Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
A tense and engaging gangster movie. Much like Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco paints an elaborate, engrossing picture of the life of a wiseguy, but with the added tension of having an undercover agent caught in the middle of the gangland violence. Even though it has a lengthy running time, Donnie Brasco is always interesting, and with Al Pacino and Johnny Depp leading the terrific cast, you buy the relationship between Lefty and Donnie/Joe instantly. If you like true stories of organized crime, focused on the complex interpersonal relations of the main characters, then Donnie Brasco is a movie you need to see.
4 out of 5
When I was a kid, this movie was like my fantasy – a young boy gets stranded on a deserted island, where he finds a cave full of treasure and assembles boobytraps to defend his hideout from pirates. The movie itself is a bit like a light version of Treasure Island, as Gabriel Byrne’s treacherous pirate Merrick infiltrates the crew of a ship and kills the captain. Much of the film is actually set on board the ship, and you get a good look at the life of a sailor in days gone by. The story is engaging, but not so complex that younger viewers won’t understand what’s going on. Overall, Shipwrecked is proof that a solid movie doesn’t need elaborate CGI effects to be entertaining, and is a great film to watch with your family, especially if the audience includes an 8-to-14-year-old boy.
3.25 out of 5
A movie that’s better in concept than execution, Iron Sky at least delivers on its premise: Nazis fled the earth in 1945 and set up a facility on the moon…but in the near future, they’ll return to take over the world. Iron Sky began life several years ago as a mock trailer done entirely in computer-generated animation. Watching the feature film version, I was glad to see that such a small, independent project had come to fruition, but while the movie has some good ideas and great, campy moments, it never surprised me, nor did I find myself sucked into the story. It’s almost as though the filmmakers didn’t go far enough with the idea behind the movie, and a lot of the jokes, like having a Sarah Palin stand-in as the preident of the near future, fall flat. There’s fun to be had in Iron Sky, and if you want to watch a movie where Moon Nazis try to take over the world, you’ll certainly get what you came for, but overall, this is a largely forgetable film. At least it has Udo Kier.
2.5 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!