I’ll watch anything by Steven Soderbergh – and if it’s a genre piece, I’m quite likely to add it my library.  Copies of TrafficThe LimeySolaris, Out of Sight, and Ocean’s Eleven have pride of place on the shelves.  (The absence of Erin Brockovich and the Ocean sequels is, I think, self-explanatory.)

When I heard Soderbergh was making an action film, my Pavlovian response was predictable.  An awesome roll call of actors.  The writer of The Limey.  Exotic locales.  Its arrival on these shores couldn’t happen quickly enough.

It skipped a theatrical release and went straight to DVD.  I watched it and kinda liked it.  I watched it again – this time with The Goddess – and liked it more.  And I think I’ll watch it again.

This excellent Editing Room abridged script both captures and highlights what I really enjoy about Haywire:  it upsets my expectations of an action thriller while still giving me an action thriller.  It’s no masterpiece.  It’s a genre exercise.  The story is familiar as all get out.  Lead Gina Carano‘s game acting is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast who get into the spirit of things rather than just slumming it.  Soderbergh’s crisp direction and Dobbs’ deft script provide 93 minutes of action, thrills and suspense.

I think it’s a keeper.


The Day After

After a few days of (relatively) frenzied DVD watching, I’ve learned that:

  • the laws of physics and logic are optional extras for action films;
  • rock-music-driven montages and slo-mo shots of victims heroes walking or running – or walking with intent – are essential elements of a thriller; and
  • a film that doesn’t aim high but has fun anyway is much more enjoyable than a film that Has a Life Lesson to Impart and does so in a manner that assumes you’re a monkey.

Just as all things come to an end – films that end at the right moment, or films that end because there’s no more disk space – the Goddess returned yesterday. All is well with the world.


The Goddess is Still Away

Yeah, the adolescent actioner may have been totally disposable but last night’s cult horror film had the adjective ‘cult’ for good reason.

I know I’m being scared when I have to consciously –

  1. unclench my fists, stomach and thighs, and
  2. think, This is only a movie.

Ah, the horror genre: some vicarious scaring never hurt nobody (unless you believe that there are a lot of unexplained things in our world and that sometimes… sometimes ignorance truly is bliss).

I snuck the puerile comedy and a thriller today. The puerile comedy turned out to be a low-brow actioner that was surprisingly engaging – funny how good actors can lift a script. The thriller, on the other hand, gave me flashbacks. But I got me some more script notes out of its running time, so not all was lost.

I’d like my Goddess back now, please.