‘Red 2’ Keeps the Action Going and The Laughs Coming

 

By Jason Harris

Red 2I didn’t care for Red when it was first released almost three years ago. I’m not sure why. I recently watched it again in anticipation of seeing Red 2, and this time around I enjoyed it and would like to own it. It is now a favorite action movie of mine, as is Red 2.

 Red 2 opens up with Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) shopping at a Costco. Frank doesn’t seem any worse for wear after running from the Moldovan Army at the end of Red. He excitedly comes up to Sarah with bulk bargain items. The look on Sarah’s face seethes with boredom. She wants action. This is shown by her enthusiasm when Marvin (John Malkovich) shows up to tell him that Interpol is after him because of Nightshade, a Cold War project to sneak a nuclear weapon into Russia. Frank wants nothing to do with Marvin or his information so he sends him away, much to the chagrin of Sarah.

Even after Marvin’s car explodes and he is presumably dead, Frank still wants to play things safe. With the Red movies, you can never be sure what to expect. Frank isn’t sure Marvin’s dead, and he tests his theory a few times at Marvin’s funeral. These moments are funny and cringe-worthy since you and Frank are thinking the same thing. Is Marvin really dead? I won’t spoil it for you.

It’s not long after the funeral that Frank is living up to his RED (retired, extremely dangerous) designation.

Helen Mirren’s Victoria is back. She’s given a contract by MI6 to kill Frank. There is a moment where it looks like she will fulfill that contract, but before long they are all together trying to stop world destruction.

Anthony Hopkins portrays baddie Bailey. It’s not Hopkins’ best performance since it didn’t seem to be even. This problem could lie in the writing, though. One moment, he’s crazy or just acting like a loon. The next minute he’s fine then he starts to slip back towards crazy. It was an off-putting performance.

The movie’s writers, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, took a page from The Fast and the Furious movies with the character of Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee). The audience is introduced to Han before he is contracted to kill Frank. Han is a cool character whom you want to survive and be in Red 3. This can’t happen if Frank and Han remain enemies. By the end of the movie, Frank and Han are working together. Hopefully there will be a third movie where we see more of Han.

The Red series could be considered Bruce Willis’ Expendables series (which he is in, but not in a starring role). Red is high on action and excitement, and there is definitely enough gas in the tank for a third movie.

‘Dallas’ Stars Excited for New Series

‘Dallas’ Stars Excited for New Series

By Jason Harris

 

Dallas stars Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo. Photo by Jason Harris.

Dallas stars Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo. Photo by Jason Harris.

Dallas is set to return to television Wednesday night for a new generation to learn about the Ewing clan.

Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious) and Julie Gonzalo (television series Veronica Mars), two of the stars of the new series, recently came to Boston to promote the show.

Gonzalo said they were excited about the new series and shooting at Southfork.

“I don’t think it has set in that it’s such a big deal until now when the shows about to roll out,” Gonzalo said.

The original Dallas debuted in 1978 as a five-part mini-series and ran for fourteen seasons until 1991 on CBS.

Brewster and Gonzalo didn’t watch the original series until they got the job in the new one, they said. They have watched three seasons so far.

“We weren’t born when it came out,” Gonzalo said about the original Dallas.

They weren’t born until the third and fourth seasons came out. Brewster was born in 1980 and Gonzalo in 1981. Another obstacle to watching the show was the fact that they weren’t living in the United States.

“I grew up in a different country until 1990,” Gonzalo said.

Gonzalo and Brewster were living in Argentina and Brazil respectively.

The “beauty of the show” is the fact that you can see where these characters are 30 years later, which “no other show has ever done,” Gonzalo said.

The new show gives people a chance to see how the Ewings’ children turned out, Brewster said.

“Cynthia [Cidre] wrote an amazing script with great, well-crafted characters and many, many twists and turns so it was heavily plotted … ,” Brewster said.

Audiences will see for themselves tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on TNT. The first season has ten episodes. The pilot was shot in April 2011 while the rest of the season was shot between last October and this past February, Brewster said.

The shows’ stars are contracted for six seasons, which is standard for a television contract, Brewster said.

Gonzalo said it’s up to the audience and how it is received if the show continues past the first season. She said that after the season wrapped Patrick Duffy kept saying ‘only 13 more to go.’

Brewster said Duffy has “the Midas touch” when it comes to working on television.

Gonzalo thinks in Duffy’s entire television career he has only been unemployed for two months, one month between The Man from Atlantis and Dallas and another month between Dallas and Step by Step.

When asked about Duffy, Larry Hagman, and Linda Gray, the original stars of Dallas, Gonzalo said Duffy is like their dad, Gray like their mom, and Hagman is like a “funny uncle.”

Hagman, who “has had such a colorful life,” had the best and greatest stories, she said.

“We had a sense of family the minute we all met,” Gonzalo said.

Dallas starts Wednesday night with a two-hour episode airing on TNT at 9 p.m.

Editor’s note:

To read Stacey Longo’s review of the new series, click here.