Macross Delta, Anime tv series (2015)

Way back in the year 1985 I encountered my first Anime show. Ofcourse at the time I was too young to even know it was called Anime, but I do remember the impact it had on my nine year old mind. The series showed a scene of the Earth being surrounded by an armada of 4 million spaceships, that all started firing at once. When the viewpoint shifts from space to the surface of the planet a soldier talking to a young child were just obliterated by the weapons firing. I was in shock, having never seen anything like that before. The name of that show was Robotech. Though technically not an Anime series, it was the American version of the Japanese series called Macross (and two other unrelated shows). To date Macross has spawned numerous sequels, and the latest version is called Macross Delta.

Macross Delta takes place eight years after the events of the previous Macross series Macross Frontier (I highly recommend that last one by the way). A big part of the galaxy is being engulfed by a mysterious disease called Var Syndrome, which turns people completely berserk. The only thing that seems to calm those infected down is a group of talented idols, Walküre, who use songs to help combat the infection. Walküre is supported by Delta Squadron, a group of extremely skilled Valkyrie fighter pilots. When a young girl called Freya wants to audition for Walküre she soon encounters the young man Hayate, who goes through jobs at an alarming rate. Hayate decides to help Freya get to her audition but soon the both of them get caught up in a conflict that threatens to destroy the entire galaxy….

Macross has always been a favorite of mine, and I have pretty much seen almost every series of it to date. This one however took me pretty long to get into. The first episode of Macross Delta did not really help with that, as we are introduced to about 25 different characters in the space of 10 minutes. I kid you not. As such the show is very hard to follow in the beginning. If this would have been anything else but Macross, I might have stopped watching altogether. I am glad I stuck with it though, because the series definitely got better after a few episodes. As is common in Macross we have another love triangle, this time between Hayate, Freya and my favorite character of the show the vulnerable but strongwilled Valkyrie pilot Mirage. The cast of Delta is huge, and I dare say it is a bit too big. Where Macross Delta shines is in it’s depiction of the Mecha battles. If you love transformable robot fighter planes beating the crap out of each other, you are in for a treat here. The Mecha themselves look absolutely stunning, especially the fighter plane of Mirage (see picture below).

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Another thing that is always present in Macross is the music, and this time we have the all female idol group Walküre, who takes care of that. They are a bit like the Spice Girls on acid to make a comparison. The songs are nice to listen to, and offer something for everyone. Macross Delta was an okay show, but it definitely is not as good as the previous series Macross Frontier. Where Frontier had very interesting and loveable characters, this show’s cast is just so big that some of them just get too little screentime to let you care about them. The story was being dragged out too long, and as such some of the episodes were way too slow. Still, if you are a Macross fan, or love shows featuring cool Mecha battles, there is still enough to enjoy about it. Give it some time to heat things up though….

I give Macross Delta a 7 out of 10 score.

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Special Features Presents: “To rewatch, or not to rewatch….?”

As a movie buff probably everyone has movies that have made a lasting impression. You might even have seen the movie a second time, just because you liked it so much. But how many of you have actually watched a movie so often, that you lost track of the number of times that you have seen it? So many times in fact, that you almost know every line of the movie by heart?  I am one of those persons that can rewatch a movie many, many times. I have a couple of them, that I have really rewatched so often that I actually can’t tell how many times that I have seen them anymore. I thought it would make a fun feature to share my personal list, so here they come in no particular order.

1. Duel ( 1971)

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The oldest movie in my list, this was a tv movie directed by the (at the time) pretty much unknown director, Steven Spielberg. The premise is pretty simple. An ordinary salesman, David Mann, one day passes an old dieseltruck with his car on the highway. The driver of the truck turns out to be a dangerous psychopath, and what begins as something relatively innocent, soon turns into a high stakes game of cat and mouse between David and the truckdriver. Even though this movie is now 45 years old, it still hasn’t lost it’s power and is one of the best thrillers I have ever seen in my life.

