Blood-C, Anime tv series (2011)

I think horror can roughly be categorised into two parts: psychological horror, and the often not very subtle gory horror. I like both genres, it often depends a bit on my mood, but I do have to say that I am more of psychological horror fan myself. It is usually more scary as well, and I do love the jumpscares that are almost always included within those movies. That said, there are also a lot of horrorfilms out there, that have buckets of blood in them, and are very enjoyable in their own way. In Anime enough examples can be found that contain enormous amounts of graphic violence and gore. But I don’t think there has ever been a title that described better what the show is about than Blood-C.

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Blood-C tells the story of the young girl Saya. At first glance she seems like a pretty normal girl who lives with her father in a shrine in the woods. She goes to school during the day, and occasionally visits the small town located near her home. But as is so often the case, things are not always what they seem. Because during the night, Saya transforms into a fearsome monster slayer. Fighting creatures called Elder Bairns, the only one who knows about this side of Saya is her father. But when the attacks become more frequent, and the lives of everyone in town are threatened, Saya’s secret is becoming increasingly harder to protect. But just who is Saya? With strange memories beginning to surface in her mind, Saya is beginning to wonder if everything that she had been told is really the truth. The real horror might be more than Saya can handle….

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To say that Blood-C is gory, is an understatement. This series contains more blood than 10 horrorfilms mixed together. Literally entire fountains of the red substance are shown in every episode. It contains absolutely incredibly graphic and violent death sequences, and as such is not for the faint of heart. Blood-C is a follow up to the (pretty amazing) anime movie Blood: the last Vampire, which in turn was followed by the series Blood+. Now as you might have guessed, this series is not very subtle. Every episode is basically Saya fighting some kind of new creature, and as such a storyline is almost non-existent. I do say almost, because a very interesting twist in the story that occurs during episode 11, saves it from becoming a really predictable show.

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As for the characters in the series, they are very forgettable. Except for Saya, the rest of the cast in this series is very dull, and contain little to no depth at all. This also makes it hard to become attached to characters, and even when they die (and there are a lot of deaths in this anime), you could not care less. The animation style is very good though. The fight sequences, which are the highlights of the show, are cool and amazing to look at. The last thing worth mentioning is the musical score, which sounds epic, especially during the many fights that Saya gets into.

Now, I don’t know exactly why, but there was something about this series that I liked. Yes, it is bloody, and basically every episode is more or less the same, but the series is just very easy to get into and highly enjoyable to look at. If you get put off easily by graphic violence or squeamish at the sight of one drop of blood, you had best avoid this series. When you like action, gory horror, and don’t care if the story is almost not here, you might give this one a try. There will be blood though….oh yes…

I give Blood-C a 7 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Childhood Cartoons

A few months ago I published a post about Childhood Movies (you can find it here). It featured a lot of my favorite movies from my own childhood, and that I really enjoyed back in those days (and to be perfectly honest, I still enjoy watching them). But one of the really great things of the 80’s were the fantastic cartoons. I remember getting up early on saturday morning, switching on the television, and just sitting back watching all of your favorite cartoons back to back. So I thought it would be nice to make a post that brings us back to those days, and feature some of my alltime favorite 80’s cartoons. Most of these are now available on dvd boxed sets, to relive your childhood. The thing that may surprise you the most when you rewatch these great cartoons, is the amount of stuff you still remember from certain episodes. Even though most of these are almost 30 years old now. So without further ado, here they are counting down to number one.

8. Gi-Joe

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Gi-Joe was my least favorite cartoon. The story about a special group of soldiers fighting against the evil forces of Cobra, was for me never as much fun as the other series on this list. It was a highly popular show though, and the toyline also made a lot of money. Still, I did watch the series, when nothing else was on, and kind of enjoyed it at times. It certainly featured some great characters, and a cool villain in the form of Cobra Commander.

7. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

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One of the cartoons that probably everyone who grew up in the 80’s remembers. From the powerful theme song, to the fantastic characters, this cartoon is a true gem. Taking place in a fantasy world called Eternia, the most powerful man in the universe has to protect the planet from the evil Skeletor. This series was incredibly popular, and even spawned a live action movie featuring Dolph Lundgren in the role of He-man.

6. She-ra Princess of Power

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Because of the success of He-man a spinoff series was made which featured his sister She-ra. And honestly I liked this series even better than He-man. Also taking place in a fantasy world, She-ra had a great nemesis in the form of Hordak, who actually was once the mentor of Skeletor. The series was a bit lighter than He-man, and featured some great humour as well. There were, ofcourse, also a lot of guest appearances by her brother He-man.

5. M.A.S.K.

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Mask was a truly terrific cartoon. Matt Tracker who always lead the mission and the hero of the show had assembled a team of men to fight against the evil organisation of Venom. Equipped with special masks that gave them all kinds of powers, and transformable vehicles, every episode was packed with action and featured some memorable characters and some great storylines. Unfortunately in the second season of the series, the storylines were gone, and instead it became a pretty weird series where the heroes had to race against Venom in order to win the day. Still, I have fond memories of this great cartoon, and I still enjoy watching it to this day.

4. Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

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I think this series is one of the first truly great science fiction epics I have seen in my life. Even though most of the episodes could be watched on their own, it had a storyline that progressed throughout the series. The hero of the show Jayce, went in search for his missing father Audric together with his friends. Opposing them were terrible monsters that were mistakenly created by his father in an experiment that could have prevented starvation, called the Monster Minds. Led by the terrifying Saw Boss, the creatures stopped at nothing to prevent Jayce from finding his father. A very underrated and in my opinion still utterly fantastic cartoon.

3. Inhumanoids

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Now this was a very shortlived cartoon, which, when looking back on it today I still find very strange how this could ever have been found suitable for children. The series featured truly terrifying monsters that preyed on the human race. Opposing them were the Earth Corps and a few benovelent creatures. With a narrative that progressed from episode to episode, this was one of the more unusual cartoons from the 80’s. This series is still very enjoyable to watch, even though it has only a few episodes.

2. Transformers

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One of the most popular cartoon series of the 80’s it will always be one of my alltime favorites. The story about the two robotic races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, is one of the few franchises that is even today still very well known. And ofcourse the toys that the series was based on are still incredible to look at, and are highly coveted by collectors. When the cartoon was cancelled in America, the show continued in Japan. Also known as the Takara series, it continued the storyline,and went in a very different (but no less enjoyable) direction. Transformers will always be a fun watch, and one of the true highlights from my childhood.

1. Robotech

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My number one series, and one I have been a fan of for more than 30 years now, is called Robotech. An Americanised version of three totally unrelated Japanese animeseries, it featured three generations of humans that had to deal with the threat of an alien race. With main characters dying, a storyline that was truly powerful (especially the first segment of the show: the Macross saga), it was a unique series. Robotech has a very strong and loyal fanbase, and that is the reason that Robotech still lives after all these years. This year will see the release of a new comic book series, and a live action movie is supposedly still in the works. If you have yet to see this magnificent series, try to track it down in any way you can. It is an awesome cartoon, especially if you like Mecha anime shows.

Final thoughts

And that brings us to the end of this post and this trip down memorylane. Now ofcourse this list is not complete. There are a lot of cartoons from the 80’s that I have not featured, such as Visionaries and Inspector Gadget to name a few. That is not to say that those were not fun to watch, but I did not find them good enough to include in my personal top 8 shows. These are the series that I enjoyed the most, and the rest just fell short.

So that brings me to you. What childhood cartoons did you watch? Are any of these included on the list above? Are there any others you might have enjoyed, or maybe you have never heard of a few that are included above. Let me know in the comments section. As always thank you for reading, see you on the next post!

