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…

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Considering this is writer/director Behn Zeitlin’s first film, it’s an incredible work of art. Beasts of the Southern Wild is packed full of gorgeous visuals and unique characters, but I found all of the whimsy on displayed to be severely undercut by the film’s mismatched tone. On the one hand, the merry band of crazy homeless people living in a flood zone in Louisiana are portrayed as fantastical bohemians of a sort, while on the other hand the evidence of crushing poverty and mental illness pervades every scene. In the end, I was reminded of Terry Gilliam’s Tideland – a similarly dark tale illuminated by the imagination of its young female protagonist. Quvenzhane Wallis gives an amazing performance in the lead role, especially considering her age, and the movie is a joy to look at, but overall I was left feeling somewhat troubled.
3.5 out of 5

The Imposter
The Imposter is my favourite kind of documentary – one that blurs the lines between fiction and fact. The film is presented as a mix of recreated scenes, interviews with the people involved, and home video footage, and through some ingenious casting it all flows together seamlessly. The story of The Imposter is a chilling one indeed, and if you like thrilling tales of true crime, then you should definitely see this film. I’d hate to say more lest I spoil some of the twists and turns of the movie, but I will say that The Imposter impressed me to no end, and is undoubtedly the best documentary I have seen since Exit Through the Gift Shop.
3.75 out of 5

Colossus: The Forbin Project
Colossus: The Forbin Project is a cautionary tale about the dangers of trusting a computer with global defenses. No sooner is the titular Colossus switched on than it detects another artificial intelligence controlling Russia’s missile defense systems. The two computers begin corresponding, much to the fear of the president of the United States, but when he threatens to pull the plug, both computers respond by firing missiles at each others’ countries. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with this surprisingly tense and claustrophobic film. Considering that the film’s antagonist communicates through rattling text on extremely outdated computer screens, Colossus: The Forbin Project is both creepy and tense, voicing a kind of technophobia that is still present today. This one’s a real overlooked gem of a movie, and fans of the themes of The Terminator movies will no doubt get a kick out of this one.
3.75 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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