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…

Wrath of the Titans
Completely forgettable in every way, this unwanted sequel to the disastrously stupid remake of Clash of the Titans does absolutely nothing to set itself apart from its predecessor. Just like the first one, Wrath of the Titans is essentially 90 minutes of special effects shots mixed in with footage of great actors in terrible roles spouting bad dialogue. I’m trying to think of anything remarkable or even noteworthy about this film, but I can’t think of a thing. That’s how lackluster and uninspired this movie is. I will, however, concede that at least there are titans in this movie, unlike the previous film, which only had them in the title.
2 out of 5

is a really interesting action film that offers a different kind of stylized spy story from most. Director Steven Soderbergh brings his retro style to the table and, in doing so, makes the film feel like something from the late 70s or early 80s, even though it’s set in the present day. Gina Carano is a competent action hero and leading lady, being both pretty and able to kick a whole lot of ass, and the fight scenes in this movie were the best thing about it, in my opinion. No music is played over them – instead we get the raw, pounding noises and grunts that you might hear in an actual fight, and it’s clear that the actors are (for the most part) doing their own stunts. All of this lends a really neat degree of realism to the action sequences which I thoroughly enjoyed. Also worth noting is the stellar supporting cast, which includes Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, and Michael Fassbender (whose fight against Gina Carano’s Mallory Kane is just flat-out awesome). I think it’s criminal that Haywire hasn’t gotten more recognition, because it’s cool, filled with great actors, and has some of the best fight scenes I’ve watched in quite some time.
3.5 out of 5

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
I was actually hoping that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance would turn out to be surprisingly good in a campy, silly kind of way, but I was sadly let down. Director duo Neveldine/Taylor have never been my favourite filmmakers, but I have a lot of respect for their willingness to do crazy, nonsensical stuff with their films (especially the Crank movies), so when it was announced that Neveldine/Taylor were taking the reigns of a Nicolas Cage franchise…well, I got a little excited. There are two kinds of Nic Cage movies I enjoy: the ones where he actually acts (see Raising Arizona and Adaptation) and the ones where he goes into the Cage Rage (see Face/Off, The Rock, Con Air, among others). With campy directors behind the camera, Nicolas Cage in front of it, and a comic book franchise based around a skeleton on a flaming motorcycle providing the source material, it kinda seemed like this couldn’t lose. But lose it did. There’s really no story, Cage doesn’t rage nearly often enough, and all the best action sequences (including the death of the main villain!) are included in the trailers. The only thing that the trailers didn’t show me that I enjoyed was a cameo from Anthony Stewart Head. He is, however, only in the film’s first five minutes, and we never see him again after he delivers only a single line of dialogue. For shame.
1.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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