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…

Newcomer Josh Trank doubles up on originality by giving us not only a neat take on the superhero origin story, but also a cool spin on the “found footage” film genre/gimmick. Never before has the found footage gimmick factored so largely into the development of a character before, and the ways in which the gimmick is used are unique and pretty awesome. Some viewers might find it off-putting (as with any found footage film), but I loved all the ideas being tossed around here. The characters of the film are three-dimensional, but typical teenagers in a lot of ways. The progression of their rivalry is nothing new, but adding in the fact that they have telekinesis is, and it makes for some terrific spectacle, especially in the final act. There are great action scenes that invoke the classic anime Akira, and I guarantee that you will walk out of the theatre wishing that you had telekinesis as well. If I had one complaint, it would be that the movie is just a little too short, but then, it’s also probably a compliment that I wanted more. The tagline for the original Richard Donner Superman movie was “You Will Believe A Man Can Fly”. Well, I never felt so exhilerated watching movie characters fly as I did when I watched Chronicle. It’s not perfect, it’s not for everyone, but I absolutely loved this movie.
4.5 out of 5

The Grey
First off, let me just say that the marketing for this movie is completely misleading. While the trailers bill The Grey as “Liam Neeson punching wolves”, it is, in fact, a much more philosophical survival thriller. Neeson is, of course, great here, as the brooding but badass wolf hunting specialist Ottway, and his powerhouse performance makes up for a lot of the film’s faults. The survival stuff is a bit by-the-numbers at times, but overall I wouldn’t call this movie predictable, and there are a good number of surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat. The airplane crash sequence is terrifying and makes me want to avoid air travel for a while, but the real source of menace in The Grey comes from the ever-present wolf pack that is stalking our heroes as they try to make their way to safety. At its core, The Grey is actually a monster movie, because these aren’t your ordinary wolves. They’re treated more like supernatural beasts, primal forces of nature that show no mercy and are very, very smart. All in all, I think Joe Carnahan has given us his best film since Narc with The Grey, and I really did enjoy it. But again I say: avoid the marketing materials for this movie, because the movie being advertised wasn’t the film I got. In fact, the film was much better.
3.75 out of 5

I Saw The Devil
One of the bloodiest revenge stories since Kill Bill, I Saw The Devil is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach! The story of a secret agent whose fiancee has been killed be a sadistic serial murderer and is bent on avenging her death, I Saw The Devil could easily be written off as a typical slasher flick or cat-and-mouse serial killer movie, except that the cinematography is incredible and chillingly beautiful, the fight scenes extremely well-choreographed, and the ponderences on the nature of good and evil quite thought-provoking. This is definitely not a movie that I would recommend everyone see – it even had me, a hardened horror buff, cringing at times – but fans of the movie Oldboy (which shares a star with I Saw The Devil) will probably find a lot to enjoy (enjoy may be the wrong word) with this film. If you can handle extreme cinema and want to see something very stylish with lots of blood and ass-kicking fight scenes, then this movie will satisfy all your sick little desires.
4 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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