Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
Here’s a movie that is completely unlike the film being advertised in its trailers. The promotional materials for Rare Exports hype it as a Santa-themed horror movie, and in no uncertain terms, but the film itself is much more of a dark Christmas fantasy. The evil elves, all of whom look like naked, filthy, emaciated old men with long white beards, are pretty terrifying in appearence, but they never really kill anyone, there’s no gore whatsoever, and we don’t even get to see the creepy, horned winter god that is said to be the REAL Santa: a being who does not reward people who have been good, but only punishes those who have been bad. Rare Exports isn’t a bad movie – it’s a campy and unusual take on the “does Santa really exist?” style of Christmas film – but it drags for a lot of its running time. The final twenty minutes are enough fun to keep Rare Exports from being bad, but it never really lives up to its potential, or to the promises made by its marketing department. Oh, and there is an awful lot of naked old man penis in this movie. Be warned.
3 out of 5
The Green Hornet
Michel Gondry’s first foray into more typical Hollywood filmmaking is a mess, but it’s still an entertaining mess. Reports from the set of The Green Hornet during production indicated that Gondry and star Seth Rogen were prone to butting heads, and it shows. The movie feels like the result of too many people trying to make it into their vision; like a tug-of-war more than a collaboration. Seth Rogen and Jay Chou have decent on-screen chemistry as a pair of buddies, but their friendship kind of comes out of nowhere after a night of drunken mayhem. Also, Rogen’s character Britt Reid is nothing short of a loudmouthed buffoon who learns nothing over the course of the movie. While this “incompetent hero with extremely competent sidekick” dynamic has been seen before, in The Green Hornet it fails to take off in any interesting way. Cameron Diaz is in the movie for some reason and doesn’t really contribute anything, and the film goes on for just a bit too long. There are, however, several moments of genius that make The Green Hornet a fun ride. Christoph Waltz is an awesome and very funny villain, the opening scene with a cameo from James Franco is terrific, and the handful of times that Michel Gondry is allowed to go all-out with his manic, wild visual style actually made me wish I had seen this in 3D – and it’s not often that I say that. The Green Hornet may not be a masterpiece, but it’s good for a laugh, and contains a healthy dose of Tom and Jerry slapstick that hasn’t been seen a lot in recent years.
3.25 out of 5
The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech is an undeniably well-made film. The production design is superb, the cinematography was really good, the script was solid, and the acting was top-notch. The problem, though, was that you knew exactly where the film was going the whole way through. In other words, it’s all about the journey with The King’s Speech, and not so much about the destination. Frankly, I found the plot to be really predictable, but not in a bad way. It’s a bit like visiting a place that you’ve visited before: you know that you enjoy it, and you had a fun time getting there, but once you arrive, there’s nothing new to discover. We know that the King will get over his stammer and deliver a proper speech, not only because it’s right there in the trailer, but because that’s the only way the movie could possibly end. If you’re not expecting surprises, you’ll enjoy The King’s Speech. I’ll say it again: it’s an undeniably well-made film, and I’m very glad I watched it. But in the end, it didn’t blow me away. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush deserve all the praise they have been getting, though, because they both give excellent performances.
4 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!