Thursday, February 16, 2012

$5 Tuesdays: "Safe House"

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Every Tuesday, I take a nice drive down the coast into Palos Verdes where every movie at the Regal Promenade 13 theater is $5.  Since I've had this relatively inexpensive weekly routine, I've realized that I watch a lot more movies than the average person, making it difficult to watch movies with friends because I've seen all of the ones that they want to see.  Well, I'm not going to cut down on the number of movies that I watch, but instead, I've decided to share my thoughts on each week's movie in a series I'd like to call "$5 Tuesdays".

This week's $5 Tuesday movie: Safe House, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.

I was excited to see Safe House because I really like seeing Denzel Washington as a badass, and this movie did not disappoint.  If you could imagine Man on Fire meets Training Day, this was the bad guy with a heart that I was rooting for the entire movie.  Denzel still has his signature swagger and never goes faster than a slight jog, even while being pursued by AK-47 toting South Africans.

Ryan Reynolds, on the other hand, I felt, was slightly miscast.  That's not to say that he didn't perform; he's a very talented actor and always gives 100%, but it's still Ryan Reynolds.  I feel like Hollywood is trying to manufacture a leading man with Ryan, but he doesn't quite have the same "it factor" that other leading men like George Clooney or Johnny Depp have.  It's clear that while Ryan delivers a believable performance, he's no match for Denzel and has to resort to physical outbursts (he flips a table in an adolescent hissy fit).

The story itself was satisfying yet predictable, but after studying acting and film, it's hard not to see the plot twists, so don't discount the movie because they didn't re-invent the action movie genre.  The action sequences were intense and the tight framing of the actors made for some horror movie style jump-out-and-scare-you surprises.

Was Safe House worth $5?  Definitely.  There's nothing more satisfying than seeing Denzel calmly walk through a hallway and proceed to pop some caps in some asses.

Watch it on the big screen or rent?  It could go either way, but unless you have a monster sound system and don't mind disturbing your neighbors, I'd recommend watching this movie in the theater to get the full effect of the action sequences.

Check back next week for another installment of $5 Tuesdays!

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