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…

Ever since his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck has proven himself to be even more talented behind the camera than he is in front of it. But, being an actor as well as a filmmaker, Affleck tends to cast himself in the lead role of his own movies, and that is where the weakness of Argo lies. Affleck makes for a passable leading man in what is otherwise a top-notch film about a story that is almost too weird to believe. Argo pulls off an amazing feat in being both a tense drama and a solid comedy, and the cast, which includes John Goodman and Alan Arkin, pull off both the laughs and the white-knuckle suspense that the film requires. All told, I think this is Affleck’s best film as director, and if you like strange-but-true tales, then Argo should not be missed.
4 out of 5

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies has a promising hook for a romantic comedy – a human girl falls in love with a zombie boy who has strangely developed sentience – but it is also, unfortunately, a collection of missed opportunities. The film presents some unique ideas in the world of zombie movies, such as the idea that zombies eat brains so that they can experience their victims’ emotions and memories, but none of these ideas are followed up on, and ultimately the movie felt to me like all set up with no payoff. There’s barely any tension or conflict, and in the end, Warm Bodies was merely cute and nothing more. Sadly, all of the best bits were in the trailer and the first ten minutes.
2.75 out of 5

Horror fans may be surprised by how much they enjoy Insidious. On the surface, this may look like a generic film with all the usual tropes like haunted houses and scary kids, but after the film blatantly subverts those tropes early on, I was on board for the duration. Insidious is the kind of horror movie that you can tell was made with a sort of devilish glee, because it mixes up a lot of different kinds of scares, but all of them come from the same amusement park haunted house ride school of thought. Creepy makeup effects, jump scares, false scares, strobe lights and more are all employed, and I was reminded more than once of The Evil Dead. I wouldn’t say the movie is perfect – I think it’s maybe 15 minutes too long, and the final act is clunky, but considering the kind of non-frightening slop that’s often passed off as horror, Insidious was refreshing, fun, and very fun for fans of the genre.
3.75 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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