June 2012

Prometheus (2012)
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron
Running Time: 2 hrs. 4 min
Rated: R

Review by Brother Reed

Thrilling. Beautiful. Ambitious. Messy. Frustrating. Captivating. Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, an original science fiction epic set in the Alien universe and tangentially related to that seminal film, is all of these things and more. Scott himself helped shape the genre 30+ years ago when he helmed Blade Runner and Alien – both now considered sci-fi classics – and his return to form is exciting to behold. It’s a spectacle of both practical and computer effects as well as a gallimaufry of the unsearchable ideas with which sci-fi must eternally contend. And it’s the best film of its kind in a decade. READ FULL REVIEW

Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
Director: Bradley Parker
Starring: Jonathan Sadowski, Jesse McCartney, Devin Kelley
Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min
Rated: R

Review by Brother Reed

One of the fundamental staples of horror is the idea of being trapped with something you can’t escape. When it comes to attracting an audience, where you’re trapped can be half the battle. If you have an evocative location and a scary idea to go with it, your horror movie is 50% done. Some of the greatest thrillers and chillers of all time have prominently featured creatively imagined claustrophobia. I think of the cramped corridors of the Nostromo in Alien, the endless gaping halls of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, the caverns of The Descent, or the arctic outpost in The Thing. By this account, The Chernobyl Diaries is off to a fine start. The premise – that an extreme tourism group finds themselves at the abandoned site of the famous nuclear disaster at Chernobyl – is fantastic. A town obliterated by radiation so that its inhabitants had to drop everything and run? Ashy flats filled with impromptu memorials to the victims of the nuclear accident? Civilization overrun by nature? It’s gold. Why no one has attempted this concept before I’m not sure, but when I saw the trailer it immediately resonated with me as something that I’d like to see played out. It gave off sort of a Silent-Hill-but-in-real-life vibe. You could have sold me a ticket right then. READ FULL REVIEW