Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Ridley Scott Confirms Noomi Rapace Won't Be Returning For 'Alien: Covenant' Ridley Scott Confirms Noomi Rapace Won't Be Returning For 'Alien: Covenant' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

In Theaters: Go 'Haywire' With 'Miss Bala,' 'Red Tails' & 'Underworld: Awakening' Or Go Shakespeare With 'Coriolanus'

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist January 20, 2012 at 11:04AM

What a weekend for female-oriented action movies! It's almost like Steven Soderbergh requested "Haywire" be released the same weekend as "Underworld: Awakening," the latest entry in the dum-dum vampire franchise. You know, as a commentary on the female action hero. Regardless, there's gonna be a whole lotta ass-kicking ladies at the multiplex this weekend. Everyone wins! Let us explore the three stages of the female in action movies below.
0
PHOTO In Theaters: Go 'Haywire' With 'Miss Bala,' 'Red Tails' & 'Underworld: Awakening' Or Go Shakespeare With 'Coriolanus'

What a weekend for female-oriented action movies! It's almost like Steven Soderbergh requested "Haywire" be released the same weekend as "Underworld: Awakening," the latest entry in the dum-dum vampire franchise. You know, as a commentary on the female action hero. Regardless, there's gonna be a whole lotta ass-kicking ladies at the multiplex this weekend. Everyone wins! Let us explore the three stages of the female in action movies below.

Kate Beckinsale slithers back into the latex cat-suit and blue contacts of her vampire (is she a vampire in this series? I don't know/care) character in "Underworld: Awakening." She doesn't even have her hubs Len Wiseman behind the camera on this one to excuse her involvement in the increasingly irrelevant vampire vs. wolf-type thing vs. human franchise. Directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, and co-starring Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy and Sandrine Holt. This didn't screen for critics, but we saw it and what can we say?

Gina Carano in "Haywire"
Relativity Gina Carano in "Haywire"

In the other corner, we have MMA fighter and former American Gladiator Gina Carano, Soderbergh's latest muse, making her acting debut in "Haywire," his lean, mean exercise in the action spy thriller. Carano crushes the following beefcakes in between her formidable thighs: Michael Fassbender, Ewan MacGregor and Channing Tatum. Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton, and Michael Angarano co-star. Our review says, "the film is full of long-take action and pursuit scenes where you only realize how superbly and meticulously choreographed they are after the fact when your pulse has cooled enough to let you count the long moments between edits," and "an action film that tries to convey the very real pleasure of watching an action hero actually think about what they're doing, cool reptile reason in the hot-blooded moment." Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Metacritic: 68

And last but not least, Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo brings us a completely different (and more realistic) take with Mexico's official Oscar entry "Miss Bala," about a pageant contestant swept up in the Mexican drug war. Our review says it's "a magnificently paced and deeply complex portrait of the out of control situation in Mexico with a masterfully subtle hand." RT: 89% MC: 82

Red Tails

For something completely different. "Red Tails" tells the real-life story of the African-American Tuskegee airmen in World War II. Produced by George Lucas and directed by Anthony Hemingway, the cast consists of a who's who in prestigious black actors, including Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Andre Royo, Nate Parker, Ne-Yo and Method Man (so many "The Wire" alums!), with Bryan Cranston. Our review says the film "is filled with gratingly rah-rah patriotism and stock characters, but what separates it from a similar genre throwback like, say, "The Artist," is a purity of intent. Since there's nothing, in Lucas' eyes, that can't benefit from a new layer of digital paint, the action sequences feel less like classic war movies and more like some next-gen videogame, and the effect is off-putting." RT: 35% MC: 43

If you'd prefer less action and more Shakesperean talking, Ralph Fiennes' modern take on the Bard's "Corionalus" starts rolling into theaters today. Fiennes directs and stars with Vanessa Redgrave, Gerard Butler, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox and James Nesbitt rounding out the cast and telling the story of General Coriolanus as he enters the Senate on the insistence of his mother. However, when he is banished for rioting after failing to win the public’s support, he must team with sworn enemy, Tullus Aufidius, in taking out revenge on the city. We called the film "well-acted" and "challenging," so it should do more than enough to fill your intellectual and artistic needs. RT: 93% MC: 80

For some foreign flavor, Christian Bale goes to China for Zhang Yimou's "The Flowers Of War." He plays an American who disguises himself as a priest to save the lives of some prostitutes during the Nanjing Massacre. Hot stuff. Unforunately, we've seen the movie and it's not that good. You'll see our review soon, just take our word for. RT: 38% MC: 46

And oh yeah, PS: "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" opens wide on 2500+ screens this weekend-- check out our review here.

Crazy Horse
At the arthouse: Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman's still at it, his latest subject being Paris' famed nude cabaret, "Crazy Horse." Our review says the film is "is easy to take for granted and hard to forget," and "a fantastic meditation on bodies in motion." RT: 77%

This is also the perfect weekend to take in a documentary with your main gay, or your main hag. Firstly, we have "Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston," about the legendary designer. Featuring interviews with Liza Minelli, Diane Von Furstenberg, Andre Leon Talley and Anjelica Huston. FAHbulous, dahling! RT: 47% MC: 32 Or, take in "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life," which is sure to be... just as absurd and kooky as the lady herself. RT: 91% MC: 66

Jay Chou, Lin Peng, Nicholas Tse and Bing Bai star in Chinese action thriller "The Viral Factor," directed by Dante Lam. RT: 14% MC: 31

Korea's official Oscar entry "The Front Line" tells the story of a fierce battle between North and South Korea during the end of the Korean War, directed by Jang Hun. RT: 55% MC: 59

"16-Love" is exactly what you think it might be... the story of a teenage tennis player falling in love... this title... just, no.

Astronomy nerds, be sure to check out doc "The City Dark," by filmmaker Ian Cheney. RT: 63%

This article is related to: Haywire, Underworld: Awakening, Red Tails, Coriolanus, Miss Bala


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates