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The last big job



One last big job.

How many times have we seen good criminals go down over that one last job they were forced into? That premise is back on screen this week as Contraband opens at both Whistler's Village 8 and the Garibaldi 5 in Squamish.

Marky Mark Walberg stars as Chris, the goodhearted dude who gave up an ace smuggling career to start a family with hot-ass Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) and their two sons.

But when the wife's idiot brother loses a crapload of drugs, Chris is forced out of retirement and has to smuggle a container of counterfeit bills from Panama into New Orleans — one last job — or tough-guy Giovanni Ribisi (who kinda pulls it off) will kill the wife and kids. Of course, it all goes Pete Tong (that means wrong) and pretty soon Chris is right back in the saddle, kicking ass and racing to save the day.

Directed by semi-famous Icelandic actor/writer/director Baltasar Kormákur (who starred in 2008’s Reykjavik-Rotterdam, the source material for this Americanized remake) Contraband is a pretty solid offering for this time of year in the pre-Oscar doldrums.

Kormákur uses those jerky focus pulls to give everything a nervous feel and lets Walberg do his tough-guy thing. Together they pull off a well-paced actioner that may not shed any light onto the human condition but it at least entertains the guy in the back row eating peanut M&Ms.

The other flick opening (in Whistler only) is Joyful Noise, a Southern State Choir movie written and directed by Todd Graff, the intellect behind The Beautician and the Beast, Camp, and Bandslam. Oh joy.

Joyful Noise stars Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton as bickering co-leaders of a church choir who need to learn to work together if they want to win the stupid church choir contest they attend every year.

To add to the pile, Dolly's wild and crazy son has the hots for Queen's talented good-girl daughter, and don't we all know you never end up with the boy you like when you're 16... blah, blah, shoot me now.

I guess the kids sing well but otherwise Joyful Noise is corny and goody-goody to the point of boredom. Mostly it's two women arguing for AN HOUR AND 58 MINUTES!!!!! And one of them looks like a skeleton with huge fake tits. Avoid at all costs.

Speaking of self-improvement, how are your live-healthier New Year's resolutions coming along? If you're looking to eat better then check out Forks over Knives, a documentary about the unhealthiness of a meat-based, processed food diet.

It's not all that well rounded and doesn't reveal anything most of us clean-living Whistlerites didn't already know, and the whole thing watches like a vegetarian infomercial, but if you're looking for that extra push to help you lay off the fast food and pop tarts this might be it. Forks over Knives isn't as good as Food Inc. (especially the book) but it's new and has some gross footage of diseased hearts and stuff like that to make you think twice about that Big Mac and 32 oz coke.

Otherwise check out my Download of the Week Contagion, the Steven Soderberg pandemic movie that's packed with stars... and then they all die from a terrible virus. It runs a tiny bit long but this one is creepy because I know a few doctors who couldn't watch Contagion without getting the heebie-jeebies because, "that is exactly how it would happen."

Yikes, add in the fact that it's 2012 and the world is supposed to end anyway and I'd say it's time to start planning that one last big job.

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