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…

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
If I was the kind of person who felt shameful about the crappy movies he loves, I’d definitely consider G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra a guilty pleasure. While the sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, isn’t helmed by the maestro of cheesy action-adventure Stephen Sommers, it’s still an enjoyable time at the cinema. Dwayne Johnson takes Channing Tatum’s place in the leading role, and since The Rock is a charismatic guy, the switch works. There are some great action set pieces, like the massive ninja battle that takes place entirely while hanging from rappelling cables on the side of a mountain, but the climactic final fight is unfortunately lackluster. All told, this is a fun, mindless action movie, and if you played with the G.I. Joe toys as a kid, you’ll probably enjoy it, because it’s a fairly accurate depiction of smashing some action figures together in the sandbox.
3 out of 5

The Brass Teapot
This film is so bizarre that I feel as though I missed the point. The Brass Teapot tells the story of a young married couple who steal a teapot from an old Jewish woman and discover that money shoots out of the teapot when they hurt themselves or each other. This leads to all sorts of mishaps as people try to steal the magic teapot and the couple begin to wonder when they should stop causing harm to themselves, since the allure of massive amounts of money is so great. As you can tell from that plot description, The Brass Teapot is a strange and perplexing movie. It’s the kind of film where I know that the central plot point is an allegory for something, but I don’t know what. Is this film telling us that health and good relationships are more important than money? Is it saying that money corrupts everyone eventually? Is it a commentary on Jewish stereotyping? I have no idea what The Brass Teapot was trying to say, and in the end, it was so alienatingly weird that I couldn’t bring myself to care.
2 out of 5

I have a theory about Dreamcatcher. This is the movie based on the book that Stephen King wrote shortly after being hit by a car. He was no doubt on massive amounts of painkillers and channelled his experiences into the story. Dreamcatcher is the dream that Stephen King had when he was doped up after his accident. It has to be, because the film adaptation of King’s novel is a truly bizarre mishmash of ideas. Four friends, each of them granted a different psychic power by a mentally challenged boy when they were younger, visit a cabin in the woods where they suddenly find themselves quarantined after a UFO crashes nearby. The alien being, codenamed Ripley, using wormlike parasites to control people by having them eat their way into their victims’ asses. The result of this is not only the eventual death of the victims, but a lot of gratuitous fart jokes. Throw in some military generals bent on killing the aliens, and you have Dreamcatcher in a nutshell. It’s a weird film, and even weirder is the fact that it has such a huge amount of talent behind it. Lawrence Kasdan directed, William Goldman wrote the screenplay, and it stars the likes of Damien Lewis, Jason Lee, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Jane, Tom Sizemore, and Morgan Freeman. It’s a bizarre film, but very dreamlike, hence my theory. Still, even if my theory is correct, it doesn’t make the film any less of a mess.
2.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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