Category Archives: Movie reviews

Apostle, American/UK movie (2018)

It’s October and that means all around it’s the season to be creepy. Erm, wait that isn’t how that song goes? Oh well, I guess I always get some things mixed up, so my apologies. Now in case you are wondering exactly what I am talking about here, it is of course nearly Halloween. Unless you haven’t really been paying attention lately on wordpress, a lot of bloggers are having fun writing posts that in some form or another that are related to this event. Well, as you know (or don’t know in case you have just started following me, in that case let me enlighten you), I have always held a soft spot for horror films. In fact it’s one of my favorite movie genres so to speak. So why haven’t I had a single horror movie post out this month? I seriously haven’t got a clue. I could either do two things right now: I could spent my time looking for the answer to that question, or I could finally write one. I chose to do the latter. So people buckle up, put on your favorite Halloween costume, grab some popcorn and let’s see if this film is worth checking out.

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I told you before: Stop looking at me! 

For a change we have a horrormovie that isn’t situated in modern times but we travel back in time to the year 1905. Thomas Richardson is on desperate mission to save his sister who has been kidnapped by a mysterious religious cult. She has been taken to a remote island, far from civilisation, and the people that have taken her are demanding a ransom for her release. Thomas arrives on the island pretending to be a believer in the self proclaimed prophet that is the leader of the cult, a man named Malcolm Howe. Malcolm is a former prisoner that escaped with two other convicts. He claims to speak for “The Goddess“ that supposedly inhabits the island and through her powers provides food for the cult. Lately though his people are dying of starvation, which is why he has resorted to kidnapping. Thomas slowly begins to infiltrate the cult and befriends a young teenager called Jeremy. While trying to find out the whereabouts of his sister he begins to encounter more and more terrifying things that are happening on the island. The true horror though, has yet to be revealed…..

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Yep, this would make a great Halloween costume.

Apostle was directed by Gareth Evans. Now for people who are familiar with martial arts movies, you might recall he directed the Raid and the Raid 2. Both of these were absolutely amazing and a true highlight when it comes to the world of action movies. It’s all the more interesting that this is an entirely different film he has sunk his teeth in. I honestly have to admit that I genuinely enjoyed this film. It’s fun to see a movie again that is not set in the present but in the past, and at times it reminded me of The Witch. But the only comparison I can make to that film is the atmosphere. Right from the very first scene you can feel this foreboding sense of doom come over you. It’s probably the remote location of a Welsh island that really contributes to this. The cinematograpy for this film is terrific, and some of the camera angles that were featured in this movie only made the movie even more creepy. As I said though, this is the only comparison I have to the Witch, because this movie could not be more different.

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A little shaving never hurt anyone….

For one thing it’s incredibly gory at times. Just like in The Raid, we get some very bloody scenes shown, especially when the film goes into it’s second half. Some of these were truly unsettling. I’m not one to be very squeamish when it comes down to this, so it didn’t disturb me in the least. (Yes I guess that can be unsettling too when I think about it lol). It also features some heavy underlying religious themes, something that might put some people off. The film’s story is pretty good, and has some nice twists and turns. It gradually reveals it’s secrets, and there were a few moments in the middle of the film, where one might call it maybe a bit slow. I think if the movie would have been somewhat shorter, I might have added a point to the overall final score. But it never became boring in the least, and that is also due to the fact that the movie had some very good performances. Cult leader Malcolm was played by veteran actor Michael Sheen. He plays a truly troubled man, that even while he was downright creepy still managed to create sympathy for his character. Now there is a contradiction if you ever saw one.

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This is what a cinema looked like in 1905. 

Dan Stevens played the role of Thomas and he pretty much carries the movie on his shoulders. He creates an instant liking to his character, because he is very human. Being a former missionary that has lost hist faith and now has an addiction, Thomas certainly has his flaws. But that only makes you relate to him more. I always like it when someone isn’t one of those perfect heroes, but a real flesh and blood person. Next to these two actors, there are a lot of other high caliber performances in the film as well. So if you are a fan of good acting, this is another reason to go and see this movie. Apostle has turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. I knew next to nothing about this one, but this really is a very tense, well made, and at times truly thrilling and horrifying movie. The film is now available on Netflix and it’s the perfect month to go and check this one out. If you dare that is…..

I give Apostle a 8 out of 10 score.

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Venom, American movie (2018)

I think it’s a safe bet to say that even if you don’t like comic books, everyone has probably heard of the name Spiderman. One of the most popular comic book characters ever created, he has been webslinging his way throughout hundreds of comics as far back as 1962. Every superhero of course also needs some foes to fight, and Spiderman is definitely not an exception to that rule. Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Vulture are just a few of the names that our friendly neighbourhood spider has had to face over the years. However, there will always be an enemy that is just a little bit more memorable than all of the others combined. And for Spiderman that foe was introduced way back in 1988: Venom. This horrific looking character became an instant fan favorite, and fans were overjoyed to hear that he would be making an appearance in the Spiderman 3 movie from 2007 starring Tobey Maguire. Sadly the movie wasn’t very good and Venom himself was woefully underused. Okay, enough with the history lessons. This year Venom has finally gotten his own movie, weirdly enough with his nemesis Spiderman being absent. So can a movie like this work like that? Well, the short answer is: yes, it most certainly can.

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Sometimes you just need to have a civilised talk to work things out.

