The Last Stand
The Last Stand (trailer) is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination. But even in mid-January, it lays down the gauntlet for providing one of the more overtly crowd-pleasing (and thus successful) genre films to come down the pike in awhile. The key to this film's success is simple: Director Kim Jee-Woon and writers Andrew Knauer, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and George Nolfi remember the basics to constructing this kind of meat-and-potatoes entertainment. It's not rocket science, but you'd be shocked how often simple entertainment value gets left in the dust in the quest to construct the biggest and/or baddest genre entry out there. The Last Stand isn't the biggest of anything. It's a mid-budget B-movie action picture set in a small town between California and the Mexican border. But it is filled to the gills with inventive actions sequences, colorful heroes and appropriately nasty villains. Everyone knows exactly how seriously to take this material, never getting too reverent but also never descending into pure camp. It also plays to Arnold Schwarzenegger's relative strengths while doing its best to work around his weaknesses (a look at his very best films). It may not be art, but its surprisingly splendid entertainment if you're in the mood. Read More...