2. Aliens (1986)

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Who says that a sequel to a movie can’t be good, probably has never seen Aliens. This movie is a must see for every sci-fi horrorfan out there. The sequel to the classic Ridley Scott movie Alien, truly raises the stakes when Lt. Ripley is forced back into action against the Aliens. When all contact has been lost with a colony on planet LV 426, Ripley travels together with a squad of marines to find out what has happened. Arriving on the planet the horror is even worse than they imagined. This movie directed by James Cameron, is my alltime favorite sci-fi horrormovie. A true classic, with special effects that are still impressive today, it has a tension and power that few movies have achieved. And ofcourse actress Sigourney Weaver is awesome in the role of Ellen Ripley

3. Heat (1995)

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What can I say about this one? Starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, it is the ultimate cops and robbers movie. Both actors are amazing in their roles, but also the supporting cast most notably Val Kilmer and a very young Natalie Portman raise this movie to an incredible level. Pacino plays lt.Vincent Hanna, who is intent on catching master criminal Neil McCauley played by De Niro. What makes the movie so great is the characters. Every character, no matter how small their role, has his or her own storyline. Even though this movie lasts nearly 3 hours, you get sucked into it, never getting bored for one bit. In fact when the credits roll, you wish the movie could go on for a couple of more hours. Great stuff and a movie I pretty much rewatch again every two years or so.

4. The Terminator (1984)

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This list would not be complete without adding the iconic sci-fi action movie, The Terminator. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role that made him famous, this movie spawned numerous sequels. Yes, Terminator 2 has better special effects and I have watched that one to death as well, but I still think the original movie has the best story and has more tension. Sarah Connor has been marked for death by an unstoppable killing machine from the future. Her only hope lies with a lone resistance fighter from the future, Kyle Reese, who has travelled back in time to save her. With fantastic action sequences, great oneliners (I’ll be back….duh), this movie has it all.

5. The Star Wars saga (1976-present)

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As you may have noticed I did not mention Star Wars as a movie, but rather the entire saga. Yes I am also a Star Wars fan, there is no denying that, and as such I have watched every movie more times than I can count (except for maybe the last one, but that is only because it came out last year). If I really have to tell what these movies are about, than I suggest that maybe it is time to not call yourself a movie lover anymore. Just kidding ofcourse. Seriously though, these movies truly are the best science fiction has to offer, and with Disney taking over, we now have a movie to look forward to every year. My only hope is that this doesn’t mean that it will impact the quality of them.

Honorable Mentions

When I started this list I almost made a top ten, but the post would become a little bit too long if I did that. I did want to mention two more movies though:

1. Rambo (First Blood) (1982)

Sylvester Stalone in "Rambo: First Blood"

Ah, the classic action movies of the 80’s…who doesn’t love them? This movie starring a young Sylvester Stallone in the role of Vietnam veteran John Rambo, is for me the best action movie of the roaring 80’s. Spawning three sequels, the original movie will always remain the best one by far.

2.  Runaway Train (1985)

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This movie is more than the simple premise of a train going out of control and running amock. It is a story about what drives a man, and how much he is willing to do in order to achieve freedom. Earning both Eric Roberts and Jon Voight an Oscar nomination, it is a fantastic movie with awesome performances.

Final Thoughts

And that is my list. (Which honestly is far from complete, but I had to draw a line somewhere). As I was writing this post a couple of other movies already made their presence known to me in my mind, so there are many other ones that do not appear on this list. So….how many of you actually rewatch movies? Is it something you do yourself? Or do you think people are crazy to just rewatch a movie one time. Do you have any movies that you have rewatched and have actually lost track of the total number of times that you saw them? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading…and until the next post!

 

Hard Target 2, American movie (2016)

Well, after 23 years we get a sequel to the classic Van Damme movie Hard Target. Let’s be honest, was there anyone really expecting a sequel to this one? Or maybe an even better question is: was anyone really waiting for a sequel? I personally was pretty surprised when I saw that part two was going to be released this year. I recently rewatched the original (you can read my review right Here), and still find it an incredibly decent action movie that even today is still a very enjoyable watch. Part two is without Van Damme, and this time the leadrole is played by Scott Adkins.

