Category Archives: Special Features

News, trailers, things I like, in short all kinds of crazy but cool stuff

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!

Special Features Presents: Childhood Cartoons

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

8. Gi-Joe

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

7. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

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

6. She-ra Princess of Power

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

5. M.A.S.K.

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

4. Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

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

3. Inhumanoids

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

2. Transformers

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

1. Robotech

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

Final thoughts

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

4) Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2

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

 

3) The Fate of the Furious

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

 

2) Ghost in the Shell

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

 

1) Stranger Things Season 2

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

 

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

Special Features Presents: First trailer released for Alien Covenant

So, a bit of a weird thing to release on Christmas Day to be honest, but today the first trailer for the upcoming Alien movie saw the light of day. Alien Covenant is a follow up to Prometheus and will act as a prequel to the Alien franchise. Confused? Well let me explain if you are not completely up to date with these movies.

In 2012 director Ridley Scott, the original director of the first Alien movie, released the movie Prometheus. The movie received very mixed reviews, as a lot of people had expected it to be a movie in the style of Alien. While Prometheus did take place in the same universe, and was most certainly a prequel to the Alien franchise, it was a whole different type of movie. It was a science fiction epic, that dealt more with mankinds first encounter with an alien race, than with the type of horror that made the Alien franchise so well known. As such there were quite a few fans that were disappointed by the film. I for one loved it. The cinematography of the movie was truly spectacular and I really liked the small details that were put into the film that referenced the original classic.

Alien Covenant, although being a sequel to Prometheus,will be a true Alien movie, and promises to be a truly horrific experience. Again directed by Ridley Scott, I hope this movie will become just as tense and scary as the first Alien film. This first trailer already has some very creepy moments. I do have to warn you when you watch this one: this is a red band trailer. That said it features some bloody scenes, and curse words. You have been warned! And remember…..in space no one can hear you scream…….

Special Features Presents: Things to look forward to in 2017 (Tv series)

As much excitement as there is in the cinema next year, there is just as much to enjoy (if not even more so) on the small screen next year. If I am being totally honest there are times when I can enjoy watching a television series more than a movie. Don’t get me wrong, I am an absolute movie addict: that will never change. But the television series that are being made in this day and age are sometimes better than a movie. For one thing it can develop characters better (as there are more episodes to explore a character’s motives). And as it takes longer, you can enjoy something even more than a movie, especially if it is a series that does things right. And with the budgets on tv series being almost as big as there big budget counterparts, the scale of certain shows is at times just off the charts. So following are 5 shows that I am looking forward to the most  for next year.

Voice (Korean drama series)

Korean drama series are fantastic. Just as in anime, there are so many series that you can choose from, ranging from romance, to historical drama, to action, there is a show out there for everyone. Voice is a series that will be released early next year, and promises to deliver a really good thriller. So far only small teasers have been released, but they already show the tense and gritty atmosphere of the series. Voice will deal with two detectives on the hunt for a brutal serial killer. The lives of the families of an emergency call center team are being threatened by this killer, and so the countdown is on to find him before it’s too late. I really enjoy movies about serial killers, and this one looks like it might take on the likes of films such as Seven and Silence of the Lambs.

 

Attack on Titan: season 2

Do I really need to explain what there is to be excited about for this one? Attack on Titan has become a juggernaut in the world of Anime and it is just simply put an amazing and exciting series. Fans have been waiting for ages for the release of season 2, and finally we now have confirmation that we will be able to see it next year in april. I usually watch shows after they have completed a full season, but I already know that I will make an exception for this one. The wait has been long enough. All I can say is that no matter his much I looking forward to this one, there is always this slight sense of unease that it might not be as good as season 1. With so many time to prepare for it though, I hope the creators have done their best to create an even better experience this time around.

 

24: Legacy

Before the Walking Dead became my number 1 alltime favorite tv series, there was 24. The realtime television series featuring Kiefer Sutherland as the hero Jack Bauer, has been a rollercoaster ride throughout it’s 9 seasons. Part of what made the show so exciting was Jack Bauer, the seemingly immortal but also very tragic anti-hero, that will always remain my favorite television character. (Not even the Walking Dead will change that). Next year 24 returns, but this time without Jack Bauer. One really has to wonder about the wisdom of that decision. Still, having seen the trailer of the new series, I do have to admit it looks good, and there are also some very good actors involved. Therefore I will give it a chance and keeping my fingers crossed that 24 will be able to live on without Jack Bauer.