Eddie Brock is an investigative journalist that seems to have it made. He is soon to marry the love of his life Anne Weying, and he has a job that seems to be going very well for him. As is usally the case when things go well, it’s all about to come crashing down on him. The Life Foundation, a bio-engineering corporation that Anne works for, has been conducting experiments with something they have found in outer space. It’s CEO, a man named Carlton Drake seems to be a very benovelent man, but this is all a front. Eddie has become very suspicious of him especially when he is approached by one of the employees of the company, Dora Skirth. She tells Eddie about the experiments that have been going on and helps him enter the building one evening to find proof. However, while investigating, the hapless journalist inadvertently becomes infected by a parasitic lifeform. Not just any lifeform though, but one that gives him powers that have never before been seen on Earth. It has yet to be determined if the entity that calls itself Venom is a friend or a foe though. Meanwhile Carlton Drake will stop at nothing to get his lifeform back, no matter who will die in the process….

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This is exactly the reason why you should always wait for your turn at the counter.

I’m seriously beginning to hate the critics these days. This movie has been torn to shreds by pretty much every single one of them and I have to wonder if some of them have even seen the movie. I said it quite recently in a review for Skyscraper I think that in general the critics have made it a sport to trash films that only offer fun. The problem is though that when people start to read those “reviews” their mindset is already influenced and some might even avoid going to the film altogether. Which would be a real shame as Venom is simply put a really fun film.While it’s certainly not perfect, it doesn’t deserve all the bashing that is currently directed at it by the so called experts. Eddie Brock is played by one of my favorite actors from the current era, Tom Hardy. He is a man who can pretty much handle every role they throw at him. In this film, he plays a character that is a bit of a loser for lack of a better word, but still comes out on top by becoming a (anti-) hero. I wouldn’t say it’s his best performance if I’m honest, but still he looks like he had a lot of fun in playing the role.

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Honestly he really is a nice guy once you get to know him.

But besides playing the role of Eddie, he also performs the voice of the alien symbiote Venom. The scenes where he is having discussions with himself and his alien alter ego provided some of the funniest moments in this movie. I love it when Venom just wants to go all out and eat people, but Brock tries to reason with this monster. It was surprising to me that this film contained a lot of (dark) humor. I honestly did not expect to find that in this movie, but it really worked. The rest of the actors in this film just simply don’t have very memorable parts. Michelle Williams who is always an accomplished actress plays the love interest of Eddie. But her role was to small for her to be able to really shine. The relatively unknown actor Riz Ahmed was cast as the villain Carlton Drake but I honestly didn’t find his role very impressive. It was too flat to really have that evil edge so to speak. Then again that also could have something to do with the script which wasn’t one of the strongest ones I have seen in these type of films.

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Talk to the hand…..

However the action and CGI sequences more than made up for this. When you first see the full Venom suit make an appearance it is really an extraordinary sight. It serves as a welcome reminder to see how much computer generated special effects have really progressed. The film was a bit slow in the first half hour or so, but then kicks into full gear, and I really found myself entertained for most of it’s runtime. Another complaint I have heard a number of times is that this movie didn’t get an R-rating. Granted Venom’s character certainly is violent, and the film had most of that violence shown off screen, but that didn’t mean that the movie was any worse because of that. So in the end Venom is another example of how the critics again rather unfairly treated this film as total garbage. It’s not the best superhero movie ever made, nor is it perfect, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable film that’s well worth seeing in the theatres. In other words, don’t always believe everything people write (including this post). Just go and see it with an open mind, and form your own opinion on it. You might be very surprised…

I give Venom a 8 out of 10 score.

Hold the Dark, American Movie (2018)

I love this time of year. The days are getting shorter again, which means the sun is beginning to set earlier and it becomes darker more quickly in the evening. Yes, I know many of you are probably disagreeing with me at this point, but I love it. It’s perfect for watching horror movies, or just cozying up in bed with a good book. One would almost think that I am a vampire or something, however as far as I know that is not the case. But at certain points in the world the sun is hardly seen at all during winter time. Now that might be taking things a little bit too far I guess. Alaska for instance has some places where the darkness settles in after barely three to five hours of sunlight. Now just imagine that if you will. I think a lot of people might simply go nuts as it takes some getting used to. That said though, those barren winter landscapes makes for some amazing imagery. It also serves as a perfect backdrop for some great movies as we have seen for instance in The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Last week a new movie came out over on Netflix which also utilises this cold and harsh environment. Is it a good film though? Well, let me talk you through it.

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Hi honey, sorry I’m stuck in traffic. I will be late again….

Hold the Dark takes places in the year 2004 in a very small village called Keelut deep in the Alaskan wilderness. Something truly dreadful has been happening there lately. Three small children have disappeared and are presumably dead, as their captors seemed to have been a pack of wolves. Medora Slone, the mother of the last child that has gone missing, calls in the help of a retired naturalist called Russell Core. This man who is an expert in wolves heeds the call of the grieving mother and soon arrives in the village. Meanwhile Medora’s husband, Vernon, is serving a tour in Iraq and is having his own share of troubles. He is as yet unaware of his son’s disappearence and his wife has so far not been able to share the horrible news with him. Russell has set off in search of the boy and to track down the wolves that are responsible for his capture. However not all is at seems. Darker and more sinister secrets are about to be revealed, and Russel finds himself in the middle of something that he simply did not expect to find…

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Trick or treat came early this year.

Did you ever watch a movie and when it ended you did not quite know how you felt about it? This was one of those films. Well, at least for me it was. I’m not saying this was a bad film, because really it wasn’t. But it’s also a movie that I felt could have been more, although I can’t quite put a finger on it what that more might just be. But let’s first get into the positives. One of the main selling points of this movie is once again the majestic and very cold landscape. It’s all shot beautifully, and adds to the sense of dread that this film is trying to achieve, and at which it also partially succeeds. You can’t help but feel very uneasy during most of the run time of this two hour movie. Hauntingly bleak visuals combined with a melancholic score certainly seem to capture the effect of what this movie was aiming for. The pacing of the film though was uneven. It was at times a rather slow film, and setting the tone for a creepy atmosphere can only get you so far.

