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Thursday, March 31, 2011

[6.00/10] Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night (2010)

Brief review: Apparently planned before the American "Paranormal Activity" sequel, this Japanese version tells a similar story to the original movie, but this time around, the demon terrorizes an undeniably cute brother and sister in their home in Tokyo. Although, basically, this version is more-of-the-same, it still manages to deliver some good scares, and plenty of shocks and suspense. Just like its predecessors, the film does not rely on cheap scares and loud noises, nor is heavy on special effects and lots of scary images. But as may you know, sometimes less is more, and "Tokyo Night" succeeds in its simplicity, and it's its subtleness that makes itfrightengly realistic. Yes, it hardly brings anything new to the table, but the fact that it's Asian, makes it even creepier. The film gets more and more tense as the story progresses, but it's the characters that draw you into the story, and make you feel connected with them. from the very beginning. Both protagonists are extremely likable and believably-acted by Aoi Nakamura and Noriko Aoyama. Though the terrifying image in the final scene is obviously borrowed from another Japanese horror flick ("Ringu" anyone?), it's still effective enough, and is sure to give you the creeps.

Overall summary: Though hardly as effective as its two American predecessors, "Tokyo Night" features likable characters, plenty of spooky visuals, and a couple of truly chilling scenes of terror, that make it a decent entry into the "Paranormal Activity" franchise.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Numerous QuickRatings PART 6: 2010 Foreign Horror Thrillers

Agnosia (2010)

QuickRating: Though this Spanish supernatural thriller has a truly original premise, gorgeously authentic production design, and an exquisite cinematography, the film itself suffers form 'agnosia' - it struggles in its attempt to bring plot, acting , directing and visuals together, and as a result, its execution seems as 'blurry' as its main character's eyesight.

My Rating: 5.25/10

Spiderhole (2010)

QuickRating: Often creepy and utterly claustrophobic, yet hardly scary or suspenseful, this Irish slasher boasts some eerie and chilling settings, a good twist in the end, and a couple of good death scenes, but its lack of originality, so-so direction, and stupid characters reduce the film to the 'common' level of mediocre horror film-making.

My Rating: 5.50/10

We Are What We Are


QuickRating: Intentionally cheap-looking and lacking in production values, "We Are What We Are" is a gruesome and disturbing story about modern day cannibalism, that shocks the viewer with its uncompromising harshness and extreme violence, but as a whole, the film is not nearly as effective and frightening as it thinks it is.

My Rating: 5.50/10

La Meute a.k.a.
The Pack

QuickRating: This old-school French horror flick may not have the most unique plot ever or a first-rate execution, but it's a twisted, atmospheric and bizarre experience, that compensates with buckets of gore, some truly creepy looking creatures, a couple of really good scares and plenty of murky visuals. Its oddness is its strength.

My Rating: 6.00/10

Monday, March 28, 2011

[8.50/10] Los ojos de Julia a.k.a. Julia's Eyes (2010)

Los ojos de Julia


Julia's Eyes (2010)

Brief review: With Guillermo del Toro attached as a producer, you could always expect something original and different, and "Los Ojos de Julia" is no exception. Guillem Morales' second full-length feature is a prime example of the mystery/thriller done right - an unpredictable film full of countless twists and turns, that will astound you with its cleverness, keep you guessing throughout along with the main character, and have you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning to the very end. Yes, it's that good. "Julia's Eyes" not only dazzles with its intriguing plot and the highly effective build of suspense, but it's also a technically brilliant movie. The film's flawless pacing is nicely accompanied by Vilaseca's smooth editing, and as a result, it never feels tedious or too long, despite its 112 min running time. Morales' direction is surprisingly slick and precise, the visuals are stylish, and the sharp, yet dim cinematography is as atmospheric, as it's eye-candy. Belén Rueda, known for her role in "The Orphanage" delivers yet another bravura performance as Julia - a beautiful middle-aged woman, determined to unveil the mystery behind the death of her twin sister, despite she's starting to lose her eyesight because of a terrible inherited disease.

Overall summary: Consistently tense, refreshingly unpredictable and utterly engrossing, "Julia's Eyes" certainly ranks as one of the most polished and skillfully-executed horror thrillers in recent history. Definitely one of 2010's most pleasant cinematic surprises!

