Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, American movie (2016)

With Marvel’s big lead in the superhero movie war, it seems like DC has a nearly impossible task to catch up. Most of the attempts that DC have brought out so far have been met with resistance throughout the fan community, and have quite frankly not been as great as the Marvel movies. Last year’s Batman v Superman was to have been the movie that would begin the counterattack on Marvel. Putting two iconic superheroes against each other in a fight of epic proportions. Well, that is at least how the movie was marketed. But was the movie really as epic as everyone was led to believe?

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Batman v Superman luckily does not take a lot of time to reintroduce the backstory of Batman. We see a short flashback scene, and after that we get taken straight to the action that takes us back to the events of the movie Man of Steel. While the city is being almost completely leveled by the fight between Zod and Superman, we have a desperate Bruce Wayne racing through town to get to a few employees of his. Unfortunately he is too late and a lot of people lose their lives or get injured. Looking up, Bruce sees Superman flying away, and you can see the hate flaring up in his eyes. Two years later both Superman and Batman have their own problems. The Man of Steel is trying to get by in a world that is divided, where one part sees him a saviour,and the other part as an alien menace that needs to be taken care of. Meanwhile back in Gotham, Batman can’t let go of his hatred for Superman, and begins to devise a plan to take care of him. He believes to have found one when an alien rock called Kryptonite falls into the hands of the man called Lex Luthor. But what both Superman and Batman don’t realise is that behind the scenes, Lex is pulling the strings. But it maybe too late for them both, as the war between them is about to start…..and the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

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When the casting of Ben Affleck became public knowledge, pretty much everyone cried their outrage. Nobody believed him to be able to play the part of the iconic superhero. But I really have to admit that he did a fine job. Was he as good as Christian Bale? No, but quite honestly those were very tough shoes to fill. But I do think that Affleck really played the part of the Dark Knight very well. Another surprise was Gal Gadot as Wonderwoman. Even though she has a very short role, she plays it great, and leaves a lasting impression. Lastly Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was at times briljant, but also overacted in a few scenes. Reprising his role as Superman, Henry Cavill is an actor I just don’t like for this part. But that may be just me, as there are also people who think he is one of the best actors that was ever chosen to play this role.

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The movie itself clearly is an attempt to establish the DC universe and serves as the beginning of the Justice League. In other words the DC version of the Avengers. There are some things in this movie that work well. There are some terrific action sequences, which are a blend of practical and special effects. The acting as mentioned above also is very good. But the movie is called Batman V Superman, and it is on this part that the movie falls short. The “fight of the century” lasts only for a few minutes, and is pretty much over before it even starts. And the way it is finally resolved was a bit hard to take. Not to give away any spoilers, but it is almost like a switch is flipped and everyone became the best of friends.

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Still I did quite like this movie. It certainly has enough things in it to entertain, and delivers a fun ride throughout it’s two hour plus run. As far as the set up for Justice League goes, I do think it could have done a better job on that department. And for a movie called Batman V Superman, I think it has to be the most misleading title ever. As long as you keep an open mind, and don’t expect too much from this superhero movie, you will enjoy it enough though, to make it worth the watch.

I give Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice a 7 out of 10 score.

Pandora, Korean movie (2016)

It is really cool that Netflix is expanding their movie library with international movies as well these days. Being a great fan of Asian cinema, it is very nice to see that a growing number of these movies can now also be found on Netflix. A lot of disaster movies have been made throughout the years, and it is always a moviegenre that I enjoy watching a lot. Not because I like to see disasters happening. Just to make sure you don’t get the wrong idea, mind you. But it usually means that ordinary people are put into situations that let them become heroes. Browsing through the Netflix library I came across this movie that has just been added, and is both an Asian film as well as a disaster movie. Well, this is bound to be winning combination I would say. Let us find out if that is true or if this movie is erm, a disaster.

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Jae-Hyeok lives with his mother and some other family members in a small Korean town. Near this town is a nuclear plant, the same plant where his father lost his life as a employee a few years back. He is working there himself now, following in his father’s footsteps, but it being a very old plant, he is very worried about the conditions there. Ofcourse as is so often the case, nobody listens to him. Unfortunately mother nature strikes and an earthquake hits the town and the nuclear plant. It is not long thereafter that Jae-Hyeok finds himself in the middle of a nightmare. A large cloud of radiation has already been released, and there is a further disaster threatening in the form of a nuclear meltdown. With the lives of the entire Korean country hanging in the balance, some daring men must find a way to stop the meltdown. But time is running out, and with everyone who is helping getting more and more exposed to the radiation, certain doom seems almost unavoidable….

