Tag Archives: Crime

Lethal Weapon, American Movie (1987)

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

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

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

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

I give Lethal Weapon a 9 out of 10 score.

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!

Blood Father, French movie (2016)

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

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

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

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

I give Blood Father a 8 out of 10 score.

Psycho-Pass, Anime Tv Series (2012)

Throughout history crime has always been a problem in every country. With so many people living on this planet, there will always be people who find a thrill in committing a crime. Even though law enforcement has improved in the past centuries, it has never been succesful in completely wiping out criminal behaviour. And I don’t think there will ever come a time when crime will be a thing of the past. But what if there was a way to fully eradicate crime in our society?  And what would that world be like? It is this very intriguing storyline that is the focus for the anime series Psycho-Pass. And let me tell you in advance….what a fantastic roller coaster ride this has been!

Psycho-Pass takes place in a future Japan, where people’s minds are being continuously monitored for their mental state. The system responsible for monitoring these states, Sybil, can pretty acurately predict in this way the chances of a person planning to commit a crime. The data that is collected in this way results in a person’s Psycho-Pass rating. When the rating is above a certain number, a special unit of law enforcement is called in to either apprehend or kill the suspect. Psycho-Pass focusses on the young rookie Akane, who has just entered unit One of this special brand of police. Not quite prepared for everything that is thrown her way, on her first day she has to work together with her new colleagues. However these colleagues, the so called Enforcers, are themselves latent criminals. The Enforcers are placed under the guidance of normal police agents, who have a license to apprehend or even kill them should they pose a danger to the public. Akane soon realises that the job she has taken on might be more than she signed up for. Especially when a ruthless criminal appears who seems to have found a flaw in the Sybil system….

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One of the things that I find very important in anything I watch is that I can have an attachment to the characters. And oh boy, does this Anime have a truly wonderful mix of those lined up. The main Enforcer Kougami was a character that I pretty much liked from the very first minute he showed up. Everything he does has just got a very sense of coolness to it, and I also enjoyed the constant conflict that seemed to be inside him. The young rookie Akane, also went through an amazing journey throughout this series, and I loved the way how her character developed throughout the show. The rest of the cast, most notably the old Enforcer Masaoka and the villain Makishima, are also seriously entertaining.

The storyline of the series is the absolute highlight of this anime. It deals with a lot of themes, and it gives you a lot of food for thought at the end of this show. One really has to wonder about the morality of a society where everything you do or think is being monitored. The show has a lot of surprises and twists in store throughout it’s 22 episode run. The animationstyle is very cool, and I especially liked the use of colour in this anime. Lastly the music in the series adds to to the overall atmosphere of the show, and makes it an even more interesting watch. This review would not be complete without mentioning the Dominators (pictured below), the weapons that are used to subdue or kill the potential criminals. This was really one of the greatest pieces of hardware I have ever seen in an Animeseries. The first time I saw it being used in Lethal mode, I think my jaw must have hit the floor.

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I have pretty much nothing negative to say about this series. One could argue that there were a few slower episodes in the series, but that would be nitpicking. Overall this is simply a very entertaining sci-fi epic, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes movies such as Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell. I have heard that the 2nd season for this series has been a bit of a disappointment. I always judge things for myself, but it would be a real shame if that were to be true. Psycho-Pass is simply put, Anime gold, and is one of those series that is an absolute must watch.

I give Psycho-Pass a 9 out of 10 score.

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!

Child 44, American/Uk movie (2015)

Tom Hardy is an actor whose star is definitely on the rise in Hollywood. He has played the iconic villain Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, and has also replaced Mel Gibson as Mad Max. Both of those were big budget blockbuster movies, but one would almost forget that he is just a terrific actor, that can handle pretty much every role that they throw at him. Anyone who might have seen the small movie The Drop, should know what I am talking about. Child 44, based on a best selling novel, shows another example of his briljant acting skills. Even though the movie itself has it’s flaws, it is worth seeing for his performance alone.

Child 44 takes place in Moscow in the year 1953. Leo Demidov is a rising star in the Russian secret police. One day the child of his closest friend is found dead at a railroad. The death is ruled as an accident, but it soon becomes apparent that there is something far more sinister going on. A serial killer that preys on young children has entered the heart of Russia. Leo is the one who is determined to find him, and bring him to justice. However it is a task that is easier said than done as his own country states that murder is a disease brought on by capitalism. If Leo continues on the path he is taking, he will be branded a traitor. It becomes increasingly more dangerous for him to investigate the case, and meanwhile the killing continues…

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Child 44 has a lot of good things going for it. Most notably the cast which consists of the likes of Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace and ofcourse Tom Hardy. The acting in this movie is exemplary, and Tom in the role of Leo definitely shows why he is currently one of the best actors in Hollywood. But Noomi Rapace playing his wife is also very good in her role. Another thing this movie does well is create a very gritty atmosphere. Everything in this movie feels very dirty, and one really gets a feel of what it would have been like to live in Russia in that age. (And let me tell you that was definitely no picnic). Where the movie falls short is in the script department. The movie runs for more than two hours, which would not be a bad thing, were it not for the fact that the pacing at times is too slow.