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Awwwwwwwwwwww.

The performances in this film though were also definitely worth seeing. Jeffrey Wright who played the role of the aging Russel managed to create a very sympathetic character. It’s nice to see someone who really isn’t this macho superhero, but a more subdued and normal guy, who gets caught in something that is way above his head. I always like the underdog types, and Russel could definitely be classified as such. The role of Vernon was fulfilled by Alexander Skarsgård, and he made that role into a very chilling and sinister man. It’s definitely clear that the war in Iraq hasn’t left him without a few mental scars, as Vernon was an emotionless and very, very dangerous individual. It was a terrific part, and Skarsgård played it to perfection. Lastly James Badge Dale, who had a relatively minor role as a police officer also left a lasting impression. Even though he isn’t a very well known actor, he really rises above himself with an impressive performance.

Jeffrey Wright in the new film Hold the Dark. Photo credit: Netflix
I don’t know but shouldn’t those goggles be on your face?

Hold the Dark is a bit of a strange movie which is also pretty hard to classify. The story certainly has a number of shocking twists, and for lack of a better term WTF moments. But at the same time it also has trouble in finding out where exactly it wants to go. Is it a thriller? Is it an action film? Or even a drama? It’s pretty hard to say to be honest. Some of the scenes, especially in the beginning of the film just dragged on for too long. And I feel that if the film would have had a bit of a shorter runtime it might have been a better movie. That said though, there is still enough in this dark film (pun intended) for me to recommend it to you. The story is very interesting and has some pretty gruesome moments. Add to this some great actors, a tense and foreboding atmosphere and the beautiful landscape and it’s a movie that I feel is still worth your time. If you are not a fan of slow movies though, you might want to skip this.

I give Hold the Dark a 7 out of 10 score.

 

Final Score, UK movie (2018)

“So, did you see the soccer game last night?” I can’t remember the number of times I have heard that line said in the place where I work. I have never understood the appeal of running around on a big green field chasing a ball. (But then again, I hate sports altogether, so I am probably not the best person to talk about this). It becomes even more “fun” for me when grown men and women go into these lengthy discussions about what their favorite teams did right or wrong in a particular match and they become all emotional about it as well. “That referee should let his eyes get checked out” or “ Jeez, that goal so and so made was so incredible”. Uggh, fun times indeed. Well, people probably think the same about me when I get emotional about a great movie or anime that I saw, so yeah it’s probably best that I just stop talking about how much I hate soccer and get to the real point of all this. Namely a review of this fun new action flick starring Dave “ Guardians of the Galaxy” Bautista. And yep, you might have guessed it from both the title and this little intro, it has something to do with soccer. But not in the way you might think though.

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My name is Bond, James Bond. Erm…no I guess it isn’t.

Michael Knox is a former soldier who still tries to come to terms with the loss of his brother in Afghanistan. He cares very much for his young niece, a rebellious teenager called Danni who has had her own struggles with accepting the death of her father. Michael decides to take her to a big soccer match in order for the both of them to spend some time together. Which would have been a very good idea, were it not for the fact that a bunch of Russian terrorists have targeted the match. An enormous amount of explosives are set to go off in the stadium, unless their demands are met. Michael soon finds himself right in the middle of this, and matters are not really helped when his niece disappears on him. With the aid of a nervous venue staffer called Faisal, the ex-soldier begins the search for his niece. But time is running out for Michael, as the clock ticks down to the end of the match and possibly the end of all the lives in the stadium….

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I love the fashion sense that these girls have.

Do you remember the 80’s action flicks? Where we had good old Stallone and Schwarzenegger lead the charge in over the top, totally not credible but oh so much fun action flicks? This one pretty much almost feels like it was made in that era. It has a B-movie vibe, but one that at least for me did not fail to really conjure up some stupid grins on my face during a couple of great action sequences. Yes it’s a cheesy movie and sometimes has some horrible lines in it too. One that especially made me cringe was when Michael was fighting with the lead terrorist in trying to obtain the trigger to the explosives. A police officer was shouting to him to not let him trigger the detonator. No, really? That’s so helpful indeed! Sorry, for my sarcasm but trust me when I say that I really did enjoy this movie a lot. It doesn’t try to pretend to be anything else but an action film and pretty much has all the cliches in it that we have seen before. Yes, it’s yet another Die Hard clone, but even so, it’s a very enjoyable one.

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He hates soccer so much that he decided to turn the match into a dirtbike event!

Dave Bautista carries this movie starring as the reluctant hero Michael. What he lacks in acting skills, he makes up for in charm. You can’t help but form a bond with this guy and you want nothing more than seeing him administer his own form of justice on the lowlife thugs. Speaking of them, they are just your basic stereotype villains. Ray Stevenson plays the role of the main terrorist, and does a good enough job in portraying a pretty loathsome individual. It’s interesting to see that it seems we are almost getting back to the time of the cold war. So many movies have Americans pitted against Russians  that it almost seems to me that World War III is imminent again. Let’s hope not, but it is a sign of the times we seem to be living in. One would almost forget that Pierce Brosnan is in this films as well. The former Bond actor, has a relatively minor role, but a very important one. And it seems that he had fun playing it too, not withholding the terrible Russian accent he has. (One often has to wonder why they bother with doing those accents in the first place).

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Don’t tell me: I’m late for dinner?

