The Losers (2010) – in your face, over the top

As long as there are comic books that haven’t been adapted (or adapted successfully) to big screen, we’ll be regularly¬† assaulted with over-the-top, self-aware, tongue-in-cheek, archetypal, good vs. evil, paper-thin stories. Most of comic book culture revolves around fallen heroes, and every once in a while a movie is made that perfectly translates that comic book tone into a film. Everything is life or death, everyone has a specific role, nothing is as it seems and almost nothing has any consequence or logic. On a rare occasion, an action film can successfully subvert tired cliches. The Loses manages to do that, keep a straight face with its characterization, and still look good in the process. It’s just fun to watch.

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Inside Man (2006)

Jodie Foster doesn’t do bad movies. That’s a fact, and if you take a look at her resume, you will agree. She picks her projects methodically, doesn’t overkill us with 2-3 films a year, and always, always leaves behind a great, appealing, real character. Even her little cameo in “A Very Long Engagement” was precious. Her films might be misunderstood, or before their time (Contact, Nell), even formulaic (Panic Room, Maverick), but she still manages to elevate the quality of the film, making the scene(s) more grounded, and characters easier to relate to. In “Inside Man” Jodie plays a secondary character – her appearance and role are minimal, yet necessary to establish the moral center of the movie. But man, does she steal those few fleeting scenes. Not to say the leads are weak – they are indeed very good. The problem with male leads of this film is that they’re stuck in “been there, done that” mode. The roles fit them both, but the roles are quite tired.
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Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

That Danny Ocean (George Clooney). He’s smart enough to fool a ruthless casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), but he cannot hide from him too long. So the gang is back, and with Terry on their tail, they have no choice but to get back to stealing expensive things in elaborate ways. The entire cast of Ocean’s Eleven is back (with a few new faces, and a couple of cameos) for another round of sassy, stylish heists. Check it out.

The first remake of this 60s Rat Pack classic (you know, the one older people remember, with Sammy David Jr, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra) was a pretty cool film. It came out of nowhere in 2001, a year that had its fill of capers – The Score, Heist come to mind. So when this star-studded remake, headlined by Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Julia Roberts came to theaters at the end of the year, people were skeptic. Surprisingly, the movie did well, despite being largely style over substance. A great soundtrack, an amazing cast that kept on adding the punchlines, and a decent plot that kept moving at a fast pace.

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