 

Stranger Things: Season 2

Stranger Things was for me personally the best television series of 2016. It was a love letter to everything that I enjoyed about the 80’s. The music, the characters, the storyline, everything in this Netflix original series was just simply put: perfect. It has been a huge succes and therefore it came as no surprise the series would get a second season. With a series that was this good, one really has to wonder if they are able to maintain that high level for the second season. Whatever the case might be, I really can’t wait for this series to return. When it does I am seriously going to bingewatch it in one day. So far the only trailer that has been released for it, has in a truly original way, given us all the episode names for the second season.

 

Prisonbreak: Sequel

Prisonbreak ended it’s run after four seasons in a very satisfying way, and with what I found to be a touching and fitting end. Some people thought that the show went on too long, and getting more unbelievable with every season that followed. I personally loved it, even it’s fourth and final season. When I heard about the fact that the series would not only return, but also would feature a character who everyone believed to be dead, I could not help but wonder: How and why? Whatever the case, after having seen the first trailer for the new season, I found myself getting excited for it regardless. Prisonbreak has always been a personal favorite of mine, so hopefully this short follow up will do it justice.

So there you have it. The shows that I am looking forward to the most for next year. Are any of these shows that appear here on your list? Are there any other things you are looking forward to? Let me know in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading!

Special Features Presents:Things to look forward to in 2017 (Movies, Part Two)

And here it is, part two of the movies I am looking forward to the most for 2017. (You can find part one right here). Are these the only movies that I am looking forward to? Ofcourse not. Next year definitely promises to be an exciting year for movie buffs, and there are a couple of great ones heading our way, that have not been included on my list. Justice League, the Mummy, Spiderman: Homecoming, all look like they are going to be really cool movies. I am just not as excited about those, as the ones on these two lists. So to continue here are the last 6 movies :

Blade Runner 2049

Yes, I know. Do we really need a sequel to a movie that is 34 years old, and was an absolute classic? Sure: I am skeptical about this one as well. But after seeing the first trailer for this today, I can honestly say that I am cautiously optimistic for it. First off, we have Harrison Ford returning as Deckard, which is awesome. And the director Denis Villeneuve who has made such great films as Prisoners and Sicario,  has yet to disappoint. The teaser accompanied by some great music, looks very cool, and seems to retain the atmosphere of the original film. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for it.

 

Resident Evil: The final chapter.

This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure I have to admit. These movies are cheesy and almost venture into the B-movie category, but I can’t help it, I really enjoy watching them. With this movie promising to bring the story of the saga to an end, and a final appearance of Mila Jovovich as Alice, I hope the movie brings things to a satisfying conclusion. Well at least until we get the inevitable remake, reboot or whatever you wish to call it.

 

The Fate of the Furious

Vin Diesel and crew return for another installment in this enormously popular franchise. Sadly without Paul Walker, who’s untimely death still brings a sadness to my heart. The new movie promises to be more spectacular than ever, as the first trailer certainly shows. Yes it is completely over the top action, with impossible stunts and cheesy dialogue, but oh boy are these movies a lot of fun to watch. I would never have even guessed that this series would make it to a part 8, but I am glad it did.

 

Logan

Hugh Jackman returns in his iconic role of Wolverine, in which he tells us will be his final time. Although he has made this statement before, this time it might be the truth as there are at least no immediate plans for a new X-men movie. The new film is based on the highly popular comic book story Old Man Logan, in which we get to see a really vulnerable Wolverine. With captain Picard, excuse me Patrick Stewart, returning as Charles Xavier we are going to be in for an emotional and exciting ride for one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

With Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel made on of their funniest movies to date. A perfect blend of comedy, sci-fi and action, with out of this world characters, it was an instant hit. Next year the long awaited sequel makes it’s appearance, and it will be great to go back to see all those fun characters in action. As with any sequel it is always a question if it will be just as good as the first one, but after seeing the first trailer for it, I think it is a safe bet.