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Now this movie is ofcourse a very grim reminder of the Fukushima disaster that happened in Japan. When watching this movie, one can certainly imagine how horrid those conditions must have been in 2011. If there is one thing this movie does right, it is in showing how a disaster of this magnitude can cause a panic. I was very impressed by the way the crowds were filmed in this movie, that try to flee from the horrible radiation cloud that is coming down upon them. That said, the entire movie was shot very well, and has a very good mix of special effects and beautiful cinematography.

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The acting in this movie was pretty decent. Jae-Hyeok played by actor Kim Nam-gil, is a character that you instantly like, but I do have to say that most of the characters in this film lack depth. There is not much room for character development,which in a movie such as this is pretty important. Especially if you want to care about the people that are going through this horrible event. And ofcourse, this being a disaster movie, it is filled with the usual cliches. We get a government that is not listening despite certain warnings, and try to cover up things along the way. People that make heroic sacrifices, and ofcourse a few (at times overacted) tearful moments. Still, there is very little wrong with this movie. There is certainly enough tension throughout the film to keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie has a pretty good pace, and despite it having a length of over 2 hours long, I was not bored by it for a single moment. If you like disaster movies, you certainly might want to give this one a try.

I give Pandora a 7 out of 10 score.

Knights of Sidonia Season 2, Anime tv series (2015)

I watched the first season of Knights of Sidonia quite a while back. (You can find my review for it here). While the series started off pretty slow, and was definitely not without it’s flaws, it eventually started to grow on me. Now recently D from Dtalksanime has started on this show, and I thought this would be as good a time as any to start watching season 2. First though, if you have not yet subscribed to the fantastic blog of D, do that first. They have great reviews on anime, post that are always a joy to read, and not only that they are great to talk to, so seriously what is there not to like: subscribe….now. So for those of you who are not exactly up to speed as to what this series is about I will give a very short discription. Obviously this anime takes place in the future. Humanity is on the brink of extinction fighting an alien race called the Gauna. A gigantic colony ship called Sidonia, is pretty much all that remains of the human race. Think Battlestar Galactica, but with subtle differences.

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The second season of this anime continues the story that began in season 1, and picks up almost right after the end of the first season. Garde pilot Nagate Tanikaze is out with his group about to engage a new and gigantic Gauna, that threatens to destroy the Sidonia. But just when the fight is about to start a new enemy enters the scene. As if one Gauna is not enough, two are more than a handful. It is right at that moment that something strange happens. The second Gauna engages the first one, and destroys it completely. Utterly baffled by this strange behaviour, the crew of Sidonia don’t know what to make of this. Is this new Gauna friend or foe? The answer to this question lies within Sidonia itself, and might hold the key to winning the war against the Gauna once and for all.

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So…Knights of Sidonia season 2. Where to begin? The first season of this anime was often criticised for it’s lack of character development. You never quite felt an emotional attachment to them, and that makes it hard to get invested in a series. With this second season it almost seems like they are trying to remedy that flaw, as the series spents much more time with the characters themselves, and focusses less on action. This would not be a bad thing were it not for the fact that this often resulted in a few pretty boring episodes, where not much of anything happened. I don’t mind slow, if it is going somewhere, but often there were just some things in the series that I felt could have been left behind.

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The series shines in the episodes that featured action, and it was during those episodes that I really enjoyed it. There were a couple of very cool Mecha fight sequences, especially during the last few episodes of the series. In the end though I found this second season not quite as good as the first one. The pacing was at times simply to slow, and I felt my mind starting to wander off, which is usually not a good sign. I had hoped that this season would answer every question that was still left unanswered, but the series ends without a resolution. There is still no official confirmation that this series will get a third season. But I honestly wonder if I will even bother watching it when it does get a release. I was pretty disappointed by this second season. Still, there are enough moments that do make it a worthwhile watch, especially if you liked the first season. Just be prepared to not see anything really surprising though.

I give Knights of Sidonia season 2 a 6 out of 10 score.

