Saturday Night Clive

Being Saturday night I thought I’d keep it recent and take in a couple of Clive Owen films that had found their way into the “dvd’s to watch” pile that is currently growing on my lounge table. Owen, for my money, is one of the best we have at the moment, the movies I’ve seen him in have an integrity and always attempt to elevate themselves above the dirge of the day. The famous examples of this would, of course, be CHILDREN OF MEN (2006), INSIDE MAN (2006) and SIN CITY (2005).

First up was DERAILED (2005) in which Mr Owen stars as Charles Schine, a businessman who finds himself in a somewhat tricky blackmail situation after allowing himself to become involved with (a rather impressive) Jennifer Anniston’s character “Lucinda”.

The perpetrator of this blackmail is the genuinely frightening LaRoche played by notable French actor Vincent Cassel. I had some problems with the picture in the first half including the implausibility of the meeting, Aniston pays for Owens ticket on a train after he forgets to pick up some cash before boarding. This, of course, could just be a cinematic “meet cute” I thought, but it does become apparent why this needs to be. In fact, many of the nagging questions I had about the storyline were answered in the final third. It is indeed a fine ending to thoroughly decent movie with good performances all round. Rap stars Xzibit and the WU Tang Clan’s RZA get in the act on both sides of the fence. X is LaRoch’s muscle Dexter while RZA is the reformed mailroom man Winston at Schine’s office. Although this picture will never get into any of those best 100 movies lists, you won’t come away thinking you’ve wasted a part of life sitting through it.

The second picture of the Owen double was SHOOT EM’ UP (2007) and I have to be honest, I thought this effort would give question to Clive’s choice of direction.

The plot is rediculous, the one liners are corny and the action grotesque, violent and relentless, this is the kind of film I rarely watch and if I do, find something else to do or switch it off 20 minutes in. This however, was really good fun and at only 86 minutes, it zips along to a fairly satisfactory conclusion. I think what saves the film is that it never attemps to take itself too seriously and is well shot. Another plus is that Paul Giamatti is great as Owen’s nemesis.

I’ve managed to find the opening 3 minutes to the movie. NEVER IN MY LIFE have I seen a picture open like this. The more I think about it, the more it makes me laugh.
Watch the clip before reading the “what happened next below…….

So, Clive has shot a few people by this point. Why?…… well exactly. You do find out later but it takes a lot more bodies to get to that point. just after this point he helps the woman give birth to a baby boy, how does he cut the umbillical cord? ….. Well the movie IS called Shoot Em’ Up…. Owen then, with considerable help from Monica Bellucci, spends the rest of the movie trying to keep the baby alive (Giamatti’s gang are hell bent on killing him) although his parenting skills leave a lot to be desired. I’ll leave you with the hillariously rediculous roundabout scene where Owen tries to leave the baby to find a good home. He really should have known better.

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