A quartet of “direct to video ” flicks closed out August with fair to middling returns for renters.
ALOHA – Bradley Cooper stars in this romantic comedy about a military contractor sent down to Hawaii where he flirts with an old flame while actually falling for the hardnosed woman assigned to watch him. Sadly this big budgeted and well cast effort(Bill Murray and Emma Stone also star)is also one of the films that was at the center of the “Sony hacking scandal. Apparently a studio executive thought this was a train wreck from the start and e-mailed several colleagues about her concerns. Said anxieties went public when her account was hacked and a scandal ensued.
Apparently she was absolutely right as the film meanders all over the place and never finds a tone.
BIG GAME – Here you have the President of the United States in peril when he is forced to bail from an aircraft and is then hunted by terrorists in a forest. luckily a thirteen year old boy is out there trying to pass a test of manhood by hunting a deer. The pair turn out to make a decent team. Normally this would come off as lame as it sounds except for the brilliant casting of Samuel L. Jackson as the President. Good for a little low brow excitement.
THE RUNNER – Politics take center stage again here as an official must deal with an oil spill as well as a sex scandal(the two are not related). Nicolas Cage tries hard alongside Peter Fonda, Sarah Paulson, and Wendell Pierce but this drama is D.O.A.
SKIN TRADE – Dolph Lundgren teams up with Tony Jaa in this old fashioned action flick that sees a NYC detective journey to Thailand for revenge on the gangsters who killed his family. Lundgren and Jaa get their Kung-Fu on in a series of colorful fight sequences and manage to even wrestle some tart dialogue. A fine supporting cast for this kind of thing includes Ron Perlman, Michal Jai White, and Peter Weller.
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.