 

 

 

Forrest Gump, American Movie (1994)

We live in a society where most of the people we meet will always form an opinion on  someone by his or her appearance. That a first impression can be wrong doesn’t seem to matter. It is a simple case of how you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover. Unfortunately that isn’t how the world works. All too often we form an impression of someone simply by the way he or she looks. It is a real shame, because sometimes when you truly invest time in getting to know someone, it may turn out to be a person that in the end will become a very good friend or even more. Even though you might never have imagined even in your wildest dreams to become friends with him or her. The classic movie Forrest Gump shows how a first impression can be seriously wrong indeed.

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Forrest Gump tells the story of how a simple and at first glance pretty retarded man, turns out to be someone who has done quite extraordinary things. When Forrest is still a young boy, his mother tries to to get him into a normal school even though his I.Q. is below the school’s acceptance requirements. Regarderd by his schoolmates as a retard, his only friend is a girl named Jenny. Always protective of him, she tells him often to run away from anyone who tries to do him harm. And as it turns out, this is a thing that he excels at. As the years pass by, his talent for running eventually gets him into the school football team where he begins to slowly be accepted by everyone (even though most of them still regard him as the local idiot). But then the war in Vietnam starts, and Forrest like so many other men at the time, is caught up in that war. He loses touch with the girl he loves, but it is also the start of a fantastic journey. A journey that shows that even simple men can do great things… Forrest never gives up on his girl however, but Jenny has her own problems in life. Some bonds though are so powerful, that they are never meant to be broken. But before they get reunited, they will both have to go through many hardships…

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You know how they say that some movies are timeless? This is one of those films. Everything in this movie is just simply put, perfect. I had the great pleasure to see this movie in the theatres again today, and what a treat this was. I had not seen the film in years and had almost forgotten how fantastic this film truly is. Tom Hanks, who got an Oscar for his role, is absolutely amazing. The character he portrays is instantly likeable, and I dare you not to feel any sympathy for Forrest. But it is not only the acting that is great. From the very first scene in this movie, you get this sense that you are about to see one of those films that will stick with you forever.

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At it’s heart is a story of how you can pretty much achieve anything, if only you put your mind to it. No matter how tough life gets, how you eventually deal with it, is something you yourself are in control of the most. It also shows to never give up on someone you love, even though at times that person might be going through things that make it hard to stay in love with them. I can go on about all the other things that make this movie so great, the music, the cinematography, but I guess I have pretty much made my point. Anyone who has even a remote interest in film, should see this movie once in his or her life. After all, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.

I give Forrest Gump a 10 out of 10 score.

Blood Father, French movie (2016)

Throughout his career Mel Gibson has starred in so many of my favorite action movies, it is almost impossible to name all of them. Lethal Weapon is ofcourse a classic, as is the Mad Max trilogy. But where Mel Gibson can really shine is in the dark and gritty revenge films such as the briljant movie Payback. Unfortunately, Mel’s real life has caught up with him and his career has pretty much gone downhill because of it. When you are a fan of an actor it can at times be hard to separate things like that when a new movie from that star comes out. Still, things seem to be heading in the right direction again as Mel is definitely making a comeback. Ofcourse he is now nominated for the upcoming Oscar race as best director for the amazing movie Hacksaw Ridge. (You can find my review for it right Here ). And last year he has finally starred in a movie again that was well worth seeing, the action thriller Blood Father.

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In Blood Father he plays the role of ex-con John Link. Having served a sentence in prison for seven years, and putting behind a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, he now makes a living as a struggling tattoo artist. He has not seen his estranged 16 year old daughter Lydia for years, when all of a sudden the phone rings and she desperately begs him for help. Finally meeting up with her, it seems that she has had a run in with a bad crowd. A Mexican drug cartel is hunting her down, hellbent on killing her. It is not long before John and his daughter have to run for their lives. A dangerous game of cat and mouse is about to start, and John will have to try every trick in his book to save himself and his daughter. That is all easier said than done though….