There are also a lot of storylines going on at once, and that at times feels like they tried to put too much into one film. This is a real shame as this movie definitely had the potential to be a classic, especially considering the amount of talent involved. That said this movie is still well worth seeing. Tom Hardy simply plays one of his best roles to date, and the cinematography is also done very well. Even though the movie is long and does have it’s slow points as mentioned above, I still found this movie to be enjoyable enough. If you are looking for a dark and gritty thriller and are willing to accept a few of the weaker points of this film, you could do worse than this one.

I give Child 44 a 7 out 10 score.

 

Mystic River, American/Australian Movie (2003)

I think that just about the worst thing that can happen to any parent is losing a child. I don’t have any kids myself unfortunately, but I can pretty much imagine what would go through my mind if something like that would ever happen. But I guess I am saying something wrong here, because I don’t think anyone could ever imagine how you would react if a situation like that were to occur. In the powerful drama Mystic River, director Clint Eastwood deals with this question. And the answer is more heartbreaking than you could imagine.

Mystic River focusses on three childhood friends, that have pretty much lost touch with each other, after a childhood tragedy. One of them, Dave Boyle has come out the worst, and has become a shadow of his former self. As for his two former friends, Jimmy Markum and Sean Devine they also each have their own troubles to deal with. Jimmy tries to get back on a straight road after serving time in jail, which is easier said than done. He does have a bright spot though and that his children, especially his oldest daughter Katie. One day Katie doesn’t come home, and a sense of unease begins to creep up on him. It soon becomes clear that something terrible has happened to Katie, and when the police are sent to investigate, the lead officer assigned to the case is Sean. However, blinded by grief, Jimmy is heading down a very dangerous path to find justice for his little girl. When Dave Boyle might have something to do with the fate of Katie, it seems that some sins just can’t be buried.

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This movie is just about one thing: acting, pure and very simple. There are no explosions, high speed chases or any other things like that in this movie. What we do get is a very gripping and powerful crime drama, masterfully directed by Clint Eastwood. Star of the movie is Sean Penn in the role of the grieving father Jimmy. You can say what you like about this so called bad boy of Hollywood, but oh man can this guy act. The scene in which he finds out what could have happened to his daughter (shown in the picture above), just sends a chill down my spine. It is so real, that you would almost forget that this is someone who is acting. He got an Oscar for this role and deservedly so. But he is not the only one, as Tim Burton who plays the role of the tragic Dave Boyle also received the golden statue. His role just manages to hit all the right notes, and as such it is a character you grow to care about.

Movies like this are pretty much the reason I became a fan of the cinema in the first place. Sure I like action, horror and scifi a lot, but I also love powerful acting and great storytelling, and that is what this movie serves up for more than two hours. One could argue that Mystic River is just a little bit too long, but that would be nitpicking. All in all Mystic River is just a fantastic movie, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a warm heart for the cinema.

I give Mystic River a 9 out of 10 score.

Heartless City, Korean Drama Series (2013)

It has been quite a while since I have last reviewed a Korean Drama series, or K-Drama if you prefer. For those of you that have yet to experience the world of Korean Drama series let me offer a small introduction. A K-Drama series usually has around 20 episodes (although longer shows do exist) and can revolve around a great variety of subjects. The advantage is that the story usually is concluded by the end of the show, and with the current climate of so many series getting the axe, I think that is a good thing. Korean Drama series, just like Anime to make a comparison, cover a wide range of topics ranging from romance, historical, comedy and crime to name a few. There are so many shows to choose from, that it can sometimes be very hard to make a choice. A great place to start is the blog Kdrama Kisses (which you can find Here). It offers a wide range of reviews, news and all kinds of other great stuff from the world of Korean Drama series. Well, I think that is enough of an introduction, on with the review!

Heartless City is a crime drama about the shady world of drugs. A special police unit is formed to catch an infamous drug Kingpin called Scale and shut down his drug empire. This unit under the command of the driven cop Ji Hyung-min, has plans to place an undercover cop into Scale’s operation. Pretty much against his wishes, but realising she is the best cop for the job Hyung-min’s girlfriend, Lee Kyung-mi, is chosen for this very dangerous assignment. Just when the operation is about to start a  mysterious new player appears. Only known as Doctor’s Son, it soon becomes clear that Scale might not be the most important criminal after all. Who is Doctor’s Son, and what is his endgame? Unfortunately Ji Hyung-min will have to go through many hardships and dangers to uncover that truth. And in the end that truth might end up to be more than he would ever want to know….