Friday, March 25, 2011

[4.75/10] Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Brief review: "Twilight" director, Catherine Hardwicke, brings this lackluster fantasy interpretation of the world famous folk tale, and although it's far from terrible, "Red Riding Hood" fails to deliver, due to its cliche-ridden script and sub-par execution. With the exception of the ridiculously fake-looking wood scenery in the opening sequence, the movies offers some stylish and oddly interesting production design, a couple of darkly beautiful shots, and murky cinematography that suits the mood of the film, however, Hardwicke's dull and unimaginative direction fails to recreate the visual atmosphere of the story properly. The special effects are cheesy at best - the werewolf itself looks ludicrously lame and not frightening at all, and the action scenes are very few and rather unexciting. Amanda Seyfried is as stunning and charismatic as usual, and she does a good job with the given material. Fernandez gives a stiff and absolutely lifeless performance, and so does Irons, though he's somewhat more appealing. Julie Christie delivers the second-best performance in the movie, while Billy Burke does just okay. Gary Oldman is surprisingly unengaging, and Virginia Madsen is, well, miscast - her look is just too current for this film.

Overall summary: Visually-atmospheric, yet utterly dull, totally lacking in thrills, scares and suspense, and filled with countless tired cliches, "Red Riding Hood" is exactly as poor as its box office results suggest, and arguably Catherine Hardwicke's weakest effort so far.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

[6.25/10] Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

Brief review: Jonathan Liebesman's latest 'alien invasion' flick, "Battle: Los Angeles" falls slightly flat plot-wise, but it compensates with plentiful action, likable characters, and some moments that pack an emotional wallop. Liebesman uses a lot of fast zooms, quick cuts and shaky camera technique, in order to provide a more realistic feel to the movie, and although it's all a bit overused in places, his directional style mostly works. The VFX team behind "Skyline" has done an incredible job yet again, as the special effects in movie are simply astounding - the alien droids are deeply-detailed and skilfully designed, as are their imposing spaceships, and the post-apocalyptic setting of L.A. is as overwhelming as it's frightening. The action scenes are an elaborate blend of huge explosions, massive gun fights and sudden attacks, definitely worth-seeing on the big screen. Aaron Eckhart does does an adequate job as the fearless,loyal and dedicated US marine, though his characters is may be a bit too heroic. Despite his good looks, Ramon Rodriguez plays a rather unlikable character, that you may find hard to feel much sympathy for. However, all the supporting performances are believable and engaging enough to make you care about the characters.

Overall summary: Loud, fast-paced and heavy on explosive action, yet a bit muddled and slightly over-directed, "Battle: L.A." may not be as spectacular and entertaining as it thinks it is, but it still boasts plenty of impressive visual effects, and some truly great action set pieces.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[8.25/10] Made In Dagenham (2010)

Made In Dagenham (2010)

Brief review: Dealing with sexual discrimination under the slogan “Equal pay! Equal rights!”, "Made In Dagenham" is an incredibly uplifting experience, that inspires and informs, as well as entertains. The fantastic Sally Hawkins gives another tour-de-force performance as the sassy, temperamental Rita. Her quirky charm is so captivating, it's hard to take your eyes off of her. Jaime Winstone and Rosamund Pike both deliver outstanding supporting performances, and the lovely Miranda Richardson totally steals every scene she appears in. Nigel Cole, the creator of the wonderful "Calendar Girls" does an amazing job behind the camera - his direction is extremely focused and spot-on, and complimented nicely by Parker's flawless editing and David Arnold's joyous music score. "Dagenham" also succeeds visually. The retro production design is as authentic as it gets, and it represents the 60's era quite perfectly. John de Borman uses some warm color filters to achieve this slightly fuzzy, yet beautiful type of cinematography, and the yellow tint lighting gives an appropriately dated look to the film, which is very also appealing. Not to mention the chic costumes and the fancy hairstyles, that also add to the beauty of the movie.

Overall summary: Thoroughly inspiring, gorgeously-photographed, brilliantly-acted, and delightfully enjoyable and easy to watch, Nigel Cole's "Made In Dagenham" is truly a hidden cinematic gem, waiting to be discovered by all movie connoisseurs out there.

