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Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

1. Runner Runner* (20th Century Fox)

2. The Family (20th Century Fox)

3. Insidious: Chapter 2 (Sony)

4. Don Jon* (20th Century Fox)

5. Prisoners (Warner Bros.)

6. Elysium (Sony)

7. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (20th Century Fox)

8. We're the Millers (New Line)

9. Fast and Furious 6 (Universal)

10. 2 Guns (Universal)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. The Family* (20th Century Fox)

2. Insidious: Chapter 2* (Sony)

3. Despicable Me 2* (Universal)

4. Elysium (Sony)

5. The Lone Ranger (Disney)

6. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters* (20th Century Fox)

7. Prisoners* (Warner Bros.)

8. Kick-Ass 2* (Universal)

9. Fast and Furious 6* (Universal)

10. 2 Guns* (Universal)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Elysium (Sony)

2. The Lone Ranger (Disney)

3. Prisoners* (Warner Bros.)

4. The Family* (20th Century Fox)

5. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters* (20th Century Fox)

6. Despicable Me 2* (Universal)

7. Fast and Furious 6* (Universal)

8. The Wolverine* (20th Century Fox)

9. Kick-Ass 2* (Universal)

10. 2 Guns* (Universal)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Fast and Furious 6* (Universal)

2. Despicable Me 2* (Universal)

3. The Wolverine* (20th Century Fox)

4. 2 Guns* (Universal)

5. We're the Millers* (New Line)

6. Getaway* (Warner Bros.)

7. The Smurfs 2 (Sony)

8. Man of Steel (Warner Bros.)

9. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Sony)

10. Red 2 (Summit)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. The Wolverine* (20th Century Fox)

2. We're the Millers* (New Line)

3. 2 Guns* (Universal)

4. Red 2 (Summit)

5. The Smurfs 2 (Sony)

6. Man of Steel (Warner Bros.)

7. Jobs* (Universal)

8. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Sony)

9. Getaway* (Warner Bros.)

10. Paranoia* (20th Century Fox)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. We're the Millers* (New Line)

2. 2 Guns* (Universal)

3. Red 2 (Summit)

4. Grown Ups 2 (Sony)

5. Man of Steel* (Warner Bros.)

6. White House Down (Sony)

7. Getaway* (Warner Bros.)

8. Turbo (DreamWorks)

9. Planes (Disney)

10. R.I.P.D. (Universal)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. We're the Millers* (New Line)

2. Man of Steel* (Warner Bros.)

3. 2 Guns* (Universal)

4. Turbo (DreamWorks)

5. Grown Ups 2 (Sony)

6. White House Down (Sony)

7. Planes (Disney)

8. Monsters University (Disney)

9. R.I.P.D.* (Universal)

10. The World's End* (Universal)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

2 Guns offers a couple of intriguing acting possibilities.

One: Denzel Washington, who has done well on the dramatic and action side, has always shown a flair for humor, yet he hasn’t made many comedies (Carbon Copy in 1981 and Much Ado About Nothing in 1993).

Two: Mark Wahlberg has made a lot of action films, but most of them stink (Contraband, The Big Hit). His comedies, on the other hand, feature some of his very best work, with The Other Guys being a shining example.

So, does 2 Guns provide a chance for Washington to be funnier, and Wahlberg to bring the laughs in an action movie that isn’t completely lame?

The answer: a mild “yes.” 2 Guns gets no accolades for originality, but Washington and Wahlberg are a winning combo—and a nasty turn by Bill Paxton as a satanic CIA man helps things along. This is not a straight-up comedy, but it has a good share of action-comedy laughs.

Washington plays Bobby Trench, an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent trying to take down a Mexican drug cartel led by the dude from Miami Vice and Battlestar Galactica (Edward James Olmos). Wahlberg is Stig, AWOL from the Navy and looking to clear his name, (There’s some other nonsense that I didn’t really follow, too.)

