Both were really good (and really free, thanks to my connections). 16 Blocks was vintage Richard Donner, with Willis and Mos Def making a great pairing and connecting to their roles excellently. Some say that Mos Def’s character was grating but I didn’t think so. Great action and some really stellar work from the always reliable David Morse make this a cut above the average action flick.
But writer/director Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) really struck paydirt with his gritty and disturbing Running Scared. Paul Walker ascends to heights heretofore unseen. He is very believable in the role and you never doubt him for a second. But it’s Vera Farmiga, as Walker’s wife, who really commands and holds your attention. She is breathtaking in the role, as a harried Jersey housewife who summons strength when she needs to…and boy does she ever, especially in one scene.
I implore you to seek this film out. It’s a damn shame that shit like the Pink Panther remake can make money hand over fist yet amazing gems like Running Scared get ignored and then they come out on DVD and people ask me, “Why didn’t I hear about this awesome movie?” Well, dumb fuck, if you paid attention you’d have known.
Running Scared is brutal, intense, and doesn’t let up from frame one. I can’t wait to see what Wayne Kramer does next.