Do not expect strong critical reviews for either of this week’s new releases, but expect a lot of stylized action from both.
Pompeii is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, best known for his adaptations of videogames like Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil and sci-fi movies like Soldier, Death Race and the gleefully gruesome and scary Event Horizon. He even directed 2011’s The Three Musketeers, giving Alexandre Dumas’ characters a Steampunk twist to middling critical reviews but ultimately to box office success.
Anderson attempts to give Pompeii historical accuracy as he and his collaborators spent six years researching the disaster but it is the set piece behind a fictional story of a young gladiator and his forbidden love of a beautiful woman who is betrothed to a corrupt Roman senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.
While the concept really reminds me of Titanic, Anderson’s style will give the familiar story some impressive eye-candy and action.
It stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Kiefer Sutherland.
With a name like McG, you can expect some impressive style from this director, especially because he started his career as a music producer and music video director.
After directing more than 50 music videos for the likes of Smash Mouth and The Offspring, he was approached by Drew Barrymore to direct 2000’s Charlie’s Angels. He went on to direct the sequel as well as Terminator Salvation and This Means War and producing TV shows like The O.C., Chuck and Supernatural.
McG’s latest movie is 3 Days to Kill, which may be another step in the revival of Kevin Costner’s career. Costner plays a dangerous international spy who is determined to give up his high stakes life to finally build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter. But while he is trying to reacquaint himself with his teenage daughter, he must complete one more mission hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist. Also starring Hailee Steinfeld (Academy Award nominee in True Grit), it is written and produced by Luc Besson, one of France’s most famous and prolific filmmakers.
An interesting commonality between this week’s two films is Milla Jovovich, the ex-wife of Luc Besson who starred for him in The Fifth Element & The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and the current wife of Paul W.S. Anderson, who starred for him in the Resident Evil movies and The Three Musketeers.