I originally didn't want to review these following films but since the number of my monthly posts have been steadily declining, I decided to do a striped-down version (as if my reviews weren't already short enough... I believe in letting people know as little as possible before seeing a film) and combine three movies into one post.
# Premium Rush 
Directed By: David Koepp
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung, Wole Parks
The Story: Manhattan bike messenger, Wilee (played by JosephGordon-Levitt) picks up an envelope but soon discovers that he is being pursued for the contains of that envelope by a guy named Bobby Monday (played by Michael Shannon).
The Verdict: Exhillarating and adrenalin-pumping feature that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows us why he is one of the most seeked-out actors working in Hollywood today. I'm pretty sure CGI was used to create the traffic action scenes, but it was barely noticeable, the way CGI should be. Director David Koepp does a nice job in visualising the way Wilee sees traffic and how he plays out various situations in his head. Predictable and illogical in some parts, but still acceptable. Oh, I hear there's an after-credits scene too. I missed it, but no, I don't think Nick Fury was involved!
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
# ParaNorman 
Directed By: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Starring (voice): Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Bernard Hill
The Story: Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smith-Mcphee) is a young boy who can see and interact with spirits of the dead. Because of this he is marginalised by society, and to make matters worse, by his family too. His ability however is needed to save the town from a long standing curse.
The Verdict: Beautifully animated with a very interesting story. I particularly like the underlying message about being afraid of people that are different. Ghosts and curses are used to convey that message and provides the emotional core of the story. The final third however takes a turn in direction that I thought was unnecessary. I feel the jokes were supposed to be funny, but somehow I wasn't really laughing. I do suspect however this was largely contributed by me being dragged to see this after work despite feeling extremely exhausted and sleepy.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
# The Pirates! Band Of Misfits 
Directed By: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Starring (voice): Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek
The Story: The Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) has always had one major dream: to win The Pirate Of The Year Award. He however is nowhere as good as rivals Black Bellamy (voiced by Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (voiced by Salma Hayek). But an encounter with Charles Darwin (voiced by David Tennant) gives him the opportunity to finally do so: by entering The Scientist Of The Year Awards.
The Verdict: Once again stunning use of stop-motion animation. This has to be one of the most funniest films I've seen so far this year, with Darwin's sidekick ape deserving a special mention. I love Brave , but The Pirates! Band Of Misfits must be the favourite to win Best Animation at awards season it seems.
Rating: 8 out of 10