Monday, March 21, 2011

[3.75/10] The Dragon Pearl (2011)

The Dragon Pearl (2011)

Brief review: Proclaimed as the first-ever Chinese-Australian co-production, "The Dragon Pearl" seems like an interesting project, and very promising on paper, but sadly, its lackluster execution and director Mario Andreacchio's lack of ideas and imagination really let the film down - pretty much everything about this juvenile fantasy flick feels contrived and uninspired, to the point of being ridiculous. Another big surprise is that, despite its fair budget, "The Dragon Pearl" is quite unimpressive, visually, except that it offers plenty of beautiful landscapes. But, let's face it - a couple of stunning shots don't make a good movie. The Chinese dragon itself is kinda cute and friendly-looking, yet totally lame in terms of graphic design. The CGI effects are cheesy at best, the action sequences are few and far between, and the music score is annoyingly inappropriate. Aside from Mr. Sam Neill, all the other actors involved in this project are wildly unknown and inexperienced, and it shows. Neill does a typically decent job as the archeologist and Josh's father, but the otherwise adorable Li Lin Jin and Louis Corbett fail do impress in their roles. They both deliver their lines stiffly and react quite unnaturally in front of the camera, due to the lack of acting experience.

Overall summary: With its poorly-adapted script, unimaginative direction and sub-par acting, this unfortunate collaboration between China and Australia could be considered as a huge cinematic failure, as "The Dragon Pearl" offers nothing new or even remotely entertaining.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Guest Post: Melissa Bradley's "Dirty Dozen" - TOP 12 All-Time Favorite Movies

Hello, dear readers! Today is a very special day for me and my blog, because it’s time for the first-ever guest post on CineMarvellous!, and I’m truly honored that it comes from this particular person. I’m extremely happy to introduce you the absolutely lovely Melissa Bradley and her “Dirty Dozen” – the twelve most impactful films, that will stay with her forever. Enjoy the list – it’s as versatile and wonderful as Mel herself. So enjoy, and don’t forget to check out her fantastic blog - Melissa's Imaginarium.

Huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for the "Dirty Dozen" thing, as it was originally his idea. He did a movie blogfest with that name a while ago, and it was amazing! I hope you don't mind I've used it, Alex :)

Mel: "When George asked me to do a list of my twelve favorite movies, I was very flattered and excited. Then I was overwhelmed at the sheer size of this task, I have so many, many favorites. However, I managed to narrow the list to films that I have watched innumerable times and that have had a lasting impact on me. Here they are in no particular order, Mel’s Dirty Dozen"

"This is my absolute favorite, laugh out loud film. Cary Grant has a gift for comedy that transcends. The writing is spectacular, filled with witty dialogue and all manner of humor from the dry to the slapstick. It shaped my love for dark comedy."

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

"Franco Zeffirelli was an astounding filmmaker who captured the essence of the Bard in this lush, magnificent presentation. From the choices of Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting as the star-crossed lovers to Pasqualino De Santis as cinematographer, Zeffirelli creates the most stunningly epic translation of the tragic love story ever put on film. Every frame is gorgeous, sweeping the viewer straight into 16th century Verona."

Star Wars: Episode IV
A New Hope

"This was the first movie I ever saw on the big screen. To this day Williams’ score sends thrills down my spine. I watch this movie with a child-like enthusiasm that has never faded. It’s a grand majestic tale with ground-breaking F/X for its time, that may seem a bit dated today, but to my eyes it’s still awesome."

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
(2001 - 2003)

"The greatest films ever. I love everything about this trilogy from the writing and acting to the cinematography, to the F/X and the costumes. It’s all brilliant, a sublime visual feast that completely transports you to another world. I had never seen anything like this before and haven’t since."

Goodfellas (1990)

"My ultimate all time favorite gangster movie. I love the gritty realism, the violence and the raw, rude dialogue. Scorsese’s direction and Nicholas Pileggi’s writing blew me away. This film is why I love mob movies with such a passion."

Glory (1989)

"One of the greatest war movies ever, in my opinion. The visionary direction, amazing acting and glorious score combine for a haunting tour de force. Freeman and Washington are perfection as disparate former slaves struggling to find their way with each other and in a racist army that does not accept them as real soldiers. I get caught up every time I see this movie, even though I know what happens."

Mississippi Burning (1988)

"Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe mesmerize as two FBI agents who clash constantly over their investigation into the disappearance of three Civil Rights workers in 1964 Mississippi. Frances McDormand shines as the brow-beaten wife of the local deputy, played to evil perfection by Brad Dourif. Tense with explosive undercurrents throughout, Alan Parker’s film leaves me shaken and disturbed each time I watch it."

The Howling (1981)

"I absolutely had to include a werewolf movie and this one is my favorite of all time. The transformation scene alone is brilliant. A couple of other flicks, An American Werewolf in London and Dog Soldiers have come close to supplanting this, but not quite. It’s a bit cheesy with a good mystery and has its female characters shockingly not acting like typical horror film bimbos."

