Hypable Movie Review: ‘Parker’

4:00 pm EDT, January 25, 2013

Tough guy Jason Statham stars in his latest action-thriller Parker, in which he seeks revenge on his former partners-in-crime. Although filled with decent action, Parker is a typical lackluster January-release movie with a messy plot and underdeveloped characters.

Statham stars in the title role as Parker, an surprisingly intelligent crook with twists and lives by his ethical motto, “I don’t steal from anyone who can’t afford it, and I don’t hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.” At the beginning of the film, Parker and his four associates steal about $1 million at the Ohio State Fair. Their scheme is successful, but only after an unplanned mishap that leaves Parker less than pleased with one of his fellow crooks. After stealing the money, Parker is invited to participate in another robbery – this time, they’re going after a slew of jewels that are worth over $50 million. When Parker declines the invitation, the four boys decide the only option is to kill Parker so they don’t get turned in. Although Parker was shot, he survives, and with the help of his mentor/girlfriend’s dad (Nick Nolte, with a voice as gruff as ever), eventually follows his former partners-in-crime to Palm Beach, Florida to ruin their plans.

The most exciting parts of the 119-minute film are the first twenty and the last thirty minutes. Watching the introductory robbery and seeing how the final, big robbery play out is rather intense, but the entire (and rather long) second third of the film is rather slow and messy. With basically no character development and a rather pointless and overdone rising action, director Taylor Hackford (Ray) could have easily made the decision to cut Parker by about thirty minutes to make it twice as good.

Jennifer Lopez also stars in the film as a broke Palm Beach real estate agent who needs the extra cash to fix her car payments and pay off debts from a divorce. She gets a considerable amount of screen time, but in the end, doesn’t do an incredible amount to enhance the plot other than ruining Parker’s plans, being a pretty face on the movie screen, and giving a few funny lines, penned by Black Swan writer John J. McLaughlin. Statham’s character rightfully has the most depth, and Statham pulls off the performance better than  anticipated – when he’s not punching or shooting someone or managing to get himself incredibly bloody. His four fellow crooks-turned-enemies are poorly written and all basically the same character, and left me basically lumping them together as the same person.

Adapted from Richard Stark’s novel FlashfireParker is an exciting film to watch if all you’re seeking is two hours of fighting, shooting, a lot of blood, and Statham’s wonderful English accent. Other than that, it’s a lackluster film with very underdeveloped characters and a boring rising action and very predictable ending.

Grade: D+

Rated: R (for strong violence, language throughout and brief sexual content/nudity)

Parker opens in theaters on January 25, 2013.

Fox has moved the third and final Maze Runner movie to 2018.

The cast and crew were only a few days into filming The Death Cure in March when Dylan O’Brien suffered serious injuries on set, prompting the production to be put on a break so he could recover. When his recovery ended up taking longer than expected, the production was put on an indefinite hold.

Now, a plan to resume the shoot seems to be in place. Fox announced Friday The Death Cure will be hitting theaters January 12, 2018, which is nearly a year later than the original February 2017 date. The last Maze Runner movie, The Scorch Trials, opened last September.

Production on The Maze Runner: The Death Cure likely won’t resume until late this year or early next. Dylan O’Brien has already committed to another movie which is expected to shoot this summer.

Getting the rest of the cast and crew back together to shoot The Maze Runner finale may be a bit of a challenge since they may’ve committed to other projects that were supposed to be shooting after they finished The Maze Runner. However, the new Death Cure release date suggests Fox has found a time that’ll work for everyone.

Tom Cavanagh will return to The Flash in season 3 as a series regular, though which character he’ll be playing remains to be seen.

Cavanagh has had a unique acting challenge on The Flash, playing a different version of his character in each of the first two seasons — and now it looks like he’ll be doing it for a third season in a row, as EW confirms that he will be a series regular in season 3.

In season 1, Cavanagh played Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse Flash, in Harrison Wells’ body. Thawne, after traveling back in time, killed the original Wells and took his form to expedite the development of the particle accelerator so he could return to his own time. Thawne was written out of existence in the season 1 finale, though, leaving fans curious about who Cavanagh would be playing in season 2.

This past season, Cavanagh played the Earth-2 version of Harrison Wells, nicknamed Harry, who was a significantly different character from the man we thought was Wells in season 1. However, in the season 2 finale, Harry and his daughter, Jesse, returned to Earth-2.

The Flash season 2, episode 6 recap Wells

So, who does that leave for Cavanagh to play in the third season?

My guess would be the Earth-1 version of Harrison Wells, who we only briefly met in a flashback in season 1. Why the original Wells? Because in the final moments of the season 2 finale, Barry traveled back in time and stopped Thawne from killing his mother. This means the timeline in which Thawne killed Wells and took his form no longer exists, so Earth-1 Wells would be the version left alive.

Assuming he does play the original version of the character, the one who was killed and had his identity stolen, it will be interesting to see Cavanagh inhabit yet another version of the character. While we already met Wells briefly in the flashback to his death, that was a small sample size. I look forward to seeing him differentiate another Wells from those he’s already played for entire seasons.

Are you excited to see more Tom Cavanagh on ‘The Flash’?

‘Glee’ alum Mark Salling indicted on child pornography charges

The actor is facing a lot of jail time.

4:55 pm EDT, May 27, 2016

Following an arrest in December, Glee star Mark Salling (who played Puck on the Fox series) is now facing child pornography charges.

A federal grand jury has charged the 33-year-old actor with two counts of child pornography after a search of his home turned up “thousands” of images and videos involving children, TMZ reports. He will be arraigned in early June.

Salling’s charges potentially come with big sentences: 5 to 20 years in prison for receiving child porn, and another 20 years for possessing it.

After Glee went off air last year, Salling has worked on only one project: The action movie Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets which is slated to hit theaters later this year.

The actor has been in trouble with the law before — he was sued for sexual battery in 2013.