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Blood Father is a by the book gritty and dark action thriller. This movie certainly does not reinvent the genre, but it really is a highly entertaining action movie. Mel Gibson plays one of his best roles since a long time as the father that tries to do everything to save his daughter. It was also nice to see William H. Macy again in a small, but crucial role as John’s sponsor. Their performances alone are the reason the watch this movie. Lovers of action certainly will get their fix as the movie contains enough action to satisfy any adrenaline junkie. Still, the movie also spents it’s time on the characters as well, and as such does not only provide non stop gunfights or carchases.

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A movie such as this only works if the chemistry between father and daughter is there, and that is certainly the case. Lydia, played by the young actress Erin Moriarty, performs her role very well, and the scenes between her and Mel are great to watch. Blood Father is not a masterpiece, but in no way does it  ever pretend to be that. If you like action thrillers with a decent enough plot, and some great performances and action, than I would certainly recommend this film. Hopefully Gibson will continue to make films like these and get his life (and career) back on track.

I give Blood Father a 8 out of 10 score.

Steins;Gate,Anime tv series (2011)

Timetravelling. From movies such as Back to the Future and The Terminator, it has always been a concept that is endlessly fascinating. And why not? Would it not be incredibly awesome if one day the concept would become a reality? And where would you go? Would you travel to the past and correct certain mistakes that you have made ? Or would you head into the future and see what your life would be like there? Whatever choice you make, it will never be entirely without consequences. Who is to say that correcting a past mistake might not end up resulting in a future that is even worse? And when you already know what might happen in the future, would that not take the fun out of living your life? A lot of movies that deal with timetravelling deal with questions such as these. The highly rated and fanfavorite Anime series Steins;Gate is definitely no exception to this rule.

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When Steins;Gate starts we meet up with the strange and pretty goofy character Rintaro Okabe. He sees himself as a “mad scientist” and pretty much can’t stop talking about that fact. Seeing conspiracies everywhere, he also runs a labarotory in his appartment together with his friends the loveable Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. One day Rintaro attends a conference about time travel, a subject that has become a complete obsession for him. A firm believer in the fact that this can really be achieved it is not long after that he and his fellow lab members find out by accident that there definitely is a truth to this fact. Unfortunately however, Rintaro and his friends are about to find out that playing with time has it’s consequences. Ironically enough the imagined conspiracies Okabe has been afraid of all his life, will soon become a reality. And the lives of everyone he loves, as well as the fate of the world itself will hang in the balance….

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Steins;Gate has been recommended to me be my so many people that is was a very hard show to resist. Featuring time travel, one of my favorite science fiction concepts, already had me interested in it. Seeing the very high ratings this show has received over the years, I expected a lot from this series. And…..I am sorry to say that these expectations were not met. The first half of this series is just incredibly slow. I don’t mind slow series at all, but with all the quirky and crazy things happening in the beginning it was at times hard to stick with it. But I already knew that, as everyone kept saying that the series would redeem itself in the second part. By the time I had reached episode 12 the series really did change. It became very dark, and it was almost as if you were watching an entirely different show.

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Although the second part certainly had a lot of amazing twists, and some very clever timetravelling concepts, I still could not get into it enough for me to truly enjoy the series. One thing I did enjoy though were the characters. Rintaro reminds me a lot of Mel Gibson’s character from the briljant movie Conspiracy Theory. Completely nuts at times, but still a lot of fun to watch. The same goes for his childhood friend Mayuri, who is simply adorable, and one of those characters that you just instantly care about. The animation style and music also really fit this series. Even though there are certainly shows out there that have a higher level of animation, it just seemed right for this show.