In Hard Target 2, Adkins plays the role of a retired and pretty much dishonored mixed martial artist called Wes “The Jailor” Baylor. Wes has a very dark past that continues to haunt him, and pretty much has made his life a living hell. When he gets an offer to fight for a million dollars by a man called Aldrich, he can’t refuse. Arriving in Myanmar, where the fight is supposed to take place, he soon finds out that there is no fight. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. Aldrich is in the business of human manhunting, and Wes is the next target of him and a bunch of ruthless killers. Baylor takes off into the jungle, followed by Aldrich and his men, where the fight of his life is about to take place. But will Wes find his will to live and become a real hard target?

Well let’s get this out of the way first, this movie is not as good as the original. But I honestly didn’t expect it to be. Is it entertaining though? Well, I would say that is a definite yes. I always compare Scott Adkins movies a bit to Jason Statham movies, you pretty much know what to expect from them. And that is a lot of action, cool fight scenes and some nice martial arts moves. And as such it definitely does not disappoint. Adkins truly knows his stuff, and he pulls of some pretty good stunts. The bad guy of this movie, Aldrich, is played by Robert Knepper and he is always a delight to watch. Knepper clearly enjoys playing the role of villain, and it is something he is very good at. The rest of the cast is pretty much forgetable, except for Rhona Mitra, who plays an interesting female hunter. But movies such as these you don’t watch for the acting or the story anyway, but just to enjoy some cool action. The movie takes place in Thailand and was also filmed there, which results in some pretty jawdropping and beautiful locations. Will this get the movie of the year award? Ofcourse not, but if you like action movies, you will definitely get a kick out of this one, if you don’t expect to much from it.

I give Hard Target 2 a 7 out of 10 score.

Samurai Spirit, a Boardgame for 1-7 players,by Fun Forge (2014)

I absolutely love Asian culture. I have the highest respect for it, and I always love finding out more about it, both on modern day culture as well as ancient history. When delving in the Asian past, one of the stories that has always fascinated me was that of the samurai. That ancient warrior caste, with all of it’s customs and legends has been the source of many great movies as well. One of the most famous samurai movies ever made is “Shichinin no Samurai” (Seven Samurai), by legendary director Akira Kurosawa. And that brings me to the game I am about to review, Samurai Spirit, which was inspired by this classic film.

Components

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Even though this isn’t a huge gamebox, there are still plenty of components contained within. First up is the gameboard which features the town that the samurai have been entrusted with to protect. The board is small, which is honestly somewhat refreshing, as a lot of games these days take up so much space, that you almost need a second house to lay it all out. Also included are 7 cardboards that feature the 7 samurai whose roles the players will assume. These playing boards are double sided, one side featuring the human form, the other depicting the animal form that the samurai can change into. The raiders that will try to overcome the samurai and destroy the village are shown on 66 playing cards. Rounding out the set are a couple of wooden meeples, some tokens for houses,barricades,villagers and wounds, and ofcourse the rulebook. The components are of a sturdy quality, and the rulebook is written clearly, with a lot of examples to explain the rules.

Game Overview

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The objective of Samurai Spirit is to protect a small village from being destroyed by a bunch of bloodthirsty raiders. The players will have to hold out for three rounds of increasing difficulty in order to win the game. The players assume the role(s)of samurai who have special powers to fight and defend against these raiders. Each round is divided into a number of turns in which a player can choose one of three different actions. A player can either choose to fight, use a special power as support or pass. The fight action is the thing you will do the most. As mentioned above the raiders are depicted on a bunch of cards, showing a picture of the attacking raider, and a number ranging from 1-6. The higher the number, the more dangerous the opponent. The samurai fighting the raider either can say he is defending or confronting this enemy.

And this is where the tactical aspect of the game comes into play. Each samurai has a track called the combatline. When confronting enemies you must try not to go over the highest number of your combatline, also known as your Kiai value. When confronting enemies the cards are played to the right side of the track. If the the total value of the raiders goes over your limit, you have to pass and are effectively out of the round. But if you manage to get a value that is equal to your Kiai value, you may activate the special power of your samurai. This power is different for each samurai and range from removing raider cards, to restoring barricades to protect the village.

