Thursday, May 02, 2013

two worth a look ...

Foolproof - From 2003, a heist/who's zoomin' who caper with an interesting cast. Starring Ryan Reynolds as the leader of a trio of "theoretical" criminals who pull off a real heist when a gangster (David Suchet) enlists them to turn one of their dream jobs into reality. It's slick and fun, but the real treat was seeing Suchet in non-Poirot mode, with (I think) his real voice.

David Suchet serves up some theif-erly advice
Timeline - Also from 2003, this is an implausible but fun time travel yarn with an amazing cast for Anglophiles. Directed by Richard Donner of Superman and Lethal Weapon movies fame and written by Michael Crichton (and based on his novel). I'm not sure why I never heard of this before. Maybe because it's more silly than scary, but it was still fun to watch.

An elite group of archaeologists (Paul Walker, Frances O'Connor, Gerard Butler) and commandoes (!), led by Neal McDonough, need to travel back to medieval France to rescue a stranded comrade (Billy Connolly). But once there, things get, well, medieval, as the French are busy warring the neighboring British and the group starts to get smaller, one-by-one. And to complicate matters even more, back home the time travel machine has been damaged and the scientists running it (David Thewlis, Ethan Embry) are of two minds on whether to effect repairs. Will they be able to get back home to the present before their window of return expires? The cast in the past is just as impressive as the future travelers, including Michael Sheen, Anna Friel, and Lambert Wilson.

No they're not going to a local RenFest, they're going to the past

The past (and Anna Friel) is looking pretty good to Gerard Butler

According to imdb, Timeline was prey to a lot of studio interference, which certainly plays into why it wasn't properly promoted:

The film was originally slated to be released in the fall of 2002, however the studio was not happy with the Richard Donner's cut of the film, which included a prologue explaining the disappearance of the Billy Connolly character in the film ... Donner was then forced to re-cut the film ... Paramount, particularly studio head Sherry Lansing, was again unhappy with Donner's second cut of the film that he had delivered which completely had eliminated the Billy Connolly prologue, which was essential to the both the Michael Crichton novel and the film's backstory ... Donner was forced to re-cut the film once more and the film was again delayed to unspecified date ... The final cut of the film would be 116 minutes from its original 136 min cut, mainly the Billy Connolly prologue clearly absent from re-cut version and the final cut, which proves that the film was clearly interfered with by the studio ...

Timeline is probably a shadow of what it could have been, but it's still worth a look, especially for Gerard Butler's playful character, Marek.
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