Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cinema Sunday

Cinema Saturday Sunday: Abduction and The Whistleblower

this week's Cinema Saturday is bumped back a day to, well, today but it does feature two movies so hopefully you can forgive the delay . . .

Lions Gate
January 17, 2012
106 minutes
IMDb/Amazon/Amazon Instant Video

Nathan (Taylor Lautner) is working on a sociology project with his class partner Karen (Lily Collins) when they discover what appears to be a photo of him as a young child on a missing kid's website. A quest to discover who he - and his parents - really are sets of a chain of events that he never could have anticipated.

Abduction is sort of an action movie mixed with a teen movie. It's not quite a full out action movie, but it's not quite not an action movie, either. Nathan's decision to investigate why his photo is on the missing children's website brings violence and a lot of dangerous people into his life and put him - and Karen - on the run.  He's forced to question who's really there to help him and who's trying to kill him.

While Jason Statham are probably still the best go-to action movies, Abduction strikes a very good balance for anyone who doesn't love the really violent movies but wants some more action in their flicks while keeping a full story. Taylor Lautner is also pretty promising as more of an action movie actor and not just a drama, soapy teen movie star.

It's not a thinking movie, but it's fun, there are pretty people in it, and it's a nice way to spend a few hours.

The Whistleblower
20th Century Fox
January 24, 2012
112 minutes
IMDb/Amazon/Amazon Instant Video

About a much different topic, this film is based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovacm a police officer fro Lincoln, Nebraska who took a job as a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia. The job is presented as an almost cushy one to Bolkovacm who is having a hard time getting a job transfer to follower her ex-husband who is moving with their daughter across the country - $100,000 for six months in post-war Bosnia.

When she gets their, however, she finds a corrupt police force and a human trafficking scandal that may make its way all the way into the very organization for which she works.

Based on fact The Whistleblower is a hard, hard movie to watch. With an R rating for " disturbing violent content" among other things, The Whistleblower does not brush over what happens to the girls who are trafficked or the people who try to bring what is happening to them to light. What happens after a war is not something we always think about - just like Bolkovacm didn't - and this really gave me, at least, more than a minute of pause. The independent contractors and the way countries struggle to rebuild themselves when it's easy to simply celebrate the end of a war is definitely something to think about.

On top, of course, of great performances from some fantastic women: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave and Monica Bellucci all did great acting jobs here.  As did some other actors - most of whom I have not ever seen in other films (Roxana Condurache (Raya), especially).

Reading Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo first drew my attention to to the Bosnian war and was part of my interest in this film. While it's incredibly sad to see how the girls, in particular, suffered during and after this war, I really appreciate the film - and Ms Bolkovacm for making sure things didn't stay hidden. As hard as it can be to watch - and know - this is really a movie worth watching.

Thank you to ThinkJam for The Whistleblower for this review - Abduction obtained otherwise

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