 

Star Wars Episode VIII

Well, this last one on my list is probably not a real surprise. Next december we will finally return to the galaxy far, far away in the way it should be done: a new real Episode in the Saga. It will be awesome to finally see Luke return into action, and find out some answers to a lot of unanswered questions. At this point not a lot is known about this one, not even a title yet, but I would not be surprised if we get to see a first trailer for this one somewhere in january. Hopefully the movie will be just as enjoyable as The Force Awakens

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So as they say in movies, that’s a wrap! As always let me know in the comments section if there are any movies that you have on your list for next year. Next up will be a post for the things I am excited about that will appear on the small screen next year. I hope to release that one just before Christmas. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Special features Presents: Things to look forward to in 2017 (Movies, Part One)

Well, it’s almost over. And by that I mean this year. Everybody is probably already making preparations for Christmas, and maybe even thinking up some New Year’s Resolutions. In 2017, we have a lot of cool new movies and tv shows heading our way. This three part series will feature the movies and tv shows that I am looking forward to the most for next year. So to kick things off, here are the first five movies.

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

One of my favorite anime series to date, Sword Art Online, will finally continue. Honestly I wish they would have gone for a new season instead of a movie, but I will take it anyway. It will definitely be great to see Kirito and Asuna return for another adventure. Set after the events of season two, it will feature a new game that, how it could it be otherwise, has it’s own set of challenges and dangers. And ofcourse it would not be Sword Art Online if things would not go horribly wrong. If the trailer is anything to go by, we are definitely going to be in for one hell of a ride.

 

Ghost in the Shell

The live action adapatation of Ghost in the Shell has already been the target of a lot of controversy. Being blamed for “whitewashing” by casting Scarlett Johansson in the role of the beloved Major, the movie was already written off by a lot of fans. Things changed however with the release of the trailer a few weeks back. It actually looked pretty spectacular,and seemed to maintain the spirit and atmosphere of the original anime movie. Ofcourse trailers can also be deceiving, so we just have to wait until the movie itself to form a real opinion. Honestly though I am looking forward to it immensely, especially after having seen the first trailer.

 

Transformers: the Last Knight

Yes, we get another one. It’s Michael Bay, it will feature explosions, a story that serves no other function than to deliver action scenes, but I actually happen to like these movies. They are simply put great action flicks, and are just mindless fun, which is sometimes all I am looking for in a movie. Sure, the original Transformers cartoon series will always be the best, but I do think that this take on the franchise is not bad at all. The first trailer for it, was released a short while ago, and it looks epic. I especially like the music that is featured, and it is great to see veteran actor Anthony Hopkins join the cast.

 

Dunkirk

My favorite director, Christopher Nolan, returns with what will hopefully be yet another spectacular and blockbuster movie to add to his impressive resume. The director of the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and Inception, this time will try his hand at a warmovie. Dunkirk features an impressive cast, and knowing Nolan, it will also have a very intelligent script as well as some impressive action sequences. It is going to be interesting to see how this will turn out, as this is an entirely different movie than what he usually directs. However it will turn out I will definitely be there in the front row to check it out.

 

Alien: Covenant

Ridley Scott returns with this sequel to his Alien preview, Prometheus. No trailer has been released yet, but that probably won’t be much longer. Prometheus was a disappointment for a lot of people, as many were expecting a tense and claustrophobic horror movie. I loved Prometheus myself, and found it to be a very cool looking science fiction movie. This sequel however promises a return to the original concept of the Alien franchise, and that definitely sounds very awesome indeed. The first poster for the movie is very effective and pretty much says it all.

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And that’s it for this first part of the movies I am looking forward to for next year. The second part for this series I will be posting later this week, and you can also expect a post about a few new series that I am looking forward to for next year.

So, are any of the movies featured above also on your list? If not, what are you looking forward to for next year? Let me know in the comments section below, and as always thank you for reading!

Special Features Presents: Childhood Movies

I don’t know if it’s because the end of the year is nearing, or maybe because of the terrific anime Erased I recently watched, but I have been thinking a lot of the past lately. Sometimes going back as far as my childhood. Don’t worry, I am not going to turn this into some kind of weird post, with mushy and heartbreaking tales of sadness. What I do want to talk about is one of my favorite subjects: movies! Even as a child I already liked them, and it probably won’t be much of a surprise that most of the movies I liked back then, had some kind of fantasy element in them. So I thought I would share a few of these movies with you as kind of a trip down memorylane. All of these are from the roaring 80’s, a time in which so many great films were made. So let’s head back down to those days, and see if you remember some of them.(Note: there might be a few very minor spoilers ahead, so you have been warned!).

