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…

Don’t expect anything more than a reasonably fun b-movie from Leviathan. This film was clearly created in an attempt to cash in on other, more popular properties – in particular John Carpenter’s The Thing and James Cameron’s The Abyss. The movie sees a group of deep-sea researchers infected by some mutating parasite that turns them into monsters and picks them off one by one, trapped at the bottom of the ocean. The cast is decent, featuring the likes of Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Daniel Stern and Ernie Hudson, but if you’ve seen The Thing, you’ve seen this movie already. Leviathan isn’t memorable, but if you’re looking for an entertaining monster flick, it gets the job done.
3 out of 5

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
A lot of people didn’t like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but I got exactly what I wanted out of it: a trip back to Middle Earth. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about The Hobbit is how it feels so cohesive to the rest of the Lord of the Rings franchise. Middle Earth hasn’t changed a bit since Return of the King, and even though the tone of The Hobbit is more light-hearted and fun, it still feels like the same, well-realized world. There are fantasy beasties, dwarves and goblins galore, Gandalf continues to be awesome, and those deus ex machina eagles are still a glaringly obvious plot device. But it’s a great time, in my opinion, and I can’t wait to sit down a few years from now and watch all six Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies back to back.
4 out of 5

Gangster Squad
I want to like Ruben Fleischer as a director, because his breakout hit Zombieland was nothing short of awesome, but since Zombieland Fleischer has embarked on a series of cinematic mis-steps in the form of 30 Minutes or Less and now Gangster Squad. This film is clearly trying to be the new version of The Untouchables, but sadly none of the characters beyond Ryan Gosling are given much in the way of personality, and the film ends up being all flash and no bang, all style and no substance. There are a few inspired moments (sadly, it would appear that the cut scene featuring the titular squad blasting baddies through a movie theatre screen was one of them), but overall the movie felt hollow and inconsequential. Just go watch a few episodes of Boardwalk Empire instead.
2.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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