Lethal Weapon, American Movie (1987)

And here we are, yet another movie from the 80’s that I am reviewing and have rewatched today. I really don’t know what has gotten into me, but for some reason I seem to be stuck into some kind of 80’s mode. The funny thing is that even on other blogs I see posts appearing, that talk about movies from this great era of filmmaking. Maybe there is some kind of world wide epidemic that I am not aware of. Whatever the case, I don’t mind it at all, as I am really having a blast rewatching these old, but classic and in my humble opinion timeless movies. As for Lethal Weapon, it has really been quite a while since I last saw it. The fun thing is, that there is now also a television series based on this great moviefranchise. I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing this series for myself yet, but I did catch a few clips of it on YouTube and I do have to admit it looks pretty cool. That said, it will never beat this classic movie though…not even by a longshot.

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The movie starts when we witness a young prostitute jumping to her death from the balcony of a high rise apartment building. What at first seems to be a simple suicide, soon turns into something much more complex. Detective Roger Murtaugh from the LAPD, who has just had his 50th birthday, is put on the case. It is not long before he is partnered up with a detective called Martin Riggs, who got transferred from narcotics. But Riggs is not your average cop. Having just lost his wife, he seems completely crazy and on a road towards selfdestruction. At first Murtaugh wants nothing to do with Riggs. But as time passes the two begin to work together and form a lasting friendship. And not a moment too soon, because a brutal drug smuggling ring has very sinister plans. Plans that might end up costing the two detectives their own lives….

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Even though this movies is now 30 years old (yes I know, I am getting old ), it has not last any of it’s charm and power. This film is the best buddy cop action film ever made. Yes, I know this is a bold claim, but it is definitely the truth. This movie works because of the incredible chemistry between the two lead actors. Mel Gibson is fantastic in his role as the completely crazy Martin Riggs. There are a lot of scenes that still had me laughing out loud because of his antics. But Danny Glover is equally funny in his role as the older cop Roger Murtaugh. The scenes between the two of them are well written and work very well.

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But in between all the comedy is also a terrific, and at times even brutal action movie. The storyline, even though serving in the background with movies such as these, is effective enough. But a movie like Lethal Weapon you watch because of the action, and on that department the movie delivers. Right from the very start the movie has a good pace, and serves up enough action to satisfy any lover of action movies. Lethal Weapon will always be one of my favorite actionfilms. The three sequels that follow this one, are all pretty much as good as this part, except for maybe the third one. This classic action movie is still a joy to watch and I highly recommend it to anyone who is an adrenaline junkie. Don’t be put off by thinking that this is a thirty year old movie, as it is a film that still is every bit as strong and fun as when it was released back in the 80’s.

I give Lethal Weapon a 9 out of 10 score.

The Conjuring 2, American/Canadian movie (2016)

One of the questions that will probably always remain a mystery to us, is if there is life after death. Ghost, spirits and other supernatural beings have been sighted all over the world. Well….supposedly that is. While there is certainly enough documentation about paranormal occurences in the world, one really has to wonder if all of this is true. Honestly though, I do think there are things out there, that seriously can’t be explained. At least not by any normal means. The horrormovie the Conjuring, released in 2013, told the true story about a case witnessed by two experts on paranormal sightings. These experts, the couple Ed & Lorraine Warren, have given a lot of lectures on universities, about the cases they have come across throughout the years. With the original movie being such a succes, it was ofcourse inevitable that a sequel would be made. With the movie again based on one of the true stories from the famous couple, is this sequel as good as the original?

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In the Conjuring 2 Ed en Lorraine have trouble keeping up the energy to continue investigating paranormal cases. Not only that, but the media also makes them appear as a bunch of scam artists, which further takes it’s toll on the couple. Meanwhile in England, a single mother together with her four children begins to experience some horrible events. One of her daughters called Janet, soon becomes the focal point of the paranormal occurences. At first people think that she is making things up. However as things begin to get worse, it is clear that something terrible has invaded the home of this family. Even though the Warrens at first are reluctant to take on the case, eventually they relent, and head on over to England. When they finally arive there, what they are about to encounter is more terrifying than they could ever have imagined….

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The horrormovie has certainly a track record for releasing a lot of sequels, especially when the original film is succesful. Sadly though these sequels are often not as good, or even just quite simply put: absolutely awful. The Conjuring 2 however is certainly not bad. In fact it might be the best horrormovie sequel I have seen to date. The acting, especially by veteran actress Vera Farmiga as Lorraine, is done very well and makes the film truly convincing. The young actress Madison Wolfe, who plays the role of Janet, also does a superb job, and is at times seriously scary. And while on the subject of things that are scary, the Conjuring 2 definitely tries it’s best to deliver some seriously disturbing scenes. At some points it succeeds in that job, but there are also times that you just see the scare coming from a mile away.