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The plot of this series is clever, but because of the sometimes weird humor in the series, I often had a hard time wondering what this series wanted itself to be. As a comedy it certainly worked at times, and there were also quite a few episodes in the second half of the series that had me on the edge of my seat. Overall though the series was a bit too slow for my tastes. I have no regrets watching this, and it really is one of those series that does keep sticking around in your mind, which I guess is a good thing . Maybe in a few months time I will rewatch this series and might even rate it somewhat higher. For now though I can not help but feel slightly disappointed by the show after the incredible amount of hype this has received. As with everything, this is just a matter of opinion, so certainly don’t take my word on it alone. Go and judge this series for yourself, but do take your TIME for it though…..

I give Steins;Gate a 7 out of 10 score.

Howl, UK movie (2015)

Throughout movie history there have been three monsters that have always captured the imagination of film makers and moviegoing audiences. And every time it seems that they are in a popularity contest of some kind. I am ofcourse talking about Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves. Currently the zombie is on top, which ofcourse has a lot to do with the success of the Walking Dead tv series. The vampire is somewhat less popular at the moment, but I would not be surprised if that changed again. And then ofcourse there is the werewolf who also seems to be having a blast with tv shows such as Teen Wolf and Bitten. The fun thing is that although certain rules seem to remain more or less the same, every movie or series does it’s own take on the established mythology. Last year a small English movie that featured werewolves was released, and it generated some buzz amongst horrorfans. Let’s find out if this movie is worth your time, or that you might be better off howling at the moon for a while.

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In Howl we meet a young man called Joe who is a guard on trains. Having just heard the news that he got turned down for a promotion, he thinks his life can’t get any worse. Unfortunately it does. At the end of his dayshift, he gets the news that one of his colleagues has fallen ill, and that he has to report for a nightshift. Reluctantly he agrees, and he and an assortment of different passengers, head of into the night onboard a pretty filthy looking train. Then all of a sudden the train breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and Joe and the passengers get stranded. With a full Moon above them their only light it soon appears they are not alone. When strange creatures begin to attack them, getting stranded seems to be the least of their problems. Soon it becomes a question of who will survive the night….

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Howl is obviously a low budget B-movie. That in itself is not necessarily always a bad thing. Some of these movies can at times be highly enjoyable if done well. This movie kind of falls in between. This is supposed to be a horrormovie, but it really wasn’t scary at all, which kind of means it is missing the point of a horrorfilm. Instead the film focusses on delivering gore, and in that category it succeeds. There are some pretty gruesome deathscenes, and admittedly the creatures look pretty cool. As far as werewolves go, they are certainly convincing enough, and look pretty unique.

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The acting in this film is a bit of a mixed bunch. Ed Speleers, who plays the role of Joe, does a pretty good job in making you root for him in the end. Elliot Cowan, who plays the role of a very annoying, but entertaining passenger also manages to play the role convincingly. The rest of the actors and their respective roles are pretty much forgettable. Mostly they serve as cannonfodder for the wolves, or are just pretty mediocre actors. As far as the story goes, it is not very original, as this brings back memories of movies such as Dawn of the Dead or Assault on Precinct 13.

In the end though it depends if you are a horrorfan or not. If you are, than you might want to try this one out. It is not all bad, and the creatures themselves might be a reason for you to watch this film. If you are not a horrorfan though, there is not really much of a reason to go and watch this film.

I give Howl a 6 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: My five favorite Superbowl trailers (2017)

Earlier this week one of America’s biggest events was held: The Superbowl. Now I pretty much don’t care about sports. Yes I admit it, I am lazy that way. I at times get tired just by thinking about sports. For me the Superbowl is just about one thing: the release of some cool new trailers for upcoming movies and tv series. Following below, counting down from number five to one, are the trailers that I was excited about the most this year. Enjoy!

5) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Now, actually I was pretty surprised that this one ended up on my list. The movies for this franchise went downhill pretty fast after the first one was released, but admittedly this trailer looks like the films might finally be heading in the right direction again. The trailer features some very cool looking stuff, and honestly I am cautiously optimistic for it.

