Sunday, September 4, 2011

Movie Reviews: Apollo 18 and the Colombian Debt

The Debt movie poster, image property of Miramax.
Colombiana movie poster, image property of TriStar.
Apollo 18 movie poster, image property of The Weinstein Company.

About a week ago Brian set up a new blog called Addiction to Film and is also once again writing for  So before when it was just me begging and pleading for us to get off the couch and go see a movie, now it’s Brian saying, “I need to review that new movie so let’s go.”  It’s kind of nice that both of us are motivated to see movies now.  Maybe I won’t get so far behind!


Helen Mirren gets top billing for her role as Rachel Singer, a retired Mossad secret agent who was once part of a dangerous mission to capture a Nazi war criminal.  However, Jessica Chastain is the actress who plays the younger version of Singer who we see for the majority of the film.  Although the movie begins and ends in the 90s, the majority is set in the 60s where we watch the secret mission go down.  The movie has quite a few surprises that I won’t give away, but just know that the acting is superb by both Mirren and Chastain (as well as from costars such as Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen and Tom Wilkinson), the action is intense and violent, the suspense builds, and some interesting questions about justice and truth are posed.

Colombiana AVERAGE

Zoe Saldana stars in this action flick as a Colombian woman named Cataleya who witnesses the brutal murder of her parents as a young girl and then grows up to become a killer set on one thing—revenge.  She spends the majority of the movie running around in her underwear (or something equally skanky) killing mobsters left and right.  The action sequences are all pretty entertaining, even if they are completely unbelievable and sometimes silly.  Just watch the opening sequence and you’ll know exactly what I mean.  Another flaw to this movie was the lack of any character development.  When all we know about our main character is that she seeks revenge, we don’t know enough.


Brian only gave this movie one star out of five on his blog.  He wasn’t the only one who hated it though.  An old woman in the theater bellowed out, “Well that was stupid” as soon as the credits rolled.  I, however, liked it quite a lot.  I also have the reputation for being “too nice” to movies by the more cynical critics, so perhaps my opinions are simply to be ignored.  I don’t think that’s the case though.  Apollo 18 is about three astronauts (Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen and Ryan Robbins) who go on a secret mission to the moon.  Slowly they begin to realize they are not alone, that their country knew it, and they are left to their own devices to try and survive.  The movie had me jump out of my seat a few times, look away in squeamish horror at one particular scene, and sit in an uneasy sort of anxiety for the majority of the film.  In short, I thought it was pretty scary.

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