Sunday, August 09, 2009

Brief movie reviews on Lost Souls, Chocolate, Shuttle, and Walled In

Shuttle (2008) Ebert wrote, "There is no release for the audience, no 'entertainment,' not even much action excitement." I have to agree. Shuttle is just kind of a straight to video drag. Not terrible or particularly...much of anything. I was pleased that it didn't wrap up the way I thought it was going to and that it didn't turn into your standard serial killer/slasher fare. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Shuttle but for a low-budget release it wasn't shabby.

Lost Souls (2000) Rule of thumb, if Winona Ryder has long hair in a movie then it's not very good (and yes I include Edward Scissorhands). In this clunker it's Winona Ryder versus the Anti-Christ. I think I kept watching it simply because I wanted to see if anything interesting was going to happen. Lost Souls was the big budget version of a crappy Made-for-TV Dean Koontz movie.

Walled In (2008) Went in a different direction than I thought it was going to and that was not a bad thing. Walled In is not necessarily a horror movie but it is pretty creepy but mostly because you don't know what the hell is going on most of the time. I would rate this a good Saturday afternoon time killer when there's nothing on TV and you don't feel like really thinking about what you're putting in your eyes.

Chocolate (2008) Director Prachya Pinkaew of Ong Bak and The Protector made this awesome martial arts actioner. Personally I think it's the best out the three. The protagonist, played by JeeJa Yanin - a twenty five year old "newcomer" - is an autistic Thai-Japanese gangster love-child. Her savant skill is martial arts, she absorbs and mimics what she sees. This makes for some entertaining moments when she mimics Bruce Lee or Tony Jaa. JeeJa's martial arts skills are bad-ass. There are some moments she out Tony Jaas Tony Jaa - particularly in the insane flying elbow to the crown of the skull or leaping double knees to the sternum attacks. There are a few moments where she doesn't have a clean recovery or flawless landing but I wondered if that was part of the character and not JeeJa's lacking in martial arts. Some of her choreography is ferocious though, the strikes she lands actually look like they hurt.

Chocolate also is a better story/movie than Ong Bak or The Protector. Definitely worth watching.

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