Movie Reviews: Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters (#417), Trance (#418)

Yes it’s silly, but what did you expect?

Action? Yes. Dark? Sometimes. Comedy? Maybe. Violent? Absolutely! You don’t really know what this adaptation of Hansel and Gretel is until you realize it doesn’t matter. It’s simply a silly film you wouldn’t mind watching for some mindless entertainment. Sure it’s not mind-blowing, but when boredom comes your way I’m sure you won’t mind taking a peek at witch hunters killing witches in blood-spattering fashion.

Of course it wouldn’t hurt to have stars like Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton playing the titular siblings. Both of them have that charm that’s pleasing to watch without necessarily requiring them to bring out excellent performances. At least when things get overly ridiculous you have them to lean on to help you accept what’s happening. Still, the amount of entertainment I got from the fast-paced witch slaying makes up for its tonality issues. And that’s really just what you hope for in a film that’s supposed to be awful – find a way to compensate the bad elements and make it a worthwhile watch. So good job Witch Hunters, you’re not a waste of time after all.

GRADE: C+

Hypnotizing

While watching Trance I couldn’t help but notice the electrifying pulse of Rick Smith’s score, because despite the flaws of the film’s narrative it makes director Danny Boyle’s creation a little more ‘thrilling’ than it’s supposed to be. The small gaps found in the plot is made forgotten by the strong performances of the main cast featuring the likes of James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson, with their intensity peaking during a rather exciting revelation at the climax.

One of the issues I had was that the film’s main theme of hypnosis was not made believable enough, which could possibly ruin someone’s liking of the film. It also came off somewhat boring at the start, but by the time Trance ends you’ll wonder how time could pass by so quickly. If there’s a word that can perfectly describe the movie, it’s that it’s hypnotizing. And to understand it you’ll just have to see for yourself.

GRADE: B

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