Weekender: May 20, 2011
DVD: The Mechanic
Remaking a Charles Bronson film is dangerous territory—you never mess with that man, and you never mess with his roles. Fortunately, Jason Statham has been playing professional killers for most of his movie life, and he’s got it down cold at this point. Ben Foster makes leaps and strides from playing the wimpy Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand and not-quite-second-banana Charlie Prince in 3:10 To Yuma. Statham and Foster go through a complicated teacher-and-student course in killings that are made to look like accidents—faked drownings, improvised heart attacks and more. The Mechanic is a lot like a $40 million movie version of Hitman (well, a better one, that is).
Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Johnny Depp keeps on riding the world’s most successful amusement park ride turned movie. In this round, he’s off to find the legendary fountain of youth. Of course, he’s got a hell of a lot of help—Geoffrey Rush returns, and that damn skinny elf boy Orlando Bloom doesn’t. Keira Knightley gets upgraded to violent new love interest Penelope Cruz, and a school of mermaids wants to make friends with anyone they can get their hands on. Throw in some zombies (why not?) and Blackbeard himself, and On Stranger Tides should be a nice addition to the Pirates franchise.
Music: Ben Harper – Give Till It’s Gone
Ben Harper’s come a long way from the pained-sounding crooner used on many a mixtape to show girls our manly sensitive side. His backing bands The Innocent Criminals and Relentless7 have come and gone, and he’s even split from wife Laura Dern. With a couple leftover bandmates and a lot of himself with a guitar, Harper makes some bittersweet tunes of reflection. Of course, there’s still moments when the best release is just to rock—and he definitely lets it out on “Rock N’ Roll Is Free” and “Clearly Severely.” And Harper gets by with a little help from his friends—Jackson Browne sings on “Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn,” and Ringo Starr himself contributes drums on two tracks, the Beatles-esque “Spilling Faith” and stellar jam “Get There From Here.”
Game: L.A. Noire
At this point, your grandmother knows who Rockstar is. After making their name with games like GTA and Red Dead Revolver, the company is putting out their most ambitious title yet. L.A. Noire’s gameplay is set around a classic Hollywood caper, and the player assumes the role of police trying to get to the bottom of it by good ol’ fashioned interrogation. Naturally, there are some liars in town, so you’ll have to read the expressions and ticks of real-life actors as their actions are mapped onto the various pimps, whores and thugs of L.A. And it wouldn’t be a Rockstar game without a couple occasions when you just need to sock the right person in the gut to get what you’re looking for.
Television: Crowne Plaza Invitational At Colonial
The PGA Tour stops off in Fort Worth, TX for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. A hefty $6.2 million is up for grabs this year, including $1.1 million for the winner, not to mention a spiffy tartan jacket. Zach Johnson shot 21 under par last year, setting a tournament record. He’ll be competing again, along with Ben Curtis, Stuart Appleby, Vijay Singh and many more of golf’s leading pros. The field is restricted, and only the 80 biggest money leaders from the previous year are guaranteed a spot. But previous winners also select two deserving young players who might not otherwise make the cut. A few of these Champion’s Choices eventually went on to win the tournament. It’s another exciting weekend of golf.
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