The script not surprisingly isn’t a highly original one. It borrows heavily from another similar action movie that you might recall, called Sudden Death starring the “ Muscles from Brussels”. But I wasn’t really bothered by that in the least. As a lover of action films, I just had a great time with this movie. My taste in films is very diverse, but sometimes I just need something simple and fun to reset my brain. This film pretty much served that purpose. Some nice fistfights, chase scenes and shoot-outs combined with a likeable lead, made this into an entertaining ride from start to finish. It would almost get me to like soccer. Well, no I didn’t believe that last one either. Anyways, this certainly won’t be a movie for everyone, but if you like simple but fun action movies, I highly recommend checking this one out. It won’t blow your mind, but it will in all likelyhood give you a great night off after a long hard day’s work. So, let’s see now, what’s my final score?

I give Final Score a 8 out of 10 score.

Suicide Squad, American movie (2016)

I don’t think that I am the only one when I say that I sometimes like a good bad guy even more than a hero. And if I am the only one that says that, well then I guess I must be weirder than I thought. Anyways all crazyness aside, I just love a good villain. And in comics we certainly have a host of those. Even better, we don’t just call them villains, some we even call SUPER-villains. But are all of these so called bad guys, really bad? While some certainly are pure evil and have no real redeeming qualities, there are also those that have a moral code that we might even identify with. Let’s also not forget those that are, pardon my french, just bat shit crazy. As I tend to sometimes be a little bit crazy myself, I usually enjoy those the most. So, at some point someone thought it would be a good idea to make a comic that teams up some of the major bad hombres in the DC comics universe and let them save the world. In the history of terrible ideas, that one really seems to be at the number one spot right? Well…no. Because it worked and of course it’s no surprise that at some point a movie was made too.

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I could make a really bad caption here, but I guess I’d better not.

Suicide Squad takes place after the events of Batman v Superman. The world is left without it’s greatest hero, and humans try to do what humans do best: they try to find a suitable replacement. Because really what if the next Superman/woman, turns out to be not such a benevolent being? Intelligence officer Amanda Waller has an idea that at first seems totally nuts, but might just be the key to protecting the Earth from new threats. Codenamed Task Force X, it’s a team comprised of some of the worst criminals that are contained in the Belle Reve Special Security Barracks. Chief amongst these are hitman Floyd Lawton also known as Deadshot and the totally insane Harley Quinn. But of course it wil not really come as a surprise that they are not jumping at a chance to become heroes. Nonetheless when an ancient threat appears in the form of the evil witch known as the Enchantress, the team is sent on it’s first mission. A mission where the stakes are very high. How high you say? Well how about the continued survival of the entire human race?

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I’ve been thinking of dying my hair green as well. It seems to be all the rage these days.

This movie is already almost two years old, and I have only just seen it. Yup. I know, that is just crazy, really what am I doing with my life. Okay enough jokers, erm jokes. Let’s dive into my thoughts on this film. It’s hard not to compare a movie like this to The Avengers. The only difference being that in this film we don’t have superheroes teaming up, but a bunch of bad guys. That we don’t know much about. And that is one of the biggest problems this movie has. When the first Avengers film came out, we already were introduced to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Here though, we get  a bunch of characters that people who like comics might certainly be familiar with. But the regular audience probably doesn’t know much about them. And they are thrown at you with an incredible speed in the beginning of the film. That in itself would not necessarily be a bad thing. But some just had too little back story to really form an attachment to them. Sure, they look cool, but still it wouldn’t have hurt to maybe find out a little bit more about them.

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Why are you looking at me like that girl?

Luckily though, there are two characters that really carry the movie. It has to be said, Will Smith playing Deadshot does a phenomenal job with this role. He really steps up to the plate in bringing to life a character that is supposedly evil, but honestly really isn’t. It’s one of those truly anti-hero type of characters, who does everything for his daughter, and that you just want to see come out on top. And then there is Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. She is absolutely amazing. Harley is portrayed as a seductive, sexy, complete whackjob of a woman. However she is probably the most human character out of this entire ensemble. Her love for the Joker (In this film played by a criminally underused Jared Leto), drives her forward. Don’t underestimate her though, because she is lethal as hell as she shows in many of the films most badass scenes. The rest of the squad is comprised out of a lot of cool characters that I would loved to have getten to know better, but alas, that was not to be.

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Yep…she is looking at you. Best not look back, that might not end well for ya.

Suicide Squad doesn’t really feel like a movie to me. It has some great ideas, and there are definitely a couple of scenes that were fun to see, but it just almost felt like I was watching a bunch of clips woven together. The storyline, such as it is, is just really thin. We have a threat that just doesn’t feel like much of one, simply because it lacks enough background to really feel dangerous. The film is mostly comprised of a two hour long, cgi filled, shoot-em up. The saving grace of this movie really are the terrific performances by Smith and Robbie. Those two alone make the movie still worthwhile to watch. This film really could have been gold. It has a great premise, with a bunch of fun characters, but it ultimately falls short. So, once again DC unfortunately fails to really go to war with their biggest rival Marvel. But then again, who is keeping score anyway. Ultimately, it’s still a movie worth seeing at least once. Just don’t expect to see anything earthshattering here.

I give Suicide Squad a 6 out of 10 score.

The Void, Canadian/American movie (2016)

God, I hate hospitals. I don’t know if I have ever said this to you all, but really I do. Then again I don’t think that there are many people out there that like hospitals in the first place. But seriously, the smell alone once you enter the place, is enough to make me turn on my feet and walk on out of there. I have so far had to experience a hospital only twice in my life, both times for nothing serious. But, that did mean I also had to stay there at night. And really things are even worse then you know? Honestly, I think they are some of the creepiest buildings created by men. Tell me that I am wrong? So why all this talk of hospitals? Am I making plans to go there soon? Hell to the no! Interesting that I should mention hell though. With Halloween creeping up on our doorsteps soon, I thought it was nice to once again turn back to one of my favorite moviegenres: horror. And after the rather gloomy review I wrote yesterday , it’s time for something a bit more lighthearted. Well, at least something a bit more uplifting? Though come to think of it, this film is anything but uplifting. Unless you can find comfort in a descent straight down into the bowels of hell….

