Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chills & Thrills - Part I

Too many movies and too little time. To review them. So here are capsule reviews of a few Hollywood chillers and thrillers I've seen in the last couple of months...

The Fantastic Four
A very lame superhero(es) story that almost seems like a children's movie considering the straightforward story, lacklustre special effects, tepid romance and amateurish jokes. Four persons, exposed to some kind of cosmic rays, turn into the Fab 4 while a millionaire, exposed to the same rays, has more diabolical ideas. The lameness of the film is a surprise considering the success of recent superhero movies like Spiderman and X-Men. Eventually, its the personal interactions - romance, competition and camaraderie - between the four that lead to atleast some interesting moments.

The Island
A great concept brimming with possibilities is turned into a routine, big-budget action thriller. It’s the future and Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johanssen live in a pristine, controlled environment since the air outside is dangerous to human life. But when they break free, they realize that it’s all a great, big lie. The movie had an interesting and surprising twist that opened up a lot of avenues. But it chose to turn go the action flick route with routine chases and fiery blasts. A few clever scenes do give a hint of where the movie could’ve gone.

Skeleton Key
A creepy thriller with a surprising, unexpected ending. Cute Kate Hudson plays a caregiver to an old man but realizes his life may be in danger from his own wife. Proceeds along expected lines for the most part with ‘Boo!’ moments, weird characters, a creepy flashback and light scares. But throws in a few good surprises towards the end and doesn’t cheat us.

The Cave
The dullest, most boring thriller I’ve seen in a while. I could call this “Aliens in an underground cave” but that would be a huge insult to the James Cameron classic. The movie is about a bunch of cave divers getting caught in an underground cave and being chased by some creatures. Its amazing that the director couldn’t deliver a single exciting moment with this setup. Fast cuts barely let us see the creatures and when we do, they turn out to be poor Alien clones. Zero thrills and zero chills.

Dark Water
A little too atmospheric and slow, this one ends unexpectedly but not very satisfyingly. Jennifer Connelly, a single mom, moves into a New York apartment with her daughter but the plumbing in the complex doesn’t let her live in peace. Jennifer does the usual stupid things that characters in horror movies, especially moms, usually do but her performance makes us sympathize with her anyway. The supporting actors make up a suitably creepy bunch. Good suspense but resolved in a cliched manner but the movie does end on an expected note.

Part II coming tomorrow...


At 6:47 AM, Blogger Truly Yours said...

C'mon today was tomorrow. Where are the movies ?

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope Final Destination 3 does.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the one English/ENGLISH (since it's set in Britain!) movie I saw recently where I was floored (note, Bhuvan, maybe you'll like this since our tastes are so in sync. all the time!) was Woody Allen's Match Point...having long been a fan of Woody, I was looking fwd to this for the past few months and I wasnt disappointed...far from it, actually...the last 45 mintues are just a tour de force of superb acting, intelligent writing and expert direction...the "irony" in the movie is what sets it apart...of course, johannson being hottttt didnt hurt either ;)

do check it out guys! and, for any woody afficionados, if you've seen Crimes and Misdemeanors and liked it, trust me- u'll love this one.

and, here's a quote from berardinelli's review of a good woman, that i thot was incredibly witty-- bigamy's having a wife too many; so is monogamy!

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

yt, tomorrow's still today for me :)

anon, FD 1 and 2 were guilty pleasures for me. lets see how FD3 measures up :)

ram, 'matchpoint' has been getting raves all around. can't wait to c it though thats not gonna happen until the dvd's released :(

all the lines berardinelli mentioned(courtesy oscar wilde) were delicious :)


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