Haywire announces the arrival of a bona fide action star in Gina Carano. She plays Mallory, a former Marine who is on the run from a mysterious agency. That’s all that is necessary for the plot and her character–an enigma whose work is, after all, her life. The story takes place primarily in flashback, revealing how and why (The “why” is far less important) she is running in the first place. It’s little more than excuse for Mallory to beat various men to a pulp, and, in that respect, the film works quite well. The actors brawl and bash each other with aplomb. Carano is the star, but director Steven Soderbergh fills in the rest of the cast with fine supporting work from the likes of Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, and even Channing Tatum. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
We spend the musical numbers of Joyful Noise wondering when the characters are going to stop singing and start talking. Then they start talking, and we begin to wonder when they’re going to start singing again, only for the cycle to repeat itself. The musical numbers are either bouncy but too lengthy or lamenting and awkward (Singing with a ghost under a full moon?). The movie’s about a church choir that wants to win a national competition. G. G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) thinks she should be the new choir director after her husband dies (No time for mourning: There are songs to sing!); Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) gets the job instead. They don’t like each other. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and DVD/Blu-ray Combo.