Watch It: ‘Battleship’ Goes For A ‘Drive’

Finally, a blockbuster that stands a shot at dethroning “The Avengers” (not that we’re necessarily rooting for such an outcome) sails into the scene this weekend: “Battleship,” the action flick starring Taylor Kitsch! Loosely Based on the board game of the same name, “Battleship” has already been invading theaters globally for weeks, but it’s now ready to make its domestic debut this coming weekend. One of our regular Watch It contributors checked the movie out this week, and loved what they saw.

Get more on “Battleship” and everything else we’ve been watching lately — yes, as the headline implies, you’ll get some Ryan Gosling action today — in today’s Watch It!

Joel Hanek, MTV Movies producer:
You either love it or hate it, but “Drive,” my favorite movie of 2011, is now available for streaming on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch it! Right, we get it, Ryan Gosling is the hottest thing on the planet (no one is disagreeing the man is Charm personified), but let’s look at the film in a bigger picture. Director Nicolas Winding Refn does a beautiful job at creating a world around a wordless character by combining a syncopating warm electronic soundtrack with the clean Nagel-esque glossy lens of LA to pull off this modern day film-noir. Not to mention that this film has the coolest supporting cast: Hank Scorpio and Hellboy (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman) give great gangster gravitas as the film’s baddies, Bryan Cranston pushes the plot with shades of Ratso Rizzo, and Christina Hendricks, while she doesn’t have much to do, is always a great addition.

Tami Katzoff, MTV News producer:
I’m on a continuing quest to catch up on the films from last year that seemed intriguing but I somehow missed, so I recently watched “Hanna” on DVD via Netflix. It’s about a teenage girl raised in total isolation by her dad, who (for reasons too complicated to enumerate here) has taught her to be the consummate assassin. Director Joe Wright is responsible for respectable dramas such as “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement,” so I was expecting to see a dark yet straightforward thriller. “Hanna” is not that. It’s strange and trippy and somewhat confusing. Also I’m not sure if Cate Blanchett was the right choice to play Hanna’s nemesis. But what makes “Hanna” worth a couple hours of your time is the amazing performance of Saoirse Ronan as the title character. She manages to make Hanna wise yet innocent, sweet but absolutely terrifying.

Fallon Prinzivalli, MTV Movies editorial assistant:
Amidst mixed opinions on whether “Battleship” would sink or swim at the box office, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I went in without any expectations and thoroughly enjoyed the film. I think the biggest surprise was the humor, which is especially present in Taylor Kitsch and his “Friday Night Lights” co-star Jesse Plemons. I also want to note the audience reaction. One scene left the man in a suit who sat next to me covering his mouth in horror and two other scenes found practically the whole audience erupting in applause and celebratory cheer. There’s something to be said about a film that can unite an audience. And while I don’t claim to be a tech whiz, I thought the special effects were stunning. Overall, I recommend grabbing a few friends and heading out to see this flick. It may not be on the same level as “Avengers” (at this point, what is?), but the film stands on its own.

Kevin P. Sullivan, MTV Movies editorial assistant:
Since I consider “The Road” to be one of my favorite books of all time and “The Proposition” to be one of my favorite movies of all time, it was curious that it took me so long to watch John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. I didn’t actively avoid it, but I never felt compelled to sit through it until the preview for “Lawless” hit and I knew I had to. “The Road” is undoubtedly made with an amazing performance from Viggo Mortensen, but when the horrifying images are stripped of McCarthy’s poetry, they lose any shred of beauty or hope that the author stitched in.

Josh Wigler, MTV Movies Blog editor:
I’m the cheater of the group, aren’t I? I cheated by listing “Hunger Games” books instead of movies a few weeks ago, and here I am again touting the “Survivor: One World” season finale. Sorry, I just can’t help myself. I’m a lifelong “Survivor” fan — one of few who started in the very earliest seasons and hasn’t stopped watching yet — and it’s always been my pie-in-the-sky dream to be on the show. I even auditioned back in college. (No, the tape doesn’t still exist, which is a shame; I ate a cat and it was awesome.) I have no illusions that I’ll never get the chance to compete for the million bucks, but I did make it onto the show in a way I didn’t expect — by attending the live finale in New York City. It was an unforgettable experience getting to watch Jeff Probst read the votes live and grant the Sole Survivor title to all-too-deserving winner Kim Spradlin. Definitely a super-nerdy experience that I won’t soon forget. Okay, enough gushing… back to movie-watching next week, I promise!

Amy Wilkinson, Hollywood Crush editor:
Now that my cable provider is HBO Go compatible, I’m finally jumping on “The Wire” paddy wagon. (Better a decade late than never, right?) A season into the gritty crime drama, and I’m beginning to understand the near-universal reverence for this show (despite my belief that there never possibly could have been that many payphones in Baltimore). Economical yet poignant writing, coupled with nuanced performances by Dominic West and Idris Elba (actually make that the entire cast — there’s really not a weak link in the bunch) make this series worthy of much more than the two paltry Emmy nominations it received during its five-season run.

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