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Wow, just simply wow! That pretty much sums up how I feel about this utterly fantastic series. To start with I am completely in awe of the amazing acting capabilities of Jung Kyung-ho (pictured above) who plays the dangerous Doctor’s Son. This guy is simply amazing, and I have become an instant fan of this great actor. He alone is almost the sole reason you should watch this show. But that would be selling it short, because the series itself is also just absolutely astounding. Having watched a lot of tv series, I usually see certain twists coming before they are shown. However, trust me when I say that this series has developments that will leave you staring at the screen, while your jaw lies silently on the floor. I can not go on without spoiling things, and as I pretty much always try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, I am not going to do that. All I can say is that if you like crime drama series, with some truly fantastic acting in it, watch this show. It will leave you breathless until the final episode (and probably after it ends you will still be gasping for breath). You can watch Heartless City for free at the legal Asian drama website Viki (which also provides subtitles in a lot of different languages, including English ofcourse).

I give Heartless City a 10 out of 10 score.

Alias Omnibus, A Marvel Comics Book (2014)

Netflix has been producing a number of television series that are based on Marvel comics. That these so far are pretty succesful, is probably not anything new. These shows, can’t really be compared to their blockbuster movie cousins however. What pretty much distinguishes them is that they are very dark, and focus more on the development of the characters. The first series Daredevil, has so far resulted in two seasons and pretty much laid the foundation for the shows that have followed afterwards. One of the more unusual series that has spun off from Daredevil is Jessica Jones. I have just completed reading the omnibus on which this pretty unique series was based on, and I found it to be an absolute delight. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s first focus on the story of Jessica Jones itself.

Alias can pretty much be described as a film noir type of story. Jessica Jones used to be a superhero, but because of certain events that are explained later on in the book, she gave up on her life as a costumed crime fighter. These days she is the sole employee of her own private investigations company called Alias Investigations. She helps out people on various cases such as kidnappings, but also the more mundane ones such as infidelity. Jessica herself has pretty much hit rockbottom. She is a heavy drinker, and uses men purely as a distraction. Not before long however, her past catches up to her, and a few cases she takes on, might be too much for her to handle…with or without superpowers.

Alias is part of the MAX comic book line, and as such is intended for a mature audience. Which is pretty much true, as the number of F-bombs in this graphic novel are astounding. Don’t be fooled though. This is a truly highly intelligent comic book, and the story is absolutely breathtaking. Already a fan of the television series of Jessica Jones, this book delves much deeper into the heart of this great character. And it is, at least not in the beginning, a very pretty heart. When you first meet her in the story, she is not someone you really like. Nevertheless, as the story progresses, you get where she is coming from, and why her personality has changed so much. Unlike the television series, a few popular superheroes make guest appearances in the book, such as Captain America and Spiderwoman. This is not a superhero book though. As I mentioned in the beginning, this really feels like a classic film noir, and as such is totally different than anything I have read from Marvel. I guess that is why I loved it so much. The art in the book also is not typical, but does simply feel right for this comic.

If you are looking for something different than your normal superpowered comic books, I highly recommend reading this fantastic graphic novel. I dare you not to get sucked into it’s clever storytelling. Before you know it, the hours will have past, and you might realise the day is almost over. And things like that are only reserved for the very best books.

I give the Alias Omnibus a 10 out of 10 score.

Triple 9, American Movie (2016)

I love a good heist movie, especially if a few very good actors take part in it. I also love movies about police corruption. Both of those genres have had their fair share of movies in the past. One only has to look on the IMDB site to find enough great examples of them. Earlier this year a movie came out, that was pretty much a blend of those two categories, and I honestly have to say that it was a very good kind of blend.

Triple 9 is police code for “officer down”. A bunch of downright dirty cops in collaboration with a couple of criminals, have executed a heist that should have been the score of a lifetime. However as is so often the case with supposedly well laid out plans, something happens that puts all of them in a bad spot with the Russian mob. When a new cop called Chris Allen gets transferred to the police unit of the corrupt cops, a new plan is formed to settle things with the mob. This plan however might end up costing the life of the innocent Chris. Both the dirty cops and the criminals will let nothing stand in their way of reaching their goals, but Chris turns out to be someone that is no pushover…

Triple 9 has an atmosphere that is reminiscent of classic movies such as Training Day and one of my alltime favorite movies Heat. It features a very impressive cast with the likes of Woody Harrelson, an almost unrecognisable Kate Winslet, and Casey Affleck. This is a dark and dirty crime movie that doesn’t shy away from violence. The story is straightforward but still very good, and has some nice twists and turns in it. As far as the great cast goes, it features a couple of good and decent roles, and especially Casey Affleck impresses as Chris Allen. Honestly I could find little at fault with this movie. It gripped my attention pretty much from start to finish, and contained enough to keep you hooked until the endcredits. Sure it wasn’t a groundbreaking movie, but it did not at any moment pretend to be so. All in all this is just a very enjoyable film, especially if you like the aforementioned movies.

I give Triple 9 a 8 out of 10 score.