The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Offers some thrills for kids, but not enough for adults.

This article is syndicated at Obsessed with Film. View it here.

More a summation of the various strengths and flaws of the Narnia series, this third entry is an intermittently entertaining installment that runs a good half hour shorter than the previous films, but it lacks an interesting premise and comes off as a generic if well-made work. It’ll entertain the kids but it lacks a potent emotional punch and the pacing is sluggish.




Impressive doesn't begin to describe it.

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Gareth Edwards’ debut feature Monsters has virtually secured him a Hollywood future in the very same manner that Neill Blomkamp’s superb sci-fi pic District 9 did last year. Though more rough around the edges, this is a picture created without the help of an acclaimed Hollywood director (Blomkamp had Peter Jackson holding his hand); scenes were often improvised on locations where permits were not obtained, and the visual effects were mostly generated by Edwards himself on his home computer.


The Warrior's Way

It just doesn't pop. At all.

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The Warrior’s Way is a film of such bewilderingly dull craft that it probably deserves, in some fashion, an accolade for being possibly the most boring film ever made about an assassin. Mostly devoid of the action its title and promotional material implies, this is a stone-dead failure that fails to engage even as a low-rent bit of camp. No wonder it spent almost three years collecting dust on a shelf somewhere…


Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

You've seen nothing like it.

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While our multiplexes fill each December with homogenised, cookie-cutter rubbish, it’s nice every so often to seek out that rare subversive effort, chiefly packed into the corridors of London’s more artistically-minded array of cinemas. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, suffers from poor pacing and a lack of audience awareness, but it is delightfully different and a welcome delivery amid the slew of lazy and pointless holiday fare.



It has a brain as big as it's protagonist's.

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One of the year’s big surprises, Megamind jostles the mind with its postmodern narrative about a supervillain’s existential ennui, and has found in Will Ferrell the perfect comic vestibule to make this a fun, visually inventive romp that puts the year’s other super baddie pic, Despicable Me, to shame.


London Boulevard

It gets serious points for its intensity.

A screenwriter any actor would jump to work with, William Monaghan shot to the scribing A-list following his Oscar win for his magnificent work on Scorsese’s Best Picture winning remake of Infernal Affairs; The Departed. London Boulevard, his latest foray into crime fare – this time set on our turf, ostensibly – is overflowing with talent, and though Monahgan’s directorial debut is a considerably lesser work than his previous, there is still plenty to applaud in this wincingly brutal albeit uneven film.

Mitchell (Colin Farrell) has just been released from prison after a 3-year stint for GBH. Quickly reconnecting with old mate Billy (Ben Chaplin), he nevertheless rejects his old ways in favour of a cleaner lifestyle, serving as a bodyguard and pap-buffer for the reclusive, constantly hounded actress, Charlotte (Keira Knightley). However, motivated by the murder of an old friend, Mitch finds himself dragged back into his old life, turning to the hot-tempered Rob Gant (Ray Winstone) to locate the killers. In this stead, though, he winds up putting just about everyone around him in harm’s way. (Continued…)



Don't eff with the wrong Mexican.

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Just about every fan of exploitative schlock has eagerly been awaiting Robert Rodriguez’s gore-soaked homage to Grindhouse cinema with his Danny Trejo-starring Machete. It’s oddly straight-laced and serious, but it isn’t without its awesome moments, even if it feels a bit restrained, especially considering the cast that Rodriguez managed to rope into it.