April 29, 2012
Jam
Music
Movies
Television
Video
      DVD Reviews
      Actors A-Z

Theatre
Books
Country
Celebrities



Video Gallery
RSS Feed

SJP

Statham gets the DVD treatment
By BRUCE KIRKLAND, QMI Agency


Jason Statham in The Mechanic.

As many established actors know, success is random. Staying successful takes effort and planning.

"Destiny has a lot to do with how your opportunity breaks out," Jason Statham explains in a recent interview, timed for the opening of his thriller Safe. "And then it's down to you to be responsible for the choices and, in some way, guide your career."

Statham is all about being an action star. He has his own unique brand, just as Mark Wahlberg does. The comparison is timely this week because of coincidence. With Safe now in theatres, Alliance Films decided to pump out The Jason Statham Collection on DVD and Blu-ray. It coincides with this week's DVD and Blu-ray debut of Contraband, the Wahlberg thriller that just made $94 million worldwide in theatres, according to Box Office Mojo.

Statham is an action machine, although he does soften up slightly in Safe. Wahlberg is more wide-ranging in his choices, careening from action such as Contraband to more dramatic material such as the Oscar-nominated film, The Fighter.

Wahlberg deserved a best actor nomination for that one. Statham is unlikely to ever be in the Oscar conversation, yet he is more successful in the action genre than Wahlberg. His action pics are leaner, more focused, with better fight scenes. That makes The Jason Statham Collection more of a kick than a flabby movie such as Contraband, with its convoluted plot.

THE JASON STATHAM COLLECTION: This is a five-disc set with five of his most familiar flicks: Crank, Crank 2: High Voltage, The Mechanic, Transporter 3 and War. My only objection (besides greedily wanting the first two Transporter movies to be included, too) is a matter of labelling.


The Blu-ray disc of Transporter 3 is labelled as Disc 1. It obviously was recycled from an earlier two-disc Blu-ray release of the movie. The same may be true with the DVD set, but I don't have that one for review. In any case, this is common practice for collections and it sucks, because it looks like the distributor just raided the fridge to clear out leftovers.

Instead, they should be proud -- and they should re-label the disc. For a Statham fan, The Jason Statham Collection is a B-movie bonanza. It demonstrates how well he maintains his image, his brand, that lethal look.

Statham explains that a key element of Hollywood survival is surrounding himself with people he trusts. "It's a shark-invested water, and you have to be very careful not to get eaten."

Inclusion of The Mechanic is interesting. This is a remake of the 1972 hit man movie starring Charles Bronson. Boaz Yakin, who directed him in Safe, calls Statham "this generation's Charles Bronson" because he delivers the rough stuff without excess dialogue. Without any false sentimentality. Without much emotion. Statham, of course, is flattered. "It's an extremely, very gracious compliment," Statham says with a beaming smile before getting humble. "But God knows how much truth is in that!"

CONTRABAND: Wahlberg stars as an ex-con who is "forced" to go back in the big-time smuggling business when his wife's little brother gets in trouble with thugs at home in New Orleans (coincidentally, that is where The Mechanic was filmed, too). Wahlberg's character is pushed into action out of fear for the safety of his wife (Kate Beckinsale) and their children. That is in stark contrast to the kind of taciturn loner Statham usually plays.

I like Wahlberg, too, but not in Contraband. He prospers in better-written action material, such as the Martin Scorsese classic, The Departed. Wahlberg's brand of action needs depth and not just 90 minutes of action, stunts and gunfights.

 




HOT VIDEO HEADLINES
'Man of Steel' shakes things up
Low-budget horrors a scream
Landau, 'Cleopatra' survivors
Abrams embraces 'Trek' history
Spring 2013 DVD highlights
Movie rentals disappearing quickly
Cult movies are all but dead
Baseball films worth revisiting
'40' star Mann 'just happy to work'
10 great movie magicians
More Headlines
DVD set shows Warners' gritty past
'Skyfall' lands on DVD, Blu-ray
'Peter Pan' flies onto Blu-ray
'Frankenweenie' makes history
'Total Recall' new on DVD
Renner's 'Legacy' blasts onto DVD
DVD gift sets perfect for giving
'Dark Knight Rises' dazzles on DVD
Makeup wiz Baker talks 'MIB 3'
Ailing Sharif talks 'Arabia' DVD

Latest videos
See more videos


DVD column
Toronto Sun writer Bruce Kirkland gives you his take on the latest DVD releases.
Who's coming and when
Want to know when your favourite band is coming to town? Check out Clive, JAM Music's extensive Canadian concert listings.

Movie Listings
Find out what's playing at a theatre near you.
TV Listings
Wondering what's on tonight? Check out our TV listings for the complete schedule in your area.






Do you think Kanye West should have the book thrown at him for fighting with a photographer?
Yes
No


Results | Story