Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., July 25
Bullet to the Head
A bullet rips through the heart of two studio logos, announcing the return of Walter Hill to the genre that brought him fame, the action comedy. Sylvester Stallone and Sung Kang perform a nifty reversal on the characters Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy played in Hill's 48 Hrs. With a Kevlar toupée and tanned bark that resembles wax burbling in a double-boiler, Sly hasn’t had a role this meaty in decades; his “dead inside” narration is one of the film’s highlights. Hill’s regular DP, Lloyd Ahern, is back onboard and Alessandro Camon’s screenplay reads like a greatest hits compilation of the director’s preoccupations. It’s been a decade since Hill stepped behind a camera and his style — particularly the MTV flash frames — could have withstood some modification. As enjoyable as it it to watch Stallone kick the crap out of anything that gets in his way, the last half-hour drags on a bit, laying bare the script’s graphic novel origins. Still, you’re not likely to find a more enjoyable action picture this year, and the presence of any Walter Hill film is just cause for a trip to the multiplex. With Sarah Shahi, Jason Momoa (this year’s Channing Tatum), and an abundance of comeuppance for Christian Slater haters. 2013.
- "Trailer Park" • January 30, 2013