New Movies to Crave: Go Haywire, Fly with Redtails or Join the Underworld Awakening
By Chris Kavan - 01/20/12 at 09:00 AM CT
Hopefully you're in the mood to add a little action to your life, as you have a triple dose coming at you that deal with action in slightly different ways, but in the end, it's still action.
1) If you like your action in the pure adrenalin form, Haywire should be right up your alley. MMA star Gina Carano plays a black ops agent who faces betrayal so does what anyone would do: gets revenge. Every trailer or preview I've seen of this has her beating up or shooting something - I'm guessing the story is not the high point of this film, but if you want pure, unadulterated kick-assery, you're not going to find much better.
2) On the other hand, Red Tails, a personal project of George Lucas about the Tuskegee Airmen, takes a much more historical approach in its action. Critical reception is decidedly lukewarm with many saying there's too much CGI and not enough soul in the film (sounds mighty familiar to Star Wars fans). Still, I'm interested to see where this winds up. Lucas has been on a personal crusade for this film, but I don't know if that will help or hurt his chances.
3) If you prefer your action mixed with horror, Kate Beckinsale is back to looking incredibly good in her skin-tight black getup as vampire Selene in Underworld Awakening. This time instead of vamps vs. wolves, its vamps & wolves vs. humans when their existence spurs man into eradicating both clans. I liked the first Undeworld, but the sequels became increasingly dull for me. However, I have to admit this looks better than the previous two and just might reawaken this franchise.
4) Also of note on the non-action side of things is the nationwide expansion of the 9/11 drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It has gotten knocked for veering too far into the sentimental category and for being just "too soon" - despite a less-then-stellar critical reception, it has still picked up some awards, though it looks like it will be shut out of the big awards. Still, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow and newcomer Thomas Horn (amongst others) present a robust cast tackling a very touchy subject.
The first two weekends of 2012 have yielded surprising results with both The Devil Inside and Contraband performing better than expected. We'll see if Hollywood can keep its winning streak rolling for the year.