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…

Young Adult
With a different score, Young Adult could very well be a stalker-thriller on par with something like Fatal Attraction! The strange story of a depressed and socially incompetent young adult fiction writer who becomes obsessed with reuniting with her high school boyfriend after he has a baby with another woman, Young Adult feels oddly personal in its construction, as though Diablo Cody went through a similar series of events in her own life. But that’s what makes Young Adult so creepy – the actions taken by Charlize Theron’s character Mavis Gray are so morally corrupt and obsessive that you can’t really sympathize with her. By the time her motivations were revealed, I was so weirded out by her that it didn’t make a difference. But for all its oddities, there is one thing that I can definitely recommend in this movie, and that is Patton Oswalt. I can’t say as I’ve ever been a huge fan of Oswalt’s, but the pathos, humour and intelligence that he brings to the character of Matt are all top-notch. He was by far my favourite part of the film, and helped me ignore many of the problems I had with Young Adult. But Mavis Gray is still really creepy and messed up.
3.25 out of 5

The Cabin in the Woods
I’m not even going to attempt to give an unbiased review here, because I honestly feel like The Cabin in the Woods was made just for me. TCITW takes all the things that made Wes Craven’s genre dissection movie Scream great, then cranks the levels up to 11. This is one of those rare films that I actually don’t want to spoil, so I will say only this: if you are a fan of the horror genre, if you like slasher movies, monster movies, the supernatural, and the film The Evil Dead, then you need to watch The Cabin in the Woods. I think it’s the most brilliant horror flick to come along in years, if not decades. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard have done something incredible here, and I don’t think there’s a horror fan out there who won’t have an absolute blast watching this movie.
5 out of 5

Bad Ass
This straight-to-VOD flick doesn’t offer a lot in terms of original content: it’s essentially the same story we’ve seen in films like Death Wish or Walking Tall. An ordinary guy is menaced by local baddies, and exacts revenge by kicking the crap out of everyone. I can’t say as Bad Ass had a lot of forward momentum when it comes to plot, but the film is competently made, shot, edited, and acted, so I can’t really take issue with its construction. Ron Perlman is unfortunately wasted here, since he only has a handful of lines, and honestly, the only reason to watch Bad Ass is to see Dany Trejo wearing a fanny pack and beating people up. If I could change one thing about Bad Ass, it would be the tone of the film – a bit more humour and tongue-in-cheek one-liners would have made this stand out. As it is, it’s a pretty typical revenge story featuring a lot of beatdowns. Not great, but not bad either.
2.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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