Friday, January 23, 2009

Capsule Movie Reviews.

Elite Squad - It's City of God, from the cops' perspective, minus the hope. Unless you're this guy, you probably don't equate "high-speed, low-drag" with routine torture. The scenes illustrating pervasive police corruption are black, black tragicomedy. And the white-collar upper-class university kids don't evade a shanking either. Nonetheless, very well made. Also, only instance of cinematic dry-fire practice I've ever seen, which is worth something.

Brain Donors - It's everything good the Marx Brothers did crammed into 1 hr. 16 min. The same kind of spastic silliness of, say, Airplane! or Top Secret!, but more...retro.

The Kingdom - In a rare reversal of form, Eric finds a movie markedly less interesting once people start slinging lead at each other (you could be a gun nut if a dude opens up with a G3A3 on full-auto, gets wee groups, and you actually see verisimilitude exit the screen and walk out of the room). Furthermore, when your movie is clearly a geopolitical fable, you don't need to point out that fact in the coda with the most ham-handed doubling scene ever. The first hour is pretty damned solid.

Walking Tall (The Rock edition) - Is there some sort of award for Worst Cinematic Police Work? Somehow, I can't get over vindictive abuse of 4th amendment rights or handing a self-described convicted felon a shotgun (not that I necessarily have a problem with the felon in question, but COME ON). Way to waste a 'little guy standing up for what's right' premise.


Face/Off - When Travolta is the 'good guy,' this movie fails entirely. Fortunately, he spends 2/3rds of it as the bad guy, so it works out just fine. Also, any movie with a Stetchkin in it gets an extra star automatically.

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