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As far as horrormovies go, this one is long, very long. With a runningtime of over two hours, I dare say that it is simply too long. The film takes it’s time to set things up, and I felt that a few cuts here and there, would have resulted in a better balanced film. Director James Wan’s visual style certainly is effective yet again, as the movie has a few camera angles that really make the film more scary. This movie honestly speaking was pretty good. Sure the original is better, but even though it has a slow start, when the film picks up momentum it certainly becomes an entertaining horrormovie. If you liked the first film, you will probably like this one as well, as long as you don’t expect it to be as good as part one.

I give The Conjuring 2 a 7 out 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Action Movies of the 80’s

The other day I was sharing comments with fellow blogger Hermione Flavia from Wildfiremovies . Now before I get into that, I first want to give a big shout out to her blog. If you love movies as much as I do, then one thing you should do is check out her blog and subscribe. She is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter, and her movie reviews are seriously topnotch. From classics movies, to action films and horrormovies, there is almost no end to the movies featured on her blog. Not only that, she is also one of the kindest persons you will ever talk to, so really what are you waiting for: press on the link provided above and subscribe.

Now we were talking about how lately we spent a lot of time in the past and feeling nostalgic, and how so many great action movies were made in the 80’s. This is pretty much how the idea for this post came about. Now I have focussed myself only on the non-science fiction action movies of that era. I might at sometime in the future do a follow up for those kind of films, but right now I am simply going to stick to the good old fashioned normal 80’s action flicks. So grab a seat, take a drink and some popcorn, and let us travel back in time to the wonderful 80’s.

Rambo: First Blood (1982)

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I have seriously lost count on how many times I have seen this briljant action film. Starring Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam veteran John Rambo, this movie is simple in it’s story telling, but incredibly effective. When John returns home to visit an old friend, the local sheriff thinks off him as a drifter, and tries to force him to leave town. It is not long before things escalate into violence, and the small town becomes a warzone. Stallone is absolutely amazing in his role, and the movie eventually spawned three sequels. The original movie is still the best though, featuring terrific action sequences, a dark atmosphere and the brilliant score of Jerry Goldsmith.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

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Beverly Hills Cop is one of the greatest action comedies ever made. Starring Eddie Murphy as the loudmouth cop Axel Foley, the numerous comedy scenes featured in this film, are even now still every bit as funny as back then. Axel is a cop in Detroit, but pursuing a murder case eventually ends up in Beverly Hills. Meeting two local cops, the three of them set out to find out the truth about the murder. Murphy steals the show in the leadrole, and could not have been cast any better. Featuring great action pieces mixed with perfectly timed comedy, this is also one of those movies that will never get old.

Missing in Action (1984)

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Now for every good movie, there usually also is a bad one. Missing in action is an action movie that is so bad, that it is actually good and fun to watch. Ofcourse cashing in on the succes of Rambo, this movie starred Chuck Norris in the role of James Braddock. Believing that there are still POW’s being held in a prisoner camp in Vietnam, Braddock returns to the jungle to try and free them. The movie is filled with cliches, bad acting and cheesy oneliners. But honestly that is what makes this B-movie so much fun to watch. Chuck would reprise his role two more times in the sequels that followed this one, and those are every bit as bad. Seriously, what is not to love about that?

Commando (1985)

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Now, not featuring any Schwarzenegger movies in this post would ofcourse be a big mistake. After the enormous succes of Conan and the Terminator, Arnold was definitely on a roll. In Commando he plays the role of John Matrix, a Black Ops Commando who is happily retired and now lives with his daughter (a very young Alyssa Milano). But when his daughter is kidnapped by criminals, John begins his personal war to bring his girl back safely. With an over the top bodycount, and such classic oneliners as ” Don’t disturb my friend, he is DEAD-tired” this is one of Arnold’s best. Yes, the action is completely crazy, and at times completely unrealistic, but man is this movie a lot of fun to watch.

