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Centurion (2010) – Neil Marshall made a few fans with his ‘chicks in a cave with monsters’ flick, The Descent.  He lost a lot of those fans after the abysmally received Doomsday.  Neil bounces back a little bit with Centurion, a blood and guts actionier about Rome’s lost 9th Legion.  A very credible cast (Michael Fassenbinder, Dominec West) hold up the bare bones screenplay to a slightly higher level than it probably deserves.  Gory battles between Roman soldiers and their nemesis, the Picts, are the name of the game here.  Marshall deserves some credit for crafting an adventure film where the lines between pro and antagonist are frightfully thin.  The ‘good guys’ are invading mauraders while the ‘bad guys’ are defending their homeland and completely in the right to want revenge.  This unorthodox dynamic makes the otherwise thin experience tick just enough.
Cronos (1993) – Guillermo Del Toro’s (Pan’s Labrynith) first feature is an underwhelming one.  The imagination that came to define his strongest works is around a few corners, but this odd tale about an old man turned into a vampire like bloodsucker via renaissance age gadget doesn’t engage very strongly.  The film feels underimagined in too many places and Del Toro can’t instill much sense of consequence into anything.  Ron Perlman is kind of funny in a side role and hints at the relationship between actor and director that would eventually give us Hellboy.  Fans of Del Toro will want to check it out but the rest of the world won’t find much to hold onto here.

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