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…

Seventh Son
Yet another tepid, overblown CGI stinkfest of a fantasy movie, Seventh Son offers nothing that we haven’t already seen in dozens of films. Jeff Bridges plays a medieval Ghostbuster who is a member of an order called the Falcon Knights, dedicated to hunting and killing witches. After his apprentice dies in the opening scene, he must track down the seventh son of a seventh son to be his new protege, because this apparently has some kind of significance. This new apprentice is played by Ben Barnes, who gives the character so little personality that I nearly forgot he was even in this. Together the pair try to take down Julianne Moore and her army of monsters. It’s all extremely dumb, but even worse, it’s boring. Seventh Son doesn’t even manage to be so-bad-it’s-good, and thus, I can’t think of any reason to recommend it. The only thing that I actually enjoyed about it was Jeff Bridges, because he was doing some kind of cross between Rooster Cogburn from True Grit and Gandalf. He mumbles most of his lines, and there is a certain charm to the fact that he seems to be having fun, but ultimately it’s not worth the 100 minutes it takes to watch Seventh Son.
1 out of 5

An absolute turd of a comedy, not a single thing about Mortdecai is funny. Apparently the writers thought that the pinnacle of humour was making a moustache joke literally every three minutes, and since that’s the big running gag of the film, it gets tiresome immediately and overstays its welcome from there. Mortdecai is also a waste of a damn good cast, with Johnny Depp, Gwenyth Paltrow, Paul Bettany and Ewan Macgregor all apparently oblivious to the painfully un-funny movie that they’re in. Mortdecai is clearly trying to be an Inspector Clouseau-style slapstick-and-broad-comedy film, but when none of the jokes land, it’s just boring and awkward. For another example of what passes for a joke in Mortdecai, look no further than Bettany’s manservant character, filling the Kato role. His character’s name is Jock Strap (not Jacques Strapp, for that would be too clever), and the running gag about him is that women are attracted to him. But he’s played by Paul Bettany, so is that really surprising in any way? The answer is no. This movie is dumb. Watching Mortdecai made me embarrassed for everyone involved.
1 out of 5

Dance of Reality
Alejandro Jodorowsky applies his dream logic and surreal imagery to his autobiography, imagining his childhood in Chile as a strange mix of ideas and characters. Jodorowsky’s work is always fascinating to me, but I recognize that it isn’t for everyone, so please understand that this review comes from the perspective of someone who enjoys surrealism in cinema. Many would dub this film pretentious, and they wouldn’t be wrong, but to me it plays as cinematic poetry, an interpretive dance that tells us the story of a simple life surrounded by wonder and weirdness. Dance of Reality doesn’t play by the rules, and watching it I couldn’t help but think that Jodorowsky didn’t realize there were any rules in the first place. The visual metaphors are extremely strange, but their meanings are instantly identifiable, and it’s an impressive feat to pull off this juxtaposition. It should be noted that this film is not for the squeamish, and it features scenes of penile torture and a woman peeing on a man’s face while singing opera. But if you enjoy the bizarre and unusual, I highly recommend Dance of Reality, for I thought it was profound and at times quite moving. If this is to be your introduction to Jodorowsky, however, I’d recommend you start with one of his earlier works instead.
4 out of 5

See you next Sunday for more thrilling short reviews!

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