Monday, 8 October 2012

“Safe House”. A Review Of The 2011 Film Now on BLU RAY.


“…You’re Better Than Me…”

"Safe House" comes on like a souped-up "Bourne" directed by Tony Scott – all frantic pace, sinister synths and choppy-choppy editing. Sure this has been done before - but what's makes this espionage movie so different is the sheer effort the cast, crew and writers put into depicting the 'thrill' in 'thriller'. You can literally feel them working their well-paid butts off to please you in every possible way. Add to this formidable stew of film-making excellence - a cleverly chosen cast of top class actors like Denzel Washington, Sam Sheppard, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga, Fares Fares, Ruben Blades and the superb Irish duo of Brendan Gleeson and Liam Cunningham - and you can almost forgive Ryan Reynolds trying to break free from rom-coms and getting all John McClane sweaty teeshirt on us...

As you can imagine the action comes at you fast and furious. The fight sequences were choreographed for months in advance (using the actors themselves) and escalate in their ingenuity and hands-on nature - while the car chases are pulse-pounding too. But its the great cast who give it a beating heart. With the exception of say Liam Neeson or Tommy Lee Jones - I couldn't see any other leading man bring so much to a cop/agent as Denzel Washington does. He is typically brilliant here. He plays Tobin Frost – the CIA’s more-wanted whistleblower (off the grid for a decade) - who suddenly waltzes into the American Embassy in South Africa's capital city of Cape Town. Years of interrogation techniques under his belt and a file in his leg that will fry many dodgy types on different continents - Tobin smiles, grimaces and generally messes with everyone’s head. Digging in to find more nuances – Denzel is magnificent at this - and it goes a long way to keeping you watching as the begrudging relationship develops between his character (the old timer on the run) and Reynolds character Matt Weston (the rookie forcing into protecting him from all comers). And on it goes to a final show-and-tell gun battle in another compromised 'safe house' where the young buck Matt has been seriously underestimated by everyone – including the good guy/bad guy Tobin Frost (dialogue above)…

The BLU RAY picture isn't great it has to be said because Director Daniel Espinosa is going for gritty realism and not clean cut – but it does show off the superb and extensive use of Cape Town as a city and the South African countryside that surrounds it which has a certain beautiful light - and look. Placing it in this unusual location gives the street action (and shanty town sequences) a fresh feel too. And don't watch the extras 'before' the movie – they give away far too much plot.

A bit of a cracker frankly...

PS: Look out too for the unpronounceable NORA ARNEZEDER who plays the 23-year old French girlfriend Ana - I'm certain she's been genetically engineered by the CIA to be one of the most gorgeous women on Earth - and will no doubt turn out to be a 'sleeper' agent in "Safe House 2 – The Sequel - Even Safer Than The Last House".

You heard it here first folks...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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