Skip to main content

New #Venom Trailer & Poster . You Have Been Warned

CONTRABAND Movie Review By: Matt C

By: Matt C

Please welcome our newest guest blogger to the site Matt C. He will be doing movie and DVD reviews for the site. He is also a writer for A amazing site for all you toy geeks out there. Make sure to check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

It's hard to think of Mark Wahlberg as a serious leading movie man without remembering his days as “Marky Mark,” the shirtless, iron-pumping rapper who made “Good Vibrations” a hit back in 1991. Back then, the actor-producer was part of The Funky Bunch, and his rough upbringing and stone cool look were an attraction to MTV audiences. It was Wahlberg’s style that got him noticed, but it wasn’t until 1997’s Boogie Nights that his movie career took off, eventually landing him roles in The Italian Job, Shooter, and Planet of the Apes. This week’s release of Contraband builds on that persona, and the effect is a gritty, intense rollercoaster ride that audiences will love.

Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best—running contraband—to settle Andy’s debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), to head to Panama and return with millions in counterfeit bills.

Wahlberg plays Chris Farrady, a retired smuggler who’s forced back into the game to pay off a debt to scum drug dealer Giovanni Ribisi, who does scum drug dealer very well. Ribisi is creepy and gives you the feeling that you need a shower every time you see him. Wahlberg’s wife, played by Underworld’s Kate Beckinsdale, is an uncomfortable observer as Farrady heads to Panama and brings his old shipmates along for the ride. Meanwhile, Ribisi and The Mechanic’s Ben Foster keep audiences on their toes, as their dark relationship is revealed later in the film.

Everything about this film is dirty, sweaty, and sleazy, and director Baltasar Kormakur pulls no punches, delivering a solid American version of the original Reykjavik-Rotterdam. There are flashes of comedy but nothing which detracts from the story. For Kormakur, the plan is tension, and he delivers it early and often. But the film also forces us to empathize with Wahlberg and Beckinsdale; we know that fate has dragged them back into this world of high crime, drugs, and people with bad attitudes. In some twisted way, we want these characters to win, even though they must commit crimes to keep loved ones from dying. It’s a philosophy that Kormakur plays off effectively, forcing audiences to commit early and stick around to see how it’s played out. He does give us a chance to gasp for air before being pulled back down, but not too much that you lose interest. And while the film loses energy near the end, the overall effect is a nail biter throughout.

The film isn’t without its issues and it’s not going to win any awards, but Wahlberg and team are fit for their roles in this very good January thriller. Contraband is rated R, and I’d refrain from taking young teens to see it.

Please Leave A Comment-


Popular posts from this blog

Taron Egerton Is Playing Elton John In Biopic 'Rocketman'

Regular listeners to the Empire Podcast (sorry about the whole Call Me By Your Name theme ear worm, incidentally) will recall that we had Taron Egerton as a guest on the 300th episode, recorded in front of an audience on Valentine's Day. He talked up his hope that Elton John biopic Rocketman would finally come together, and now Paramount is closing a deal to finance and distribute the film worldwide.

The film, which has been through at least one previous incarnation (Michael Gracey directing Tom Hardy in the lead) is reuniting the Eddie The Eagle team of Egerton, director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn, who has been trying to get the movie made for a while, with Elton's blessing and the support of his company, Rocket Pictures.

Featuring a script by Lee Hall, Rocketman will follow the career of the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight, from a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to a global superstar, through his influential and enduring musical partnership w…

Avengers: Infinity War Premiere Today Here At 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT

The world premiere of Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War,” featuring the ultimate collection of Super Heroes in one film.

From the Film: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Paul Bettany, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Mackie, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Letitia Wright, Sean Gunn, Winston Duke, Pom Klementieff, Michael Shaw; Kevin Feige (producer), Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (directors); Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau, Michael Grillo (executive producers); Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (writers)

Watch the premiere at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT,, or

Special Guests: Angela Bassett, David Dastmalchi…

New #DISOBEDIENCE Clip Featuring Rachel Weisz & Rachel McAdams

Disobedience follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz and based on Naomi Alderman’s book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

Discuss this with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms Please Leave A Comment-