Vantage Point (2007) starring Dennis Quaid, Forest Whittaker, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Matthew Fox. The premise of the movie is an attempted Presidential assassination shown from the perspective of the different characters involved in the plot to kill the President and the characters charged with protecting him. Dennis Quaid plays a secret service agent, recently returned to duty after having stopped a bullet for the President in a previous assassination attempt. Seemingly his colleagues believe he’s been returned to service too early and is too jumpy. I’ll say that while the movie in general is fairly fast paced, initially either it seemed a bit slow, or I was a bit slow to warm to it. That being said, I really liked the movie and would recommend it. Initially, seeing the assassination attempt unveil itself a little more with each telling seemed like it was going to be a bit tiresome, but the differences in perception and the revelation of new threads of information from the different characters really elevated the story. In all it made for a nice Friday night thriller.
Next (2007) stars Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel. The premise of the movie is that Nicholas Cage’s character, a Vegas Illusionist, can see two minutes into the future; somehow the FBI becomes aware of this and wants to use him and his gift to stop terrorists from successfully executing a nuclear attack on California. While I liked the general premise, and I liked some of the devices used by the director to illustrate how Nicholas Cage’s character uses his abilities in his day to day interactions (I’ll call them flash-forwards), the movie still left me a little flat. It’s not that it was bad, it was more alright. My chief complaints would be that some of the action scenes lost impact because of their duration; a person can only take so much crashing and exploding before it just becomes cumbersome to sit through. Plus the flash-forwards, while initially entertaining became a bit tedious from overuse.
Still the actors are do a great job of making the film interesting. Though I still don’t know that I bought into the Jessica Biel – Nicholas Cage hook-up; Nicholas is typically fun to watch and Jessica is really pretty and always believable in her girl-next-door-but-way-hotter roles. Julianne Moore, while a little overly butch as a Senior FBI agent looking to recruit Cage, was still extremely watchable and sympathetic, because of her believability as a character with the best interests of the nation at heart, in spite of what that may mean for Cage’s character. In all, the movie is a great fall back if your local rental is all out of the movie you really wanted to see.