When a samurai chooses to defend, he can place a raider to the left side of his character board. He can only do this for a maximum of three times, and only to raiders that have special symbols on them. Samurai can also receive wounds, and after getting wounded a second time, it changes the samurai to it’s animal form. This makes him more powerful, but the game also get’s more dangerous for that particular samurai. A round ends after the players have overcome all the raiders. After checking if the village has not been destroyed a new round will be started, but more powerful raiders are added to the deck. If all samurai have passed, one of them is killed, or the village has been destroyed, the game ends, resulting in a loss. But if the players manage to hold out for three rounds, the players are victorious, and ofcourse that is what everybody wants, right?

Difficulty

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This game doesn’t take long to learn. As mentioned earlier, the rulebook has been well written and contains enough examples to explain the more difficult rules. However, mastering the game is a whole different matter. I love how this game has a great balance between luck and tactics. Knowing when to attack, and when to defend is definitely key to winning the game. What’s also nice is that the game contains four levels of difficulty. On the higher levels, players get penalties for losing villagers and buildings, making the game a lot tougher. In this way you have a nice learning curve, and when you feel comfortable you can increase the difficulty in order to make the game more of a challenge.

The Verdict

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This game was a pleasant surprise. I love games that force you to think about your next move, and not only depend on luck. You really have to plan your strategy, and sometimes take some risks in order to win the game. This makes for some tense gameplay situations, where you might have only one more chance to save the village. Will you risk it all, or play it safe? The game has enough components for replay value and with four modes of difficulty will keep you going for a while. Still, this is one of those games that you won’t play for an entire evening, but is fun enough to play two or three times and than call it quits. A typical gameplay session takes about half an hour for up to three players. When adding more samurai, this time will increase.

If you like heroic games, where you must hold out against impossible odds, this one is definitely worth checking out. The Asian theme for me was an absolute plus as well, and that for me made it worth it even more. All in all this is just a fun little game, which you will definitely bring to the table more than once.

I give Samurai Spirit a 8 out 10 score.

Hard Target, American movie (1993)

After all the horror of the past few weeks (don’t worry I am talking about horrormovies, not actual horror) I decided it was time to give my nightmare plagued mind a rest, and watch a good old fashioned action movie. Last month the movie Hard Target 2 was released, a movie I have yet to watch, but is a follow up to the Jean Claude van Damme action classic of 1993. Hard Target 2 sadly is without mr. Van Damme, but does have a worthy substitute in the form of Scott Adkins. A review of that one will follow sometime this week, if I have the time to watch it. But let’s stick to this one first.

In Hard Target Natascha Binder, played by Yancy Butler, has travelled to New Orleans in search of her father. She is shocked to find out that he has been living on the streets the past few years and is now even more determined to find him. She gets help in the form of Chance Boudreaux (Van Damme) a drifter who knows the streets of New Orleans. It is not long before they discover that Natascha’s father is dead. At first it is believed to have been an accident, but when Chance digs deeper, it appears that he has been murdered. When they get close to the trail of the persons who are responsible, they find out that they are a bunch of ruthless killers who hunt people for sport. And then the hunt is on as both Natascha and Chance become their next prey. But those men will soon find out why Boudreaux is such a hard target…..

When I saw that this movie already dates back to 1993, I almost could not believe it. I must really be getting old now. Anyway, this movie is considered by many to be the best movie that Van Damme has ever made. It is a true classic and was aptly directed by legendary Hong Kong director John Woo. The movie contains some truly amazing action sequences, most notably a very cool high speed motorcycle chase. Lance Hendriksen, who plays the stonecold hunter Fouchon, is on a roll here. His cold determination, and at times completely over the top outbursts, are a joy to watch. A young Arnold Vosloo also plays very well as Fouchon’s second in command. If you are an action lover there is probably very little that you won’t like in this film. Sure the ending, with Boudreaux fighting alone against twenty men, is a little bit far fetched. But that is usually the case in movies such as these. I was pretty amazed that after 23 years this movie has now gotten a sequel. Ofcourse I already know that Hard Target 2, will not even come close to this one. But still, I at least hope the movie will be entertaining enough. Even it turns out to be nothing but a waste of time, we will always have the original to enjoy.

I give Hard Target a 8 out of 10 score.

