FILM THIS WEEK: Deliver Us From Evil | Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For
Ratings: ★ ✩ ✮ ✰ ☆
Friday 22nd August
Deliver Us From Evil (15)
Synopsis: Inspired by the actual accounts of an NYPD Sergeant, in DELIVER US FROM EVIL, New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramírez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic POSSESSIONS that are terrorizing their city. Inspired by the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling real-life cases.
I have no idea why I agreed to see a scary movie. After spending all of my teens watching all of the horror movies I could, plus reading as many scary, spooky, weird, horror books, I quit when I realised that I was terrified that something would come out of the shadows at me on my journeys from late-night TV to my bedroom – a mere 10 metres! That said, here I was heading to Deliver Us From Evil, the fear crawling through my system before it had even begun. A film-makers dream!!
The opening scene reminded me of a made for TV drama, and that thought came back to me a couple of times during the film – e.g. when they repeatedly used the same shot to depict that they were back at the police station. Probably a bit unfairly, I attributed this to Jerry Bruckheimer’s involvement, when I saw his name appear in the end credits.
Back to the movie, and after the opening scene, we switch to two cops in their police car, about to check out an incident. Eric Bana is just moody enough to make you believe he’s an honest cop just trying to do his job, working with his irreverent partner, Butler (Joel McHale). Edgar Ramirez plays Father Mendoza, a bad-boy turned priest, who starts to hang around the police station. He too plays a moody character.
There is something about the way they come to understand each other which wouldn’t stand up to a thorough investigation. The same would apply for the typical horror movie features – things jumping out at the camera, or on to the characters – the easy scare tactics, which I admit, I fell for easily. However, although these features were barely concealed, I liked this film, there seemed to be a tacit agreement to try and make the scary parts a little more refined than I’ve found in other demonic possession or other horror movie in years, and the story just about held together.
The guy sitting next to me politely asked that I should nudge him should he fall asleep – it had been a long day for him. He had no chance with me sitting next to him, I jumped and gave little screams all the way through the film. If not the film, that alone kept him awake. If horror is your thing, go see it, baring in mind that I am a horror-wuss! I even felt the fear crawl through me about 30 minutes after the film. I gave myself a talking to!
Rated: : 3½ – ✮ ✰ ☆½
Director: Scott Derrickson. Starring: Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, Édgar Ramirez, Sean Harris
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For (3D) (18)
Opens: London West End – 22 Aug, UK wide – 29 Aug (Previews 25 Aug)
Synopsis: In a town where justice doesn’t prevail, the desperate want vengeance and ruthless murderers find themselves with vigilantes on their heels. Four tales interweave as their paths cross in Sin City’s famous Kadie’s Club Pecos.
The film opens with “Just Another Saturday Night,” when Marv (Mickey Rourke) finds himself in the centre of carnage as he tries to remember the preceding events.
“The Long, Bad Night” tells the tale of Johnny, a cocky young gambler (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) taking his chances with the biggest villain in Sin City, Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). The central story, Miller’s acclaimed “A Dame To Kill For,” features Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) in his final confrontation with the woman of his dreams and nightmares, Ava Lord (Eva Green).
“Nancy’s Last Dance” follows Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) in the wake of John Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) selfless suicide. Driven insane by grief and rage, she will stop at nothing to get revenge.
I have never seen Sin City (2005), so this came as a total surprise, and visually stunning. I loved the way the colour of red switched to white or black, the interchange of white for black and vice versa, the luminosity of the white, and the flashes of colour in the black and white images. It’s all so beautiful to watch. The darkness perfectly matching the smoky, slow voice of the narration.
The stories interlink, but there is no complexity, it’s all rather simple – with money comes violence, with love comes violence – it’s violence and sex, but none of it exciting. There’s nothing much here to challenge the actors, in fact, the most challenging thing might well be
Nancy Callahan’s (Jessica Alba) raunchy stage dance toward the end of the film. Still, It’s lovely to watch for the visuals alone – it is just beautiful.
Rated: 3½ – ✩ ✮ ✰½
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez. Starring: Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Juno Temple, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Dennis Haysbert, Stacy Keach, Jaime King, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven