August is a dumping ground for movies, a time when the multiplexes are flooded with leftover product, as opposed to films. Still, occasionally, a gem sneaks in -- a movie that someone has underestimated. Takers is not that film.
Mention The Godfather or Scarface or Goodfellas -- it doesn't matter which American gangster epic you reference, chances are Jean-Francois Richet's pair of Mesrine films stack up pretty well by comparison.
I'm sure that Tales from Earthsea, taken from the science-fiction writing of Ursula LeGuin, will entertain undiscriminating young viewers and will probably thrill anime lovers. It left me bored and impatient.
Alice Creed is a wonderfully tense exercise in the mathematics of three -- how many different alliances, betrayals and conflicts can you extrapolate out of a gritty crime story with only three characters?
It's disappointing that Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel isn't a better movie. Not that it's a bad one. But, were cable standards a little less skittish, it would fit right in on the Biography channel.
I've been a fan of Todd Solondz's dark, even mean-spirited brand of humiliation comedy since Welcome to the Dollhouse, and the squirmy problems of his put-upon heroine, Dawn Weiner. But he lost me with Life During Wartime.