Cobra (1986)

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Back in the 80’s Schwarzenegger and Stallone were not exactly the best of friends, and both tried to outdo each other with bringing out numerous films. Cobra is a brutal Stallone movie, where he plays the role of the tough as nails cop Marion Cobretti. In this film he has become the protector of a witness, who is being chased by a murderous cult in order to prevent her from testifying. Crime is a disease, and he is the cure was this movie’s tagline, so you pretty much know what to expect. Lots of shooting, chases and fight scenes, make this film a wonderful addition to Stallone’s already impressive action resumé.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

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This movie is one of my own personal favorites. This fantastic buddy cop movie, eventually resulted in three sequels which were every bit as fun as the original. Mel Gibson plays the role of the completely crazy cop Martin Riggs, who has to partner up with the close to retirement Roger Murtaugh played by Danny Glover. At first they hate each other’s guts, but eventually a close friendship develops, while they are on the hunt for a brutal gang of drug smugglers. With seriously fantastic action sequences combined with great humor, this movie is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. An absolute must see for every action junkie out there.

Bloodsport (1988)

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This movie pretty much introduced the world to the “Muscles from Brussels”, mister Jean Claude van Damme. This movie has a very simple storyline, where van Damme plays Frank Dux, a martial artist who has set off to compete in a lethal tournament in Hong Kong. The acting is terrible, but you take that for granted as the action choreagraphy for this film’s incredible fight sequences, is the reason why you need to watch this movie. Brutal martial arts fights, with deadly consequences result in a movie that is not for the faint of heart. One of Van Damme’s oldest, but also one of his best movies.

Above the Law (1988)

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In Above the Law another martial artist is introduced to the world, the man called Steven Seagal. Above the Law (also known as Nico), sees Seagal playing the role of a Vietnam veteran turned cop, that uncovers a sinister CIA conspiracy. Seagal is not known for his acting skills (I at times seriously wondered if this man had any facial expressions, no offense), but his martial arts skills were formidable. Sadly, these days Seagal is but a shadow of his former self, and plays mainly in (very bad) B-movies. Luckily we will always have his classic movies to look back on, and for an introductory film, this one was highly enjoyable.

Die Hard (1988)

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To not include this movie, would seriously be a sin. One of the best action movies ever made, it made Bruce Willis an action star overnight. In Die Hard he plays police officer John McClane, who accidentally is caught up in a hostage situation during a Christmas party in a huge skyscraper building called Nakatomi Plaza. His wife is amongst the hostages, and McClane take the fight single handedly to the terrorists. Not a good way to spend the holidays. This movie is simply put: brilliant. Great acting, wonderful oneliners, and very imaginative action sequences make this movie a must watch for any movie lover. The sequels that followed were also very enjoyable, except for part 5 which was absolute garbage.

Black Rain (1989)

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Black Rain is a movie that might not be known by everyone, but is definitely worth checking out. Directed by Ridley Scott (yes, that guy), it stars Michael Douglas in the role of New York City cop Nick Conlin. When he and his partner arrest a Yakuza member, they eventually end up in Japan. It is not long before they get caught up in the dark and criminal underworld of this unfamiliair country. Black Rain is a very dark but fantastic movie, and features a great storyline and incredible tension that is combined with spectacular action sequences. Michael Douglas pretty much never disappoints and also does a more than decent job in this movie.

Final Thoughts

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And that brings us to the end of this post, which I now realise has become my longest one to date. I know that this list is by no means complete. A lot of other great action movies were made back in the 80’s and maybe one day I will do a follow up to this post. I had a lot of fun writing this, and it was great to revisit a few of these classic films.

And now it is over to you guys and girls. Did any of your favorites make the list? Were any of them missing? Let me know in the comments section below. As always thank you very much for reading, and see you on the next post!

Caliban’s War, a science fiction novel by James S.A. Corey (2012)

There are a lot of well known science fiction franchises out there. Ofcourse everybody has probably heard about Star Wars and Star Trek. Unless, to use a science fiction term, you have been living offworld. But in the world of science fiction novels, there are so many well written stories, that in many ways they sometimes rival these established franchises. A couple of years back I came across the novel Leviathan’s Wake written by James S.A. Corey (which is actually a pen name of two writers). It set up an epic science fiction universe, with a great storyline, and fantastic characters. The first novel paved the way for the sequels, and to date 6 novels have been published in what has become known as The Expanse.

Caliban’s War is the second novel and pretty much picks up the story where the first part left off. On Mars we meet a female supersoldier called Bobbie. When her entire platoon gets killed by a monstrous creature, she is the sole survivor. It seems the deadly protomolecule, that was believed to have been killed, has somehow managed to survive. But who is behind this? With both the Earth and Mars government on the brink of all out war, it is up to Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante, heroes of the first novel, to find out the truth. A fact that is easier said than done. With a massive conspiracy and Holden’s own fears threatening the survival of the entire universe, time is running out….for everyone.

