Shattered contains more than its fair share of implausibilities, sometimes straining credibility to the breaking point, but at least we’re spared the same old psycho lover routine. Neither Chris nor Sky are particularly interesting – even when bumpin’ uglies – because they feel like patchwork composites of characters in similar films, nor are the actors able to breathe much new life into them. Grillo, however, seems to be having a great time. The less said about Malkovich’s embarrassing role, the better.
There are a few lapses in plausibility – probably necessary to keep the story moving forward – so some suspension of disbelief is required at times, but no more than we needed for movies like Speed. While not as rousing or fast-paced as that film, Hard Hit is an enjoyable thriller in the same vein, despite the lazy title.
Superhost is frequently amusing, with bits of suspense here & there and a wonderfully gruesome death scene involving a knife to the face. Legendary scream queen Barbara Crampton is even on-hand for what amounts to a glorified cameo. But in addition to Gillum’s caffeinated performance, the film works best when having fun at the expense of the “Look at me!” culture. Those people have it coming.
Dune is a terrific film that looks great on Blu-ray and, more importantly, holds up with repeated viewings. Visually and narratively, there’s so much to take in that seeing it more than once is practically essential.
Antlers draws to a downbeat, ominous conclusion. But considering the overall air of despair prevalent throughout the story, any kind of hunky-dory resolution would probably ring false. More ambitious than the title might suggest, it’s a grim but mostly worthwhile journey, though one trip will likely be enough for most viewers.
It’s seldom boring and the performances are good, especially Nivola’s, as is the attention to period detail (punctuated by a killer soundtrack). Most importantly, even though there are definite allusions to The Sopranos – such as younger versions of a few supporting characters – one doesn’t necessarily need to be well-versed in the lore to enjoy it. The Many Saints of Newark may not be a new gangster classic, but as a violent, pulpy, stand-alone film, it works just fine.