Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
This film is essentially Charlie’s Angels, but set in medieval Korea. A trio of bounty hunters (huntresses, I guess) working under a Bosley-type boss character get more than they bargained for when they’re hired by the king to steal a strange artifact. The story here is pure formula: the trio consist of the mouthy, energetic girl, the brains, and the tough one. They each have their own little romantic subplots, there are several action scenes and moments of slapstick comedy…you’ve see all of this before. The Huntresses doesn’t transcend its genre tropes, but it does them well enough to keep you entertained for the duration. This is a fluffy, turn-your-brain-off-and-enjoy movie, and if you like this formula, you’ll probably have a good time.
3 out of 5
The Signal made waves on the festival circuit and gained a reputation for being a cool and unusual sci-fi film. However, I feel as though its reputation actually does a disservice to the film, because The Signal would have been even more interesting and impactful had I seen it without knowing anything about it beforehand. So that is how I’m recommending it. There are lots of neat ideas on display here, and what the filmmakers were able to do with their micro-budget is astounding. But to compare this to any other movie only draws connections where there shouldn’t be any. The Signal is cool. It will bend your brain a bit. You’ll be surprised by its twists and turns. But cleanse yourself of all expectations before watching if you want to have the best experience that you can.
3.5 out of 5
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The follow-up to the surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is likewise surprisingly good and far exceeds the quality of its predecessor. Set many years after a virus has killed off most of humanity, the world is overgrown and the intelligent apes from the first movie have started their own civilisation. When an encounter between some humans and apes ends badly, dissent begins to grow on both sides and a war becomes imminent. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is notable for a number of reasons. The story is well told, and deals with a lot of shades of grey on the scale of morality. The filmmakers made some gutsy decisions, such as opening the movie with fifteen minutes of ape scenes, with no dialogue except subtitles and sign language. Most of all, though, the special effects are top notch. All of the apes look photorealistic, and the performances created both by the digital effects artists and the actors sell the creatures completely. Caesar is easily the most impressive CGI creation in years. All of these elements combine to make Dawn of the Planet of the Apes a great blockbuster movie. It poses some philosophical questions, gives us some dark moments and some lighthearted ones, and genuinely makes us believe that CG apes are real beings with real personalities and emotions. If only every summer movie was like this.
4 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!