New Releases: January 29

1. Edge Of Darkness (Warner Brothers, 3,066 Theaters, 117 Minutes, Rated R): Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the attempted comeback of Mel Gibson.

I say attempted because, really, it should be really hard to come back from blaming all Jews for starting all wars while being arrested for drunk driving. Not saying he won’t get back in moviegoers good graces, but it shouldn’t be easy and it should take more than this.

The ads portray this as a revenge thriller, with Gibson as a cop looking to avenge the murder of his daughter. Other descriptions portray it as more of a conspiracy thriller. Either way, it should tap in to the angsty rage he employed in Ransom, which is good and bad. Good meaning that you know he can play these kinds of roles well. Bad because, well, why don’t you just rent Ransom instead?

Comic film fans might be interested in this one, as it’s directed by Martin Campbell, who is at the helm of the Green Lantern movie. So, if you never saw Casino Royale or The Mark of Zorro and want to check out his directing style, well, here’s your opportunity. 

2. When In Rome (Touchstone Pictures, 2,456 theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Screwball romantic comedies were once all the rage, oh, several decades ago. Why did they die out? Well, probably because they were hard to do well. I’m sure this film will prove that fact one way or another.

Kristen Bell stars as a harried, unlucky in love businesswoman who gets more than she bargains for when she steal some change from a fountain while on a trip to Rome. See, when you do that, you cause whoever threw those coins in to fall madly in love with you. You’d think they’d have a sign warning that.

Lucky for Bell, she doesn’t pick a quarter from an ax-murder, a priest or even a woman. She does pick coins from a wide range of weirdos. 

I like Bell and I’m rooting for her first star vehicle to be a success, and she is surrounded by a pretty interesting and, in some cases, good cast. But I fear that this film might not be all that good.

Another reason why quality might be lacking (and keeping with the comic book movie theme) is that this one is directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the man who wrote and directed Ghost Rider and Daredevil. He didn’t write this one, so you’re safe in that aspect, but be warned anyway.

About William Gatevackes 1921 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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