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

"This is one of my favorite Johnny Depp films. Gilbert’s struggle to care for his brother Arnie and his morbidly obese mother while trying to have a life of his own is heart wrenching. Lasse Hallstrom’s direction and Peter Hedge’s screenplay are wonderful. This is a uniquely strange story that could have easily been over the top, but Hallstrom kept it grounded and honest so that we all see ourselves in Gilbert."

Silkwood (1981)

"Meryl Streep gives an amazing performance as Karen Silkwood. She’s a woman barely keeping her head above water, who rises to the occasion when she sees something wrong at the nuclear plant where she works. Mike Nichols directs this sentimentalized film, downplaying many the less pleasant aspects of Karen’s life, but it is a great story nonetheless."

300 (2007)

"Zack Snyder wows with the story of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans. The stylized violence and the epic action sequences are mind blowing. Then you have the sheer physical awesomeness of Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Rodrigo Santoro and the rest of the cast. It is simply breathtaking on so many levels."

Aliens (1986)

"One of James Cameron’s finest. Watching Sigourney Weaver kick alien ass is cool as hell. The action sequences are rapid fire, coming at you like speeding bullets. I feel like ducking and running with the characters. No matter how many times I watch this, the same excitement washes over me and I half expect to be handed my own pulse rifle."

Friday, March 18, 2011

[8.25/10] Rango (2011)

Rango (2011)

Brief review:
From the creator of the super-spooky "The Ring", and the wildly popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, here comes "Rango" - the most creative, witty and oddly enjoyable animated flick, released in the past couple of years. While "Rango" can't boast with great originality story-wise, its execution is so flawless and breathtakingly-brilliant, its plot weaknesses can be forgiven. Though it drags here and there and is a bit too moody in places, the story is well-paced, balancing action, narrative and dialogue quite nicely. The witty and cleverly-written script gives depth to the characters and their quirky, colorful personalities, and makes the audience feel connected to them. Furthermore, "Rango" is a true visual splendor! Gore Verbinski certainly has an eye for detail, and it shows. The animation is so masterfully-crafted and extraordinarily-detailed, you won't believe your eyes. Although the director avoids bright and vivid colors, and uses more muted color palette, the CGI sets are still eye-catching and quite beautiful, and each of the characters is stunningly-designed, if not exactly sweet or very charming. The action scene in the second half is definitely the highlight of the movie, along with Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher's spectacular voice acting.

Overall summary: Charmingly-bizarre, smartly-written and beautifully-crafted, "Rango" is undoubtedly one of the most visually-unique animated features ever created, and certainly the quirkiest one, and it will appeal to anyone with an open mind and great imagination.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

[2.75/10] Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011)

Big Mommas:
Like Father, Like Son

Brief review: John Whitesell, who has directed the terrible sequel to the 2000's "Big Momma's House", has made another directional mistake yet again, by bringing the comedic garbage "Like Father, Like Son", which makes the original seem like a masterpiece. Not only this second sequel is ridiculously formulaic, but its script is so unimaginative, and lacking in wit, it fails to deliver any laughs or a single memorable line. The characters couldn't be more stereotyped, hence the actors struggle to deliver or to be funny, mainly because they try to force the laughs in rather than let them play out naturally. Martin Lawrence has lost a lot of his charm and charisma, as in this movie, he feels kinds spent, and not interested in what he's doing. Worst of all, he's incredibly unfunny as Big Momma, even when he tries his best. B.T. Jackson is a notch better in his two-faced role as Trent / Charmaine, but his efforts don't always work out as planned, as he's either phony or too over-the-top. Jessica Lucas as Haley is the only likable character, but sadly, she doesn't have much to work with. Technically, "Like Father, Like Son" is also quite poor, as John Whitesell's direction is generic and nothing-to-write-home-about, and the production values are incredibly low and uninteresting.

Overall summary: Unsurprisingly stupid and painfully unfunny, "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son" is just as unnecessary as its dreadful predecessor, and without a doubt the worst movie of 2011 so far.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Numerous QuickRatings PART 5: 2010 Movies [3]

Primal (2010)

QuickRating: Although the Australian bush provides a beautiful backdrop for this oddly intriguing story, and the acting from the young Aussie cast is decent at best, the film itself is almost ruined by an incompetent execution, so-so directing and weak script, and though it succeeds in the gore department, "Primal" fails to deliver genuine scares.

My Rating: 5.00/10

Jackass 3D (2010)

QuickRating: Featuring the best slow-mo sequences since "Zombieland"'s opening scene, and numerous incredible stunts, as well as some gross and even scary ones, "Jackass 3D" is three times crazier than its predecessors, and just as funny and entertaining, even though it's hardly watchable at times. Just see it.. if you dare.

