Now Playing is the Word

By: Jeffrey Ford
By: Jeffrey Ford

The Good, Bad and Ugly of The Words, The Cold Light of Day and Killer Joe

 

The fall lull is dragging me down. I’m thankful for the return of football as this week’s batch doesn’t excite me. The Words is getting good marks but I see it as a Netflix film, not one to go to the theaters to see. The Cold Light of Day looks bland. Killer Joe, on the other hand, holds some promise but its rating is limiting its appeal. All in all, this may be another weekend I avoid the theaters, Killer Joe being the lone exception. Well, let’s get to it then. First up is…
 
 
A writer at the peak of his literary success discovers the steep price he must pay for stealing another man's work. *
 
The Good – Bradley Cooper has been on a hot streak lately. Ever since his star making turn in The Hangover, he has been constantly making quality films (minus All About Steve). They may not all be home runs but he can usually be counted on for a decent performance. The Words is Bradley on his own, no gimmicks nor Tyson to back him up. The movie lives and dies on his shoulders. From everything I’ve heard he carries it effortlessly. Those who go to see this should be pleased.
 
The Bad – I think I’m in the minority of my opinion but I just am not interested in seeing this film. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the trailer is putting me to sleep. I can’t see anything outwardly wrong with it, but there is nothing to hold my interest. Maybe there just aren’t any explosions to saddle my juvenile mind.
 
The Ugly – So is Grease the word? Or is it the Bird? No one has ever been able to give me a definitive answer.
 
The Words is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and smoking.
 
 
After his family is kidnapped during their sailing trip in Spain, a young Wall Street trader is confronted by the people responsible: intelligence agents looking to recover a mysterious briefcase. *
 
The Good – Bruce Willis (Blind Date) continues his action stuffed year (he has appeared in The Expendables 2, Looper, and had it not been pushed back for 3D and Channing Tatum, G.I. Joe 2). Joining him are the likes of Sigourney Weaver (One Woman or Two) and the future Man of Steel, Henry Cavill (Man of Steel).
 
The Bad – An early September action movie usually means one thing. The producers have no faith in the product, and I can see why.  Sure, while Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver and Henry Cavill may lend their talents, it doesn’t change the fact that this movie just looks bad. The current low rating on Rotten Tomatoes lends credence to my supposition that this is a bad movie. 
 
The Ugly – Then again, one does not expect quality when the writer’s previous credit was a direct to video Stone Cold Steve Austin action film The Condemned.
 
The Cold Light of Day is rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.
 
 
When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance. *
 
The Good – Director William Friedkin has a fantastic resume, directing such classics as To Live and Die in LA, The Exorcist, and The French Connection, winning the best director Oscar for the latter. His recent outings have not been stellar (Rules of Engagement, Jade) but he does know how to direct an action sequence. His latest looks to be a return to his old ways in a no-holds-barred assault. Matthew McConaughey (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation) is earning high praise for his take on the title character, an assassin who is as evil as he is sadistic.
 
The Bad – The reputation of the NC-17 rating, which has been co-opted along with the X rating by the Porn industry. There should be a legitimate adult rating outside of an R. Instead, when a movie is blessed with an NC-17, it usually spells the end of any box office as many theater chains will refuse to showcase these films.
 
The Ugly – After seeing numerous slasher and torture porn movies that skate by with an R, I’m wondering what Matthew McConaughey commits to earn the dubious rating.
 
Killer Joe is rated NC-17 for graphic disturbing content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality.
 
That will do for this week. Tune in next time when a clown fish joins the Umbrella Corporation, the most evil and stupid of companies. Until then, don’t you know about the bird? Well, everybody’s heard about the bird.
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