Through a bunch of “only in the movies” circumstances, they find themselves teamed up and robbing a bank—unaware that each of them are undercover, and lying about who they are. They rob the bank expecting to net a certain amount of money, but wind up with a lot more.

Enter Bill Paxton. He proves mightily adept at playing a man with compromised morals. He has a bit involving a Russian-roulette game that is actually quite chilling, and he chews on every line delivery as if it were a mouthful of awesome jerky. I haven’t enjoyed Paxton this much in a movie since he wielded an ax and spouted religious claptrap back in 2001 in the underrated gem Frailty.

The film kicks into a higher gear when the Washington and Wahlberg characters realize each other’s true identities, and they work together to overcome various betrayals and double-crosses inflicted upon them by the CIA, girlfriends, the Navy, the snot-nosed kid down the street, and Jesus. Everybody seems to be out to screw these guys.

I like Wahlberg most when he’s trying to be funny. I especially liked a sequence in which his character is berating a group of men for torturing chickens—while he is chewing on a barbecued chicken leg. His character has a strange sort of exuberance; he's a childlike wonder coupled with a shooter’s eye, and that all makes him a great action-comedy partner.

Washington is often called upon to be serious or bad-ass, plus he gets the occasional chance to cry after it looks like he’s not going to cry. (I will never forget that tear shooting out of his face in Glory.) Here, he’s allowed to cut loose in a way he never has before, and Wahlberg proves to be a great counterpart.

Of course, none of this would work if director Baltasar Kormákur had screwed things up—like he did with Wahlberg and the awful Contraband. 2 Guns is far more straightforward than that convoluted mess, and the chases and shootouts crackle with the kind of intensity that we action-movie fans crave this time of year.

This is a testosterone-heavy movie, with Paula Patton playing the only female character who really registers. As Deb, Bobby’s DEA partner, Patton does just fine. Her character, like every other in the film, is a bit of a stereotype, but she handles it with grace. She also gets partially naked, because this is an R-rated film; it’s targeted at men; and most men (and many women) want to see her naked.

The producers face a dilemma if they go for a sequel: What will they name the thing? 2 Guns 2? Or 2 Guns II? Or how about 2 Guns: Even Gunnier? Why not Mark Wahlberg Is Super Funny When He Acts Like a 10-Year-Old, and He Does It Again in This Poorly Named Sequel? Who knows?

2 Guns is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

The Summer Movie Season starts earlier every year. In fact, one could argue that March releases like Oz the Great and Powerful and Jack the Giant Slayer were summer-season-caliber, big-budget extravaganzas with lots of Hollywood pop. Yes, they blew ass, but they had a summer-season pedigree.

For organization’s sake, let’s just say the summer season starts on May 3 this year with the release of Iron Man 3, and ends around Sept. 6 with Vin Diesel’s Riddick. Here’s a round up of some of the biggies that look great—and others that offer reasons for concern.

Iron Man 3 (May 3): How in the heck are they going to top The Avengers? It looks like Marvel and company are going to try, starting with this, the first stand-alone superhero film after last year’s massive roundup. Shane Black, who piloted Downey to one of his best performances in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, takes over the franchise from Jon Favreau. I think this franchise will avoid the dreaded third-in-the-series curse that has afflicted superhero films before (Spider-Man 3, Superman 3).

The Great Gatsby (May 10): Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the title role for director Baz Luhrmann. (The two worked together before, on Romeo + Juliet.) This was originally slated to be released last year; let’s hope the delay was to make it better, and not because it stinks like Luhrmann’s overblown Australia.

Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17): Will this be J.J. Abrams’ last time in the director’s chair for this franchise now that he is taking over Star Wars? My guess is yes. If this is half as good as Abrams’ first blessed effort with the Trek characters, then we are in for a good time. Have you seen the footage of the Enterprise underwater? This one has to be good!