My Rating: 5.75/10

Welcome to the Rileys (2010)

QuickRating: Grim, yet somewhat uplifting, "Welcome to the Rileys", can't boast with excellent production values or skillful direction, but it offers and original and emotionally-gripping story, and it features Kristen Stewart's best performance to date, a great turn by James Gandolfini, and an absolutely amazing supporting performance from Melissa Leo.

My Rating: 6.50/10

Another Year (2010)

QuickRating: Thoughtful, poignant and astoundingly acted, if rather slow-moving and overly simplistic, "Another Year" may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it offers a realistic glimpse of everyday life with its ups and lows, and shows how you can easily create your own happiness, if you believe in yourself, and if you're dedicated to the people you love.

My Rating: 7.25/10

Monday, March 14, 2011

[5.50/10] TRON: Legacy (2010)

TRON: Legacy (2010)

Brief review: First-time director, Joseph Kosinski, brings this unnecessary sequel to the 1982 'cult classic', "Tron", and despite its stylized update and the supposed-to-be-impressive visuals, "TRON: Legacy" fails to live up to the hype. "Legacy" suffers from the exact same problems as its predecessor - the more you speculate about the film's concept, the more ridiculous it becomes, plus, it takes itself way too seriously, which makes it even more ludicrous. The film lacks wit and humor completely, and it's joyless contains one the most lame dialogues I've ever heard in my life, poorly-delivered by the actors involved. Garrett Hedlund reminds me a lot of Hayden Christensen - he's just as handsome... and just as stiff. Jeff Bridges does a typically good jobs as Sam's father, Kevin Flynn, but he often feels out-of-place and not very interested in what he's doing. Olivia Wilde has a strong on-screen presence and she delivers an above average performance as the stunning Quorra. Michael Sheen is, well, miscast. Believe it or not, "TRON: Legacy" is just okay, visually. "The Games" scenes are the only highlight of this movie, as they're thrilling, startlingly action-packed and brilliantly-executed. However, the lackluster 'neon' visuals fails to represent the so-called digital world, as instead they give a rather gloomy and depressing feel to the movie. The CGI work is skillful, but not exactly groundbreaking. Not to mention the silly costumes and the overly stylish interior, which doesn't seem very appropriate for the world of Tron. At all. Daft Punk's original music score works in the film's favor, but unfortunately, their expertly-crafted, dark and exciting electronic music is not enough to save this lackluster effort from mediocrity.

Overall summary: Dull, poorly-written, badly-acted and surprisingly unspectacular, Joseph Kosinski's "TRON: Legacy" is like a bad club experience - it offers plenty of fancy neon lights, intended pomposity and loudness, but not enough fun and enjoyment.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Numerous QuickRatings PART 4: 2010 Movies [2]

Blue Valentine (2010)

Although Derek Cianfrance's debut feature "Blue Valentine" is a bit too depressing, moody and melancholic at times, it's still
an emotionally involving, subtly-crafted, outstandingly-performed, and also a very daring film, that unveils the the inconvenient truth about never-lasting love, exploring an unfortunate love-turned-hate relationship.

My Rating: 7.50/10

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

As silly as it sounds, yet thoroughly hilarious, "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" could be considered as both a ridiculous mess, and an incredibly original horror comedy, injected with a huge dose of wit and humor, that shows how misunderstandings can lead to fatal consequences, in the funniest, goriest and bloodiest possible way.

My Rating: 6.25/10

Djinns (2010)

QuickRating: "Djinns"'s cast does an excellent job in their roles, its settings are incredibly atmospheric, it features some truly spooky images, and the grotesque violence doubles the horror, but sadly, the film never reaches its potential, and it's neither scary nor suspenseful enough to be considered a great horror movie, despite its flawless execution.

My Rating: 5.75/10

L'arnacoeur a.k.a.
Heartbreaker (2010)

The American rom-com filmmakers should learn some tricks from their French fellas, as "Heartbreaker" is so enjoyable, charming and fantastically-executed, it manages to deliver on many levels, despite its slightly cliched script, and it features a wonderfully-charismatic turn from Johnny Depp's beloved, the gorgeous Vanessa Paradis.