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Some people really can’t read signs. Caution stand back? Duh…..

Police Deputy Daniel Carter is enjoying a nice and quiet night in his patrol car when a man comes stumbling out of the woods he is parked next to. Daniel at first thinks it’s some drunken teenager, but soon finds out that the man is covered in blood. Rushing the wounded man to his car, he screeches off intending to take the man to a hospital. The only one available is one that is a largely abandoned due to a fire. It also happens to be the place where his estranged wife works, Allison Fraser. Once he arrives there the man is quickly taken away to be helped by one of the doctors on duty a man called Richard. But it’s then when strange things are beginning to happen. A nurse brutally kills one of the patients and attacks Daniel. He barely manages to defend himself and escape the sudden attack. But when white robed people are beginning to surround the hospital, the true nightmare begins. It’s going to be a night that Daniel will never forget. A darkness, oh so evil has been awakened and the deputy soon finds himself in what can only be called a place taken straight from the most foulest places of hell itself….

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SOMEbody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. 

It is no real secret that I am huge fan of The Thing, and if there is one movie that this one reminded me of, it’s that classic. This is one of those great, gory, a little bit gross, but oh so fun creature movies. It’s low budget, but it certainly doesn’t show that at all. Right from the very start of this film, the movie sets a very creepy and chilling tone and builds up the pace. I loved the way that this film did that. At first you don’t quite know yet what is going on. It seems there’s some kind of cult, maybe even something drugrelated things, but then when the first totally disgusting creature makes it’s appearance, the film goes into full on horror mode. The movie is gory, no hiding that fact. A lof of sickening, oozing and dripping fluids are spent in this movie but it gets nowhere near as bad as for instance Evil Dead. A creature feature stands or falls with the way the monsters are shown, and in this the movie doesn’t disappoint. A lot of designs are very unique (and suitably horrifying), and it also isn’t one of those films where you only see them as shadows in darkness. Still, this isn’t a blockbuster so don’t expect to see state of the art effects. But they are effective, no question about that.

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Nope…not creepy at all….

Another thing this movie has going for it, is it’s setting. As I mentioned, a hospital is a pretty scary place to begin with. But it has to be said that the sets in this film are really wonderfully created. As it’s a rundown building, it only adds to the atmosphere this film has. Most of the actors in this film are relatively unknowns, but I have to admit that the acting in this film is quite decent. The main hero of the movie, Daniel, is played by actor Aaron Poole. He manages to create a likeable character that tries to make the most out of a totally abnormal situation. He really carries most of the movie on his own, though his fellow supporting cast members do some admirable jobs themselves. None of the characters are very well worked out though, so don’t expect to grow really attached to them. That’s a little bit of a missed opportunity I think, as it would have made the film just a little bit better in my opinion. But honestly it doesn’t ruin the movie in any way for me, as there are enough scares and intense scenes that make this film very enjoyable.

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You know that things are bad when they start bringing out the axe!

I do think the film loses a little bit of momentum near the end. It’s luckily not enough to undo everything that came before it, but I do feel the ending could have been a little bit better. All in all though The Void was a very pleasant surprise. If you love low budget horror movies, or are a fan of the old Carpenter flicks, I urge you to try this one out. I think it’s one of the better horror movies that I have seen in a while. If you don’t like your horrormovies in the gory way though, this one is best avoided. So I guess this is it for this erm, did I mention in the beginning “uplifting” review? Okay, guess it didn’t really pan out that way after all. Well, can’t win them all I guess. Hope you still enjoyed reading this one though, and I will see you on the next one! Thanks for reading!

I give The Void a 8 out of 10 score.

A Silent Voice, Japanese (animated) Movie (2016)

Those of you that have been following me for a while now, and know me a little, probably recall the fact that I mentioned at times that I have been bullied for quite a while at school when I was young. Obviously it’s a past that I don’t like to recall often, as it was a very dark time in my life. But I never really talked about the after effects, and what it meant for the present. A couple of days ago I heard on national television that this year the stats for children being bullied at school were at an alltime low. I scoffed at that. Stats? Really? I think every child that has to go through that every day is one too many. Statistics be damned. Because bullying can have long time effects. For me it has meant a low self esteem and second guessing myself. Always having doubts. Like when someone doesn’t answer a text I sent. (Maybe I said something wrong and the person doesn’t like me anymore? Which obviously usually isn’t the case). But even worse is probably the fact that I have trouble connecting with people at times in real life. Especially when it comes to maybe falling in love. (Because really can someone fall in love with me?) All these dark thoughts aside….I have made progress over the years. Which is a good thing.

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How anyone can even remotely consider bullying this sweet girl is beyond me…..

At one point I was just done with it all. The self pity, or the fact that people might not like me. I began to think more along the lines of when people don’t like me, it’s their loss. And that certainly helped. While I will never fully lose those feelings, I do think it get’s better over time. But this all goes to show what bullying can really do to someone, and that the bullies themselves probably don’t even realise this (or couldn’t care less). The movie A Silent Voice deals with bullying, but it does this in a different way then one might expect. Shōya Ishida is a young and popular boy in his class which also means that a lot of the other children listen to what he has to say. One day a new girl called Shōko Nishimiya is introduced to the class. Well, she has to introduce herself but does this in a very unusual way. She pulls out a notepad, begins to write in it and then shows it to the classroom. It says that in order to get to know her, people can use the notepad. You see, Shōko is deaf. The class at first doesn’t really know how to deal with it. After a few days though, Shōya begins to set the tone, and starts to terrorise the poor girl. Even going so far as pulling out her hearing aids. Yeah…he is a real tough guy.

