Monday, May 28, 2012

SIFF Review: 'Citadel'

Writer/director Ciaran Foy’s “Citadel” is the creepiest, most affecting horror movie I’ve seen in quite some time. The film draws strength from a variety of sources, leaning heavily on supernatural and religious overtones. The true frights, however, come from the questions at the heart of “Citadel”. Is the source of this terror otherworldly, some “other”? Is it even real, or simply the paranoia of a sick mind? Or, most terrifyingly, is it a symptom of society gone wrong, of the evil lurking within humanity left alone to dwell and evolve into some hideous creature? It is easy to see why this film won the midnight award at SXSW. “Citadel” climbs into you skull and sticks around long after you walk away.

SIFF Review: 'Extraterrestrial'

As if waking up after a drunken one-night-stand isn’t awkward enough. There’s the fumbling around to find your clothes that are strewn all over a dark room, trying to pull on your pants in silence, and sneaking towards the door. There’s having to reintroduce yourself, or trying, hungover, to usher an equally haggard stranger out of your own apartment so you can shower away the mistakes of the previous evening. That’s all pretty terrible. But the worst part, the absolute worst, is the inevitable next morning alien invasion.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

'Men In Black 3' Movie Review

Watching “Men In Black 3” you’ll notice some things that feel familiar. It is the same aesthetic, the same music, the same sense of humor, and the same chemistry between characters as in the first two movies. That isn’t to say it’s bad, in fact “MIB 3” is moderately entertaining throughout, but it is the exact same formula, and you can’t escape a feeling of redundancy. The first “Men In Black” movie is a fun little sci-fi comedy, but the second, while enjoyable enough, is more of the same. And the third installment is even more, more of the same. “Men In Black 3” is one of those movies that you can watch and never have to think about again.

Monday, May 21, 2012

SIFF Review: 'Game of Werewolves'

Mixing horror and comedy is a tricky proposition. Leaning too heavily on one element over the other can lead to an imbalance, and too many attempts to synthesize the two genres result in movies that are neither scary nor funny. That’s what makes Juan Martinez Moreno’s “Game of Werewolves” (AKA “Wolves of Arga”) such a treat; it seamlessly blends legitimate laughs with earnest frights and gore.

Friday, May 18, 2012

'Battleship' Movie Review

“Battleship” is terrible by almost every standard used to measure the quality of a movie, but is it also ridiculously fucking entertaining. You can tell that this is director Peter Berg’s (“The Rundown”) chance to play with big boy toys—real life ships and giant robots from space—and you feel how giddy he is as he takes each and every opportunity to live out a child’s dream on a grand scale. That glee runs throughout “Battleship”, and even as you groan about every questionable action and every line they give Liam Neeson in the film, it is infectious.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

'Sound of my Voice' Movie Review

Is “Sound of My Voice”, the latest film from indie princess Brit Marling, an undercover science fiction story masquerading as a cautionary tale about cults? Or is it a story about cults in the guise of sci-fi? A case can be made either way, but I lean towards the former—that “Sound of My Voice” is covert sci-fi. Whichever way you approach, however, this is a quiet, inventive, subtly enthralling little film. Marling, who co-wrote the script with first-time director Zal Batmanglij, delivers a standout performance in this film that does a lot with very little. You start watching only to realize, somewhere along the line, that you’re hooked.