Tom DotyTimes Columnist
December 19, 2012
Zombies, businessmen and shady private detectives made the world a dangerous place to live in with this week’s rentals.
“Resident Evil: Retribution” — Milla Jovovich is back for her fourth entry in this popular franchise that is based on the video games. This time, she wakes up in a secret lab of the Umbrella Corporation. While desperately searching for a way to stop the zombie plague that has been unleashed, she comes across new enemies and old friends (Michelle Rodriguez).
“Total Recall” — Colin Farrell steps into the shoes of Arnold Schwarzeneger for this version of Philip K. Dick’s story about mind games and espionage in the future. Farrell is Quaid, a blue collar worker who seeks a mini-escape from his routine by purchasing a memory implant of an exotic vacation. He wakes up to find himself a secret agent running for his life. Is it the vacation he purchased, or did the implant wake him up from a memory wipe to disguise his identity as a super agent? They have lots of fun finding out in this reinvention of the story that has more fun with mind games inflicted on Quaid.
“Arbitrage” — Richard Gere anchors this portrait of a hedge fund manager. In a time when bankers have a lot to answer for, we get this examination of one of the cogs in the economic wheel that has come to a shuddering halt. Gere is amazing here as a guy way past redemption, who makes his living pulling the rug out from under naive investors.
“Killer Joe” — Theaters avoided this excellent flick, but renters will cherish it. William Friedkin (“The French Connection”) directed this gothic crime drama that finds two dim guys getting mixed up with a shady private eye who doubles as an assassin for hire. They hire the guy to get loan sharks off their back but find out they made a huge mistake when they can’t pay the guy. Very intense stuff from the guy who made “The Exorcist.” The cast is superb, with Matthew McConaughey as the detective.
Next week brings season three of the best show on television, with the release of Elmore Leonard’s “Justified.”