Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quick Movie Reviews: Vol 14

With a new night shift job my blog posts have been a little more random, and I’ve gotten behind on my movie reviewing. But never mind for I’m about to catch up a bit with another dish of quick movie reviews. A journey continued with a Swedish trilogy, an American horror movie, English crime drama or was that action movie, and finally a movie that will be in my top ten of this year when I get to the list. So sit down, buckle up, and get ready.

Hatchet (2006)

Adam Green gives us a neat little slasher set in New Orleans. The first thing that I found endearing about this movie was that the characters weren’t complete and utter assholes; well most of them weren’t assholes. A nice set up had me caring about most of the characters and the situation they were put in. But let’s not forget why we are here. The gore was impressive and the kills inventive. A few times I was amazed that they went with such a gory death but then this is what the movie is all about. It’s trying to show the world what American horror is all about, and give the people a break from all the dull lifeless horror movies that are out there. My one complaint is that the swamp setting does get a little repetitive, but this was probably a budgetary concern and it’s not such a big thing.

The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009)

I loved the first movie and thought the chemistry between Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist really drove the film. With this movie however, the two don’t share any scenes together, and while the actors are all top notch and the story is interesting there is something lost. The first movie really drew me in and the time flew by, however I couldn’t help notice the pace just felt slower, and more burden with the characters histories.  Noomi Rapace is amazing as Lisbeth Salander and Rooney Mara has got some big shoes to fill in the David Fincher remake later this year. If people liked the first movie, then there is no need to avoid this. The movie is enjoyable but be warned it’s not as good as the first. Also the movie ends pretty abruptly and left me kind of disappointed.

Blitz (2011)

Jason Statham plays a tough cop who is tracking down a cop killer. It sounds like a simple story and one that couldn’t be screwed up but somewhere someone lost focus and gives us a movie that kind of fails. The main problem of the movie is its very unfocused and seems to offer multiple side stories that really do nothing for the main story and only dilute attention away from the two main cops. The shame of this is both Jason Statham and Paddy Considine as the two lead cops actually do an impressive job. There could have been a decent cop drama with these two characters, instead the movie is trying to be an action movie and only pays lip service to the characters troubles. Aidan Gillen is an interesting villain, and while weedy and not looking like much of a threat does seem credible in his role. Overall I would give this a miss as the movie doesn’t know what it wants to be and thanks to that never seems like a full movie.

Contagion (2011)

In many of my movie reviews I have complained about the lack of character development, but occasionally there are movies where the characters aren’t the focus and the topic is. Normally in this case the cast of characters are played by dependable actors who will be able to give small character details in the briefest of glances and gestures. Contagion is a film like this. Each character is only set up in order to explore the effects of a virus that is spreading across the world like wildfire. Still the idea of the virus isn’t the main topic here; Contagion is more looking at how fear spreads and the effects on people. This movie is fantastic and throughout I felt unease, add to the fact the actors here who manage to connect with their characters when given just a few scenes to accomplish that, it’s an excellent master class in how to do a massive sprawling film. Steven Soderbergh has accomplished this before with Traffic and out of the two movies I would say that is more accomplished but shouldn’t take away from Contagion. One of my favourite movies of the year, I’m glad it’s done well and I hope more people get out there and see this movie.


  1. I thought Contagion was excellent as well. It's been years since I have seen Traffic, but I remember being blown away. I think the Ocean's trilogy are further proof that this guy can juggle a dozen characters with ease. Soderbergh is as compelling as he is versatile.

    Good stuff!

  2. Thanks. I'm a fan of the Ocean's movies as well. Just pure fun.

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