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…

Transmorphers: Fall of Man
Everything about this movie is either boring or stupid. Even though production company The Asylum occasionally makes movies that fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category (such as Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus), Transmorphers: Fall of Man doesn’t even come close to being one of them. No amount of beer could possibly save this film from its own idiocy. Avoid at all costs.
.5 out of 5

After Earth
I saw After Earth for one reason and one reason alone: to see who, between Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan, had more box office power. Would Will Smith’s superstardom turn M. Night’s sinking career around? Or would M. Night’s terrible filmmaking drag Smith into the muck with him? The answer is neither extreme, but the scales definitely tip in Shyamalan’s favour, as After Earth is a bland, dumb mess of a movie that Will Smith can’t even blame on M. Night because apparently Smith came up with the concept. This is one of those science fiction films that presents us with a futuristic world which clearly has not been thought through. Technology seems to have moved backwards, and you will definitely find yourself wondering why, with all of these enemies both alien and animal, no one thinks to pick up a gun or wear some armour. Leaps of logic, such as the idea that everything on earth has evolved to kill humans in the 1000 years since the human race left the planet will have you raising your eyebrows so much it hurts. None of the CGI beasties, with the exception of a single spider, come off at threatening at all, and Jaden Smith just doesn’t have the acting chops of his father that are needed to carry a movie like this. What’s more, Will Smith completely dispenses with his sense of humour for this movie, and his humour basically accounts for half of his charm. Throw in some dumb character names like Cypher Raige and you’ve got a mess of a film. It’s not the worst movie you’ll ever see, but it’s a strong contender for a Raspberry award at the end of 2013. You know things are bad when you find youself thinking “This film is a combination of 10,000 B.C. and The Last Airbender.”
1.5 out of 5

Rust and Bone
He’s a bareknuckle boxer trying to save his relationship with his son. She’s a killer whale trainer whose legs get bitten off. It sounds like it could be the set up for a Farrelly brothers comedy, but Rust and Bone turns out to be poignant, if flawed drama. The bulk of this film revolves around the developing relationship between the two main characters, both damaged in their own ways – him emotionally, her physically – and we get to watch as they try to turn their shattered lives around. The chemistry between the two leads is solid and believable, and there are some touching moments to be had. The film is also very well shot and has a good soundtrack, but unfortunately I didn’t find the progression of the story to be particularly engaging. Neither of the protagonists come off as very likeable, and the final act is rather abruptly dumped on the viewer in a way that didn’t work for me. Overall, this is a well-made movie with many highlights, and writer/director Jacques Audiard deserves praise for being able to take such an unusual premise and make something out of it, but this isn’t a film that I’m anxious to revisit.
3.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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