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…

It’s somehow appropriate that the film celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise would be one of the best, as Skyfall has all the panache and action that we’ve come to love from everyone’s favourite superspy while simultaneously applying a modern stylistic sensibility to the proceedings. The result is a film that’s gorgeous on a filmmaking level with a solid plot that explores the Bond character’s history more than ever before. The supporting cast of Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris are all terrific, but it’s Javier Bardem’s creepy, mincing villain that’s somewhere between Heath Ledger’s Joker and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter who steals the show. Skyfall does what most other Bond films haven’t – it succeeds in being a great movie beyond just being a great James Bond movie.
4.25 out of 5

Holy Motors

Holy Motors is a French avant garde film that’s totally bizarre but so full of energy and enthusiasm that its surreality doesn’t become jarring. The movie seems to be an exploration of the nature of the fictional character, as we follow the mysterious Mr. Oscar through the appointments of his day, wherein he puts on different costumes to play different roles in…his life. One moment he’s a beggar woman rattling a can on a pier, the next he’s a scarred assassin. One sequence sees him perform a variety of motion capture martial arts maneuvers, another sees him dress up like a homeless lunatic to kidnap Eva Mendes. Holy Motors‘ star Denis Levant gives a tour-de-force performance, and you’ll be surprised at how you forget it’s the same actor playing so many parts. It’s all very dream-like, surreal and somewhat pretentious, but if you want to revel in wonderously made cinema, check out Holy Motors. It even has an accordian jam session at the intermission.
3.75 out of 5

Wreck-It Ralph
A sweet little love letter to classic 8-bit gaming, Wreck-It Ralph plays up the nostalgia value to an extreme. The story of a Donkey Kong-inspired video game villain who wants to be a hero instead, Wreck-It Ralph‘s strong suit is in its worldbuilding. Every video game that Ralph travels through in his quest to become a good guy feels fully realized with unique rules and characters. The inclusion of numerous cameos from popular video game icons like Sonic the Hedgehog, the Frogger frog, the Pac-Man ghost and characters from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are all clever, but if I have one complaint, it’s that Wreck-It Ralph isn’t actually very funny. It’s clever, it’s cool, it’s cute, and it will make you nostalgic for the video games of your youth, but don’t expect a lot of big laughs. Incidentally, I totally want to play all the games that are featured in this movie.
3.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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