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I nearly went berserk during this scene. 

But when the principal eventually gets word of this and begins to ask questions about who is responsible, the rest of the class pulls away from Shōya. In fact the tables are turned and his classmates begin to bully him. Shōko eventually leaves the school, getting a transfer, and life moves on. Years later though Shōya begins to feel remorse. His own life is not really going well, and he decides to try and find out what has become of the the girl whose life he made miserable. But is she really willing to forgive him? Or an even better question would be should she even forgive him? I’m not going to lie here, A Silent Voice is not a happy go lucky film. It deals with a lot of things that might trigger unwanted feelings in quite a number of people. Heavy themes such as bullying and suicide all feature prominently in this movie. But it’s also a film that gives hope. There is a line in this anime that says even monsters have a heart. While I’m not so sure if that’s true for every monster, I’m definitely convinced that it’s true in a lot of cases. While there might certainly be children that bully simply because they enjoy it, there is usually more going on.

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X in this case doesn’t mark the spot. 

What I loved about this film is the fact that it shows that people can really change. When you first meet Shōya you begin to develop intense feelings of hate towards him. Especially because of the fact that the object of his reign of terror is one of the most innocent and sweet girls one is likely to meet. But as the movie progresses this changes. You really begin to believe the fact that the boy, now a young man, has changed, and really attempts to make the best of his earlier mistakes. It also helps when you see what has become of Shōya‘s own life. He has trouble talking to people (Which is represented by people having large X’s on their faces. Something I thought was really unique and clever). And his life really isn’t all that great either. Yes one could argue he had it coming. But without giving too much away, you will also see that friendship can sometimes come from the most unlikeliest places. And that’s where the hope lies within this film. It really emphasises how important friendship truly is. Certain people in your life can give you confidence, and I’m glad to say I have those in mine.

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Now, is it me or does the hairstyle of the second guy on the left remind you of a certain someone in a certain anime?

A Silent Voice also has a great animation style. It might not appeal to everyone, and it’s certainly not the best I’ve seen, but I really liked the way the characters were designed, and the way all the backgrounds blended together with these. This movie clocks in at a little over two hours, and I think my only gripe with it is that it might have been slightly too long. There were a few points in the film, where my attention started to waver. But, these moments were never very long, and certainly didn’t spoil the film in any way. This is simply one of those films that I think is very powerful, and deals with a pretty heavy subject matter in a beautiful way. It contains some very likeable characters, an amazing storyline, and ultimately ends up giving hope to people that have been on the receiving end of these kinds of experiences. At times it might make you a little melancholy, but when the credits start to role you will have a film to look back upon that you will be glad to have seen.

I give A Silent Voice a 9 out of 10 score.

Bleach, Japanese movie (2018)

There are times when I feel like I am a total noob when it comes to anime. Yes, I know that I need to give myself some credit and say that I still seem to watch it enough, and am maybe not a complete and utterly ignorant person when it comes to this medium. But, nonetheless there are still a lot of fan favorite shows that I have only heard of by name, but have never seen. I do like a challenge and still try to catch up with some shows. I have to say though, that nothing is more daunting than having some animes now have over 300 episodes (and some even reaching more staggering amounts). As much as I would love to watch some of those, I know that realistically I simply don’t have the time to see those kind of numbers. Bleach is one of those animes. Having done some research this series has now 366 episodes. I could finish this one maybe if I would watch one episode a day. But I know that I am deluding myself, and will simply admit defeat. Recently Netflix has released a live action movie for it that came recommended to me by Karandi.

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Why….so….serious!

Well, I assume a lot of you are probably already thinking that you will move on, and pass  on this one. I would not even blame you. When it comes to live action adaptations I often find myself wondering what the point of these are. The people that love anime, love exactly that: anime! So why turn an animation into a live action version? Probably to hopefully reach a bigger audience, and maybe get people interested in it more. But often they are just cash grabs, and are dowright mediocre, or even worse: total crap. However there are always exceptions to the rule, and Bleach seems to be one of them at least. Now, as I knew literally next to nothing about the anime (only the name and that a lot of people seem to think very highly of it), I also had the unique position that I had nothing to compare it too. Which also meant that I had no expectations for it. So if you are looking for a review that describes how well (or how badly) it holds up to the original anime, you are better off reading Karandi’s excellent post for it. I really enjoyed reading that one, and it also gave me a little insight in the anime. So what will I be doing here than in this post? Well, I’m just going to give you a review as if this were any other movie. I know, boring right? Hey, I never said that I wasn’t predictable.

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Pointing your sword that way is just asking for trouble these days….

Remember the phrase “ I see dead people” from the amazing film The Sixth Sense? No? Ugh, shame on you. Well anyways, Ichigo Kurosaki can see them too. Who is this guy you ask? Erm, okay I guess I am kind of jumping into this a little bit too fast. Ichigo Kurosaki is  a teenager and the hero of this movie. Now with that explanation given, lets move on. One day his ability to see ghosts, lets him meet up with Rukia Kuchiki. And she is not just a simple ghost, but has the badass job description of being a Soul Reaper. Now this means she has a mission to guide the souls of dead people to a place called the Soul Society. While this might not sound too bad, there is also a darker side to her mission. And that comes in the form of Hollows, absolutely horrific looking lost souls, that can both harm ghosts and the living. While in the middle of a fight with one of them, trying to defend Ichigo and his young sister, Rukia gets hurt pretty badly. She makes a decision to transfer her powers to Ichigo. But these new powers might just be more than the young man can handle. Not only does he have a fight on his hands with a monstrous Hollow called the Grand Fisher, but there also two Soul Reapers that have it in for him. And they don’t seem all that pleased that he now has Rukia’s powers…..

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Some people just have a big mouth!