Caliban’s War has been a page turner from start to finish. Where Leviathan’s Wake started off somewhat slow, this book pretty much comes running out of the gates from page 1, and does not stop until the finish. A book such as this can only work if you can feel what is at stake and a establish a bond with the characters. And in that regard the book succeeds on both counts. Jim Holden and the rest of the crew of his ship, were already great in part one. But in this book we get to know them even better, and as such care about them even more. But also the new characters, most notably Bobbie and the foulmouthed, old but incredibly strongwilled lady Avasarala, were very worthy additions.

What I liked about this novel is the threat that looms over everything. You constantly feel a sense of doom that there is something very wrong, and that not everything is as cut and dry as it may seem. Without spoiling the ending for you, expect a massive cliffhanger that will leave you hungry for more. Luckily that more is already there, as you can keep on reading by checking out part 3, Abaddon’s Gate. And if you are not into reading, the books have been turned into a television series called The Expanse. I have yet to see this one for myself, but from what I have heard it is supposedly very good. I highly recommend Caliban’s War for everyone who loves good science fiction, with great characters and a touch of conspiracy.

I give Caliban’s War a 9 out of 10 score.

The Terminator, American/Uk Movie (1984)

It almost feels like I am starting a new trend here on my blog, reviewing classic Schwarzenegger movies, but I can assure that this is just pure coincidence. Having watched Predator two days ago, I also found myself drawn back to the Terminator franchise. It was just me being lazy on a sunday, flipping through movies, and deciding that I was just in the mood for another film that just seriously never gets old. What is amazing though is that this film already dates back to 1984. I really am getting old.

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Sarah Connor is a waitress at a diner who lives a pretty normal but not very exciting life. However she will soon get more excitement in her life than she signed on for. When women who are also called Sarah Connor are getting killed, she begins to get the feeling that she is being followed. She finds refuge in a dance club while waiting for the police to arrive. But then a huge individual aims a gun at her, and just as he is about to pull the trigger, the big guy gets shot by a young man. Introducing himself as Kyle Reese, he tells her to come with him, if she wants to live. And not a moment too soon, because at that moment the man who almost killed her is getting up and starts the pursuit. Escaping together with Kyle, he tells her that the person that is following them is not a man, but a machine, a cybernetic organism called the Terminator. He and the Terminator come from a future where mankind is almost wiped out by an automated defense system called Skynet. Sarah ofcourse does not believe him, but as the night continues she is soon forced to reconsider. Meanwhile the Terminator continues the hunt, and it absolutely will not stop….ever….until she is dead….

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Now unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, it is almost impossible to have never heard of this classic movie. It created one of the most iconic oneliners ever put to film “I’ll be back”. It pretty much became Arnold Schwarzenegger’s trademark. Now what to say about a film such as this. The term classic is an understatement. It really redefined the action movie genre at the time. It featured amazing special effects (even though they are somewhat dated now), and terrific action sequences that these days you hardly see anymore. But ofcourse another thing that was so great about this film were the characters.

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The Terminator itself, played by Arnold, could not have been cast any better. It is the role that made him an instant superstar, and honestly nobody could have done a better job than him. Kyle Reese, played by one of the most underrated actors ever, Michael Biehn, is also one of those characters you will never forget. Heroic in every sense of the word you feel an instant sympathy for the man who travels through time to save the woman he loves. And then ofcourse there is Sarah herself, played by Linda Hamilton, who grows from being a simple waitress into the saviour of mankind. Great stuff.

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Now seven years later, the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day came out. Technically superior, it is almost always being hailed as the better movie. I disagree however. As much fun as the sequel was, I think the original Terminator had a much more gripping and tense atmosphere. Throughout the entire film, you felt a sense of desperation and hopelesness, much more so than in part 2. Unfortunately though, the franchise is now pretty much dead. Terminator Genisys, released in 2015, became a box office disaster and because of that any future plans have been put on hold. With the rights now back in director James Cameron’s hands I still have hope though. So who knows: maybe he will be back. (Oh come on, you knew that last line was coming right ?).

If you have yet to see this movie, track it down ASAP. Yes, some of the effects are now a bit dated, but is is still and always will be a fantastic film, and one that every scifi and action movielover should see at least once in his or her life.

