Blu-Ray and DVD Releases: Man on a Ledge, Gone, and True Blood Season Four
Twenty years ago, Man on a Ledge would’ve been a near-perfect Harrison Ford vehicle, with lines such as, “This… this is my retrial!” and “I am an innocent man!” All it would have needed was a few lines where he’s looking for his wife and/or family and it would’ve been gold. Ford had mastered the art of infusing a film with star power gravitas and everyman bewilderment. He somehow simultaneously convinced you that his characters were in true peril, in way over their heads, and yet in complete control of the situation. Alas, twenty years have passed since twenty years ago (if my math is accurate) and so today this type of role is handed to the likes of Sam Worthington. I find Worthington too nondescript as an actor to dislike him, but his characters never seem like they’re in danger or like they’re particularly savvy either. They’re just there.
Then again, the plot of Man on a Ledge is similarly just there, showing up for the participation trophy, not really trying to impress or make anyone care that it even exists. Hell, the hero is a man who was framed for a diamond-heist he didn’t commit. Not a murder or a kidnapping or suspected terrorism–the kind of thing a character would’ve been framed for back in the glory days of seedy suspense thrillers–but a diamond heist. By cinematic suspense standards, that’s pretty damn mundane. Not even the almighty menace of Ed Harris or the copious hotness of Génesis Rodríguez can rescue this plot synopsis from “Who-gives-a-shit”-ville.
As far as overzealous PG-13 whodunits go, Gone isn’t half bad. The verdict is still out on Amanda Seyfried’s capability as a leading woman. She’s a good actress but she kind of looks like some sort of automaton sent to infiltrate humanity. Her and Christina Ricci both look like they have summer homes in the Uncanny Valley. In a film like Gone, where Seyfried plays someone who authorities suspect is just some paranoid lunatic who sees serial killers in her cereal bowl, this works in her favor. The movie is a little too exuberant in dropping red herrings and misdirection to keep the audience guessing, but as softball serial killer mystery movies go, it’s reasonably entertaining.
On the TV front, there’s this crazy hit show that’s been running on HBO called True Blood that’s heading into Season Five this summer. Season Four hits shelves today, bringing with it Marnie’s surprising turn into a bit of a havoc-wreaking, surprisingly watchable psycho, courtesy of Antonia. The season ends with a pretty outstanding 20-cliffhanger pileup that includes a tease of the Season 5 return of everyone’s favorite spine-ripping vampire elitist. There’s also plenty of sex, some more sex, some sensuality, some adult situations and a dash of carnality thrown into the mix, for people who are into that sort of thing.