Sunday Short Reviews


Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

Real Steel
Just call this one “Rocky Socky Robots”, because it’s basically a movie version of Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots with the underdog story of Rocky. Of course, it’s totally ridiculous, and the world of the movie doesn’t make any sense. If they have boxing robots, why don’t they have robots doing all kinds of other things? Not once did I see any robots doing heavy lifting, or menial tasks like cleaning up garbage. Why would there be ONLY robots that box? If you can overlook the plot holes, tepid romance between Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly, and cliche story, Real Steel is pretty entertaining. The special effects are great, and it’s not nearly as overblown and stupid as the Transformers films, so if you’re looking for a giant robot fighting movie and want to avoid Michael Bay, you can always turn to Real Steel.
3 out of 5

The production values of Ironclad are awesome, The castle, the armor, the swords and catapults all look authentic, dirty and badass. There’s blood and gore aplenty, and Paul Giamatti hams it up but good. And…that’s about it. I don’t have much to say about this film. It reminded me a less philosophical version of Luc Besson’s The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, in that it had all the grimy action and period accurate production values, but none of the visions or artistic touches. The filmmakers also made the poor choice to throw in a half-baked romance subplot, which only served to make the movie between the extensive medieval battles feel dull. In the end, Ironclad is all action scenes and boring romanctic scenes, and on the whole I found it forgettable.
2.5 out of 5

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
This film is maybe an hour’s worth of story stretched over two hours. I loved the little demon creatures that had Guillermo Del Toro’s stamp all over them, and the special effects were decent too. The suspense was palpable, and the sets were suitably creepy. Even the little girl at the centre of the film was okay. The problem with Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is that it relies really, really heavily on the little girl’s father (Guy Pearce) and step-mother (Katie Holmes) not believing her when she tells them that tiny evil creatures come out of the vents at night and menace her. It’s fine at first, because the story is pretty far fetched, but when more and more evidence of the creatures keeps turning up and the girl is obviously terrified, it just serves to make the parents look like total idiots. This movie is okay if you can overlook its flaws, but perhaps the biggest letdown is knowing that Guillermo Del Toro had a hand in this mediocre horror movie. Still, I did love the monsters, so that’s something.
3 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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