The Perfect Host - Dr. Niles Crane himself, David Hyde-Pierce, returns to the big screen as Warwick Wilson, a mild professional preparing a dinner party for some friends. On the run from a botched bank robbery, John Taylor (Clayne Crawford, an actor who specializes in smarmy Southern grifters, and does it well), cleverly talks his way into Warwick’s house to rest and plan his next move. He soon finds that this is probably a bad idea. This film takes an abundance of twists and turns and no one and nothing are what they appear. I’d love to talk more about the plot, but it’s better if you go in knowing nothing about what happens. Let’s just say the evening doesn’t turn out as expected for anyone involved. There is also a surprise appearance from ‘70s folk/pop singer Helen Reddy as a nosy neighbor. Doesn’t look like she’s roaring much these days. This is a deliciously fun and twisty little thriller.
Rating: **** out of 5 stars
Escape Plan - I suppose Stallone and Schwarzenegger liked working together so much on the Expendables, they chose to team up on this prison escape movie. Their chemistry works, as Escape Plan was quite an enjoyable ride. Stallone is Ray Breslin, an engineer who designs (and escapes from) prisons for a living. When the government hires him to escape a top-secret, futuristic prison and pays Ray and this team top dollar to do so, things take a wrong turn the instant he arrives. The evil warden (Jim Caviezel) isn’t having anyone escape on his watch—regardless of how many beatings he has to apply to make the point. Schwarzenegger plays Rottmayer, an international crime lord who may have the connections to get them out—if they can stay alive long enough to find a way. Meanwhile on the outside, Ray’s team is desperately searching for the prison’s secret location to rescue him.
In addition to seeing two aging tough guys have fun, Escape Plan does offer a good story and some solid excitement, as Stallone, investigating escape routes, regularly comes close to discovery and torture by the sadistic warden. No Oscar buzz here, just an enjoyable adventure with two classic action actors.
Rating: ***½ out of 5 stars