Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
It pleases me to report that RISE works brilliantly in its original 122-minute version. The use of non-linear storytelling is handled masterfully by writer and director Sebastian Gutierrez, and along with the beautifully lush cinematography of John Toll, these devices go a long way in giving the film an edge that most other horror films can only dream of. But then, RISE is so much more than a "mere" horror film, as it is just as heavily rooted in gritty film noir and hard boiled revenge thrillers like KISS ME DEADLY and POINT BLANK, and Gutierrez effortlessly mixes these different genres into one helluva potent cocktail. He is also greatly helped in making this sell by Lucy Liu, as her acting in this film is completely off the chart. This is without a doubt the finest and most daring performance she has ever given, and the raw emotion she dishes out in certain scenes is nothing short of astounding. So... in the cinematic tradition of vampire films like THE HUNGER, NEAR DARK, and THE ADDICTION, Sebastian Gutierrez's RISE is most definitely a worthy addition to the list.
Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman's MirrorMask is the quintessential Alice in Wonderland story. The world that these two immensely gifted artists and storytellers have created is the very definition of mind-blowing, offering up one of the most astonishing and original fantasy realms since Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's The City of Lost Children over a decade ago. The amazing dreamscapes of Helena is truly Dave McKean's art brought to life, and is just through and through a perfect fit for Neil Gaiman's highly imaginative and at times quirky style of writing. The character inhabiting this strange tale, both the flesh and blood ones as well as those digitally rendered, are every bit as memorable as their surroundings. Stephanie Leonidas is quite simply a revelation as Helena, giving her a childlike innocence that, together with the emotionally rough seas of a teenager, makes for a very fascinating and real-felt performance. And you wouldn't for a second believe her to be anything but a troubled teen, despite her actual twenty-two years of age. Gina McKee delivers an equally impressive performance as Helena's mother, Joanne, and as the Dark Queen she has such a stunning presence about her that not even the most wicked of witches or evil of step-mothers could overshadow her for even the fraction of a second. Dave McKean's feature film directorial debut is a masterpiece, short and simple, and the feast that he serves up with MirrorMask is one that I most definitely will never tire of...