First – and citywide – the action-thriller Unknown starring Hollywood’s "new Harrison Ford," Liam Neeson.
Here, he plays American botanist scientist Dr. Martin Harris who, with his wife (played by January Jones), are flying to Berlin to address an international biotech conference at the swank Hotel Adlon.
But when he accidentially leaves his briefcase at Tegel airport, he hails a cab to take him back to the arrival hall to find his lost luggage. Oops,then there’s an accident! The cab ends up in the Spree river leaving Neeson hospitalized in a coma.
When he eventually returns to the hotel his wife doesn’t recognize him. Making matters worse, there’s a new Dr. Martin Harris alongside the Mrs.!
What’s going on here? Amnesia? Paranoia? Identity theft?
And why is he being hunted by a mysterious assassin?
To say that he’s really pissed off would be putting it mildly as Neeson now plunges head-long into this deadly mystery while questioning his sanity and identity. All the while, leaving us wondering who really IS Dr. Martin Harris?
After ongoing action and confrontations in the snowy city and plenty of zigging and zagging throughout Berlin, there’s quite a twist ending to all of this that I didn’t see coming.
Nicely rounding out the international cast are Diane Kruger, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella.
Unknown – raising 3 out of 5 intriguing fingers.
My other two picks open as limited engagements and may add additional theatres in coming weeks.
The first stars Ed Helms as a naive small-town Wisconsin insurance agent heading to Cedar Rapids for a regional insurance convention in hopes of winning the prestigious Two Diamonds award for his boss’s agency.
That’s where hotshot agent John C. Riley takes him under his wing and shows him how the big boys play.
Very entertaining and much more to it than you may think!
Add the fine supporting performances of Anne Heche, Mike O’Malley, Stephen Root and Sigourney Weaver and you’ve got yourself a very entertaining 1-1/2 hours at the movies.
3-1/2 fingers for Cedar Rapids
The third is Barney’s Version, for which Paul Giamatti recently won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in the comedy category.
He plays a schlocky TV producer who, during his wedding reception with his second wife, meets the girl of his dreams and promptly pursues her.
There’s boozing, womanizing and everything in between. And, he always has his father to count on, played by Dustin Hoffman.
As one acquaintance tells Barney: "You screwed over everyone you ever knew or cared for."
This film takes us through decades of Barney’s doing and undoings with…
Nope. Not going to tell you.
Hint: It produced a touch of moisture in my left eye.
Barney’s Version co-stars Rosamund Pike and Minnie Driver. A new 4-finger, limited engagement this weekend in Kansas City.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES–Friday mornings on KMBZ / KUDL / and KXTR.
And anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 113.