Hellboy 2 (2008)
Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss and Jeffrey Tambor.
Written by Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola. Directed by Guillermo del Toro
The red ape is back, wisecracking his way through another adventure and saving mankind from the evil elements of the netherworld in the process. Big, brash, colourful and highly entertaining with visuals that put the original and Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth to shame. Yet, this Grand Guignol of fantasy is missing some of the mystery and mythology that made the original Hellboy so great, not to mention some seriously questionable plot developments.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano and Ciaran Hinds.
Written & Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Day Lewis is a phenomenal actor. The man could dress himself in a bunny suit and play Brear Rabbit and still win an Oscar. Adding another gritty epic to his outstanding resume, director Anderson weaves an incredible tale of nihilism, eliciting the kind of raw emotional impact that few filmmakers can achieve. A truly great American film that stands as a mountain against the majority of crap that descends from Hollywood.
George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski and Jonathon Pryce.
Written by Duncan Brantley & Rick Reilly. Directed by George Clooney
In his third film as director, Clooney travels back to the 1920’s and the birth of professional football in this fitfully funny homage to the screwball comedies of Hollywood’s yesteryear. A great performer, Clooney is still no Cary Grant and Zellweger is definitely no Kate Hepburn, making this film a strange hybrid of modern and retro sensibilities. And despite it’s wonderful period detail, it becomes increasingly tiresome at it’s almost two hour length.
(Wadrick Jones is a freelance writer for GritFX and will post weekly thirty second film reviews on this blog.)