Joker Game, Anime tv series (2016)

I have never been a big fan of spy movies. The James Bond movies for instance, even though I have seen them all, have never really appealed to me. What is appealing to me however, is atmosphere. There have also been shows or movies about espionage set just before or during the second World War. For some reason I have always loved that time period, simply because it breathes atmosphere. The cars, the costumes, the setting I simply love it. Browsing through the enormous list of Anime series that  Crunchyroll has to offer, I always try to pick something that is different from what I have seen before. That is how I came across the Anime Joker Game.

Joker Game is set in 1937, where the threat of impending war is beginning to make itself felt all across the world. To gather intelligence from different countries across the globe, the Imperial Japanese Lieutenant Yuuki forms a special unit called the D-Agency. In this spy agency, agents undergo a very rigorous training, before they are accepted as a member. The D-Agency mandate, “Don’t kill, Don’t die” is viewed throughout the rest of the army as the mandate of a bunch of cowards. Nothing is further from the truth however, as one of the newest recruits sent to observe the inner workings of the D-Agency, is about to find out. With threats both foreign and domestic appearing from everywhere, the D-Agency members are sent out to stop these threats on a variety of different missions.

Well, one thing is for sure, this Anime was definitely different from the shows I usually watch. The best way to describe it I guess is a bit of a slowburning film noir. Let’s talk about the good things first. The animation style is absolutely gorgeous. The late 30s are depicted in a very convincing way, and there are some truly breathtaking wideshot views of the cities that are visited throughout the show. Another thing worthy of note is the soundtrack made by Kenji Kawai, my absolute alltime favorite composer. Most people will know his work from the original Ghost in the Shell movie, and in Joker Game he again doesn’t disappoint. This series started off very good. I found the story to be very intriguing and it almost felt a bit like a puzzle you had to solve at times. I especially liked episode 6, where one of the D-Agency members has to find a killer aboard a train, who has murdered a contact who had some classified information on him.

Unfortunately this high level of quality did not continue in the later episodes. Though still entertaining, the stories were definitely not as good as the earlier ones. Another missed opportunity was the fact that there wasn’t a real overall storyline carrying on from episode to episode. I always like it when a show slowly builds up to something, but nearly every episode was a selfcontained story. Running for 12 episodes the series ends without having really accomplished something, and that was also a bit of a letdown. Still I do think this series deserves watching, especially for the pretty unique setting, and the earlier storylines.

I give Joker Game a 7 out of 10 score.

You’re Next, American/Uk movie (2011)

And……..we’re done. I have seen so many horrormovies leading up to the Halloween weekend, that this is going to be my last horrormovie review for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love them, but it is time for me to also catch up on some other movies I still have lying in wait for me. That’s enough of me whining, let’s get on with the review. Another pretty popular subgenre within horror is the home invasion movie. You probably know the usual premise for these movies :a couple of crazy killers entering the home of some poor helpless family and quickly dispatching one after the other into the afterlife. You’re Next falls into this category, although with a definite twist.

The Davidsons are preparing themselves for a family weekend. Three brothers and a sister, along with their spouses have travelled to the Davidson family home in order to spent the time with their parents. Some of the brothers don’t exactly get along though. Right in the middle of a heated argument during dinner between two of them, the house suddenly gets attacked by brutal psychopaths. Everybody runs away screaming in terror, with one exception. As the killers begin to enter the house, they are about to find out that this time they might have bitten of a bit more than they could chew on. For one of the so called helpless victims might turn out to be the most horrible murderer of them all…..

This movie is brutal. Absolutely and totally brutal. If you like movies with a strong female lead, who can turn the tables on men and turn them into mincemeat, you should definitely check this one out. Australian actress Sharni Vinson, who plays this lead role, shows us a few new tricks you can do with your kitchen appliances in this movie. And I definitely don’t mean cooking. She does portray her character in a convincing way, and for her alone the movie is worth the watch. This is definitely not your usual home invasion movie, and it was refreshing to at least see something new in this genre. However, some of the gore and violence in this film, might be a little too much for most people. Also a few of the other characters in this movie are actually pretty stupid. For instance: why run outside towards the people that are trying to kill you, instead of staying indoors where you can at least make a stand?  Well, let’s be honest, that isn’t the first time something like that happens in a horrorfilm. Anyway, this movie is definitely worth a watch, if you can stomach brutal and gory films. If the sight of blood makes you faint, than you had better avoid this one.

