Reviews in Short: August 2016

The Wave Wave


Norway delivers an exciting disaster movie that more than holds its own against similar fare from Hollywood. A geologist learns that a restless mountain is about to crumble, dumping enough rock into an adjoining fjord to create a 250-foot wall of water that will turn his scenic village into Davy Jones’ Locker – and the populace has just minutes to reach higher ground. It’s a familiar disaster-flick scenario, but director Roar Uthaug beats Hollywood at its own game by making the action and characters more realistic. Also, the special effects are impressive. Release: 2015  Grade: B+




Night Will Fall Night


If you get off on “torture porn” like The Green Inferno by filmmaker Eli Roth, this disturbing movie might cure you of the affliction, because Night’s raw footage of dead, dying, or decomposing concentration-camp victims is a reminder that gore and brutality aren’t just the province of Hollywood special-effects wizards. Ostensibly, this film is about an unreleased documentary briefly overseen by Alfred Hitchcock in 1945, but what lingers is the horror of Nazi Germany. Release: 2014  Grade: A




Crimson Peak Crimson


Mia Wasikowska plays an early-20th-century damsel who marries and then moves to an eerie estate with her British husband (Tom Hiddleston) and his sinister sister, played with venomous relish by Jessica Chastain. This is an old-fashioned ghost story with modern-day special effects and, best of all, the visual aesthetics of director Guillermo del Toro. The gloomy estate hides secrets, the brother and sister harbor secrets … and none of it is particularly scary. As a romance Crimson also falls short, but Del Toro’s gorgeous sets and old-style direction make for a memorable two hours. Release: 2015  Grade: B+




Wildlike Wildlike


Here’s a small gem with a larger-than-life setting. Ella Purnell plays a 14-year-old runaway who flees an abusive uncle and finds a reluctant ally in a backpacking, grumpy widower played by Bruce Greenwood. The movie begins as a total downer but transitions into a touching, odd-couple dramedy thanks to memorable turns from Greenwood, young Purnell, and the beauties of Alaska. Release: 2014  Grade: A-


© 2010-2024 (text only)


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *