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Reader Reviews: Torque, Mindhunters

By Garth Franklin Monday January 5th 2004 10:30PM

Some more takes are in on ths month's releases including a motorbike drama, a serial killer whodunnit and a celeb dating romantic comedy:

"Torque" by 'The Fey Fanboy'

"I've just seen Torque and you have to like a movie that takes the flying-through-the-engine shot and ends up having the camera come out of the back of a man's mullet. The movie was way better than expected. I was expecting to see the low budget, two wheeled version of Fast and Furious but that was Biker Boyz. FF and BB take themselves very seriously as if the audience really believes those movies are cool. It's scary to think of the Shakesperean intensity that Paul Walker gave everytime he said the word "Bro", or more accurately, "brraah." Torque (terrible title, what does it mean?) distances itself from those cheesefests by essentially giving up and admitting it's stupid. It's like a veil of pretention has been lifted. It's a straight up no brainer B-movie. The results work suprisingly well.

There's no need for a plot breakdown here because it's really not that complicated. Drugs, chicks, bikes. The performances are pretty good, especially from Martin Henderson who plays the leads hero. He kind of looks like a young Kurt Russel and he carries a certain rough charm. You could easily see him as Snake Plissken. The lead chick Monet Mazur is just straight up hot. Ice Cube basically raps out his lines, which got a little annoying. The one casting flaw in this movie is that they could have casted a stronger Trey. I was thinking this role was made for DMX. But Ice Cube does an ok job and he's atleast funny.

The action is really incredible and the best part. They are the best of all these types of movies. There's a nice blend of real stunts and effects stuff and a one upping of the psychedelic race effect, which for better or worse goes overkill in the final chase through downtown LA. Scenes that especially stood out were the opening race between two rice rocket cars and a motorcycle, a train scene photographed from every angle imaginable, and a chickfight where they race and throw down at the same time. There are some nice visual jokes like an opening sign that strobes with a message to the mullet cam. Overall, a suprisingly fun flick. It will do well because it's b-movie simplicity will be a nice break from all the epics of Christmas".

"Mindhunters" by 'Reetta'

"The movie opens with a very atmospheric prologue that introduces three of the film's characters, played by Katherine Morris, Christian Slater and Val Kilmer. After that we get acquainted to the rest of the "10 Little Indians" of this film, a group of future FBI profilers who set out to a final training/test trip to a deserted (but not tropical) island. It proves to be no picnic party, they live in a gloomy base and the next day the first among them gets killed. And so on and so on until only a few are left and they are all suspecting each other.

Performances are quite good in this group if you don't get too annoyed by Patricia Velasquez's strange accent (they might have dubbed it by now) and some other over-the-top moments but generally the actors are believable and even LL Cool J pulls it off very well and comes across as one of the most likeable heros in this saga. The deaths in the film are pretty violent and come as shocks most of the time even though the suspense is built with clues of smashed watches so one is on the look-out for something to happen.

There are a few scenes that are really scary, for instance the one in which Gabe (the LL Cool J character) is struggling to switch the electricity off while water is rising under his feet. Also the end scene where one of the team and the killer are dueling underwater is very cool and at some point it's very hard to foresee what will happen. The editing is energetic and cinematography by Robert Ganz is not bad at all and the score is dark and very beautiful and haunting - it's by a Finnish composer, Tuomas Kantelinen, who finally seems to be making his international break. I think that Renny Harlin did quite a good job this time because even though it's pure entertainment this isn't the usual brainless pulp from the B-thriller pipe."

"Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" by 'Ideal Discount'

"Predictable, yes......but oddly enough kind of original, IMO. I found the film to not just be a romantic comedy, but also a ribbing at Hollywood itself. It was a fairytale but one that was grounded in reality. The situation seemed very plausible IMO and I admired that. Topher Grace proves that he could be the next Tom Hanks.....he's got the whole goofy-good guy quality to him and he lights up the screen. Kate Bosworth is GORGEOUS and did a good job as the absolute goodest girl in West Virginia.

Josh Duhamel reallly worked as Tad Hamilton....he was great and I really liked the fact that we never, until the plane ride towards the end, know for sure what his intentions were. In his small role, Gary Cole is hilarious as Rosealee's over-enthusiastic Dad. Lastly, Ginnifer Goodwin (Who was also great in Mona Lisa Smile) is hilarious as Rosealee's zany best girlfriend Cathy. She had me laughing the hardest. Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! is a NICE movie. Nothing more, nothing less. It has the best of intentions and goes down nice and easy, and is a good time at the movies. at the movies".

Script Review: "Be Cool " "Will Chili get Sin, Raji, the Russians, and Nick off his back? Will he get Linda Moon over to the promised land of music star? Well you're going to have to find out when the movie comes out. Overall, a very entertaining read that would hopefully make a VERY entertaining movie. Cool writing..." (full review)

Script Review: "Ultraviolet" "To say this effort is 'uninspired' and 'hackneyed' would be giving this script too much credit; this is a lesser attempt at this past summer's "Underworld" (minus the love story and werewolves) if such a thing is even possible...Altogether, it mashes elements from "Resident Evil," "The Matrix" and "Kill Bill" into an unsightly pallet. It's a race against time, and a wholly uninteresting one at that...." (full review)

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