Short Film Reviews: April 2005

I’ve spent the last couple of days catching up on some reading and nothing helps the concentration more than having some large CGI explosions in the background :) Over the last couple of days I’ve read three books (short reviews coming soon) and watched a small pile of films.

First up is The Chronicles of Riddick, a very dull Sci-Fi film that has a couple of neat Matrix- esque fight scenes, a rubbish plot that you really have to dig to find and seriously under uses both Thandie Newton and Alexa Davalos (Gwen from Angel). 5/10 for the fight scenes.

Next we have Cube, a much more interesting film. “7 complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless kafkaesque maze containing deadly traps.” Featuring a young Nicole de Boer (Deep Space Nine and The Dead Zone) and the almost always (I’ve seen Darklight) excellent David Hewlett this film has a lot of interesting ideas and a very strange (yet engaging plot). Not for everyone but 8/10 for fans of less obvious films.

Enemy at the Gates is billed as two snipers hunting each other among the ruins of the Battle of Stalingrad. While the idea itself isn’t great (don’t watch films about snipers with people that play Counterstrike :)) the execution is actually a lot better than I was expecting. The characters have a bit of depth and the sheer pointlessness comes across quite well. 7/10

Lastly in this batch we have Lashou shentan, or Hard-Boiled as it was called in Western markets. This film is pure John Woo. Very basic story, unimpressive plot and excellent action. If you want to turn your brain off (don’t even bother counting how many shots they get out of hand guns) and watch some heavy firepower action then this is a top choice. If not go get Cube. 8/10.