the film but it was actually pretty good and I think I could justify spending money to go see it in the theater. This is a film you have to give a chance no matter what your preconceived notions are.
The film is rated R and is about 88 minutes long.