Tag Archives: Crime

Robocop, American movie (1987)

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, know that I am a massive 80’s fan. And if you are a new reader, welcome, and I guess you now know this too. One of the things I really enjoyed in the 80’s were the enormous amount of iconic science fiction movies that were made. It gave us so many great characters, like for instance The Terminator and Predator , that one would almost forget that we are talking about movies that were made more than 30 years ago. But even so, all of these have withstood the test of time very well, and are still highly enjoyable to watch. Another character that stems from that great era is a cop. And we are not talking about an ordinary cop, we are talking about Robocop, the future of law enforcement.

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What? He’s just getting some gas for his car, nothing to see here. 

Robocop takes place in the near future in the city of Detroit. It is not the Detroid we know today, but a cesspool of a city, ruled by criminals and where cops are pretty much outnumbered. To get a grip on the criminal elements, the mayor of the city has turned to the powerful mega company Omni Consumer Products, or OCP for short. The vice-president of the company, a man named Dick Jones, has just presented his new tool against crime, a robotic droid called ED-209. Unfortunately the first test of this thing is unsuccessful to put it mildly. Meanwhile a new cop has just arrived at Detroid police headquarters, a man named Alex Murphy. After being introduced to his new partner, the feisty Ann Lewis, the two of them hit the streets. Hot on the trail of a group of criminals led by the ruthless Boddicker, they get caught in an ambush, where Murphy is killed. Not long after this horrible event, OCP introduces their new weapon against crime: Robocop. Soon crime in the city takes a hit, as Robocop begins his mission of justice. But Ann sees an uncanny resemblance to her old partner Murphy in the cyborg. And as succesful as Robocop seems to be, there are some things that even he can’t fight…..

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Don’t mean to interrupt, but there is something behind you. 

Robocop is another one of those classic movie characters that I was talking about earlier. Portrayed by actor Peter Weller, he has brought this character to life in a very impressive way. The Robocop suit he wore, was very uncomfortable, and to top things off, the only thing you could see of his face was his mouth. Despite that fact, he still manages to give away a stunning performance, and brings a humanity to his role that most actors can only dream off. The other actor worthy of note is Kurtwood Smith, who most people might know from That 70’s show. Here he plays the role of the evil Clarence Boddicker, a man that you will really grow to hate during this film. And that is all because of the great acting of Smith, as he truly excells in portraying this hated character. Ronny Cox in the role of Dick Jones, and Nancy Allen as Ann Lewis provide great supporting characters. All in all the acting on display only adds to the enjoyment of this movie.

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Trust me when I say that you will grow to hate this man. 

Now I am not going to lie to you here, Robocop is a brutal movie. There is some very graphic violence in this film, a trademark in most of director Paul Verhoeven’s movies. It does work in this film however, even though some people might really frown upon it. The story of the film is full of criticism upon the corporate America of the 80’s. One of the ways this is done is through the showing of a couple of hilarious commercials throughout the movie, and a few television newscasts. So besides this working as a great science fiction action movie, it is also a well thought out story, full of small jabs at the American way of life of the 80’s. The special effects for the movie were state of the art at the time, but do look a bit dated now, especially the stop motion scenes involving the ED-209 droid. But this really is a minor issue, as the movie is still well worth the watch.

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Imagine showing up to work like this. 

Robocop went on to become part of movie history. It spawned two sequels, an animated and live action tv series, and a remake of the original film. Now the remake was not received very well at the time, but I certainly did not think it was a bad film. I might do a review for that one in the near future. The 1987 version however, is still the best one, and a movie that I highly recommend. Besides great performances, it has a meaningful storyline, and some great action sequences. If you are easily offended by gore and ultraviolence though, I think it is best to avoid seeing this movie. Otherwise there might be trouble, to quote a Robocop phrase.

I give Robocop a 9 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: In the valley of Elah, a collaboration post with Acacia Aurora!

About four weeks ago I was approached by Acacia Aurora, also known as Auri, to do a collaboration post. This is the first time I am doing something like this, so not only am I excited for it, but I am also honored to have been given this chance. Thank you Auri! For those of you that have yet to discover her wonderful blog, you can visit her here . The blog is filled with a lot of great posts about manga and anime, and also her great art. It is well worth the visit, and ofcourse once you are there you should definitely subscribe.

Now her idea for this collaboration was very cool. We have picked a movie, and I have watched the first part of the film, while Auri watches the second part. Based on what we have seen we try to predict what happens, and has happened in the first or second part of the film. And then ofcourse we get to see if we have been right about our predictions! The movie that we have chosen is the drama In the valley of Elah, a 2007 movie starring the fantastic Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron. The film is 1 hour and 56 minutes long, so I have watched the first 58 minutes. Please note that what follows will be full of spoilers, so if you have not yet watched this movie, you have been warned!