The Hangover Part III (May 24): I’m betting on a return to form after the lousy second chapter in what director Todd Phillips promises will just be a trilogy. The preview footage of a euphoric Zach Galifianakis and his giraffe has me excited. However, if Mike Tyson shows up and sings again, this will get an automatic “F.”

After Earth (June 7): Uh oh … somebody has given M. Night Shyamalan a lot of money to do science fiction again. Will they ever learn? In Shyamalan’s favor, he has the likable duo of Will Smith and son Jaden starring as a father and son crash-landing on Earth many years after humans have left. Also … Shyamalan only contributed to the script, rather than writing it all himself. So there is hope. There is hope.

Man of Steel (June 14): After doing a decent job with Watchmen and then sucking balls with Suckerpunch, director Zack Snyder takes on the Superman franchise. This time out, Henry Cavill (who was really bad in Immortals) wears the cape, replacing Brandon Routh, who actually did a great job in Superman Returns. Amy Adams is on hand as Lois Lane, and oh my goodness, there’s Michael Shannon as arch villain Zod. OK, I want to see this.

This Is the End (June 14): The likes of Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jonah Hill play themselves in this apocalyptic comedy. While they’re hanging at Franco’s place, the apocalypse strikes, and they don’t deal with it in the best of ways. If this isn’t the year’s best comedy, I will be disappointed.

Monsters University (June 21): A prequel to Monsters, Inc., this will make millions upon millions upon billions upon trillions of dollars, whether it is good or not.

World War Z (June 21): Another postponed movie from last year, this one has Brad Pitt squaring off against crazed zombies. I love the previews, but its delayed status is worrisome.

The Heat (June 28): Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play an FBI agent and a cop teaming up to take out a drug kingpin. McCarthy got an Oscar nomination the last time she was with director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids); I doubt that will happen this time out. Still, it could be fun.

White House Down (June 28): Following in the footsteps of Olympus Has Fallen, this is another film in which the president and his pad are in jeopardy. This time, we get Jamie Foxx as the president, and Channing Tatum as the hero.

The Lone Ranger (July 3): The idea of Johnny Depp playing Tonto—not to mention his crazy getup—has me concerned. Gore Verbinski directs, with Armie Hammer as the title character. This could be very, very bad.

Pacific Rim (July 12): Big alien-monster-type things strike the Earth, and huge robots piloted by humans are sent to defend the planet. This looks amazing, and Guillermo del Toro is directing, so this will be something to see. I’m hoping this puts MichaelBay’s big robots to shame.

Grown Ups 2 (July 12): I miss Adam Sandler. That dude used to make me laugh—and laugh hard. The key phrase is “used to.” His first Grown Ups was one of his worst movies, and it looks like his Sandler comedy slump will continue with this one.

The Wolverine (July 26): I thought the first solo Wolverine movie was OK, but many people hated it. James Mangold directs this film, which is set in Japan. There’s no word on whether Jackman sings live on set.

The Smurfs 2 (July 31): This movie is proof that Satan loves you.

2 Guns (Aug. 2): The good news is that this film stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The bad news is that it is directed by the guy who did Contraband.

Elysium (Aug. 9): From the director of District 9, this stars Matt Damon (with a shaved head) in a future in which the Earth has gone to shit, and the rich live in space. Jodie Foster co-stars.

Kick-Ass 2 (Aug. 16): Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all return for a new round of comic vigilantism. Jim Carrey joins the cast as Colonel Stars and Stripes, and all signs point to hilarious.

The To Do List (Aug. 16): Aubrey Plaza blew my ass out of the water with her performance in Safety Not Guaranteed. This one has her starring as a soon-to-be college freshman looking to get some things out of the way before starting college.

Riddick (Sept. 6): After The Chronicles of Riddick, I never wanted to see Riddick again. Hell, I never wanted to see Vin Diesel again. After seeing the teaser—a teaser that features weird monsters—I’m optimistic this will be a return to the coolness that was Pitch Black

Published in Reviews