'Ninja Assassin,' 'The Blind Side'

What major movie production features an interracial friendship that defies all the expected stereotypes? Hint: it's not the one starring Sandra Bullock.

On its own merits, The Blind Side is a heartwarming story of the modern South, in which a rich white 40-something woman (Bullock) befriends a poor black teenager (Quenton Aaron). Their relationship develops to the point that the young man feels a part of her family. I agree with our reviewer, Jette Kernion, who described it as "a very good example of a sports-related family film, with quality performances and writing." She also notes the "seeming visual message that the African-American community can't or won't care for their own, and that the saviors here are rich white conservatives." The film is based on a non-fiction account, but it still makes me wonder why, exactly, we needed another film depicting that particular racial dynamic -- beyond providing a great starring role for Bullock and the aforementioned heartwarming elements.

As finely-edged as a new razor blade, Ninja Assassin establishes itself as a contender for "CGI Fu Movie of the Decade" in its very first sequence, gleefully slicing off body parts with the abandon of an extreme gore flick that would satisfy most horror hounds. It rocks back and forth between ponderous philosophical pontifications and riotously preposterous action scenes like a ticking time bomb, exploding in geysers of blood at regular intervals. Our reviewer William Goss was much less taken with the film than I am -- I think it's fair to say he hated it -- so bear in mind that your mileage may vary wildly. However, I feel confident in saying that Ninja Assassin presents a rarely seen relationship: a friendship between two people that makes no mention of their racial differences.