Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
An energetic and fun little thrill-ride, Premium Rush reminded me of the film Phone Booth in its execution. Both movies are small in scale, having only a handful of characters, and feature fast-paced camera work and stylish editing that never feels forced or distracting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon are both excellent actors, and while the premise may be simple, they both put in great performances. My only complaint about Premium Rush was that the final confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist was a bit weak, but other than that, this movie delivers the goods.
3.5 out of 5
Cloud Atlas is extremely ambitious and quite unlike most of the movies I’ve seen. It’s not often that filmmakers step outside the norm to tell a story in an unconventional, interesting way, and the fact that the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer succeeded in creating something not only coherent but compelling and profound is kind of unbelievable. Cloud Atlas is as much an exercise in genre and narrative as it is about the stories it tells – of souls being interconnected in a way that transcends time, space, race and gender. Since you’re essentially getting six movies for the price of one here, there’s something for everybody. One story is a comedy, another a sci-fi action film, another a love story, another a post-apocalyptic adventure. But the movie never loses track of itself, and I doubt anyone will be confused when the end credits roll. The cast is star-studded and affords many of the actors a chance to play against type, with Tom Hanks playing scenery-chomping villains and Hugh Grant actually being convincing as a cannibal warlord! Approach Cloud Atlas with an open mind and I think you will be impressed with what you find.
4 out of 5
Much like another solid horror movie from recent years – Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell – Sinister proves that you don’t have to have an R-rating in order to be scary. The film is loaded with eerie, haunting images, jump scares and tension-cranking scenes, but at the same time kind of revels in its “Halloween haunted house” terror tactics. Ethan Hawke gives a surprisingly good performance in the lead role, and carries much of the film with his dialogue-free acting. The movie also provides an interesting bit of commentary on our voyeuristic society, since, upon finding a box of snuff films, Ethan Hawke’s character just can’t stop watching them…even though he finds himself repulsed by their content. This isn’t groundbreaking horror by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a damn fun time if you enjoy a good scare.
3.5 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!