Bleach is an action packed, sometimes funny, sometimes scary movie, that certainly was worth the watch. Not everything in this movie worked, but overall this movie definitely entertained. Let’s start with the cast first. The main hero is played by actor Sota Fukushi. He does a pretty adequate job in portraying a bit of a cynical teenager who while at times seems to be in way over his head, still manages to hold his own in the new situation he finds himself in. I do say adequate because quite honestly I didn’t think his acting abilities were too good. In the many action sequences the film contains however, he does come across as very convincing. I liked the character of Rukia more though. Played by actress Hana Sugisaki, she played a role that was quite endearing. The young Soul Reaper was one of those characters that tries to be tough, but really has a heart of gold. It was nice to see her try to avoid becoming a friend to Ichigo, but of course in the end failing to do so. The rest of the cast had far less screentime and as such was harder to form an attachment too. The two other Soul Reapers that had a score to settle with Ichigo I found to be overacting at times, but maybe that was the way their characters were supposed to be like.

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Seriously dude, you need to do something with that hair of yours. 

So how about the special effects then? I have to say that they were very convincing and quite good. I really loved the designs of the Hollows, and as far as monster designs go they were pretty horrific. Action wise, the film has some seriously cool swordfights, and ofcourse Ichigo trying to defeat the monstrous lost souls. All of these scenes looked top notch, and were quite enjoyable. The end fight sequence though was a little bit disappointing. It went pretty overboard and it even became laughable which is something I don’t think was what they intended it to be. Overall though, Bleach is quite the entertaining film. It contains some quirky but fun characters, a nice storyline and great action. Not knowing anything about the anime, I do find myself beginning to realise why this one has become such a fan favorite. Maybe I should set aside some time to go ahead and watch it anyway. It is after all only 366 episodes long. Yeah…right….like that will ever happen. Oh well, wishful thinking I guess.

I give Bleach a 7 out of 10 score.

Peppermint, American Movie (2018)

There is something extremely appealing to a strong female lead role in a film. Especially when that woman is also an action heroine. And before you all fall over me, I don’t mean that in a sexist way at all. I have always believed that women can pretty much do anything a man can do, and sometimes they do it even better. For the people that have been following my blog for a while now, you know that I have a particular love for revenge movies. It was only a short while ago that I reviewed the Korean revenge movie The Villainess which coincidentally also featured a lady that could seriously kick some  booty. So why are women in such roles so appealing? I don’t exactly have an answer to that question. But I do know it is great to see a woman pretty much beat the living daylights out of men that are so evil that they don’t even deserve to be alive in this world. This month we see Jennifer Garner finally make a very welcome return to the action genre. Looking back to quite a few years ago, some people might remember her playing the feisty agent Sydney Bristow in the hitseries Alias. In Peppermint though she seems to pay homage to that character, only this time she plays the completely psychotic and lethal version of it.

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Sometimes people seek a tougher challenge then decorating Christmas trees.

Riley North is a woman who struggles to make ends meet. She and her husband Chris have a lovely daughter and live a good life, but they do seem to have trouble keeping their heads above water financially. Chris almost went off to do something stupid and illegal but changed his mind at the last second. One night on their daughter’s birthday they head off as a family to the local carnival. They have the time of their lives, but that changes in the blink of an eye when a drive by shooting by local drug cartel members results in something absolutely horrible. Riley survives the incident and has the chance to appear in court, as she alone has managed to step up and identify the suspects. But a sleezeball lawyer and corrupt judge manage to turn the tables, and as a result the perpetrators get set free. But then something snaps in Riley. The once quiet and loving mother is determined to bring a justice of her own to the cartel and woe to anyone who will stand in her way. They say hell hath no fury to a woman scorned, and Riley North has become the living embodiment of that saying….

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Open wide!! Oh wait…it seems that you can’t!

Well, if this sounds like a story you might have seen and heard of a countless number of times in movies, you would be right. Yes this is a straight up good old fashioned revenge movie, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. What we have here is one of those films, that will probably leave your mind by the end of the week, but is still solidly entertaining and worth making a trip to the movie theatre for. One of the reasons for this  is most certainly Jennifer Garner. She is amazing as the grieving mother with a heart, and brings a cold determination to her character as she continues with her mission of vengeance. And what a mission it is. She is a one man erm woman army as she shoots, stabs and kicks all sorts of low life trash to the afterlife. It almost felt at times that I was  looking at an old 80’s Stallone or Schwarzenegger movie, but without the over the top and unrealistic action. (Althought I love those movies in case you were wondering). Garner is totally believable in this role, and it was nice to finally see her step out of her pretty mundane roles of late, and go into full on action mode again.

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Lasergaming still seems to be popular in some circles. 

Storywise this just isn’t an original tale, although there was a twist during the later half of the film that I did not see coming. And it’s always nice to see something like that happening. But in a movie like this it’s the action that counts, and in that way this film doesn’t let up for a second. We have a total adrenaline rush here, that sees you moving from one fight scene, to the next gunbattle and all of these are pretty brutal too. The director doesn’t have a problem with depicting violence, but it never get too gory. As mentioned though, the action certainly wasn’t unrealistic, and it was also refreshing to see that Riley isn’t an invulnerable superwoman but actually get’s wounded, and quite a lot too. The action sequences were choreagraphed very decently, and certainly won’t leave anyone who craves for action in their films feel slighted. The rest of the roles in this film weren’t very memorable to be honest, but this is pretty much a film that is carried by the role of Garner, and I was fine with that.

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Testing, testing..one, two, three….

