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RED, 2010
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red, 2010 MOVIERED, 2010
Movie Reviews

Directed by Robert Schwentke

Cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Urban, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, James Remar, Julian McMahon, Ernest Borgnine,

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SYNOPSIS:

Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIAs top agents but the secrets they know just made them the Agencys top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

Release Date: 15 October 2010

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REVIEW:

Mary Louis Parker plays the bored woman who is approaching middle-aged and is looking for some sort of excitement in her life character in RED. And how she gets out of her mid-life crisis slump is to find a man who is ex-CIA and who will take her on a rollar coaster ride of kidnapping, gun fights, car chases and a little smooching and petting in between.

In 2010 alone, there has been 3 characters like this. Cameron Diaz played the same role in KNIGHT AND DAY with Tom Cruise. And Katherine Heigl played the same role in KILLERS with Ashton Kutcher. Isnít this interesting? Whatís the cliche: one is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, and three is... well something that needs to be discussed. Is the world telling Hollywood something, or is Hollywood telling the world something?

Women can comment on these characters from many different perspectives. Some will love it because now they can be a part of the action instead of staying home taking care of the kids, or worse, looking to be saved and playing the damsel in distress role. And others wonít like it that much because they feel that Hollywood is saying that it still takes a man to get the girls out of their funk instead of the girls doing it themselves independently.

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Out of the three roles and the film films that portrayed these roles, I like RED the best.

Part of it is that Mary Louise Parkerís take on this character is oh so much more interesting than the other two. She can play emotions a lot better probably than Diaz or Heigl can. Heigl always plays the obsessive compulsive Iím in control on the surface but in reality Iím very needy and a man will really help me right now performance. And Diaz always plays the Iím an independent woman who doesnít need a man but it sure would be a whole lot better if I had regular sex performance (in fact, she plays this role in real life too). Parker takes things to a whole other level as people and life arenít a basic as Diaz and Heigl want you to think it is. She always plays her roles without using caricature trademarks to make audiences feel comfortable. Parker is more grounded and smarter than that. She always makes us interested in her because we know sheís smart, really thinks about things and is also very grounded and not an idealist in the slightest.

And her character in RED is really the most important because she is playing the fish out of water, Iím observing things as the audience is, character in this romp action comedy. And thereís one great thing I like about her as an actress: she doesnít scream like a little girl when conflict arises. Ever notice in the movies how so many actresses scream at the top of their lungs whenever something doesnít go their way? This drives me crazy because think about how many times in your life you screamed really loud! Never or once is probably the answer. But these female Hollywood actors seem to think that screaming is the best answer to any scene of conflict. There actually should be a rule that actresses canít scream in any movie for 10 years.

COMEDY/ACTION movies seem to be all of the rave these days. Itís a combination of the movie genres that gain the most attention at the box office (aka: earn the most money). So itís almost a no-brainer that they are doing this more and more. This isnít a new concept as this was happening since the 1980s with all of those buddy cop films. But the only difference is that now itís more comedy and less seriousness. In the case of RED, weíll totally entertained but are never in fear that any of the characters are in trouble. The tone of the film isnít campy as it plays the drama well and there is an interesting plot. But we always know that weíre in each scene with the main attention of making us laugh first.

The actors performing in this style is key because they always have to play their roles like they are acting in a drama. The only difference is that their characters are a bit quirky and thatís what makes them funny.

This type of film fails more than it succeeds. You can take a look at the above mentioned KILLERS and KNIGHT and DAY movies as examples. Those films just donít work because the tone wasnít set right by the director or his performers. The best example of what not to do in a film is KILLERS - perhaps the worst Hollywood made film of 2010. They tried to be funny while blowing up cars and such, but we never cared for anything that occurred because we didnít buy any of the characterís actions and motivations.

But RED really works. And itís a much more complicated film plot wise and has a lot more characters than KILLERS or KNIGHT and DAY does. The main reason is that we care. And many times making a film is that easy. If the audience cares whatís happening then itís a good film.

In all honesty, I did have a hard time watching REDS a lot of the time because they shot the film in Toronto (where I currently live) and I knew exactly where they were shooting. Toronto is one of those cities that doesnít have its own identity because it tries to be like so many other cities. Thatís why location managers in Hollywood like it so much. It can play so many different cities at the same time and you can save a ton of money shooting here (while helping boost the Canadian economy). And REDS is a film that has a lot of scenes in a lot of different cities.

In REDS, from my first viewing, I noticed them shooting in the following Toronto areas:

Shot in The Esplendade (making it seem that weíre in New Orleans)

Shot in Chinatown (for New York City Chinatown)

Shot in the Toronto Reference Library (for New York City library)

Shot at the Royal York Hotel (for Chicago Marriot)

Shot in Chippawa - town in Niagara Region (for Alabama)

Shot in Cabbagetown (for Kansas City)

Shot in Etobioke - Toronto suburbs (for Cleveland)

And many more. Those were just the highlights.

In summary, go see REDS. Itís a fun film.

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