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…

Mrs. Soffel
I was bored stiff by this film, and had to fast forward through lengthy blocks of dialogue just to endure the whole thing. Mel Gibson and Diane Keaton have no chemistry to speak of, and the whole woman-falls-in-love-with-a-prisoner-sentenced-to-death thing had been done far more effectively in many other movies. The production design, while historically accurate, is replete with dull browns, grays, blacks and whites. It’s not a pretty film to watch, and I didn’t find a single scene engaging. But perhaps the biggest crime the film commits is to leave the death of Mel Gibson’s character (this isn’t a spoiler – the movie is based on a true story) off screen. Instead we get a prolonged shot of the deputies who killed him staring blankly at the camera. Lame, lame, lame. Mrs. Soffel looks like a movie, it has actors like a movie, it tells a story like a movie, but it isn’t engaging or interesting in the way a movie should be.
1.5 out of 5

Point Break
What seems like the cheesiest premise ever conceived – a gang of bank-robbing surfers led by Patrick Swayze is infiltrated by an undercover FBI agent played by Keanu Reeves – is actually one of the best portrayals of the camaraderie between two men ever put to film. Point Break does the impossible by toeing the line between camp and a serious exploration of male relationships, and the conflict faced by Keanu’s character, torn between turning in his new friend and letting him go, feels genuine. The performances of Swayze and Reeves are a bit wooden, but their friendship is handled perfectly, and the viewer winds up just as conflicted as the protagonist. This movie basically spawned the term “bromance”, and director Kathryn Bigelow deserves serious accolades for presenting male bonding in a way that no male director has ever managed before. The cinematography is great, too. Seriously, watch Point Break. You’ll be surprised.
4 out of 5

Masters of the Universe.
Wow, this movie is really, really stupid. Even for fans of the He-Man cartoon and toy line, the Masters of the Universe movie was a disappointment. For starters, they take He-Man and Skeletor out of the magical land of Eternia and plunk them down in a largely deserted New Jersey. WTF? The costumes look like they were made by the same costume designer who did the Power Rangers outfits, only worse, and the villains look particularly ridiculous. Add in scenes of He-Man stealing take-out food and having a puzzled encounter with a cow, gratuitous shots of Dolph Lundgren’s pectoral muscles, and rampant, atrocious special effects, and you’ve got a disaster of a movie. To be fair, though, this movie does have some camp value, and fans of b-movies will find a lot to laugh about with Masters of the Universe. This movie should only be viewed with a six-pack of beer and some friends.
1 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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