Quick Movie ReviewsApril 10, 2011
I’ve been having trouble sleeping over the past couple of weeks, and I’m working a crazy schedule due to the federal election, so I have found myself awake in the small hours, looking for movies to enjoy. Between the television, Netflix, my public library and Blockbuster, I have a fair selection. Here are some of the things I’ve seen lately:
Flash of Genius: This is the story of the weird guy who invented intermittent windshield wipers. It sounds dull, but is in fact a very fine film, with Greg Kinnear (quickly becoming one of my favourite actors), Lauren Graham and even Alan Alda. I expected this movie to help me fall asleep. Instead, I watched it with a big grin throughout.
The Hammer: Adam Carolla produced and stars in this sort-of-like-Rocky 6 movie about a washed-up 40-year-old amateur boxer who gets a shot at the U.S. Olympic team. Better than you’d think, despite its stupidly low budget and reliance on Carolla’s schtick.
Valhalla Rising: Mads Mikkelsen plays a mysterious one-eyed warrior who has been held captive by Vikings for years. When he escapes, he goes on a savage journey of revenge. It’s a beautiful film, shot on foggy, rocky shores, but drags a bit and is sometimes hard to follow.
Devil: Loved it. This locked-room scary mystery is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time. Set in a stuck elevator, it’s the story of five strangers, one of whom is Satan. In other words, kind of like dinner with my former in-laws.
Cemetery Junction: I had a hoot and a holler throughout this British comedy. Amazing performances, a touching tale and a spot-on rendition of ’70s England, this made me want to listen to David Bowie all night. At one point, a character is listening to classical music to better himself; his mates tell him to stop listening to music made by poofters, and put on some Elton John instead.
Tron Legacy: I loved the first hour, but lost interest once Jeff Bridges (the Rooster Cogburn version) showed up. The effects, though, are fantastic, and the overall construct expands on the advances of the first movie. Much has been made of how Bridges was digitally de-aged, but I was not convinced; the effect made him look like a CGI version of Alec Baldwin, for some reason. And there was far too much sitting around and talking while glowing, and not enough action. If you’re going to make a movie about living inside a video game, there should be more gaming. Still, it bodes well for the next film.
I’m about to start two weeks of night shifts, so I fully expect to get home at 3 a.m. wired on coffee and adrenaline. I will definitely need more movies. Luckily, the dollar store is selling old Jackie Chan DVDs.