My Rating: 6.50/10

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

[9.50/10] Shaolin (2011)

Shaolin (2011)

Brief review: Benny Chan's latest effort, "Shaolin" is a martial arts movie with heart, brain and soul, and it delivers on almost every single level, as it manages to be dramatic, serious, funny and action-packed all at the same time, due to it's well-balanced and thought out script and pitch-perfect execution. Benny Chan is an incredibly versatile and very capable Asian filmmaker, and "Shaolin" is a significant projection of his talent, imagination and skills as a director. His positioning of the camera mount achieves a sensational diversity of camera angles, plus, the dynamic camera movements emphasis and enhance certain scenes. The action is just one of the film's major strengths. The fight sequences and the stunts are extremely high-octane, fast-paced, and briskly-shot and edited by the legendary action director Corey Yuen. Chung Chi Li also does a brilliant job with the choreography, as he increases the effect with a fair use of flawlessly-executed wire work and some polished CGIs. Visually, "Shaolin" also never fails to impress. The production design is as beautiful as it's authentic, and the refined, eye-candy greenish cinematography pleases the eye throughout the film. The intense, yet beautiful music score adds depth to the picture. The acting ranges from good to exceptional. The widely popular Andy Lau's delivers, arguably, the strongest performance of his career. He conveys different emotions with ease, and makes us really care about his evil-turned-good character, General Hou Jie. Jackie Chan brings comic relief, but without being over-the-top this time around. Each and every one of supporting actors also do an excellent job in portraying their characters and making them incredibly sympathetic and likable.

Overall summary:
With its compelling story, brilliantly-portrayed characters, fantastic visuals and stupendous action sequences, Benny Chan's "Shaolin" ranks as one of the most accomplished, profoundly-engrossing and slickly-crafted martial arts movies ever made.

[6.50/10] Sanctum (2011)

Sanctum (2011)

Brief review: Alister Grierson's debut feature "Sanctum" may not shine with great originality or brilliant script, but it's a well-shot and consistently gripping adventure flick, that offers enough thrills and suspense to make for a satisfying experience. Basically, "Sanctum" is a fight for survival, and although it often takes itself way too seriously and lacks humor completely, it delivers almost everything it promises in terms of entertainment. Sadly though, the mostly unknown cast fails to impress. All the actors involved play a rather dull and badly-written characters, and as a result, they all give pretty lifeless and unengaging performances, and deliver their lines quite poorly and stiffly. However, "Sanctum" truly succeeds visually. The cave setting is as spectacular as it's utterly creepy, and it creates a very tense and claustrophobic atmosphere that will leave you gasping for air. The underwater scenes are nothing short of breathtaking, the Australian wilderness scenery is beautifully-captured by the first-time director Alister Grierson, and his cinematographer, Jules O'Loughlin, and the panoramic shots are just as fantastic. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see the 3D version, but even in an old-fashioned 2D, the movie looked absolutely striking.

Overall summary: Although "Sanctum" often 'acts' like it doesn't really care about its characters, and it's not without its flaws, it does an excellent job of establishing tension and it certainly delivers plenty of entertainment, and some stunningly-atmospheric visuals.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Numerous QuickRatings PART 3: 2010 Movies [1]

Hereafter (2010)

It may not be one of
Clint Eastwood's strongest efforts, but "Hereafter" offers a thoroughly compelling and thought-provoking story that deals with the intriguing subject matter of 'after life', and it's elevated by its talented cast, Eastwood's smooth direction, the moody cinematography, and some truly impressive visual effects.

My Rating: 7.25/10

The Clinic (2010)

QuickRating: Slightly original and thoroughly disturbing, yet hardly credible and lacking in genuine suspense, "The Clinic" is a low-budget Australian horror flick, that may suffer from mediocre execution and sub-par directing, but it compensates with an efficient acting, plenty of mystery and intrigue, and enough shocks and gore to keep genre addicts contented.

My Rating: 6.50/10

Morning Glory (2010)

QuickRating: Far from great and often uneven, yet refreshingly sweet, charming and enjoyable, "Morning Glory" is a 'behind-the-scenes TV' comedy, that delivers both the laughs and the drama, led entirely by McAdams' captivating performance as the determined and ambitious Becky, and Ford's charismatic turn as the grumpy Mike Pomeroy.

My Rating: 6.50/10

Due Date (2010)

QuickRating: Just like Todd Phillips' previous effort "The Hangover", "Due Date" is just an overhyped comedy, that is neither as entertaining, nor as amusing as it thinks it is, and despite its two leads share a good chemistry on screen, the movie fails to impress, or to evoke any laughter, due to its painfully unfunny script and lackluster execution.

My Rating: 4.50/10