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…

Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans
Perhaps Werner Herzog’s most commercial venture, Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans pulls off an unusual feat in being a sequel, semi-remake and spiritual successor to Abel Ferrera’s film Bad Lieutenant starring Harvey Keitel. The two films share only similar subject matter, but this one far surpasses the Keitel movie, in my opinion, just for its sudden surreal moments (“What are these fuckin’ iguanas doing on my coffee table?”) and excellent doses of Nicolas Cage rage. A bizarre tale of a hedonistic and corrupt police officer who abuses the crooks he catches, does copious amounts of drugs and generally acts like a bastard. However, a strange shift in tone at the end of the film makes the whole experience weird and dreamlike, and the aforementioned brief moments of hallucination make this whole movie feel a bit like a drug trip. However, it’s masterfully directed and Cage’s performance is one of his best in ages. Werner Herzog once again proves himself to be a top-notch filmmaker unlike any other.
4.5 out of 5

All-Star Superman
This is another mature and well-executed animated adaptation from DC, this time dealing with Grant Morrison’s work within the Superman mythos – widely considered to be some of the best Superman material ever created. All-Star Superman presents us with the usual great animation and voice work that we’ve come to expect from DC’s animation department, and the fact that it’s based on such good source material means that All-Star Superman is among the best that DC has put out in its straight-to-video superhero series. There isn’t much to say beyond that – great animation, great voice acting, great music and a killer story all make for one of the best Superman cartoons you’re ever likely to see. I don’t consider this perfect, but that’s almost entirely due to my general apathy towards the character.
3.5 out of 5

Man of Steel
Man of Steel is a series of hits and misses, but for me the hits far outweigh the misses. This is by far the most interesting Superman has ever been in a movie, and I think both Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan have done admirable jobs at removing all the silliest bits from the Superman mythos. No more red underpants, no more changing in phone booths, no Jimmy Olsen, no turning the world backwards to reverse time…these are changes that are long overdue, and the story is significantly better thanks to their omission. That being said, the film takes itself very seriously – Batman Begins levels of seriousness, I’d say – and the problem with taking Superman seriously is that it instantly draws attention to the inherent logic issues with the Superman story. Why exactly can this guy fly? Why can he shoot lasers from his eyes? Why does Zod want to kill him anyway? These questions become quite apparent during Man of Steel‘s long running time, and since the final act is just full of an epic-scale superhuman battle, you’re left with lots of time to think of the logic leaps. But again, this movie does more right than it does wrong, and in the end I was pleased. It’s beautifully shot and scored, the acting is really good, and for the first time ever, I gave a shit about Superman. No small feat. I will watch the sequel to Man of Steel, and for that, I give all parties involved in this film’s creation a tip of my hat and a raise of my glass.
3.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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