Sometimes watching a movie is sort of like watching a train wreck in slow motion, as if a child has set up a train set so that several trains will all smash into each other. “Killing Them Softly” is a movie like that. We know from the moment we meet most of the characters that they are doomed, that they are going to make bad mistakes and follow them up with more, and that the character who’s likely to come out on top is the one who makes the fewest stupid decisions.
There’s a lot to like about “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and a lot to dislike. This grittier take on the familiar fairy tale is likely to divide audiences into those who demand intelligence (or at least not willful stupidity) from movies and those who just want to be taken for a fun ride. If you’re in the latter group, you’re in for a good time.
There’s a certain pleasure in seeing a familiar job done well with a slightly new mix of tools, and that’s just what “Safe House” is. There’s not much new about this CIA double-cross story, but the setting, actors, cinematography, and story details are a new combination, and it’s enjoyable watching familiar gears mesh and turn in the new setup.
Directed by: Djo Munga
Starring: Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna
Rated: R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity, brutal violence, language, and some drug use.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a very different place from the settings of most gangster films we see here in the States, but “Viva Riva!” would be right at home in a collection of underworld movies. This is a mostly by-the-numbers tale of a young criminal trying to make it big. Filmed in French and Lingala, the subtitles may provide a gloss to cover the occasional flaws for some.