E.T. (1982)

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What can I say about this one? A classic, in every sense of the word. A young boy called Elliot becomes friends with an alien from outer space. It is not long before government forces are on the hunt for the creature, and Elliot and his friends try to protect him, risking their very lives. This movie is in my opinion one of the greatest films ever made, and even though it is now more than 30 years old, it still hasn’t lost it’s power in any way. A touching film, and the only movie I watched in the cinema as a child, that left me in tears afterwards (don’t laugh).

The Karate Kid part 1 and 2 (1984,1986)

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Wax on, Wax off. It is a quote I still use sometimes at work, when things are stressful. Another great feel good movie in which the young boy Daniel, who is bullied at school, gets help from an old Martial Arts teacher. Eventually he learns the ways of Karate and takes revenge. The second part, which moves the action to Japan, I liked even more. It was pretty much my first introduction to this wonderful country and some of the customs and traditions from there. Both these movies are an absolute blast, and if you have a bit of a somber mood, I pretty much guarantee it will turn bright again after seeing these.

Labyrinth (1986)

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Starring a very young Jennifer Connelly, and the late David Bowie, this movie is a fantastic adventure for all ages. It tells the tale of the young Sarah who has to babysit her baby brother Toby, a job she doesn’t really like, to say the least. The fantasy book Labyrinth is her life, and one day she calls upon the Goblin King from that book, to take Toby away. Pretty much to her surprise it happens for real, and she has to travel to a magic Labyrinth to get her brother back. With a wonderful cast of creatures from the Jim Henson studios, there is so much to enjoy in this film. It features great music from Bowie, very impressive special effects, and is also one of those excellent feel good movies. Now 30 years old, it has withstood the test of time very well, and is still every bit as fun to watch, as when this movie was first released.

Transformers: the movie (1986)

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Ahh, Transformers. That was the toy from my childhood, and ofcourse the best cartoon ever made (well at least to my 10 year old mind). Featuring robots that could transform into cars, planes, weapons etc. (Hence the name duh), it was one if the hottest things from the 80’s. The heroic Autobots fought against the evil Decepticons to protect the Earth and it’s inhabitants. This movie turned things pretty dark however as my childhood hero, the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime, was killed off. I was absolutely stunned at the time, and remember staring at the screen in total shock and disbelief when that happened. Ofcourse now we have Michael Bay’s version of this classic animation series. Even though I quite enjoy those big budget blockbuster movies, the original is still the best and will never be surpassed. Roll out!

The Neverending Story (1984)

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With a themesong that was stuck in your mind for the rest of the day when you heard it, the Neverending Story is also a wonderful fantasy movie for all ages. The young boy Bastian, who has a lot of trouble at school and home, one day comes across a mysterious book. The title of the book: the Neverending Story. When Bastian begins reading the book, he is transported to a magical land, which is about to be consumed by a great evil. It is up to the young boy to save the land from impending doom, and in the end he ends up saving himself as well. Featuring a whole bunch of fantastical creatures, a great story and some fantastic music, it really is highly recommended to everyone who likes fantasy. Simply put, movies like this are just not made anymore these days.

The Goonies (1985)

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The last, but certainly not the least, movie of this post is the Goonies. A group of youngsters are about to lose their home. When cleaning up they come across a treasure map, which supposedly leads to the long lost riches of a pirate captain. Travelling down a tunnelsystem full of traps, and pursued by a bunch of criminals, the Goonies risk everything to find the treasure. This is, if I were to make a comparison, pretty much Indiana Jones for kids. But it is hard not to like this movie, even when your older, as it features a lot of great humor, great setpieces and is an absolute joy to watch.

Final thoughts

Well, and that just about brings me to the end of this post. At times it is just nice to look back on things and revisit some of the movies that made an impact on you. Even though I was still very young at the time that these movies were made, they had a lasting impression on my mind. Strange really, as all of them are 30 years old, or even older. Memory can be a weird thing at times. However, even though old, all of these movies are still highly enjoyable to watch, and if you have never seen them before, it is worth it to track them down.

So how about you? Do you have any favorite movies that you remember from your childhood? Are maybe a few of the movies above on your list? Let me know in the comments section below.

