Viewed – 31 July 2012 Blu-ray
I don’t know why I haven’t seen more movies starring the simply quite delicious Charlize Theron. Despite her wealth of accolades, an Oscar nod and a healthy fan base, her talents have so far (for the most part) passed me by. So this latest entry to her quite prolific cannon sparked my interest.
Theron plays Mavis (!) a writer on a series of successful ‘young adult’ aimed novels, who following a divorce and in the middle of a mid-life crisis, chooses to return to the small town where she grew up with one clear aim – to win back the boy she fell in love with in high school. Only one catch – or two actually. He’s happily married, and his wife has just had a baby. Co starring the underrated Patton Oswalt as the nerdy guy who had a crush on Mavis in high school, and Patrick Wilson as ‘the one’, this is an instantly likable and entertaining comedy-drama.
Penned by current Hollywood go to gal Diablo Cody, this is full of the kind of sharp dialogue and clever one-liners that were so memorable in Juno. Although the idea gave me a feeling of deja vu, and some of the stronger langauge felt a little unnecessary … Theron holds proceedings together with what should have been an Oscar-nominated turn (tutt tutt), making what is essentially a marriage wrecker, someone I ended up liking. She was the girl who was meant to have it all, make it big, become somebody. Yet approaching forty, it hasn’t quite turned out like that for Mavis – so who can blame her for trying to turn things around?
A quality evenings viewing.
Verdict: 4 /5
Viewed – 03 May 2011 Cinema
I wasn’t expecting this. Going completely blind into this one, and knowing nothing but the fact it was directed by Saw’s James Wan. So what would you expect? Clever twists? Wall to wall gore? Then I hope you are sitting comfortably. A young couple with two boys and a baby girl, move into one of those clichéd big-ass American houses that seems creepy from the off set. Of course it’s not long until things start going bump in the night and weird shit begins to go down. I know what you’re going to say, this is just like Amityville or Poltergeist, which was certainly my impression, but as the story progresses it takes a much more weirder and disturbing path, and to say it scared the hell out of me, well…
Starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, along with an appearance by the increasingly freaky Barbara Hershey (just see Black Swan, you’ll know what I mean), this is well executed and incredibly effective, with jump-scares that don’t take the viewer for an idiot, and a nail-biting tension, helped by the eerie lighting and mostly hand-held camera work, that kept this viewer permanently nervous. Ok, some moments of comedy seem out-of-place and towards the end the movie did sink into an extended Ghost Train ride, but by then you’re already glued, and in a crowded genre of torture porn gore flicks, sequels and remakes, this was a breath of fresh air, and shows that James Wan clearly didn’t fluke Saw and his follow-up, Death Sentence, making him one of the most assured horror-talents in the business.
Verdict: 4 /5
- Review: Insidious (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Sound Off: James Wan’s Newest Horror ‘Insidious’ – Your Thoughts? (firstshowing.net)
- ‘Insidious’ Review (screenrant.com)
Check this out! Hyped to be the final word, the full stop and the Citizen Kane of super hero movies. From this trailer, it may just live up to such expectations.