Tom Sims, Executive Director of the Cape May Film Festival, reviews “Unstoppable”
If you’ve heard about Denzel Washington’s latest action film, Unstoppable, about an out-of-control locomotive, you may have thought: “not for me.” I don’t blame you for that initial reaction. At first glance, I felt the same way. But Washington is one of Hollywood’s best leading men, and I’m not sure he would put his imprint on a film that would run off track from his normal gold standard.
Two-time Oscar winner Washington is coupled with Chris Pine (better known as the new James Kirk in the reboot of Star Trek) to stop a train that loses control and threatens several towns in its path. This film is a thrill ride, not giving you a whole lot of time to get bored, or for that matter take a breath. Sure, the script might seem contrived in a few places, but that’s minimal. Washington is fantastic and Pine works very well too. And there was a great supporting cast, including rising star Rosario Dawson.
This is a good “all aboard – forget your troubles” movie, whereas other films of its kind (Speed from 1994 or Crank from 2006) are equally as thrilling but with elements of a dark side of life that don’t allow you to completely escape the dregs of modern society. Unstoppable is a kinder, gentler thrill ride.
Quick Review – Waiting for Superman: No less of a thrill ride (but definitely less kind and gentle) is the documentary Waiting for Superman, which dives into the trouble with the US education system. From Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, son of three-time Oscar winner Charles Guggenheim, this documentary presents both the overarching condition of the education system alongside personal stories of triumph and heartache from students looking to get out of the public school system and into charter schools. The movie is reminiscent of The Cartel, a film about New Jersey’s education system which was given its South Jersey premiere by the Cape May Film Festival. If you’re interested in this type of topic, congratulations — you have finished this one-paragraph review of a great film that exposes the deplorable conditions of the US education system. If you’re not interested, you’re a fool — but you haven’t read this paragraph anyway so I don’t care if you get offended at being called a fool.
Trivia Question: A LOT of Oscar winners are mentioned in this article. For two free passes to the 2011 Film Festival, be the first to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of one of the movies for which any of these award winners was given the Oscar.