Monday, January 23, 2012

HAYWIRE - a lot of stars but too much space

Steven Soderbergh is one of the great last innovators of cinema. He is the only director I know of who can transition so easily from extreme Hollywood fare like Ocean's 11 and digress completely to indie land with films like The Girlfriend Experience, starring hardcore pornstar Sasha Grey, and other obscure works with unknown actors like Bubble. Somehow he generally succeeds at both turning out great work almost every time. He has always  been a great advocate of digital cinema and was one of the first to make a feature film with Timecode, in which four screens play simultaneously. He was also early to use the RedCam (a digital camera capable of 4K resolution which is the 35mm film equivalent) to shoot his 4 hour epic Che.

A side note - 4K will be the next HD viewing experience. Right now your watching 1080p HD on your LCD, LED, Plasma or DLP TV sets. In a year or so you will be watching 3,800+ resolution HD on OLED TV sets with glasses free 3D HD. And yes its crazy crazy high quality.

Haywire, his latest venture is a hybrid between Hollwood and indie and I must say the mixture feels a bit off. This is a star studded cast with an unknown lead, Gina Carano, who holds her ground with rest but still conjures strange non emotive reactions from me . The movie is a bit like Contagion, his last effort. He doesn't allow you to connect with any of the characters in your normal way, much like Paul Greengrass's United 93. This is an experience of humanity as a whole, not individuals. I found both Contagion and United 93 to be excellent sources to utilize this kind of cinema experience - not so much for Haywire. Lauded as his first foray into martial arts cinema, it seems a bit lacking, however the fights scenes are good and feel realistic (which is the point) but also have a slight choreographed vibe during certain moments in them.

Overall I can't say I really enjoyed this film. The plot, to quote Ebert was "nonsense" and you have a difficult time connecting with anyone because Soderberg won't let you, but still worth a look for fans of fight sequences and chicks who can kick ass. 

Recommended Viewing: The Limey - The Informant! - Contagion - Solaris (2002)

              Bob Scale: Objective: 7.0   -   Subjective: 6.8
             MetaCritic: 67
 Rotten Tomatoes: 82
                      IMDB: 6.7

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