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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of The Boxtrolls & The Equalizer

Dearest Blog, today it was off to the cinema for a pair of flicks I've been pretty would up about: The Boxtrolls and The Equalizer.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.

First on my agenda was The Boxtrolls.

Underground dwellers the Boxtrolls are threatened by the above-ground humans who fear them.
The Boxtrolls looks for all the world like a movie Tim Burton might have made when he used to be interesting. Pretty much everything in it is expressly designed to be ugly (you haven't seen teeth like this since Austin Powers!), but the artwork is stunning. Boxtrolls is a dark movie, taking place mostly underground or at night, with neutral colors setting the perfect tone. The entertaining voice cast includes Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Elle Fanning, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. The story is a little dark and pretty slow at times; I would be hard pressed to try selling this as a movie for kids, even though that's obviously what the filmmakers intended. The second act is somewhat brighter than the first, and even has a few laugh-out-loud moments, though, truth be told, I found them ill fitting and less enjoyable than the rest of the movie.

The Boxtrolls runs 97 minutes and is rated PG for "action, some peril, and mild rude humor."
It's not the game-changer I'd anticipated, but it's pretty darn great nonetheless. Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Boxtrolls gets seven.

Next on the docket was The Equalizer.

A seemingly ordinary man, living a quiet life, resurrects some old skills to help a young acquaintance who gets into trouble.

Okay, dear reader(s), you know me well enough to know that my review of The Equalizer can be summed up in two words: HELL YEAH! First there's Denzel Washington. Now, here's the thing about a movie that has Denzel Washington: it really doesn't need anything else. Chloe Grace Moretz, Bill Pullman, and my best gal Melissa Leo, among others, have a cup of coffee in the film, and Marton Csokas makes an able foil, but when push comes to shove it's Denzel's movie to carry and, as always, carry it he does. The man is on screen for nearly all of the prohibitive two-hours-plus runtime, and he is riveting, seamlessly dialing between "regular guy" mode and "stone cold killer" mode.

The oft-repeated vengeance tale is nothing new, but thanks to Washington's commanding lead and plenty of YESSSSSSS! moments, it doesn't seem that long...which is not to say it couldn't have been trimmed a bit without suffering for it, either. There are some...erm...interesting kills, and the language is pretty rough at times, but nothing out of the ordinary for your average R-rated flick. If I had one complaint, it's that at times the direction seems amateurish, too much exaggerated slow-mo, but it's a petty gripe about what's otherwise an exceedingly entertaining film.

The Equalizer clocks in at 131 minutes and is rated R for "strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references."

It may not be a perfect movie, but it sure is a perfect movie for me. Of a possible nine Weasleys, The

Equalizer gets eight.

Until next time...


Hell. Yeah.

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