In the valley of Elah, part 1

This movie is based on a true story. Tommy Lee Jones plays the retired military police officer Hank Deerfield. His son Mike, who is a soldier, is about to return from a tour of duty in Iraq. But then things begin to get weird. Hank gets a call from the military that his son has not returned, or at the very least has gone missing, and they are about to file him as having gone AWOL. That is the military term for Absent Without Official Leave. Hank does not believe Mike would go off just like that, and is determined to find him. He at first travels to the base where his son was stationed, but that really does not help him much. The only thing he did receive was his son’s cellphone which contains a few videos made by his son in Iraq. The videos are very damaged though, and he has to enlist the help of a specialist in order to decrypt them.

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That coffee must really be good for them to smile this much.

Hank next turns to the local police department. Once there he meets up with detective Emily Sanders, a role played by Charlize Theron. Unfortunately as Mike is in the military at first she does not want to help him, as the official procedure is to file a report with the military police. With Hank getting more desperate by the minute, things take a turn for the worse. A dismembered body has been found, heavily burned and mutilated. Soon the shocking confirmation comes that it is indeed Hank’s son. The body has been found on the terrain of the army, so technically it falls under the jurisdiction of the military. At least that is what is decided at first. The murder of Hank’s son appears to have been caused by a local drug cartel, and it seems that it looks like a drug deal that has gone bad.

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Don’t look at me as if I am an idiot.

Hank does not believe for one second that his son was into drugs, and insists to be taken to the crimescene where his son’s body was found. The military police does not want to offer any kind of help, but then help comes from an unexpected corner. Detective Sanders takes Hank to the crimescene, and once there they find out that the body was moved. This means that it now becomes a police matter again. Emily takes the case to her boss, who pulls some strings to get the jurisdiction back to them. Meanwhile Hank has received a few decrypted videos from his son’s cellphone. Looking through them it seems that Mike was involved in something horrible in Iraq, but exactly what has not yet become clear.

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I wonder what she is thinking about……

With the case now back in Emily’s hands, she tries to talk to to some witnesses, but is pretty much stonewalled by the military, saying that the matter is closed and they already have their statements. Hank and Emily finally begin to work together, and and are also getting some mutual respect for each other. Emily invites him over for dinner with her young son, and also to discuss their next move. After dinner Hank tries to read a bedtime story to Emily’s son…..and it is at this point that I hit the 58 minute mark!

My impressions

So far this movie has been incredibly entertaining. Tommy Lee Jones gives one of the best performances of his entire career as the desperate father who is determined to find out the truth. But Charlize also plays very well as the detective who is also despised by her colleagues. The atmosphere for this movie is very dark and gritty. I also love the way the story so far is having some really nice twists and turns, and really keeps you guessing what will happen next. I absolutely have to contain myself not to watch any further, but ofcourse I am not going to that. And now for the hard part!

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Erm, I really don’t wish to intrude, but I think you might need a bigger flashlight.

My predictions for part 2

The big question is ofcourse: was Mike murdered by a local drug cartel? My guess is no. I think that Mike has seen something in Iraq that he was not supposed to see, and that he was murdered because of that. I also believe that this might have been done by members of his own unit. The stonewalling of the military throughout the movie so far, is making it clear to me, that they want to cover something up. It might be that  an attack in Iraq has gone bad, and they murdered civilians or something like that. I also think that both Hank and Emily will get in over their heads, and their lives will be in danger. In the end though, the truth will be revealed, and his son’s reputation restored. Emily will also finally get the respect she deserves from her colleagues, because of solving the case. Hank, though full of grief, will be able to move on and find peace. Well…at least that is what I think will happen. Let’s see if I am correct, or completely wrong. Auri: over to you! You can find out what happens next by reading Auri’s post, which you can find here.

Imperial Dreams, American movie (2014)

Isn’t it amazing the amount of things we take for granted in our life? Something as simple as a roof above our heads for instance. There is nothing better after a long workday than coming home, sitting down in your favorite chair, and watch a movie or read a book. It is truly something one should be grateful for. Not everyone on this world has that privilege though. And even though we are human, and we at times complain about everyday things, it is a good thing to sometimes stop and take a few moments to think about things that are really important. Like family for instance, and caring for them, even though you might not be able to do that in the way you would want to.

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One day, your father will grow up to become a stormtrooper.