 

4) Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was one of those movies I went to not knowing what to expect from it. And in the end I was completely blown away by it. It was fun, pure and simple fun. This new trailer promises more of that same fun, and I can’t wait for it’s release later this year.

 

3) The Fate of the Furious

Yes, I know, the Fast and the furious franchise is getting crazier with each installment that is being released. The action is so over the top though, that I can’t help but enjoy these movies for what they are: big budget popcorn movies. And there is nothing wrong with that. This new trailer shows that the action will be even more insane this time around.

 

2) Ghost in the Shell

From all the trailers featured in this post, this movie is the closest to being released. And I can’t help it, but I think it looks awesome. The trailer really captures the spirit of the Anime in so many ways. Ofcourse I have no idea if the movie itself will do the same, but I do know that I am looking forward to it immensely. Keeping my fingers crossed for it.

 

1) Stranger Things Season 2

This was the trailer I was looking forward to the most, and it did not disappoint. For those of you who have yet to see this series, you can read my review for it right here . This was the best tv series I have seen last year, and this short teaser let me have goosebumps all over again. It will be very hard to even reach the same level as the incredible first season, but this teaser already has me excited that they might actually pull this off. The only downside? We have to wait until Halloween for the release.

 

So there you have them, my five picks for the best trailers of the Superbowl. Ofcourse there were numerous other trailers released. So let me know in the comments section below what your favorite trailers were. Thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

Ghost in the Shell, Japanese (animated) movie (1995)

In a few weeks time, the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell will make it’s appearance in the movie theatre. Steeped in controversy, because of the “whitewashing” of it’s principal character, there has been a lot of debate amongst anime fans of whether or not this movie will be any good. Honestly, I am not going to adress that issue, as I think there has been enough talk about it. I do have to say that I am quietly optimistic for it. The trailers that have been released for it are seriously awesome, and Scarlett Johansson really looks the part in her role as the Major. Ofcourse throughout movie history there have been so many good trailers for a film that in the the end turned out to be utter rubbish, that this really does not say much. Still I am keeping my fingers crossed for it, and am looking forward to the end result. One would almost forget that the original Ghost in the Shell animated movie, is now 22 years old. With the live action adapatation lurking on the horizon, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to revisit this classic movie.

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Ghost in the Shell takes place in the year 2029. Humanity has changed a lot and has become dependant on cybernetic bodies that can access a vast network that pretty much connects the entire world. In this very dark and bleak world, Major Motoko Kusanagi, a female cyborg together with her partner Batou are part of an organisation called Section 9. Section 9 is entrusted with the public security, and receive numerous missions to take out those who threaten the safety of humanity. When a mysterious hacker known only as the Puppet Master makes an appearance, Motoko is entrusted with the case. Just who is the Puppet Master, and what does he want? Kusanagi is about to find out the answers to these questions, and the truth might be more incredible than she first expects it to be. It all comes down to one thing in the end: what makes someone human?

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Ghost in the Shell is an animated master piece that everyone who even remotely likes Anime should see at least once in his or her life. Even though this movie is now 22 years old, it has not become dated even one bit. The animation is still absolutely breathtaking. Crisp visuals, with amazing backgrounds make this a movie that you want to watch over and over again, if only to spot things you might have missed the other times. The storyline in the movie, might not be for everyone. It is multilayered, and has so many different aspects to it that makes it at times hard to follow. Even repeated viewings might not answer every question you might have. But that is also part of it’s appeal, as this is a complex puzzle, that is a lot of fun to figure out.

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The heart of this movie though is the character of Major Motoko Kusanagi. She has been and always shall be my alltime favorite anime character. I just love the way how she can both be seriously badass, and incredibly vulnerable at the same time, as she struggles with trying to find her own humanity. And it is a very fascinating struggle to watch. This review would not be complete without mentioning the absolutely amazing soundtrack by the hand of master composer Kenji Kawai. The haunting opening theme sets the tone for the movie, and still sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. The music is a very important aspect of this film, and the movie is not the same without it.