I had fun with this film. It’s a movie that doesn’t reinvent the revenge genre, but I have to be honest that I’m not always looking for movies that feel the need to do that. Sometimes it’s nice to see just a solid entry into a familiar genre, and on that front this movie absolutely delivers. So do I recommend the film? Well, if you love oldschool action movies, with gunbattles, and energetic fight sequences with a solid female lead, I would say go for it. If that isn’t you usual cup of tea, this movie won’t convince you otherwise, and it’s best to avoid it then. What this movie does prove though is that it’s never a good idea to mess with a mother’s love for her child. Or women in general. Some can certainly turn into angels of vengeance, a lesson that one does best to not forget. And in case you might have forgotten it, I hope you won’t ever run into Riley North. Because I am pretty sure she won’t mind in helping you remember it…..

I give Peppermint a 7 out of 10 score.

 

Mission Impossible Fallout, American Movie (2018)

So let’s talk about Hollywood movie stars. Because, really why not? Big movie stars can have it rough. Imagine if you will: you take a walk to your supermarket to do some grocery shopping and everyone, and I do mean everyone, knows who you are. Would that not be like the most awkward thing ever? And what if it becomes even more creepier, as in papparazi’s stalking you everywhere you go. Don’t for a second think that being a movie star is all that glamorous. You have no private life so to speak of. And when negative things happen, it becomes even worse. Take Tom Cruise for instance. His association with the Scientology church, as well as some other stuff, have left a lot of people disliking the guy. But at what point does an actor’s social life, have an impact on his acting abilities? I for one don’t really care about it. Unless an actor or actress turns into an axe murderer or does something really horrific, I would not stop seeing the movies he or she stars in. And so it is for me with Tom Cruise. I may not always agree with the things he does in his daily life, but I just love his films. And after seeing the latest Mission Impossible movie, my respect for him has only grown.

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The seating arrangements in helicopters these days are just totally off.

Ethan Hunt is back! It is now two years after the events of the last film, and you would think that after the capture of the evil Solomon Lane things have settled down in the world. But…think again. As usually happens with vile and evil organisations like Lane’s “The Syndicate”, the remnants of it have turned into something even more sinister. The Apostles as the new group calls itself, have their sights set on something truly terrifying, three Plutonium cores. With these they plan to unleash three nuclear devices, and bring terror and destruction to the rest of the word. It’s up to Ethan Hunt and the rest of his team to put a stop to this before it’s too late. They are being assisted in their mission by a special CIA operative, a man named August Walker. But soon the stakes become even higher for Hunt when someone very close to him is threatened. And in order to put a stop to the plans of The Apostles and save the people he loves, Ethan might just have to depend on someone he would never think he would meet again….Solomon Lane.

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Erm, pretty sure that normal people wear a helmet when riding on a motorcycle.

I don’t know of many franchises where the sixth movie turns out to be the best one. In fact, I have been wracking my mind for a while now and it comes up empty. (Yes…you can say it, maybe it was already empty in the first place). Seriously though, Mission Impossible Fallout pulls it off, and then some. The main reason for this though, is a man named Tom Cruise. Now as mentioned above, a lot of people seem to hate his guts these days, and that’s fine. I for one am not one of them. He is now 58 years old, but in this film he runs around like he’s 20 and even more impressive, does all of his own stunts. Let us just take a moment to leave that to settle in. I mean 58! I don’t know about you but I find that very, very impressive. And we are not talking about stunts that are simple things either. For example, in this movie he pilots a stunt helicopter through some very dangerous and incredibly insane twists and turns. And he does that without any aid: Tom is the pilot, and there is no trickery involved in any way.

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Clark Kent decided he had enough of his glasses and totally went for a mustache look.

This film is an action roller coaster that doesn’t let up. It pulls out of the station with full speed, and it doesn’t stop for anything. Every action scene feels like it belongs there, and wasn’t just put in simply because it might look cool. But of course in case you had not yet figured that out, they do look cool! With so much action, you hardly get any breathers at all. And that does have an impact on the story itself which to be honest, isn’t all that great. It’s a fairly standard, nothing we haven’t seen before tale of a group of people trying to stop a bunch of terrorists from wreaking havoc. But despite that fact, it still works well, and I also felt that out of all the Mission Impossible films to date, this one had a bit of a dark edge to it. There were several moments, especially because of the music that accompanied certain scenes, that I felt myself in a kind of unsettling frame of mind. There are at least some attempts at humor in the film, but these scenes are quite sparse, especially when you compare them to the other five films.

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She is such an amazingly strong woman. The gun is just for show…she doesn’t need it at all!

From an acting point of view we have a great cast assembled here. Henry “Superman” Cavill plays the role of August Walker, donning the infamous mustage. In case you missed it, he was not allowed to shave of this thing when he was filming Justice League. And that meant that they had to remove it digitally, with very mixed results and some often hilarious internet gifs were created because of this. But it has to be said, Henry plays a great part in this film, and it certainly shows of he can do more than just play a Man of Steel. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg both return to reprise their roles, and they do so with great flourish. They really are very comfortable playing these parts, and it totally shows. Rebecca Furguson also reappears as Hunt’s love interest Ilsa, and she already impressed me in the previous installment. She does so again here. I just love her character, a true powerhouse of a woman who can more than hold her own against all the males gathered together in this movie.

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I often wonder why Cruise never joined the Olympics, he sure does like to run!

Mission Impossible Fallout might just very well be the best action movie you will see all year. It’s one that I highly recommend if you like the franchise in the first place, but also when you are a fan of well executed actions movies. The film runs over two hours, but during that time you won’t feel bored for even a single second. Tom Cruise has just simply done it again. Yes he might at times be a bit weird in real life, as an actor he just pretty much always entertains. So just don’t be too impossible about this, and just go and watch this film. It’s one that will have you leaving the theatre with a big grin on your face, a sure tell sign that a movie does something right!

I give Mission Impossible Fallout a 9 out of 10 score