In Imperial Dreams we meet up with the 21 year old ex-convict Bambi. He has just been released from prison, and is on his way back to his old neighbourhood. His only care in the world is his son, and he will stop at nothing to protect him. However he has really decided to stay on the right path this time, in order to accomplish this task. Unfortunately it is not that simple. The only roof he has above his head is a beat up old car, in which he sleeps together with his son. In prison he picked up the art of writing, and he is trying to get enough money together in order to publish a novel. When his criminal uncle tries to recruit him for a task, Bambi at first declines. Things are becoming more and more desperate for the young father though, and living in such a criminal environment, it is almost impossible to remain on the straight path. Will Bambi succeed….or is the lure of evil to great to resist?

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Really? You were in Star Wars? 

Star Wars fans might recognise John Boyega from the Force Awakens, who plays the main role of Bambi. And I honestly have to say that I was very impressed by his acting talents in this movie. Boyega almost carries this movie on his own shoulders, a task at which he succeeds perfectly. It is always nice to see an actor in a completely different role, and execute it so well. The rest of the supporting cast are relatively unknown, but they all do a great job anyway in creating the atmosphere for this movie.

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I can see my house from here. 

And that is another thing this movie does well, create an atmosphere. It really goes to show that crime really does not pay. It is almost impossible to get back in normal society after a life of crime. Especially when you are trying to do the right thing, and follow the correct path. At some point in the film, Bambi tries to get a normal job, and it is almost laughable the amount of effort he has to take in order to succeed at this. The film loses points in the originality department. This is not a unique storyline, and one we have seen a couple of times in films such as Boyz n the Hood and Dangerous Minds. That said there is little that this film does wrong. The acting in the film is great, and the story even though it is not very original, still grabs your attention and is at times very heartbreaking. All in all this is a solid movie that is worth the watch.

I give Imperial Dreams a 8 out of 10 score.

Boiling Point, Japanese movie (1990)

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while now, know that my taste in movies and tv series is pretty diverse. As long as the film entertains I am willing to tackle any genre. Recently I received a movie on dvd for my birthday that I had heard much about, but have never actually seen. Directed by the infamous Takeshi Kitano,that was pretty much enough to get me excited for it. Recently he had a minor role in the new Ghost in the Shell movie (you can find my review for it Here ), but he is well known by all lovers of Asian cinema. He has starred in and also directed a lot of (at times pretty controversial) movies. Most of his movies contain acts of violence, but also some dark humor, and Boiling Point is definitely no exception to this rule.

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In the beginning of the movie we get to meet the rather simple man Masaki. He plays baseball for a local team, but is not very good at it. In fact the guy really comes across as someone who has definitely not got all of his marbles straight in his head. When his coach is threatened by a local Yakuza member, he travels to Okinawa together with a friend, to buy a gun. Once there they are befriended by a psychotic gangster called Uehara. Now this guy has his own score to settle with the Yakuza. Masaki soon realises that he is in way over his head. With Uehara going off on a rampage, the simple Masaki has to find a way to stay alive, while at the same trying to find a way to protect his coach. But the crazed Uehara is definitely not making this job easy….

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Now if I would get only one word to describe this movie, it would be the word weird. The movie starts off fairly normal, and at that point is pretty much a comedy. Masaki comes across as a complete idiot, and this supplies a couple of really funny scenes on the baseball field. As soon as the Yakuza enter the movie though, the tone of the movie shifts, and is beginning to descend into complete madness. Uehara, played by director Takeshi Kitano himself, is an absolute psycho, and a very chilling figure. His natural charm makes him only more terrifying. And that comes across in the movie itself. Some seriously disturbing scenes make this at times an uncomfortable watch, as you often wonder who comes up with stuff like this in his head.

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This movie has the word cultfilm written all over it. Even though the film has a pretty straightforward storyline, there are often strange jumps in time, and this really makes you question your own sanity at times. But ofcourse this is probably what Takeshi’s goal was in the first place. I did really enjoy Masaki’s journey however. It is always a really fun thing to see a local idiot turn into a hero, allthough even that fact is questionable by the end of the film. It is hard to recommend a movie such as this. The acting in the film is fantastic, but the sometimes weird imagery certainly won’t make this a movie that everyone will enjoy. I for one was definitely entertained by it, even though this certainly isn’t a perfect movie. If you like to watch the occasional cultmovie however, this one is certainly worth checking out.

I give Boiling Point a 7 out of 10 score.

Lethal Weapon, American Movie (1987)

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

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

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

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

I give Lethal Weapon a 9 out of 10 score.

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.