After all these years it was an absolute joy to revisit this classic anime movie. It is a film that still impresses, and one that I highly recommend. Sure it isn’t perfect, but it comes pretty close to it.

I give Ghost in the Shell a 9 out of 10 score.

Transformers: Age of Extinction, American/Chinese Movie (2014)

Growing up as a kid in the 80’s was a lot of fun. Especially with all the cool toys that were around back in those days. From Gi-Joe to He-man, every kid had a favorite toyline. For me it has always been the Transformers. There was just something incredibly cool in the way you could transform a truck into a robot. The basis for these toys were ofcourse the cartoons that aired on saturday mornings. I look back upon those days with fondness, and even today I still enjoy the franchise immensely. In 2007 the Transformers finally got made into a live action movie directed by Michael Bay. Reactions from the fans were mixed, but most were pretty negative saying the action director had absolutely no respect for the original source material. This year the fifth installment will see the light of day, again directed by Bay. I thought that was a good opportunity to revisit the fourth movie released in 2014.

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Transformers Age of Extinction is set five years after the events of the previous movie. It is a dark time for the Autobots as they are being hunted by the humans that they have been trying to protect all these years. A Black Ops government unit is in charge of these hunts, aided by a sinister robotic bounty hunter called Lockdown. Optimus Prime, badly wounded, has so far managed to escape the fate of his comrades and is in hiding. A mechanic called Cade Yeager comes across Optimus, and not knowing he is a Transformer, takes him home. Just when he is about to start repairs, Optimus reveals himself to Cade. Yeager convinces Optimus that he is a friend, and means him no harm. However, it is not soon until all hell breaks loose, when the Black Ops team arrives on the scene. Forced to flee, Cade and Optimus must try and survive, and find the remaining Autobots. There are worse things going on though as Prime’s oldest enemy might not be dead, and the survival of the entire human species hangs in the balance…..

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If you have seen the previous three Transformer movies you pretty much know what to expect in this one. A lot of explosions, slowmotion shots, carchases, in short a typical Bay movie. As said, a lot of Transformer fans hate what Michael has done with this beloved franchise. I pretty much see these movies as a reimagining of the cartoon series of old and have not had any problems with them. I like them for what they are, big blockbuster popcorn movies, with lots of cool special effect sequences, and nice action. Sure, storywise they leave a lot of things to be desired, but honestly that is not what you go and see these movies for anyway.

The biggest draw of this fourth one, was the appearance of the fan favorite Dinobots, and in that regard the movie did not disappoint. There was something seriously awesome in the way Optimus Prime charged into combat on the back of Grimlock. The bountyhunter Lockdown was one of the coolest robots of the entire movies series to date, and provided some great fight sequences. Actionwise there is again enough to enjoy, and in that regard Bay pretty much never lets you down. That said though, this movie is way too long. Running close to three hours, the movie should have had some things cut from it, which would have benefited it in the end. The cringeworthy humor from the previous films is somewhat toned down, but has unfortunately not disappeared completely. Acting wise Mark Wahlberg in his role of Cade Yeager does a decent enough job to provide a good character. Stanley Tucci, always a very good actor no matter what role he is cast in, also is a welcome addition to this movie.

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In the end this was, in my opinion, one of the weaker installments of the Transformers movie franchise. Don’t get me wrong, there is still enough to enjoy if you liked the previous parts. It is pretty much the length of the movie that for me caused me to like it less than the other three movies. Supposedly the fifth movie wil be the last part to be directed by Bay, but this is something that he has now said so many times, that it is hard to believe. I for one would not mind seeing another director take the helm, and see if more can be done with this franchise. At least more than meets the eye…..

I give Transformers: Age of Extinction a 7 out of 10 score.