I give You’re Next a 7 out of 10 score.

Sinister 2, American/Uk movie (2015)

Before I started writing this post, I have been wracking my brain if there has ever been a sequel to a horrormovie that I liked better than the original. My mind drew a blank. Not counting Aliens (which technically is horror, but I always categorise as sci-fi), no horrorsequel came to mind that has surpassed the original movie. There certainly are a lot of horror franchises out there, and nowadays when a new and succesful horrormovie has been released, the inevitable sequel always looms around the corner. In 2013 movie audiences were introduced to Sinister, a quite erm sinister movie about the supernatural entity Bughuul. I liked it, but when the entity itself was introduced and looked like someone who had failed a job interview for Slipknot, that kind of ruined it a bit for me. Stil, the movie had some truly frightening sequences, especially the 8mm movies that were found by lead actor Ethan Hawke. Last year the sequel was released with the very original title: Sinister 2.

In this second part we are introduced to the young mother Courtney Collins, who is on the run from her wifebeating husband Clint, with her two boys. Taking up residence in a remote farmhouse it is not long before one of her boys, Dylan, is beginning to experience some truly frightening nightmares. Dylan is soon visited by the spirits of dead children who urge him to watch some films that have been left for him in the basement of the house. The movies show horrifying scenes of families being killed in awful ways. And so the cycle of death is again being set in motion by Bughuul, and it will take all of Courtney’s strength to save herself and her two children. Luckily she is going to get help in the form of a former deputy who has dealt with Bughuul before. However it may already be too late for even him to stop the evil spirit from wreaking havoc, and claiming yet another soul…….

For those of you that may have already scrolled down the page and have seen the grade I gave this movie, it will come as no big surprise that I really did not like this sequel. Where the original Sinister had a few seriously disturbing and scary sequences, there was almost nothing in this movie that deserved the label horror. It was just a plain and simple, very dull movie. Just as in the original the scares should have come from the 8mm “found footage” films, but this time these were just poorly conceived. Near the end of the movie, the pacing picked up slightly, and resulted in at least a few interesting scenes. Those were not enough to save the movie though. Add to that a really stupid ending, and actors that for the most part were not very convincing either, and you end up with a movie that is really a poor substitute for the original. Oh well, maybe Bughuul can do another audition for Slipknot…

I give Sinister 2 a 4 out of 8 score.

Special Features Presents: Cliffhangers

This weekend the Walking Dead returns to our television screens with it’s seventh season. A lot of people will be sitting in front of their tv screens with a pounding heart (myself included) as we get to see the resolution of the enormous cliffhanger of the last season. I guess everyone who loves television series has had an encounter with this phenomenon. You are watching the final episode of the season of your favorite show. You see the clock ticking down….you know in your heart that something is about to happen. And then: the shock, you stare at the screen not believing your eyes, until finally: “To be continued…….” It can be frustrating, so very, very frustrating. Having watched a lot of seasons of an enormous amount of different tv shows I have seen my share of them. So I thought that this would be a nice opportunity to share some of my favorite “End of Season ones” . There are some (minor) spoilers ahead, so you have been warned.

1.Grimm, Season 2 Episode 22

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This supernatural show reminds me a lot of the good old days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is a lot of humour in it, and that definitely is one of the reasons to watch this show. At the end of the second season, with all the main characters being left in some kind of peril, the words “to be continued” appeared. That in itself is nothing unusual, but it was followed by “Oh come on, you knew this was coming”. A great and fun way to take the frustration away, but also one of the funniest cliffhangers of all-time.

2.24, Season 2 Episode 24

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The realtime tv show 24, has always been a favorite of mine. With it’s shock and awe tactics, the fantastic character of Jack Bauer, this show has so many cliffhangers both during and at the end of a season, that it is hard to pick a favorite. But I think one of the more memorable ones, was at the end of the second season. President Palmer, one of the main and most influential characters of the show, receives a handshake at the end of giving a speech. After that he collapses on stage, and the screen fades to black….classic 24.

