Welcome to a new feature of the site. I'm going to write a mini review for every film that I watch. Given that I've developed a bug for signing up to free trials of online DVD rental clubs, and then cancelling them at the end of the trial, I'm watching beaucoup de movies at the moment - and all for free!
I went to see a preview of Collateral for free this morning, thanks to my Friends of the Phoenix membership. It's an action thriller, but with brains. The first ten minutes develops the characters so that you actually care what happens to them. There are some amazing helicopter aerial shots of Jamie Foxx's taxi driving through the gridiron of LA, and a great montage of his fares during that shift. Tom Cruise plays a hitman who hires Foxx to ferry him around the city for the five hits he has to make. He pulls it off by not being the slimey little snotrag that he sometimes can be.
The dialogue is thought-provoking, which is more than you could say for an Arnie or Van Damme movie - not that Collateral is playing in their ballpark. Stuff about the anonymity of the city, the plod of life, why we put up with it, what would happen if you got outside your comfort zone. A pleasant surprise over all, and I didn't have to pay!
Nugget: see it in the cinema if you can to experience the dizzying shots of the taxi in the cityscape.