I give the Terminator a 10 out of 10 score.

 

Hush, American movie (2016)

Isn’t it sometimes amazing how much we take things for granted? Take your eyesight and hearing for instance. Have you ever stopped to take a moment to think about what it would be like if you ever lost one of those senses? The other day I was having a discussion with a friend of mine if you would ever have to make a choice about losing one of them, which one would it be. I would take hearing, as when I would lose my eyesight I would not be able to read books or watch movies anymore. Now before you think that I might have lost all my senses (pun intended) talking about this, it actually is leading up to something. Because I think the heroine of the movie I am about to review, would really have liked to have been able to hear.

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In Hush we meet Maddie a writer who lives by herself in a secluded house in the woods. Having lost her hearing and the ability to speak when she was 13, she tries to make the most out of her life. But one day her life takes a turn for the worst. A deranged and masked individual suddenly shows up at her house, with the intent of killing her. With Maddie being deaf, the killer thinks of her as an easy prey, and begins to toy with her. But even though Maddie might have lost her hearing, she will soon show a remarkable will to live. A very dangerous game of cat and mouse begins between her and the psychopath….

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Now Hush is a movie that falls into a kind of subgenre that over the recent years has emerged: the home invasion movie. Even though this genre has become pretty predictable, Hush tries to do something new with it, and succeeds in that attempt for the most part. First off lead actress Kate Siegel does one hell of a job in playing the role of the deaf/mute Maddie. It is very hard to act without being able to utter a single sentence, but Kate manages to portray her character very well. Her sense of fear and at times desperation comes across admirably, something that is very important in a film such as this.

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The unique premise of the movie, with Maddie being deaf, creates a tense atmosphere. We as an audience can sometimes see and ofcourse hear the killer, but Maddie can’t, and at times I almost found myself screaming at the screen:”please turn around!”. You really get swept up in the moment, and it is very nice when a thriller is able to do that. Now I can ofcourse state that there are definitely a few situations in this film that come across as being all too familiair. But as far as thrillers go, this film is just a great watch. It has a cool female lead, some very tense and chilling scenes, and for once we also have a heroine who doesn’t act like she is stupid. All in all this is just a  fun ride for people who like good and decent thrillers.

I give Hush a 8 out of 10 score.

Predator, American movie (1987)

Everybody who likes monster movies probably has a favorite one. Looking back at the past, there have been so many good ones it is hard to pick a favorite. But for me, the choice has never been hard. At least not after seeing the monster in what some consider to be one of the best action films ever made (myself included). It was a film that was made in the 80’s and featured a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in his golden age of movies. The name of that film was Predator.

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In Predator a group of special commandos led by  the battlehardened Dutch are sent on a rescue mission deep in the Central American jungle. A group of hostages have been taken by guerrillas, and it is up to Dutch and his group to get them out. At least that is what they are being told. It soon becomes clear, that they are not the first ones who have been sent out on this mission. When they come across the butchered remains of a former rescue party, things are beginning to get very weird. How is it possible that a group of trained soldiers can be caught so completely by surprise? And why would a group of guerrillas skin people and leave them hanging in the jungle?  Dutch and his men are about to find out the horrible answers to these questions. A thing that is not of this world has made the jungle his own personal hunting ground, and the hunters will soon become the hunted.

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There are certain movies that you have seen so many times, and that still manage to entertain every single one of those times. Predator is one of those films. This is 80’s action film making at it’s best. Schwarzenegger is superb in his role as Dutch and delivers some of the best oneliners out of all his movies. (Who can forget the classic “Get to the chopppppaaaaaa” ). But the real star of the film is the Predator. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the monster and I almost felt my jaw hitting the ground. Yes Alien is cool, I will not dispute that, but for me Predator will always be the favorite. The creature is just simply put: badass and the ultimate cool guy.

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Ofcourse the story in this film is almost non-existent, but seriously who cares about that, when a movie delivers this much tension and terrific action. Accompanied by a fantastic score made by composer Alan Silvestri, there are so many scenes in this movie that are incredible, that it is hard to pick a favorite. Even though this film is now 30 years old, it has withstood the test of time very well. If somehow you have missed out on this film back in the day, track it down if you can. It is a classic action movie, that everyone who has even a remote interest in action films should have seen at least once in his life. Next year we will get a new Predator movie, sadly without Arnold reprising his role. I highly doubt it will be as good as this one though.

I give Predator a 9 out of 10 score.