3.Robotech, Episode 60

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Robotech still is one of my alltime favorite animated series. Though technically not a Anime show, it is basically a blend of three unrelated Japanese Animeseries, with a rewritten storyline, that spans three generations. At the end of what you could consider the second season, also known as the Robotech Masters, the Earth is left with an uncertain future. In trying to prevent an alien race called the Invid from turning the Earth into a giant Hive, one of the heroes of the show, Zor, made an effort to destroy the one thing that might lead them to the planet. The plan backfired however, and with the Invid on their way, all bets were off…..

4.The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Season 2 Episode 22

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This highly (at least in my opinion) underrated show, was unfortunately cancelled after two seasons. Starring the lovely Summer Glau as the Terminator Cameron, it created a new timeline for the Terminator franchise. In the last episode of the second season a young John Connor was transported far into the future where Skynet ruled supreme. More worrying was the fact that nobody knew who he was. The frustrating thing about this cliffhanger was that we never get to see how it would be resolved, because of the cancellation. A real shame, and a truly horrifying way to leave it like that for fans.

5.The Walking Dead, Season 6 Episode 16

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And ofcourse this last one should not really come as a surprise. My alltime favorite show ended on a truly horrifying cliffhanger at the end of it’s sixth season. Most of the show’s main characters were driven to their knees with new villain Negan looming over them. He promises our heroes one thing: to beat one of them to death. Raising his bat with barbed wire, it comes down on the head on one of our beloved characters, but we don’t see who. Roll credits, see you next season……

The Walking Dead will return on sunday in the States, but living in Holland I will actually have to wait a full day longer to see who will die (and avoid social media sites while doing that lol).

Well, I could go on for a while more, but I’m guessing that five is enough for now. Let me know what you think about cliffhangers. Do you like them? Hate them? Do you have any favorites?

I am going to prepare myself mentally for a tough weekend ahead. For all of you following the Walking Dead, I wish you strength. As for now…..to be continued.

The Visit, American Movie (2015)

“I see dead people…..” It is one of those movie quotes that pretty much everyone remembers and has made history. It is ofcourse a line from the fantastic movie The Sixth Sense, made by writer/director M.Night Shyamalan. Unfortunately after this truly superb horror/thriller, his career went pretty much downhill. His follow up movie Unbreakable, though still a great film, wasn’t as good as the aforementioned movie. Signs, though I absolutely loved it, did not receive a pretty warm reception either. And then there were the Village and the Happening, which truly did not make an impression with the regular movie audience and the critics. It is weird how these things can go sometimes: One minute you are an up and coming director, and a few years later people (almost) tend to forget about you. However, he hasn’t stopped making films, and lately he seems to be heading in a better direction again. Which is great news, as last year’s The Visit, is one of the more disturbing films I have seen in a while.

This movie tells the story about two young children, Rebecca and her brother Tyler, who are off to stay with their grandparents for a week. Arriving at the remote farm of the elderly couple they are welcomed with open arms. Besides a few small rules, like for instance don’t leave your room after 09:30 p.m., nothing seems to be amiss. However, it is not before long, that both Rebecca and Tyler begin to discover strange things about their loving grandparents. Brother and sister may have ended up in a regular nightmare, and it is beginning to look more and more likely that they may never return home safely…..

I think we can say that mr. Shyamalan has become famous for some of the twists he puts into his movies. There is another one in this one, and I really did not see it coming. It was truly magnificent, and it was a twist that made this movie all the more disturbing. There were some scenes in this film that gave a real sense of unease, and that was definitely the goal of the director. The movie has been filmed in a documentary style, as both Rebecca and Tyler, carry handheld cameras throughout the  film. The acting in the movie was okay, although I did not really like the performance of the boy playing Tyler. His reactions at times were played somewhat forced, and did not look convincing. Besides that, there really isn’t much I did not like in this movie. The tension and atmosphere in this film were perfect, the story was great, and there were enough scares in the film to satisfy the lovers of thrillers and horrormovies alike. After seeing this movie, you might think twice about sending your kids off to visit their grandparents though.

I give The Visit a 8 out of 10 score.