As always, thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

 

Special Features Presents: First trailer for Live Action Ghost in the Shell Movie

Well, this is not going to be a very long post, but I did want to share this one. Today saw the release of the first official trailer for the live action version of Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. Obviously this movie has been pretty much under fire ever since people heard that Scarlett was going to play the role of the Major, and not a Japanese actress. I myself am a very big fan of the original movie, and still think besides Akira that it is one of the best Anime movies ever made. The tv series Stand Alone Complex was also very, very good. As such the pressure on a movie such as this is enormous, and however it is going to turn out, it will probably never live up to the expectations people might have of it.

That being said having just watched the first real trailer for it, I honestly have to admit it looks very cool. The style does bring back memories of the original movie, and Scarlett looks pretty much exactly like the Major we have all come to love and care about. Still it does feel strange to hear American dialogue (I have only watched both the movie and the tv series in Japanese), but I guess that was pretty much a given. Still I am cautiously optimistic after having seen this trailer.

For your enjoyment I have included the trailer down here, and it includes an introduction by Scarlett herself. Let me know what you think of it in the comments section 😀

Special Features Presents: Merchandise

It has pretty much become a fact of life that whenever a certain franchise becomes popular, the merchandise is never far off. And why not? Certainly for fans it is pretty cool to own something from a beloved movie or tv show. It ofcourse also has a downside, and that is it usually is not very kind to the contents of your wallet. When there is money to be made, they usually know how to cash in on something that is very popular. I’ll be honest, I can be highly influenced by advertisements. Especially if I like a movie franchise or tv show a lot, I pretty much begin to collect stuff from it. Ofcourse there are certain lines that I don’t cross. If I have to cough up an amount of money that I have to work a year for (yes, I like to exaggerate lol), than I say thanks but no thanks. But if it is something that I really like, and the price is right, than I really like to add another piece to my collection. Showcased below, for your enjoyment, are three franchises that I enjoy collecting stuff from.

Star Wars

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Ever since seeing Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, I have been a massive Star Wars fan. I love science fiction, and without a doubt Star Wars will always be my favorite galaxy, far, far away. Over the years my collection has been growing a lot, and it contains novels, action figures, trading cards, artbooks, comics, and games. We are about a month away now from the latest installment hitting the theatres, and I am already looking forward to it immensely. The problem with Star Wars merchandise is that there is so much to buy and collect, that it is almost impossible to keep track of it all. Still, with no end in sight to what is on offer, there is a lot to enjoy for fans.

The Walking Dead

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What can I say, ever since first seeing the first episode of this incredible tv series I have been hooked. After learning it was based on a comic book, I started with collecting those, and when the tv series became popular, the merchandise train got on board as well. The Walking Dead has some truly awesome action figures on offer from McFarlane toys, as well as novels that expand the story, and some very cool boardgames. Though the range is not as wide as Star Wars, there is still enough on offer for fans, to start collecting stuff.

Sword Art Online

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Earlier this year a friend of mine told me to start watching an Anime series called Sword Art Online. Honestly, at the start of the show I did not enjoy it. Sure, the storyline was interesting, the animation looked cool, but I just could not get into it. However I did continue to watch, and I am really glad I did. This series has become one of my alltime favorite Anime shows, and as is usually the case with things I like, I just had to start collecting some stuff. A few months back at the Amsterdam Comic Con (which is pretty much the same as the American version, only smaller) I found some truly cool items, which are on display at the picture above. This collection is at the moment pretty small, and I don’t think it will grow as big as my Star Wars or Walking Dead collection. Still, if I come across something interesting, I will probably add it to the existing pieces.

Final thoughts

Merchandise can be a lot of fun. As long as you can contain yourself and don’t go overboard with spending money, I see absolutely no harm in starting a collection of cool stuff. The biggest problem I think is that whatever you start collecting, there is usually way too much on offer, or too little. Some movies or shows, that are a little bit less popular, have almost no merchandise to collect. That can at times be frustrating, especially if you are a fan. On the other hand, with too much on offer, it usually comes down to what should I buy? You can only spend your money once (duh) and with so many cool items on display, it can become very hard for a fan to make the right decision.

So what are your thoughts on merchandise? Do you like it, hate it? If you are collecting stuff, what are some of your favorite pieces? Let me know in the comments section. As always, thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!