Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rapid Fire Reviews (#1-5)

...in which I begin a new segment...

I watch a lot of films. Rather than try to review them all in a conventional sense, I've decided to try something a bit more concise. So, I'm beginning a segment in which I will watch and review at least 200 films this year, and bring them to you in groups of five.

Credit where credit is due: I got this idea from a fine blog called GentlemanBeggar, in which he did the same.

So, I'll be making a lot of these kinds of posts throughout the year. If you have any movie suggestions for me, or if you disagree with any of my reviews, leave a comment. Here we go.

#1. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
            Source: Netflix Instant
            Released: 2010
            Running Time: 78 min
            MPAA Rating: PG-13
            My Rating: 3.5/5
            Comments: Decent superhero crossover. There was an overuse of shaky-cam effects in the fight scenes which was distracting and removed me from the action. Listen for Summer Glau, voicing Supergirl.

#2. Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
            Source: Netflix Instant
            Released: 2009
            Running Time: 80 min
            Rating: NR
            My Rating: 4.5/5
            Comments: A series of monologues turned into a carefully disjointed film that breaks conventional narrative structure in a novel way. The 'logues were well acted and the cinematography added a great deal of depth to the film. Well done to John Krasinski in his directorial debut.

#3. Paranormal Activity           
            Source: Nexflix Instant
            Released: 2007
            MPAA Rating: R
            Running Time: 86 min.
            My Rating: 4.5/5
            Comments: Very effective and efficient thriller. The scares were built up so slowly and believably that I was completely hooked. In my mind, it redeems the generally awful "found footage" genre. 

#4. The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes
            Source: Nextflix Instant
            Released: 2009
            MPAA Rating: NR
            Running Time: 89 min
            My Rating: 4.0/5
            Comments: For a movie with a "straight to DVD" budget and delivery, it was strangely entertaining. The plot wasn't nearly as ridiculous as the DVD cover would lead you to believe (London being attacked by dinosaurs and sea monsters), but here, that's a very good thing. The movie was a steam punk inspired take on the Sherlock Holmes story. Very interesting, though I think they cast Holmes too young.

#5. Ip Man
            Source: Netflix Instant
            Released: 2008
            MPAA Rating: R
            Running Time: 106 min
            My Rating: 5/5
            Comments: This film has instantly become my favorite martial arts film of all time. It's beautifully shot, the story is fantastic and moving (and based on the real Master Ip), and Donnie Yen is amazing, in and out of the fight scenes. I can't recommend this film enough. Go watch it.

So, that's it for the first round of reviews. I hope you like them (because they're going to keep coming, regardless *evil laugh*). Again, all credit goes to GentlemanBeggar, who hopefully won't mind me ripping him off.

[Poster images courtesy of imdb.com]

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